This mountain had been the scene of your birth. The small hamlet you once belonged to had straddled two peaks, and was nestled in the flattish bridge, thick with trees, between them. Many memories were sifted through when you pictured this place, and now again as you looked. First you thought of the music. Every night had been coated in music. There wasn’t much for instruments but a few folky, stringed things, and they weren’t so much of consequence. Singing was always the jewel. Your father had one of those notable voices, and it was broad and ached and happily loved rhythm. His efforts to coax out something similar in you didn’t replicate it, but you got an education there. One lesson that was always repeated: these mountains around you, all with similar bridges peak to peak, were musical. Rising and falling was the core of music, he said. Lots you considered now was seen through that lens.The hamlet wasn’t here anymore, because of a series of bad omens that culminated in the settling of a Witch right next to the homes. Therefore, the folk left, with good faith to the godly thing, and set about finding a new place to live. It was found, nearly identical, somewhere south. It was this Witch you came to see now. A purplish smoke told you where to find her, nearly centered on the ghost of the village. Getting there would take a trip around the mountain, which gave you time to appreciate your childhood.The mountain was cloaked in trees up to a point, and the trees matched the ease of navigability and slope. All through and around the place sprang out long dormant kinetic memories. An ache to jump and play like old flashed briefly but subsided at your wonder. It had been many years since you’d seen the most notable trees of your lifetime. It must’ve been the soil that fed these giants, as thick as your embrace and far taller than grandest buildings. A climb, in your youth, of just one would have taken a boy an afternoon— boys of vast fascination and experience.Your path was once a regular thoroughfare of the village, and even today, the undergrowth hadn’t much taken it back. It winded up the mountain, breaking the tree line, and then sloped gently down into the village main. As you reached the apex, with the peak looking very isolated, you found an important artifact. The little shrine was an alcove of arranged loose stones, well fitted, that accentuated the rock niche it occupied. Inscribed on the small, centered tablet were the words,WHOEVER’S UP THERE, LET US KNOW IF WE’RE BEING TOO LOUD.and,IF YOU’RE LONELY, PLEASE COME AND JOIN US.>cont.
It had been common assumption, on the account of how insulated the peak is, and how homey it looks, someone must live up there. The shrine had been built because a figure had been seen loitering about there, and it was assumed it was the resident out for a walk. Whether this had been a drunken villager remained uncertain. The woman who spotted it said without any doubt that it was sober, but whether she had been drunk at the time was also uncertain. Good caution chalked it up to the peak-dweller, so the shrine was built around where they were spotted. You spent some time there, before continuing.As you descended, with the trail nearly straight and clear of trees, you could see right down to the flat. Surprisingly, the smoke originated from a hide tent, of a size and evident permanence that hut is perhaps the better descriptor. The purple was much more vivid now that the beginning of its trail, at first hidden by the thicket the hut is sheltered in, can be seen from your angle. This all came from a wide hole in the middle of the circular construction. As you progressed down, you noticed a lack of features usually placed just outside this kind of home. No garden, laundry, firewood, animals, or any other signs of permanent residence. The hut seemed to mesh very naturally with the thicket around it. As you got closer, within 30 paces or so, a sickly smell, some spice not previously known to you, perhaps, clung strongly in your nose. The trim of the hide wasn’t fastened to the ground but was burrowed tautly underneath. This gave you the impression that its construction sunk it into the ground.“Hello?” you call out.Nothing responds.You pester again, “Witch, you gave me summons. Let’s not waste your time with mystique.”Finally, a voice roars out, with the worst case of overuse you can imagine.“A moment! Busy busy, and you made very good time, Baadgha! Some wonder what they do to you boys doesn’t cull out some audacity, too. Come in.”You open the flap and pause before entering. It was pitch black, and the light you should have brought in with you stayed behind.“More mystique, young man! Let’s not waste my time, then?” she mocked.Wondering if there was anything to hold your foot up, you entered. That sickly smell became more pleasant inside; something savory, you were now certain it was cooking spice. Looking around, the darkness was absolute. No detail found its way to your eyes.
