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/qst/ - Quests

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13 strangers awoke after an accident in a cave with strange objects, sinister shapes outside, and no memories of anything.

One man, Flattop, recovered a memory that his agency had him abduct the others as Subjects from other worlds in order to test their abilities, value, and threat to his own.
He also remembered burying their belongings, and then the short haired woman using a wand to wound one man, which led to the incident that caused everyone to lose their memories.
Now their belongings are unburied and the protection keeping the dangerous creatures out is fading.

One woman, a Nurse, has help save the life of the Wounded Man, witnessed the Old Man disappear into a portal, has comforted the Little Girl, and now is just desperate to help get everyone home.
You are a Nurse.

The others might be good at working out strange orb devices or planning to fight frightening creatures.
You? Not so much.
But inventorying supplies you can do.
Let's see, what were they?

Well, there was that small leather jacket that Ginger Guy snatched up first thing and hadn't let anyone near since.
You're pretty sure you could flirt your way into getting him to let you see it, but after that weird winking business, you're not sure you want to entice him to undress, at all.

There was also a set of 7 keys that seemed like perfectly normal keys,
The only key chain was clearly stolen from some motel that used a sunset as their logo.
The room number, room 10, is even marked on the key chain.
You suppose you could slip the keys into your satchel easily enough, if you wanted to check them out later
The survival pack was relatively straightforward and, aside from a knife that Ginger Guy took and hadn't let anyone near since and a pebble that Flattop had taken out, totally intact.

The heavy black case seemed normal enough, of course it wouldn't open.
At first, it seemed that the latches were just stuck, but then you noticed there was a key broken off in the lock.
You'd have to come back to that.

Going over the stack of clothes thoroughly, you are 100% convinced that they are just somebody's clothing.
Maybe the person was just so average that they had nothing interesting to save and bury?
Whatever, those clothes are no help.

The book wrapped in a large man's sweater is easy.
The book is in English, yet only yourself, Blondie, and Muttonchops can read it.
As confirmation, the sweater fits him like a glove and he vaguely recalls the book.
You think you know the author, some big horror and modern fantasy guy.
"Stephen Bachman", although you were sure his name was something else.
The book is a normal novel about some tower, so no help there.

The green cloak is large and very dense.
It feels like it would protect from the sun, rain, or other elements.
But it's hard to imagine anyone actually wearing such a heavy cloak.
You can't find anything special about it.

The strange device is... strange... and a device?
You guess it might be used to gather biological samples in the attached jar.
Moving on.

The big book is obviously a prop or a novelty journal.
It's been carefully made to look like one of those old bound books from medieval times or the Renaissance or whatever, with handmade paper and all.
But it's brand new, completely undamaged, and is utterly blank.
It must have cost a lot at some specialty shop.
Maybe someone will recognize it?

The Satellite Phone had a few symbols as letters that she didn't recognize.
Maybe it was Russian?
But whatever language it was in, you know a "Password Unaccepted" screen when you see one.
At least it worked and had a full battery icon.

Then there was the horn...

>Slip keys into satchel
>Take a knife from the pack
>Show book to[]
>write in
>wait for the next update in a moment
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The last item was the horn.

It was old, worn and as simple as could be.
You blow in one end and it would make a noise.
But then, there had been a red ballcap that poured electricity on the floor to make a "portal".
At least she knew that portals were real.
The aliens had used them, right?
But what would happen if she blew this horn?
Well, horns are meant to call attention, to either attract or scare off.
Would the horn call for help, or call something else?
Would it scare off those creatures or just piss them off?

Damn it!
You have too many questions and not nearly enough answers, or even guesses.
Glancing around and pacing in frustration, you see the stupid stuck case.
Angrily, you kick the stubborn thing.
And the latches pop open.
After a stunned moment, you kneel down and open the case and finally see what's inside.
You collapse to a seat in front of it.

Mustache, seeing your success, walks over and cheerfully says "Hey! You got it open! Wow, that's a nice typewriter. An antique too! It even has a sheet of paper in it. Why dontcha try typin' something?"
In a daze from failing to find anything to get you all out of there, you reach out and pick the keys out of the even stranger symbols and type "H€£P U$."
You sit back, defeated, and say "Nothing."

"Why'd you type that gobbledygook? Man, this baby has been well taken care of. All the original keys, properly oiled, she's beautiful."
Suddenly, you have a realization and ask Mustache "Do all these keys make sense to you?"
"Well, sure. It's the standard Ytrewk setup."
You have no idea what means, but you have an idea of what it could mean that he can read it.
"Would you please type something?"
"Sure, what do you want me to type?"

