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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: No Longer in Kansas - Episode 1

    At least the others were notably more competent in dispatching their foes. But among them most stood out Colin. Where Richard and Tobias downed foes with swords and spears, and Eris called upon some unearthly green fire to smite their enemies, Colin had none of that. He was just laying into the armored spearmen with fists, and those fists were literally crushing armor. Not long after, one of the lizard men spoke, calling his state a blood rage.

    "A blood rage? What is that?" She would ask aloud. The rage part was obvious. But perhaps in this weird ass-backwards world it had some very specific menaing. But she chose to take some steps away from Colin, considering it very much a good idea to not intervene.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    So please, by Anthony Bourdain's left nut, do not call gravy blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    the only way to get it into space was to build the atmospheric stages on top of it like a 400-ton hat made of fire and structural inadequacy.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    The two surviving groups edge back, leaving the space around Collin and the final spearman free. The reptilian creatures huddle together a short distance from you, keeping a wary eye on Tobias' large spear... and on Eris as she watches them.

    Collin's heavy punch drives his fist into the rocky earth, and he struggles for a moment to free it. The spearman's eyes had followed the punch, and it seems to make a decision. Its spear turns a quick spin around it, ensuring it is clear of tentacles, and it takes one careful step back before turning and dashing away. It is still eerily silent for a creature encased in metal armour, making almost no noise as it runs.

    "Watch," the bloody-snouted reptile says as it gestures towards the raging man. Collin's eyes narrow as his prey flees, and he turns towards the rest of the group for a moment. The narrowed eyes catch you more strongly than the blood or swollen muscles. His eyes are full of rage, hatred, and contempt. For some of you, it is a deep relief when his gaze discards you as not a threat. As he turns back towards the fleeing spearman he begins to smile and you shiver, as it is the smile of a madman, of a sociopath... it is the smile of a cat playing with a doomed mouse.

    In a burst of concentrated violence Collin covers the distance to his prey in a flash, knocking it down with a heavy shoulder to its back. He leaps up and lands on his toy, breaking an arm and a leg with the impact. He punches down once, twice... each punch accompanied by a clear *snap* as the collar bone and pelvis of the spearman shatter. Finally, Collin gathers the limbs into his hands and with a sudden rolling lunge fling he sends the body soaring back towards the group. It lands with a heavy clatter and a barely heard whimper as life finally leaves the body.

    "That is blood rage." Collin surges back towards the group, his focus now on the fallen spearman. Fifty feet... fourty feet... thirty... twenty... you all tense as this semblance of rage and violence charges towards you. Fifteen feet... ten feet... and he stumbles, suddenly shrinking and becoming familiar once more.
    My Homebrew (current):
    Mythos Class - Eoteras

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    No Longer in Kansas (3.5, Mythos): IC OOC
    Hell's Rebels (Pathfinder): IC OOC

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Sarah forced herself to watch the whole gruesome spectacle. She wanted to know exactly what Colin was capable of. All too soon, that wish got granted. Sarah had no trouble choosing her next wish: To never be anywhere near Colin ever again. Alas, that one fell flat. Short of running away (admittedly a tempting option), she was stuck with him. The terrified woman sought aid from the tentacled reptile people. They were far less scary than Colin.

    "I-Is there a cure?"

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    She resumed retreating away from Colin's rage, unwittingly following Sara's lead and taking refuge among the lizardmen while she watched the... event unfold. By all reason, it was horrifying to watch, but she couldn't avert her eyes. Something was just... different of him, something that she couldn't chalk up to just rage alone. While on one hand this did remind her somewhat of IED, that could only account for his sudden shift into anger. Not so much for those eyes that looked like they wanted to tear down all creation out of spite, or that grin, or the clearly superhuman levels of strength.

    "The human body can achieve momentary feats of strength one would consider impossible, but even that's only momentary, connected to situations that invoke a fight or flight response, and are almost always damaging to the body itself." Julia pondered to herself, somewhat worried in how the pieces didn't fit together. That was something she could piece together later, as Colin seemed to be coming back. For a moment the doctor prepared to run, the possibility that the male had acquired a new target for his seeming newfound bloodlust very much present in her head. But then, just as soon as the rage had started, it ceased. And with that, also came a physical change. Curious.

