Exile

Episode 3: The Herald of Nod

After dispatching the Tal Viol cultists and freeing the captive children, we continued to explore the underground passages. The children and our captives were to be cared for and guarded, respectively, by Tannis, as the rest of the group proceeded.

We hadn’t turned but one corner in the narrow corridor before guards were spotted up ahead, guns at their side. They did not notice us immediately. 0rca boldly took the lead and stepped out of the shadows to engage the guards. When asked if they could answer for the slaughter of human children, the guards took a defensive stand and tossed a smoke grenade into the narrow hallway. Mr. Clay attempted to clear the smoke by some magic. 0rca dutifully charged into the room beyond, and Skoll courageously followed suit. It was an ambush but no matter. 10 guards were slain with no casualties on our side. Not even Walder, a poor Macier who is curiously fragile.

The room in which we found ourselves could best be described as an underground canyon. We were on the topmost plateau. Below us was a market of sorts, with 50 or more people of mixed races— human, tal viol, and macier. They were worried by our presence, but made no immediate attempt to confront us or sound an alarm. Below the market, at the bottom of the canyon, were 4 (quite dated) armored vehicles. Seeking to commandeer a vehicle or two for our quest, we proceeded to the far end of the canyon.

As we neared a stairwell that would have provided us access to lower levels, a mechanic of the foremost vehicle sounded an alarm. Paul adeptly heard and later saw the marching of soldiers, well over 50 in number, moving in our direction. After some deliberation we made a dash for the first vehicle, hoping it was operational. Alas, it was not. Walder discerned that it had no fuel. Subsequent vehicles had mechanical issues.

Trapped in a canyon with an insurmountable army closing in, Mr. Clay levitated to the top level with a rope, offering down a rope to provide us with an escape. 0rca dismantled a vehicle’s mounted gun in a last-ditch act of sabotage, and we successfully made it out of the canyon. Tannis and our dependents were rounded up as we quickly made our way to the village north. We hoped to liberate them from their captors, warn them of the army, and encourage their immediate emigration.

Skoll had been carrying the human girl who was nearly sacrificed. She woke up from her deep slumber on our trek north. But something was wrong. She would not respond to anyone, and seemed genuinely fascinated with the most mundane things, such as rocks, and Skoll. We hoped it would pass.

Our insurrection in the north village was flawlessly executed. Two drunk guards had their throats slit by Mr. Clay, and we entered the town undetected. The group split in two— one group working the perimeter, and one heading toward the village center. A-squad visited the hut of one of the children, but it was not long before guards took notice. The 4 of them were dispatched in the streets, causing villagers nearby to come out and join our cause. It was now an armed revolt.

During the scuffle our would-be human sacrifice disappeared, seemingly into thin air. Skoll panicked and ran off after her. B-squad reunited with the rest of the group, and Mr. Clay interrogated a dying guard. He informed us of a barracks housing 30 or more guards, sending waves of insecurity through the party. But with our secret weapon, an angry mob, we marched toward the barracks.

We found them deserted, save for two familiar faces. Skoll was standing in the compound hand-in-hand with our young magician. In his other hand was the sacrificial knife, which would later be identified as the Herald of Nod. Skoll explained that he had brutally slaughtered everyone in the barracks with this dagger. The blood splatter and stray organs seemed to corroborate his story. Light on the details, it seemed that even Skoll was unsure what happened or how he came to wield the dagger. Mr. Clay keenly suggested that it may not be a purely benevolent artifact, and indeed we later come to understand that it is “intelligent” which cannot bode well for us.

Skoll continued his attempts to mind link with the girl, and upon success, he collapsed onto the floor. 0rca revived him with the potent smell of some alcoholic drink that Paul had found in the barracks. Skoll vaguely described seeing strange imagery, but was unsuccessful in speaking with the girl. Paul was vocally opposed to keeping the girl alive.

After some amount of celebration, we departed the village. They disregarded our advice and decided to remain and fight for their town. We reembarked on our journey to Alldan.

