The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    ylvathrall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Ivar finds nothing of note in the other building, no signs of struggle, only the message "please let me go" scrawled on the kitchen wall in charcoal, over and over and over.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "Found nothing but scrawls," said Torson upon returning from the building. "Folks musta been in agony with their minds going." He fought down a sudden shudder of rage. There had been children in this village!

    "I'm agreeable with your watch plan," he said calmly. "I only need two hours. You pick when I sleep. In bat aspect I got pretty fair darkvision so I'll be reliable for shooting all night. I can keep searching buildings if you want, or I can lend a hand laying fires."
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    BarbarianGuy

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    "That's a good idea Azar. Since Torson doesn't need to sleep that much, how about Steve and I can take the first shift? That way, Torson will be fully rested for the remainder of the night. We can swap off about every 2 hours from there."

    "We should be all set here Torson. I think we still have some time, let's try to find some of the abandoned shops. Perhaps they have something to help fortify us even more."
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Ivar Torson thought heavily as he trotted down the lane, looking for shops of various kinds.

    He had seen something of fighting in the jungle, in the desert and in the mountains. Properly outfitted and prepared, the three of them could have held off forty or fifty men behind a rampart, but they were not prepared, and what they were fighting was not men. Probably.

    They couldn't prepare an ambush as in the jungle, or stand behind fortifications like in the mountains. That left the open style of battle preferred in the desert. Torson felt a little more relieved. He had grown up fighting in the desert.

    Their ring of fires could be evacuated easily in any direction, and a flying lancer should be able to attack all around easily. The only thing they really had to worry about was being swamped by all sides, at once, by overwhelming numbers, but Torson thought if the enemy could have pulled that off, they'd have done it to the Third Victorious team. And they hadn't; they'd worn them down piecemeal.

    Good. That meant skirmishes at night with manageable numbers of foes, and he and Dandolin could heal by magic. Maybe he could find some more potions of Lightwounds. Torson felt a little better about the coming night.

    Then Torson remembered holy water, and started to look for a temple or shrine in the village.
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Torson finds three holy places in the city. The shrine of Kimiko carefully hidden in the basement of a house can be dismissed out of hand, as it certainly wouldn't have holy water. The public temple of Kveld doesn't have any, it having apparently been taken for use before. However, the small shrine of Cassione tucked away at the edge of the forest proves to have four vials of it hidden under the altar, along with a pair of potion vials marked with the glyph for healing.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Torson notes the irony of finding such a haul in the shrine of a Luck deity.

    Then he thinks, what if it isn't irony? Arash knows there are other deities operating out there.

    He takes out his adamantine dagger and cuts off his braided mustache as an offering of respect for this good fortune, and lays the plaits on the altar of the shrine to Cassione.

    Then he fills his arms with bottles and returns to his companions to share the blessing.
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    As the afternoon began to grow dimmer, Azar started shivering. Mentally, he tried to psych himself up, but he couldn’t deny that he was scared. The last time he had encountered the entities in the forest, he had made it out alive, but not much more than that. He still didn’t know what happened to his mind while he was in the forest; he just had the feeling that something had changed within him. Not knowing what the shadows were scared him, but not knowing what had happened to him scared Azar more. As the sky got redder and redder, he pushed such doubts out of his mind, to the best of his abilities, and steeled himself for what was going to be, inevitably, a long, long night.
    Chaotic Good, probably

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    The group settles in, fires lit and weapons readied, for the night. Ivar takes the first rest period, while Dandolin and Azar stay up to keep watch.

    It doesn't take long for them to see something. An hour past sunset, shadowy figures begin swaying out of the forest on all sides. Most of them look like dark, insubstantial versions of human villagers, but a few are more monstrous. A wolf-like humanoid made of darkness. A tiny winged creature, a fey of some type it seems, with dragonfly-wings of gossamer shadow. A giant bear next to a dozen squirrels. All of them seem to stare fixedly at the trio in the ring of flame, the weight of their attention a palpable, hostile presence. Not counting the squirrels, there are perhaps fifteen of the shadowy figures.