    But once again, that was something of little relevance. They were alive, and their would-be captors were either dead or unconscious. while having a captive who to question would certainly be helpful, she had... other bits of curiosity that she could hopefully sate here and now. Walking over to the spearman that Richard had felled, Julia would crouch down next to it and pulled out a dagger. She then began looking for any straps that might be holding the armor together. "Can someone lend me a hand with this?" she would call out to the rest, before resuming her attempts in peeling the armor off the slain foe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    So please, by Anthony Bourdain's left nut, do not call gravy blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    the only way to get it into space was to build the atmospheric stages on top of it like a 400-ton hat made of fire and structural inadequacy.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    The reptile pauses before answering to lick its muzzle clean of blood and then spit to one side (a feat accomplished by curling its tongue and blowing). "You fear your friend? This is not right. The Rage is fearsome surely, but dangerous to your enemies and his, not to you! Just do not challenge it when it is hot, and you are safe!" It chirrups, a sound much like laughter. "Better than safe, for your enemies will surely be very afraid, and then very dead! Just like these puppets."

    ~~~

    Julia, on inspecting the body you immediately notice that whatever type of creature it was, its flesh had swollen out and around each plate and strap of the armour! It occurs to you that this may be why they made so little sound despite the mass of their armour. You dig your knife in near one strap, and the body shifts slightly, the motion followed by a rattle of metal on metal. You immediately notice that the flesh had retracted from around the metal, granting you easy access.
    My Homebrew (current):
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    "That's...nice to know. But I don't actually want every fight to end with murder. What if we need to take prisoners? What if the 'enemy' is just some drunkard who threw a punch? So if you know of some way to snap him out of the 'blood rage', please tell us."

    So apparently the rage wouldn't cause him to turn against allies. That at least provided some comfort. Sarah didn't have to worry so much about her own safety. Still, she was very concerned about the safety of others. They had to find some way of quelling Colin's wrath. Because otherwise, he was going to end up doing something unforgivable.
    Last edited by Anyr; 2017-06-13 at 03:58 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Richard interestedly looks at Julia's attempts to pry apart the armor, assisting her where needed. He's more than a little disturbed to see the bulging mass of flesh inside. As a person trapped in a suit of armor, it seemed just a little to plausible a fate for himself.

    Driven by a morbid curiosity, the man tries to remove the plating surrounding the wounds his sword made. Though the gashes would undoubtedly be unpleasant, perhaps something could be learned from it.

    "This... You're the doctor, Julia. What do you think about this?"

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    Going to examine both the surface wounds and the inside of the body as far as it's visible. Specifically, I'd like to confirm there's actual organs in here, rather than just lumps of flesh.
    Gold: the color of lawful neutrality.

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  8. - Top - End - #128
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Eris

    As Colin's rage dissipates Eris lets go of a breath she wasn't aware she was holding. The tension of the fight left her and she suddenly felt very drained.
    "Let's just hope these creatures prove trustworthy. I can't handle much more of this."
    The sudden violence and brutal murder was slowly catching up to her and while she had handled herself during the battle, Eris did not like the thoughts and feelings that had risen at the time.

    She hesitates for a moment, but as the rest of the group gathers around their prisoner she walks over to Colin. Eris hesitates for a moment before reaching out and putting a hand on his shoulder.
    "Hey." She says in a low voice. "How do you feel?"
    Geyr nú Garmr mjök
    fyr Gnipahelli,
    festr mun slitna
    en freki renna
    Now Garm howls loud
    before Gnipahellir
    The fetters will burst,
    and the wolf run free

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Seconds stretch to eons as the anger vents itself, blood pounds in Colin's ears and the world is suddenly sharply delineated between enemy/not enemy. He feels his body surge after the fleeing spearman, watches with a detached exultation as his hands break the thing that dared attack them, then hurl the quivering pile of meat back to join its fellows in death.

    Revelling in this newfound power, his eyes cast about for the next threat; settle on the fallen man at Tobias' feet.
    It still breathes. Why does it still breathe?

