There’s something surreal about the scene that gives it away. You know you’re in a dream. The moon and the stars are just a touch too bright, and there’s something about the crisp chill the gentle breeze leaves on your skin as it blows through the trees.You know the forest well. Many of your most prominent memories, and greatest triumphs, have taken place in these very woods, and as early as you can remember you and your friends would come here to run amok, play at being rangers, and try to learn the forest’s secrets. All of that, and you can safely say that you’ve never set foot this deep.Despite this, you know where you are. There’s only one section of the woods that has this much of an incline. You’ve never been here yourself, but you’ve got to be near the lake. The run off from the elevated lake trickles into thousands of streams, with the biggest of them running through Springhearth itself, and the rest feeding the soil of her fertile farms.As you climb, your feet sinking deeper and deeper into the damp soil, you’re left with only your thoughts and the sounds of the forest. Something has you on edge, and the higher you climb, the more uneasy you feel. It’s the feeling you get when you’re about to jump from the tallest branch of mama-tree into the river, or the realisation that the moon dance is tomorrow night and you still don’t have a date.
You’re thankful when the hill begins to crest and the ground levels out. The clouds obscure the moon, but there’s enough light to realise that you’re at the top. You’ve been subconsciously making your way here from the start, and you’ve finally reached your destination. Your boots squelch as you make your way to the lake’s edge, your uneasiness shifting to admiration for the beauty of the black expanse.And just as quick at this uneasiness was lifted, it’s brought back tenfold by the realisation that you are not alone.You can make out two silhouettes in the distance. On the far side of the lake in the shallows you see a tall figure with its back turned, making erratic movements and striking at something at its feet. And standing on the shore to your right a hooded figure observes, quite similarly to you. > Approach the tall figure in the shallows of the lake.> Approach the hooded figure> Stay put and observe too> NOPE the fuck outta there
>>1780937> Stay put and observe too
Recently realised that starting a quest in the middle of the night in burgerland probably isn't the best approach to get the numbers going. Gonna wait a bit longer so hopefully a few more players can get in here and things can start moving.
>>1781119>>1781386>Stay put and observe tooYou calm yourself and steady you nerves, deciding to observe the situation before you act. What the fuck is actually going on here anyway? The only people who’d be out in the forest are rangers on patrol, and they’d only be out during the day. This is deep wilderness, even you and your friends have yet to make the trek to the lake despite wanting to for ages. So why the fuck are there 2 other people here in the dead of night?And more importantly, why are you here joining them?Focus. You strain your eyes to try and make out the details of your far off company, though the clouds seem to insist on staying in front of the moon, hindering your vision. The hooded figure stands stoically, watching the shadow in the water closely. It’s far too dark to make out his face at this distance, but you do notice that the man keeps a firm grip on his sword.You decide to follow the hooded man by example, and train your eyes and ears on the lanky figure in the shallows. The lanky figure is almost double the distance away from you as the hooded man, shrouding the details of his figure in darkness. Despite this, you can still make out his movements. He wildly lunges at the object at his feet, ripping chunks out of it with his bare hands and throwing them into the air in a frenzy. You watch the lanky figure intently for a minute or so before he rips a chunk out of the object and cradles it to his chest. It seems to have found what it was looking for.For a moment, it stands there peacefully, cradling whatever it holds to its chest reverently. It reminds you of a mother holding her new born babe, and your struck by how intimate the scene seems, feeling as if you’ve intruded on a very private moment. No wonder you’re beyond horrified when the man brings the object to his mouth and consumes it.Finished, the lanky figure starts sauntering your way. It’s faint at first. Barely louder than a whisper, but it gets louder as he draws closer. You mistook the sound for the wind blowing through this whole time, but there’s no mistaking the infections and repetition as some form of language, giving you shivers down your spine.“एसजीकॉलवासरायझीकलवासराईट… एसजीकॉलवासरायझीकलवासराईट…”At this point you’re practically shitting yourself. None of your questions have been answered, and if there’s one thing you have learnt, it’s that you need to get the fuck out of here. Looking at the cloud cover, you can see that it’s starting to break up. If you leave now, that darkness you thought so unfortunate at first will be on your side.But you’re also pretty certain it hasn’t noticed you yet. You could finally get the answers you want, if you just wait out the clouds a little bit longer.>Stick around>NOPE the fuck outta there>Write-in
Rolled 43 (1d100)>>1781691>>NOPE the fuck outta there
Still alive guys, just hoping a few more players come out of the woodwork. Consensus on a male first name would be good as well.
>>1783123>Consensus on a male first name would be good as well.Oscar
>>1781691>Stick around>>1783123what kind of culture are we from? that would really decide what kind of name would be appropriate
>>1783571Anything that kind of sounds British, Germanic or Celctic is fine. For example, your two good friends are called Sammael and Aiden.