Near the two dead cerebelle Gosh notices the tracks of black lions, the dangerous, sentient, and sexy feline rulers of the wilds. It is probably not a sign of things to come, and we expect to reach Alldan without further incident.

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Skoll: Adventuring Day 2

When the Tol’Viol didn’t cooperate with our demands to drop weapons, he and 2 of the diggers who ran away were killed. It’s unfortunate, but the situation was too risky to take chances.

The remaining diggers weren’t able to escape. We questioned them. Using my empathic arts, I determined that the Macier was a lying scumbag. The human on the other hand was worried for his family’s life. He came from a village up north, and was forced to do work digging crates into the ground. He feared for his family’s lives. The crates in question, we found out, were full of dead human babies.

Could it be that this human’s village was in the process of being systematically exterminated by the damned All-Seer? I must remember to ask the human how old his village is…

While searching the dig site, oRCA blew off a round of a REALLY loud rifle-like gun.

We realized the danger of staying put, and quickly tied up the two living diggers. We gagged the Macier due to his sneaky ways… it almost seems like he might be working for the culprits, judging from the reactions given to him by the human.

Together we set up an ambush for the inevitable troops coming from the tower. They came in a party of three. We were able to kill one, and capture another, but the third got away… because, apparently, these Tol’viol guys are half-deer, or something…

I’ve discovered that one of the search party’s members might be sinister, insane, or both. This “Adam” fellow. He was trying to get information out of the captured Deer-man by shooting him in the knees and sticking his fingers in there. … Then he threw water in the guy’s face… I’ll have to keep my eyes on him.

We had to duck out of the way because the Deer-men apparently were able to communicate with the people in the tower, and we knew it would merely be a matter of time before a second band of troops came to invite us to dinner. We rushed to another location a few "rubble houses’ to the south, and awaited their response.

They had some strange “smoke-bombs”. I’ve never seen one before, wouldn’t be much help hunting in the Wilds, anyway. The smoke-bombs didn’t really seem to help them much, either. We headed around them, and they followed us. Of course, my keen listening skills heard them coming, and I managed to save everyone the trouble of dying. I grabbed our prisoners and took them to cover, and put a shield over them for added protection.

The villains didn’t last long, and the last one was finished off by Tannis after he dropped a smoke-bomb. I didn’t know this, so I went to try to find the guy — maybe he headed south to break Tannis’ immediate view of him?

Unfortunately this didn’t seem like the best idea upon reflection. I ran south down “Determination Road”, and it just so happened that another Tower-Military Party was headed Westbound on “Surprise, Bitch Avenue”. I was able to miraculously dive backwards behind a rubble pile, get back on my feet, alarm the rest of our group and run back to the party.

Realizing that I might have just entered a cross-fire, I dove back to tackle the Deerman that was chasing me. I managed to avoid his bayonnette and take him down, however he threw me off of him and went straight for Noble – a gutted throat ensued. Gosh took care of the villain and I dashed to help Noble help. I bound his wounds and gave him some sort of healing potion (or so the clerk in Alldrune led me to believe). Nobel was woozy, but back with us.

In the shoot out, it seems that oRCA was a bit less than worried about her own health – just stood there and fired away without a care as to who might be able to kill her. I suppose all rock stars have a penchant for dangerous behavior…

We killed them all, and began heading to the tower. We spent quite a while searching around, with little results. The crates we found were mostly filled with every day materials… you know, instead of dead babies. At the top of the tower, we relayed a message back to Alldrune of that which we came across. They seemed less interested in the genocide and more interested in securing Aviadora.

Tough crowd.

The human prisoner had claimed that this tower was home to an entire village of the Tal’viol (Deer-people). But unless these Deer-people are also ghosts, I don’t see how that could be possible — the place was empty.

However, upon further inspection of the tower, we found a strange cult carrying out some freaked out ceremony where they butcher children and have people dance and be strapped naked to a wall.

