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The Doomed Pilgrim, ConTessa 11/21/2015 Edition

The Doomed Pilgrim, ConTessa 11/21/2015 Edition

For nearly every one of our online conventions, Meguey Baker has run a text-based game via a Google+ post. The following is the transcript of her most recent game, ‘The Doomed Pilgrim’, run for ConTessa’s 11/21/2015 event.

I am a warrior seeking peace and an end to bloodshed. I'm on a pilgrimage to the City of Gulls and the Temple of No Gods. I've arrived at the Ragged Forest, war-weary and somewhat bedraggled. I pray I may survive, for the trees are known to be haunted by creatures not natural to this world, and they are rumored to feast on the flesh of the unwary.

The path is clear enough, but it is a place best faced in company, and I am alone. I have a steel-tipped walking staff and a packet of journey-bread dense with dates and almonds. I wear a wide brimmed black hat and spare brown robes. Under my shirt I carry with me a long silver knife, blessed by my teacher long ago, and in a pocket, a letter to the head priest of the Temple.

My goal is to pass safely through and continue my pilgrimage.

You, my friends online, 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 direct questions, though, so you might not be able to do it.

The rules

1. Only answer my questions.

2. If you don't already know the answer, make something up.

3. Keep your answers short.

4. If your answer's disruptive, I'm allowed to delete it.

5. Otherwise, I have to go with the first answer somebody gives. I'll +1 it.

You may subscribe to this thread if you like. Please use the sentence "no gods watch over you" to do so.

I'll start!

Meguey Baker

The sun is at midday, and the dappled shade is refreshing. I have walked beneath the trees for half an hour now, and the pale green moss that gives this forest it's name hangs in tatters from the branches. I've seen small creatures and startled one larger one. I'm walking along a tiny stream when something warns me of approaching danger.

What warns me? Anyone should answer!

Eric Nieudan

The dappled shade on the mossy ground turns into a huge, pitch black shadow.

Ryan Mattison

The noise of the small creatures abruptly ends, casting a heavy silence over the forest

Richard Rogers (orklord)

The snip snap of branches in distant trees and the slowly growing thoom boom of heavy steps growing louder warn you of something coming this way. Something large.

Meguey Baker

The shadow is like a patch of night, the trees  within it shrouded. No birds sing. I stop silent, listening, looking up through the trees. Can I see the cause of the shadow?

Anyone may answer!

Misha B

Something large and winged with a reptilian tail looms overhead. 

Richard Rogers (orklord

Dark clouds cover the sun, shadows spreading over the grove. A chill grows in the air.

Meguey Baker

I slide to the edge of the path, hoping to stay beneath it's notice.

Where might I best hide?

Anyone may answer!

Carrie Schutrick

There's a fallen log with a hollow space under it a few strides away; it'll shield you from the sky.

David Rothfeder

The cave of the forgotten is a short sprint away. It is a place of hidden things

Shae Davidson

The twisted roots of a mulberry tree uprooted by a storm.

Meguey Baker

The mulberry log looks like scarce shelter from something so vast. It may buy me a moment, and it seems safer by far than the cave of the forgotten. I press myself into the loam, rich dark earth around me, and listen for the beast.

What sound or movement betrays its actions?

Anyone may answer!

Duane Padilla

A tree branch cracks as the huge beast descends towards you.

Meguey Baker

The reptilian tail swings wildly to counterbalance, knocking over a small pine. The beast is now lower among the branches, no longer on the treetops. Hopefully the closer quarters make it slower to descend. The shadow is deep, and I aim to use it to my best advantage.

How far away is that cave entrance?

Anyone may answer!

Rob Deobald

The cave entrance is a short sprint away across ground dotted with hidden bolt holes dug by small rodents; the perfect size to twist an ankle in, if you're not careful.

Yoshi Creelman

In a full out sprint, it is 20 seconds away. Slowly and cautiously, it is significantly further. 

Meguey Baker

I have yet to see the full size of the beast above, but I imagine it has a mouth or claws large enough to do me harm. The uneven ground seems worth the risk. I quiet my breathing with one of my first lessons,  and rest my hand on the hilt of my knife. Then I choose my moment and make a dash for the cave.

Can I reach the cave without the creature noticing me?

Anyone may answer!

Eric Nieudan

The creature knew where you were all along. Your only chance is to reach the cave before it grabs you with one of its humanlike hands.

Yoshi Creelman

The creature notices you, but it's attempts to stop seem to be lacking conviction. You reach the cave, only to hear a soft cry from inside, and the creature blocking your escape.

