The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised.   Posted by Failed GM.Group: archive 0
Failed GM
 GM, 105 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 17:47
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
The people around Siai retreat, mass, and start throwing their heads back, noses high. They start chanting again, this time forming definite groups. After a few moments, each group forms one of two figures: either a swishy line or a dotted circle would be what an onlooker would see from above. The drone is distracting, but not enough that Fin doesn't notice the smells wafting stronger.

One of the groups, a circular one, is suddenly filling with green light. Green dots of light. They seem to come from their midst. The group starts screaming, but don't move. They're clearly being burned by the light, with pieces of their clothes and hair falling and turning to ashes, but they don't move.
Final Command
 player, 74 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 20:32
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Fin stood, a feeling of fear growing stronger by the second.  Had the people been implanted with some device?  Was this some manner of self-destruct mechanism for those whom the Challifani had influenced?

Fin didn't know if they could be saved.  Or if they felt they had a purpose.  It looked back and forth between C40rla and the people walking in formation.

"Siai!  Siai!  What is occurring?  Is there an off-switch?" Fin asked. Siai had been communicating with them last, perhaps it had additional insight.

Or if not...  Fin carefully packs away its tools, secures its pack, and then lifts C40rla to its back.  If Siai had no knowledge of the happenings here, then Fin might need to save the automatons its could.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:03, Thu 20 Aug 2015.

Siai
 player, 59 posts
 A Varjellen Jack
 who Reforges Completely
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 02:23
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Sorry! Still in the middle of moving, will try and get back on track again soon!

Siai, who had been prodding worriedly at the debris with the tip of his verred, occasionally sweeping it through the air in the practice exercises he had been taught to keep the cultists at arm's length, backs away, startled, as the green light dapples the air. He had not and in fact physiologically could not notice the smell of decay, but the rituals of the Challifani could be nothing but harmful to those who did not wish to join them in going to the clutches of death.

"It may be we should be going. With haste," the varjellen adds. His manner is perturbed, or at least in some way qualitatively different from what it has been before now. "I believe it may be they go to their gods."

Is this in fact some sort of self-destruct field? Could it affect us if we stay here?
23:21, Today: Siai rolled 18 using 1d20. What's happening? Trained in the numenera (if appropriate), spending Effort (2 points, with an Intellect Edge of 1).

Failed GM
 GM, 106 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 02:08
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
The visitant's guesses and hypotheses of imminent danger seem sound.
You notice the groups of people flowing and moving, adopting an hypnotic pattern of change between lines and circles. After a while, Siai is almost sure of having gotten it down. [Private to Siai: 010001010111001101110100011011110010000001101110011011110010000001 1101000110010101110010011011010110100101101110011000 010010000001100001011100010111010101101001 is the pattern Siai thinks it sees.]

The green dots diffuminate through the groups of people and into the empty space, in wider and wider waves of slow light. The seskii, whose growl has now been continuous for a while, starts whimpering and walking back, tail between its legs. One of the people in the first group is now completely consumed, and only her shape is visible, a luminous sheen of the woman she once was. Her visage is alternately consumed with deep, abiding rage, content and calm, ecstatic, weighed down and wasted away by deprivation. It all dissolves upwards in a painful scream.

It indeed seems the Challifani are claiming their people.
Final Command
 player, 76 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 13:59
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Final Command sees no logical flaw with Siai's very reasonable advice.  It is burdened with C40rla, and with its mission, and becoming a target of the Challifani will not serve the Weal.  If there was an off-switch, it was likely with the Challifani core, and that was nowhere to be seen.  The organics seemed to be faulty, and Fin did not have the time or inclination to attempt to fix their incomprehensible meat-brains.

Their deactivation was not an ideal outcome.  But self-destruction to save them, those who did not desire continued existence, was counterproductive.

It did not stop a peculiar constricting feeling in Fin's air passageway as it shouldered C40rla firmly.

"I agree.  We must move now," Fin said, and began to back away, turn away, and then move away as quickly as feasible, burdened as it was.
Siai
 player, 61 posts
 A Varjellen Jack
 who Reforges Completely
Sun 23 Aug 2015
at 06:07
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Siai claps to signal the seskii, and breaks into a run. The shifting pattern runs through his mind-- committed instinctively to memory, the visual detail remains even if the linear context will not-- but the meaning remains obscure to the varjellen[Private to GM: but not to his player: This does not end here, if I have that right?].