“What is your business?” you ask impatiently.“You Baadgha,” the Witch begins from somewhere in the dark, “are the scattered teeth of what was. Do you know your history?”“The both of us know how little there is.” you reply, bored.“You are too content! You all could ask higher up the tree, and you know you could!” she says, “It’s a waste of you.”You grow more impatient.“Can we—““You are freshly made, and I have use of something freshly made— listen now. I am evil. I am a function of evil, you know this. And by nature, I am a butcher of the spiritual. Do you know how a butcher reconciles their work? I asked this once of a very wise and happy one. ‘I have deep respect,’ he said, ‘for the animal I kill. I am a butcher, and it is fate, and I kill my guests well.’ I am taken by his words and live like it. Now, my eye sees my duty. There is something I need to butcher, and I need to kill it well. I need you for that.”“I’m no assassin, if it is a man.”“I don’t deal in petty goods! This is no man.”You scoff.“How can I guarantee a good death to it, anyways?”“Because you are the only one who can learn how to, Baadgha. It’s a matter of involved swordplay. This thing is far away, and to kill it means a journey of mind, body, and soul. Freshly made, you see? It lives in the deep West, but that’s hardly just a sun’s direction. A place called Immriniim. You will recognize it when you can kill it. To learn how, you must visit with the other teeth, that go by different names in different lands. Make sure you go far enough that you didn’t know them before now.”“Just what kind of thing needs such a blow?”“Something old. It can only be harmed one way. You have heard of the sacred direction, haven’t you? You must steep further in your tradition’s magic, and so unfortunately for you, this knowledge is very widely spread. Many teeth, all knocked out across the land. You will collect it all up, and then write it all down. But you’ve known that for some time, as I understand?”“Yes, Witch.”“Back to my title, are we? Good. You’ll be needing respect.”“So then I will. What’s the thing’s name, Witch?”“That’s just the thing, little Baadgha.” she says mischievously. You pause, and, feeling blood sinking down, try to put out the emotions.“Why…” your voice barely shaking, but shook, “are you honoring me, Witch?”Violently, a huge, pure white mask ruptures the black. It is your grandmother’s face. The one your father killed.“I need you to kill a god, Jatar.”You shut your eyes to hide.
Unfortunately, I can't run right now, but I wanted to push something out. I'll pick up again tomorrow at 12:00 CST.
The next thing you see is an unfamiliar mountainside. Somewhere in the same range, but you’d never seen this place. A wide, open slope angled just enough to make you worried about slipping. Placing yourself with directions, the peak was to the east. Curtaining the field to the north and south were loose trees. To your west the slope continued into the valley, flattening out until a pleasant bank with the local river was formed. What caught your attention immediately after this registry was the smell of the tent. It was here, coming downwind from the southern trees. You attentively marched over. The trees were short and young, and so identical this way that it wasn’t natural. Some five or ten years ago had seen all these planted together. As you entered, the wind died down gently and intensified the scent. Now you plunged around through obscuring branches with lapsing timidity. First, you dodged it and pushed out south away until you noticed it fade. The second time, you circled around, meeting your other tearing paths until you had established something of a perimeter within certainly held it. Somehow, upon a few dozen paces in, the elusive clearing appeared. In the center, smoking with heat, was a cooked and seasoned whole sheep. Legs were skewered on wooden stakes, and the full inside was displayed. It was perfectly butchered, and all the edible meat left on the bone, with nothing else spared. There was no sign of a campfire, and no sign of any butchery taking place. The entire clearing was clean of blood, and no trees, apart from the ones you had burst through, looked tampered with.>Eat.>Harvest some for later, but don’t eat now.>Leave. These godly things are best avoided.Voting ends at 12:30 CST or until we have 3 votes after that time.
>Harvest some for later, but don't eat nowNo bloo, no fire, no anything? Way too suspicious for my blood. That's said maybe we can use it as bait for a trap later or to distract some wild beast that gets in our way
>>4639096>Harvest some for later, but don’t eat now.