    He runs towards it, not even noticing Tobias' body language this time. All he sees is the one... that...

    The rage recedes from him suddenly, as if someone opened his belly and drained it from him in a hot, red torrent. The strength drains from his limbs and he stumbles, goes to his knees and then all fours, and the total absence of the fury that drove him leaves him instead weak and gasping. In his mind's eye, he begins to see great fists driving through steel and bone once more. He trembles there, trying to regain his breath, the conversation around him no more than a buzz.

    The cold hand on his shoulder brings him back to the present for a moment.
    "Hey. How do you feel?"
    He looks up at the pale woman, terror and grief written all over his face, then looks over the group again as they start examining the bodies.
    "I... What just..?"
    He sees the naked fear on Sarah's face as she glances down at him, seemingly talking with one of the lizards, and it's the last straw.

    Sinking down to his elbows, he buries his head between his arms to hide silent tears.

    What is happening to me?
    A one worm armoury. Proficient with none of it.

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  10. - Top - End - #130
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    The docotor jolted at the sudden movement of the flesh that was supposed to be dead, said movement prompting her to almost instinctively jam the knife inbetween the armor plates. Welp, not like it really helped, but maybe it wouldn't do that... thing again.

    Richard was gracious enough to aid her, the doctor's scrawny arm finding themselves struggling a bit with hefting the heavy plate after the straps had been cut, but with his aid the plate was moved. Her left hand, the one less stained by gore at this point, came up to her chin. Interesting. The body proportions seem... human." She would speak, slowly, whle her other hand came onto he exposed chest, pressing against the ribcage through the tissue. "Bones, at least on the ribcage feels thinner than the average human." She then leaned in closer to examine the skin. "Skin around the area where it touched the armor appears to be unharmed, minus the part where either you or I introduced external trauma. But how is that possible?" Julia would again continue, before pausing. Her eyes narrowed, forehead scrunching up the slightest bit.

    "The skin was previously swollen up to and around the metal of the armor. Something like that should quickly lead to chafing, abrasions, and ultimately open sores. And unless I remember wrong what my history teacher explained about armor like this, wearing armor like this would quickly lead to the wearer getting both hot and sweaty." Once again she paused for a moment to take a breath, raising herself away. "And you probably don't need me to tell you that warmth and humidity in the presence of open wounds would be a bad thing. But no such wounds seem to be present..." She would trail off, before her left hand raised from her chin to her forehead, her fingers rubbing her temples as she groaned out in frustration.

    "It doesn't make sense. This goddamned thing should be covered in open sores all over. The only way I could see this working is either a) the skin is stupidly resistant to friction and other forms of mechaincal stress that it should constantly exposed to, or b), the tissue itself is somehow able to reduce said mchincal stress, perhaps by exuding some form of lubricant."
    Her hands then raised up, turning palm up as she shrugged, simultaneously shaking her head. After said shrug, her hands crossed lightly scorss her chest, but she continued to shake her head for a little longer.

    Julia then turned her head so she could address the rest of the group. "I hope the rest of you aren't against the idea of taking one of these things along. I'd like to get a better look at what's inside them, but I think here and now is hardly the best time. Any objections?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    So please, by Anthony Bourdain's left nut, do not call gravy blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    the only way to get it into space was to build the atmospheric stages on top of it like a 400-ton hat made of fire and structural inadequacy.

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: No Longer in Kansas - Episode 1

    "Can we get this guy out of his armor first? I'm already lugging around one suit, and while I think I can handle a bit more it'd sure be nice if I didn't have to lift more than necessary."

    Richard already crouches down near the unconscious armored individual, trying to force the armor plates apart so that they can be removed.
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    The helmet of the unconscious spearman comes off easily enough, though it is heavily dented from Tobias' mighty blow. Where the helmet would sit against the breastplate you can see that the skin has swollen up to provide a barrier between the two surfaces. The skin there is heavily calloused and thick, but doesn't show any particular signs of wear. It's head and face are slightly smaller and more delicately featured than yours, with faintly elevated cheekbones and small epicanthic folds at the corners of the eyes. Shoulder length hair of a mousy brown color covers the head, and is the only part to show signs of wear, matted with sweat and blood from the impact.

