Page 3 of 20 FirstFirst 12345678910111213 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 90 of 597
  1. - Top - End - #61
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Good goal! Plus, now that I know that, I get to be extra nitpicky about critiquing your stuff, because now I'm "helping"!
    Oh. Well, NOW I've done it.


    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    I'm not sure what you're doing here. Is this sarcastic or genuine? (I suspect the former, but it's not very clear)
    Sarcasm. It's a sign that the devils own it.


    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Just a couple typos in here (I'm assuming "house", since breaking open a horse sounds... messy).
    Another joke based on the car. (A Ford Mustang.)

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Oh, Dwarves. The end of this made me Though, it kind of comes off like the party's abandoning Logrim, with the whole "well, we can't help him so I guess it's bedtime" thing. Something to clarify that they're presumably keeping watch over his hole and floating status would make this a bit clearer.
    Perhaps so. Still, it had been a long day and they did have a watch like most sane adventurers.


    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Is there supposed to be more to this paragraph?
    Nope. Kalach is having problems.


    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    ... This suggests to me that Kalach is continuing to wear Elle's clothes, and I cannot stop laughing.
    He woke up with them on. Afterward, he got back into his armor.

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Also, damn that's some good beer. (though this line: "the...substance...also serves as fuel." confused me--do you mean literally fuel, like for cars, or just that it burns well, or that it also provides sustainance?)
    That 'beer' is a black substance with gel-like viscosity. This version of Dakmar drives a truck, and that's the fuel he uses. Yeah, drinking the stuff imposes a Fort save in the low 50s.

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    This seems a little unneeded. It feels assumed that you're keeping on the move, so unless you give more detail about where you're going next, this line doesn't give the reader anything new to work with.
    Fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    I like the teasers in this chapter (Kaldrig's blessedness, Kalach's cursedness (though I think that's been mentioned before, it's nice to have these reminders that there's something going on there), Kalach's certainty that they'll be going back to Hell at some point... very nice.

    Overall I enjoyed these chapters; only a couple typos/clarifications that were a little jarring. Otherwise, great work as usual!
    Thanks!
    Last edited by Winds; 2012-04-10 at 01:04 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Shopping
    Or: This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
    I thought it was quite well-written, and I'm curious about the green-eyed shapeshifter. Tell me more! Also: Poor Filbert.


    This snippet is from the new campaign I'm running with the same group of players. I had hoped to be a player rather than the DM again, but alas it was not to be.

    The Mists Slip Up (or Why Goofballs Should Not Be Allowed Into Ravenloft)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Clarice leaned on her greatsword, exhausted. Her breathing was shallow and ragged, her body ached from the dozens of wounds she had suffered, and her hands were growing numb from the repeated blows she had struck. Icy rain beat down her, soaking through her red leathers and chilling her to the bone. Clarice swept a lock of her silvery-blonde hair out of her eyes, but the cold down poor soon brought it back to her face. She heard the telltale moaning of more foes on the approach, and she squinted through the thick fog to see where they were coming from.

    Lost souls, Barovian dead, zombies. They had begun converging on the last location of the living in Barovia Village. Clarice looked behind her at the library, and for a moment considered taking shelter inside with the few remaining villagers, but she knew that the dozen zombies shuffling toward her would break down the door in a matter of moments. The young woman raised her greatsword and gave the undead a defiant glare.

    "So much death," she sighed as she entered her preferred battle stance, prepared to defend the villagers to the bitter end.

    Suddenly, she spied a trio walking toward her through the mists. Not shambling, not shuffling, but walking. Clarice felt her spirits rise immediately. They were alive!

    "Over here!" she called out to them. "I am in desperate need of your aid!"

    One of the figures blurred into motion, skewering one of the zombies with a spear just as the undead began to converge on Clarice.

    "Do not worry pretty lady, we help you good," he said with an overly friendly smile.

    A shock wave of piercing sound ripped through the zombies, sending bits of meat and bone flying in all directions. A moment later, hundreds of mangy tabby cats came pouring down the street and into the midst of the undead, clawing and biting wildly at them. Seeing her chance to strike, Clarice leaped into action.

    "Desert Wind style," she cried out as she lunged forward. "Hatchling's Flame!"

    Clarice slammed her blade into the ground, and a cone of flame spewed from the point of impact and into the ranks of the zombies. The undead were quickly consumed by the flames, as were the cats.

    The other two figures emerged from the mist at this time, and while one was a normal looking human man, likely a priest judging by his robes, the other was quite definitely the fattest and furriest cat Clarice had ever seen.

    "That was really neat pretty lady," the man with the spear said. "Are you a magician?"

    "Doubtful," replied the priest before Clarice could answer. "It looked more like that weeaboo fightan magic to me."

    "You killed my minions," the cat growled.

    "The cat talks?" Clarice gasped.

    "He is not a talking kitty," the spear-warrior said, "for he is a tibbet, and tibbets are kitty people, right Fluffy?"

    "Silence, Ed!" the cat snapped. "I have renounced my inferior form and have risen above my original species."

    "Er, well, thank you for helping me," Clarice said, bowing slightly. "I don't think I would have been able to fend off another attack in my current condition. My name is Clarice."

    "Well hello Clarice," the priest replied with an evil smile as he drew uncomfortably close to her.

    "Shane, it is not a nice thing to scare pretty ladies," Ed said sternly. "Unless the pretty lady is bad. Or a chicken."

    "I assure you, Ed, it takes more than a lecherous priest to frighten me," Clarice replied, pushing Shane away.

    "If you aren't scared, you should be," Fluffy growled as menacingly as he could.

    "You threaten to attack me?" Clarice asked, tightening her grip on her sword.

    "I can cast Summon Swarm seven more times today. You will tell us everything you know about what's going on, or I will let my minions eat you. Slowly. While Shane keeps you alive as long as possible with Cure spells."

    Clarice suddenly found herself surrounded by hundreds of mangy tabby cats, all of them staring hungrily at her. Her dark blue eyes flickered first to Ed, then to Shane. Both merely watched her in anticipation.

    What have I done to deserve such a fate? she wondered.

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    With regard to your story, SleepyShadow, that is exactly why I talk to the players before I start a game.
    Am I insane? I merely see the shape of the world. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Malkavian avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    With regard to your story, SleepyShadow, that is exactly why I talk to the players before I start a game.
    I told them we were playing Ravenloft before character generation. I wanted Silent Hill, they wanted Devil May Cry.

    It's going to make me cry

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @TCA:
    Yeah, that reads a little more nicely now. Anything in particular you enjoyed/didn't enjoy about Shopping? Anything I can improve on while I'm editing part 3?

    @Winds:
    Another joke based on the car. (A Ford Mustang.)
    D'oh. I did figure this one out (and love it), but apparently forgot to remove it from my comments. You do still have the other one in there though, which I'm pretty sure is a typo:
    and can but used by anyone
    That 'beer' is a black substance with gel-like viscosity. This version of Dakmar drives a truck, and that's the fuel he uses. Yeah, drinking the stuff imposes a Fort save in the low 50s.
    So... yes to all of the above, then. Nice.

    @SS:
    He really did bring it on himself. Really, who pretends to be a blind monk in the middle of the marketplace and then starts catcalling other (Noble, or at least Noble-looking) party members in front of the guards? (It was an Alter Self'd Charlize he was harassing, and his character knew that, but I didn't feel like that information was really important enough to try to shoehorn into the narrative.) Glad you liked it! A friend is beta-ing part three, so hopefully only one more round of edits before it's postable.

    @SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    the cold down poor
    Unless you are referring to shivering peasants made of feathers, this should be "downpour".

    This... I laughed at the end, but only because it is so perfectly you and your players. Clarice is beautifully real and the setup at the beginning is wonderful, and then the PCs arrive and the strangeness/discomfort levels increase relentlessly. I've said it before (frequently) and I suspect I'll say it again: I would not want to be one of your NPCs.

    PS. I just about lost it at "weeaboo fightan magic".
    Bored? Come for our stories; stay to share yours.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Anything in particular you enjoyed/didn't enjoy about Shopping?
    I was confused at the beginning, but that's my own damn fault for not reading your prior snippets.

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Anything I can improve on while I'm editing part 3?
    Not sure; it looks pretty good to me.

    On that note, I'll probably have another Shen-centric snippet for you guys before too much longer; the ST wants to run another one-on-one session soon.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2012-04-10 at 04:03 PM.
    Am I insane? I merely see the shape of the world. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Malkavian avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Unless you are referring to shivering peasants made of feathers, this should be "downpour".
    This is what I get for trying to write before morning coffee

    This... I laughed at the end, but only because it is so perfectly you and your players. Clarice is beautifully real and the setup at the beginning is wonderful, and then the PCs arrive and the strangeness/discomfort levels increase relentlessly. I've said it before (frequently) and I suspect I'll say it again: I would not want to be one of your NPCs.