>>1783091>>1783571>>17835783 for CURIOSITY>>17818871 for pussying outWriting now guys
>>1783633Literally every fibre of your being is screaming RUN, but there’s something deep inside you that compels you to stay. You’ve always been a curious sort, and you’ve spent your whole adolescence ranging through this forest, trying to learn its secrets. Father says you and your friends are still a bit too reckless for your own good, and that you’ll calm down with age, but you’ve been a man 3 months now and you still jump off the mama-tree into the river weekly. You try to slink into the shadows as best you can, but still stay close to the water so you can get a good look. You still have no idea why you’re here, but you’re starting to feel like it wasn’t a coincidence. You’ve had your odd encounters in the woods, occasionally wolves and the odd bear, but you’ve never stumbled across something that even comes close to being this sinister.Crouching dead still, you wait. You can feel the sweat drip down your brow as the man’s whispering gets louder, that soft, unintelligible rasp almost being drowned out by the unrelenting drum that is your heart.For what feels like an eternity you wait.(cont)
>>1783824When the clouds break, the first thing you register is that despite being humanoid, ‘man’ is not the right label to describe this thing. Something like ‘beast,’ or ‘abomination’ would be more accurate.His nostrils flare as he sniffs the air, searching for his next prey. Muscles ripple and flex as he wades through the water, hollow, sunken eyes searching for any signs of life. Its obscenely long arms and skeletal, clawed fingers trail beside him, leaving gentle ripples that disrupting the mirrorlike surface of the lake. Looking into the black pits that are its eyes, you can tell that its starving. And judging by the piles of ravaged animal carcasses scattered around the water, its hunger is one that’s hard to satiate. Your eyes dart across to the shore, desperately searching for the hooded man, but he is nowhere to be seen.You’re completely alone and starting to regret staying around. You watch as it moves through the water so swiftly and silently, jutting mouth and fangs covered in blood and gore. This thing is a true hunter, and you’ve become its prey. >Approach it (you’re unarmed)>RUN>Write-in
>>1784028Told my roommate I was running a thing and to have a vote cause things were so slow, didn't even register we'd have same ID cause of same IP. I'd never samefag, let alone so stupidly on my own quest kek
>>1784058>not samefagging to force what you want to winyou disgust me
>>1783832>Approach it (you’re unarmed)
>>1784061Look anon, if I was going to samefag it would've been yesterday when I was waiting 8 hours for players to come in. This is my first session, and if I wanted to choose the story I would've just wrote a book.I'm trying to do a decent job at being a first time QM and run something in the setting I've spent plenty of time creating. It's not that difficult to samefag and change ID, so please just take my word for it.If you're pissed that I asked my roommate to participate cause things were slow, that's understandable and I'll wear that despite me thinking there's was nothing wrong with it. Due to the ID cause of our shared IP, he won't be participating anyway.
>>1784098I'm pissed you're too much of a fag to accept samefagging as the one true way to participate in quests, the average anon cannot be trusted so the vote must be rigged
We need a tiebreaker guys. If your lurking, pls get in and vote cause I wanna get shit moving>>1784105Lmao
>>1784105I agree with this man who definitely not another segment of my own brain. Other players must not be trusted to think for themselves, they must be forced to join the glorious hivemind so that questing may be done in appropriately.
>>1783832>Approach it (you’re unarmed)Gonna follow the QM's lead here.
>>1784191Indeed. Many do not realise they are already a part of it. Ids do not truly exist, and the only person you vote and shitpost against is yourself
>mfw double samefag switcheroo excuse works again>>1784065>>17842052 for being a reckless mofo>>17839801 for pussying outWriting now guys. Also consensus on the name would be good, so far Oscar is the only suggestion.
>>1784239What compels you to confront the most horrifying creature you’ve seen, completely unarmed, you’ll never know. But you’ve always followed your instincts, and have never backed down from a challenge. You were the one who took the first climbed up the mama-tree when you were 8, go into the forest by yourself at night when you were 11, and the first one who took the leap off the mama-tree’s tallest branch into the Hearth River when you were 12. You’re fearless, or stupid, depending on who you ask. It’s who you are. Too bad you haven’t had the same kind of attitude these past few weeks when it came to the moon dance, cause you’re still dateless.[Trait gained! Reckless Abandon! +2 to all “do or die” rolls]You definitely feel more on the stupid side as you rise up out of your crouch. The beast scans its surroundings, nostrils flaring as it takes in the scents of the forest, looking for its next lead. Now that the clouds have fully dispersed, the lake is bathed in vivid, pale moonlight. The beast is much closer now, and you can even see its mouth move as it rasps its unnerving mantra.“एसजीकॉलवासरायझीकलवासराईट… एसजीकॉलवासरायझीकलवासराईट…”Those teeth could tear your throat out in a split second, or it could gore you on its antlers and toss you aside like a rag doll to bleed out. The thought of those long, spindly fingers rooting around your insides making you nauseous to the core.You take one step forward.The beasts looks around, its whispering becoming more frantic.You take another.And the tell-tale sound of a stick snapping is almost like your death knell, as the beast’s head swivels, the dead, black pits that serve as its eyes making contact with your own.“GWWWWWRRROOOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHHHHH”Fuck.[Gonna be using Soma’s system for BQ. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the pastebin link: http://pastebin.com/nhswziq6]ROLLLL 3D10 +2 (Reckless Abandon) Vs DC 14 [Base 15, +4 (???), -5 (???)]
Rolled 4, 9, 2 + 2 = 17 (3d10 + 2)>>1784320why must it be like it do
Rolled 1, 1, 3 - 2 = 3 (3d11 - 2)>>1784320
Rolled 4, 10, 10 + 2 = 26 (3d10 + 2)>>1784320Rollan
Rolled 5, 5, 4 + 2 = 16 (3d10 + 2)>>1784320
>>1784337>>1784361>>1784455>17, 26, 16>Regular SuccessWriting
>>1784473>Regular SuccessThat's not how it works
>>1784473The beast wastes no time in pursuing you, instantly dropping on all fours and charging, antlers first. You don’t fully comprehend the danger you’re in at first, and only when you see its powerful legs send dirt flying do you break into a full sprint, heading for the safety of the forest where you can hopefully lose it. Though when you frantically glance back to check on the beast, you realise there’s no way you’re going to even make it that far.Realising the futility in running, you turn to face it. Its lanky form lopes towards you, bloody spittle flying from its mouth as it pants erratically, practically driving itself into a frenzy with its desire to devour you. You look the lumbering form dead in the eyes. “Holy fuck. This is where I die.”The beast covers half of the distance separating you in a second.“No. Fuck that. Focus.”Lowering its head in preparation to gore you on its antlers, you’re adamant you can see glee in its black, hollow eyes.”Focus.”And as the beast goes to stab its antlers through your stomach, you jump. (cont)
>>1784518Time seems to stand still for a moment while you’re in mid-air. Taking in the scene, you admire for a second the serenity of the trees and nature around you, coupled with the vivid night sky, moon and starts brighter than you’ve ever seen them before. Given a moment to take in the scenery, you think, solemnly to yourself, that this isn’t a very bad place to die.You land hard on your way down, wind completely knocked out of you. Out of the corner of your eye, you see the beast. It was in such a frenzy gore you that it completely lost balance when it missed, momentum carrying it closer to the forest and knocking it prone.You force your arms to move and prop yourself up, willing your body to stand and face it again. The beast limberly rolls, skirting around quickly to begin its next charge. Deep down, you know there’s no way you can avoid it this time, and that the best you can do is go down knowing that you went with a fight. Just as you pretty much come to terms with your fate, you feel a cold, hard hand clamp onto your shoulder. Instantly, you snap your whole body around to come face to face with the glassy eyes and thick, grey beard of the hooded figure.His face is the last thing you see before everything goes black.
