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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> The Day They Woke Up on the Wrong Side of Reality
Related thread: Q&A: The Day They Woke Up on the Wrong Side of Reality
GM for this game: Sibelius Eos Owm
Players for this game: Sibelius Eos Owm, Aardvark, Reralae, Okron, Shades331, Tispers
This game has fizzled.
    Messages in The Day They Woke Up on the Wrong Side of Reality
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Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts

3/4 Players suggest I'm not giving enough action into the game--the fourth didn't mention it.

After Supper—Early Evening
Third Day
Corazon, Gaellus

Suzume led us to where our weapons were stored in the guardhouse after the meeting was finished. She remained long enough for us to collect our gear, and then gave us a bow. Ray smiled at her and she, after a blank pause, responded with a wave and a bright smile. If it wasn’t cute, you had a lump of stone counterfeiting as your heart.

Likely to his great relief, Ben succeeded in securing shelter before the storm had arrived with enough presence to rain, and so too did Ian and Ray. Two of our group, however, weren’t so entirely fortunate, though admittedly I hardly count rain as a misfortune.

A pleasantly cool wind raced through the emptying streets of Corazon, carrying with it a parcel of dark clouds, heavy with their burden of rain. The aerial giants slowly glided over the city, flashing and rumbling with idle energy, while the citizens rushed home or discovered some other form of shelter from the immanent storm.

Somewhere in the empyreal heavens, droplets of water clustered together with conspiratorial purpose. As more joined their cause, their collective mass swelled until finally the force of gravity pulling on them was great enough that they plunged through the air as a single drop. The drop hurtled earthward toward their target: A mess of oblivious orangey-red hair waiting outside the bookstore. Impact came with a resounding, magnificent pat! as the kinetic energy built up over the entire descent was released.

"Aie." I glanced skyward to ensure that it was, in fact, a raindrop and not anything else that struck my head. I glanced in through the shop's window at Galen's back, to check his progress with his purchase. The rest had continued to the Inn, but I remained in keeping with our new policy to never travel alone. I had gone in initially, but decided against spending any of my gold, not to mention it was nice outside, now that the storm had blown away a few degrees of temperature. Besides, the most important book right now was locked in a chest back at the Inn—which is not to say that I didn't consider getting something to read, or even to write in as Galen was doing.

That was when I saw the cat, creeping along the shadows by the street. There were many cats roaming stray in this city—possibly due to many rats (admittedly, black plagues didn't cross my mind just then)—but this cat in particular stood out to me. The small and scrawny, dirty and black feline inched forward with superhuman patience and control as it crept around a corner, evidently on the hunt. I took a step toward the cat, probably to better watch it like I did the ones that showed up in the yard. That was around when I had taken leave of my senses. On my way walking toward the cat, it noticed me and shot around to watch me, warily.

I watched it back, continuing to creep forward slowly. I remembered something about Ian telling me the story of Jeremy's cat catching technique (admittedly only tested on tame ones). I also remembered discovering the reasoning behind it, that staring into their eyes was a challenge so not looking directly at them worked better. Hell, I even knew that staring down an animal was never a great idea for peaceful relations (yes, even before you mentioned that, Ray), but in my defence I could not honestly confess to the presence of my mind at that moment. I reached my hand out—probably to pet it, I can only assume—and the cat pulled itself back, tensing in its corner.

Two things happened, roughly simultaneously, as in the moment before I touched the cat: First, the cat’s predatory cunning vastly expanded into limited, coherent conscious thought; second, I was the recipient of a very sudden, small scratch, on my left hand. She dropped from my hand, stunned, to the street, landing with a dazed swagger.

"There you are," I heard from a little behind me, at the entrance to the bookstore. Galen had finished his business. I glanced back at him, stooped over the cat who was slowly surveying her surroundings. Some corner of my mind, separate from myself, was radiating stunned awe and wonder, and was adjusting to cope with its new perception. I looked back at the cat. "Oh, dear sweet lord," I said, realization slowly dawning on me. I scooped up the cat, who was only just beginning to acknowledge my existence again, as gently as I could. A drop here and a drop there, the rain pattered, slowly picking up speed though not yet enough to even make the street that wet, yet. Thankfully the Inn wasn't too far away, and only just had a chance to start getting serious by the time we ran in the door. In less than half a minute later, an impressive, drenching downpour flooded the streets. Both Galen and I breathed a sigh of relief, he with his new books tucked under his chest and I with what was apparently my new familiar. Odd thought that was.

The cat decided that it had enough of being carried now and shifted its weight forward and out of my grasp. She landed, shook her head with a snap once, looked back at me, and then finally walked into the inn as if she owned the establishment and let Katrina take care of it for her while she was away. Watching her whenever possible, Galen and I sat down over by our friends. I got the sense that the cat—she would have to have a name soon—had no intention of escaping, so I let her roam for now.