    PS. I just about lost it at "weeaboo fightan magic".
    Glad you liked it. I should have another snippet up shortly, and I doubt things will improve for poor Clarice.

  8. - Top - End - #68
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    As promised, another snippet from the current campaign.

    "Murder is the Only Option"
    Spoiler
    Show
    "So we are trying to find the Sunsword but we do not know where it is?" Ed asked, puzzled.

    "If we can gain audience with Madame Eva, I'm certain she can tell us its location," Clarice answered for the third time.

    "Once the girl is armed with the Sunsword we will set out for Castle Ravenloft and destroy the vampire lord within," Fluffy cackled.

    "Wait, we're giving the sword to cutie here?" Shane asked in surprise.

    "Ooh, is it because she is the best warrior in the party?" Ed asked excitedly.

    "Of course not!" Fluffy snapped irritably. "She's the only one with Martial Weapon Proficiency."

    Clarice sighed. These outlanders behaved so strangely. She was beginning to worry how well the meeting with the Vistani would go. The bronze-skinned woman balled her fists, vowing to do whatever it took to enlist the aid of the gypsies. This latest atrocity wrought on Barovia Village was too much for her to stand. She had to bring light to the shadowy Strahd Von Zarovich and make him pay for his crimes.

    The Vistani caravan was camped near the edge of Tser Lake, a place that Clarice remembered as being a beautiful and charming place. However, the blackened skies and the relentless icy rain caused the lake to appear dark and sullen.

    Though she had never met any Vistani before, they were exactly what Clarice had always imagined them to be: vibrant, colorful people so full of life and emotion. They were a stark contrast to the downtrodden villagers of Barovia.

    "Remember, be on your best behavior," Clarice said to the outlanders. "We don't want to offend them."

    "Vistani!" Fluffy cried out as he sprang atop one of the caravan wagons. "Take me to your leader!"

    "Where's this Eva woman, eh?" Shane asked gruffly as he grabbed a nearby Vistani girl by the shoulders and tried to intimidate her.

    Clarice hid her face with her hands in shame. This was off to a great start.

    ***

    "Thank you for seeing us, Madame Eva," Clarice said as the group sat down at a table with her. "I'm very sorry for my companions."

    "We would have been fine if Ed would have put ranks in Diplomacy and Bluff," Fluffy grumbled irritably.

    "I do not have many skill points for things like that," Ed said apologetically. "I dump-ed-ed my Intelligence."

    "I can tell," Madame Eva said flatly. "You may each ask one question, and I will answer to the best of my abilities. Be warned, the spirits are not always direct in their dealings with us. The answers you receive may be vague or seem strange for now."

    "Ooh, can I ask about the average yearly gross income of Barovian chicken farmers compared to their net income of the same time frame?" Ed asked excitedly.

    "Yes, you may."

    "So what is it?"

    "I'm sorry, you've already used your question."

    Shane smacked Ed in the back of the head. While the priest discussed with Fluffy what their questions would be, Clarice silently prayed that one of them would ask about the location of the Sunsword. She knew it was selfish of her, but she wanted to ask about her past. With bronze skin and almost-white hair Clarice knew that she was not a native of Barovia, though she could not remember anything before being taken into the care of the Kolyan family in Barovia Village. She hoped that Eva would be able to at least give her a clue as to where she came from. Her train of thought was interrupted when Fluffy spoke to Eva.

    "Do you have any magic items small enough for me to use?" the cat asked.

    "Yes," Eva replied. "You boys certainly are fond of simple questions."

    "You can't give us your mystic gypsy crap if we ask yes or no questions."

    "Does Strahd have the normal weaknesses of a vampire?" Shane asked.

    "No," Eva answered, looking slightly bored.

    The three adventurers all turned their gaze to Clarice, and her heart sank. It seemed she would never learn more about herself. With a heavy sigh, she looked down at the table.

    "What is the location of the Sunblade?" she asked quietly, her face hidden by her bangs.

    A swirling yellow aura surrounded Madame Eva as she began to chant eldritch incantations, the light from the candles on the table growing strangely dim.

    "I hate diviners," Fluffy grumbled.

    ***

    A sudden scream from across the camp got Clarice's attention away from the card game a few of the Vistani women had been trying to teach her. She snatched up her sword and raced to the source of the disturbance, only to find the three outlanders standing over the body of one of the Vistani men as hundreds of mangy tabby cats began to devour him.

    "You killed him??" Clarice gasped, appalled.

    "He was charging double book price for his stuff," Fluffy replied nonchalantly.

    "Yep, he was a swindler," Shane said with a nod of agreement.

    "He was a bad man," Ed agreed.

    "So you killed him?" Clarice asked, taking a horrified step back from the grisly scene.

    "Murder is the only option," Fluffy said darkly. "He tried to cheat us, so I sent him to his ... kitty doom."

    It was then that Clarice realized that a rather large group of angry and well-armed Vistani had them surrounded. She looked down at the body, up at the three adventurers, then back to the angry mob.

    "I only met them yesterday! I don't know them! I'm sorry!" Clarice cried out.

    "Like I said," Fluffy muttered. "Murder is the only option."

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Wow, just wow.

    I'm so glad my group isn't that kill-happy.

    Initially I'd misread it, and thought that they'd killed the diviner.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2012-04-11 at 09:02 PM.
    Am I insane? I merely see the shape of the world. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Malkavian avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Wow, just wow.

    I'm so glad my group isn't that kill-happy.
    You think this is bad? I consider it a good session when they don't try to kill each other.

    Initially I'd misread it, and thought that they'd killed the diviner.
    Nah, my players are too good at sniffing out NPCs that are higher level than them to try and pick a fight with Madame Eva.

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Kalach's (mis)adventures continue.

    The tower in the woods (is gone)
    Spoiler
    Show
    It's almost routine, now. Find tower, find guardian, break tower. Repeat.

    The others don't know how worried I am about the pact. I don't know what I'm going to do...

    In any case, we found the tower without difficulty thanks to the compass. It lies in a town surrounded by a forest.

    Here I thought all their cities were metal. Maybe this world does have some subtlety to it. Or maybe they just ran out of iron.

    There was one major problem, however. We met a half-orc named Kronc. there...he seemly friendly enough, and in fact was apparently a friend of the guardian.

    Who is dead.

    What happened next, though, defies belief. When we spoke of our need to enter the tower, he opened it...or rather, he lifted it free of the foundation. We can enter, in any case.

    As can all the zombies in the woods. However, Kronc has been fighting them. For how long, well, who knows? But he showed no signs of slowing down.

    First, the usual TITHE 'puzzle'. I didn't think people fell for that...ever...but Neeshka did. I'm SO glad she came with us.

    Of all people, Elle stopped her. Really, when a thief is telling you not to steal, it should say something. As for the tithe bowl, that caused even more trouble, from both her and Elle.

    Not sure why it mattered to them. Neither of them has any form of money, and I only still carry mine to get past these. I mean, this world doesn't even seem to use gold.

    There were only two doors this time. The one we opened was a portal, as usual. Neehska opened the other...which had an armory behind it. The wizards had an armory. Well, I found better armor and a morningstar, so it suits me.

    The other side of the portal was a desert. Right in front of something Elle said was a tank. The person controlling it has many like it. And he seems to like having armies. He has conscripted us. So now we're in the tank, and we're to serve as the first assault.

    No, we don't have a choice. If we don't, he'll shoot us.

    As if we didn't have enough problems on our hands.

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I originally intended to put up comments with part 3, but I'm still not satisfied with it, so here are some comments all by themselves instead.

    @SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    as he grabbed a nearby Vistani girl by the shoulders and tried to intimidate her.
    This seems like needless exposition of the game mechanism. He's grabbed some random girl and growling into her face; it's pretty clear that he's going for intimidation without being reminded explicitly that a skill check was required.

    Clarice facepalming at her companions' "best behavior" is perfect.

    Mme Eva is great. She just exudes distain. And poor Clarice.

    The last part is... well it's exactly what I've come to expect from your PCs (and that's a great quote). You executed it well; their casual demeanor contrasts really well with Clarice's outrage. I'm glad she's quick to renounce any association she has with them. Also, the last line pretty much forced me to make this:
    Spoiler
    Show


    Nah, my players are too good at sniffing out NPCs that are higher level than them to try and pick a fight with Madame Eva.
    I don't know; looks to me like they might get a fight with her after all.


    @Winds
    Spoiler
    Show
    I love the juxtaposition of "yay, new armor and morningstar!" with "now we operate a tank!" I'd like to see more description of the tank itself, though maybe Kalach is so jaded by this point that he doesn't even care. I was a little confused as to what was going on in (under?) the tower, with the two doors and so on. Is there just always a door with a portal at the end of each tower? I didn't realize that had continued to be a thing that was happening.

    when a thief is telling you not to steal, it should say something.
    Yes, yes it should. Kalach's thinly-veiled disgust for his party/situation is great here.
    Bored? Come for our stories; stay to share yours.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    This seems like needless exposition of the game mechanism. He's grabbed some random girl and growling into her face; it's pretty clear that he's going for intimidation without being reminded explicitly that a skill check was required.
    I suppose it was a bit more of an in-joke than I intended. When my players do skill checks, I'll usually ask what/how they do it, but in this case he could never think of how to intimidate her. Eventually it was decided that Captain Kirk Shane was just scary.

