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View Full Version : The Sundered Land: A Doomed Pilgrim in the Ruins of the Future



Amaril
2016-09-15, 11:11 AM
I am a warrior seeking peace and an end to bloodshed. I am on pilgrimage to the Temple to No Gods in the distant City of Gulls. My pilgrimage has brought me to the Grey Hills, inhabited by supernatural creatures hungry for human flesh. My goal is to pass safely through and continue my pilgrimage.

You, my friends, play the world. Your goal is to see me to my doom, instead of safely on my way. You're allowed only to directly answer my questions, though, so you might not be able to do it.

The rules:

Only answer my questions.
If you don't already know the answer, make something up.
Keep your answers short.
If your answer is disruptive, I'm allowed to ignore it.
Otherwise, I have to go with the first answer someone gives.

I have a long knife hidden under my shirt, and instincts honed by a life of violence.

This morning marks the third day of my journey through the Grey Hills. Passing beneath a high rise in the landscape with a cluster of half-broken standing stones arrayed at its crest, I spot a stream winding through the grass nearby. Leaving the faintly-worn path behind, I go to refill my waterskin, which has begun to run uncomfortably low.

However, as I kneel and shrug off my meager pack, something warns me of approaching danger. What is it?

Black Socks
2016-09-15, 03:54 PM
A griffin, swooping from the sky and hoping to carry you off for a meal!

Amaril
2016-09-15, 09:53 PM
A griffin, swooping from the sky and hoping to carry you off for a meal!

The water moves too fast for me to see a reflection; the only warning I have is a whooshing sound, almost imperceptible. I act without thinking, throwing myself to the side and rolling out of the way as the beast plummets, its talons grasping the empty air where my back was a split second ago.

Scrambling to my feet, I reach into my clothes and draw my knife from its concealed sheath, holding it ready. Above, the griffin lets out a splitting shriek, wheeling around at terrible speed and making ready for another dive. I have only a moment to consider my options. Griffins, at least, are not unique to the Grey Hills, and I know a little of their abilities. They are fast, deadly hunters, and I have little hope of outrunning one on foot. Under better circumstances, I would take cover beneath trees, but the few that grow in this land are too shriveled and stunted to stop the beast's dive, even if there were any near enough to reach. However, there may be an alternative: formidable though they are, griffins have a particular weakness, which I might use to drive this one off. What are they afraid of or vulnerable to?

Black Socks
2016-09-16, 06:06 AM
Griffins prefer cold, wet climates. As such, they are very vulnerable to fire.

Amaril
2016-09-16, 01:19 PM
Griffins prefer cold, wet climates. As such, they are very vulnerable to fire.

As the griffin folds its wings in close for its second dive, my eyes are drawn away for a moment, down to my discarded pack. Stuck through one of the makeshift ties on the side, a pair of scratch-made torches, oil-soaked cloth wrapped around branches. It's a long shot, but if I'm quick enough in dodging the beast's next pass, I might be able to grab one, and quickly light it with my knife blade and the flint hanging from a length of twine around my neck.

As the low whoosh of the griffin's descent grows louder, I brace myself. I'll need to time this just right, and move fast.

Just when the claws reach for me again, I throw my weight forward, diving for the pack...

(I make my roll on an off-site utility, since this forum doesn't seem to have built-in rolling. (2d6)[4])

But I'm too slow. I can feel it, as though time has slowed down; I won't be out of the way of its grasp in time. It might kill me here.

Frantically, I do the first thing that comes to mind: I thrust my knife upward, aiming for the griffin's belly. Do I have a chance to get away?

Black Socks
2016-09-16, 02:21 PM
((You can roll, it just only works in the Dice Rolls (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?43-Dice-Rolls) subforum. My suggestion would be to open a thread there to roll everything.))

The knife plunges in. The griffin shrieks in pain before flying away in a disoriented fashion. Apparently the belly is rather vulnerable.
It will take minute or so for the griffin to reorient itself and get into position for another attack, so you have a choice: Run away, or stay and try to finish it off?

Amaril
2016-09-16, 02:30 PM
((You can roll, it just only works in the Dice Rolls (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?43-Dice-Rolls) subforum. My suggestion would be to open a thread there to roll everything.))