>Ask him to type "Send us back home."
>Ask him to type "Help everyone remember what they forgot."
>write in
>Blow horn confidently Roll 1d100
Previous threads:

I will be monitoring closely for the next five hours and responding quickly.
I will respond more slowly after that until the next scheduled update Saturday at 1am EST, or 5am UTC.
>>write in
Burn the english book, see how people react to it.

Well, that was a quicklier descend into madness then I thought it would be.
>>Ask him to type "Send us back home."
>Well, that was a quicklier descend into madness then I thought it would be.

Well, added with this write in:
>Burn the english book, see how people react to it.
Expect an even quicker descent into madness.

>Ask him to type "Send us back home."
Trying to work up a proper response.
I will either post it soon or in a few hours.
That was me, obviously.
Rolled 87, 53 = 140 (2d100)

Actually, could you roll 2d100 for that result?
If not, I'll improvise.
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>>>write in
>Burn the english book, see how people react to it.
>>>Ask him to type "Send us back home."
You step aside and ask Mustache to type "Send us back home."
He gives you a curious look, but happily agrees.
You pace in a circle nervously.
Spying the novelty prop book, you remember thinking someone might recognize it.
Maybe to get their attention, maybe to shock the memory out of them, maybe just because you are so frustrated, you kick the damn thing into the fire.
The flames envelope the book.
You hear Mustache start clacking on the typewriter as you watch the book bu- The book is not burning.
The remains perfectly unharmed an-

"Aaugh!" The Short Black Haired Woman is screaming and running towards the fire as if she means to jump in.
Instinctively, you grab her and hold her to keep her from harming herself.

She's thrashing about violently when you hear a thunderous crashing from above.
Pushing her out of the way while keeping your grip tight, you dodge the falling ceiling as a heavy piece of machinery crashes down and is buried and crushed beneath a cascade of falling rock.
It looks like construction equipment.
The fallen rock towers up to the ceiling.
Nobody seems to have been harmed.

Before you can understand what happened, she is twisting and writhing to get into the fire.
You feel certain that she is going to break free before you can get help restraining her.
You notice her wrist is hurt.
You realize you could stop her by applying pressure to painfully immobilize her.

>Hold her in place by pain.
>Shout for help restraining her.
>write in
>>Hold her in place by pain.
What is wrong sweet? It is just a book, don't be silly. You wouldn't want the fire to die out, would you?
You have elected the way of pain.
For her anyway.

Update coming, hopefully before tonight's scheduled update, but I'm gonna sleep while I can.
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>>Hold her in place by pain.

Holding her down, you grip her injured wrist and twist.
At first, her cry of pain pangs your heart, but then you remember that Flattop said she is the one who hurt Wounded Guy.
This all was mostly her fault.
She thrashes about, wildly trying to reach the flames.

The book remains untouched by the fire, but suddenly her hair and eyes burst into flames.
Dark words that defy description struggle to drip ftom her mouth as her flailing reaches a fever pitch.
She wrenches herself in your grip and you hear and feel the sickening crunch of her wrist snapping like kindling.
She pushes against you, struggles to stand, and erupts into a mass of flames.
The book in the fire explodes in a violent cloud of black dust that scatters the flaming woman like ash.
The explosion wipes out the fire leaving everyone lit by the faint glow from the orb and cave entrance.

Everyone else seems relatively unharmed.
Mustache is standing next to you with a little blood on his face where a rock from the cave in struck him.
With a little laugh, he says "Well, that was a quicklier descent into madness then I thought it would be."

>Investigate the machine wreckage.
>Check out the typewriter.
>Search for any sign of her or the book
>write in
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>She pushes against you, struggles to stand, and erupts into a mass of flames.
[Insert Enthusiastic Fire Pun]
Live and ready!
If nobody needs immediate medical attention,
>Investigate the machine wreckage.
>Check out the typewriter.
Unless someone has a better idea.
Time seems to be running out.
>Investigate wreckage.

>Check the ashes for any surviving remains
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>>Investigate the machine wreckage.
>>Check out the typewriter.
>>Investigate wreckage.
>>Check the ashes for any surviving remains

After confirming that no one was seriously injured, you approach the wreckage to investigate, Mustache following close behind as he absent-mindedly rubs the bump on his head.
At first, it's hard to make out what is what in the dim light of the cave.
You can eventually work out what you're looking at.
The machinery definitely was a construction vehicle, the kind with the bulldozer part on one end and what looks like a digging arm that had been crushed in the cave-in on the other.
Mustache said he recognized the obscured name on the side as a major construction company.
In all the footage from when the aliens attacked, you had seen cars and things that had been thrown or dropped into buildings.
That's what this looked like.
There was a cabin part with a door that, after they moved a few rocks, looked like it might open.
Trying it, you found it locked.
So, a locked, empty construction vehicle was just, for some unknown reason, dropped onto and into some godforsaken cave who knows where.
Things just kept getting weirder.