    By the way, awesome cat, but I think this may fit better:
    Spoiler
    Show


    @Winds: I like the line about the thief as well. I also like that they have apparently been conscripted as cannon fodder, though I am a little confused why. Maybe I just need to go back and reread your previous snippets.


    Well I suppose I should write the next piece of the "epoch" of Ravenloft ...

    The Great Rescue Gone Awry (or "Buffalo Bill?")
    Spoiler
    Show
    Clarice huddled at the base of a dead tree, shivering in the icy rain. The gibbous moon overhead illuminated the small clearing where she and the three outlanders had decided to make camp after escaping from the angry Vistani. Of course, camp was a relative term. The three of them had done nothing but argue about whose fault it was for not having tents, not being able to start a fire in the rain, and not preparing any spells to create food with.

    There was a small upside to being stuck with the adventurers, however. At least the three of them still seemed interested in helping her acquire the Sunsword. Madame Eva had told them that the blade was sequestered away somewhere inside Lysaga Hill. Still, Clarice had to question the motives of these three strangers. Fluffy, Shane, and Ed did not seem like the sort of people to help others without some kind of reward.

    ***

    "There it is," Clarice informed them the following afternoon. "Lysaga Hill."

    "Somewhere in this hill is the sword, right?" Shane asked.

    "Yes," Fluffy replied, "and once we use it to destroy Strahd Von Zarovich, all of Barovia will bow to my kitty will!"

    "I cannot accept the idea of another dictator ruling Barovia," Clarice said firmly. "This land has been oppressed for far too long."

    "Like you can stop me. I'm two tiers higher than you!"

    "It is not nice to be mean to the pretty lady," Ed said reproachfully.

    "Come on crew, let's be off," Shane commanded as he marched up the hill.

    As the group got halfway up the hill, a massive spectral creature comprised of hundreds of ghostly screaming faces rose up from the ground before them. It howled menacingly, challenging the adventurers to continue up the hill.

    "Evil spirit begone!" Shane bellowed as he held up his holy symbol.

    The spectral beast did not even flinch. Clarice rushed forward, taking a downward strike at the creature, but she gasped in surprise when her sword passed harmlessly through it.

    "How hard do you think this boss will be?" Shane asked quizzically. "Paper Mario, Final Fantasy, Devil May Cry ..."

    With a single pulse of energy from the creature's form, Ed collapsed to the ground at their feet.

    "Diablo," Fluffy said in a panic.

    Clarice struck at the creature again, and she could not suppress a smile when the creature howled in pain as her blade caught firm for a moment in its spectral body. The creature turned the furious gazes of it thousand eyes upon her, and she felt a momentary sharp pain in her head before her world went black.

    ***

    "Well that sucked," Shane grumbled.

    "I figured you would have been able to turn in the third time," Fluffy replied irritably.

    "Just not my lucky day."

    "I told you to go Divine Metamagic, but no ..."

    "At least we got away," Ed said cheerfully.

    "Of course, now we need to hire another cohort," Fluffy complained.

    "I don't think it killed her," Shane said. "I saw it drag her up the hill and drop her down a hole."

    "So let's go rescue her!" Ed declared.

    "Can't we just hire someone else?" Fluffy grumbled. "It's easier, and we could get something more powerful. Like a wizard."

    "Then who would use the Sunsword?" Shane asked.

    "Ugh, fine, I guess we could hire a gish..."

    "I'm rescuing Clarice," Ed said bluntly. "I like her, and she's part of the group."

    "You get attached to characters too quickly," Fluffy argued. "They are disposable! Look at it this way: No-one Particularly Cares."

    "I am going to go rescue her."

    "Ugh, you're so stubborn ..."

    ***

    Clarice groaned as she slowly awoke, the pain in her head a lingering reminder of her defeat. Her hands and feet were bound with heavy ropes, and she had been stripped of all possessions save for the thin white tunic she wore beneath her armor. From where she lay on the cold stone floor, she could see a dim green light emanating from the center of the room, where a pallid woman stood stirring a cauldron. The woman smiled wickedly when she saw that Clarice was awake. She stepped over to her and crouched down beside the captive. With the woman this close, Clarice could see that patches of her skin were missing, revealing thick green scales beneath.

    "Well, my pretty," the woman cackled, "I'm certainly glad you are awake. As you can likely tell, this skin is getting rather worn out. Lucky for me, you are nice and young, so a suit made out of you will last me quite some time!"

    There was the sound of a mighty battle cry, and Ed lunged from the shadows at the woman with his spear. The witch narrowly avoided being skewered by the sudden attack, and the creature let out an angry hiss as she attacked the man with her bare hands. Clarice winced when she heard Ed's nose break as the witch smashed her hand into his face, and he collapsed to the floor, felled by a single attack twice in the same day.

    "That has got to be the worst rescue attempt I've ever seen," the witch said.

    "At least he tried," Clarice retorted, struggling in vain against the ropes that bound her.

    "Oh well," the witch said with a wicked smile as she drew a long skinning knife from her belt. "At least I can still have my fun."

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    James and Ian are from a d20 modern campaign we ran before. The DM for this game played Ian, and named himself the God-Emperor once we we powerful enough to make it stick. He span it into this encounter after I made an offhand comment that I planned to enact the Horus Heresy later.

    Speaking of my DM, he's tricky. Kalach's journal is part of the game now.


    But man, SleepyShadow's party is crazy. I'm not sure if I should be amazed or depressed at what they get up to.

  15. - Top - End - #75
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I've got a new chapter of the Joseph's Gap session for you guys! I'm reasonably happy with this one, so it's probably terrible Critiques of any kind are very welcome!

    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    (Other stuff from this campaign is linked in the compendium)


    Sacrifice
    or: Ill-Gotten Gains
    Spoiler
    Show

    Charlize, Filbert and I walk upstream in silence, boots crunching in the soft, dry grass of the riverbank. Filbert’s said he’s fine; he’s not mad, but I don’t know. I hit him pretty hard. He’ll have a nasty bruise tomorrow for sure. Charlize just raised an eyebrow when we told her what happened; lips pressed into that half-smile somewhere between exasperation and amusement.

    Ducking under a pair of squat, ugly trees thrust out over the water, I spot Nim and Namia sitting together. They’re soaking wet and their skin is flushed and plastered with grass, but they look in much better spirits than the three of us. Namia is wearing a very flattering dress I’ve never seen before, and Nim is wearing a grin that has nothing to do with the pile of scavenged goods and coinpurses on the ground.

    Namia, smiling faintly, interrupts me before I get a chance to ask what happened. “Nim discovered several nature spirits in the river, presumably tasked with guarding the people’s Sacrifices from thieves like us. They weren’t too much trouble.”

    “Nope!” Nim confirms, pulling out the Nocturne and idly strumming a few chords. “I found a chest with Elven writing all over it, so I bet that’s important--is it the right thing Filbert? Oh! And I found a whole bunch of other stuff! There are some really nice-looking swords, some money--mostly bags and bags of coppers, though--oh, and Namia’s dress!”

    Filbert circles around them slightly toward the pilfered goods, pulls his blindfold on for a moment, and responds, “yes, there’s an artifact of yours in there, Nim. I’m surprised you haven’t opened it yet!”

    “Well, it’s locked,” Nim replies as Namia stretches and rises to join Filbert, “and trapped, so I decided to wait ‘til you guys got back.”

    Charlize smirks. “Yes, I’m sure you came to that decision entirely on your own.” She follows Filbert and Namia toward the pile of recovered Sacrifices, leaning over to read the inscriptions across the large chest’s lid. She’s back in her own body, wearing the dress she bought an hour ago, green and black and silver, and somehow it fits her perfectly despite being tailored for a “different” person.

    “Whatcha lookin’ at?” Nim asks from right beside me. I whirl and glare at him; he grins harder, and I glance back to the trio standing around the loot pile. At least no one seems to have heard him. I can feel my face heating up as I stomp over to the others, Nim laughing as he follows behind me.

    “So,” I say idly as I join the others in their inspection of the chest--it’s in unreasonably good condition for being at the bottom of a river for seventy years--”This sure looks the right kind of suspicious. Everyone ready to see what’s inside?”

    Nim saunters over, still chuckling. “Yeah, let’s do it. I can pick the lock, but like I said, it’s trapped as well. See these?” He indicates a line of decorative-looking marks about halfway up. “A whole bunch of fire’s gonna shoot out those tiny holes as soon as I start working. It’ll only take me a second to disable it, but you should stay clear while I do.”

