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Vapourware [LP CYOA] Night of the Hummingbird

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    A Small Disturbance

    Inanna approached the young foreigner. He was dressed in white, the cut of his outfit in the traditional Ankidan style. Although he had an eye-patch, it did not detract from his looks – indeed, he exuded an aura of mystery that Inanna knew would likely intrigue the highborn ladies. Indeed, they were; but for now they were content to stand on the sidelines giggling coyly as they dared each other to make the first move. The man did not seem to notice Inanna’s approach, instead idly chewing on some meat skewers while his sole eye roved over the banquet tables. Inanna was used to this. She made sure to put on a smile on her face, certain that she was not interrupting anything important, and politely said, “Excuse me, sir. Would you like to sample some of these biscuits?”

    That caught the man’s attention. He turned, gulping down the last of his meat. Looking at Inanna, he paused for a while. His eye flicked up and down her body, before resting on her face. The foreigner seemed to be examining her closely, but for some reason, Inanna did not feel any form of lust or desire that would normally accompany such scrutiny from a man.

    Lucia would have been offended by this, thought Inanna, but on her part it only invited mild confusion and more than a bit of curiosity. However, it would be rude to bring that up, and so she smiled brightly again and subtly brought the plate of biscuits forward by just a few inches.

    The man glanced at the biscuits and nodded. He took just one. However, he did not eat it, and continued to look at her. Uncertain if unilaterally retreating at this moment would create some form of diplomatic furore, Inanna was forced to confront the man in her meek and mild manner.

    “Is there anything wrong, sir?” She bowed her head slightly in a gesture of obsequience, the way she had been taught to do in such circumstances.

    He shook his head, and finally replied. “No. Not yet. Sorry.” The foreigner spoke haltingly, in simple words. He was clearly unused to the local language and his accent was thick. “Just wondering some things.”

    Inanna thought, quite briefly and sharply, that he seemed very untrained in foreign languages for a possible diplomatic attaché. But that was a rude thought, and she put it out of her mind quickly.

    “I see, sir. Then, if you do not need any more biscuits, I will take my leave.” She bowed again. As she turned to go, she heard a commotion coming from the center of the hall. There were shouts and sounds of scuffling. Unable to resist her curiosity, she peered at the center of the commotion. There, she saw an unexpected sight. It was Sir Camna, engaged in fisticuffs with another man also in military dress – shockingly, it was Lord Ramsesphilios’s second son, Eridukos. The people around them began to crowd around, though Inanna could not tell whether they were trying to pull the two apart or make things worse.

    As she stared, a stray boot came flying straight at her out of the melee, perhaps the consequence of a careless but hard kick. Inanna’s only possible reaction was to flinch her eyes shut and stumble backwards, spilling the biscuits that had been so carefully balanced on the tray. But yet the boot did not hit her.

    She opened her eyes only to see that the foreigner had calmly snatched the boot out of the air before it landed. With a slight, mischievous smile curling his lips, he drew his arm back, as if to hurl the offending footwear back where it came. Before he could do so, his arm was grabbed. The bearded foreigner, who Inanna remembered as some high ranking diplomat, shook his head and began conversing sharply with his younger counterpart in their language.

    As she could not understand a word of it, she decided to turn her attentions to cleaning up the biscuits that had fallen to the floor instead. Somehow, the biscuits kept slipping through her fingers. Was it the honey? Meanwhile, Lord Ramsesphilios had waded in and began to assert order. His face was red with rage and embarrassment, likely at this fiasco that has happened under his very own roof.

    Lucia came to assist Inanna with the biscuits, and quietly whispered to her, “I’ll take care of this. You seem a bit shaken up, so why don’t you leave the hall for a bit, go to the kitchen and get old Usermatre to whip up a new batch?”

    It was then that Inanna realized that her hands were trembling. She noticed the rapid palpitations of her heart, and the coldness of her face. She was not good with violence. Had never been good with it. It… scared her. More so than it rightfully should, if she was being honest with herself. The very sight of it would freeze her mind and strike a knell of fear in her heart. It was for this reason that her brother had tried his best to get her this position at House Ramsesphilios, away from the more rowdy parts of the city that they used to live in.

