01 - The Wandering Walk.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 6 posts
Mon 18 Jun 2018
at 16:36
The Wandering Walk
The Wandering Walk is a pilgrimage route through the Ninth World. No one knows the exact length of the Wander, nor can anyone point to its exact beginning or end. Many people speculate that the Wander is actually a closed circle that encloses the whole of the Ninth World and that some travelers, especially those with enhancements or otherworldly attributes, have been trekking its eternal loop since before recorded time.

For most, the Wander is too physically taxing to be used as a trade or travel route. It slips through fluid-filled canyons, curves inside crawlspace tunnels, and winds through woods, forests, and much of the Beyond. The rewards seem few, and the dangers are many. Yet at any given time of the year and at any given point along the known sections of the route, the Wander is laced with pilgrims, explorers, and those who are foolish enough to think it offers safe passage. Those who follow the Wander for religious, spiritual, or other reasons are called Peregrines or just Birds (though the latter term is usually derogatory). Although their dress varies, true Peregrines carry some mark of the Wander. Typically, the mark is an elaborate and continually growing circular bloodscar along their palm; there is little else to do along the Wander when one is not wandering, and the intricate nature of the scar gives bragging rights to show how long a traveler has survived along the way. Experienced Peregrines carry the scar up the length of their arm or on both palms.

Of course, there are also many who trek the Wander for other kinds of growth—namely, the growth of their pockets. These skulkers who come to borrow from the bodies of the fallen often become inadvertent pilgrims themselves, either getting lost along the route or walking it to find a home where they can settle with their newfound spoils. They don’t generally make it far before they fall to the elements or to the hand of another skulker.

And thus, the Wander captures all in its eternal length.

The action begins on what’s called the Fifth Stretch of the Wandering Walk, the long, dry, mountainous expanse of the route that stretches roughly between the western point of Cylion Basin—a town filled with pools that is a rejuvenation point for weary travelers—and the eastern point of the Great Slab, a huge construction that rises from the land in a large, flat square of synth and concrete. To the north lies the False Woods.

The Fifth Stretch is probably the best-documented area of the Wandering Walk, perhaps because it has a number of small villages here and there and because the expanse plays host to an experience that can’t be found anywhere else—occasional bioluminescent swarms. The swarms consist of millions of see-through organisms that spend most of their lives lying camouflaged on the sandy landscape until they suddenly rise together, becoming bioluminescent and twisting and turning in unified patterns of dance and flight. In fact, the sandy landscape is not sand at all but is built from layers of blue-green detritus from the creatures. This loam quickly soils the skin and stains the clothes of those who spend much time here, and it’s sometimes used as dye or food coloring.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:40, Mon 18 June 2018.

The GM
 GM, 7 posts
Mon 18 Jun 2018
at 16:42
The Wandering Walk
You have gathered at one of the Mouth Cairns tucked in the shadow of a hulking metallic structure along the Wander. These shallow, circular hollows—each marked by a short, round wall built from the jaws of dead Peregrines—are considered among the few safe places along this stretch of the route.

A young man and an older woman enter one of the bone circles. The woman bows her head, "I honor the fallen and look for peace while I stay."

The adolescent looks at her and says, "That will surely satisfy Slaytounge."

"Now, dear, how many times have I told you that Slaytongue is just an old tale? Even so, we should honor the dead."

As others enter the Mouth Cairns, they do so with similar reverence.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:04, Mon 18 June 2018.

Therous
 player, 1 post
 Tough Glaive who wields
 two weapons at once
Tue 19 Jun 2018
at 03:07
The Wandering Walk
In reply to The GM (msg # 2):

Therous walks in and looks around with sad, but analytical eys. Scanning the room looking for someone or something and lets out a sigh...
Star
 player, 2 posts
 Strong Glaive who
 fuses flesh and steel
Tue 19 Jun 2018
at 03:30
The Wandering Walk
In reply to Therous (msg # 3):

Star walks in behind Therous looking tired but attentive. What does she see?
The GM
 GM, 8 posts
Tue 19 Jun 2018
at 04:12
The Wandering Walk
While it's still early, there are already a few travelers that have stopped to rest for the day. You overhear one of them mention he's worried about safety here. This account matches up with rumors you have heard that something’s attacking even those sequestered in the cairns. Travel through the area is more dangerous than usual.