    With that, he climbs up on top of the lid, and the rest of us back away instinctively. “Namia, Charlize, get ready to put out anything that catches fire. Filbert, you and I get him out of there if anything goes wrong.” We spread out; I look around to everyone in turn, ensuring nobody is too close, except Nim, of course. Namia’s eyes are locked on him; she bites her lip as he crouches down and sticks a couple needles into the lock.

    Instantly, shafts of flame burst from all sides of the chest, extending a constant three arm’s lengths or so in all directions. I squint against the light and heat, but, to his credit, Nim doesn’t even flinch, and a couple seconds later the flames disappear as quickly as they’d come. Namia frowns as a few patches of grass near her continue to burn, and she summons what looks like a tiny living wave, which sloshes itself around, putting out the small fires as it finds them while she continues to watch Nim.

    No one approaches as Nim continues to work in silence, but then he suddenly jumps down and declares, “got it!” I step forward, slowly relaxing muscles in my neck that I hadn’t realized were tight, and Nim reaches down to pull open the lid.

    The chest seems to fly open of its own accord, nothing visible inside at all, and Nim pitches forward, feet leaving the ground entirely. I dive at him, grabbing ahold of one arm, and instantly I feel an immense pressure from all sides, like I’m at the bottom of the sea and sinking fast, and I glimpse Filbert’s face, twisted into an uncharacteristic grimace as he grips Nim’s other arm, and the pressure builds, and I close my eyes because otherwise they’ll pop, and the world disappears.



    And comments!

    @SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    The three of them had done nothing but argue about whose fault it was for not having tents, not being able to start a fire in the rain, and not preparing any spells to create food with.
    Perfect.

    ...the blade was sequestered away somewhere inside Lysaga Hill. Still, Clarice had to question the motives of these three strangers. Fluffy, Shane, and Ed did not seem like the sort of people to help others without some kind of reward.
    I don't think "away" is necessary here; it's redundant and breaks up the flow. The rest of this paragraph, though, is great, maybe largely because I'm rooting for Clarice so her thinking intelligently about the PCs is good to see.

    "Like you can stop me. I'm two tiers higher than you!"
    I would love to see Clarice's reaction to this. As a reader my reaction is "lol", but seeing her confusion at this comment would make it that much better.

    a single pulse of energy
    Describe this more! I realize that it's supposed to be shocking that it so casually deals with Ed, but a more complete description to help me to envision it better would make this moment more effective. Also, all the video game references are great--this time I'm okay with Clarice not reacting to it, since there are bigger problems.

    "Of course, now we need to hire another cohort," Fluffy complained.
    Nooooooooooo. At least this time they're bothering to save her though! (at least until they forget or get sidetracked or stop caring, anyway).

    patches of her skin were missing, revealing thick green scales beneath.
    Great description here. Also, eww.

    "At least I can still have my fun."
    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.

    This was a great chapter. Poor Clarice (and poor Ed!).
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-05-07 at 05:27 PM.
    Bored? Come for our stories; stay to share yours.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    First, a few comments for LordHenry:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    ... Nim is wearing a grin that has nothing to do with the pile of scavenged goods and coinpurses on the ground.
    My first reaction to this was "Sex on the riverbank?"

    She’s back in her own body, wearing the dress she bought an hour ago, green and black and silver, and somehow it fits her perfectly despite being tailored for a “different” person.
    Changlings are just that awesome.

    “Whatcha lookin’ at?” Nim asks from right beside me. I whirl and glare at him; he grins harder, and I glance back to the trio standing around the loot pile. At least no one seems to have heard him. I can feel my face heating up as I stomp over to the others, Nim laughing as he follows behind me.
    Did this occur ooc as well?

    ...and I close my eyes because otherwise they’ll pop, and the world disappears.
    That just sounds painful. What happens next?

    Overall, very well written.


    @Winds: I'm amazed at what they do about 10% of the time. The other 90% of the time I have to fight the urge to repeatedly smack my head against the table.

    Also, snippet time!

    "Is This Normal?"
    Spoiler
    Show
    "I think I'll start with the boy," the witch cackled, grabbing Clarice by the hair and dragging her over to Ed. "I'll make you watch him suffer for a while."

    Clarice's despair suddenly lifted when she heard the sound of combat and the yowling of many cats echoing from somewhere nearby. Help was on the way. She just needed to keep the witch occupied long enough for them to arrive. So she did the only thing she could think of: fight back.

    The young woman swung her legs around and smashed them into the back of the witch's knee. The hag yelped in surprise and dropped Clarice to the floor, then turned and glared at her.

    "Stupid girl," the witch snarled, grabbing Clarice by the front of her tunic and pulling her up to eye level. "I'll carve you up first, you little ..."

    Clarice smashed her forehead into the witch's nose with a satisfying crunch. The witch dropped her again, clutching at her face, and Clarice watched in horror as the hag's face began to crack and flake off into little pieces. The witch let out a deep growl and lunged at Clarice with the skinning knife, but the blade shattered in her hand just before she could plunge it into the girl's body. Clarice could not contain a smile as Shane and Fluffy entered the chamber, followed closely by the army of mangy tabby cats.

    "Oh I'm sorry, did I break your concentration?" Shane said with a smirk.

    "Why must you interfere, outlanders?" the witch shrieked as the rest of her skin began to crumble away. "I just want a new suit!"

    With a swift uttering of words Clarice could not understand, a beam of light and fire lanced forth from Shane's palm, striking the witch in the chest. The hag let out one final scream before she collapsed to the floor, her body smoldering from the heat of the spell.

    "Looks like this witch wasn't all she was cracked up to be," Fluffy laughed.

    Shane threw his fist up in the air and let out a triumphant "YEEEEAAAAAAAAHH!"

    "We're just full of one-liners tonight."

    ***

    "It puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again!"

    "Will you please stop that, Fluffy?" Clarice asked yet again. "I know that I had to be rescued. You don't need to mock me for it."

    Despite the tibbit's rude behavior, Clarice was grateful that the outlanders had arrived when they did. After the defeat of the witch, the group had found a hidden compartment beneath the cauldron which contained Clarice's equipment as well as an intricately carved oak box. Ed had proved to be an expert with traps and locks, and had been able to open the box without any ill befalling the group. Within that box was what they had been seeking for many days, and what could prove to be Barovia's only hope for peace.

    "So what does it do, exactly?" Clarice asked as the four of them walked back down the hill.

    "It's, uh, magic," Shane replied hesitantly.

    "Well I'd hope so," Clarice laughed, clapping him affectionately on the shoulder.

    "We have no idea exactly what it does," Fluffy informed her. "Just hit things with it. It's the only reason we rescued you anyway."

    Clarice sighed contentedly. She did not mind not knowing all of the powers the Sunsword had. She was just glad that things finally seemed to be going well. She looked toward the sky, letting the icy rain wash away the dirt and grime that had stuck to her inside the witch's cave. She longed for a bath, and remembered that Tser Lake was not far off. She wondered if her companions would mind a small stop before departing for Castle Ravenloft.

    She bumped into Ed's back suddenly, and she stammered out an apology for not paying attention. It was then that she noticed all three of the outlanders were looking around suspiciously.

    "What's wrong?" she asked.

    "We failed our Listen checks," Fluffy whispered.

    "Huh?"

    "I mean, we didn't hear anything unusual."

    "Okay, so ... let's keep going."

    "Not until we figure out what we didn't hear."

    Clarice scratched the back of her head, wondering if all outlanders were as strange as these three. Suddenly a trio of hulking, black furred wolf-beasts lunged at the group from the thick trees on either side of the road. The howled ferociously as they attacked with tooth and nail. Clarice narrowly avoided being gutted by her foe as its claws tore through her armor but stopped just short of her flesh. Reacting quickly, she counterattacked with a heavy blow to the creature's leg, the Sunsword flashing brilliantly as she struck. The wound on his leg would hopefully prevent him from attacking one of her companions.

    "Time to run!" Fluffy shrieked as he bolted down the road. "No spells!"

    "It's Brindol City all over again!" Shane grumbled irritably as the heavily armored priest struggled to keep up with the cat.

    "Shut up! You're out of spells, too!"

    "I am very sorry Clarice!" Ed shouted over his shoulder as he too fled the battle.

    "You're fleeing again?" Clarice hollered angrily. "Is this normal for you people?!"

    "Yes!" she heard Fluffy shout back.

    The wolfmen quickly encircled Clarice, cutting off any hope of escape for the young woman. They leered at her hungrily, thick saliva dribbling down from their fanged maws. Clarice swallowed back her fear and tightened her grip on the hilt of her sword.

    "I just got rescued from a witch half an hour ago, and now I get left to the wolves," Clarice grumbled bitterly. "Typical."

    ***

    "I hate random encounters," Fluffy said. "They mess up my system."

    "You have a system?" Shane asked.

    "I divide up my spells into threes, that way I know exactly how many spells per encounter I can cast given the average three encounters per day."