Waiting for a tiebreaker, then we'll get on.
You begin to cut some meat off the sheep, only to find your knife cuts through it far too easily. Neither bone nor flesh provides any resistance. Still, to all outward appearances, it appears to be meat. Taking a bite reveals a juicy texture that melts easily in your mouth. The aroma didn’t lie about its spiced taste. After you swallow, and inhale, an aftertaste hits you. Bitter honey. Looking again at the meat reveals honeycomb is exactly what it is. It was your teeth, not your knife, that produced truth. Behind you, there is a rustling that quickly fades. You cut off more of the sheep, which still maintains its appearance, and store it.Lauba is displeased.You find your way back to the slope and begin continuing down to the valley. Inspecting it, you realize where you are. Each valley is connected into a network, so that the entire range is easily navigable. With a healthy knowledge of the valleys’ courses, it’s not difficult to parse. You place yourself in the north-eastern quarter, which is some distance from the location of the Witch, who lives deeper south-east. The first thing to do is get on one of the primary ‘roads’ that leads easily out into city country, particularly, the caravan capital called Baodo. It’s from there you can find your path West.Three rolls of 1d21, please.
Rolled 13 (1d21)>>4639180
Rolled 11 (1d21)>>4639180
Rolled 2 (1d21)>>4639180
Rolled 20 (1d21)>>4639180
You spend the rest of the day wandering through the passes, and at night you sleep under the roots of a large tree. In the morning, breakfast is some smoked fish, and using water from the river, some tea with the Adagayana herb. Your supply is running low, down to about a half-pound or so. That will last until you buy some more in Baodo. Your easy path through the mountains continues until midday, when you can see the peaks open into a wide plain, miles across, that you recognize as the central valley you were looking for. Smoke, you can also see, is coming from around a mountain that obscures more of this plain. You continue over and fields start to appear. Many are unplanted, in summer.The town, when you get a good look at it, appears well, but while the number of fields matches the size of the village, the number of villagers doesn’t. You cross over a brook on a small wooden bridge and make your way into some of the farms. They certainly show signs of tilling, and the buckets, wooden tools, hitching posts all tell you this was being used at least at the beginning of the year.You could avoid this place, or spend some time looking around. The village market isn’t of much use to you; food will be easy to come by in this valley, and it’s only a week to the city. Then again, it is only a week to the city, and you’re in no rush.>What to do?
>>4639292>Explore the city>Investigate the low population
>>4639292>>Explore the city
Entering the village, you discover it's the adolescents who've gone missing. Only small children and the middle aged are seen in the street. You'd reckon about a hundred or so would live here, but it seems like only dozens occupy it. You head to the tavern.Sitting outside on the benches are a group of men huddled around a board game. They look too engrossed to bother talking, so you head inside. The ceiling is low enough that your head almost scrapes it. The first room is a parlor, with doors to the back and both sides. When you enter, you see a barmaid exiting the back room, holding a few full cups. To your left and right, both rooms have benches that are sparsely sat on.The barmaid, as she sees you, chirps with a typical mountain accent, “Right one second, Baadgha.”You nod in return.In the pause, you look at the room again. It’s new construction, or at least it didn’t look quite as old as most tavern’s you’d been in. Overlooking the backroom door is a symbol of the local mountain lord. On the left door is the Yimic word for ‘God’, and on the right is ‘Drinks’.‘Simple enough,’ you think.The barmaid returns, asks, “What are you for?”“How much, one cup?”“One.” She says, curtly.“Glass?”“What else do you think? This that kind of place?”You smile and get out your purse, “It’s a neat building.” You say.She dips into the backroom, and you can see the whole back wall of it looks as though it’s made of barrels. When she returns, you exchange the pewter cup for the clear, tiny marble.“And miss…” you start.“Yeah?”“Where are the youth, then?”“Oh, a whole story there.” She starts and leans back on the wall, using lots of gestures. “This spring, snow not yet melted, some fool comes to town and starts talking. ‘Treasure up the peak’ or something, and God knows there’s a lot of bored heads around. So they’re off around every damned mountain you can walk to, and then some, looking for some vague whatnot. Turns out, they found disappointment. Lad came down with a box of magic, starts talking about setting up an establishment. Then a caravan rolls through and offers him a ride. When he goes, charismatic him, he takes all the inspired adventurers with him. That’s what’s happened with the youth.” She sighs.“Anyways, not much use for Baadgha here, ‘lest you’d like a look at the guard. No herb for you in the market, either.”“I’m headed city way,” you offer, “any use collecting some of them and packing them home?”“Not much chance. Wasn’t saying they would only go as far as that.”“Riddance. Where’d the boy get the magic?”“Little cave on the other side of the valley. Boda over there,” she points to a lazy looking man in the left room, “could show you. Neat little place, not sure if there’s anything left, though.”“Right, health to you then,” and you down the cup fast.She cheerfully grabs it for you and asks if you’re for another. You’re not.>Talk to Boda.>Go to market.>Go to the guard.