The knife plunges in. The griffin shrieks in pain before flying away in a disoriented fashion. Apparently the belly is rather vulnerable.
It will take minute or so for the griffin to reorient itself and get into position for another attack, so you have a choice: Run away, or stay and try to finish it off?

You're only allowed to answer my questions, not ask ones of your own :smallwink:
The talons miss me by a hair's breadth as the beast draws them back, struggling to pull out of its dive before recovering and soaring off again. Now is my chance, and I don't mean to waste it. Diving once more for my pack, I hurriedly sling it over my shoulders and take off back toward the path.

I am not a hunter, but I've always understood that most predators will abandon a quarry that fights back hard enough. With luck, I've managed to injure the griffin badly enough that it won't pursue me, or at least enough to slow its flight so I can get away. I settle in for a long, hard run. Can I outdistance it? Someone other than Black Socks should answer.

Cunning Lizard
2016-09-16, 02:53 PM
The maimed beast can be heard shrieking off into the distance then only silence. Though weary you are able to outdistance it as the sun begins to set. When you finally find your bearings again it is in the midst of countless rock chimney's rising from the steppes.

Amaril
2016-09-16, 05:07 PM
The maimed beast can be heard shrieking off into the distance then only silence. Though weary you are able to outdistance it as the sun begins to set. When you finally find your bearings again it is in the midst of countless rock chimney's rising from the steppes.

I pause for a moment, catching my breath. A close call, but it could have been much worse. On the plus side, I'm that much closer to escaping this dreary land. However, if what I've heard from other travelers is true, I am now in the very heart of the Grey Hills. If half the stories can be believed, the worst is yet before me.

These pillars unsettle me. I can't decide whether they seem more like menacing grey giants, advancing to crush me into the dust, or like grave markers, standing vigil over a legion of the dead that I may soon join. The fading light does nothing to improve the atmosphere.

Night will come soon. I must find shelter before the sun sets in earnest. I begin to scan the nearby landscape for a hollow or cave where I might set camp. What looks like the safest place? Someone other than Black Socks should answer.

Cunning Lizard
2016-09-16, 08:32 PM
The chimney's gaze down on you almost curiously. There is a feeling of apprehension as you navigate the natural pillars.

When desperation seems ready to swallow your spirits a massive petrified oak greets you solemnly. Perhaps it was once the father of an entire forest. Now it the only comfort it provides is a welcome shelter from the naked openness of the steppes.

Amaril
2016-09-16, 11:34 PM
The chimney's gaze down on you almost curiously. There is a feeling of apprehension as you navigate the natural pillars.

When desperation seems ready to swallow your spirits a massive petrified oak greets you solemnly. Perhaps it was once the father of an entire forest. Now it the only comfort it provides is a welcome shelter from the naked openness of the steppes.

The ancient tree may not offer the enclosure of a cave, but it's better than the open sky. Praising whatever sorry gods still watch over me in this place, I leave the path behind once more and make for its base, searching for the spot that seems most shaded by the branches and guarded by the twisting roots.

I locate my best choice quickly, but before I can set about making myself comfortable, memories of warnings begin to run through my mind. I know little of what lurks in this land, beyond vague rumors and fanciful stories, but one can never be too careful. Luckily, my instincts for danger are sharper than most. Do I feel watched? Someone other than Cunning Lizard should answer.

Black Socks
2016-09-17, 07:07 AM
((Technically, I made a statement, not a question.))
You feel watched. As you look around you see something disappear into the shadows. From your perspective you cannot see what it is; you only detected the movement.

Cunning Lizard
2016-09-17, 08:34 AM
:NOT A GAME RESPONSE:


((Technically, I made a statement, not a question.))
You feel watched. As you look around you see something disappear into the shadows. From your perspective you cannot see what it is; you only detected the movement. Will you go and confront it or stay where you are?

The point that Amaril was trying to make from my understanding is that players who are not the Pilgrim cannot give options (Will you X or Y?). We can only give answers to the Pilgrim's questions. So everything up to your prompt about what the Pilgrim will do is totally fair game.

Black Socks
2016-09-17, 08:45 AM
((Ah. I understand now. I will edit my post.))

Amaril
2016-09-17, 04:23 PM
((Technically, I made a statement, not a question.))
You feel watched. As you look around you see something disappear into the shadows. From your perspective you cannot see what it is; you only detected the movement.

Something there--only a flicker, gone before I can get a good look. Just an animal? Maybe, but I don't like it all the same. The back of my neck prickles, as though there were eyes on me, watching from the dark.

Even so, I feel much safer with this tree at my back than out in the open, and I can't very well hike much further without rest. As the last sliver of sun dips below the horizon, I quickly go about setting up a rudimentary camp, pulling sticks and kindling from the bundle in my pack and getting a small fire going. Hopefully, the flame will be enough to keep nighttime predators at bay. I eat from my provisions by its light, dried meat and travel biscuits. In my haste to escape the griffin, I missed my chance to refill my waterskin; I will have to find another source tomorrow, if I can.

As I'm about to wrap myself in my cloak to sleep, I find myself peering out into the dark, now impenetrable as a wall beyond the small glow of my campfire. Somehow, the idea of drifting off with who-knows-what out there, merely waiting for me to let my guard down for all I know, seems unwise. Digging into my pack again, I pull out a spool of twine and the most valuable item I own now, aside from my knife: a small brass bell. Selecting a couple of short but sturdy twigs from my bundle of firewood, I go to the outermost edge of the firelight and push them into the dirt, one by each of the roots between which my camp rests. Unwinding several feet of twine, I wrap the middle around the handle of the bell and tie it in place, then tie one end to each of the twigs. Now, anything approaching my camp on foot will risk triggering this tripwire alarm, ringing the bell and, hopefully, waking me up in time to defend myself.

Satisfied, I return to my fire, once more wrapping my cloak tight around me against the chill of the night. Then, on one last cautious impulse, I ease my knife from its sheath, holding it close, before leaning back against the ancient oak's petrified trunk to doze off.

What wakes me from my sleep? Someone new should answer.

Libro
2016-09-17, 08:34 PM
In the dark of the night you are awakened by a strange sensation and the faint tinkling of the bell. There is nothing disturbing the twine.

In a few minutes, the sensation becomes more palpable; a vibration in the ground. Not a thud-thud like a giant or other behemoth may make as it takes colossal steps, but low and steady rumble from the ground itself, growing in intensity.

Amaril
2016-09-18, 11:45 AM
In the dark of the night you are awakened by a strange sensation and the faint tinkling of the bell. There is nothing disturbing the twine.

In a few minutes, the sensation becomes more palpable; a vibration in the ground. Not a thud-thud like a giant or other behemoth may make as it takes colossal steps, but low and steady rumble from the ground itself, growing in intensity.

I jolt awake, and almost make to leap to my feet, but stop myself. If something is coming, better to take it by surprise. Keeping as still as I can manage, I tighten my grip on my knife, ready to lash out at anything that gets within reach.

However, my preparation appears to be for naught. The fire has died down, but even in the faint ember-glow that's left, I can see no approaching shape. But then...what's making the bell move?

The rumbling of the ground enters my notice as it builds. Taking a risk by moving, I place my palm to the grass next to me, just to be sure; true enough, it's not my imagination. An earthquake? Cautiously, I rise, staying half-crouched to keep my balance in case some greater shock threatens to throw me off.

Keeping my knife ready, I wait to see what happens. What is it? Anyone may answer.

Libro
2016-09-18, 12:04 PM
The vibration grows louder and you notice the earth buckling as the source of the sound draws near.

At the far edge of the fire's light, you notice the ground falling downwards, forming a widening hole.

You catch a glimpse of purple scales as the dying fire is consumed by the sinkhole.

You've only heard stories, nay, legends, but you believe you know the monstrosity that comes for you...

A purple worm (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/purpleWorm.htm).
Link is for those who are curious and/or have no idea what it is. For an image, a google search should suffice.


EDIT: I didn't kill this, did I?
Purple worms can burrow and swim, but they are slow in all movement modes.