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The Endless Hunt: Season 1, The Fabulous Beast

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Philip Overby, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    DAY 2

    Den Fowler

    You spent the night burying Heck and decided to head west, Harlan gloomily following behind. It was obvious that there was no way they'd be able to pay the outrageous ransom.

    As you head west however, you hear piercing screams. In the bush, almost a wail.

    Then you see it. The Fabulous Beast. It must be it.

    Larger than a mountain lion, it skulks out of the bush. Its fur seems to ripple with a purplish hue, although its mostly black. Massive paws track in the mud as it turns to you, its yellow eyes gleaming. Blood spots cover its fur and it has taken an arrow in its shoulder. It starts to slink away from you, apathetic to any further violence against it. It's out of bow range now, and is slowly melding back into the forest.

    Harlan whispers. "If we pursue the beast, we may waste precious time, sir."

    You can continue north to pursue the beast or stay on your path to the cemetery to the west to find the Lady.

    (What do you do?)

    Sage Auron Greymoore

    This Bouldergut seems quite intimidating. He insists that the beast is further to the southeast. As you try to leave, he questions you further. "I would like to know your name."

    An ear-piercing scream interrupts you. It seems to be coming back from the east. Yet to the south-east is where Bouldergut just told you he spotted the beast going. And the path to the cemetery still lies before you to the west.

    (What do you do?)

    Kristof Kovacs

    Your men shake you awake. Nikola stands in front of you. "Sir, you've been a sleep for far too long. We've grown worried about you."

    You feel rejuvenated as your cold seems to be gone. Perhaps it was more than cold, as you don't remember falling asleep. It's daylight now, and several of your men appear to be wounded. How you do not know.

    One of your scouts stumbles forth, obviously spooked. "Sir, we found something quite disturbing just over the stream here. You might want to come take a look." He points west.

    Another scout shakes his head. "Sir, maybe that can wait. I've found something surely more disturbing to the south."

    The scouts argue about which news is more disturbing. Nikola looks to you.

    (What do you do?)
     
  2. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Den Fowler

    "Waste time?"

    A look of confusion crosse Harlans face. "Well, uh..."

    Den whispered urgently, "Are you daft, Harlan? If we can catch the beast now and kill it, we can offer it as a ransom for lady Moorstead! We have to pursue the beast! It may be Dyet's only hope!

    "Ah! I see what you mean now. Come, I'll lead the way, sir."

    "Yes, let's ready our bows and make haste!"
     
  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    JMH, the Stealth Sketch Artist

    It seems that the Sage has made another friend. I would've liked to have captured the moment, but I was too busy looking for my colored pencils.

    And I found them!

    [​IMG]

    "Get out of the way! I have to hammer stuff! If you get close, I'll hammer you!"



    (Credit due: caption by my 4-year-old daughter, Amelia!)
     
  4. The Grey Sage

    The Grey Sage Troubadour

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    "I would like to know your name." Aeron turned... "My name is Sage Greymoore, son of none. You say it is to the southeast where you found the beast, but I have a question for you. Was that the beast's den or did you just happen upon the brute? Speak quickly for your answer decides my path!"

    Thames sniffs the air the entire conversation and earnestly looks to the southeast.
     
  5. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    (out of character) I think your daughter has a future as a writer, Sidekick. That caption had me laughing out loud!
     
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Bouldergut, the Barbarian

    Sage Aeron Greymoore


    "I did meet the beast, Sage Greymoore. I chased it to the southeast, and since I've got concerns other than the hunt, I didn't make much effort to keep up.

    "I'm sure the creature hasn't doubled back without my knowing, but odds are it changed its direction.

    "The beast could easily be south of here or--"

    An ear-piercing scream interrupts me.

    "--to the east!"



    (Sparkie, Amelia cracked me up when she said that as I was coloring BG. It's even funnier in context. She told me Bouldergut was a daddy, and that's how he talks to his kids.)
     
  7. The Grey Sage

    The Grey Sage Troubadour

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    Aeron was already moving and gone by the time Bouldergut had finished his sentence. Thames stopped before following. Normally it was forbidden for his kind to speak but this was special... In the terrifying rasp and screech Thames said, "Sssthank yooou fffor yyour ccchelp..." and then they were gone, the only sign of them ever being there was the piles of dead wolves surrounding the giant man.

    Thames had the scent before he was even two feet into the trees. Aeron and Thames both ran through the forest at a mad speed. All things blurred past as the sun rose higher. Aeron reflected on what he knew of the creature. Soul stealing, dark, might be able to control wolves, and has a high bounty. To the east, to kill the beast!
     
