I'm stealing Happy's idea. Sometimes, I don't want to dig through busy threads to find posts, and most of the time plots are mostly closed off anyway, so they don't benefit from being in Outside or Inside or wherever anyway (unless they are specifically set in those locations for one reason or another). So I'm putting some of my plots here.
1. Post here only if you're in a plot, and only for that plot.
2. Adhere to the forum rules, and the FFRP rules.
3. Be polite to your fellow players.
Grigori Vanek, grumpy crazy survivalist mercenary extraordinaire, paused at the ridge and turned to look at his two companions. "Well, here we are, folks; the start of the Veldt." Down below them, a sea of dry, yellow an brown grass stood unwaveringly as far as the eye could see, only occasionally interrupted by shallow ponds and tall standing trees. The grass was tall enough to reach Grigori's belt, and grew thick enough to impede movement. The sky above was blue and clear, the sun shining down on their shoulders and necks.
Grigori was dressed in a khaki colored uniform, tall boots, and a pith helmet, and a heavy looking rifle was slung across his back. The hilt of a long knife jutted up from his belt next to his canteen, which sloshed when he moved quickly. "Pretty rough country around here. Watch your step." Greg started down the other side of the ridge, careful of his footing. "I learned about this opportunity from a friend of mine. People like me stick together, you know? We realize that one day, the apocalypse is really gonna happen, or the Nexus itself will grow teeth and start trying to nom us. Be prepared is our motto, and so we keep an eye out for things that can give us an edge... anyway, a friend of mine told me that there was some good salvage out here, some interesting stuff, and in exchange for the info he'd only take a 10% cut of what we found here. Now, for you two, I'll split the remaining 90% three ways, or just give you some monetary compensation. I got a little saved away that should cover your efforts. Any questions?"
Kirk is grateful for the warning of the hot climate. He's abandoned his suit jacket back at NO because of it. It leaves four throwing knives, two on either side of his belt, rather more unconcealed than usual. No doubt he has more that are still out of sight.
The drow pushes his shades up closer to his eyes, grateful for them and his wide brimmed hat. Even after so many years away from the Underdark, his eyes are still sensitive.
"Just one. What else is out there besides this salvage. Something tells me we won't just be waltzing in there and taking whatever we want."
Dena have her desert gear on by now which consists of a mask warped around her head along with some lose fitting robes intended to protect her from the heat. She seem much more comfortable here then in the frozen mountains of NO.
"I found that you always need to prepare for the worst but you damn well get good pay for it. What kind of 'interesting stuff' can we found around here exactly? Ancient ruins? Since if that's the case, I know you better make this worth our time. If I hadn't have a damn good healer, I would have been covered in scars from the last ancient ruin I visited."
"Both good questions," Greg says, as he slings the rifle off his shoulder, "and I've got good answers for them. As to the first... you're right. You don't exactly bring a Lee Enfield and two friends for a walk in the park. There are lots of things out here. Animals, mostly. Some of them spook when people come walking by, and some don't. Some just leave well enough alone, and mind their own business, but others bother you. And some start stalking you. There are things out here that aren't afraid of humanoids, and have little reason to be. I hope we don't meet one of those."
"There are also weird things out here, anomalies and phenomena. Kinda rare, but a possibility. The most likely thing to bother us out here, though, is other humanoids. There are savages, bandits, slavers, and other psychopathic wackos out here. They usually stick to attacking people not as well armed as we are, poor locals mostly. But if they get ballsy, or we do something to anger them, or if they're just touched in the head, they might come at us. Most are just rabble and trash, bullies that'll back down at the first sign of real bite in their prey, but there are some out here who are more... determined. More competent. More dangerous. We need to be on our guard. Luckily, we'll probably slip by their notice. They prefer more lucrative prey. Three people ain't enough to get their interest."
"Other than that, flies and heat are our only problems, that and sore feet." Greg starts to advance, parting the grass with the barrel of his rifle. "We're not here for ancient ruins. Haven't brought nearly enough rope for that. We're looking for the wreck of a machine. A zeppelin, to be exact. Came down a few miles from here. Luckily, it didn't burn much at all. Much of the cargo might be intact. In particular, we're looking for a crate marked Abwehr. Can you remember that? It's supposed to have some nifty toys in it."
Dena nods as Greg explains, at least he had dropped that annoying attitude he had before. "Slavers eh? Some things never change wherever you go apparently. Of the chance of sounding ignorant though, what's a zeppelin?" She asks as she follows along, already have all the gear she needs at the moment. Her cloak is safely tucked beneath her robes, her short swords just within reach.
Greg leads the way through the thick grass. The stalks are rough and fibrous, brushing and pulling at them as they move past. The ground is surprisingly soft, springy and spongy underfoot as they tramp on. "A Zeppelin is an airship. It's like a large, rigid balloon that can fly, with a hull underneath to carry things. They're mighty impressive."