    You manage to cut the straps of the rest of the armor if you use a blade, although you do some damage to the skin of the unconcious creature. It groans, but does not gain consciousness.
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  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Eris

    As Colin looks up at her Eris is suddenly reminded of how utterly alone they are in this strange world. A few humans stranded in a place none of them could ever have imagined just a day earlier. The pained expression in his face breaks something in her and she can feel hear eyes tearing up. She falls to her knees and wraps her arms around Colin.
    "It's over now, all over. Breathe. Relax." She tries to follow her own advice while watching Julia investigate the fallen spearman in the corner of her eye.
    Geyr nú Garmr mjök
    fyr Gnipahelli,
    festr mun slitna
    en freki renna
    Now Garm howls loud
    before Gnipahellir
    The fetters will burst,
    and the wolf run free

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    The doctor would only shake her head again. It just didn't make sense. And she had a feeling that that was going to be something of a theme right now, and probably also for some time to come. Assuming they'd live to see tomorrow at least. Julia shook her head one more time, letting out a small frustrated sigh before she stood back up.

    Turning to face the group proper, she found her attention drawn to Colin, who, if she'd have to wager a guess, had probably just come to realize what he had done. In fact, he seemed quite upset. Very upset would actually describe it better. Eris was already in the process of trying to calm him down, though she herself also seemed like she'd not gotten through this unshook. But the same could be said of... all of them, herself included. Honestly, she was still trying to process all that, but she kept that emotional turmoil to herself for the time being. It was hard enough for all of them as is, she didn't want to burden them further with her own emotional baggage right now.

    Slow steps carried her over to Eris and Colin. Her right hand, the one she'd seemingly forgotten was still quite thoroughly stained with gore, rises up before coming down again to give the man a gentle pat on his back. "It's..." She began, but paused immediately. What was she supposed to say? With as much an emotional mess as she was inside at that moment, thinking... Straight was harder than one might imagine. "It's gonna be alright." She finally blurted out, before her patting hand retracted. It really wasn't much, but maybe even a little could offer the man some measure of comfort.

    That done, she then walked over to where the unconscious spearman was, its face exposed. Again, human-esque, but with some details off, most notably the skin, again. Without getting a chance to examine them with greater time, the most she could do is blindly throw theories at the wall without being able to know if something sticks. But maybe someone else could...

    Her attention turned to the lizard creatures now, specifically the one that had explained about Colin's "Blood Rage". "Can you tell us what these... things are?" She would ask of it, one hand gesturing toward the dead foes that lay upon the ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    So please, by Anthony Bourdain's left nut, do not call gravy blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    the only way to get it into space was to build the atmospheric stages on top of it like a 400-ton hat made of fire and structural inadequacy.

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Colin shudders under the feeling of arms wrapping around him, a hand patting his back. The human contact seems to soothe him, though. After a moment, he scrubs a meaty forearm across his face - probably not a great idea, in hindsight, as it leaves it streaked with blood and worse - and sits back on his heels.

    "Thanks," he says quietly, offering a sad smile to the two women. He stands up slowly, rubbing his hands on the increasingly torn remnants of his trousers in an attempt to clean them.

    "I think we're going to need to talk about what just happened," he continues. "But maybe it can wait until a bit later?"

    He wanders over towards the rest of the group, where they are examining the spearman he'd only moments before felt an overwhelming urge to crush to a pulp. A little guiltily, he asks, "Is he still alive?"
    A one worm armoury. Proficient with none of it.

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  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Julia's question brings the party's attention back to the other group of strange creatures that you have encountered. Of the six small reptilian humanoids, four have spread out and appear to be keeping watch at the cardinal directions, their tentacles waving gently and their hands hovering near small axes at their hips. The fifth is making its way up the nearest hill, and the sixth is waiting patiently, eyes following each of you as you examine the remains of your first conflict.