"Ya know," Mustache chimed in, "That lock doesn't look that strong. I bet a piece of metal might jimmy it open."
"We could try those keys!" The Kid's suggestion startled you. You hadn't seen him come close in the gloom.
That might work.

"Hey everybody!" shouted Flattop. Now what.
He, Muttonchops, and, uh, that Average Guy, were standing next to the Orb.
He was calling everyone to come look.
He showed how, with each tap of the hand, the image inside of the Orb changed.
It cycled through a list:
An open field with tall green grass;
A very expensive looking bottle of scotch;
A pristine, featureless white room;
A woman with short blond hair reading in a room full of antiques;
A busy pizza shop filled with unfocused strangers;
A ceramic coffee mug swirling with delicious looking coffee and cream;
A worn, but comfy looking living room couch;
A taxi cab;
A dense forest of trees;
An average looking motel room;
And a cavernous room filled to overflowing with gold, gems, and items encrusted with gems;

The last one surprises everyone aside from Long Haired Woman, who was more interested in the forest.
Ginger Guy was visibly annoyed when Flattop tapped the Orb again to show the list repeats.
Excited, Average Guy explained that there had also been the image of a family and a barn as well as a library. Both had dropped from the list when the Old Man had disappeared and then when that woman had "burned".

"So what?" asked Ginger Guy.

"So," replied Flattop calmly, "I think this is a control to transport us back to where each of us came from. Whatever image is shown, that's where we go, I think."
"Great, so fire it up!"
"Well, we're not sure what we do to activate it."

[To be continued next post]
>>Check the ashes for any surviving remains
>>Check out the typewriter.

Not sure what to do with this information, you walk back to find those keys, finding them by the ashes of the fire and the woman, you check the ashes for any surviving remains.
The woman's ashes were fine white powder with no trace of bone.
It was wholly unnatural for a person to burn that way.
The fire pit was still quite hot but near the center of where the book had exploded, you found a solid mass in the ashes.
Removing it, it is hard to make out in the low light, but it seemed to be a pendant that had been charred black.
It must have been embedded in the book, somehow.
Despite coming from the remains of a fire hot enough to turn the rest of the book to fine ash, the pendant feels cool in your hand.
You try to make out the details of the pendant, but it is dark and it is covered in ash, also one edge of the metal seems sharp.

"Oh." Squinting at the paper in the typewriter and still rubbing his head, Mustache had an embarrassed look on his face. "I guess I was distracted when that woman attacked you. I messed up what you had wanted me to type."

Turning to face him, still holding the keys and the pendant, you ask, "Why what did you type instead?"

"Send us backhoe."

>Have Mustache try typing something else[]
>Try opening the machine door lock with the keys desperately. Roll 1d100.
>Reexamine the pendant carefully. Roll 1d100.
>Study Orb experimentally. Roll 1d100.
>write in
Rolled 54 (1d100)

Can't come up with something clever to type, so...
>Reexamine the pendant carefully.
>>Have Mustache try typing "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
Update incoming
Sorry. Power failure knocked my internet out.
Posting update
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>>Reexamine the pendant carefully.
>>>Have Mustache try typing "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."

“Did you want me to try typing something else?” Mustache was trying to get your answer.
You are trying to listen to him, but you feel your attention pulled back to the dark pendant.
“I could try typing ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.’” he continues, sitting at the machine.
“What?” you ask. You’re clearing more of the ash away from the pendent, you can almost make out the symbols.
“It’s an old pangram used to test typewriters. It uses all the letters. Here, I’ll show you.”
You are only vaguely aware of the sound of clacking keys as you finish brushing away the ash.
You can see now that one edge of the pendent has been worn, honed sharp by repeated scraping.
It looks like it is sharp enough to cut skin, sharp enough to draw blood.
Without thinking, you raise up your thumb and reach to draw it across the sharp edge…

A startled yelp snaps your head up.
You look up in time to see the Little Girl making a panicked run for you as a small shape darts into the cave from outside.
Panic wells up inside you, but when it pauses, you see that it not a creature, but a fox.
The fox jumps over the Long Haired Woman who has sat near the cave entrance almost this entire time.
Her arms seem to dart out to catch it, moving faster than you thought possible, but then she stops and the fox lands, darting right back outside.
It vanished entirely as it passed through the entrance.