    Spoiler: Ivar Torson
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    Your dreams are haunted with spectral images. Your mother scolds you for leaving your shoes on in the tent, then turns into a shadow-figure and screams "I WANT TO GO HOME" before tearing out your throat. In the blood, you see an image which turns into your new surroundings, a cavern full of writhing serpents. As one, they turn to you, biting and tearing. The venom burns in your veins, then turns cold, and you are upside down in a river, and you. Are. Drowning. You take a deep breath of water and your lungs catch fire down in the dark and the cold, and you choke and cough and suddely you are dancing in the dark, and there is a figure woven of shadow and nightmare dancing with you, and it is your friend and you are its puppet and everything is right with the world.

    Roll a Will save. This is a mind-affecting effect.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Dandolin clutches her lance as she stares at the group, She doesn't know why, but she is surprised the shadows showed up already. Deciding not to let them terrify her, she has Steve come close to the fire, both her lance and his stinger at the ready in case of trouble. "If there is something you blokes want, quit staring like fools and speak up, or else leave us be. I've got no patience for anyone who stands around with their thumb up their ads."
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Azar, utterly silent, watches the shadowy figures. After a minute or two of silence, he turns to Dandolin and whispers “Shall I wake Ivar?” Although the others can’t see it, he’s still shivering, and his bones feel like they’re on fire. As he says this, he looks down towards Ivar, and notices something out of the corner of his eye. The ground beneath their feet is growing darker, as though one of those shadows is rising through the ground to get around the fires. He hisses quietly at Dandolin “Look down. I think one of those shadows is coming through the ground to get through to us.
    Last edited by In4Dimensions; 2019-09-20 at 03:26 PM.
    Chaotic Good, probably

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Steve turns around at Dandolin's direction, buzzing loudly in both fright and anger. "What do you mean HOLY SAVARA! Reacting to the expanding shadow, Dandolin stabs her lance straight at it, yelling in surprise.

    Spoiler: Attack Roll
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    (1d20+10)[17] if crit (1d20+10)[17] Damage (1d6+4)[6] if crit add (2d6+8)[16]


    "Azar Move! Get Torson up and lets take these guys down!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Torson jerks awake and rolls to his feet, groggily shaking his head.

    "Ugh! Such dreams!" he groans, as he holds his bow straight out in front of him. "By Arash," he says, and the bow creaks.
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    As Azar steps back from the growing pool of shadow, the pain in his bones turns white-hot. He raises his arm, and the skin on his right hand and wrist starts sloughing off. Suddenly, a spur of bone grows from his bare wrist and flies towards the shadow. As soon as the shard of bone had detached from his wrist, Azar’s skin grows back nearly instantly, and the pain in his bones vanishes, leaving only a dull ache.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    5-foot step away from the shadow, then use my move action to Gather Power. Next, use Warped Bone Blast with the Empower metakinesis, taking 2 burn (14 damage).
    Attack: (1d20+9)[21] (assuming that Point-Blank Shot applies
    Damage: (8d6)[25]x1.5+13 piercing and slashing damage
    Chaotic Good, probably

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    The dark figure dissolves into nothing as Azar's lance of bone pierces through it, with a sound that could be a laugh or a scream or something with elements of both that has no name. A second is already pushing up behind it, though, along with a third. Both of them are forms that resemble humanoid wolves, woven of darkness and with pronounced fangs and claws. One appears male and the other female, but there's little else to distinguish them as one lunges at Dandolin and the other dives towards Azar.

    Spoiler: Knowledge (religion) DC 13
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    They're shadows, spirits of the restless dead bound to the world by hunger. Except they don't seem very...shadow-like in their behavior. Too calm, too planned, not ravening beasts, but also not concerned with self-preservation.


    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Two incorporeal touch attacks!
    Attack on Dandolin: (1d20+4)[11]
    Damage: (1d6)[4] Wisdom damage
    Attack on Azar: (1d20+4)[19]
    Damage: (1d6)[5] Wisdom damage
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Torson nocks a diamond-headed cold-iron arrow to his bow, surprised at his sluggishness and weakness against the hard pull of the orcish hornbow.

    Swiftly, his face and neck take on a rawhide texture, his eyes become deep-brown, and his nose becomes a broad snout. He seems more like a bull than a bat.

    He draws back the bow with ease, takes deadly aim for the center of the shadow attacking Azar, and looses his arrow.