Ensuring the seskii is able to keep pace with the construct Final Command, Siai brings up the rear, slowing his own lengthy stride to do so, keeping either watchful, hemispherical eye on the scene unfolding in their wake...

00:06, Today: Siai rolled 12 using 1d20.  Watching the Challifani for anything strange or dangerous. Specialized in visually perceiving.
Failed GM
 GM, 108 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sun 23 Aug 2015
at 20:19
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
[Private to Siai: Your interpretation is absolutely correct.]

The pair and their mutt high-tail it out of the village only slightly charred. The view from outside is of an eerie green glow coming out as if there was a pocket of green snow forming inside the walls, flakes drifting to and fro in a deathly, silent dance.
As they pass some huts on the way out, the varjellen senses some creature howling in a deep bass tone. It's felt in the core more than in the ears, a profound, menacing rumble. Something big is hidden in the village.

I was really, REALLY tempted to reply with "Yes, EVERYTHING" :)
Final Command
 player, 79 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 31 Aug 2015
at 14:17
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Fin feels a deep quaking in its structural components, an uncertainty about its fate that brings it great unease.  They were beyond the bonds of the greatest concentration of destruction, but it seemed another being was being held here.  Asset?  Ally?  Enemy?

Likely enemy.  How much did they dare risk?

How much could they afford to leave behind?

A brief examination could keep the risk minimal...

Fin is having a day of more difficult choices than it has had in over a dozen solar-cycles.

"Pause in flight!  I want to know the source of the sound!" Fin calls, and swerves its path, still burdened under C40rla, towards the huts where the sound seems to originate.  If there are any doors, it opens the quickly, trying to determine the origin of the sound as efficiently as it can.

The palmar surfaces of its fore-appendages are secreting moisture.  Fin has come to detest the sensation.
Failed GM
 GM, 112 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Thu 3 Sep 2015
at 19:28
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Final Command rushes through the borders of the green mist, hair charring slightly, towards the source of the rumbles. Along with the intermittent noise, which resonates deeply in the Bazian's chest, Fin smells an intense scent of rot. Finally, the source is evident. Inside a great synth cage, a huge dark beast paces back and forth, sometimes pawing at the walls and making it shake. Its feline roars are now almost deafening. Its mane is striped in black and green, its eyes bright green. Thick thorns come out of its limbs and back, and matching tusks protrude from its mouth.

As the animal notices Fin, it snarls at her with slavering fangs and jumps again, rattling the cage.
Final Command
 player, 80 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sat 5 Sep 2015
at 13:24
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
A noise passes out of Fin's mouth, something not actually a word, more a squeak.  Perhaps, "meep!" might be the best description.  Because the enormous hairy, spike-covered, tusked creature was likely carnivorous.  And hungry.  And Fin could not believe its treatment could be very fair at the hands of the insane Challafani-people.  To free it would likely mean becoming its meal.

Though perhaps it had suffered as C40rla had suffered.

Fin dug into its pack awkwardly and loosed a minor glowglobe, sending it up to glow over their heads, giving the hairy organic a good look at Fin.  Because Fin did not look anything like any of the other villagers in this deadly place.  Could it recognize Fin had not harmed it?  While the creature had its look, Fin cast around for a means to open the cage.  A key, a latch, sonic synchronizer, anything...
Failed GM
 GM, 113 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Mon 7 Sep 2015
at 00:34
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Finding a means to open the cage safely is a level 4 task. Interacting safely with the beast is a level 5 task.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:53, Mon 07 Sept 2015.

Final Command
 player, 83 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 8 Sep 2015
at 14:11
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
There was a shining square on a table in the corner, and a corresponding square on the cage.  Too aware of C40rla's weight, and the fact this may yet prove to be a poor decision, Fin moved as quickly as it could.  It slammed the square into its corresponding slot, and pulled the door toward itself, essentially making a temporary wall between Fin and C40rla and the hairy, toothed organic.

If there was any set of favorable circumstances, the organic would seek freedom rather than a snack.  Fin yanked the cage door back hard, opening the cage to its furthest extent, showing the organic it was entirely free to go.