    Its snout lifts slightly when Julia addresses it. "They are puppets of the queen. Fools who chose peace and unity over freedom. They deserve nothing more than they have received, for the crimes of the queen lie with each of them." It is clear when it speaks that the capital "Q" is omitted from "Queen", and its voice is full of contempt. "Do what you will with the bodies, but do it swiftly."
    My Homebrew (current):
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    No Longer in Kansas (3.5, Mythos): IC OOC
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Sarah finally felt able to take her eyes off Colin. His rage had fully abated. What's more, he seemed so very remorseful. The nice, considerate guy she'd met before was back. The question was, how long would he stay? For the moment at least, Sarah had the chance to do something other than cower. All this talk of the Queen (or 'queen') reminded her of a very important fact: That these fallen foes had been part of an army. Instead of worrying so much about Colin, maybe she should focus on befriending some allies. With a smile that was (hopefully) more friendly than nervous, Sarah gave a belated greeting to the strange saviours.

    "Erm, we haven't had the chance for proper introductions yet. I'm Sarah Williams. Thanks very much for helping us. Do you know of a safe place where we can hide from the queen? I understand completely if you don't want to reveal the location of your own home. Even simple directions to neutral turf would be much appreciated."

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Well, that certainly could have been more helpful. What the lizardman had to offer in response to her question seemed to reveal more of the lizardfolks disposition toward the spearmen, than of the spearmen themselves. Still, taking a moment to consider what had been said, the proverbial lightbulb would light up above Julia's head, the doctor believing to have gleamed something of actual use from this. Or a theory at least.

    "Would I be anywhere near the truth if I were to assume you meant something like a... What's the word? Hive mind? She would asked, before pausing, giving herself a small nod, that seemed like a reasonable explanation. that said, on other thing the lizard had said had raised another question. "And, if you don't mind me asking further, what are the crimes of this queen you speak so poorly of?" She would ask, trying to be careful with her tone when referring to this queen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    So please, by Anthony Bourdain's left nut, do not call gravy blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    the only way to get it into space was to build the atmospheric stages on top of it like a 400-ton hat made of fire and structural inadequacy.

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    The reptilian creature tips its head to the side as it listens to Sarah, gazing at her with eyes that do not seem to track or respond in the way a mammal's should.

    "I am Garan, Shaper of the Free Tribes. Our home is in the shadows of the Forest, where we are protected from the eyes of the queen. Neutral... these hills soaked in blood and littered with lost souls is neutral.
    I would not stay here, though. They do not lie quiet. Perhaps you could..."
    it cuts off as a series of sharp barks and chirrups echo down from the top of the hill.

    The creature's head, shoulders, tail, and tentacle all droop. Quietly, it says: "No, it cannot be.
    So many... so much..."
    It shakes itself, and looks around to the group, raising its voice. "We are safe now, and in grievous peril. Gather your kills, you will come to the Forest. No more death, today."

    The creature that had gone up the hill stumbles back down, falling to its knees near to Garan. Garan lays a hand on the nape of its neck as they watch you. After a moment of silence, Garan turns back to Julia. "The queen can see through, and speak through, any of her chosen at will. They say that it is blissful agony. Her crimes are to numerous, too varied to count now, out here. My people have lost a mighty victory today. We must flee the site of our victorious loss."
    My Homebrew (current):
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    No Longer in Kansas (3.5, Mythos): IC OOC
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  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Sarah followed the strange creatures without complaint. They'd lingered here too long already. More of the Queen's soldiers could show up at any moment. Sarah hadn't even been a match for one of those things. If she was going to survive this world, she needed all the allies she could get. Her gaze shifted back to Colin. That man terrified her. But the thought of being alone scared her even more.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Eris

    As Colin stands back up Eris steps back from him, warily.
    "Sure." She replies to his request. "Let me know whenever you want to talk."

    She follows the man back to the rest of the group, arriving in time to hear the exchange between Julia, Sarah and Garan.
    The absolute autocracy. No wonder these creatures resist... If they speak the truth. Hive-minds, what will come next? Dragons?
    Last edited by fire_insideout; 2017-06-21 at 03:24 PM.
    Geyr nú Garmr mjök
    fyr Gnipahelli,
    festr mun slitna
    en freki renna
    Now Garm howls loud
    before Gnipahellir
    The fetters will burst,
    and the wolf run free

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: No Longer in Kansas - Episode 1

    The frequent use of contradictions by the tentacled creature bothers Richard: was it deliberately speaking strangely, or was their mastery of this language not as perfect as the mysterious voice would have them believe?