>>1784519You wake up in your room, the bare beginnings of morning starting to shine through your window. You’re usually not an early riser, and you’ve got a long day ahead, but the ordeals from your dream linger, and you know there’s no way you’re going back to sleep. You kick off the covers and sit on the edge of the bed, rubbing the sleep from your eyes. You attempt to recount the dream whilst it’s still fresh in your head, but already details are slipping away, leaving only a vague sense of unease and tiredness. Now you’re well and truly up, and you’ve got a very big day ahead of you. Tonight marks the beginning of The Gentle Moon, and you’re going to be spending all day setting up the festival with all the other young men and women of age. Then you have a few hours before the festival to get ready and find a date, with the rest of the night being taken up by the festivities and the moon dance. You’re definitely not looking forward to today’s ordeal. Sam, especially, is going to give you a ton of shit for not having a date by now. Oh well, you’ll deal with all that shit later. For now, you might as well put this free time to good use, since you’re not going to be having any for a while. You look to the familiar clutter of your desk, what are you going to do to occupy your time?
>>1784523[Pick 3 and choose one thing to work on/do out of those 3 chosen. These will determine you starting skills and/or items you own]>Memoirs of a Traveller by Iroh Tomotaki. A text documenting the various travels, experiences and idle thoughts of the adventurer from Tso-Tan. On loan from your good friend Sammael who enjoys the grand tales from one who has seen the wider world. >An introduction to the art of breaking: A manual of arms. Runs through the basic forms of breaking, the name given to traditional Wellish sword fighting. Required reading for those who aspire to be rangers.>Old songs: A collection of historical tales and sonnets by Baris the Bard. Bought from a merchant for a bag of duck feathers many trade seasons ago. Seems to be a staple bard text, as every bard you have spoken to seems to be familiar with its contents to some degree.>Mathematics and the Natural World by Ade Olaboye. Detailed analysis of mathematics and its manifestation in magic and nature that you have borrowed from your good friend Theo. Some concepts and calculations are beyond your understanding, even with Theo’s succinct and knowledgeable explanations.>Wood pipe and a bag of sweetleaf. Springhearth’s main export is enjoyed by many around Camewell, and you’re no exception. Besides, what better way is there to end a day than sitting down with a pipe full of sweetleaf and a good book? >Polished steel mirror. Whilst you wouldn’t call yourself vain, it definitely does wonders for your ease of mind to know that you aren’t walking around with something on your face.>A Tyren lute. Bought off a sorry bard during last year’s trade season for literally all of your acquired wealth at the time. Bards don’t pass through Springhearth often, and whilst you’re not confident enough to play in front of everyone at the inn, a shoddily played melody still goes a long way in lifting one’s spirits.>Wooden training sword. Given to you on your 11th nameday as is customary. You’ve practised with it pretty much every day since.>Old oil lantern given to you by father on your 10th nameday. You’ve taken it on every shady adventure into the forest, alone or with friends, and it is yet to let you down. Oil does get expensive though…
>>1784525>An introduction to the art of breaking: A manual of arms. Runs through the basic forms of breaking, the name given to traditional Wellish sword fighting. Required reading for those who aspire to be rangers.>Wooden training sword. Given to you on your 11th nameday as is customary. You’ve practised with it pretty much every day since.>Memoirs of a Traveller by Iroh Tomotaki. A text documenting the various travels, experiences and idle thoughts of the adventurer from Tso-Tan. On loan from your good friend Sammael who enjoys the grand tales from one who has seen the wider world. >Work on our combat skills, lest anons vote us into early death.
>>1784525>Memoirs of a Traveller by Iroh Tomotaki. A text documenting the various travels, experiences and idle thoughts of the adventurer from Tso-Tan. On loan from your good friend Sammael who enjoys the grand tales from one who has seen the wider world. >Wooden training sword. Given to you on your 11th nameday as is customary. You’ve practised with it pretty much every day since.>Wood pipe and a bag of sweetleaf. Springhearth’s main export is enjoyed by many around Camewell, and you’re no exception. Besides, what better way is there to end a day than sitting down with a pipe full of sweetleaf and a good bookDoes sweetleaf = weed op?
>>1784525>>1784562Also focus on running through combat with the sword
>>1784525>Memoirs of a Traveller by Iroh Tomotaki. A text documenting the various travels, experiences and idle thoughts of the adventurer from Tso-Tan. On loan from your good friend Sammael who enjoys the grand tales from one who has seen the wider world. >Wooden training sword. Given to you on your 11th nameday as is customary. You’ve practised with it pretty much every day since.>Old oil lantern given to you by father on your 10th nameday. You’ve taken it on every shady adventure into the forest, alone or with friends, and it is yet to let you down. Oil does get expensive though…Adventure a best. Go wander around looking for anything out of the ordinary to check out.
Gonna hit the hay for tonight, but will leave the vote for the name and your starting items open. I'll probably be back in roughly 8-10 hours.In the meantime, I've made a twitter where I'll post whenever I'm running next https://twitter.com/OlasQM >>1784562Essentially, yes, though the potency of sweetleaf is more reminiscent of the plant before it was bred to have the extremely high THC and CBD contents of today. Thus despite sweetleaf being socially acceptable and legal in the kingdom you live in, people aren't walking around properly fucked, they're just a little bit buzzed.
>>1784541>>1784584>>1784562Looks like a consensus has been reached on the wooden sword, Iroh Tomotaki's memoirs, and focusing on combat for the morning. For the sake of continuity and moving things along today. Next vote who breaks the tiebreaker between the lantern, sweetleaf, and the breaking manual will decide the third choice.Also if no other names are brought up for discussion, I'm just gonna go with Oscar.