Night, just before bed
Third Night
Corazon, Gaellus

The rain persisted into the late evening and early night, pounding against the panes of our windows with varying gusto. We gathered in one of the rooms before bed to go over our mission the next day, and to chat, briefly. When we saw that it was going to rain all evening, we left taking Galen’s weapons to the smithy for another day.

As we talked, I flicked pieces of unseasoned fish to the as-of-yet-nameless cat who I had mysteriously acquired a bond with. I knew, even outside the realms of the Player’s Handbook, that wizards and magicians looking to take on an animal as their familiar usually had to perform some sort of ritual that would bind the two. To the best of my knowledge and interpretation, I had certainly not performed anything resembling one. Perhaps whatever force had dropped us in this world with these new powers also saw fit to drop in a familiar? I couldn’t guess.

Presently, the beast in question leapt onto the table, using my lap as a step along the way. I felt curiosity and suspicion echo through our link, as she inspected her perspective. I tried to entice her with another piece of the fish she had been so eagerly eating up until a moment ago, but failed to attract so much as a glance. She fell into a stalking gait, keeping her body low to the desk as she crept closer to the window. I glanced out the window, but it was too dark and inside was too bright to properly see anything. “What is it, what do you see?” I asked in the kind of quiet, high-pitched voice you use with children. They say animals are capable of seeing ghosts and spirits, and after what else had gone down recently, I was very ready to believe in the possibility of phantasms stalking the living world right now.

The room went dark when I extinguished the lamp, drawing attention to me. “There’s--” something outside, I thought about saying, but a discharge of lightning explained for me, filling the window with white light from the other side of the pane.

Not much detail was available of the creature’s head in the fraction of a second in which it was illuminated. It was quite small by human standards, and pointed ears stuck out near the top of its head. It might have been a trick of the light, but the shadows across its face seemed startled.

The silhouette was replaced, just as the light died, by my familiar’s body as she impacted the window with all four legs and slid back down to the sill. The room stayed dark for another moment, and then was cast into light again by another brilliant flash, but this time, no figure appeared in the window. I drew up my power and intoned a handful of syllables that the magical portion of my mind associated with light. The minute amount of power flowed through me and into my teardrop-shaped necklace, which I held aloft for somebody to relight the lamp. I quickly killed the magical light, not needing any questions.

“What . . . was that?” somebody asked.

(I’m assuming there is just general stuff commemorating the weirdness of the occasion—there is nothing to be found if anyone feels up to running downstairs (or even out the window) into the storm to check. If anyone wants to specify a particular reaction or comment, that’s why we love backposts.)

Posted on 2009-10-20 at 21:57:13.
Edited on 2010-03-24 at 20:36:34 by Sibelius Eos Owm

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts

Alright, so we're not going straight to the action like I promised. Prelude:

(I stole the last section from above and put it into the beginning of this post)

Morning to Sundown
Fourth Day
Corazon, Gaellus

With dawn’s arrival, the uneasiness of the night washed away like a foolish nightmare. Yesterday evening’s thunderstorm departed in the night, leaving only puddles and toppled items as evidence of its passage. We rose and prepared our gear, and went downstairs to be pleasantly surprised to discover that breakfast was included in our keep (though dinner/lunch and supper would have to be acquired by our own means). More than one of us mentally ticked off the first of our three-day free ride. Should somebody inquire, the keep for our rooms amounts to twenty-four silver nobles per night, which, conveniently, split three ways makes a eight nobles a person per night (with same individual price for the two-person room).

After breakfast we equipped ourselves for the ride south, gathering our weapons and strapping on armour. I double checked my already-prepared spells to make sure there was nothing I should change. When we came back down, the cart was already there. After a brief introduction and a wave of our documents, we were off and plodding out of the city and into the expansive plains south, that nicely mirrored those to the north.

As predicted, the most threatening things during the trip were idle chatter, heat, and the occasional passing cart. I, personally, sat off the back of the cart, facing north with my hood drawn partway up my neck and my forearms mostly protected from the sun by my body. Kiara, as her name came to be, preferred to nap in the sun at the top of the mound of supplies dominating the cart, her belly full of the remainder of the fish from last night. Already she was looking less skinny and unkempt, though she might need a bath or a throw into a lake still. For lunch she stalked through the tall grass nearby while I rode the signals that passed between us like casual conversation.

We eventually arrived in the small town, Surton, around suppertime with plenty of daylight left. The town was large enough to warrant a small inn for travellers passing to and from Corazon, so we took up lodging there while the cart owners unloaded the supplies at the church across the street. A man who seemed to have been appointed as spokesman, or mayor, of the town and another who looked to be a priest met with them to oversee proceedings.