Last update of the today. I'll return tomorrow, 11 a.m. CST and run again for a few hours. I know it's not ideal, but that's the way my schedule works out. Next weekend should be better.Thanks for playing.
>>4639515Go to the guard
>>4639528>Talk to Boda.Thanks for running.
>>4639515>>Go to market.
>>4639515>>Talk to Boda.
>>4639533>>4639538>>4639619>>4639700Locked in for>Talk to Boda.Expect me to delay a little.
You stand across the bench from Boda and offer your hand.“Boda?” You ask.“That’s me,” he says. His hand says he doesn’t do much manual labor. “Where do you want to go?”“Barmaid said you could show me where that lad found his magic.”“That’s right. Little afternoon hike.” He takes a moment, checking his pockets and surroundings. “We could go now, if you’d like.”“Sounds fine.”“A rose ’un for the trouble.”You pay him.Leaving the town, Boda drops into his house to get a pair of waterskins and some snack wrapped in cloth. You both are of similar stature and find each other well matched in speed. Conversation begins in the fields, smelling pleasant without work.“What got you in this guide business, then?” You ask eventually.“Well, not much inheritance, so I got doing what I liked. Good pace, I always had. Nice being all around, too.”“Hunting mostly, I’d expect.” “Yeah, that’s it. Land goes good for it.”“I’m native, I know.”“Whereabout, then?”“Down south-east. You hear about the Witch moving a village?”“Your village?”“That’s right.”“Bad damn luck. So, wait then, how’d you end up a Baadgha, way out here?”“Thirdborn son, with a long history of bad thirdborn uncles.” You pause, sip water, “Baadgha came around when I was ten or so. I caught on well to him, and that was that. Father sent me off.”“Not many I’d know would be that…” he pauses, and gently says, “practical.”You start to laugh. He does, too.“It’s really not so bad. What the ordinary man would lose in pride, well,” you snort, “you end up finding more than you lost.”Talk finds itself about similar stories, and you make quick work to the mountain. The little nook where the pouch was found sat on the opposite face from your direction, and it was about as barren as you could expect. Tracks were all around, which were the villagers doing the same as you, Boda explains. The place is steep, and the nook could also be called a small cave. Cozy, even.“What was it like?” You ask.“Oh, real small. Palm kind of big, with some dice and horns and cups and…” he struggles to explain, “these odd little rubber balls. They stuck together or… confusing things. That usual?”“Odds and ends, mostly, yeah. Always been curious where they got found. Looks perfectly ordinary to me.”“Maybe someone’s leaving ‘em. Neat camp, here.”“Not a bad guess.”You looked around, and in the distance, you saw a kind of tower on the side of another mountain. Far enough it was almost out of sight.“Say,” you begin, and point to it.“That’s new.” Boda says in a surprised tone.“What do you mean, new?”“I’m around that part often, and this is the first I’m seeing it.”>Head towards the tower, ask Boda to come with.>Head towards the tower alone.>Head back to town.>Get back on the road to Baodo.
