[In-Character Thread] Deciphering Tomorrow.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 22 posts
 Storyteller
Mon 1 Oct 2018
at 15:46
[In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
Nembellick may be one of the most unique cities you have yet seen.  When Fakeen Orris hired you to tend to the needs and safety of her caravan, she had promised you that she went to some rather unusual places.  She has yet to disappoint; likely that is the reason she was perfectly fine hiring someone as unusual as Cube.

You've been with the caravan for a month, the first week spent traveling between small claves in the Beyond.  Fakeen knew her markest, and traded ore from one place for thin sheets of synth in another, trading those for flocks of feathered, six-legged sinuous creatures in clear bubbles, the creatures for heavy synth bags of some kind of sloshing liquid, so and so forth across the countryside.

For the past three weeks you have traversed the Black Riage mountains, trading at tiny villages, hamlets, and claves that one had to know they were there to find them at all.  The caravan of twenty aneen had little trouble navigating the slopes and turns of the range, though you've had to fend off occasionally attacks of broken hounds at night, and two raids by abhuman bands looking for a quick bit of loot and mayhem.

As you descend from the foothills into Navarene, the aneen are now burdened with bundles of a thick red fleece that the last village harvested from the churning of the crimson waterfalls near their home.  Fakeen had recommended not drinking any of the local brews while you were there.  As the foothills become more and more gentle, Fakeen nods to Eris (and Erin) on their own gold and white aneen, gesturing to what appear to be two large structures atop stilts in the distance.

"That'll be our next village, Nembellick.  They do fancy feather cloaks and fabrics - the stuff looks grand and is light as a cloud, but 'tis more suited for them that don't have to dirty their hands for work.  City folk in particular will pay handsome for it," she says, raking her silver hair out of her eyes, her one crystalline hand flashing in the late summer sunlight.  "Should be there in a few hours."

That's a bit interesting, because it suggests the tall structures are quite tall indeed, though estimating size at a distance can be deceptive.  As you draw closer, you notice something quite odd about the little town, in particular across the structures.  The long stilts supporting the building, they seem to be organic.  That's not entirely unheard-of, but certainly less common.  Then you realize that there are structures atop the largest parts of the silts.  And the tall towers that rose above the city are attached to them.

Nembellick is a cluster of buildings atop the backs of two enormous four-legged bird-like beasts, with ropes that stretch between them for people to visit the opposite part of town.  Long cord ladders dangle down the necks from the head, where a single structure with a single person sits.  Below the "backs" of the birds are a series of slings and more ladders and ropes for people to dangle or swing on.  It seems, from the piles of refuse at one end, and the small flocks of dossi being tended in the shadow of the birds' feet, that the large creatures move very slowly, if at all.

As the caravan draws closer, the older children who seem to be in charge of the dossi herds shout and laugh, pointing at the caravan as someone swarms up a ladder to alert anyone who hadn't already known of the group's presence.

As the other children herders begin to call and use crystal-tipped staves to get the dossi together, there is a rumble in the earth.  With a shriek, one child loses his footing and falls out of sight as two surprised dossi tumble after him, lowing their distress over the harsh, staticky cry of something very strange...

This message was last updated by the GM at 15:48, Mon 01 Oct 2018.

Eris
 Noble Seeker, 13 posts
Wed 3 Oct 2018
at 02:34
[In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
Atop their ochre and white aneen, Makhai, the two nobles nodded in tandem at Fakeen's pithy summary of the opportunity that Nembellick presented. On both faces their lips quirked up in a smile, knowing a little of the kind of parties and gatherings that such garb might well be worn. Knowing a little of those who might wear it, though their own upbringing was ... well, rougher ... in the Malevic fashion. They wondered if such fabrics were their next cargo, and - if so - whether the trader meant to aim them for one of the larger Navereen cities, or to somewhere who might take such and render it into the confections it was suited to. Such idle musings occupied them on the ride, a thought simmering whilst they keep their watch on threats to the serai.

And such thoughts wended their way to more philosophical ones, questions of what role the swaying nomadic nature of the settlement might have on those within it; questions of their surety and safety, with the herds being tended to by the most vulnerable. Unless they were bait or slaves, they mused, though it seemed unlikely; few places practised the same economics as their homeland. They smiled, in tandem.

And then the earth spoke, a coughing rumble that had one of them sliding from atop broad-shouldered Makhai: Erin, who they called Oft-Scout in private between them, with their bow and short blades and tight-braided hair; they slid to the tumbled earth and began to cover the distance forward toward the child-herders and the yawning maw forming in the earth. Eris, still mounted, wheeled their thoroughbred aneen, half a shoulder taller and broader than the biggest of the trader's mounts, and scanned the surrounded plains for threats even as they called out to the others, "Hie, Walkers! 'Ware for threats, below and about!"