>>1786618I'll just vote lantern to break the tie.
>>1786636>>1784584>>1784562>>1784541Looks like we're going with...>Memoirs of a Traveller by Iroh Tomotaki. A text documenting the various travels, experiences and idle thoughts of the adventurer from Tso-Tan. On loan from your good friend Sammael who enjoys the grand tales from one who has seen the wider world. >Wooden training sword. Given to you on your 11th nameday as is customary. You’ve practised with it pretty much every day since.>Old oil lantern given to you by father on your 10th nameday. You’ve taken it on every shady adventure into the forest, alone or with friends, and it is yet to let you down. Oil does get expensive though…Rightin'
>>1786668[You now have in your possession Memoirs of a Traveller, Barcadan edition 1, a wooden sword, and an old oil lantern!][Swordsmanship level increased to 2!]You pick up your wooden trading sword, the hilt perfectly melded to your hand from years of use, and examine the chestnut blade. Countless hours have been spent practising your forms and sparring with your friends with it, and it shows in its many blemishes and nicks. On a few select occasions you’ve even used it to fight off wolves in the forest with Sam and Theo. Dropping into a fighting stance, you run through your forms. You start slow at first, feeling pretty disoriented and scattered from your dream, but you steadily pick up the pace without breaking focus. It’s hard work, and you start to break a sweat, but it clears your mind in a strange way, and induces an inner peace of sorts, both things direly needed after what you experienced. Eventually you find your rhythm, entering that trancelike state you find yourself in when you’re completely absorbed in something. With your movements now on autopilot, your mind starts to wander, and you start to think back on the dream. Though the finer details of last night seem to elude you, the image of the beast charging at you is burned into your memory, sickly, grey skin stretched taut over sinuous muscle seeming all too real. And that man’s face, you don’t think you’re ever going to forget that. Just who exactly was he anyway? And what the fuck was he doing there in the middle of the nigh--BANG BANG BANGLight has barely started to filter in through your window when a violent knocking on the door scares the shit out of you, completely breaking your focus. You hear Sammael’s voice echo throughout your house. “Hey! Oscar! Get the fuck out here man!”(cont)
>>1787089You have no idea what Sammael’s doing at your house at sunrise, he’s usually not even up for ages. You put your sword down, leaning it against your bed, and go to let him in.Opening the door, you’re greeted not only by Sam, but also by Theo. Sam looks like he’s just gotten out of bed, dishevelled, baggy eyed and hair sticking up everywhere. Theo, on the other hand, is bright eyed and alert. Judging from the flour all over his clothes, he’s probably been up as long as you have, doing the baking at The Sloppy Stag, Hearthspring’s best and only inn. Still perplexed at what they’re doing here so early, you pipe up. “Hey guys, what’s up? Here for an early morning trip so we can fuck the moon dance off?”Sammael begins to respond before Theo cuts him off. “As tempting as that sounds, we’ve actually been sent to come tell you and your dad to come into town. Duke’s called a meeting, and everyone needs to come.”Theo frowns slightly before he continues, something weighing on his mind. “Apparently, it’s urgent.”Your sense of urgency starts to flare up when you see Sammael’s usually coy, smirking expression become something hard and stoic. “Your dad’s already left, so we should definitely get a move on.”Nodding, you let your friends know you’ll be right back. Putting some proper clothes on and grabbing your coin purse takes no time at all, and you leave the house in a dead sprint on the trail to Hearthspring, your friends eventually catching up and running alongside you.[You now have 12 copper coins!]Your farm isn’t far away from town, and before you know it Hearthspring comes into view. Though approximately half of the town’s population live out on the surrounding farms, the village still shows many signs of activity and productivity, and from the chimneys of various shops and homes in the village does smoke rise. At the centre of the town you can make out The Sloppy Stag, the 2 storey inn dwarfing all the other buildings around it. You’ve been told by travellers and merchants passing through that Hearthspring is a very quaint and isolated little town compared to what’s out there, but it’s all you’ve known your whole life.Well, so far anyway.
>>1787102As you get closer to the town centre, the air grows more alive with chatter. Judging from the crowd, practically every adult that isn’t doing something essential for the function of the town is here, even the young adults, like yourself, that have just come of age. On the outskirts of the crowd you spot Lara, one of the girls you were thinking of asking to the moon dance, chatting and giggling with her friends.People still seem to be filtering in though, and the Duke appears to be preoccupied with talking to some of the more senior and respected members of the village, your father included. It looks like the meeting is still yet to start, giving you time some time to kill.>Approach Lara and her friends>Stay and chat shit with Theo and Sam>Try and get some answers for what’s going on from your dad>Write-in
>>1787110>Talk to daddy
>>1784478Just caught my fuck up, have no idea why 16 didn't register as a pass in my brain. Was a long day yesterday, and I'm just gonna chalk it up to first time QM things I guess. Definitely won't happen again
>>1787280Forgot my trip, again...