>>4640709>Head towards the tower, ask Boda to come with.
I'll be back next Saturday evening, or possibly a weekday. I'll advertise on /qtg/.
>>4640709>>Head towards the tower, ask Boda to come with.
Looks like Saturday night is a no go for me, so we'll have to do it tomorrow, probably starting 5-5:30 CST. Sunday evening looks good too, but I'll have to leave for a few hours in the middle of it. Weekday nights are looking increasingly attractive, so a Monday or Tuesday night run is also a possibility.
You tell Boda your plan to visit the tower.“My territory here. I’d’ve gone me alone. My job.” He says.“Fair man.” You reply.It’s already late in the afternoon when you set off, and you both expected it to be dusk by the time you got there. The way over brought you up and down two ridges, and atop the second you got a much better look at this apparition. The sun was lounging such that you couldn’t make out any colors, but its situation was clearer— it straddled right atop a third ridge, which was clear of trees. From this distance, reckoning very roughly how a man would look up there, you’d give the tower 7 or 8 of your imaginary men in height. You’d seen some larger, but not many. Its design was simple, without crenellations. There was sun struggling through in window shapes, and at first you marveled at how you’d managed to align, but as you went down your ridge and continued peeking, you saw these windows always aligned regardless of your position. They were about halfway up the tower. When you began up the final slope, you saw smoke coming from the windows intermittently. The light somehow didn’t falter at this. Closer, you heard something in time with the smoke. Loud, wheezing, deep breathing. You looked to Boda.“Closer?” He asked.“It could kill us, reward us, or ignore us,” you explained, “I can’t tell you which.”He breathed and thought for a few seconds.“My job.” Boda affirmed. “My job. You stay back a bit, yeah?”You nodded and unsheathed your sword. That wasn’t in any negotiating tone of voice.Boda creeped up with huntsman’s excellence. The cleared grass made him finely quiet. His destination was the green door, marked with a painted coin, that sat on three steps. The color, as you could barely make out in the dimming light, wasn’t of these mountains. It looked peculiarly rosy or tanned, which was foreign to your experience. Boda paused at the first step. He looked back to you. You shrugged. He put his weight down, and nothing reacted. He looked back again. The second step awoke nothing, nor the third. The handle turned easily, and the door was smooth and silent in operation. It opened inward. Boda stepped in, and the door shut.
The breathing boomed. The smoke was exhaled with force, like a kettle’s steam. You heard small popping as the stones cracked.“RUUUN!!” Boda’s outmatched voice, clearly a scream, was quieted by the enormity of the breathing.Despite his warning, you stood your ground. The window closest you had its smoke disrupted, and after a few seconds, Boda jumped out. Jumped, note, looked a lot like flinged. His thud sounded painful. You collected him with haste, as the tower began to spin. The earth it planted into was churned up, and the top of the tower opened like the lid of a chest. In flashed a strange lightning, like a breath of fire from the heavens. When this struck, the next exhale covered everything you could see in smoke. A deep voice, matching whatever was breathing, rang out.”Tawat, geda mo’ore bat trugo. Kill your fear, warmaker.”You, with Boda now lifted on you4 shoulders, made as quickly as you could down the ridge. The smoke persisted until the bottom. The tower was gone behind you, and in its wake came a rainless thunderstorm. The peaks were struck audibly, and, blind to the village, you hoped for their safety. You inspected Boda’s heated body. The clothes he wore were singed, and covered, like his head, in soot. You felt in his chest his heart beat furiously, but he remained unconscious. You took him again on your shoulders and started for the village.The thunderstorm continued through the night, and you couldn’t see a thing. You eventually sat down somewhere and checked on Boda again. His heartbeat had slowed, but he remained sleeping. You watched for as long as you could before yourself lost to dreams.