It might not have the intelligence to understand, in which case, Fin fumbles for the metal spike in its belt if it needed fend off the creature...
Failed GM
 GM, 116 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 8 Sep 2015
at 16:38
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
The beast jumps out of the cage yowling and sniffs the air to its sides. It looks at Fin with an inscrutable expression, then turns to and fro, trying to find the least dangerous path. Suddenly, it pounces. The top of the cage, the roof of a hut, then it's out of sight.

The air in most of the village shimmers in green dots, and most huts are ablaze. The heat is getting too hard to bear. The path Fin took to enter the village again is clouded by fire and smoke.
Final Command
 player, 84 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Thu 10 Sep 2015
at 15:06
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Fin feels a momentary looseness in its musculature as it relaxes in the realization that it was not eaten.  But now the threat of the hairy organic was replaced by a more indifferent one of fiery death.  Fin regarded its outer covering - and it hoped fervently that the fireproofing lotion it had slathered on before its reckless charge against the Challa-creature was still effective.  Because its options had narrowed only to ones least dangerous, none of them safe.

Hopefully Siai and the friendly organic quadriped had managed to make their escape already.

Trying to shelter what of C40rla it could, for Fin's tissues could regenerate, given time, Fin looked for the least extensive amount of flame.  And then ran through them, hoping to find cool air and no flame on the other side.
Failed GM
 GM, 117 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Fri 11 Sep 2015
at 01:40
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
You don't know if it's the unusual weight in Fin's pack, or if C40rla is somehow still trying to communicate and messing up with the Bazian's sense of direction, but the result after a few metres is that Fin's back in the thick of the green mist, and more precisely, in the square where the sacrifice took place. The ruins of the huge priest smolder, the fat still burning bright yellow.

Getting unlost is a L3 Int task. In general, you can add up assets, effort, and roll whenever you feel like the task you have before you is not trivial. It does increase the chance of critfails, but makes the game flow much faster and better.

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:43, Fri 11 Sept 2015.

Final Command
 player, 86 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 16:01
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Fin cast its vision in several directions in quick succession, C40rla's weight starting to drag on its shoulder-joints.  How?  Where?  Air was being exchanged within Fin's body at an accelerated rate, its internal fluid pump speeding up, and Fin had no clear idea of where safety lay.

It forced the air exchange to regulate, in, out, in, out, slowing the timing to clarify its thought processes.  The priest must have had a way out, there is always a way to escape, even if the people here were too much slaves to their gods to take it.  It might cost it, but Fin won't give up.

OOC: 10:17, Today: Final Command rolled 15 using 1d20.  Getting unlost (E).
Failed GM
 GM, 119 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 23:29
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
It is only after a few frantic seconds, hours perhaps, that Fin manages to stumble out of the clearing, coughing its lungs out and black all over from the smoke. Siai and the seskii manage to bring the Bazian to a small nearby stream and wash her as best they can. The heat from the burning village is so ferocious, the three are visibly glad to submerge for as long as they can. Amazingly, the human has managed somehow to avoid bad burns, although it will need some time to fully recover, and the hair is completely gone, the few clumps remaining puffing away into ashes when touched.

As Fin dozes on and off, it does notice that the visitant is not present. Did Siai mention something about finding cover, or more food? Rations won't last forever. These and other frantic, confused thoughts drift in the Bazian's consciousness until the seskii starts licking its hand and a weird, careless relaxation sets in.
Final Command
 player, 87 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 25 Sep 2015
at 15:34
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Fin stares at the seskii for a long time, wondering why it was licking its hand.  Was it tasting it?  Did it require sustenance?  Was it... was it... making some sort of attempt to communicate?  Fin did not feel like returning the gesture, but recalled Siai placing its hand upon the quadriped's head and running it towards it tail in short gestures.  Fin attempted the action a few times, and wondered where Siai had gone.  Also, it was both hot and cold, the heat of the near-burns and the cold of the air hitting its exposed flesh.  It took another moments to place C40rla on the ground and find what replacement garments it had, wiping away the ash and burned skin, replacing the cloth for full thermal efficiency.

It realizes, belatedly, it should have put a tracer on Siai so it could have kept track of where he had gone.  Fin takes the time now to press a tiny dot of short-lived nanobytes (the safe sort, that it had made) onto both C40rla and the seskii.  There, at least for now it would be difficult to separate them.