>>1787110>Approach Lara and her friends
>>1787110>Try and get some answers for what’s going on from your dad
>>1787200>>17876172 for family first>>17876171 for likely spaghettiLooks like we're going to daddy. Writin
>>1787964“For fuck’s sake man, why’d the duke have to make it out that it was soooo urgent that we get here quick, when they’re spending spend half the day whispering among themselves anyway. For Vaul’s sa-“An older woman in front of you snaps her head around at the mention of the deity’s name in vain, staring daggers at him and daring him to continue.Sam, shakily, continues. “Ahem… Uh, my point is, that if the situation is a dire as the duke’s making it out to be, they’d have spoken by now and we’d all be out of here. I mean, we still gotta set up the moon dance today! We got heaps of shi-, uh, stuff. To do.”Theo smirks at that last remark. “Come on Sam, you’re not fooling anyone. You were proper blacked out when I came around this morning, and now’s about the time we should’ve been here to start setting up. There’s was no bloody way you were ever making it.”You chime in before Sam retorts. “Chill guys, no need to get so wound up so early in the morning. Tell you what, I’ll head over to dad now and ask him what’s up. I just saw him speaking to the duke, so he’ll definitely know what’s going on.”Sam shakes his head and waves his hand dismissively. “Whatever you say Oscar, we’ll be waiting right here. Waiting for this fucking meeting to start…”The older woman in front of you snaps her head around again and gives Sam one of the dirtiest looks you’ve ever seen. You manage to slip away just as she lets her verbal tirade loose, turning heads with her shrill assessment of Sam’s character and morals.Weaving your way through the crowd, you make it all the way to the front before you lose track of the older woman’s shrieking. Your father stands at the forefront of the crowd, his usually jovial face and laughing eyes replaced with stony features. He must’ve been working on the farm when Theo and Sam came along, as he’s already in his work gear, hands and clothes speckled with flecks of dirt. He makes small talk with a man you recognise, Odrick Illan, captain of the rangers.(cont)
>>1788075Your father manages a slight smile when he sees you approaching. “Actually made it eh? Good to see you’re upholding your responsibilities as an adult. Thought you and your mates would’ve much preferred to have a run around the woods than to hear a bunch of old men speak!”Him and Captain Odrik chuckle at the remark, probably knowing all too well how close they were to the truth.Your father continues. “Odrik, this is my son Oscar. He’s pretty keen on the sword, you and the rangers should have him around to train some time. Add to your numbers.”Odrik puts his hand forward and introduces himself. “I don’t believe we’ve formerly met, but I saw you at the ranger trials earlier this year. You made the mark, but we can only take one junior ranger at a time. You’re an excellent woodsman, and if you keep working on those sword skills you’ll definitely make in the running next year.”You take his hand and shake it, genuinely humbled by his words. “Thanks captain. That actually means a lot come from someone like you.”Your father grins, but senses your desire to get to the crux of the matter. “So I’m guessing you’ve come here for answers then. The duke is taking his sweet time, after all.”You nod, Captain Odrik grumbling at the mention of the duke.The Captain butts in. “Look lad, the whole reason we’re here is because of the river. You haven’t seen it because you don’t live in town, but the bloody Hearth runs red. Blood red.”Nodding, your father takes over. “The whole river too, as far as the eye can see upstream. Some of the wives are in hysterics, locking the children up inside. The duke’s on the same boat, reason why this thing is taking so bloody long to start is because us and some of the other men had to convince him not to lock everyone inside their bloody houses whilst the rangers went upstream to investigate. It’s peculiar, but I don’t take it for a bad omen. To be honest, I’m more worried the duke is going to do something stupid then about the river.”Odrik shakes his head and spits. “Aye, it’s pathetic. He thinks it’s a sign from Vaul himself, and that Hearthspring is going to face retribution for its sins! The religious types in the capital are bloody ridiculous I reckon, I mean, the man’s so frightened he might as well be wearing a dress!”Both of the older men chuckle heartily, but all you can manage is an uneasy smile. You think back to last night’s dream, and the things you saw. The Hearth River is the largest stream of run-off from the lake, and the fact it now runs red makes your stomach sink.You force your mouth to move, the men still beside themselves with laughter. “S-so what are we gonna do about it then?”Your father shrugs, then nods up to the makeshift lectern. “Let’s find out.”(cont)
>>1788078The duke steps up to the stage, ready to give his address. He dresses in fine garbs of sea silk from Tyr, silver rings wrapped around his fingers, and an ostentatious gold medallion, centred with a massive gemstone hanging loosely from his neck. The duke didn’t grow up in Hearthspring, and you remember when he was first appointed, succeeding the previous duke 3 years ago. Escorted by a pair of knights from Galas, the capital, you remember the induction ceremony as being long and very bland. He mainly keeps to himself, as his job practically boils down to making sure the village runs smoothly, and more importantly, ensure that tax is collected and sent off safely.You don’t think you’ve ever seen a man so distraught and defeated your entire life. The crowd quietens down, as they see him walk across the stage like a man walking to the gallows.He pauses for a bit, waiting for the last of the crowd to calm down, face fraught with worry. “Ahem, quite please! So, a lot of you are probably wondering why I gathered you here today, whereas some of you would’ve already seen what’s happened.”“For those that have yet to see the river today, do not be alarmed when you do! The river runs red, some could say like blood.”Gasps are heard throughout the crowd, the news stirring up frantic whispers between the townsfolk. The duke wipes his the sweat off his brow, continuing. “Do not be alarmed! Bad omen or not, it is imperative that we find out what has actually caused this change. Thus, I have decided that Captain Odrik and his rangers will scout upstream and investigate! As far as Lake Ceryana if they have to!”The murmurs in the crowd start to flare up again. Despite the duke’s attempts to assure the crowd of their safety, the superstitious nature of many has gotten the better of them.A lone yell comes from the crowd as the murmurs grow louder. “Why would you send all the rangers?! Who’s going to protect us if something happens?!”This drives the crowd into an uproar, the duke, struggling to stay calm himself, stepping in before it gets too out of hand. “Silence! I wouldn’t be so hasty as to immediately assume that this a foreboding omen. Don’t be so quick judge!”He pauses for a second, gathering himself. “Though, for your own safety, no one is to walk outside of town after sunset. It’s now every man’s sole responsibility to protect his family, and if you own arms, carry them with you at all times. Families out on farms, stay at them at your own peril.”A young woman in the crowd shouts at the duke. “So what about the moon dance tonight then? That’s held outside of town!”The duke responds accordingly. “The safety of the village should always come before tradition. Thus I am sad to say that dance will be cancelled until after this matter is solved, and will, at the soonest, be held after trade season. Consider this matter dismissed!”(cont)
>>1788079The air is heavy with worry as the duke descends from the stage, Captain Odrik and father moving swiftly to intercept him. Already the crowd is alive with speculation and rumours, and you hear all sorts of crazy theories already being thrown around. Despite the trivialness of it all, you’d be outright lying if you said you weren’t concerned for the safety of yourself and the village as well, especially after what you saw last night. Part of you denies that this could be pure coincidence, though logically you know it was just a dream, no matter how real it seemed. Besides, if it WAS real, you would’ve been bruised and battered from the fall you took. At least the stress of finding a date for the moon dance has been alleviated indefinitely, and you’re not going to have to spend the whole bloody day setting up the festival. One less thing you got to worry about.You sight Theo and Sam heading your way as the crowd disperses, Sam with a massive grin on his face whilst Theo looks worried.Sam approaches you, eyes alive with glee. “So, what’s the plan? Go home, grab our shit, then meet at the mama-tree?”Theo turns and looks at Sam sceptically. “What are you on about. Meet at the mama-tree? For what?”Sam puts on a devilish grin. “What? You don’t want to follow the rangers upstream? This is the craziest thing that’s ever happened! Don’t tell me you don’t want to get to the bottom of this.”Theo, brow furrowed, shakes his head furiously. “No way. There is no bloody way we’re doing that. You’re crazy if you’re even thinking about it.”Sam says nothing, still grinning like a madman. Theo sighs, then looks at you expectantly. “Tell him he’s crazy Oscar.”>”I’m going to head home and grab my shit. I’ll see you both at the mama-tree.”>”We’re not bloody rangers Sam, there’s no way I’m following you out there.”>Write-in
>>1788081>How about protecting families? Don't you have adorable younger siblings to protect?