At some point during the evening we managed to attract a small following of children who were excited to see real guards and were fascinated by our weapons. They asked questions about what kinds of things we did and about our gear, and otherwise chattered eagerly. One particularly enthusiastic boy declared, “I’m going to be a Hunter when I grow up!”

I chuckled with the boy, “So you want to kill monsters for a living?”
“Yeah, and I’ll make sure the monsters are too scared to come out of their holes!”
“Well, you see, the first thing you have to do after you have your gear is to find the monster, and that’s no easy task, I have to say. I haven’t seen a monster yet, but if I do, you can be sure I’ll plant my staff right between his eyes.” Undead were reanimated corpses, I reasoned, not really monsters.
“That’s okay,” the boy replied, beaming, “I’ll practice with the Demon Dog and make sure he promises never to bother people or eat our livestock again.”

Demon Dog? Shortly thereafter the children ran away home, being called before they had a chance to explain this creature to us beyond the vague mention that it has been coming out at night and eating the farmers’ sheep and that the grown-ups are all upset about it.

Afterward, the mayor came to see us, an about middle-aged man who smiled a lot and looked concerned about something, to ‘check to make sure we were all settled for the evening’. It wasn’t a large jump between his conspicuous appearance and a certain recent question, so you could have seen it coming that some one asked him about the stories of this demonic canine. It was actually one of the cart drivers who posited the question, who had been spending the evening at the alehouse until it suddenly vacated at about nine.

The mayor paused as he stood up, catching the question as he moved to leave. “I suppose I ought to say something—I only didn’t want to scare you unnecessarily. If you believe the stories, it’s been haunting the area for a few weeks, but since about Midsummer, a few days ago, we have been able to hear the beast’s hunting from town. I wouldn’t concern yourselves with it, though, it has been hunting our sheep in the field mostly, and I’ve already contracted a woodsman to deal with the matter.”

(If you have any more questions for Mr. Mayor, you may throw them in here, otherwise he head off home)

Not long after the mayor disappeared down the street, the sun dipped below the horizon entirely, throwing the town into the time of day referred to poetically as the “blue hour”, twilight. Before dusk completely fell, an eerie, low-pitched howl penetrated the night and threw an involuntary shiver down everyone’s spine, indiscriminately. Hells, it sounded like a demon dog.

Fourth Night, apparently also the fourth night since the Summer Solstice,
Outside of Surton, Gaellus

Beauregard broke camp with professional ease about an hour before sunset. By the time twilight had fallen, he was armed with his bow, waiting in a copse of trees just off the property of a farmer who hadn’t been struck by the Demon Dog yet. Beau grinned at that thought. The town-dwellers were always so ready to assign malicious, supernatural, melodramatic titles to whatever large beastie appeared to harass them, simply out of fear and misunderstanding.

Nevertheless, it would not do to underestimate the creature—so far it had never struck the same farm twice, demonstrating a certain level cunning. Likely it was a wolf separated from its pack that had already learned the hard way not to strike the same farm over and over. But now it was getting over sure of itself, striking so close to the town. Now its prowl had come to an end.

Beau didn’t have to wait long after sunset. The sky hadn’t even entirely lost its glow when a large, dark form slunk into view at the edge of the sheep pen. It was a large one—could have probably started its own pack without fearing much competition. Too bad it hadn’t stayed out of the local’s livestock. Beau raised his bow, judged the shot, and released.

The arrow sailed true and struck the beast in the flank just behind the shoulder, but it merely bounced off and fell into the grass. The creature yelped and twisted to face its attacker. Beau’s blood ran cold, and the bubble of levity and arrogance he was riding up until a moment ago vanished. From where he was standing he could clearly see the creature’s eyes—they glowed with an otherworldly light. Damn, the farmers weren’t exaggerating.

It lifted its head to the sky and released a horrific howl. Pure terror seized the woodsman’s heart and he turned to run, with the beast’s horrible panting following close behind him. His legs pounded the ground, but he never gained any ground. Finally, out of terror, he glanced back, catching a just as terrifying sight. He didn’t have time to scream as the large dark creature hurled its furred weight onto him. The long hunting knife in his boot forgotten, Beau thought of nothing but escaping this vicious creature and those teeth which were scrabbling for fleshy purchase.

He escaped it once, getting solid ground beneath his feet once more, breaking into a sprint again. Almost effortlessly, it caught up to him again and ploughed into him, sinking its teeth into the back of his neck with a flash of pain. As he hit the ground, the thinking part of his brain mentioned the dagger nestled against his leg. Ignoring the pain in his neck, he grasped the handle and drew it, immediately plunging it toward the monster hanging over him. Horrifyingly, the tip failed to penetrate the flesh just like the arrow. The monster reared back again and tore into his flesh again, mangling the arm that bore the knife.