    "Heaven forbid there be more than three battles ..."

    "So what are we going to do now?" Ed asked quickly.

    "Same thing we were planning on doing," Fluffy replied. "Go to Castle Ravenloft, kill Strahd, take over Barovia, move on to the next place."

    "But Clarice is gone, so now no one can use the sword against the vampire."

    "We'll just go into town, hire a barbarian or something, and give him the sword. Happy?"

    "But Clarice had the sword, and we left her behind."

    Fluffy and Shane looked at one another as if suddenly coming to the same realization. The tibbet groaned in exasperation and the priest threw down his mace in frustration.

    "I hate you, Fluffy," he snapped. "I hate you so very much right now."

  17. - Top - End - #77
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Comment Responses (thanks so much!) :
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    My first reaction to this was "Sex on the riverbank?"
    Good; I'm glad that came across

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Did this occur ooc as well?
    Heh. I'm making up a lot of the more personal stuff; the session this is all based on happened several years ago in real-time, and notes are few and far-between. That moment is actually based on a different pair of my friends who aren't in this campaign. In the real-life version, the comment did not go unnoticed

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    That just sounds painful. What happens next?
    To find that out, you will have to wait an indeterminate amount of time! The next chapter is mostly dialogue, so either I'll have an easy time of it and get it up really soon, or I'll prove incapable of writing conversation and it'll take forever. Which will it be? Who knows!


    @SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "We're just full of one-liners tonight."
    Who is this?

    "Well I'd hope so," Clarice laughed, clapping him affectionately on the shoulder.
    Really? This came as a surprise to me. Sure, he was part of the rescue party, but I wouldn't expect her to be "affectionate" toward him in any way. Especially since, from the descriptions we've seen, he's just a grody, lecherous priest.

    "Not until we figure out what we didn't hear."
    And again, I am reminded who is playing these characters

    "Time to run!" Fluffy shrieked as he bolted down the road. "No spells!"

    "It's Brindol City all over again!" Shane grumbled irritably as the heavily armored priest struggled to keep up with the cat.

    "Shut up! You're out of spells, too!"

    "I am very sorry Clarice!" Ed shouted over his shoulder as he too fled the battle.

    "You're fleeing again?" Clarice hollered angrily. "Is this normal for you people?!"
    It's not really clear that they're leaving her behind here. When she is "left to the wolves" a couple lines later, I was surprised, since they're all still talking with each other and so on. If they're leaving her behind, it would be good to make that a little clearer.

    "I hate you, Fluffy," he snapped. "I hate you so very much right now."
    I love that Clarice has basically survived the predicaments the PCs have put her in thus far due to their total incompetence. They can't even leave people for dead effectively!

    Fun snippet, though it doesn't flow quite as well as the last one, in my opinion. I did love the "dramatic" reveal of the Sunsword PCs charging around, questing after items they know nothing about (and then promptly forgetting them) is so classic, and fits this group really well. Also, Fluffy mocking Clarice for her name/being the damsel in distress is wonderful. Glad I was at home when I read this rather than at work, or I would have gotten some looks
    Bored? Come for our stories; stay to share yours.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  18. - Top - End - #78
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    And I return once more to haunt the living with a somewhat brutal snippet from Scion. Be warned: while the descriptions may not be as graphic as they could be (and OotS set the precedent with the evisceration), the descriptions may be unsettling to some. You have been warned.

    Visitation
    Meet the Kinslayer

    Spoiler
    Show
    This club is weird as hell.

    I mean, I suppose I should've been expecting this, when Amy invited me out here - her, Jack, and me, all hanging out at some half-trendy goth club that couldn't decide if it wanted to be a poetry slam, a dance hall or a bunch of people hanging around smoking cloves and ignoring each other. Amy's in the restroom and Jack's being all antisocial and weird like he usually is.

    This club sucks.

    I'm about to say as much to Jack when I see a flash of red hair on the other side of whatever the hell it is they're calling their dance floor. I look closer and it turns out the face attached to that red hair is looking right at me - and it's gorgeous. Long, dark red hair falling down to the middle of her back, deep green eyes, a twitchy, witchy little smile. She looks Irish, or maybe it's Scottish, or maybe I don't really care, because she's crooking a finger at me to come and sit at her table. I tell Jack I'm getting up ("Whatever Pal") and head over without a second thought, downing my Mountain Dew on the way over like it makes me look bad ass.

    When I get closer I realize she didn't even make an attempt to fit in; she's in black biker leather with blood-red accents, metal-shod combat boots that go up to her knees and fingerless gloves with thick metal studs. It's hot as hell in this damn club but she hasn't even bothered to take off her jacket. She looks like she's over twenty, and the bottle of whiskey at her table kinda backs that up.

    "Took you long enough kid," she says with a grin. "Take a seat. Whiskey?"

    I can feel the heat rising in my face and manage to stammer something about only being seventeen, which just makes her laugh. I'm not entirely certain when I started sitting, but she's putting a shot glass in my hand and I'm tipping it back hesitantly. The whiskey burns on the way down.

    "You got a name?"

    "P-Pallas," I manage to stammer out, feeling like a dumbass. "But my friends call me Pal."

    She laughs again and I'm starting to wonder why she even asked me over here when she says, "You know that's a girl's name, right?"

    The accusation snaps me out of my embarrassment with a startled, "What?"

    "Yeah, Pallas. It's another name for Athena. She was a pretty big player back in the day, y'know. Still is, depending on who you ask."

    A pentagram necklace winks at me from just above her bust and I nod a little bit, not wanting to offend her. I flick my eyes back up to hers and her smile widens until I can see teeth. I swallow, "You got a name?"

    "Kristina, thanks for asking." She pours me another shot, "Want one?"

    "You trying to get me drunk?"

    She slides it across the table at me, "Yeah, actually. Looks like I might be a little late on that, though."

    "What do you -" As I'm turning to look at whatever she's looking at, I realize that the music's stopped, and so has most everyone on the dance floor. I see Amy come out of the bathroom with a confused look on her face and Jack asleep, of all things, at our table.

    Everyone in the club is looking directly at me.

    "You're gonna want to get behind cover kid," she says casually before getting up, grabbing me by the shoulders and depositing me roughly behind the bar.

    I'm about to protest I see one of the goth kids from the dance floor step forward and snarl, "You cannot protect him from all of us, Kinslayer. You will die here!"

    Kristina smiles a wicked, savage grin that I have to look away from. I regret it almost immediately; everyone in the club but my two friends is in the midst of sprouting fur and claws and growing to huge proportions like some bad werewolf flick.

    A small part of my mind says, Right, you're in a bad werewolf flick. You're gonna die, Pal.

    The one that spoke lunges forward only to get swatted aside by some blurred movement from Kristina that I barely even see; one moment she's smiling, the next moment there's blood all over the place and she's tossing aside the mangled wreckage of a solid oak chair. There's dead silence over the club for a moment or two.

    Then it's broken by a primal yell that sends my mind reeling and hurts my ears.

    "COME ON THEN!"

    She moves hellishly fast, ducking low and sinking a fist into a werewolf's gut. Bone cracks, and then blood gushes out in a red torrent, flooding the dance floor. Without missing a beat she grabs onto something inside her victim and lifts her up bodily before bringing her crashing down like a hammer onto another of her furred kin. Bones break with sickening force and I feel my gorge rise, but the sound snaps the werewolves out of their trance and they descend on Kristina in a howling pack.

    She backhands one and his neck twists so fast it snaps. A tooth flies behind the bar with me, but I ignore it, too engrossed by watching six-inch claws scrape against her leather jacket and throw up sparks from it like it's plate steel, not even leaving a scratch. She throws up her forearm to prevent one from biting her in the face and I watch as its fangs shatter against her jacket. A vicious twist breaks that neck too.

    She's laughing, as gleeful and carefree and terrifying as an avatar of Death.

    One of them tries to jump over her to get to me and she catches it by its ankles and slams it down into a steel table. The table and the werewolf's entire muzzle explode, showering blood and bits of bone around it, and she swings the corpse like a club to scatter the lycantheropes around her before throwing it out a window without even looking twice. Her foot snaps upwards and then stomps like she's kicking a door in and one of them catches it in the chest; the bones collapse, leaving a boot-shaped hole that wells with arterial blood.

    I vomit onto my shoes.

    There's not a lot of werewolves left at this point and the four that are still there look like they'd rather not do this. She doesn't give them a choice, feinting at one and then snapping a kick at another's crotch. As he doubles over in pain she drives her knee into his ribs, collapsing his entire right side and forcing him to cough blood. She drops the lycantherope and picks up a chair, hurling it at a lunging werewolf so hard it carries across the room and out of an unbroken window. The two that are left flee, and Kristina gives a savage yell of victory, a scream of triumph far, far older than civilized thought.

    After an eternity, she walks through the thickening pools of blood to me and offers me a hand. Numbly, I let her lift me out from behind the bar.

