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Myth: A New Age CYOA

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Fangshi, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    How many spirits are we talking? Five? Ten? A hundred?

    Because of course some of them will charge in, but they are talking about an army here. You can close the gates letting some of them in, but only if you don't cooperate with them in the first place.

    It is a difference of whether or not we are allowing them free reign inside the fortress.
     
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  2. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    Maybe the spirits are sleeping Arrows, just as the wolves were our trio of mages?
     
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  3. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Well the choices tell us that they might just attack anyway once the gate is down, and I think that if they are moving in for an attack they would do so with enough force to ensure they succeed. I wouldn't be surprised if we were right now surrounded by a spirit army. So, probably quite a lot of them would reach the doors before us and attempting to close the doors while surrounded by them is not exactly going to be easy while being trampled to death, even if they are not actively trying to kill us (which they might be if we don't make a deal with them).

    My reasoning here is - we have a willing army that will make an assault whether we work with them or not, so we might as well do so or we might have to fight them and the defenders once we make our move. And after that we'll see - yes, they might attack us, maybe they have only a dead human is a good human policy or something. But going with B is hardly a guarantee that's not going to happen, it might even make it more likely.
     
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  4. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    CA bandwagon.
     
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  5. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    For me it is more the principle of a thing. Sort of like establishing the policy whether to trust the Children or not.

    How can you ally with that thing? It reminds me of this one:
    Just don't ever try diplomacy with the gods. Ever.

    Maybe. Likely, even. But their minds do not belong to them anymore.
     
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  6. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Shrug. The problem is the alternative probably isn't no thanks, we do this alone. It's now we have to fight them as well.
     
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  7. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    CA

    The only alternative plan is returning to our bodies and fucking throwing that fucking anti-magic grenade at them.
     
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  8. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    Good guess, and was right.:salute:
    Probably this minor deity is also the source of power for something.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Fangshi, did the attempt to dispel the central enchantment warrant a saving throw that we've failed, or was it so powerful we weren't granted any?
     
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  10. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    Huh...

    I don't really understand what's going on here.

    CA
     
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  11. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    No saving throw to avoid that. You passed all your rolls to dispel the lesser AOEs, had you failed there you would have avoided this but the spell would have stayed up, once you contacted the central spell that was it. You would always have wound up here it was simply too strong (you need to be Fallen Lord levels of strength to shrug off the pull of this spell, it is why the Faceless Man can lead you back to your bodies in 1A).

    Neither does Derryth really. :lol:

    She vaguely understands that she is currently in some sort of out of body experience in a dream-like place or plane and that the Faceless Man probably has a good idea of what is happening here (he won't say though, really he wants you to just come with him). She is also somewhat certain that the answers to what is going on here are to be found in that fort.

    If you find someone important enough and take them alive you might be able to find out what is going on though.


    Current Tally:
    Grimgravy CA
    Zero Credibility CA
    Nevill CB
    Azira CA
    asxetos CA
    Kz3r0 CA
    Smashing Axe CA
    Jester CA

    1.
    A)
    B)
    C) 8 votes
    D)

    2.
    A) 7 votes
    B) 1 vote
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
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  12. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    CA grab magical knowledge we need and gtfo.
     
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  13. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Hmmm... A seven/eight vote bandwagon for CA already.

    If there are no objections I could close things in a couple hours and write up the next update.

    Would you prefer an early update or more time to think about flopping?
     
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  14. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    update for me.
     
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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  16. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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  17. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    So the impression I am getting is that you guys want another update, right?

    I should be able to manage that and CA has a commanding lead so the vote is closed.

    Update will be out within 12 hours.
     
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  18. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    BA for contrarianism.
     
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  19. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    Heresy? Inquisition wish to have a word with you.
     
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  20. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    The alternative title for this one was Unintended Consequences.
    There are no organizational or party changes for this one so there will be no second post.


    Chapter 24: Man is Man's Wolf

    Time passes strangely in this place.

    Perhaps the very concept is foreign to it.

    This night seems to last an eternity and the forest is strange, animated, hostile.

    Everyone in the fort can feel it.

    They know in their hearts that something is about to break loose upon them.

    The guardsmen huddle just a bit closer together, they stand just a hair lower, they cling to the flames like a drowning man to the flotsam and jetsam that may yet save his life.

    The captain makes his rounds, torch in hand.

    He jokes, he prods, he stirs the men back up. They are a bastion of civilization in these untamed land. They will break this forest, such is their duty, such has always been their duty.

    He stands proudly upon the wall for all of his men to see.

    He knows no cowardice.

    He knows no fear.

    He also provides a very tempting target.