Siai was competent; perhaps he had found another way out.  Fin must do the same now, and carefully orients itself southward, to Astaria, and begins to walk.  It must find potable water, decent food, and if the people who had gone to meet their gods had left anything along the way, or anything could be found, then it would do so.

And soon... soon after, it must take a regeneration cycle.  Soon.


OOC: Today: Final Command rolled 6 using 1d6+1.  Recovery roll.
Also, using Trick of the Trade: tracer on both C40rla and the seskii.  Costs one Int point, but I have one Int Edge, so free activation for me.  Lasts for an hour, and I'll repeat as long as I'm awake.
I'm looking for food, drink, any salvageable bits, and finally a safe place to crash.  In the morning, probably try to keep trekking south to Astaria.

Failed GM
 GM, 120 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sun 27 Sep 2015
at 22:40
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
The seskii half stands guard, half hunts small creatures as Fin gathers fruits from the oasis trees and water from the stream it recently laid into. The dead amphisbaenas the mutt dragged look... edible. They will do. They might even last, if cooked or smoked.

That night, as Fin tinkers with its supply of cypher parts and oddities, it finds it very hard to stay awake. The healing tissue is taking a heavy toll on its body, and it must rest longer and more frequently.

As dreams come, they aren't what Fin is used to. At first, a gigantic whirlwind sweeps the desert, lifting up sand, rocks, and possibly men. Fin hears a deep, loud voice shouting from within in an unknown tongue. Then, the desert leaves place to water: a great city on the shore glimmers in the clear day, white houses glittering. An initial feeling of great peace is shattered by the whirlwind, now red, that seems to come from within the city, changing it, changing everything. Where the sand was kissed by the waters, now a strange black concoction bubbles. The white houses are now a collection of angles jutting in iridescent cacophonies. The deep voice bellows If thou seekest Huayra Puka, here find her! Then it engulfs Fin, modifying the bazian to its core. The pain is immense, and lasts an eternal instant of dragon heads, snakes, tadpoles, ruminants, beautiful women, and immense eyes.

The night is balmy. The seskii looks at Fin with luminous eyes, startled by what must have been a terrible cry.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:53, Mon 28 Sept 2015.

Final Command
 player, 88 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 30 Sep 2015
at 15:30
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Fin rhythmically strokes the seskii while it attempts to make sense of the unauthorized download into its brain.  What had it seen?  What did the information mean? Huayra Puka was not the Astaria C40rla had asked to be returned to, was it?  And what had happened to it?  Was the wind it had seen the dreaded Iron Wind of legend, or some other effect?  Or had all Fin had seen been just randomized thought processes assembled in a way to make an apparent narrative?  Perhaps the damage Fin had taken was compromising its thought processes as well.

Maybe C40rla would know.  In the morning.  If Fin did not take appropriate recuperative time, it was going to be badly compromised in its functionality.  It curls up with the seskii again, allowing ample self-repair time, and resumes function in the morning with the last of the protein fuel the seskii had brought in the previous night.

Then Fin tries to revive C40rla enough to talk, if possible.  If she could see they were away from the Challifani, that might firm her purpose matrix enough to answer questions about this Huayra Puka place, as well as hopefully confirming they were on the right path to Astaria.


OOC: 10:25, Today: Final Command rolled 16 using 1d20.  Repairing automaton (T) .

10:26, Today: Final Command rolled 13 using 2d6+2.  One and ten hour recovery rolls.


[Private to GM: Also, amphisbaeneas for the win!  Double the brain protein!  :D]
Failed GM
 GM, 122 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Thu 1 Oct 2015
at 23:39
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
If dreams come again, Fin cannot remember them, though it wakes up completely drenched with sweat a few more times during the following nights.

In an attempt to focus the mind on anything else but the questions that its subconscious raised, Fin devotes itself to repairing C40rla. It now speaks in a melodious whistling. After a particularly scorching afternoon spent dragging the automaton through hot sand and insects, enough is enough. Shortly after, Fin is joined by what could be described as a ball rolling autonomously through the desert, whistling ditties as it answers Fin's questions, and shrieking in fluted tunes at the seskii when it senses the beast to be about to lick.