    "Sorry about that kid," she says very quietly, her voice hard, almost regretful. "I really wish you didn't have to see that."

    "Wh-who are you?"

    She looks away, not quite able to hide her shame. "They call me the Kinslayer, and right now, I'm your protector. Come on, we've gotta get cleaned up. The cops will be here soon."
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2012-04-20 at 12:06 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  19. - Top - End - #79
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lady Moreta's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Humph. I can't believe no one told me about this!

    *sulks*

    Yes, I am a grown woman. Yes, I am sulking.

    Maybe this will inspire me to finish the two or three snippets I have sitting on my hard drive. Either that or my brain will explode with the sheer volume of stuff to read...

    Thanks for sorting all the previous snippets Henry One correction if you don't mind... the campaign name for 'Silver and Co' is actually The Celadians . Thanks

    Wow, there's so many to read and comment on... *is overwhelmed*
    Last edited by Lady Moreta; 2012-04-21 at 03:00 AM.


    My Characters
    Spoiler
    Show

  20. - Top - End - #80
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Pssst....start with miiiiiiiiiiine!


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  21. - Top - End - #81
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    And I return once more to haunt the living...
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    Humph. I can't believe no one told me about this!

    …One correction if you don't mind
    Good to see both of you again! And corrected! I have some time today, so I'm hoping to get a few more pages of the first thread collected, as well.

    @Lord_Gareth
    Spoiler
    Show
    Long, dark red hair falling down to the middle of her back
    It was a little surprising to me that you could see her hair all the way down her back, if she's across the room, especially since we can't see what she's wearing until a little later.

    downing my Mountain Dew on the way over like it makes me look bad ass.
    This is great; it says so much about the who this speaker is and how he sees himself.

    "But my friends call me Pal."
    I was going to make a joke earlier when I didn't know his name and call him "Pal" since that's what Jack referred to him as. Heheh.

    getting up, grabbing me by the shoulders and depositing me roughly behind the bar.
    She's at a table, right? There's got to be some movement for her to get Pal behind the bar--does she carry him around it and plop him down, or is it more of a toss-over-the-bar situation?

    hurts my ears
    This feels kind of weak after "sets my mind reeling".

    *fight scene*
    I want a jacket like that

    Very enjoyable snippet. I'm wondering what Any and Jack were doing through all that, and what comes next. I'm hooked.


    Now off to update the compendium! Goal is to get through page 15 today.

    EDIT: omgomgomg. It is done! Please go check out my links to your stuff to make sure I've put everything in the right campaign, don't have broken links, and so on, because I'm sure I've screwed up a couple things here and there.
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-04-21 at 02:05 PM.
    Bored? Come for our stories; stay to share yours.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  22. - Top - End - #82
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Lord Henry:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Who is this?
    I forgot who said that, actually

    Really? This came as a surprise to me. Sure, he was part of the rescue party, but I wouldn't expect her to be "affectionate" toward him in any way. Especially since, from the descriptions we've seen, he's just a grody, lecherous priest.
    Perhaps 'affectionately' was too strong of a word. I was going for 'in a friendly manner' without so many words.


    @Lord Gareth:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I'm going out on a limb and guessing this is World of Darkness or one of the other White Wolf games, ya? Anyway, I thought it was fairly well-written overall. I liked the "bad werewolf flick" bit.

    One thing I found slightly strange was at the end. Pallas already knew the woman's name (Kristina), so why did he ask her "who are you?" at the end?


    As a small aside: Can this thread handle two lords?

    Anyhow, on with the next snippet!

    The Hair of the Dog
    Spoiler
    Show
    "You have rested eight hours. Healing spells cast until fully healed."

    "Shane, why do clerics have to be so obnoxious?" Fluffy grumbled as the group arose with the dawn.

    The skies were still clouded and gray, and the icy rain had yet to abate. After a meal of cold trail rations, they set off for the location where they had been ambushed by the wolf-creatures. There they came upon a corpse, but likely not the one they had been expecting.

    "Where did this elf man come from?" Fluffy asked.

    "Beats me," Shane replied with a shrug.

    "He still has loot," Ed informed them as he pocketed the dead man's belongings.

    The three debated on their next course of action, with many accusations being thrown at Fluffy for not being able to summon a creature that could track down Clarice.

    "It's not that I can't," the tibbet grumbled. "I simply refuse to stoop low enough to ask a dog for help."

    "Hey look!" Ed said excitedly. "I see a piece of Clarice's armor over there on the ground."

    He motioned for his companions to follow him off the road, where he stooped and picked up a scrap of red leather. Though tattered and bloody, it was still identifiable as a shoulder pad.

    "These things sunder?" Fluffy scoffed incredulously. "What a waste of time."

    "Regardless, it still gives us a direction to go," Shane replied.

    "Fifty gold says we have to rescue her sorry ass again," the tibbet grumbled as they entered the woods.

    "I don't mind saving her ass," the priest said with a cheesy grin. "Still, I put fifty on her being dead."

    They pressed on through the forest for many hours, occasionally finding another scrap of bloody armor or tunic. At one point they found a single white-blonde hair caught on a tree branch. It was clear that Clarice had not gone quietly.

    At last, the three adventurers came upon a small clearing with the ruined remains of a campsite. The ashes of a long-dead fire lay in the center of the clearing, a tent lay toppled over at the far end of the clearing, and Clarice's shredded and bloody equipment lay in a haphazard heap near the dead fire. Several empty potion bottles were scattered about the campsite. The Sunsword was stuck in the ground beside what little evidence remained of Clarice.

    However, their attention was immediately drawn to the two dead elves that occupied the camp. Their bodies had been savagely torn apart, and a carrion crow was already showing interest in the cadavers. The bird was perched on one of the elf's heads and was contentedly plucking loose bits of flesh from the corpse.

    "Any idea what happened here?" Fluffy asked.

    "I'll take a crack at playing Grissom," Shane chuckled. "Looks to me like Clarice killed one of the werewolves that was back on the road, and when he died he turned back into his normal form. The other two killed her and dragged her back here. After they ate her, some other beastie showed up looking for food. Since they were likely tired and injured after fighting Clarice, they couldn't put up much of a fight and got killed."

    "Nice theory," Fluffry replied, "but why didn't your other beastie eat the elf-wolves?"

    "Maybe it found chickens!" Ed declared.

    Suddenly, Fluffy arched his back and began to growl as he looked around suspiciously.

    "I hear something," the tibbet hissed.

    "You still owe me fifty gold," Shane said as he readied his mace and shield.

    Several tense moments passed as the three adventurers stood back to back, weapons and spells at the ready. When nothing happened, they relaxed once more.

    "It must not have been anything important," Ed said.

    "If it wasn't important, why did we make Listen checks?" Fluffy balked.

    "To keep us on our toes?" Shane suggested.

    Without warning, a white blur lunged down from the treetops and slammed into the priest, knocking him to the ground with the creature atop him. The pale furred wolf-creature was more lithe and lean than the ones that had attacked them before, but that did nothing to lessen its ferocity. It savagely tore into Shane with its teeth and claws.

    "Get it off me!" the priest screamed.

    "Don't worry," Ed shouted, "I'll stop the Warwick!"

    The wolf howled furiously at this remark. It rolled away from the Shane as Ed stabbed at it with his spear, then lunged at the rogue. It effortlessly avoided his second strike and sank its fangs into Ed's shoulder. It shook him savagely, then flung him into a nearby tree trunk. The rogue hit the tree with a sickening crack, fell to the ground, and did not get up again.

    "Nice job pissing it off," Shane grumbled as he staggered to his feet.

    "Prepare to meet your kitty doom!" Fluffy cackled as he called forth his horde of tabby cats.

    They swarmed over the wolf-beast's body, but the creature was not phased by the scratching and biting cats.

    "It has DR," Fluffy sobbed. "No fair ...."

    ***

    Spells were exhausted. Wands were depleted. The party had even tried melee combat. Shane had quickly stopped wasting healing spells on Ed in the battle against the wolf-creature. Every time the rogue would try to attack, an aura of flame would burst from the beast and harm him more than he could wound the foe. Ed had been left on the ground unconscious after the third time this occurred.

    "I suggest we run," Fluffy said. "Ed can roll up a wizard and we'll come back and kill this thing tomorrow."

    "I have a funny feeling neither the monster nor the Sunsword will still be here if we do that," Shane argued. "No, we have to see this through to the end."

    "Don't make this a total wipe," the tibbet grumbled.

    The wolf-creature snarled as Shane stepped forward, his mace and shield at the ready. Both combatants were weary from wounds, but nothing seemed to deter the beast from its assault.

    "What are you doing?" Fluffy asked incredulously.

    "I'm taking this thing down," Shane replied. "For honor! For glory! FOR THE PLOT!"