Greg glances back at the two following him. "So... tell me, what brings two drow such as yourselves to the surface?"
Kirk shakes his head. "Sanity I assume, or hope. The Underdark is a less than pleasant place, even when you're a drow. I'm not sure why more don't leave. Eh, to Hell with them." Kirk shrugs. "It's been years and years since I've been there. Good ridence I say." One can almost see the age in his eyes when he reflects on it, but only for a second.
"Your kidding right? The only thing I wanted do when I was underground was getting above ground. It's here all the money and excitement is. Have you ever lived underground? It blows, everyone is poor as dirt." She glances at Kirk, "Don't mix me up with him though, we come from completely different worlds apparently."
Dena takes a step backwards, her fingers suddenly finding the hilts of her two short swords as she looks around the area suspiciously, trying to focus on the sound and the possible vibrations from the ground. You should always be weary of attacks from below.
Greg points across the grass. "There." In the distance, they can see one of the lone sparse trees of the savannah toppling over. As it does, flames and smoke start to lick up from the trunk. Something scampers down from the rapidly shriveling and burning trunk, into the grass. Where it lands fire and smoke spring up, the haze of heat further obscuring it. They can't get a good look at all what it was; merely a shape, a moving mass amidst the heat. A burning trail begins to cut across the plain as the source of the heat begins to move. It crosses a watering hole; in an instant, the whole thing goes up in steam, sucked down into the greedy maw of the heat.
"They call them sun demons, or drought ghosts. They're like all the rainless, burning months of every lifetime compressed into one moment. Let's hope it doesn't come this way."
"This one's turning... see? He's turning off. We won't have to deal with him." The trail of smoke and haze heads off into the distance, and Greg straightens, shouldering his rifle. "Now, drought ghosts... they aren't that common, but recently they've been popping up more and more. You can hit them with regular old weapons, and it'll drive them off, but the only thing that kills them is a drop from a water source that has never been dry. People make pilgrimages to the ocean to get water to do them in with. If one did come at us, we could run. It's faster than us, but it prefers to burn crops and watering holes to people. We'd just need to get near one of those and it would probably peel off and go after that instead. If we do have to fight one... lots of ranged attacks from afar will eventually cause it to retreat, and if need be, you can try and close for a melee hit. I've never seen one stay engaged in a melee fight for more than few seconds before turning tail and running. They're cowards at heart. The trick is getting that close without burning to ash. Some parts of the heat aura are weaker than others, and you can push through without getting cooked. It's a desperation tactic, though. I've seen villages lose a lot of good men trying that. Even when they succeed, the man's usually nearly dead on his feet from heat stroke." Greg shakes his head. "Avoidance is the best policy. Hopefully, we won't see any more of them."
"You can say that again." Kirk agrees. Avoiding is the best plan. He doesn't particularly want to waste his knives trying to take down the things from a distance. There's no guarantee he'd recover them.
"Just all the things I mentioned before. With a drought ghost around, though, I reckon most things will be making themselves scarce." Greg starts pushing through the grass again. "Let's keep moving. I don't want to spend the night out here."
They march on for some time, their only company their fellows and the stiff, fibrous grass ever swaying under the fingers of the hot breeze.
Eventually, after some time, their destination will become evident; a mound breaks the almost flat, unbroken level of the grass, a rising edifice of tangled fabric and iron girders. The hulk is rather large; in perfect condition, the length of the machine would be just under 800 feet. As it is, it is severely deformed, crumpled into a much smaller mass, bust still obviously the wreck of an imposingly large vehicle. The gondola seems to be very near the main wreckage of the craft. Greg waves towards it. "Alright, time to fan out a bit. I'm hoping the cargo hold is relatively intact and still with the main gondola. Remember, we're looking for a crate marked Abwehr. And keep your eye out. Notice how there was nothing around? I was expecting some wildlife, scavengers mostly, to be getting at the bodies of the crew. Something's up. Let's get what we came for and vamoose."
Dena's skills lies in sneaking and staying hidden, especially in desert environments. The closest skill she have to finding things is the fact she is a pretty good thief and have been looting a lot of stuff, otherwise she have a drowsing rod for water if that's needed.
Alright, then. It would be a pretty weird and awkward story if they just came here and found nothing (kind of a shaggy dog story, really), so after a bit of poking around, Dena will find a crate marked "Abwehr" a short distance from the main wreckage. It looks like it got separated during the crash. It seems to be in alright condition, although she'll need to move a body from across the top of it before she can open it. That's the first body they've seen, by the way; the man is wearing a dark grey uniform, a peaked cap, and shiny black boots. He seems pretty dead, if the pool of dried read around and on the crate is anything to go by.