  8. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Den Fowler

    Upon following the trail of the wounded beast further west, a man appears in one of the trees. His stench drips from his sweat-soaked furs. A silver tooth glimmers from out of from under his filthy black hood. The skin droops from his face like old curtains, a yellowish, ghoulish tinge. A heavy crossbow sits perched on his knee. Looks like it could fire off several shots pretty quickly.

    "Mayhaps you stepped the wrong way, sirs." The ghastly man spat a black liquid. "Name's Kelly Ward, or the Jaundiced Jackal as some like to say. This is no place for prancers. I got that screeching beast where I want it now. This here path is just one pitfall after another. I'll get him soon enough."

    Ward pointed south with a crooked finger. "If you want a safer bet, this one has a girlfriend or twin or some such to the south. She's in much better shape and less likely to cause you the pain of interfering with my quarry." Kelly smirked. "And if if you think of taking my path anyhow, you'll be in for a rude awakening."

    Sage Auron Greymoore

    You leave Bouldergut behind to travel south at his suggestion. The screeching is definitely the loudest you've heard. When you come into a clearing, you find something quite disturbing. A shadowy beast is caged, beaten and bloodied. Standing outside the cage is an encampment. It looks mostly abandoned, but a tinge of danger lurks in the air. The screeching doesn't seem to be coming from the beast. But a tent set up nearby where the beast's cage sits. There are several different screams actually. Sounds like three different women.

    The encampment has several skulls, bones, and animal furs hanging from the branches. The place may be heavily trapped. You get the feeling there could have been several men here, but whether they are hunting elsewhere or have completely abandoned their captors, you cannot tell.

    Kristof Kovacs

    Your men are still waiting for news of which direction to go. Nikola notices that you seem still to have some blurriness from when you woke up, so he's given you time to contemplate your move. The two scouts continue to rail on about how their news is more important.

    (Out of game note: I understand you guys may have other things going on, so I don't expect constant posts in-game. If you chose to do so, that's awesome, but I like the idea of this being a casual game. If for whatever reason you can't post often, I will put your character in sort of a "stand-still." While in "stand-still," the game still goes on around you, but you can easily jump back in when convenient. Just wanted to thank you guys for playing. I'm having lots of fun doing this.)
     
    The Grey Sage likes this.
  9. The Grey Sage

    The Grey Sage Troubadour

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    Sage Greymoore

    Aeron stood on a high branch overlooking the encampment. He didn't see any activity anywhere in the rough camp but that was nothing to go by. The beast inside the cage was thoroughly defeated, but was smaller than Aeron had expected. It was no doubt similar to the description of the beast, but his one seemed wrong somehow.

    Thames watched Aeron examine the scene, neither being at all worried. It didn't matter who was responsible for this mess, if they came back and stood in his way, Aeron would easily cut them down. That wasn't what worried Thames, he heard a muttered conversation not 15 meters from the camp. Although no words were distinguishable, he easily knew the purpose: a guard and a stranger arguing. Thames was uneasy about the feeling of the camp, almost like a...

    *FLASHBACK* It had been a grueling assignment but this was impossible. To ask a young pair of sages and a Dweller, matched for a specifically intermediate assignment, to take a fully fledged Graoz' Kal beast on; this was too much. Even if Aeron, Thames, or Shiale had been ready for this, there was no way they could be enough to bring a fully grown monster of that caliber down. Aeron being his usual self had accepted the mission quietly putting up no protest. He had accepted his fate, and that of his friends.

    Even now as Thames saw the great dark monstrosity, he had no idea on how to defeat it. Of course that moment was when both young sages had crashed into the beast’s camp, hands and eyes blazing. Thames and the two acolytes charged, past the piles of bones, to meet the giant hell beast straight on...


    Aeron's comment snapped Thames back into reality, "... not the real one, at least, not the target." Thames turned to Aeron and tilted his head. Aeron smiled knowingly and added with a sigh, "To repeat what I said. The caged beast below isn't the one we're looking for. This one is younger, or maybe a female, it doesn't really matter. All I know is the poster said it had killed girls. But look at the claws and belly on this miserable creature! This is a half starved mangy pup, who hasn't killed in ages. The beast we're hunting probably is protesting the disappearance of this young one from its brood."

    The theory made sense but Thames wished to tell his own side. "...Ssssome how," Thames rasped in a whisper, "this placcce remindsss me ooov our missssion vith the Graozzzs' Kaaaal." Aeron's eye widened. "As I recall, on that mission didn't we meet ol' Ward for the first time?" Now it was Thames turn to open his eyes a bit wider. "Ivvvs that issss trooo, then..." He didn't need to finish the statement; both had begun to escape the camp as fast and quietly as possible.

    The pair get away to a secluded high place, and begin to track the true target. Thames picks up the beast's scent near the desolate encampment, the pair head north following the trail.