    -------------------------------------------

    You focus on the man. His will is strong but you are stronger. You delicately place a suggestion in his mind. A watchman is trapped outside, he needs to open the gate.

    He takes the bait. He is on your hook now.

    He places one gloved hand on the gate controls.

    He stops, his mind pushing back against your efforts.

    You let him shake the suggestion off, giving him a little line. His mind races from you.

    Thaïs waits in ambush for him. She hooks a false memory into his side.

    It is not a watchman out there it is his child.

    Frantically he works the controls. The doors begin to open.

    Again his mind fights back. He has no child. His mind turns on Thaïs but she is already gone, fading back into the darkness of the night.

    It is while he is distracted that you choose to strike.

    You reel him in, hitting him with a compulsion. You pour all your will into it.

    The attack is not terribly elegant. Particularly in comparison to your earlier feints but it is quite effective.

    His mind rolls backward as his body works the controls.

    The gates are open.

    Your 'allies' do the rest.

    --------------------------------------

    She has no idea what is happening.

    One moment she was surveying the forest and the next... the next she watched her captain betray all that he held dear.

    The gates are open.

    The forest pours in.

    Wolves, bears, and stags crash into the courtyard as his men valiantly defend themselves. They are cut down, torn apart by the wolves, ripped in half by the bears, impaled, bludgeoned and stamped out by the stags. It is a bloodbath.

    The captain throws himself into the worst of it. He cleaves a bear's head from its shoulder. He splits a wolf almost in two with an axe he conjures from mid air.

    With a thousand different cries owls, bats, raptors and songbirds of every shape and size descend from the skies. They peck and claw at the guards on the walls, some flee, others fall.

    The captain fights on, weaving magic as he carves into the oncoming host.

    Finally even the rodents pour forth.

    He falls, the captain falls, under a wave of rats and rabbits, squirrels and mice. Hundreds of pairs of tiny teeth gnawing at him.

    Some small, dark part of her finds that immensely amusing.

    She pulls herself together. Maybe she can still turn this around. They are just animals. If she can just get back to some of the men she can-

    The forest heaves, it cries out and it attacks.

    Forest spirits pour forth and through the open gates.

    Leaping, hopping, skittering, slithering the horde comes on. Double hinged jaws, hooked claws, clacking talons pour into the compound. Elemental hatred and hunger they pour forth.

    They are coming to kill, to consume them all.

    She runs through the fort, all is in chaos.

    If she can only get to the basement, if she can only open a gate...

    To late.

    They block her way.

    She ducks into a store room and hides in an old brick oven.

    They find her though. Hateful hands drag her from her hiding place, out of the dark and into the light, out of ignorance and into madness.

    They poke her, prod her, bite her, scratch her.

    They drag her into the square and force her onto her knees.

    A squat little beast with the body of a toad and the face of a fox hefts a large rock in its sucking fist.

    The beast screams. She screams. The horde screams. The rock screams.

    Her world spins.

    The fist falls on her to snuff out her life.

    The rock falls on her to snuff out her life.

    Fate falls on her to snuff out her life.

    Then suddenly it stops.

    She stops it, but what is she, this figure casually striding through the shattered gate?

    An angel of mercy?

    The figure walks up to the officer, there is not a hint of fear in her.

    Some demon from hell's cold, dark caverns?

    The creatures part before her.

    Some terrible and ancient immortal?

    She lowers herself down till she can look the officer in the eye.

    Does she command this host? These monsters?

    The officer waits for the figure to speak unable to even begin to fathom the depths of this being.

    What could the figure possibly want from her?

    The figure smiles at her. She tilts her odd hat backward with her thumb. She extends a hand and she speaks, "Good evening. Name's Derryth, what's yours?."

    The officer giggles and passes out.

    ---------------------------------------------

    "Well great," you stand up and dust yourself off, "Now who is going to tell us what is going on?"

    Thaïs, equally annoyed, replies, "We will just have to find a way to wake her up."

    "Um," Lyssa interrupts, "What are they doing?"

    She points to the half dozen spirits poking your prisoner.

    The squat toad beast at your feet yips to its compatriots. They begin to grab at the unconscious woman, great twisted maws grinning evilly.

    "No eating her!" you command them. They turn their attention to you, grins still fastened to their distorted faces. These things are mischievous, hateful even, but not terribly bright. You can see them weighing their odds. They are not sure they can beat you but they seem almost prepared to try.

    You don't give them a chance. You single out their leader and you knock him flat with an assault spell. He skitters across the earth yelping with his companions in close pursuit.