    Spoiler: Spoiler Roll
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    (1d20+7)[26] to hit, damage (2d8+7)[23] critical x 3
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Dandolin twists out of the way as the creature attacks. Thank Savara she is so small else it might have hit her. Steve erupts in loud angry buzzing as his mistress and companion is attacked. Dandolin, feeling his fury, nods in agreement. Both of their features seem to shift, their faces and bodies becoming darker and ant like. Steve attacks the hideous wolf person, stinging with all the hatred his species is known for. Flying backwards a short distance, Dandolin follows up with a sting of her own, her lance driving straight at the shadow.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show

    Swift Action: Vermin Aspect changes to Ant(+2 STR) affects both Dandolin and Steve

    Steve Standard Action: Attack the Shadow (1d20+9)[13] if crit (1d20+9)[21] Damage (1d8+6)[12] if crit add (1d8+6)[9]

    5 ft Step away from Shadow(is flying)

    Dandolin Standard Action: Attack the Shadow (1d20+11)[28] if crit (1d20+11)[16] Damage (1d6+5)[8] if crit add (2d6+10)[13]
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Azar tries to dodge the shadow’s grasping fingers, but it feints him out and grabs his arm, and he starts to feel lightheaded. Azar steps back and thrusts both of his arms forward, impaling both shadows with a massive spike of bone.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    5-foot step away from the shadow.
    Move Action: Gather Power
    Standard Action: use Kinetic Blast with the Impale form infusion. Elemental Overflow gives me +2 attack and +4 damage, as I have 2 points of burn.
    Attack (closer shadow): (1d20+11)[14]
    Damage (closer shadow): (4d6+18)[29]
    Attack (farther shadow): (1d20+11)[27]
    Damage (farther shadow): (4d6+18)[31]
    Chaotic Good, probably

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    The lance and arrow both pierce into the nearer shadow, and it disintegrates into motes of darkness that whisk away into the night. An instant later, a spear of bone shoots forth into the other shadow, and it too disintegrates.

    The shadows outside the fire (are there more of them than before?) just stand and watch. They are swaying slightly, all in perfect unison. It is strangely hypnotic to watch.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    “Got a crowd watching us,” Torson growls. “From the dreams, figures someone watches through them.”

    He turns to his equines, and speaks quietly to help calm them after the noise of combat within the ring of fires. From a mule, he takes a wicker quiver of red-fletched arrows and straps it onto his right hip.

    He walks over to the fire ring. He nocks a red-fletched leaf-headed bronze arrow to his bow, and takes deadly aim at the center of a large bear-shaped shadow swaying in the woods beyond the fires.

    “Sorry fella,” he says softly. “Got to.” He looses the arrow.
    Spoiler: Attack Roll
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    (1d20+7)[20] damage (2d8+7)[18]
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    The bear dissolves silently. The other shades don't react at all for a long moment. Then they turn and start moving back towards the forest, all in time with a single rhythm.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Azar watches the shadows slink back into the forest, his emotions a mix of fear, apprehensiveness, and just a little curiosity. He had had no idea that the power he’d just unleashed had been within him. The nature of it scared him, but the feeling of power when he had impales the shadows was . . . almost intoxicating. He still felt the dull ache in his bones, but at least the fighting was over for now. He turned to Dandolin and Ivar, asking “What now?
    Chaotic Good, probably

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    “That's some power ya got in ya,” says Torson respectfully. “That shade grabbed you, ya injured? Mebbe ya take the next rest. Steel yourself against the dreams. Won't be pleasant.”

    He searches the ground where the shades emerged.
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    BarbarianGuy

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    As the last shades fade into the forest, Dandolin lets out a big sigh of relief. She guides Steve to land for now, her features quickly returning to normal. She strokes his antennae as she looks at the two humans. "That was really impressive you two, good job. I agree with Torson, Azar. You definitely should get some rest. You should finish sleeping as well Torson, Steve and I can cover the shift for now. I'll wake you up soon."
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Spoiler: Azar
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    Your dreams are haunted with spectral images. Your father looks at you with disappointment in his eyes, then turns into a figure woven of darkness and cold that screams "PLEASE I DIDN'T MEAN TO" before biting your throat out. You look in the spilling blood and see an image, and then you're in the image, tied down on jagged rocks with inhuman figures leering over you, laughing, waiting. One of them steps forward and suddenly forces something down your throat, and your veins catch fire, and then it turns to cold, and you are upside down in the water and you. Are. Drowning. You take a deep breath of water and your lungs catch fire and you cough and choke and then you are dancing through a field of stars with no ground or sky, just pinpricks of colorful light all around you, and your dance partner is a skeleton. She looks at you with a death's-head smile, and you smile back, and you know everything will be all right.