>>1788110You personally don't have any siblings. Your mother died during childbirth and it's always just been you and your dad.Theo and Sam however both have numerous younger siblings, so this would hit hard for both of them.
>>1788081>”I’m going to head home and grab my shit. I’ll see you both at the mama-tree.”
>>1788081>”I’m going to head home and grab my shit. I’ll see you both at the mama-tree.”We ain't reckless for nothin'
>>1789832>>17896142 for ADVETNURAN>>17881101 for being respoinsibleGonna fix myself something to eat first, then gonna get down to writin'
>>1790791You look at your two friends, Sam can barely contain himself whilst Theo looks at you concerned. You crack a slight, devious smile, and give Theo an apologetic look. ”I’m gonna head home and grab my shit. I’ll see you both at the mama-tree.”Theo’s heart drops at your words, whilst Sam whoops and cheers, clearly ecstatic.You look at Theo, who looks absolutely crestfallen. He’s trying to hide it, but this whole business has him spooked, scared of what might be out there. “Look man, you don’t have to come if you don’t want to. Nobody’s forcing you to do anything you don’t wan-“Theo comes in hot, cutting you off. “Are you trying to say I should abandon you guys? I’m not worried about us, we do dangerous shit all the time. I can understand why you’re so ready to go Oscar, you’ve got no obligations here, but Sam, think about your bloody family man, who’s going to protect them if you’re gone?”Sam falters, obviously not taking that into account. “D-dad’s armed; a-and Matt’s old enough to fight too. They’ll be able to handle the family, even without me there.”Theo remains stony faced, not having any of it. “Say what you will, but if we come back and something’s happened to them, know full well that it’s completely on you. I’ll see you both at the mama-tree.”And with that Theo storms off, leaving you and Sam to mull over his words.It’s evident that Theo’s words hit Sam hard, with his just ecstatic mood completely dissipated, leaving a solemn demeanour as he mulls over the very real consequences. You crack a slight smile, and try to cheer him up. “Well, what the fuck are we still doing here? We’re wasting daylight my man! Can’t let those pussyfooted rangers beat us to it. Besides, think of how good the moon dance will be when we figure out what’s going on. We’ll be fucking heroes!”Sam perks up at the mention of possible glory and women, bringing back his confidence. “We would be heroes, wouldn’t we? Best get a fucking move on then, I’ll catch ya soon.”(cont)
>>1791533You and Sam go your separate ways, thoughts of glory and adventure reviving the mood. It’s a beautiful, cloudless spring day, with the sun now well and truly up. Hearthspring is alive with early morning activity as people go about their morning chores, traders sweeping storefronts and wives doing their morning groceries. It’s obvious that many are trying to go on as if nothing is amiss, and despite their efforts the atmosphere is still one of apprehension. Conversations at market stalls is stunted, and any talk of the river is only done in whispers. You remark that you can’t hear any children playing their games outside, with most probably being holed up inside by worried mothers. Walking the little trail back to your farm doesn’t take long at all, and before you know it you’re back in your room, deciding what to bring. You pack the essentials first; bedroll, rope, fur overcoat, wooden sword, your old trusty lantern, and all of your remaining lantern oil, totalling approximately 2/3 of a bottle. Theo always takes care of food, since his family own The Sloppy Stag.The only luxury you pack is Memoirs of a Traveller, Barcadan edition 1. Something to stimulate the mind when you rest does wonders for morale, otherwise the only thing you have out there is wilderness and conversation. You think about the trip ahead of you, and the logistics of the situation. The Lake isn’t close, taking at least two full days of solid trekking upstream and uphill through soft, muddy soil to get there. It might not have a big family like Theo and Sam, but your dad will probably still be worried if you disappear for that long of a time, especially with all that’s going on now. Is it best to leave a note?>Yes, and tell him you’re heading to the lake.>Yes, but don’t tell him where you’re going and just say you’ll be back>No>Write-inThe possibility of something that beast being out there also weighs on your mind. You’ve fought things off with your wooden sword before, but there’s no way it’s going to suffice against something like that thing you saw at the lake. Your father was a soldier before you were born, fighting in the Wellish army against the Alatarian invaders, and you know he still has his sword. You know it’s important to him, but for what might be ahead, it might be necessary to take it.[Take your father’s sword?]>Yes>No
>>1791567>Yes, but don’t tell him where you’re going and just say you’ll be backJust say some bullshit about going on a longer exploration trip into the woods or something.>[Take your father’s sword?]No. Would be rather rude to steal a mans only chance at self defense.