… Fuckin freaky deer people…

At first, stealth and deception seemed like the best course of action, but when girls are placed on a sacrificial altar…

I jumped into action – shooting the first person I saw as much as I could, and then throwing a really bright light-bomb that I found on one of the dead bastards from earlier. The lot of them were blind, but two were able to look away at the right time – they must’ve been properly trained. They continued their ritualistic dance … until we fucking killed them. I sprinted, after Tannis’ lead, to the girl on the altar to protect her as best I could. It turns out that one bastard was hiding behind the altar ready to kill the girl.

I pumped lead into his face. He managed to stab my foot — I’ll have to make sure he didn’t have a poisoned blade or anything. Tannis had apparently smashed one Ghost-Deer-Man in the face against the wall… wish I could’ve seen that!

I removed the girl from the altar, she went from “convulsions” to “sleep”. Glad she’s still alive.

We searched the bodies, and found a strange dagger. I’ll include a description below. I wrapped it up with some cloth — lord knows I wasn’t going to touch that. We also released the children in the cages. I gave them some food and got them clothed.

A few odd things came about. The people chained to the walls had wrappings around their faces, and when removed began screeching. Their faces were deformed and full of eyeballs. A strange predicament. I killed them. Adam, the sadist, demanded that I not kill them all. Perhaps the demons were but misunderstood damned souls.

Whatever. They’re dead now.

Imagery on the walls
Standing on the bottom sides of trees, on the bottom of clouds, bleeding walls, eyes all over people.

Description of the Strange knife*
Eyeball gem on base. INtertwined finger-handle. Long blade, “devious”. penetration – wide french-curved barbs. Along the center of mass is a engraved eyeball with staircase designs… eyestalk – person standing on the eyeball. Glimmers strangely in the light.

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Night 1: Prologue
Journying through the wilds.

FIRST HEROIC MISSION!!!

Skoll wrote: At the Aldrune Cerebelle tower, we were summoned to meet with the Demi-Sire, Tannis, and a hunter guy. We were informed that yesterday (game time) Alldan has lost contact with Aldrune. The Bazaar left to go to Europa a few weeks earlier than scheduled. Europa called for help with an emergency, and then communication was cut.

It was decided that a small band of HEROIC MOTHER FUCKERS would be sent to Alldan to find out WTF is going on instead of an army.

Our mission – secure Aviadorra and bring her back to Alldrune.

Tannis is going, so is Noble, the hunter. We meet Gosh.

After buying some gear, we meet up with Gosh – a hardcore real-deal Wilds hunter. Older Male Human, gray hair under hat, scruffy stubble. Comes from the Quarantine, and hunts large game and sells the junk he gets.

We venture west, the path is fairly cut out. The path fades and fades, and eventually veers North. However, we head west. Our first night, Gosh puts down three dealies in a triangle to, probably, protect us.

Tannis discusses the Viol-Imposs’nim. They have lived on the planet since the sky-cracked open after Violus left. She’s afraid that these might be responsible for Alldan’s lack of communication. The first race that Violus created, possibly. A cloned race of mages. They created the Macier as slaves. They were going to put Violus on trial.

  • If we wanted to get into contact with Aldrune, we’d have to get to a high elevation.

On the second day, we encounter, thanks to Paul’s spot check success, we discover 2 dead Cerebelle. One was insta-dead, the other was grasping a gun, but was dead. They had computer dealies — old school radio parts. Gun shots from the track. We head north to the Old World Ruins Up North. Nasty smells engage our nostrils.

We crawled to the nearest building to stop and take better smells and listens. Then Roshan left. And we went further North. 2 macier, 2 humans and 1 tal’viol (with a strange gun) are burying large crates nearby.

oRCA’s Journal: I removed the heads of the two deceased Cerebelle, with the intention of uploading their consciousness into the “afterlife” of the Cerebelle network. Alas, poor Cerebelle. I knew them not.

On a side note, the human “Skoll” is a strange sort. He shows blatant, crass affection for Tannis. Though his unrefined speech patterns are characteristic of his kind, I was led to believe that the wild folk were averse to rampant fornication. He also has a somewhat peculiar method of espionage, but perhaps crawling hundreds of meters through the jungle without any imminent threat is standard procedure in his tribe.

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