“Hey!” shouts that Average Guy, who had been looking into the Orb.
“That fox, or whatever it was, I think I just saw it appear in the Orb. Or in the field in the Orb. I can’t tell now since it disappeared into the grass, but I think it had to be the same one.”

The Little Girl was clutching your side tightly now, repeating “The Wolves are coming. The Wolves are coming.”
Looking up, you see she is right. The lights are fading fast. You need to take action soon if you hope to get out of here.
Calming yourself, you try to review your options.

>Work out how the Orb works experimentally Roll under 67%
>Blow horn confidently Roll under 55%
>Try opening the machine door lock with the keys desperately Roll under 74%
>Study the pendant carefully Roll under 38%
>Have Mustache try typing something else[]
>write in
I'll be monitoring this thread am eager to run with ant player input.

I believe the next session will be the dramatic conclusion.
How will you shape it's end?
Rolled 24 (1d100)

>experiment with the orb
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Happy Halloween everyone!

Nice roll!

Still monitoring and I will update either here tomorrow or in a new thread.
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>>experiment with the orb

After a moment lost in thought, you shove the pendant in your satchel.
It was distracting you.
Considering the door to the wreckage and the Orb, you decide that working out how the Orb works is more important than exploring that machine.

And that typewriter was just a little too freaky.
Where did that fox even come from?
Or that machine?
Alien invasions, gods and giants, or sightless and invulnerable warriors were starting to seem normal.

Rushing to the Orb, the Little Girl detaches herself from you as you got too close to the entrance, but she remains near.

Muttonchops was already there, staring at the image of the Taxi in the Orb.
"Does that taxi look normal too you?" he asked, "You can read the writing on the side, right?"

You can, although the company is unfamiliar and there's a symbol by the light you don't recognize.
You say as much yo him.
He nods thoughtfully, as if he expected you to say that.

"I believe this taxi is from my world.
It seems familiar to me somehow. I think if we were able activate this thing, it would send me home. If we could only activate it." He looks up at you in bemused frustration, "I mean, what kind of device doesn’t have an 'On' button?"

Looking up fromthe Orb to the only other source of light in the cave, the dwindling lights around the entrance, you have a thought. "The kind of device that is already 'On'." you say, pointing at the entrance lights.

"You mean the- Yes! Of course! The answer was there the entire time, we just didn't see it because of the danger!" He gets a resolved look in his eyes. "I'm going to try something. If it doesn't work, I wish you all luck. If it does work, you can try doing the same thing and make your way home, if you can find it in that Orb. Just please, don't touch the Orb until I'm done."

"Good luck!" that Average Guy says friendly, surprising you, as you had forgotten he was there, quiet in the dark.

"Wait, what are going to do?" you ask.

Gripping his book tightly, he says "This."
And then he walks out the entrance.

The Little Girl screams.
Many others gasp.
Muttonchops disappears the second he passes through.
Not missing a moment, you look back to the orb.
You see the taxi, with Muttonchops standing in front of it.
He turns around and faces your general direction with a wave and a smile.
Then the Orb fades to nothing.
You touch the Orb and the image of that yummy looking coffee appears again.
Cycling through the images, you see the taxi image is gone.

The Average Guy is explaining everything quickly to everyone.
Then you remember, the cycle of images stay the same.
The image of the dense forest should have followed the taxi, but it had jumped to the mug of coffee.
Another light around the entrance fades.
Time is running out and we need to figure out who's world is who's.
Although being anywhere might be better than here if those creatures get through.

[To Be Continued Next Post]
Mustache is still seated in front of the typewriter.
Flattop is trying to organize everyone trying to peer into the Orb.
The Long Haired Woman is still sitting, disinterested in any of this.
The Little Girl is hugging you again, peering up at the Orb.
The Wounded Man is still not awake.

Then, someone Remembers Something [Who remembers What?]

>Decide that cup of coffee is yours and walk through, hoping everyone finds their way.
>Help the others decide where they go, logically. Roll 10d100.
>Have Mustache try typing something else[]
>write in
Rolled 89, 97, 81, 8, 96, 47, 98, 71, 26, 53 = 666 (10d100)

>someone Remembers Something [Mustache remembers all about the typewriter]
>Help the others decide where they go, logically. Roll 10d100.
>Rolled 89, 97, 81, 8, 96, 47, 98, 71, 26, 53 = 666
Them rolls and that total.
Typing up an update.
Went with a new thread to hopefully catch a few more eyes.


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