    You survey the wreckage of the fort. The front gate is ruined. The doors leading into the compound have been torn off and spirits squat everywhere. They tear at the corpses of the guardsmen and argue amongst themselves. Blood and strings of flesh fly through the air as they squabble. They avoid the bricks though, afraid to touch them. They begin smearing blood and mud and offal on the bricks. Covering them up in a layer of human paste.

    Most of them eat and play or work to cover the bricks but you can feel dozens, maybe hundreds, of eyes watching your group. You are convinced that these things would attack if they thought they could win, "We need to get somewhere more defensible. We should get out of this courtyard. Take her inside the fort and find somewhere to securely interrogate her."

    No one disagrees with your assessment so the four of you carry your prisoner into the fort.

    Or rather you, Thaïs and Lyssa carry the prisoner while the Faceless Man supervises.

    He says it is 'beneath him to stoop to manual labour'...

    The ass...

    --------------------------------------------

    She proves to be rather talkative all things considered. Though that might also have something to do with the fact that the four of you are the only thing standing between her and the hordes of predatory spirits that have taken over the fort.

    All it took was a simple reminder. Either she talks or you feed her to the elves and wash your hands of whole the affair. She caved quickly and it all came pouring out.

    "Look," she begins rapidly, sweating profusely, "I am just doing the job I was paid to do. I keep an eye on the watchmen and the guardsmen and relay orders to them from the Oneiroi."

    "So you are real then? Not a dreaming mind like everyone else?" Thaïs asks as she leans in next to you.

    "Sort of... I have a... well, I am keyed to this gate that lets me come and go... all the officers are! Or were... They... ah, hell... they told me that they wanted someone with a clear mind running security on this side. Normally there are two mages here with us but something happened. They were called back to the physical world for some reason. They would not tell me why though..." she pauses, uncertain. It takes her a moment to vocalize what is on her mind, "You... you aren't going to eat me right?"

    "Why would we eat you?" you and your friend ask simultaneously.

    "Well... ah... you are spirits of the forest right? I mean clearly smarter and stronger and... ah... cuter..." she stammers, "But that is why you attacked right? You wanted to take advantage of the absence of our mages to seize this side of the path.... right?"

    Seems she has a very well defined idea of what you are, completely wrong of course but you see no need to enlighten her. You and Thaïs grin at one another and do your best impressions of evil spirits. Hers, like usual, is perfect. Yours isn't great but you compensate with a couple false memories. Your prisoner buys the act and whimpers as your friend begins, "Well, can you give us a reason not to take revenge on you?"

    Seamlessly you continue, "A reason not to kill you?"

    She finishes without missing a beat, "A reason not to devour your very soul?"

    Eager to save herself the officer nods enthusiastically, "I will tell you everything I know! How we made the bricks! How we caught the guards! How we stole your friends! Everything! Just let me return to the physical world please!"

    "Alright," you raise a hand to silence her, "Tell us everything and don't leave out a single detail because we will know and it will not go well for you."

    She takes a deep breath and begins, "I was contracted two years ago to run security for this site. At the time there was nothing on this side of the gate except what you creatures make. We humans can cross over, in fact we do all the time when we dream of wild, untamed places but we can not truly take anything over with us. The clothes I wear, the tools and weapons I wield are all extensions of my will or at least that is what the mages said. That is why I can not fight spirits of your power, you are at home here while I am just a stranger..." she hangs her head, "Well the mages thought about how to get around these limitations... they realized that while we could not bring anything physical over we could manipulate the dreaming souls of others... with the right spells we could make them into anything..."

    She trails off, you think you understand where she is going with this, "You say you can turn peoples' souls into anything? Bricks for example..."

    She refuses to make eye contact, she just nods. Eventually she continues, "The mages... they ran experiments on our prisoners... on the ones with expired contracts or who could not afford to pay our ransom... they found a way to reduce them... to turn them into clay... to mold them, shape them and bake them. Every brick in this fort was once a person and the weakness you are no doubt feeling is down to them. You spirits do not seem to do so well when in contact with them..."

    With that great secret out of the way the rest comes out easily, "The watchmen and guardsmen are all former servants or mercenaries in our employ. Those that die on the job are kept here, they serve eternally as per their contract."

    You have trouble accepting the cruelty of these acts. You are impressed by the creativity and skill it took to create this fort yet you are disgusted by the complete lack of regard the Oneiroi show for their fellow man.

    Thaïs manages to formulate another question as you let it all sink in, "Why did you need the fort in the first place? Why 'steal' our... ah... 'friends'?"