Human reason rather than mind-numbing fear, this time, caused him to get up and try to flee again. He barely got up before his right calf was locked in the creature’s jaws and ripped out from underneath him. Within seconds after that, the conscious world vanished.

Once the man finally stopped struggling, the monster reared back its head at the starry sky—the gibbous moon was only just rising—and released another blood chilling howl, celebrating the victory.

June 25, Fifth Day
Surton, Gaellus

It was a woman going out to feed her chickens who saw it first. Her shrill scream summoned a collection of individuals with stronger nerves, most of which had to look away after a moment. At a loss, some one suggested to fetch the mayor, and ran off in pursuit of that goal.

The body had been badly mangled, the throat had been violently torn open and largely consumed, as well as the navel. One of the legs was twisted at a sickening angle, and even the hard leather cuirass he wore was missing a chunk suspiciously the size of a bite. The body, where it lay on the edge of town, and the splatter marks around it gave it the impression of having been dropped from a good height. The corpse wasn’t entirely unrecognizable, however, the face was bloody but otherwise remained largely untouched. Few could stand to look at it long, while those children not immediately scooted indoors vied for a glimpse.

The mayor verified the suspicions—it was the woodsman he sent out to deal with the Demon Dog. A farmer came into town to confirm that a couple of his sheep had been stolen during the night. We were introduced to the morning’s events when we happened to see some villagers carry the body into the church on a stretcher, covered by a bloodstained sheet.

“I’m going to assemble a militia of volunteers. Plenty of people are scared, but there are those who will want to do something about this. I must admit I don’t like the idea of hiring ones as young as yourselves, but I can’t afford to be choosy. You are the only professional guards in the area, so I have to offer. Will you add your expertise to the hunt? I’m afraid we would be walking blind ourselves,” the mayor spilled on us.

I recalled the bloody sheet taken into the church. It reminded me a Verene, a “Puppy” Guardswoman who wore similar adornments after a tragic encounter, in the book Beka Cooper: Terrier.

“We’re leaving,” declared one of the supply-cart drivers, “whichever you decide, do it quick, we’re not sticking around anywhere as has something that can do that.” He gestured to the church doors. The mayor and drivers stepped back for a moment to let us decide.

I didn’t know what to do, I wanted to help, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. We were brought to this world and given these stronger bodies, these skills, these powers to be heroes, weren’t we? Supposedly. I knew which side I was on, but I didn’t offer to be the first to speak.

(And please, if you think you recognize the monster in question, I’d appreciate if you didn’t go looking through the Monster Manual to check out its abilities. ^^)

Posted on 2009-10-24 at 00:17:07.
Edited on 2009-10-24 at 00:26:13 by Sibelius Eos Owm

RDI Fixture
Karma: 22/5
513 Posts

Passion versus Empathy

After hearing some of the tales before hand, and seeing the events that have unfolded now, I too am worried. A Deamon Dog? The only two creatures that fit that description would either be the Hell Hound or the Winter Wolf... both have amazing supernatural powers, both were cunning in comparison to your average, both were very dangerous.
What got me stumped was that in any event, they were canines... pack animals. Yet we have only heard about (and at night, only heard ourselves) one animal.

If it were a winter wolf, it would surely have a pack of its own; they could easily find a pack and rid the alpha male of his place. Furthermore, though there are mountains in the surrounding area, they seem a bit too distant to be in the hunting territory of a wolf pack. This leads me to deduce that that the creature must be a Hell Hound... if it is indeed a powerful entity of any kind.

In either case, I turn to the mayor. "How long has this 'Deamon Dog' been around for?"
"And how many others beside this hunter have died from it or have mysteriously vanished?" (presuming none)(used in rhetoric to point flaws of agitating the beast)
"Then I suggest this: give a curfew, and do nothing for the time being. It is apparent this creature has no interest in us yet. It may have gained a taste for human flesh now that it has killed one, so i suggest that people travel in groups, and perhaps even congregate under one roof. When we get back from our escort, we will aid you."

I turn to head to the cart. I have made my decision. But then something strike me...
"And for the love of the gods, be sure to show the children that corpse! I heard some of them plotting to fight that monster. Sheltering them from the truth of death will only lead them to it! Be clear on the consequences of looking for this canine."

I then sit on the cart, hoping the other will follow suit. If it seems that I am going alone, I will discuss with the cart riders what they think... for I do not wish to separate from my friends again... I don't want to be alone in this world again. But at the same time, I believe that the towns folk are not in impending doom at the moment. So long as they appease the wolf-hound with the sheep that it desires, they will be safe. They have each other. If this transport gets attacked, they will be slaughtered, and it was assumed that they would be protected. (If needed, I would tell this standpoint to the rest of the party orally).