>>1791567>Yes, and tell him you’re heading to the lake.>Don't take sword
>>1791567>Yes, but don’t tell him where you’re going and just say you’ll be back>NoHow much of that lantern oil do we specifically need? If we douse some rope in it to make a fuse, any chance we could make a Molotov of sorts? Need to be prepared for later if we don't even have a weaponGrab a flint and steel as well, I imagine we got one lying around
>>1791598>>1791760>>1791782All 3 for being kinda considerate, kinda slyWriting now guys>>1791782You couldn't make one, but bring it up with Theo and he'd probably be able to work it out.Sam's keeps the flint and steel, the guy enjoys setting things on fire.
>>1791813You grab a quill and some paper, hastily scribbling a note for your father. You tell him since the moon dance has been postponed, you’re going to take the opportunity to go on a long range to the Lorn River to go fishing. After all, as soon as The Gentle Moon is over harvest will begin, meaning you’re not going to have any opportunity to go out for a long time. You present it as merely making the most of the time you got available.Putting your backpack on, you walk out the door and take one last look at your house. You think about going back in and taking father’s sword, but he might very well need it soon. Besides, if you ever lost that thing or anything ever happened to it, he’d be devastated. Father has always condemned war, and the effect that it has on both the soldiers and innocent citizens as abhorrent. It’s why he’s always been reluctant to teach you to fight beyond the ability needed to defend yourself. Despite his attitude towards it now, you can see in his eyes when he tells his stories that he loved his time in the military, getting to see all the places the conflict took him. That sword is the only reminder of his glory days, and without it, the lustre of those memories would fade a lot quicker.This time, you don’t cut through the village on the way to the mama-tree, instead taking a wide berth on the outskirts of town. If anyone saw you with your backpack, bedroll and lantern hanging off your pack, they’ll probably start asking questions that may be hard to answer. Definitely an interaction you want to avoid.In the distance, a short walk upstream from town, the mama-tree looms over the canopy. The gentle wind stirs its leaf filled branches so very slightly, a beautiful burst of green framed by the background of a clear, spring sky. Lying right on the river, you and your friends have used it as a landmark for as long as you can remember, it being the designated meeting spot since you were first allowed out to play. The name came much later in fact, when you became old enough to realise that the two lumpy protrusions at the base of the trunk looked striking similar to a pair of tits.Mammary. Mama-tree. When you were 10 you thought it was funny.You eventually make your way to the river, finally getting a firsthand account about what all the fuss is about. You must admit it’s quite striking, the vivid red water stirring something up that makes you uneasy, your mind rebelling against the unnaturalness of it. You can see why some people were so shaken, if you were old, set in your ways, and deeply religious, you’d definitely be speculating about silly things like omens or Vaul’s will. Though the colour is very striking, you wouldn’t go as far to say it’s a river of blood. The water isn’t viscous, and it isn’t quite that deep, crimson colour.
>>1792156You follow the river upstream to the mama-tree, and waiting at the base are Theo and Sam, fully packed and ready to roll. Theo carries a burlap sack, probably full of bread, sausage, cheese and all manner of tasty, pickled goods. Sam, on the other hand, carries a sturdy wooden staff, his weapon of choice, and dons his strange, conical straw hat, supposedly brought by a merchant all the way from Tso-Tan. You clap your hands together, catching them both by surprise. “So, all ready to roll?”Sam nods. “All set. Rangers are following the river up to the lake and they ended up passing through here. Tracks are right over there, so they should be real easy to follow.”Theo doesn’t say anything, mouth set in a flat line. Concerned, you press him. “I know I said it before, but I’m gonna say it again. You don’t have to come just because we are. If we’re really gonna do this, all of us have to be fully committed.”Theo sighs. “I know man, I just really don’t this is the smart decision. You know I’m not superstitious, but I know there’s something bad going on. I can feel it in my bones. This could be something way bigger than we’re able to handle.”He pauses for a bit, then manages a slight smile. “But if you’re both so adamant on going, I’ve got to as well. I know what you’re both like. You’ve both got a death wish, and I’m good at making sure you don’t do anything too foolish. Besides, who else is going keep you and this Iroh Tomotaki wannabe alive?”You chuckle and Theo both chuckle whilst Sam gets triggered. “Hey! I ain’t no fucking wannabe! The hat keeps the sun off my face, so what if Iroh Tomotaki has one as well?”Sam huffs, you and Theo still cracking up. “Whatever, fuck you guys. Let’s just get on this fucking trail, we’re wasting time.”The ranger’s footprints are numerous in the soft soil, giving you lots to work off. They weren’t exactly trying to be discreet, and you have no trouble following their tracks upstream.
>>1792159You drive a hard pace all day, only stopping to eat a lunch by the river. You’re still yet to get used to the vibrant red of the river, and your lunch of goat’s cheese spread on hard bread, topped with slivers of cured sausage is eaten in relative silence among the three of you. Talking about the expedition was one thing, but now that you’re all out here for real the possibilities of what might be waiting at the end weigh heavily on each of your minds.Even when the sun sets you keep your gruelling pace, determined to make good time. The moon is only about a quarter into the sky when you start to hear voices up ahead. You put your finger to your mouth and your friends comply, immediately slowing your pace and being mindful not to make any noise.You get a bit closer to the commotion and glimpse firelight through the trees. Hearty conversation and the occasional chuckle resonate from the camp, and peeking out from behind a tree confirms your suspicions. Sam shakes his head and whispers. “As if they’ve already made camp. It’s not even that late for Vaul’s sake. What a bunch of pussies, I bet they’ve stopped cause they got sore feet.”Theo brings his finger to his lips, indicating Sam to be quiet. “Lower your voice. And, yeah, this is a bit pathetic. It’s going to take ages for them to get to the lake at this pace. Half a day more at least.”Sam tuts quietly. “Fuck following these guys, we should go ahead. See what’s going on first. We might even figure out the reason behind all this before they even get there. And we’ve got a lantern so we can keep going at a good pace even at night time, it’s way too early for us to make camp.”Theo purses his lips, looking unsure. “I agree that following their pace is going to be lame, but we’re not even armed. If we come across something dangerous, we’re not going to be able to do anything. I think it’s better if we make camp now and just follow them up.”Sam takes in Theo’s words, weighing up his decision. “What do you think Oscar?”>Go ahead of the rangers if it means we’ll get there quicker.>Follow them upstream>Write-in
>>1792165>Follow them upstreamGoing ahead also risks them noticing us. Depending on how many rangers there are they might have a forward scout.