    She gives you both a sick smile, "Well, mages in our world need power to cast their spells and you spirits are essentially energy... and ah... we took your friends to act as power sources... that large one we captured a year and a half ago... I don't know if you knew him or not. He is still alive though! Um... they use him to power their spells. They steal from him, knowledge, power, enough to become great! I don't really know why they need it but they are mages. Maybe they just want it because it is there, you know how mages are..." she scans the room, "Er... I guess you don't actually..."

    For the first time the Faceless Man speaks, "What was that about a gate?"

    She eyes him carefully, "Downstairs... but it will only open for me... it is keyed to prevent spirits like you from escaping back into our world. I always though it was a pain in the ass but I guess those mages were right to be careful."

    You can sense the Faceless Man's disappointment, it is thick and heavy in the room.

    You push on, "So the source of power for the Oneiroi spells are in the basement?"

    She nods.

    "Show us," you command her as the five of you form up and head out of the room.

    -----------------------------------------------

    You step out into the main chamber of the compound it looks substantially different. Most of the floor and some of the walls are coated in gore. The elves fill the room and as you enter hundreds of eyes instantly lock on to you.

    The elves have finished eating.

    They have finished 'redecorating'.

    There is nothing else living in this compound save the five of you.

    This might get messy.

    The Faceless Man takes point. One brave imp throws itself at him and is burnt to ash as soon as it leaves the ground. The rest watch on in silence. Red, beady eyes track your every movement but none are willing to challenge the archmage.

    Your prisoner watches with fascination as you slowly cross the room headed for the basement. Finally she puts it all together, "You... you are not spirits are you?"

    You nudge her forward, "Does it matter?" you reply.

    The crossing is tense. The longest five minutes of your life.

    If they all attacked at once you are not certain you could hold them back. The only thing that saves you is the fact that your group will certainly kill the first forty that attack. They know this and so they hesitate. Outside the wind builds, the trees creak, something stalks closer, carried on the wind.

    The basement door is made of the same white bricks as the rest of the compound. Perhaps that is why it still stands. There is no key hole, no handle, "A spell," your prisoner explains. She produces a small white shard of brick and waves it in front of the doorway, it clicks open.

    You swing it open and carefully step through.

    Lyssa makes certain that the door seals behind you.

    Above you, you can here the murmuring of the creatures. They have no intention of leaving.

    In this large room lined on all sides with brick there are only two objects.

    The first is the portal, it is a two metre by one metre rectangle of white brick. Your prisoner grins with relief when she sees it.

    The second is what looks like a black, marble sculpture of a man carved by the blind or the mad. Twisted and broken it lies on the floor. Smashed, leathery wings are pined to the floor with white bricks. Twisted, broken fingers connect to bloodied hands. Its legs have been shattered numerous times and left to heal crooked. It rattles slightly as you approach.

    It turns its head as much as possible in its prone position revealing cracked horns and a toothless smile. You also notice that it is blind, shards of white brick driven into its eyes. It mumbles at you. Its tone is not one of anguish but of boredom, "Come back have you? Well do your worst... I will not scream for you."

    It pushes at the edges of your mind without really meaning to. This being is powerful, very powerful and you wonder how exactly it ended up like this.

    You and Thaïs approach it while the Faceless Man and Lyssa guard you prisoner.

    Thaïs gasps, hardly realizing what she is doing as she reaches for the prone figure. You stop her, "Best not to touch it."

    It laughs, "Why the sudden concern? You have caressed me many a time with your whips and blades, with this cursed clay!"

    "Is there nothing we can do for you?" you ask.

    "You... you are not one of the Oneiroi are you?" he snifts the air, "No, you do not smell like them. If you wish to help then free me... or kill me... I no longer care which. Just put an end to this, please-" it lets out a sharp scream and you hear a loud pop come from behind you as the gate opens.

    You turn prepared to unleash your spells on your prisoner. You are instead treated to quite the sight.

    Lyssa hovers a foot off of the ground suspended by the Faceless Man's magic. She is trapped but so far unharmed.

    Your prisoner lies dying before the gate. Her blood lightly splattered on the frame of the gate and the floor in front of it. Most of her blood covers the Faceless Man though and he wears here intestines as a sort of macabre scarf.

    He stands grinning less than two metres from the open gate.

    He waves to you with his free hand, "See Derryth, where there is a will there is a way. It turns out that the gate was merely configured to our friend's presence. Anyone can go through as long as they are close enough to fool it!"

    You take a step towards him, a little sick to your stomach, "So you are going to abandon us?"

    "Sort of, yes," he shrugs, "I had intended to stick around for a while longer but an opportunity like this does not present itself every day! I mean think of it Derryth! A body! Freedom! Oh, it has been so long! So I am afraid we must part ways here."