Three days later, supplies are getting low again. The desert looks just the same as it always has, though the group must necessarily have traveled at least half the distance to the straits. The group is resorting to travel in the early dawn and at dusk, avoiding both the terrible heat of noon and the cruel cold of the desert nights. After a couple hours walking, Fin snaps out of a reverie and realizes that its steps, the panting of the seskii, and the quiet whirr of the automaton are the only things that it can hear. Nothing else is around, at all. No wind, no holes of small desert rodents, no snake tracks. The few small clouds look affixed in the sky. In the distance, a round, pointed structure is visible, not towering high above the ground nor extending itself to its sides. It looks utterly out of place, like a single house floating in the middle of a lake.
Final Command
 player, 89 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 5 Oct 2015
at 13:42
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Fin decidedly needs to brush up on her Pentonic Base Code, because C40rla's new form has some particular quirks.  The need to no longer lug her around is a relief, but communication is much more difficult.

Fin's reverie of the pros and cons of form and language are interrupted by the realization of the static condition around it.  It pauses and looks, seeing no hint of movement, or any evidence of movement around it, other than its small party.

Was this some effect of a static veil, like the sort used to conceal the Weal?  Or a localized quirk of this landscape?

"C40rla, do you sense anything from this area?" Fin asked.  Or at least thought it asked.  It is also possible it said, "The green trousers must be eliminated for the good of the slicer beetles."  Pentonic Base Code is a very exact and complicated communication form.

If C40rla could sense something, good.  If not, or Fin couldn't understand, then it would proceed with less information.  There was a mystery here in its path, a possible place where it could scavenge desperately-needed numenera, or even a place to resupply.  With resolution, Fin turned towards the peculiar pointed structure and closed in on it.
Failed GM
 GM, 123 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 6 Oct 2015
at 17:44
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
As Fin walks towards the structure, it feels a very deep wrongness. The soil is now simmering silently all around, with soft waves apparently emanating from the structure. Every step costs the bazian dearly, with both a mounting tiredness and a burning that won't yield. They are manageable, at first. They turn painful, and then almost unbearable. C40rla keeps rolling towards your goal, but her trill tones down noticeably. The trousers apparently do need to be eliminated. Who knew.

At this point, Fin is about halfway towards the structure. It can see more clearly, though the haze of the day makes the air tremble and almost mingle with the ground in a very confusing image. It looks halfway between a building and an ova, with added spikes coming out of it at intervals. No opening can be seen from this distance.


Fin will need to pass a L4 might defense test to approach the structure unscathed. Failure means losing 1HP per round (4 rounds until Fin reaches the structure). You can't reroll without modifying the situation in some way.
Final Command
 player, 90 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 9 Oct 2015
at 14:31
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
Fin tries to gesture the seskii back, repeating a "wait" command in as many languages as it can remember, including some gestural.  Then it turns back to the structure, the image blurring, its optical sensors malfunctioning, its limbs weakening, but still, it tries.  It must.  It needs the numenera inside, it needs the knowledge it contains, it needs a way help it and the Weal and C40rla survive.

Final Command was a survivor.  It would find a way!


[Private to GM: OOC:  09:26, Today: Final Command rolled 1 using 1d20.  Might check (E).  Sigh.  Bring on the GM intrusion!  And then we'll see if there's sommat I can figure out to make myself die less...]
Failed GM
 GM, 124 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sat 10 Oct 2015
at 16:30
Re: The Seas and Wastes of Errid Kaloum, Reprised
The simmering around Fin turns to bubbling, and The Bazian is now the center of a second group of waves, criss-crossing the ones coming from the structure. As Fin covers three quarters of the distance, it hears the seskii howl and rasp It has not left Fin, and is now bleeding from its paws and nostrils. So is Fin. C40rla is around, rolling in circles following the waves, occasionally straying into a groove coming from the structure for a few seconds before coming back, occasionally bouncing, something which should not be possible to it. Fin is covered in cold sweat, feeling a whip coil of excruciating pain hit its body with every single step. Then the ground bursts in complete silence, and all is darkness.

The desert now features two similar round, spiked structures. The new one looks just as old as the original, but features a couple bumps to one side. Everything is silent.

Fin takes 5 points of Might damage from the soil. This will continue in a new topic.