This message was last edited by the player at 05:46, Wed 03 Oct 2018.

Cube
 Tough Glaive, 12 posts
Wed 3 Oct 2018
at 07:45
[In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
Already headed for the ground section of the new town Cube, who usually stays on the fringes of any settlements, neither slows down nor speeds up as the rumble of the earth sends ripples cascading across his outer surface.

With just the one speed, slightly faster than the wagons, Cube often drifts off from the road they follow, in the many types of terrain traveled none have slowed his forward speed, only failed to support his mass.
Eleisai
 Empathic Nano, 18 posts
Wed 3 Oct 2018
at 17:06
[In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
The older woman focuses intently as the scene unfolds before her.

As if in slow motion, she sees the child and the dossi disappear, and hears their cries of distress... followed by an altogether different cry.

"Sovereign One, please guard and guide us now, I pray..."

And as if in slow motion, she rises into the air, moving toward where the child was last seen...
GM
 GM, 27 posts
 Storyteller
Thu 4 Oct 2018
at 20:20
[In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
As the commotion draws the attention of the caravan and the city both, things begin moving.  In the underslings along the legs of Nembellick, Eris can see motion as what looks like adults begin pointing bows, crossbows, and some glinting, unfamiliar numenera towards the disturbance.  The herders shout and begin wheeling the dossi back towards the feet, trying to shoo the scaled herd beasts away from whatever swallowed two of their fellows and one of the herders.

Eris quickly looks around for an other impending action, checking earth and sky for more disturbances.  For the moment, the only thing making a fuss is what you see near Nembellick.  Erin runs quickly towards whatever melee is happening, and sees something something large (easily as large as a dossi), wormlike and with several small hands or tentacles has emerged from the ground.  The two dossi are collapsed on the ground near it, and it seems to be pointing one spindly limb at the herder, suspending the child in the air.

OOC: "large as a dossi" being about the size of a real-world cow.

Cube begins his move right after Erin; while lacking her loping gait, his relentless strength and indifference to terrain gives him a steady speed to come close to her.  In the next few moments you'll be on the shrieking beast!

Eleisai rises in the air through her strength of mind, seeking the next twist to take her closer to those in distress.

Fakeen reins in the caravan, keeping her distance and a lookout.  "'Ware!  Circle up tight and let the Walkers work!"

--

Those advancing by esotaries or otherwise can get close enough to attack in the next few moments.  The shooters in the underslings seem to be trying to get a bead on the strange creature, which those drawing closer can see has strange markings seemingly drawn upon it.  It has a toothy maw with yellowed teeth, and a faint haze of distortion shows at the tips of its limbs.  The herder, a youngling in wrapped robes, seems to be suspended in mid-air, limp and either unconscious or dead.

The eyeless beast gives another staticy screech that grates upon the ears, and the dossi upon the ground howl and moan in pain.
Fen Arada
 Serene Jack, 8 posts
 A Serene Jack that
 Moves Like A Cat
Fri 5 Oct 2018
at 04:40
[In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
"Well that's ugly," the usual smirk on his face morphing to a scowl.  The young man sat on the edge of a wagon, one leg dangling and leaning on one arm.  Fakeen calls out and Fen sighs at the outlook of conflict with this thing.  He drops off the wagon and starts walking forward.  His distance behind Cube and Eris no bother to him.

With a simple check, Fen confirms his weapons still attached securely and begins to pick up his pace without drawing them.  It didn't even have eyes, so he couldn't poke it there.  Goals and priorities aligning.  The young man in that things grasp wouldn't last long.  Cube and Eris could fight that thing or drive it back into its pit, Fen would be ready to zip in and swipe the young man away as quick as can be.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:52, Wed 10 Oct 2018.

Eleisai
 Empathic Nano, 19 posts
 who Works Miracles
Sun 7 Oct 2018
at 23:47
[In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
The older woman continues floating through the air, upwards and onwards, as she makes her way toward those in need.

As she floats, she focuses into the distance, and begins to step forward in mid-air.

From her point of view, the rest of the world becomes distorted as if viewed through a fish-eye lens, while her foot slowly extends forward toward her point of focus.

From the point of view of an observer, she looks as if she starts to elongate quickly forward, stretching and reaching with her foot through the air toward a point ahead of her.

Closer... closer... closer...

Contact.