Posted on 2009-10-24 at 18:56:35.
Edited on 2009-10-24 at 19:27:37 by Shades331

Dreamer of Bladesong
Karma: 142/12
2506 Posts


Galen remained silent throughout most of the two days, and indeed also amidst the discovery of the hunter's body. It seemed reminiscent, the way the hunter's body was brought to the church with a cloth draped over it, of many of the murder mysteries that his mother would watch on the television back in the other world... to see such a thing in that manner did steel a person when they encountered the real thing, but the real thing was altogether soul-shaking. Yet, his face remained passive. There was nothing he could do about the death, were he asked to do something in the first place.

If Galen had cat ears, they would've twitched upon hearing the mayor's thoughts regarding a militia.

"'The hunt'... it would not do..." Galen mumbled. Or rather, that was the only truly audible portion of what he mumbled.

(Assuming no one bothers to tell Galen to speak up)

Galen nodded in satisfaction and agreement as Ray spoke up, many of the things said echoing Galen's own thoughts on the matter.

(Presuming these next lines are applicable... if not, just ignore them ^^)

"They want action... when action would very well betray their loved ones to the dominion of death?" Galen asked rhetorically, his voice actually carrying for once, followed by a nearly inaudible 'typical', before he spoke again, "... they need to be asked. Ask them... what it is they are willing to lose. This was a huntsman; a person skilled in the ways of hunting beasts. A militia of volunteers lack that expertise. Yes, there are numbers, but with numbers and without the skill to aid it, such a 'hunt', as you define it, would involve casualties. Likely many casualties; when a beast is cornered or surrounded, they fight all the more ferociously. If you need to, ask them how many of their loved ones they are willing to lose to such a reckless action."

"... they don't need protection from the beast." Galen said in conjunction with the point about showing the children the body, "They need protection from themselves. They are young, but even youth have the instincts they need to survive. They have to know what it is they are dealing with; only then will they know why they must remain protected. Without a reason shown before their eyes, the youthful mind seeks to break all constraint. Open their eyes, and you will probably find that they will begin to understand. They will be afraid then, so be gentle with them; leave them then in the care of their parents, where they will feel the safest. This is another reason not to form a militia; herds can be raised again, crops can be resewn, but a family once broken will never truly be the same. I will admit however, the truly reckless children will not understand, even after being shown. However, you will be able to clearly see which these children are. Keep watch over them carefully."

Internally, Galen thought, amidst his own speech regarding the children, ... I wonder... if I would've been a good mother...
(and now the last part... wow... Galen actually talks a lot for once.)

"I do have... one question." Galen says aloud, "Of what grade and material were the huntsman's weapons?"

To this, Galen was informed that the weapons were likely of good grade and likely the standard steel; they were not recovered.

"But, why would it matter?" The mayor asked.

"Where I come from," Galen replied, "there are rumours, legends, myths, whatever it is you want to call them, of various beasts. Some can be slain by the weapons you know; others hold resiliency to such things, whether it is in the nature of their body, or something otherworldly. However, it can still be pierced by weapons of various materials, usually as exotic as the beast... still, such beasts are as rare as the rumours that precede them; it wouldn't do to gather a variety of such weapons for the single rare encounter."

With that said, Galen deduced that he didn't have much else to say, so he looked at the others, "Our priority right now is the delivery; it's our commitment, and it needs to be done."

Quieter, Galen added, "And the beast may find a moving caravan a more intriguing and welcome target than a wary town."

Now with his thoughts spoken for once, Galen returned to the cart.

... wow... I really do have a lot to say sometimes... Galen reflected as he joined Ray, ... it's like that one Social class... if I start talking, then I can continue... once I start... I just have to start more often... maybe...

Posted on 2009-10-24 at 20:35:29.
Edited on 2009-10-24 at 20:37:15 by Reralae

Occasional Visitor
Karma: 2/0
37 Posts

We'll be back, I think.

Ben stood and watched as Ray left, soon followed by Galen. He had been waiting for his opportunity to speak up and now was the moment of truth! He took a step forward and stood up taller then he usually liked to. He didn't really want to leave this town behind to live in fear of this monster that had been stealing their money making machines. However it would be better to take it on in a group then possibly by himself.

"Worry not mayor man! Though we cannot take care of this problem for you right away, we will return fully prepared to take on this beast," Ben reassured him.

Now that he had monsters on the mind he recalled that he had bought a blank book a few days ago to record any information on the monsters the group took on. He left the mayor with a wave and a smile and joined his friends outside on the cart and opened up his book to write in it. He pulled out his writing utensils and covered the few that they had actually encountered and fought.