    The priest and the wolf crashed together in a flurry of fur and steel. Fluffy sat back and watched as the two combatants laid into one another with all they could muster. The sudden bursts of flame from the creature's body seared Shane's arms and face as he struck, but his mighty armor and shield stymied the beast's attacks. The priest's guard dropped for only a moment, but in that time the creature's claws tore through his breastplate and deep into his chest.

    "If you drop I'm leaving you here," Fluffy warned.

    "I figured you would," Shane grumbled, his body shuddering in pain.

    As the wolf reared back to deliver the final blow, Shane let out a mighty war cry and smashed his mace into the side of the creature's head with every last ounce of strength he had. The burst of fire from the creature's invisible aura blasted him back and he hit the ground hard. He did not get up again. The wolf-beast reeled from the blow, staggered dizzily, and let out a long howl.

    The howl slowly grew into a tortured cry of anguish as the creature shrank and contorted, its fur falling to the ground in clumps, giving way to the bronze skin beneath. The creature collapsed to the ground as the last of its pale fur fell away, revealing the naked and badly wounded form of a young woman.

    Fluffy stared at Clarice for quite some time to make sure that she did not get up again. At last, he began to search through Shane's belongings, hoping that the priest's wand of healing still had a few charges left.

  23. - Top - End - #83
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    As a small aside: Can this thread handle two lords?
    It's been able to handle a lord and a count, so why not?
    Am I insane? I merely see the shape of the world. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Malkavian avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    It's been able to handle a lord and a count, so why not?
    Well, Mr. Alucard, I believe it is because the thread is terrified of your vampiric power 'count' and 'lord' are completely different titles.

  25. - Top - End - #85
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    The last thread was home to at least four Lords, despite having only one Lady

    @SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    The three debated
    I would move this earlier. It's not obvious at the very start that Clarice is not with them, even though as a reader of your stories I know it's pretty likely It just felt a little awkward the way the information was presented, and I had to work harder than I would like to in order to make sense of the first couple paragraphs in terms of who was where and so on. Putting the "three" right at the start, the first time the "group" is mentioned, would clear all of that up.

    "I simply refuse to stoop low enough to ask a dog for help."
    Ahahaha. Perfect.

    "I'll stop the Warwick!"
    They're still doing this, are they?

    Very well done snippet. I love that the PCs wouldn't put two and two together "HMMM she was fighting werewolves and now they're dead and there's a different werewolf attacking us GOSH WHO COULD IT BE". One thing that bugged me was this moment:
    what little evidence remained of Clarice.
    If this is just referring to her gear, you should clarify that. I pictured a pile of bones as the "evidence". Something indicating that they couldn't actually find her body (even just "The other two killed her and dragged her back here. After they ate her, bones and all...") would help a lot, because the reader should be able to tell right away that the new werewolf is Clarice, even though the PCs couldn't. Also I don't know if we're supposed to know yet whether Clarice is still alive, but if she is, that could use some clarification as well (after all, he could just as well be looking for healing for the other party members).

    All in all, very good job on this one.
    Bored? Come for our stories; stay to share yours.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  26. - Top - End - #86
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    I love that the PCs wouldn't put two and two together "HMMM she was fighting werewolves and now they're dead and there's a different werewolf attacking us GOSH WHO COULD IT BE".
    I did try very hard in-game to get them to realize who it was. I had the piece of hair to remind them what her hair color was (I doubted they would have remembered). I was even describing the maneuvers and stances almost identical to how she had been using them prior. I guess it's a good thing we don't play Call of Cthulhu or they would never figure things out

    Also I don't know if we're supposed to know yet whether Clarice is still alive, but if she is, that could use some clarification as well (after all, he could just as well be looking for healing for the other party members).
    It was still up for debate at the time what they were going to do with her, so I intentionally left it with an ambiguous ending.

    All in all, very good job on this one.
    Thank you

  27. - Top - End - #87
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @LordHenry
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    It was a little surprising to me that you could see her hair all the way down her back, if she's across the room, especially since we can't see what she's wearing until a little later.
    Perhaps an error on my part, but I've done it myself before in IRL; the distance can make the, ah, 'fashion choices' a little indistinct. Especially if you're a hair guy.

    This is great; it says so much about the who this speaker is and how he sees himself.
    ^_^

    I was going to make a joke earlier when I didn't know his name and call him "Pal" since that's what Jack referred to him as. Heheh.
    Minor foreshadowing!

    She's at a table, right? There's got to be some movement for her to get Pal behind the bar--does she carry him around it and plop him down, or is it more of a toss-over-the-bar situation?
    The unceremonious dumping is an over-the-bar kinda thing. Will clarify that in the future.

    This feels kind of weak after "sets my mind reeling".
    Noted.

    I want a jacket like that
    100% Nemean Hide Jacket. Nemeans (named after the Nemean Lion) are animals warped by the cthonic power of the Titans, and are all gigantic, vicious, and nearly indestructible. Kristina killed a Nemean Rattlesnake with her bare hands, ripped the skin off with the same, and had the jacket mocked up by a dwarf that owed her a favor.

    Very enjoyable snippet. I'm wondering what Any and Jack were doing through all that, and what comes next. I'm hooked.
    You know, I kinda forgot about 'em myself, but if it makes you feel better they factor into zero further Kristina snippets. More will be coming ^_^


    @SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    I'm going out on a limb and guessing this is World of Darkness or one of the other White Wolf games, ya? Anyway, I thought it was fairly well-written overall. I liked the "bad werewolf flick" bit.
    Yeah, it's Scion, the unholy (and awesome) love child between World of Darkness and Exalted. You play the sons and daughters of classical pagan gods.

    One thing I found slightly strange was at the end. Pallas already knew the woman's name (Kristina), so why did he ask her "who are you?" at the end?
    Pal's question was more in reaction to the slaughter he'd just witnessed, a numb-struck attempt to reconcile the destruction of his entire worldview with what he'd just seen. "Who" came out instead of "what" but the question remained pretty fair, all in all.[/quote]


    Question: any impressions about Kristina from this snippet, either as a person or just as a combatant?


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Question: any impressions about Kristina from this snippet, either as a person or just as a combatant?
    Well as a combatant she's certainly... capable She seems to relish the combat itself, given this line: "She's laughing, as gleeful and carefree and terrifying as an avatar of Death." But the end suggests that there's more to her personality than that, especially since she's apparently feeling actual shame--about what specifically isn't obvious, but the two things that come to mind are either (A) not being able to protect Pal from the emotional scarring that was just inflicted on him, or (B) perhaps she's ashamed of her bloodlust itself, when she's not in the throes of combat. Since the shame line comes when Pal asks her whatwho she is, she's maybe also ashamed of her heritage/position as the Kinslayer.

    I did have another question that I forgot to mention in my first batch of comments--how was she doing lethal damage to all these werewolves without silver?
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-04-23 at 10:02 AM.
    Bored? Come for our stories; stay to share yours.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    I did have another question that I forgot to mention in my first batch of comments--how was she doing lethal damage to all these werewolves without silver?
    Like the World of Darkness, Scion's system measures three levels of damage - bashing, lethal, and aggravated. Having your health score filled up with bashing knocks you out, filled with lethal (potentially) to die, and aggravated is a certainty of death. While Werewolves in Scion do regenerate, they're still killed by a complete flow of lethal damage, and they take aggravated from silver attacks.

    With all of that said, those gloves Kristina wears were a gift from her father, Ares, and they convert her unarmed damage from bashing to lethal. Coupled with her insanely high Epic Strength (for damage) and Epic Dexterity (for accuracy) scores, she's more than capable of using them to blow holes out of plate steel, stop a speeding semi truck by punching it out, slaying a werewolf in one blow or, my favorite, go toe-to-toe with a dragon in a formal duel.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    And now for something different - a Skyrim snippet. Because, well, because I feel like it. That and I've been on a huge Skyrim kick lately. Warning - May contain dramatizations of events that occurred much more simply in-game.

    Pragmatism
    The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend

    Spoiler
    Show
    It's too damn cold here. It's too damn cold in this entire province. I want to go home, but I can't be caught trying to cross the border again.

    The damn Legionnaire is trying to talk to me. I guess I'd better pay attention.

    "Once more into the breach, eh Jalrissa?" he says as I creep up to his position behind a large stone. The fort we're supposed to be taking is ahead, up the mountain from us. His name starts with an 'H', I remember that much, but I wasn't paying much attention when I first met him and I've developed nothing but contempt for him since. I vaguely hope he dies so I can stop having to listen to him.

    "I suppose so," I say quietly. "The Legate said this one was going to be complicated. What do you have for me?"

    He points up the mountain, "Up that way is a grate that we think leads directly into the prisons. If you can get in there, you can take out the Stormcloaks inside and free the prisoners to coincide with our assault."

    Stealth. Finally, an Imperial who speaks my language. A ghost of a smile crosses my lips, making the man in front of me laugh lightly.

    "Are you ever going to wear your uniform, Jalrissa? All that black makes you look like some kind of assassin."

    The ghost of a smile broadens, "All the better to make those Stormcloaks fear me then, eh?"