And the older woman is suddenly about a hundred feet ahead of her previous position, and floating that much nearer to the scene of the action...
Cube
 Tough Glaive, 13 posts
 who Abides in Ooze
Mon 8 Oct 2018
at 12:37
[In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
Cube ignores the herdsmen and beasts for any purpose other than to swerve slightly to avoid running into them as they move around erratically.  Approaching the gap in the ground that looks like it is the source of something interesting Cube goes right up to the edge of any cliff or pit but neither goes in nor initiates interaction with anything inside.  Merely inspects the area for anything new and interesting.
Eleisai
 Empathic Nano, 23 posts
 who Works Miracles
Mon 8 Oct 2018
at 14:52
Re: [In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
GM:
The herder, a youngling in wrapped robes, seems to be suspended in mid-air, limp and either unconscious or dead.
Eleisai:
And the older woman is suddenly about a hundred feet ahead of her previous position, and floating that much nearer to the scene of the action...


The older woman stretches out her Empathic and Nano Scanning senses toward the youngling and the creature as she floats nearer... and gently but firmly takes the youngling into her arms...
Eris
 Noble Seeker, 15 posts
 who Exists in Two
 Places At Once
Mon 8 Oct 2018
at 21:27
Re: [In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
"Makhai, hai!", called out Eris, long braids following the sweep of their eyes even as they made one final scan of the plains around them; winds ruffled the yellowed grass, a tousling that reminded them of their brother. With their words and their heel, the aneen sprung forward towards where the dossi lowed and brayed and the townsfolk had begun to react.

Closer, and Erin unlimbered their bow, notching an arrow even as they slowed to track the creature's movements and markings; they had not met such a thing before, nor seen such symbols but were keen to know of them should they do so again. Eyes and ears focused on the beast, both of them sought familiar shapes and signs that might indicate whether it was smart enough to reason with - or controlled by one who might be
GM
 GM, 33 posts
 Storyteller
Wed 10 Oct 2018
at 16:02
Re: [In-Character Threat] Deciphering Tomorrow
Cube:
Cube ignores the herdsmen and beasts for any purpose other than to swerve slightly to avoid running into them as they move around erratically.  Approaching the gap in the ground that looks like it is the source of something interesting Cube goes right up to the edge of any cliff or pit but neither goes in nor initiates interaction with anything inside.  Merely inspects the area for anything new and interesting.


At the gap in the ground, the worm-creature spins and roars, tentacles flicking out to strike at Cube.  Cube responds instantly, gripping two of the limbs that had come to strike it in an unyielding grasp.

Fen Arada:
"Well that's ugly," the usual smirk on his face morphing to a scowl.  The young man sat on the edge of a wagon, one leg dangling and leaning on one arm.  Fakeen calls out and Fen sighs at the outlook of conflict with this thing.  He drops off the wagon and starts walking forward.  His distance behind Cube and Eris no bother to him.

With a simple check, Fen confirms his weapons still attached securely and begins to pick up his pace without drawing them.  It didn't even have eyes, so he couldn't poke it there.  Goals and priorities aligning.  The young man in that things grasp wouldn't last long.  Cube and Eris could fight that thing or drive it back into its pit, Fen would be ready to zip in and swipe the young man away as quick as can be.


Fen speeds closer, ready to snatch and grab, but as Cube closes with the creature and holds some of it still, it lurches and thrusts the limp form the young herder higher than Fen's hands. 

Eleisai:
GM:
The herder, a youngling in wrapped robes, seems to be suspended in mid-air, limp and either unconscious or dead.
Eleisai:
And the older woman is suddenly about a hundred feet ahead of her previous position, and floating that much nearer to the scene of the action...


The older woman stretches out her Empathic and Nano Scanning senses toward the youngling and the creature as she floats nearer... and gently but firmly takes the youngling into her arms...


The creature below is caught fast in Cube's grasp, but it still doesn't care to release its prey.  As Eleisai comes closer, she can feel a hatred and a hunger pouring out of the creature, and gains a sense of a biologic creature with an advanced nervous system and an abundance of energy.  As she grabs the young herder, pain sears along Eleisai's nerves, as if the intangible grasp of the creature is trying to extend to her.

Eris:
"Makhai, hai!", called out Eris, long braids following the sweep of their eyes even as they made one final scan of the plains around them; winds ruffled the yellowed grass, a tousling that reminded them of their brother. With their words and their heel, the aneen sprung forward towards where the dossi lowed and brayed and the townsfolk had begun to react.

Closer, and Erin unlimbered their bow, notching an arrow even as they slowed to track the creature's movements and markings; they had not met such a thing before, nor seen such symbols but were keen to know of them should they do so again. Eyes and ears focused on the beast, both of them sought familiar shapes and signs that might indicate whether it was smart enough to reason with - or controlled by one who might be


Erin can see the markings look elegant and deliberate - not like a brand, more like very careful scarification.  This looks like the work of intelligent hands.  The marks don't match any language you know.

Eris can see the Nembelleck natives had raised their weapons slightly - with Eleisai and Fen so close, they seemed reluctant to fire on someone who was coming to the aid of one of their own.