Turn Ons: Sharp Weapons
Turn Offs: Blunt Weapons
Notes: Aim for the head, possible to dismantle their arms to avoid taking hits.

Turn Ons: Blunt Weapons
Turn Offs: Sharp Weapons, Magic
Notes: Umm, ermm, moved by magic, kill it with magic.

With that set down, he closed the notebook and put it away in his bag, he knew there would be more to record as they travelled. Ben hoped that he would be able to fill out his book as much as possible. It was then that he turned to his friends to ask a question.

"Hey guys, I'm in need of a shield for the up coming battle, if I don't have enough to get one, might you all help me out?" he asked, "I'll most certainly pay you all back if you do, fufufu."

Posted on 2009-10-30 at 05:12:46.

Veteran Visitor
Karma: 6/6
153 Posts

And I'm back!!

I had watched the others intently observing their newfound abilities. Galen, Owen, and Ray all had exhibited some extent of magical abilities. Ian and Ben could fight measurably better. I seemed to be left behind. I tried to copy the others in battle but regardless of how hard I tried I wasn't as strong as them. As for the magic I've attempted it with little luck. I've taken peaks at Owen's "spellbook" for lack of a better word. I could not make anything of the strange symbols in it, although recently I've made some headway. I've made attempts at using Galen's incantations but I keep forgetting the words or more frequently, completely mispronouncing them. It was comforting to know that I had at least made some progress. I closed a small pad where I had been keeping notes on Galen's and Owen's magic. I focused intently on my left hand and managed to get a small spark to jump between two of my fingers. What I can currently do is very limited but I have learned how to focus my magic into creating an aura of light around me. I was surprised to find that there were slight differences between mine and Owen's versions of the "spell". Sadly despite my exposure to it I still feel uncomfortable referring to it as magic. Perhaps this will change in the future.

The new clothing I bought not too long ago had an irritating itch. After wearing it for a while I had gotten over most of it but the neck still continued to annoy me.
I pulled the collar away from my neck to momentarily relieve my self of the irritation. As I did this I looked around the room at the other items I had obtained in the new world. A water flask, a backpack, a rope, some leather armor and a rapier. I had asked the store owner for an foil or sabre but he did not seem to have either of those in stock. When I described them to him he handed me a rapier. The rapier currently sat at the other side of the room from me.

I had bought the rapier reluctantly, I did not want to have the option of using it. I would not have bought it if my friends hadn't insisted that I had something to defend myself with. But I knew I would have to use it. It was not only there to protect my life, there were others lives who depended on my willingness to fight. As of yet I had not practiced with it. The sword gave me the power to hurt someone and I wasn't ready to accept that responsibility yet. Why must one have to choose who lives and dies? That choice should not lie with me, let alone anyone. Sadly the time had come where I would begin to have to make those choices. When I made that choice I wanted the power to carry it through. I walked across the room, picked up my rapier went outside to practice.

Morning, Fifth day
The dead body was almost unbearable to see. After getting only a small glimpse I turned away, the color drained from my face.

“I’m going to assemble a militia of volunteers. Plenty of people are scared, but there are those who will want to do something about this. I must admit I don’t like the idea of hiring ones as young as yourselves, but I can’t afford to be choosy. You are the only professional guards in the area, so I have to offer. Will you add your expertise to the hunt? I’m afraid we would be walking blind ourselves,” the mayor spilled on us.
A militia of volunteers? It is possible that they might be able to kill the beast, but it is very likely that there will be at least a few deaths. If they fail then the village will be left completely defenseless and at the mercy of the beast. Sure it has only eaten sheep so far but after having a taste of human flesh it might become less picky with its food choice. And found at the edge of town too? Obviously the villagers did not have the option of just waiting this through.

"Then I suggest this: give a curfew, and do nothing for the time being. It is apparent this creature has no interest in us yet. It may have gained a taste for human flesh now that it has killed one, so i suggest that people travel in groups, and perhaps even congregate under one roof. When we get back from our escort, we will aid you."

"Our priority right now is the delivery; it's our commitment, and it needs to be done."

"Worry not mayor man! Though we cannot take care of this problem for you right away, we will return fully prepared to take on this beast," Ben reassured him.

I could not believe the responses they were giving. This village was in danger, peoples lives were at stake, human lives! How could they be so dismissive of this.

"We can't leave them!" I called frantically as they returned to the cart, "How can you know that this demon dog is going to be satisfied with sheep, especially now that its tasted human flesh. The escort can wait! I mean no offense to them but should we really risk an entire village so that a caravan can continue on schedule?" This was the closest I have been to angry in quite a while. I could not stand people who would disregard life. Least of all I did not expect it from my friends. I stared intently at the others as I continued, "What if we come pack here and find that the beast became tired of sheep? What if when we return their are 20 dead? 30 dead? Even one person's life should be enough not to risk on an assumption." I breathed in heavily, impatiently waiting for some response.