It was Boda that woke you in the morning.“Come on, then, you bastard.” He says.Your eyes filled in where you were. You were leaning against a boulder and could see you were somewhere east of the first ridge you’d crossed. Boda looked cleaned up, if only slightly, and his skin was red from light scalding. He was slapping you gently awake.“Are you alright?” You began in immediately.“Dazed, yeah. Let’s get you back to the village.”“What did you see?” Your curiosity was aching.“Like a dream, can’t recall much. I’ll tell you more on the way. Up you go.” He picked you up eagerly. “Ready for a goddamn drink.”A golden heart, on a red pedestal. Brass colored rods shooting out to connect to the ceiling, which is much higher than the outward appearance told you. Smoke breathed through pores in the stonework. A lightshow appears, writing out words in the lightning of the caravan men. Stairs fall as the stone above you cracks open; running up them reveals a hallway sized for children. At the end is the window. The smoke clears from ahead and builds up behind. A blow reverberates through the building, and the smoke carries you with speed out and back into the world.“What did the writing say?” You ask.“Fuck if I know. Nothing I’d seen, but I can’t read in the first place.” He answers.The village receives you with wonder. Talk about the storm, constant questions about where you’ve been, what happened to you, or what you’ve done. You both remain silent and stumble back into the barmaid’s care.“Out! Out, the lot of you!” She yells, herding the rabble out of her door. She shuts it with great force and puts a bar across to lock it down.“I’ll be needing answers with these drinks. They’ll trust your word out of my mouth better than yours.”You’re in no position to refuse. You tell her all and catch Boda up as well.“Ever seen anything like this?” She asks.“Magic isn’t usually this kind of violent.” You tell her.“Phuh, some luck. What’s your business now then? Getting the hell out of here? I’d do that myself.”“Getting back to road would be nice,” you say, straining a stretch, “any towns from here to Baodo?”“Not on the main valley route, no. You’ll pass through some once you’re out the mountains, though.”“Good to know. One more drink, then, please.”Boda claps you on your shoulder.“You’re a good fellow, to carry me.”“I know I’m a good fellow, and I know you’re fatter than you look.”“Bah!” He says and gives you a light shove.>Responsible travelling tells you to set off for Baodo now, but it’s up to you if there’s anything else you’d like to do here.
>>4649283Browse the markets for a little while to see if there's anything interesting
>>4649339>>4649433Didn't want to lock in with just one vote.Writing for >Browse the market.
Never doubt the craftiness of the peasant marketeers. They could find anything to sell. That’s a lesson you’ve learned from your travels, albethey brief relative to most Baadgha. You’d covered nearly all this mountain range, as well as some the plains country that opens in the north and east. Baodo is the largest city you’ve visited, but you’d seen the two major port towns due west and east from it, Lagodo and Ipra, respectively. Their markets held many fascinating objects, which floated to those destinations on the backs of camel-dogs crossing the northern steppe, or on western ships with deep hulls. What was offered in this place was perfectly ordinary, however. Items of merit came off the caravans which passed through once a year or two. Still, a rural village with a dwindling older population offered up fantastic deals on the glut of food left over from that spring’s exodus. You picked up more than enough for the trip to the city, barring your Adagayana, for cheaper than three-quarters the foodstuff at regular price. Dried herbed fish, salted game meats, plenty of quality wormbread, sure to last a month, and local mountain fruits filled your rucksack. This would expediate your journey, letting you walk rather than hunt or fish. Though, didn’t the caravan visit not too long ago? It’d take some looking, and no one would be selling at a stall, but you might find something peculiar…>roll 3d20, bo3
>>4649473Should clarify: 3 separate rolls of 1d20, bo3.
Rolled 4 (1d20)>>4649473
Rolled 8 (1d20)>>4649473
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>4649473
Rolled 20 (1d20)>>4649474
Real life is kicking my ass. This will be on hiatus for a little while, possibly as long as two weeks.This wouldn't be as much of an issue if the update wasn't so huge, but on the bright side, after it's out, you will have much more to control and do. That will make the updates smaller and more frequent, which eases my workload a lot.Thanks for giving my quest attention, it means a lot.
>>4665320Thanks for running, this thread probably won't last that long though.
>>4665416I've archived it.