    (out of character- I will be trying to throw in some details and flashbacks to give clues into the history of Thames and Greymoore. These will also intertwine with the rest of the Machieval world)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    ???

    Sage Aeron Greymoore



    As you pass by the site, you hear the voices again.

    The muffled voice is female.

    The male voice is angry.

    The next thing you hear is the sound of heardened flesh striking soft flesh, followed by a thud and some whimpering. Other voices join her. Whimpering. Muffled. Female.
     
  11. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    Baronet Kristof Kovacs

    Kristof blinked at his men as the fog in his mind cleared. It seemed he had to make a choice between heading West and South. About all the two scouts had to say was that they had each found something "disturbing." Whatever that's supposed to mean. He thought it over for a moment , neither could make a sufficient case to fully sway him either way. But whatever hurt Nym is to the West.

    Kristof stood and addressed the men, "We head West."

    [sorry for not posting, I've had a busy couple of days...]
     
  12. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Den Fowler

    "I see.. Well, thank you for pointing us to the game, good sir."

    "Kelly."

    Den winced a little. He'd already forgotten the stange man's name. "Ah yes. Sorry. Well, we'll leave you to the trail. Goodbye."

    As Den and Harlan turned to head south, a knowing wink passed between them. After two paces, they simultaneously turned, whipped out their bows, and shot...

    (Den and Harlan are now shooting at the Jaundiced Jackal)
     
  13. The Grey Sage

    The Grey Sage Troubadour

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    Sage Greymoore (changes to Thames)

    As the muffled screams continued Aeron looked back at Thames and nodded. Thames peeled off towards the encampment again, where Aeron continued north.

    *Now that Thames and Sage Aeron Greymoore have parted I will enter who's events are going on via title*

    Thames nodded back and caught the nearest tree branch, swung around, and bounded back through the treetops. As he neared the encampment, he smelled fear... lots of fear.
     
  14. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Den Fowler

    Your sudden arrows catch Kelly off-guard, yours striking his hand holding his crossbow. He tumbles out of the tree and crashes to the ground. He curses loudly and then is heard stumbling through some heavy brush.

    "Big mistake." Kelly growls.

    Harlan looses another arrow after him but he's disappeared into the thick foliage. The path north is open now to pursue the beast.

    "He warned of traps. If we're to go this way, we better tread lightly." Harlan said. "I just feel we should face this Gunnie Mac head on. He's not as good as he let on. I can kill him, I'm sure of it. The longer we spend going after this beast, the likelier he is to do something to the Lady, sir. But I'll follow whatever you wish."

    The rain starts up again.

    (Do you still have your hounds with you? Some of them were killed, but I figured you had several so you could still have some with you. You continue north in pursuit of the beast, stay where you are, go south as Kelly suggested, or go another direction)

    Sage Auron Greymoore

    You head north believing the beast in the cage not to be worth your time. Also leaving Thames to deal with whatever situation is in the small encampment. As you take a small trail through some hanging vines and moss, you come across four men. They're dressed roughly, look dirty, and one appears to be wounded deeply in his stomach as two of the others are carrying him on a gurney. They all have quivers on their back and swords at their belts.

    One of them says, "Gunnie thinks he'll get 10 k for that withered old lady? Bah."

    Another carrying the gurney says, "Whatever. As long as we get a piece, I'm happy."

    The one on the gurney moans.

    "Shut up, Wallace. We know. You're hurt." Another spits in the dirt. "Let's just hurry up and get you back to the camp. The more you wiggle around the worse you're making it."

    The men appear to be heading west back towards the collapsed church you saw before. The trail continues north and they don't seem to have seen you.

    Thames

    The whimpers and rough words continue. You see one woman suddenly break free of the tent, falling down into the dirt. A bear trap is set off in her face, almost snapping shut on her nose. She stumbles back, sprawling in the dirt. A large hand reaches out of the tent and snatches her by the arm, dragging her back in.

    (You can wait to see what happens, leave, or enter the encampment.)

    Kristof Kovacs

    Upon heading west you see why the scout mentioned the discovery being disturbing. A pile of six or seven skeletons sit bleaching in the dim sunlight, beads of rain water dripping from their bones. The way they are placed upon each other looks like someone stacked them there. Several other skulls hang from trees, clattering softly against one another like ghastly wind chimes.

    "Oh-" Nikola covers his mouth. "Who would do such a thing?"

    The other scout who insisted on going south sputters. "I-I saw the same thing. South. W-what kind of woods are these?"

    "Really?" The western scout says. "The same thing?"

    "Almost identical." The southern scout runs his hands roughly through his hair. "We can't stay here. We can't stay, sir!"

    Nikola looks to you. There is dried blood here but the skeletons looks relatively fresh as there is still hair clinging to their skulls and some skin hanging. You see more skulls and animal skins hanging further west in what looks to be some sort of rough tent.