Posted on 2009-11-01 at 22:35:19.
Edited on 2009-11-01 at 22:37:13 by Aardvark

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts

All those in favour of leaving to brb. All those against. All those in favour of splitting.

My mind had been swayed toward leaving—we would be back within the next two days (one day if we found horses). It didn’t seem unreasonable that the monster would stick to sheep for just long enough for us to show up and see what we could make of it, if anything. But even then, we had no way of knowing that the town would be safe, a possibility that Jeremy voiced.

“Okay, so let’s see what we have here,” I said. “On one hand, the cart leaves in about ten-fifteen minutes for Corazon. If we don’t go with it, they will be without protection against bandits, so if they are attacked, we fail the mission.” God, as if this world needed to be any more like a video game. It was a little creepy. “Though as for that, the drivers have dropped off their cargo and carry only little with them, and on top of that, they have made it clear that they consider returning to town unguarded to be an acceptable risk compared to another night here, irrational fear or not as it may be.

“Galen thinks that the cart might have a chance of attracting this Demon Dog, due to being a smaller target, though we only know about this thing hunting at night. If it is a real demon, though, this monster won’t actually need to sleep, but I don’t know how well we can rely on that train of though—after all, who knows the real difference between a werewolf and an outsider from a distance anyway?.

“Then, of course, we have to consider whether or not the monster has acquired a taste for human meat. It has been in this area for about two weeks, supposedly, and has centred on the town in the last few days. The townspeople have the advantage of numbers and barricades.

“Really, it comes down to whether it is more likely that the cart or the town will need defending more. If we could use magic to see the future, we could guess who would be attacked and need our help more, but I can’t even do an Augury.” I glanced at the mayor and the cart drivers and smiled.

“Another thing to think about: Should we split up, sending half to guard the guard with half remaining just in case things go wrong here? That way we could make sure the cart is safe and we could make sure the town is well defended until we’re all back together. The problem with this plan is that we don’t know if half of us will be enough to do anything in either case.”

“Oh yeah, and we have a time limit for Ben and Ray, in case this problem takes us a while.”

(This is me saying “I don’t know what we should do: let’s think about it”. I’m not sitting on the fence just because I know what’s going to happen and don’t want to influence you. I actually don’t know which sounds like a better idea given all the variables we don’t know. If we stay there could trouble, if we go there could be double.)

Posted on 2009-11-03 at 04:22:28.

RDI Fixture
Karma: 22/5
513 Posts

judge not lest ye be judged

I have taken into account that the creature may desire humans now. Yet Jeremy has decided that I am unscrupulous in my plan. I do not blame him though... I do not want anyone to get hurt. Especially the children that we just met. But none the less, I do not want to go back on my word. This town can board up, use sheep as bait by injuring them and having them smell of blood, all sorts of precautions for the next two days.

We came on the decision of escorting the caravan to its destination. It was decided that WE would PROTECT them. Its not about pay, its not about the cargo, its about THEIR LIVES. Would Jeremy disregard their lives in order to save the larger group. He says (presumably more then he wrote) that even a single life would be woeful to have lost. well there is a better chance of the few drivers dying then a town full of folk that CAN work together if they so choose. We personally have experienced bandits not too long ago. What would have happened to Lady Emeritta had we not been along? I will not have that happen to this group as well.

I WILL be going on the cart. If Jeremy and two others (Damn it, even if the entire party decides to stay) I will go. I am now resolute in my stance.

"I too am protecting life Jeremy. I am just protecting that which has come to have been expected of me. But if you believe that you must stay here and keep post, then you should do it." What I do not say to him, however, is that I hope that he does. We have power, and to confide it to one body may not be the best idea. I just hope I am not the only one going with the cart...

Posted on 2009-11-03 at 05:00:30.

Dreamer of Bladesong
Karma: 142/12
2506 Posts

... Foolishness of the Blind

"It's not just small," Galen murmured, "It's moving through what could very well be land the beast considers its territory, and if it is active during the day, which we do not know, it could be on patrol... moving things are more prone to catch the predator's eye, because if something runs, then it's usually prey. That's why running is among the worst things one can do when faced with one."

"As for you..." Galen said, his eyes shifting towards Jeremy, "You are treading dangerous grounds with those thoughts. You are human. Quite bluntly, you will not be able to protect everyone you meet. Nor will everyone want you to. Don't expect it of yourself, and charge recklessly into every encounter with your ever-so-noble intentions. Firstly, it is a very good way to get yourself killed, and if you are dead, how will you protect others then? Secondly, by doing so you forget your original intent. People will not employ wanton do-gooders with overtly noble intentions for that reason: they forget where they have placed their original commitment. Finally, there is the flip-side as well. If you are so concerned with the value of life, then what of the life of the beast? Does its killing warrant its own death? It lives the only way it knows how, by surviving, by hunting, just as we live the only way we know how, by surviving, hunting and gathering. Only immortals or creatures of immense lifespans are different, since they have more time to reflect and do other things, but they still must be prepared to defend themselves for their survival."