Meguey Baker

The creature makes a leap from the branches to the forest floor, and the great shadow vanishes as it's vast wings furl tight against it's body. It's massive legs brush past trees as it wends its way toward the cave. It's tail is long and sways behind it, it's head stretched out before. The digits on it's...hands?...are oddly lobbed and padded, not as thin and reptilian as I expected. I run flat out, throwing myself into the small cave as the creature turns with an odd detachment to block the entrance with it's bulk.

What is in here with me, that cried out as I entered?

Anyone may answer!

Duane Padilla

Three of its young, all nearly your size, with wicked claws, barbed tails and clacking beaks. They appear hungry and aggressive as they move towards you.

Yoshi Creelman

A pile of bones and treasure, and nestled in the mess you see a creature, obiously kin to the larger, it stands 4ft tall hissing at you ready to snap at you with a lizard like head full of teeth. In it's hands it's holding a spear, probably the remanents of previous explorer. 

Meguey Baker

I might be able to overpower them. I stab the nearest one with the steel tip of my walking staff, pinning it to the wall. I draw out my knife and pivot to the others,  ready to strike. Do they submit?

Anyone may answer!

Misha B

The pierced one screams in agony as the others advance on you, teeth bared.

Meguey Baker

(Taking that as a no)

I swing at the nearest greener one, aiming for the side of the throat.

I might be able to fight free. Does it recoil, withdraw, or otherwise give me the opportunity to gain advantage? Anyone may answer!

Chelsey Eaton

It does withdraw from you, clearly frightened. 

Michael Miller

It does not recoil. The pain of the knife-knick seems to ignite a fury of bloodlust behind its unblinking eyes.

Meguey Baker

The green one backs down, and the blueish one keeps it's distance, looking warily at me. I keep my knife on them and glance quickly around for any other exits.

Is there a place I can escape? Anyone may answer!

Michael Miller

No, the teeth of the large one loom directly outside the cave mouth.

Sean Fager

Back outside, although the dangers of that are quite obvious.

Just behind you is a crack in the cavern's sidewall, maybe a foot and a half high, opening into the darkness underneath.  A slanted rock face, worn smooth by time and rain, drops off at almost fifty degrees just on the other side of the crack.  It leads downward, too deeply into the darkness to guess where it ends.  A dull green glow, too faint to make out it's source, comes from somewhere down there.

Are... are these creatures Karathainnes?  Your teacher mentioned Karathainnes once - herbivore monsters of sky and shadow, who demand blood for blood, but aren't known to kill those who neither run nor flinch.  She never told you enough to conclusively identify the beasts though.

Meguey Baker

My attention slips, looking at those teeth. Karathainnes or no, I don't like them, and that crack is not very encouraging either. I'm going to have to make a break for it, if I have any hope of surviving. My only hope is to reach the dense underbrush beside the cave. I choose the side that would force the massive beast to double back upon itself in the small space in front of the cave, and run.

Do I reach the underbrush?

Anyone can answer!

Do I get raked by the little blueish one on my way out?

+Duane Padilla or +Yoshi Creelman should answer!

Duane Padilla

The mother is screeching horribly after you've stabbed it's child.  It is lifting its head towards the sky and not focused on you in it's grief.

You make a dash towards the underbrush and the beast struggles to turn.  You've nearly reached safety when its barbed tail strikes you in the back of the shoulder blade.  You tumble forward into the thick underbrush while the winged creature thrashes around, unable to reach you because of it's bulk.

Jesse Fowler

You dive into a dense thorny bush, the thorns long and stiff. They seem to demand blood for passage.

Meguey Baker

I am dizzy and in pain! I head deeper into the brush, thrashing through briers and thickets, hoping I'm parallel to the path. Can I get away?

Anyone should answer!

Ben Lehman

no.

Richard Rogers (orklord)

yes

Meguey Baker

I struggle in the tangle of branches and vines that tear at my robe and skin, nearly pinning me to the ground. I'm away from the beast that roars behind me in the small clearing, but trapped by the mindless plants.

*I might be able to use my knife to cut my way free. Can I do it?*

Anyone should answer!

Duane Padilla

You saw away at the vegetation and work your way free, but your blade is dulled.

Meguey Baker

The blade is covered in thick sticky sap and dull to the point of uselessness as a weapon. Reaching the far edge of the tangle, I orient on the late afternoon sun and head onward through the Ragged Forest  on my way toward the City of Gulls, somewhat the worse for wear. I keep to the underbrush, avoiding the open road and any clearings, and forego the comfort of a fire at night. When at last I emerge, the sea at the horizon is a clear blue beacon. My shoulder will ache in damp weather from the tiny spines left by the great beast's tail, and the story of my brush with death will add to those that warn others to pass this way only in company, never alone.

Thanks folks! That was fun!

 

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