    Inanna nodded at Lucia and smiled gratefully. “Thank you,” she whispered. She straightened up and was about to leave the hall, before remembering that she should also thank the one-eyed man for gallantly stopping the boot.

    Her words of gratitude were answered with a gentle grin and some well-natured – and very unexpected – ruffling of her hair. That silent gesture earned the young man another lecture from his superior, and gave Inanna the chance she needed to scurry away from the hall. Her face felt hot now, though her heart still hadn’t slowed down one bit. Behind her, she could swear that Lucia was probably giving her a cheeky leer – her coworker had seen every bit of that interaction.

    As she stepped out of the banquet hall, and into the courtyard, the cool, night air surrounded her. It was refreshing, and Inanna could not help but stop and close her eyes for a while to calm down. After a while, she composed herself. She should be heading to the kitchen, as Lucia asked. She could hurry there immediately, back through the corridors of the mansion…

    Or she could cut through the garden of golden Inanna flowers, and relax herself a bit more. For some reason, the flowers that were her namesake never failed to calm her down.

    ***

    In the end, she decided to:

    A. Hurry to the kitchen.

    B. Take the more roundabout path through the garden.
     
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  2. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
  3. hello friend Arcane

    hello friend
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    I'm on an actual spaceship. No joke.
    B
     
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  4. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Thanks for counting the vote right, treave
    I forgot the right letter

    Voting B
     
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  5. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    Maybe it really is Jing after all. Then again, this one got talked out of committing a diplomatic incident for the sake of a young maiden.

    I'd be inclined to go for A. We've got to stuff these guests silly so that they'll be in too much of a food coma to get to mischief.
     
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  6. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    I wonder if this is the Jing we know, a alternate Jing or a previous reincarnation of Chi You.


    I prefer going with B so we can do things in calm, rather than bungling them

    Also the flowers are clearly the source of our superpowers and communing with our Patron Witch might confer Innana some sweet tentacles.
     
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  7. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    Cautious? No, we're dutiful. We go to the kitchen right away. We might return to the Inanna flowers later, when thoughts of the young foreigner stirs again...

    A
     
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  8. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    22,063
  9. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    A, we've a job to do.
     
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  10. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    A - dutiful
     
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  11. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Jing all right.
     
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  12. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Jing would kick off his own boot instead of hurling someone else's. What a total disappointment that cheap knock-off was! :argh:

    B. Smell the trippy roses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
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  13. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    B of course.
     
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  14. Nahel Erudite

    Nahel
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    A. Let's play the dutiful girl for the moment.
     
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  15. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Current tally:

    A - 5
    B - 6

    Votes close in 12 hours.
     
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  16. a bear named spigot Arcane

    a bear named spigot
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    700
  17. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    I kinda want to play things a bit more conservatively before we go full-Codex on this LP and go totally off the rails.

    Anyways, Inanna's constitution is a definite problem:

    I very much doubt that getting chewed out by her boss for being late would help our girl calm down given her nervous nature (if anything, she might be more on edge after this), but I see why folks might be eager to get stoned and hopefully get a SEKRIT ENCOUNTER.

    A
     
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  18. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    A.

    Where she belongs, yadda yadda.
     
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  19. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Current tally:

    A - 7
    B - 7
     
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  20. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    If it's time to close the votes and the tie still stands, consider me flopping.
     
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  21. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Well, I missed the window where I'm able to update today, so we'll delay it for another 12 hours or so. I'll check back then.
     