The inside of the cairn is rather sparse. The spacious main room appears to be for sleeping and cooking. Additionally, there are a couple of private spaces that are used as lavatories.
Harrion Morris
 player, 2 posts
 Strong-Willed Nano who
 Employs Magnetism
Tue 19 Jun 2018
at 13:59
The Wandering Walk
Harrion sits near a wall, staring out curiously at the large metallic structure. He's rolling a sphere between his hands and mumbling to himself. He turns to look at the newcomers after hearing the young one's sigh, but then returns to staring out at the looming structure. Does he have any idea what the metal structure is?
Jak
 player, 4 posts
 Stealthy Jack who exists
 partially out of phase
Tue 19 Jun 2018
at 18:16
The Wandering Walk
Jak enters scanning the room to make sure he doesn't see anyone who he thinks could be a threat. Then goes and sits down by a wall.
Killean Graves
 player, 1 post
 Graceful Jack
 who murders
Tue 19 Jun 2018
at 19:02
The Wandering Walk
Killean strides into the main space in his unusually dapper clothing, heading straight for the center before scanning the entire space for victims... I mean, err... friends
The GM
 GM, 9 posts
Wed 20 Jun 2018
at 05:03
The Wandering Walk


The camp is mostly peaceful, with about a dozen travelers sharing the sleeping and cooking space. There is no light swarm, but there are stars and glowglobes and a little drink, and the weather in the lee of the structure is dry and passable. In the early evening, you hear some disgruntled talk about the lack of a light swarm and a few whispered tales of the Iron Wind coming into the area. But it’s only when the conversation turns toward a recent rash of deaths in the Mouth Cairns that the group grows restless.

"Rumors," insists one old man, both palms and the exposed length of his arms covered in elaborate bloodscar.

"My mother saw it with her own eyes," says another, younger man, who points at a woman sleeping along the edge of the hollow and then makes the circle of augmentation with his fingers. "She has mech eyes, and trust me, she sees everything." There is nervous laughter from the group. Most everyone has a mother, after all, and remembers her impossible eyesight, augmented or not.

"Likely not human at all," says a third traveler, and a fourth and fifth agree.

"You there. What do you think is going on? Why all of these deaths all of a sudden?" asks another traveler, motioning toward your group.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:05, Wed 20 June 2018.

Harrion Morris
 player, 3 posts
 Strong-Willed Nano who
 Employs Magnetism
Wed 20 Jun 2018
at 13:32
The Wandering Walk
Harrion half-turns so that he can alternate between looking out and looking at the other travelers. He gives the new arrivals he'd been improperly attributed to another tentative glance before addressing the man who had queried them.

"I haven't stopped in a Cairn in while. Only heard some whispers in passing. What did your mother see, exactly?"

This message was last edited by the player at 13:28, Tue 26 June 2018.

The GM
 GM, 10 posts
Wed 20 Jun 2018
at 17:03
The Wandering Walk
"Bands of bandits, raiders, skulkers, whatever you want to call them. These cairns used to be considered safe, but their violent activity has increased lately..." He stops and mutters something to himself, as if piecing together parts of a puzzle, "...about the same time the other creatures around here started acting erratically." He turns back to the group, "What? Oh, sorry! I got lost in thought."
Star
 player, 3 posts
 Strong Glaive who
 fuses flesh and steel
Fri 22 Jun 2018
at 19:07
The Wandering Walk
Star overhears the conversation, and with a concerned look on her face asks, "What other creatures?"
Therous
 player, 2 posts
 Tough Glaive who wields
 two weapons at once
Sat 23 Jun 2018
at 02:52
The Wandering Walk
Therous looks at Star and says ""We keep on, we stick together and that is all."
The GM
 GM, 11 posts
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 08:34
The Wandering Walk
"Just how long have you been on the Wander? Are you telling me you haven't noticed the strange behavior of the herds of espron or camethosaurs?"

The old man chimes in, "Don't forget about the callerail, ithsyn, and pallones that prey on them. They've become even more dangerous of late." He lets out a long yawn. "Its getting late. Too bad there wasn't a light swarm tonight. In my long travels on the Walk, I've encountered only one, and boy is it a sight not worth missing. I'm going to turn in for the night."