    There were more important things to do now, though. He still wanted to learn more about the only other cases of armor-inescapableness he'd seen so far, but if that tyrant could really see through each of her subj... slaves, bringing one along may not be the wisest thing.

    Richard rapidly strides towards the leader of those freaky reptile-guys.

    "Hey, sir... Goreng? I was wondering, is it safe to take that knight back with us?"
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  23. - Top - End - #143
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    what she saw in the lizard-man, Garan, as it had introduced itself, was worrisome to say the least. Part of what it said made no sense to her. Supposedly they were safe, yet in grievous peril. Still, she couldn't disagree with the idea of getting somewhere safer, but that didn't mean she'd so willingly give up their "catch" either. With one hand she would grab part of the sleeve on her shirt, before biting and tearing some of the fabric with her teeth. She winced while doing so, damn that hurt. "Keep it together girl. Keep it together, damnit.".

    She continued with her fingers what she began with her teeth, tearing free A fairly wide strip of fabric, before then tearing that strip again lengthwise. Hearing Richard ask on whether it was safe to take the survivor with, she would asume the two of them were on the same page. She would tie the two strips of fabric together into one long strip before walking over to the unconscious, and wrapping the fabric band around its eyes. "Hopefully that' will reduce the problem at the very least." She would say, giving the ends of the fabric one last tug to make sure it was (hopefully) secure.

    "Might I suggest we get moving? We can strip the survivor and that corpse of armor while on the move." She wopuld say, gesturing toward the corpse from which she'd already stripped the chestpiece.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    So please, by Anthony Bourdain's left nut, do not call gravy blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    the only way to get it into space was to build the atmospheric stages on top of it like a 400-ton hat made of fire and structural inadequacy.

  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: No Longer in Kansas - Episode 1

    "Thanks, Eris. I will. I think I just need to get a bit of distance from it first."

    Colin moves over towards Garan. His brain is still processing the fact that he is about to talk to a small talking reptile with a tentacle growing out of its shoulder. Yesterday, that would have sounded like he needed to be committed for his own safety. He squats back on his heels to bring himself down to eye level and extends his hand.

    "Thank you, Garan," he replies. "You risked your own lives for ours and continue to do so. I hope I can repay that debt one day."

    He glances over at the wounded soldier the others have been examining and his expression changes from relief and gratitude to an agony of indecision.

    "If this queen can see through his eyes... well, we can't take him with us."
    A one worm armoury. Proficient with none of it.

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  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Default Re: No Longer in Kansas - Episode 1

    Garan looks between the three, reaching out and taking a knee itself before Colin.

    "It is we who owe thanks, Fury. Without you, our task would have been much challenge.
    As for this one,"
    Garan stands and kicks the fallen spear-man, "your friend has the right idea. Bind its eyes. We have taken prisoners before, we know how to manage. We do need to make haste, though. Be quick, gather what you need, and we will leave."
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  26. - Top - End - #146
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    In a short time the Free Tribesmen, led by Garan, assist you all in loading the corpse and the captive onto the travois. Once all is set, the Tribesmen form up around you and start heading out. For some time, the path the set doesn’t fully crest any of the hills, tending to rise and fall with the slopes without ever coming in risk of real visibility.

    The Tribesmen are quiet as they walk, their eyes scanning the surrounds for movement and their tentacles lashing slightly in the air. They pay no attention whatsoever to the captive, leaving the travois to be pulled by your stronger companions. Those who look can see that there is both sorrow and worry in the eyes of these new allies. It is not until your path finally crests a hill that you realize why.

    The position of the sun now suggests that you have been moving east, as your shadows stretch out in front of you. East and south lies your path, across the hills towards the dark expanse of what you now understand to be the forest. To your right, due south where you briefly witnessed the clashing of two immense forces now lies carnage and ruin. Twisted and tangled bodies abound, both of the uniform metal stature of the Queen’s Army and of the myriad shapes of the Free Tribes warriors. The dead are beyond counting, entire hillsides soaked with blood and bile. A choked sound escapes one of your guides, the sound of grief being held back until it is safe.