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  22. MoistCloister Savant

    MoistCloister
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  23. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Alright, let's have B then.

    edit: Delay isn't because I'm getting busy, no worries there. Just figuring out which draft I should go with. I'm leaning towards the one with dead people in it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  24. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    Such are the consequences of a woman not staying in the kitchen. :M
     
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  25. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    A Chance Encounter

    There was no hurry. Inanna understood that Lucia had given her an excuse to exit the hall, and that was all there was to it. There was no urgent biscuit crisis that she had to resolve. Rather, the only crisis right now would be the commotion going on inside the hall. Feeling grateful that she had not stayed there, she walked into the garden filled with Inanna flowers. A gentle breeze swayed the golden petals that had blossomed all over the soil. It carried a comfortable, slightly nostalgic fragrance to her nose. Her mother had once knitted these flowers into wreaths to make ends meet, before her sickness worsened. Maybe that was why she felt calm in their presence, but…

    She did not think that was all there was to it. These flowers, named after a goddess of the old religion and first appearing after some great disaster hundreds of years ago; they always made her feel as if some higher power was watching over her. As if the goddess were actually real. Inanna was not a particularly religious girl, but on this point she could come to belief.

    In the dim moonlight, the stone pathways of the garden were less familiar than they were in the day time. The fall of night changed how things looked; how the shadows shrouded the paths, how once familiar trees and statues were now cast in the different, soft glow of the gas-lights instead of the gentle shine of the sun, bringing different features to focus. She was not lost, but the night garden had always felt a bit more foreign to her than during the day. The only one constant, the only part of the garden that remained unchanging no matter the time of day or year, were the ever-blooming Inanna flowers.

    Inanna looked around. If she were to reach the kitchens, then here she should go left…

    The wind stirred again, the golden petals danced, and almost as if guided by an unheard whisper, she turned her head to the right on a whim.

    Something was different about the flowers there, as if they had been disturbed. Not trampled, but ever so slightly out of line. Lady Ramsesphilios was quite insistent with the gardeners on this matter; indeed, she spent no small time herself pottering about to make sure every last bit of the garden was growing to her satisfaction. Why, the madam would be positively frowning if she saw this, thought Inanna. As someone who had followed behind her on many of those occasions, she prided herself somewhat at being able to notice when something is in disarray.

    Pushed forward by curiosity, Inanna moved closer. There, half-hidden by the bushes and flowers, she glimpsed blue and white. It took a while for her vision to register itself in her mind. The blue was that of the tunic of House Ramsesphilios. The white was that of a man’s face. Pale, eyes open, staring up at the stars unblinkingly.

    “Markos,” she whispered. He was one of the many guards that Lord Ramsesphilios had in his employ, a cheerful man who Inanna heard had just gotten married to his childhood sweetheart. She remembered her brother cynically remarking that it never bodes well when people like Markos married their sweethearts, particularly in times of turmoil. She did not really understand what he meant, but perhaps it was a premonition of some sort.

    For Inanna knew very well what corpses looked like, and Markos was certainly dead right now.

    Yet her heart was calm. It was not pounding, like earlier in the hall. Even though the process of violence terrified her, being confronted with its possible aftermath did not touch her one bit. She was nervous, yes. Afraid, certainly. But panic had no grip on her right now. A strange thing, that, and she knew others would think the same should they ever find out.

    Was she broken somehow? Or was it the influence of the soothing flowers? Such thoughts flitted just briefly through her mind as she stepped towards Markos’s body out of curiosity.

    There were no signs of blood anywhere except for a small patch of dark red on the front of his uniform, staining both fabric and brass buttons. His still face was calm and emotionless, like that of a statue. His lips were tightly shut. Only the eyes continued to remain open. He did not seem to have died of natural causes, thought Inanna.

    Taking a deep breath, Inanna decided to…

    ***


    A. Go to the kitchen. It was not too far from here. Old Usermatre was reliable both as the chef and as an experienced servant of the mansion. He would know what to do about this better than her.

    B. Run all the way back to the banquet hall. She had to alert Lord and Lady Ramsesphilios about Markos’s death – this was a very grave issue, as his assailants could still be lurking somewhere around the mansion.

    C. Head for the stables. Her brother, Eannos, was taking care of the guests’ horses there at the moment. Though his tongue was often barbed, he was the one person in this mansion that she could feel safe with at the moment.

    D. Stay where she was, and shout loudly for help, to attract attention. She was confident her voice could carry far enough at least to alert the other guards. Running around in the middle of the night was risky.
     
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