The other travelers start to turn in for the evening as well. One of them turns to the group and says, "I think we've all gotten a little closer tonight. You know what they say, 'On the Wander, a man would do well to sleep with his best of friends.'"
Star
 player, 4 posts
 Strong Glaive who
 fuses flesh and steel
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 18:16
The Wandering Walk
Star is unable to sleep and steps outside to keep watch.
Harrion Morris
 player, 4 posts
 Strong-Willed Nano who
 Employs Magnetism
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 19:30
The Wandering Walk
Harrion pulls his knees close to his body, keeping the sphere close to him as he tries to sleep with his back against the wall.
Jak
 player, 5 posts
 Stealthy Jack who exists
 partially out of phase
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 21:57
The Wandering Walk
The predators in this area have definitely gotten more aggressive recently.
Jak pulls a jaw bone from his bag and adds it to the wall, then lays down to go to sleep.
The GM
 GM, 12 posts
Thu 28 Jun 2018
at 13:46
The Wandering Walk
Late into the night, talk of odd wounds and dead bodies leaves everyone chilled despite the soft air, and the discussion finds many of the circle awake long after their usual hours.

Still, in the end, everyone sleeps, as they must, and there are not a few who find themselves surprised to wake in the morning whole and unharmed. There is something delicious about opening your eyes to a lifting light and realizing that it’s neither the glow of the afterlife nor the shine from the falling blade of a knife. The realization gives the morning’s activity a boisterous and comradely feel.

As you’re breaking camp, there is the sound of hooves in the distance. From far away, it perhaps sounds of an army, a huge number of creatures making their way toward the hollow, although there is no sight of such a thing, not even from the augmented eyes of the mother. Eventually, however, she makes out that it is actually just one creature, a scutimorph, coming across the sands from the direction of the False Woods at a superb pace, carrying at least two riders. There is a low murmur from the group at this news—herds of scutimorphs fill the False Woods at the northern edge of the Fifth Stretch, wrapping their segmented bodies around the heat-conducting trunks. No one rides the creatures.

"You sure what you’re seeing, mother?" asks the young man, only to be shushed by the others who strain their eyes northward.


Scutimorph

The creature and its riders arrive quickly, its many flat feet barely disturbing the earth as it settles to a stop between the structure and the hollow. One of the riders is a young man, clearly injured from a fight of some kind. The other rider, barely older than a girl, is clearly distraught.
Killean Graves
 player, 2 posts
 Graceful Jack
 who murders
Thu 28 Jun 2018
at 17:00
The Wandering Walk
Keeping his hand real close to his dart-thrower, Killean walks closer toward the injured man, but keeping his eye fixed on the scutimorph. Caution, curiosity and awe clearly on his face.
Harrion Morris
 player, 5 posts
 Strong-Willed Nano who
 Employs Magnetism
Thu 28 Jun 2018
at 17:54
The Wandering Walk
Harrion cautiously steps forward, but also around a bit to stay well away from the creature. He gestures to the woman, eyes still on the scutimorph, "What's happened?"
Patel
Thu 28 Jun 2018
at 18:30
The Wandering Walk
The young man answers, "Please, we are seeking help. My name is Patel, and this is my sister, Seria. Our family was recently attacked by pallones. Will you take my sister to Cylion Basin? She is far too young to travel alone, and she needs protection. I must return to the False Woods to help defend my family!"
Seria
Thu 28 Jun 2018
at 18:36
The Wandering Walk
Seria objects, "No... I'll go... Cylion Basin... alone... You go... False Woods... Help brother..."
Harrion Morris
 player, 6 posts
 Strong-Willed Nano who
 Employs Magnetism
Fri 29 Jun 2018
at 21:09
The Wandering Walk
Harrion gives them both a contemplative look before directing his question to the man, "How many do you have to fight with you?"

This message was last edited by the player at 21:09, Fri 29 June 2018.

Patel
Mon 2 Jul 2018
at 18:24
The Wandering Walk
"Not many. There are only a few who can fight. Most of the other villagers can barely use a weapon. Don't worry about us, though. It's far more important that Seria gets to Cylion Basin. There are far too many dangers out there for a young girl to be traveling alone."

Patel grimaces while holding his arm. "I've got to get back to my village before the next attack. As it is, without this scutimorph to ride on, it'll take about a day and a half to get back."