    You don't really like the idea of restoring three archmages in a week.

    You take another step towards him, "What if I try to stop you?"

    "You won't," he grins smugly.

    "How can you be so sure," you spit back.

    He begins to enumerate the reasons, "You have no reason to and every reason not to. If you attack I will kill your latest addition here," Lyssa bobs in the air when he gestures to her, "I will then incapacitate the two of you. Enter the portal. Massacre the Oneiroi, the Arrows and your little brats and finally I will drag the two of you back to your bodies and press you into my service. Sounds delightful doesn't it?"

    You visibly wince at the thought.

    He takes a step towards the gate, "Now since I know you will not stop me I will even do you one parting favour. Think of it as a prize for helping me as much as you did! Without you two I would still be stuck in some hole under Muirthemne! I will clear the real compound of the Oneiroi. I will leave you a few choice prisoners to interrogate and I will tell you how to get back to your bodies," he beams, "Think carefully ladies! We can all come out of this winners!"

    You try to wring some more information out of him, "How do we get out of here and what will you do if we let you go?"

    "Let me go?" he laughs, "Let me go, she says! You can not stop me Derryth and as for what I will do! I will do what I want! The same as I have always done!" he pauses for a moment and raises a careful hand to his face in mock contemplation, "As for how you can get out of here that should be obvious to a smart girl like you! Kill that creature and the Oneiroi spells will fail. You will be free to find your way back to your bodies."

    You cast around the room for options.

    You could go along with this, it would be the safest option but you hesitate to free yet another archmage.

    You could try to get clever. If you kill the creature the gate will close and the Faceless Man will be trapped. He will once again need you and Thaïs so he is not likely to take it out on either of you but that won't protect Lyssa.

    You could free this creature. It is very powerful and on familiar ground. If free it will probably be able to shut the gate and may even be willing to help you fight the Faceless Man.

    Finally, you could try to destroy the gate itself as he passes into it. The timing would be difficult but if it works you could probably kill the Faceless Man. If you miss though and he passes through he is likely to realize what you did and he may take it out on your allies and the girls.

    As you think, the Faceless Man strides towards the gate. He pays you absolutely no attention, he is already thinking on his future. He smiles broadly, his eyes closed.

    If you are going to act now would be the time


    What to do?

    A) You let the Faceless Man leave then you kill the creature unravelling the Oneiroi spells.

    B) You let the Faceless Man leave and then free the creature. The spells should unravel with their power supply missing.

    C) You kill the creature before the Faceless Man leaves. You keep the Fallen Lord trapped.

    D) You will free the creature before the Faceless Man leaves. Hopefully it can defeat the archmage.

    i. You will let it deal with the Faceless Man however it thinks is best.

    ii. You will try to convince it to keep the gate open until the Faceless Man enters it then convince it to drop the gate on the archmage.

    E) You attack the gate itself hoping to kill the Faceless Man. You will then kill the creature just to be sure.

    F) You attack the gate itself hoping to kill the Faceless Man. You will then free the creature, you take pity on it.

    G) You will attack the officer with everything you have. If you can kill her the gate will close. You will just have to hope the Faceless Man is not protecting her somehow.

    H) You will let the Faceless Man go through the gate. You will then attempt to convince the creature to follow. IF it refuses the Faceless Man will likely never know of your treachery. IF it agrees you hope it can either defeat him or that the battle will destroy/fuse both of their minds.

    I) freeform
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
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  21. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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  22. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Wait, if we destroy the gate, how do we get out?

    Wty TFM would still need us?

    I am tempted to say that if he ever harms Lyssa, he will remain here with us for an eternity.

    But if we ever wanted to leave, what are our options?

    It is either C or D or freeform for me.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
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  23. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    1,997
    You don't need the gate. You are still tethered to your bodies, it is how the Faceless Man would have led you back in the last update. Once the Oneiroi spells fail it should be fairly easy for you to wake up and return to your bodies.

    He needs the gate because he wants to steal the dying officer's body. It is a sneaky way to get around the spells that have him trapped in the bracers. It really is a rare opportunity for him.

    If he can not use the gate then he has to return to the bracers so he needs you both physically safe just like he did when you were in Nine's mind.

    The only reason you have any option but A or B is because he does not think you are stupid/ballsy enough to screw him (either he has not reflected on your previous behavior, he thinks you would not go that far, or perhaps he thinks you like him more than you do). If you verbally threaten him he will simply take you both out and cross through the gate.

    You speculate that he has not done so already because he either legitimately likes you or he wants you for some plan in the future. Possibly both are true.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
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  24. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire

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