>>1792165Maybe they don't want to be tired out once they arrive, in case they have to fight. It's a sensible thing to do.>Follow them upstream
>>1792165>Follow them upstreamAlso ask Theo about the Molotov
>>1792215>>1792181>>17921783 for exercising cautionWritin'>>1792215If you make the molotov you're only going to have the oil that's left in the lantern, which is about 2 hours or lamplight. If this idea gets support I'll write it in.Also, I realise that I might be namedropping things a lot without anons having enough contextual information regarding it due to me knowing the setting. If you feel things are getting a bit convoluted I'm happy to give you a write-up of Oscar's knowledge on anything you bring up.
>>1792231You’ve trained with the rangers before, and you’ve occasionally come across them on patrol in the forest. You could confidently say that you and your friends are more competent foresters than most of them. To say that the rangers as a whole could keep the pace you set today would be wishful thinking, but you know for certain that these men could keep going well into the night if they really wanted to. They’re being steady, conserving their energy so they can fight to the best of their ability if it comes to it.You voice your thoughts. “I think it’s better if we just stick behind them and take it easy. And more careful too, now that I think about it, they’ve probably got lone scouts keeping watch around the camp.”Sam’s eyes go wide. “Fuck, you’re probably right. Best set up camp now I guess, leave a bit after them in the morning.”Theo looks at the ground and sighs. “There isn’t anything to set up. There’s no chance we’ll get away with a fire tonight, if there’s scouts roaming around they’ll see it for leagues. Better start walking away from the river till the grounds dry enough to put our bedrolls on.”And with the realisation that tonight is going to be dark and cold the three of you set off to find a decent place to crash for the night. You take it slow, barely able to see where you’re going. Travelling at night without the lantern lit is a real pain, and you move at an agonizingly slow pace, being careful not to make any noise. After walking a few minutes away from the bank of the river, you find a nice little hollow with soft, flat ground, hidden away from the rest of the forest.You all open your packs, fumbling around for your belongings in the dark. At this point night has truly fallen, and the temperature is plummeting rapidly, forcing all of you to put your overcoats on to ward off the cold. The three of you sit on your bedrolls in the dark, this time eating cold, smoked fish on hearty bread for dinner. Taking watch is briefly discussed, though you all quickly conclude that if anything worth keeping watch over finds you, you’re all pretty much fucked anyway.
>>1792339With not much else to do or say, you all lie back, close your eyes and try to go to sleep. Sam smokes a few bowls of sweetleaf and is out straight away, whereas you spend a lot of the night looking up at the stars. You think about last night’s dream and the beast, wondering if you’ll dream again tonight. The thought fills you with fear, until you realise that soon you’re going to be there in person.Fixated on the beast, it’s been easy for you to forget the hooded man. Who was he, and why was he there with you? And the way he looked at you, directly in the eye, it was like he was staring into your soul. You wonder if he saved you, he was the last thing you saw before you woke up. If anyone actually has true answers to what’s going on, it’s definitely that old man.Before you know it, you’re so deep in thought that you don’t even realise you’ve fallen asleep.You snap your eyes open, ready to fight for your life at the lake, to birds chirping, and the first beams of sun shining down on your little hollow. Theo is already up, reading a mathematics book authored by some foreign scholar.Theo gets up, handing you 3 pieces of bread with plum jam spread generously over them and a waterskin. “Woke up pretty early, so I went and filled up the waterskins and checked on the rangers. They were just starting to pack up, so once we finish breakfast it’ll be time to go.”Theo goes over and wakes up Sam, handing him breakfast as well. You both take a while to wake up fully, taking your time with eating breakfast and packing up. After all there’s no rush, you can catch up with the rangers easily. Breakfast finished, you pack your bags and walk to the river, the rangers leaving a nice, easy trail for your to follow.
>>1792343It’s about noon when you see the first animal corpse. A doe, fully disembowelled, innards splayed everywhere, lies directly on the banks of the River.You wrinkle your nose. “Fwoaah, that smells atrocious.”Sam, face pale, looks like he’s set to puke. “Aye, that’s fucking feral.”Theo, on the other hand, slowly approaches the corpse. “This is absolutely vicious. Look at it, the thing’s barely eaten. Whatever killed this thing didn’t do it cause it was hungry, it probably did it for sport.”“It’s like something ripped its stomach open an-“You finish Theo’s sentence for him. “And looked around for something. All it’s innards torn out and thrown around everywhere.”Theo looks at you quizzically. “Yeah… Animals don’t throw things around though, humans do. Just what in Vaul’s name could’ve done something like this?”[Tell Theo and Sam about the dream?]>Yes, tell them everything>Yes, but play down details and leave out elements of it for their peace of mind>NoYou think back to what the beast was doing in your dream, how it ripped chunks out of the at its feet in the shallows of the lake, and how it cradled that object to its chest, finally finding what it desired. There’s no way a wolf or a bear would’ve done something like this.You look at the rotting corpse, smelling of maggots, foul flesh, and shit. It’s feral, but you’re curiosity is trying to get the better of you. Is it really worth digging around in there to see if anything’s missing?>Root around in the corpse>Continue onwards>Write-in
>>1792344>Don't tell themAt least for a while>Root around in the corpse with a stick
>>1792344>NoThe hell are they going to do with the knowledge?>Root around in the corpseCheck for the heart and liver.
>>1792344>Don't tell themThey'll probably freak and realise they're in way too deepSupportan stick idea for the corpse. Last thing we want is to get sick
>>1792347>>1792348>>1792354All 3 for keeping secrets and poking dead things with sticks. Gonna call it there and open next thread with this. Next thread should be started tomorrow, but I'll probably only get a few posts in, with the bulk of the running hopefully happening Tuesday.Thanks for playing guys, and if you're interested in more follow my twitter at https://twitter.com/OlasQM for all updates.Gonna stick around a bit for QnA, so feel free to ask whatever.