    Roll a Will save. This is a mind-affecting effect.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Azar’s dreams are strange and varied, but he is not affected by the same malaise as Ivar. As he wakes, he feels slightly different, as though some small part of him has changed. His bones feel better as well.
    Chaotic Good, probably

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Torson started awake at the kick to his foot. He glared around, hand on his light flail, then relaxed as he saw Dandolin and Steve calmly floating nearby to Azar Jehra. He rose, grunting at the fatigue he still felt.

    The air was full of the stench of burning wood and something else, sour to the taste. Torson scuffed at the soil where the shadows had risen. Nothing unusual there.

    I dreamed I was a puppet,” he said, facing away from Azar. “That's what they be, I reckon. But he can't manage too many puppets at once. So we won't be overwhelmed, just attacked piecemeal. Mebbe. But in the long run, given time, he'll win. So,” he said to the night, “we can't give him time.”

    He began to pace slowly, to and fro, across the ring created by the fires. It was absolutely silent but for the crackling of the fires.

    Torson went over where the horse and three mules were sleepily standing tethered. Quickly and efficiently he unpacked them, rubbed their backs with a rough blanket, and started to brush them down. His eyes kept straying to the ring of fires. He kept an ear open for Azar's movements as well.

    Ever kept mules, Azar? They're wonderful creatures. One day I will get a farm and settle down, and I'll keep mules with me. Require a bit more care than you'd offer yourself, but not much. Just, a brisk rubdown, and, a brushing.

    He refilled their kegs of water by magic, then gave them another helping of cut alfalfa. They ate, but complained about the late hour.

    It doesn't matter,” he said to them softly, watching the night beyond the burning fires. “I'll have to leave you in Yazdal come sunup. Now, should I untie you first?”

    It depended, he thought, on how likely he felt that they'd return.
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Dandolin patrols the ring with Steve for awhile, diligently keeping the embers burning high as the others slept. After a time, she swiftly prods the two humans awake to take over as she and Steve lie on the ground. The small fey curls up in her saddle, resting peacefully atop the giant dozing wasp for a time, until the dreams begin. She squirms and she twists in the makeshift bed, uncomfortable with the unconscious images she is having. Thankfully nome of her emotions seem to leak into her trusty steed, allowing him to get a full nights rest.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Spoiler: Dandolin
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    Your dreams are haunted with spectral images. Your caretaker is telling you how disappointed they are that you didn't do your portion of the hive's chores, then they morph into a figure woven of darkness and ice, who screams "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?" before biting out your throat. You collapse, and then the dream shifts and you are alone in the dark, dark so deep that your mind starts conjuring images to fill the emptiness. One of them becomes real and suddenly a wolf-like figure picks you up and carries you, kicking and screaming, and then throws you down a hole. Then you're in the water, upside down, and you. Are. Drowning. You breathe in the river water, down there in the cold and the dark, and you cough and choke and then suddenly everything shifts. You are flying, and the one you are flying with is beautiful and terrible, and she looks at you with a nightmarish smile that shows too many teeth and you smile back and you know that everything will be all right.


    The next morning dawns grey and chilly, overcast, with a faint drizzle of rain. The town looks untouched by the shadowy figures of the previous night.

    Heading north-northeast, you find traces that suggest movement in this direction. Everything from broken branches and scraps of cloth to animal tracks, all going the same direction. It's not hard to follow, not hard at all, though Dandolin and Ivar both feel a sense of mounting dread mixed with a strange eagerness the further they go. It doesn't feel right or natural.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Torson walks next to Azar. "Let me see that arm a minute," he says, removing his armored gauntlets to prod with naked fingers.

    "Seems intact," he says, with a frown, "but there may be nervous tensions. Afraid my poor skill can't help it."

    "At least, we're walkin in gloom. No direct light, nothing shadowy but the very bottom of the trees."

    "Dandolin, is it just me, or are we following but a portion of what walks in the forest?"
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Over the Rainbow
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "It's not just you Torson. But that isn't what is unusual. What's unusual is how such a large number of tracks are leading this way so recently. We better be careful." Going into Steve's saddlebags, Dandolin pulls out a long rope. She hands one end to Azar, holding the other end herself. "I'm gonna take a look from above. If I tug on the rope three times, that means I see something and you two should follow. If there is trouble, pull twice and I'll do the same." Once her idea is understood, the verdant fey guides her mount up 45 ft into the air to get a better look.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


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