    Garan turns to you from his position in the lead of the group. “My people won a great victory here. The army of the Queen is destroyed. But our strength... our strength is ruined. My brothers and sisters, in all their variety, dead. Scattered, left for the evil of these hills to take and corrupt! We have won a great victory, but it may be the death of us all.” His voice is hoarse and broken, and he turns away from you for a moment. “We shall rest here briefly, I know some of you are not used to this pace and these hills. Rest, and witness the doom of my people.”
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  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: No Longer in Kansas - Episode 1

    The journey was almost peaceful. The beautiful surroundings helped take the edge off Sarah's fear. There were certainly worse places to be trapped in. She even gave a few involuntary giggles, as the grass tickled her sandalled feet. With a thought, the gaps in said sandals were covered by clumps of earth. Strange how natural that ability felt now. Her improvised armour wasn't stifling at all. Sarah's formerly terrible mood gradually improved...

    ...until the battlefield appeared. Then everything came crashing down.

    "This...this is..."

    Sarah couldn't even finish that sentence. Her thoughts spiralled down the metaphorical plughole. Human minds weren't meant to comprehend death on this scale. She was dimly aware of Garan telling her to rest. Her body took that as permission to collapse. Sarah sank down onto the hillside once again. Maybe this time, she wouldn't get up again.

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    She found herself panting. Julia had considered herself to be in... decent physical shape, jogging regularly, and visiting the gem semi-regularly. Maybe it as the terrain, or maybe it was the armor she now wore, combined with the weight of her backpack and everything in it. Regardless, whatever the reason may be, it was tiring her out.

    Though usually rather observant, the doctor seemed consumed over the thought of sanctuary, over the thought of being able to sit down for a moment and think through the backlog of... everything on her mind in peace, that the plight of the lizardmen went unnoticed. As they rose up another hill, she would notice the look on one of their faces, her attention having been momentarily interrupted by...something. "Are they hiding something? Troubling." She would think to herself, a little wary still of these creatures, even if their intentions had proven pure thus far.

    A pang of guilt would hit her over this suspicion when they rose atop the hill, said guilt almost immediately replaced by sheer horror over the scene that opened up before them. A choked gasp escaped her, getting caught up in her throat along the way. Her hands came up to her mouth. "Oh God..." One could perhaps just hear her whimpering behind the hands. Her mind tried to comprehend the sheer scale of everything, and promptly locked up as a result. She didn't notice when she went weak at the knees, nor when she just fell, knees buckling beenath her, the woman falling into a sitting position. This was all the queen's doing, Wasn't it?

    For the next few moments, a few lines of thought would process to completion. Some of them understandable ones. Notions of how unforgivable something like this was, general sadness over the loss. But then there were... others. Lines of thought that to a normal mind would seem alien. Some rather powerful looking muscles on that slashed-in-half tentacle. She could probably use that heart for something. What possibilities could she have with that marvelous strip of skin over there? Somewhat thankfully perhaps, in her current state of mind, she seemed to simply not notice these alien thoughts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    So please, by Anthony Bourdain's left nut, do not call gravy blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    the only way to get it into space was to build the atmospheric stages on top of it like a 400-ton hat made of fire and structural inadequacy.

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Richard watches the battlefield silently, his face-concealing helmet quiet and unmoving.
    Gold: the color of lawful neutrality.

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  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Default Re: No Longer in Kansas - Episode 1

    Colin looks at the battlefield with a mixture of horror and grim fascination. Of all the crazy things that have happened since he got here, this is almost the most familiar - if only from films, and only if you don't look too closely at the combatants. Still, it's very different to see in person.

    He rests a large hand on Garan's shoulder and squeezes gently.
    "I'm sorry that this happened," he says. "It sounds like they deserved better."

    He pauses for a moment, seemingly unsure of how to proceed, before continuing.

    "Forgive me for intruding on your grief, but what evil are you referring to, and in what way does it corrupt? There's a lot about your world that seems out of the wildest stories in ours."
    A one worm armoury. Proficient with none of it.

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