    He gives me a nervous chuckle as I settle against the rock next to him and put on a blanket. He looks at me, puzzled, and says, "What do you think you're doing?"

    "Waiting until nightfall. Tell your men not to disturb me or I start cutting out tongues."

    Quickly and easily despite the cold, I drift off to sleep.

    * * * *

    I dream of fire, of the Sanctuary burning, of the screams of my Brotherhood. I can taste smoke and feel the sting of sword wounds and the hard, cold body of the Night Mother pressing against me as I shelter in her coffin like a rat.

    I am there, and I am elsewhere, opening the throat of the Oculus agent responsible for harming my brothers and sisters. As I send him into the Void, I feel a sense of cold satisfaction.

    I am on board the Emperor's sailing vessel, speaking to a man many would kill for just to get a chance to meet. I am here to kill him, and I am very surprised that he seems intent on letting me. He says that he knows the way of emperors and assassins. He asks me to kill the man who hired me.

    I am far away, in a cheap tavern in a strange city. My employer has just given me the payment I was promised, information on a dead drop containing twenty thousand septims. In return, I give him a knife, burying it to the hilt in his skull. The look of incomprehension on his face is curious, and I think about it for awhile.

    I am in the new Sanctuary, thinking about the nature of assassins, of law and order and the people whose place it is to oppose us. I hear one of the students complain bitterly about the Empire and I think.

    I am all of these places. I am none of them. Perhaps it is fitting that my dreams go dark places, or perhaps they are simply the only place outside of the Sanctuary where I can truly be honest. Perhaps they are a gift from Sithis. There is much I do not care to know.

    I am training an apprentice, and I have slapped her for speaking ill of the Empire. She looks at me with that same confused face I saw once before, and I say quietly to her, "Killers for hire do not thrive in states ruled by chaos. The Empire opposes chaos."

    Months later, I am in Solitude, the city that I have shamed so many times with my arts of stealth and murder. I am speaking to a man who knows me only as a prisoner lucky enough not to be executed. He is asking for my oath to serve the Emperor with my life. I say to him, "I swear," and incline my head with great solemnity. Perhaps I even mean it.

    * * * *

    My 'friend' shakes me awake. I restrain the automatic reflex to attack and open one eye to be sure it's him. The stars twinkle at me from the clear sky above. Damn, I'd been hoping for some cloud cover for this.

    "Try not to make any noise," he advises me, and I hold a hand up to silence him.

    "I trust you to do your job. Trust me to do mine," I say quietly as I get up into a low crouch. I stretch a little, staring at him with a flat expression, "An Imperial's idea of stealth is not blowing the horn before you fire the catapults, so I'm not about to take your advice on it."

    He chuckles, "Fair enough. How will we know the battle is joined?"

    I smile cruelly, "When they start noticing how many of them are already dead."

    * * * *

    It isn't much warmer in the prison than it is outside. Don't these damn Nords know how to build anything? I slip out of the grate tunnel and land silently on the stone floor, glad it isn't wood but cursing the fool that didn't include wood. Wood makes noise, helps you detect intruders. Whoever this architect was, I hope Sithis is tormenting him eternally.

    I draw my bow and string it quietly, then rest an arrow on the string. Padding quietly, I put my head around the corner and see two Stormcloaks standing at an idle guard on opposite sides of one room. I draw the arrow back smoothly, take aim, and let the string fall off of my fingers; the force of the shot sends the arrow into the soft, unprotected neck-flesh of one of the Stormcloaks, and he falls forward into a loose pile of straw.

    "I told you you shouldn't drink so much!" his companion exclaims in exasperation. When he goes over to help, another arrow sends him, too, into the Void. I move in closer, checking the corners of the room with a quick sweep of the eyes, and pluck the key rings from their waists, sliding both into pouches in my belt. Stairs invite me to move upwards, but I check the balconies first and find that my professionalism is rewarded - another Stormcloak is eating dinner at a table.

    My arrow pins the apple to the inside of his mouth, half-bitten and bleeding juice. The shot doesn't kill him, but choking out on his own blood and the fruit certainly does.

    I creep up the stairs and find a hallway with weapon racks and shelves bolted to the walls. Heading down it takes me to a storage room and a new set of stairs that goes downwards. I move down it patiently, careful to avoid crunching on the light snow that's blown inside onto it, and peer around the corner. A Stormcloak is almost on me, but I have enough time to draw my knife, rise, and drive it into his eye before he can react. I catch him before he falls and lower him gently to the ground before extracting my blade.

    I bent the tip. Damn. That's going to take forever to fix.

    There are no more guards that I can find, and the cells are just another room away, so I step through and begin unlocking the doors. "Didn't expect to see a Dunmer here," one of them quips, earning him a slap on the shoulder from me. I point to the racked weapons and armor and wait while the prisoners dress.

    "We're going to attack the fort from the inside," I explain quietly as they strap on the last of their armor. "You men punch through directly, I'll follow up behind and take out the archers on the walls. Stay quiet if you can. If you can't, at least be very loud. I can't survive being filled with holes any more than you can."

    They nod and we creep to the door of the fort, opening it gently and letting a harsh wind inside the prison. Of course, it's just our luck that one of the Stormcloaks is looking right at us and screams, "Prison break!" before one of my men sends him to the Void.

    "Kill them all," I say quietly before turning sharply left to do my job.

    * * * *

    Assassins cannot thrive in chaos.

    I take cover behind a crate and feel a barrage of arrows slam into it, but I can't reply because there are Stormcloaks on this side of the keep charging at me. I grit my teeth as a dozen blades converge on me, suck in a breath, and summon the power of the Thu'um within my blood. The dragon-tongue sings in my veins with addictive intensity, needing only the Voice to shape it, and I scream out the words of my intention - "Fus ro da!" The Shout picks up the Nords and hurls them off of the battlements, and I smile darkly as I hear bones snapping and the screams of dying men.

    I draw back on my bow, rise from cover, and snap a shot off. A helmeted Stormcloak from across the fort is very surprised as the arrow leaps into his eye-slit and ends his life, but I can't savor the kill because everything is moving much, much too fast. The attack on both fronts is filled with blood and gore and screams, and I can't process all of it at once. I sling my bow over my shoulders and draw my knives, feeling the comfort of their hilts in my hands. I roll forward to avoid a trio of arrows and come up behind a Stormcloak archer taking aim at one of my men. A quick push of the shoulder sends him tumbling down to the battle below, where he lands on one of his fellows. Both die instantly.

    Assassins do not thrive in chaos, because we require secrecy. Chaos makes secrecy irrelevant, puts all of your enemies out in the open. When 'do as thou wilt' is the only law, we wither and starve, a redundant service in a world where murder is only technically a crime. There is no secrecy on this battlefield, and it is no place for an assassin.

    I take an arrow in the shoulder and the force knocks me back. I go with it, let it spin me to the ground, and tear it out roughly. It hurts and sends bright spots swimming in front of my eyes, but I can't have it stuck in me when I drink my potion. The healing brew is bitter and foul but it works, staunching the flow of my life's blood and filling me with vigor. I crawl a few feet before springing up and sprinting along the wall. The Stormcloak I'm running at thinks I'm charging him and raises his shield to receive me, but I spin around him and sink my knife into the back of his neck, and I feel the Blade of Woe drink his life. I grab him and use his armored body to absorb a few more arrows and grit my teeth in angry rage.

    This is not what I am supposed to be doing, and these clumsy oafs may well be the death of me if I continue like this.

    "Lucien, kill them," I order harshly, and the ghost forms at my side. I point at the archers on the battlements and he nods once, charging forward in utter silence. I hop off of the battlement onto a stack of crates and from there leap onto the back of a charging Stormcloak. Two knives descend into either side of his neck, and I literally tear his throat out. Blood flies across the snow and is then lost in the crimson already painted all over the ground.

    * * * *

    I am no stranger to the scent of death but this isn't it. Death is a small, quiet smell - a coppery tang, mixed with the smells of the body's last few convulsions. This is not death. This is slaughter, a charnel house just like the last two forts I helped take. I look at my cheering men, and then look away. Their barbarism disgusts me.

    "Victory for the Empire, eh Jalrissa? Jal? Are you alright?"

    "I need to report," I reply, not looking at whatever-his-name is. "Hail the Emperor."

    As I walk away I hear his confused, "Hail the Emperor." He thinks I am his friend.

    I am the Listener. I have many things - a family, a Mother, a Lord, wealth, power, and allies.

    But I have no friends. Only allies, and tools. I have not hidden that fact from him, and his repeated attempts to be warm with me only confuse and frustrate me. I briefly consider killing him myself and weigh it against the oath I made to the General.

    I sheathe my blade and keep walking away. I need to set a good example, even if no one that matters can see me. Assassins cannot thrive in chaos, and discipline starts at the top.

    The night swallows me as I leave my men behind.
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2012-05-05 at 12:58 AM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •