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  1. - Top - End - #931
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    [Huntside]

    "How much time do you have exactly? Time constraints might effect the final price. Depending on how much you're going to do on your own and how much you'll have me do. The first of course being to contact the guide, the second getting the toll payment and finally, passing through the gate." Astrana explains. "I can start as soon as you pay me though, half now, half when we're done."

  2. - Top - End - #932
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    [Huntside]

    Amalungak breathes out.

    "I do have a lot of experience in mysticism, so I hope to carry my own weight in this," he says. "With luck you'll just have to show me the ritual and I'll manage from there. And I'm sure my lord will understand that some things can't be rushed." He'll produce a coin pouch and proceed to pay Astrana's agreed price based on his contribution to the ritual and speed.
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  3. - Top - End - #933
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    Default Re: The Hunting Grounds IV: Drops Contain 0% RNG

    [Huntside]

    She accepts the coins with a nod. "Let's get to it then, I do already have a spirit in mind. A carefree fey which is unlikely to demand much in return. In fact, if we keep our wits about us, we might get a free ride." Astrana gets up and opens up one of the pouches strapped onto the hyena. "First off, we need to find it. Thankfully I have a marked off where its dwelling is." Getting out a map, she spreads it on the carpet. "It's not too far away from here in a small grove that lies outside the hunting goddess domain. If we move out right away, we could be there in a few hours."

  4. - Top - End - #934
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    Default Re: The Hunting Grounds IV: Drops Contain 0% RNG

    [Huntside]

    "A fey? Probably not the kind I'm used to, but this should be an interesting meeting nonetheless," Amalungak says. "And I'm quite familiar with their tricks. In any event, I'm ready to leave when you are."
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-03-28 at 04:59 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #935
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    Default Re: The Hunting Grounds IV: Drops Contain 0% RNG

    [Huntside]

    "These are not the fey you are used to, keep that in mind. Before we go though, should I introduce you? Or do you want to introduce yourself? The fey can be rather childish at times so one has to be patient." Astrana says as she is getting up. She is going to pack up the rug and a few other things before they can leave. "Oh, do you have any means of fast transportation by the way? Would go a lot faster."

  6. - Top - End - #936
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    [Huntside]

    "I have a horse," Amalungak says. "And it might be best if you introduce me, if you know this fey already."
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-03-29 at 06:47 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #937
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    Default Re: The Hunting Grounds IV: Drops Contain 0% RNG

    [Huntside]

    "Good enough, then let's get moving." Astrana remarks as she gets her map and stoves it into one of the pouches along with the rug and some other supplies she have collected here.

    But all those supplies means that they can't move too fast through the hunting grounds. In addition, they have to take some detours to avoid the occasional beast that happens to be in their path. A common occurrence here as Amalungak is no doubt aware.

    Still, Astrana seems to have taken this into account and a few hours later they do arrive at their destination as is shown when the tiefling suddenly calls for a stop and dismounts from the hyena.
    Amalungak probably couldn't tell it from a glance, but as he stops and looks around this place does appear different than the forest environment they've been traveling through for the majority of their journey.
    It's more lush, less brown and more green. Less pine trees and more exposed root networks covering the ground they're walking down at. Hardly ideal for horses, but generally this forest environment haven't exactly been easy to travel through for his poor horse.

    But he can barely dismount before voices call out. "Red is back! And she brought a friend!"
    He can see the foliage around them move as a trio of tiny heads pop out from it. "Whoa! Big friend!"
    "Bald friend, where did his hair go?!"

    Flying up to him is tiny little butterfly-winged humanoid of undetermined gender that will attempt to settle on his head. "Yeah, I can't find any hair at all!" The other two gasps in amazement.

    "Calm down, fellas! This is Amalungak and you should let him breath a bit before introductions." Astrana calls out as she waves her hand as if to get their attention.
    "Where is his hair, Red?" Another of pixie asks as if flies up to her and gives her a puzzled look.
    The third pixie flies above the two and soon settles to land in Astrana's hair where it seems to be making a bed with a little yawn. She does not seem to mind this however.
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-03-31 at 08:00 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #938
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    [Fairy Grove]

    Amalungak will have travelled all this way with nary a complaint. He's clearly used to journeys harsher than this one.

    When the fairies appear, Astrana will see a peculiar change come over him. Where before he was stoic and businesslike, he now smiles warmly and speaks in a jovial tone.

    "Amalungak is my name, yes. And I used to have hair, though not as nice as Astrana's. But then it started falling out until I looked like a half-eaten tuft of grass. I shaved it all the way off."
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  9. - Top - End - #939
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    [Fairy Grove]

    "You could use grass as hair!" The pixie on top of him suggests as they give his head a light pixie-knock as if testing the hardness of his skull.
    "Or use one of those soft things..." The lone pixie staying back remarks in a thoughtful tone.

    "Clothes?" Astrana suggests.

    "Yes! Clothes! Those make great hair! People use it on their heads all the time." As to demonstrate, the pixie flies up to Amalungak and attempts to lift his coat a bit to wrap it around their head like a hood. "I look awesome!"

    Suddenly the pixie standing on him leans over, somehow hanging (or more likely, floating) from the top of his head right in front of his right eye. "So why aren't you using head-clothes, Amul-n-gak?"
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-04-02 at 05:05 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #940
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    [Fairy Grove]

    "I have a cloak with a hood, but it's too warm around here for it," Amalungak says. "I come from a very cold place. Perhaps I should find myself some stylish headwear for this warmer climate, though." He doesn't stop the pixie from wrapping themselves in his coat. "It does look pretty great on you."
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  11. - Top - End - #941
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    [Fairy Grove]

    The pixie grins toothily back at him when Astrana suddenly interjects.
    "We have business to attend to though, Amalungak is looking for a guide to the realm of spirits."

    The pixie makes a dramatic fainting motion. "Ack! Business... killed my entire family."

    "Liar! You don't have a family, you loser!" The pixie on top of him suddenly tumbles down and ends up attempting to sit on his nose, its wings now blocking his view.

    "I do too! I mean, I did before business killed them!"

    "Guys, focus please. He needs a guide." The warlock insists as the two pixies are staring one another down.

    Suddenly, the third pixie which had been half-sleeping in the tieflings hair suddenly burst out. "Only if he show me his boobs!"

    The other two do not seem nonplussed by this statement however. "He doesn't have boobs. Pretty sure he lost them like his hair."

    "I'm too distressed to continue this discussion, all this talk of business reminds me of my dead family!" The pixie makes another fainting motion but is ignored by their peers this time.

    Instead, the third pixie gasps at the other pixies statement as he looks at the elf. "Did you cut off your boobs?!"
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-04-11 at 02:33 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #942
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    [Fairy Grove]

    Astrana may be amused to finally see Amalungak's cool composure and easy adoption of necessary social tones crack. The elf really has no idea what to say. Do the pixies ask everyone that?

    "I, uh... have never had breasts. I'm a man, not a woman. We don't usually have breasts. I do need a guide into the spirit world, however. So perhaps there's something else you need or want."
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-04-11 at 03:17 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #943
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    [Fairy Grove]

    "But I want to see boobs!" The third pixie insists but the other one flying in front of Amalungak seems skeptical.
    "They're lame. They look exactly like the butt, only that they have these tiny knobs on them. Totally overrated, you're not missing out on anything." The pixie makes a dismissive wave as if they were making a review of a bad book.

    The third one flies closer to him, pushing the other one out of the way. "What about the pants-doodle? Do you have one of those?"

    "...what about candy? Something sweet, I know you guys like that." Astrana attempts to argue.
    "Oh! I wanna!" Apparently that was all the pixie needed to overcome the loss of their family. Flying up to Astrana they're attempting to dive into what it seems to have believed to be her pocket but is just a fold in her skirt and just crash-lands on the ground.

    The other two are looking at Amalungak however. "You know, I never seen a pants-doodle before..." One of them remarks as they stroke their chin.
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-04-14 at 11:09 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #944
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    [Fairy Grove]

    Amalungak's face is a mask of calm that belies his... not anger, but irritation. Does he have to suffer such indignity to serve his master? He supposes he has. Those foolish little creatures are his only real path to the spirit world.

    "Do you promise that you'll guide me to the sprit world if I show you... that?"
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-04-14 at 10:01 AM.
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  15. - Top - End - #945
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    Crashed Ship - Kendra

    Wind swirls around Kendra, whipping into a vortex. She notes the heat building within the swarm, even as rain begins to fall around her....and then she reaches out with her full essence, her aura growing, glowing blue-white, touching the rain, the wind, the heart of the storm, and calling it to her will. The rain turns to hail in an instant, hail that she calls to herself, concentrating it into a downdraft vortex aimed at the heart of the swarm, at the intense heat it's producing. Thousands of tiny shards of ice are propelled downwards at great speed, aided by both gravity and the powerful winds. Onlookers might see the attack almost as a solid beam of ice aimed at the swarm, despite its broken nature. Kendra herself expects some sort of retaliatory action by the swarm, and is watching it even as she attacks, wanting to see what it will do next.
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  16. - Top - End - #946
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    [Snowy Woods on a Cold Evening]

    A lone figure on horseback is getting through the snow. He is wrapped in a fur cloak and astride a stout, hirsute horse, clearly at home in this cold climate. He might seem lost at a glance, but he is in fact making his way towards someone who he knows is here and that his King has bid him find.
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  17. - Top - End - #947
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    [Snowy Woods on a Cold Evening]

    The rider's target is not hard to find. As night draws in and light fades, there's still one very obvious patch of woods enveloped in a far more absolute darkness, a black sphere amidst the evening's grey.

    Perched on a tree within the darkness, above a roaring campfire, Damon is tucking into a delicious dinner of ash, the charred remains of his hunt for the day. The black fire consumes the light, leaving him feeling very much at home in his little bubble.

    Most people would probably say that burning a meal until it's reduced to ash is ruining it, but they just don't understand the wonderful flavours it brings out! Well, that and it lets him take the form of whatever he devours in this way. Reborn from the ashes, like a phoenix.

    He's not expecting any visitors though. His meal done, he leans back on his branch and lets his eyes close - not sleeping, just resting for a bit.
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  18. - Top - End - #948
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    [Snowy Woods on a Cold Evening]

    "I see you are making a good use of your new axe, Damon," says the man on horseback. Throwing back his hood, he is revealed to be a bald elf with stocky, angular features and intricate dark tattoos covering his face. Damon's eyes might be drawn to the clasp of his cloak, which is a ring made of black brambles that's eerily reminiscent of the King in Rags.
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  19. - Top - End - #949
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    [Fairy Grove]

    I think your evil is showing there, Amal, steady down a bit, will you?
    "Sure!" The third pixie exclaims while eagerly clapping its hands together.

    But in for the rescue comes Astrana. "Hold up, what about this." She holds up her bag of sweets. "I'll give you this now and Amulungak will show you his doodle after you guided him to the spirit world."

    The pixes all look at one another, the second pixie sticking its head out from the grass simply to stroke its chin.
    "What do you need guiding for exactly? I usually just guide... less alive parts of people. Like, one part of the time. You're way to big to go all at once."
    "Alive people aren't really different from dead people, you know. They're just less spread out." Whatever that means.
    "Maybe if we do it all together..."
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-04-22 at 02:52 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #950
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    [Fairy Grove]

    Amalungak looks to Astrana and nods in gratitude. She's definitely earning her pay in this outing.

    "I am not going to the spirit world with my body. I'm sending my mind and spirit into it, and Astrana has advised me to use a guide, as otherwise it's a treacherous trip. Your task would be to guide my soul once it has left my body during the ritual."
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  21. - Top - End - #951
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    [Cold Snowy Woods]

    Damon leans forward on his branch perch, shifting slightly to rest the axe in question on his lap. He'd been wondering when the king was going to come a'calling. Good to know the king has other servants too. A king with no subjects is hardly a king at all.

    "I had to tessst it. Ssee if it wass asss good asss he ssaid." Pale eyes set into a black, near-featureless face peer at the elf, and a thin smile creeps across Damon's lips. "And I wass left very ssssatisfied."
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  22. - Top - End - #952
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    [Fairy Grove]

    "Duh!" The pixie rolls its eyes. "Not even we can fit inside there, and we're normal-sized!" Then they gesture at their head. "I mean like..." The pixie gestures in the air as if its desperately is trying to remember something but can't quite put words to what they want to say.
    Finally, another of the pixies flies up to Astrana and not-so-discreetly 'whispers' "You gotta help them out!"

    The warlock closes her eyes for a moment and let's out a little sigh. "What I think they're trying to say is that when a person dies, their ego, or soul, starts breaking down into smaller parts, just like the body itself. Pixies makes sure the residue breaks down properly. They don't usually do the same thing with the living, so when they say you're 'too big' they're don't mean it in the physical sense. Physical bodies can't enter the spirit world at all as far as I'm aware."

    The pixie gestures at Astrana. "No! I mean- uh, maybe! You make it sound so complicated." It scratches their head. "Just-" They extend their arms as much as they can. "A lot of you, you know? Really big... butt. Can't squeeze inside since your but is just way too big."

    "But we can do it! I can push your big fat arse in myself!" The other pixie replies confidentially. "I like big butts anyway! They're fun!"

    "There is the matter of the guardian though, you will need to pay a toll to get by." Astrana remarks as she eyes Amalungak. "I'm not certain what it will be, but it might be somehow connected to yourself as you're trying to break past your own limits."

    "There is? Wow, cool! Come on then, let's go see 'guardian'!"
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-04-24 at 07:52 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #953
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    [Cold Snowy Woods]

    "Indeed. It was my ancestors who forged it," Amalungak says, dismounting. "The hunter who wielded it was a fae under the King's command, but its makers were elves who lived in his domain. We were left behind when the Fairest of Lands receded, but some of us stayed true to him." He approaches, snow crunching under his boots. "There is more to it than simple cutting and hewing. I can help with that and more, if you hear my King's offer."

    [Fairy Grove]

    Amalungak lets the fairies natter and ramble to their heat's content as he focuses on the important matters.

    "Prices demanded by spirits are difficult to predict," he agrees. "They care little for material value and focus on emotional importance or connections. I will just have to be prepared for anything."
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  24. - Top - End - #954
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova_Eclipse View Post
    Crashed Ship - Kendra

    Wind swirls around Kendra, whipping into a vortex. She notes the heat building within the swarm, even as rain begins to fall around her....and then she reaches out with her full essence, her aura growing, glowing blue-white, touching the rain, the wind, the heart of the storm, and calling it to her will. The rain turns to hail in an instant, hail that she calls to herself, concentrating it into a downdraft vortex aimed at the heart of the swarm, at the intense heat it's producing. Thousands of tiny shards of ice are propelled downwards at great speed, aided by both gravity and the powerful winds. Onlookers might see the attack almost as a solid beam of ice aimed at the swarm, despite its broken nature. Kendra herself expects some sort of retaliatory action by the swarm, and is watching it even as she attacks, wanting to see what it will do next.
    Kendra's efforts cause the mass to seethe and hiss, pained and hurt by the cold and wet magic, but a bubble of centipedes forms a hardened shell around the mass, trying to protect it as it continues to grow towards Kendra. It's only moments, but a few heartbeats after the shell is made, glowing red-orange cracks appear in it as the vermin gets cooked from the inside. There's intense pressure and heat in the center and it is about to erupt right towards Kendra.

  25. - Top - End - #955
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    [Cold Snowy Woods]

    Damon listens carefully, fire-covered eyes focused intently on Amalungak while the King in Rags' servant makes his pitch. Well, starts making his pitch anyway. He shifts forwards towards the edge of the branch and smiles down at Amalungak, holding the axe in question loosely in one hand. "Go ahead. I'm lissstening."
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  26. - Top - End - #956
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    [Cold Snowy Woods]

    Standing next to his horse, Amalungak gets straight to the point.

    "The King is in need of warriors. Even with his dragon freed, his strength is far from what it used to be. More importantly, he's in need of those who aren't fey, like he and his servants. That would be why he sends me, as well. Lend your arm to his cause and receive his blessings."
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  27. - Top - End - #957
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    [Fairy Grove]

    "I'd consider looking within yourself a moment while we prepare the ritual. I assume you know what else to do now that we have your guides?" Astrana inquires as she gestures around the fairy grove. "Since we will need to prepare it here, pixies only got so long attention span so we need to hurry up before they get distracted by something else."

    As the other two pixies bicker about what 'the guardian' could be, the last one approaches Astrana. "Hey, Red, why are you helping Ama-butt-lak anyway?"

    "We have a deal. I help him, he helps me." She replies curtly.

    The pixie, which seem slightly more inquisitive than the other two, gives the elf an suspect look. "You don't mess with Red, you hear? I see what you're doing. People don't squeeze their behinds into their own heads for nothing."

  28. - Top - End - #958
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    [Fairy Grove]

    "I have no intention of 'messing' with your friend," Amalungak says smoothly. "We did have a deal, and I always abide by deals and promises I make. Now, I do have everything I need for the ritual with me, so let us begin."

    Amalungak takes out a white goat's skin from his saddlebag, covered in carvings and markings. He stands in the middle of it and reaches out under his coat, taking out a necklace that looks like it's made out of twisted black branches and putting over his clothes. He then produces a pair of bone knives, too flimsy and elaborately-carved to ever serve as useful tools or weapons. He makes elaborate motions in the air with them, which are almost symmetrical but not quite, in a way that's oddly disconcerting. Faint black smoke trails after them and forms intricate patterns around the elf. As he does so, he chants in a low voice, speaking a language Astrana won't recognize.

    As he performs the ritual, the necklace on his chest twists and bends with faint creaking and what sounds like breathing. There's another mind here, watching over his shoulders. Astrana won't see anything, but she might feel an impossibly old mind shadowing the elf. This must be his master, whom he mentioned. Eventually, the goat-skin starts shrivelling and shrinking, as if burning without fire or smoke. Once it has crumbled to dust, it joins the smoke trailing from the knives and form a cloud, which suddenly contracts and seems to enter Amalungak, sending his mind into the spirit-world.
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  29. - Top - End - #959
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    Default Re: The Hunting Grounds IV: Drops Contain 0% RNG

    Crashed Ship - Kendra

    Kendra notes the change, and dives hard, the focused attack on the swarm ceasing, though the rain and hail continues to fall naturally. She keeps careful watch as she moves evasively through the air, watching to see if the swarm can follow her movements with the dome.
    Why is it Plan A is always, "Get 'Em!" and Plan B is, "Cause as much collateral damage as possible"?

  30. - Top - End - #960
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Unknown
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Hunting Grounds IV: Drops Contain 0% RNG

    [Cold Snowy Woods]

    Damon hops down from his tree, walking back over to sit by his campfire, beckoning for Amalungak to join him. "There'ss sstill plenty of meat that can be cooked, if you're hungry." He sets the axe down beside him and tosses a nearby log onto the fire. "If he hass ssent you, then you musst know what I care for. Not caussess, not blesssingsss. But my sservicess can be bought, relatively eassily. I will not be a ssoldier for hiss causse, but if he wantss a paid mercenary, that can be arranged. Sstill I would like to know a bit more about him before I agree to anything. Why do you ssserve him? And why iss it a problem if all hiss ssservantss are fey?"
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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