    (You can stay here, go another direction, or continue on to examine the tent.)
     
  15. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Den Fowler

    "I don't care if you think you can kill him, Harlan," Den said, his voice on the verge of a shout. "What matters now is getting Dyet back!"

    Harlan raised his voice as well. "And is chasing this beast helping us do that, Sir?"

    "Yes!"

    "How?"

    "You know how!"

    "Not anymore, I don't, Sir!

    Den glared at his lieutenant and opened his mouth as if to speak, but made no reply.

    "Look," Harlan said, "the rain is starting up again, and it looks to be heavy. Whatever tracks the beast left are going to be washed out. We have no hounds, and it's only you and I, Sir. I'd rather face our true enemy than go walking into as many traps as that bastard decided to set."

    "But couldn't the beast have gotten caught in one of the traps? Couldn't we-"

    "I think that's unlikely, Sir. The beast is cunning. And even if it is caught in a trap, that Jackal fellow'll have it before we do."

    Den kneaded his brow with his thumb and middle finger as his other hand shook his bow back and forth in a nervous fashion. "What about heading south, like Kelly said?"

    "You don't think he was telling the truth, do you Sir?"

    "Of course not! To be honest, I was hoping you believed him. That way, I could feel justified in heading... that way."

    The two stood for a minute, heads turned as if pondering the ground. Finally Harlan spoke up. "There's really only one option, Sir."

    "I know. We'll continue with our original plan, then. Let's head to the cemetary. I'll plead my case with this Gunnie Mac. And I don't care if you think you can kill him, Harlan. No violence unless absolutely neccesary."

    "And what if I get a good shot at him from afar?"

    "We'll see. And Harlan?"

    "Sir?"

    "Don't ever interrupt me again. Understand?"

    "Yes, Sir."
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  16. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    The pile of bones made even Kristof, usually quick with a joke, fall silent. He heard one of the men ask "What kind of forest is this?"

    Looking up Kristof replied, "One like any other, only with a pile of bones," he paused for a moment, "Whatever did this is obviously dangerous and we can't let it go free..." Kristof noticed the tent in the distance, "There. Whoever is there might know more." Grabbing his crossbow on the way, he headed off towards the tent, followed by his men.
     
  17. The Grey Sage

    The Grey Sage Troubadour

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    Thames

    Thames heard other noises beyond the tents. He waited in the trees to see what would happen. It wouldn't do to die here. If I do Aeron would kill me all over again...
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  18. The Grey Sage

    The Grey Sage Troubadour

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    Sage Aeron Greymoore

    Aeron was there in a flash, floating over the stretcher. He summoned the earth to him and it answered, his hands ablaze. A spike of rack rose from the ground, fast as an arrow and headed straight for the stretcher. While the earth was still responding, he drew his swords and slashed at the remaining mongrels.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  19. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Otis "Bearmouth" Waley

    Kristof Kovacs


    Kristof and his men approach the tent. Like Kristof, some of the men have weapons drawn.

    The sound of hardened flesh striking soft flesh is heard, followed by a thud and some whimpering. Other voices join her. Whimpering. Muffled. Female.

    "The missing women!" exclaims a young swordsman. He darts ahead to attempt a rescue, but immediately falls through a square hole in the ground. His thigh is penetrated by a sharpened stick.

    One of the more perceptive scouts notices several areas with suspiciously square-ish patterns of leaves. "The tiger traps are obvious. If we simply step betweeeeeeeeeee--!"

    Kristof looks up to see his loyal scout dangling upside-down in a tree by a rope around his ankles. Fortunately, he was one of the shorter men. Otherwise the blade extending from one of the tree branches would have done more than give him a bad haircut.

    The man who starts to back away is not so lucky, as a log swinging from the north launches him several meters south.

    "At least we're all still alive," an archer whispers.

    "So far," a pikeman replies, "and I intend to keep it that way." He taps his spear on the ground as he proceeds forward. He discovers two traps in the short distance covered on his way to Kristof's side. "I am yours to command, sir. What are your orders?"

    Before Kristof can answer, a large, bearded man steps out of the tent. He is holding a young woman in front of him as a shield. "I'll tell what his orders are! Toss the bows immediately! If there's a single bow within five meters of any of you, I'll slit her throat."

    Kristoff recognizes the man from the description seen on a wanted poster. Otis "Bearmouth" Waley.

    He also notices that Bearmoth would easily be able to slit the lady's throat, and dart into the tent where more hostages await. He'd have time to do that before a bow could be properly aimed his way.

    "Just to make sure I'm perfectly clear, the next words that come out of your mouth will be 'toss the bows.' Then you and all of your men with bows will toss them before anyone speaks or moves. Anything different than that will cost this girl her life."
     
  20. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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