"The last thing to consider is, what's the big deal of 'tasting human flesh'?" Galen asked, rolling his eyes, "Would you just think for a moment? This isn't some sort of fictitious story. Humans are rather bony creatures. They're not truly appealing to a predator, but a predator will take what's available to them. A sheep on the other hand is much meatier. If it only hunted humans, or hunted them at a much higher ratio, then I would be more concerned. As it is, in the past it has shown to be satisfied with sheep. It draws closer to the town, but you're attributing that as a growing interest in humans. I attribute it to the fact that the sheep are likely straying less and less away from the town, although there is a possibility in the former also being true to a degree. Perhaps I'm thinking too much, but clearly you're not thinking nearly enough."

Posted on 2009-11-03 at 19:53:32.

Veteran Visitor
Karma: 6/6
153 Posts

Well frankly I'm offended

I feel rather insulted by Galen's last comment, "You misunderstand me. I do not believe that I'll be able to save everyone I come across, I can accept that. People die all of the time and thats completely natural. However, if there is anything that I can do to help prevent it I will not hesitate to do it. I'm sorry if you believe I am being overcautious, but someone has already died and I'm intent on making sure that no more will follow. As for my duty to guard the caravan," I pause to collect my thoughts. With some noticeable uncertainty I continue, "I hate to dismiss it, but I see no other way to help the village. I may be foolish but I'd much rather that to the alternative, however unlikely you may believe it to be. I won't force my opinion on the rest of you, but I will stay to help the village"

(By the way Galen I liked the line about this not being a fictitious story)

Posted on 2009-11-04 at 00:08:59.

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts

How do you kill a giant, demonic Dog? Carefully.

Someday, June 25, some-year (5th Day)
Surton, Gaellus

It wasn’t an ideal set up by any one’s standards, but without intimate foreknowledge of the future, it was the best solution. There was some disagreement and even some cheap-shot name calling, but in the end Raymond and I boarded the northbound cart.

Before I left, I threw in my own thoughts in the planning to the mayor. “If this monster actually is a demon,” Admittedly, I also made the assumption that the farmers didn’t necessarily know the difference, though unlike Beauregard, I didn’t make the mistake of assuming the monster mundane, “it probably won’t need to sleep, so there’s no point in trying to sneak up on it during the day.” I considered it wise not to mention that it neither needed to eat nor drink, and that it was probably only devouring livestock—and woodsmen—out of the sheer visceral joy of desecrating the bodies, and besides that, I wasn’t sure how much abnormality these people were prepared for. “Also, keep fire handy. If it doesn’t scare it away, you might at least have the chance to burn it.”

After a few hours on the road, I realized how poorly I slept the previous night. Sitting off the back of the cart, I slouched down and fell asleep sitting up, waking whenever the familiar jostling of the cart jerked too far.

Before the cart had even escaped the boundaries of the small town, messengers were dispatched to the outlying farmsteads with warning and instructions to barricade themselves in if they couldn’t (or didn’t want to) come in to town. Throughout the day, people busied themselves to prepare for the evening. While several volunteers worked to clear the main room in the church for refugees, Brother Harrison took a few lads and a set of hatchets and went to replenish the stocks. Not so far away at Town Hall, families were already transferring items for the evening, where the mayor, the hunters, and a group of people who expressed an interest in slaying the beast—six men and two women in all.

The decision to hold off the hunt until the following evening, when the other two hunters would return, was not well received, but none chose to challenge it. Weapons were discussed, pitchforks were at ready availability and one of the women had her late husband’s sword and shield to use. Needless to say, as this was the growing makings of a monster-hunting mob, plans were made to have torches to go with their pitchforks. The chance of being attacked in the town and having to go out to find and kill the Demon Dog were weighed, with the decision being made to spend the next day exploring a few locations that it could be lairing if it didn’t show signs of wanting to invade the town tonight. Much discussion happened about attack strategies, but it wasn’t long before the mob turned to the hunters for their expertise in the matter. (Feel free to shoot e-mails at each other and make a post if you feel so inclined.)

About 7 o’ the bell
Corazon, Gaellus

The cart passed through the southern gates unmolested, and dropped the three of us (counting familiar) off at the Cat’s Cradle. There we bumped into Gamet, who greeted us in the common room over a glass of something dark, probably beer or ale or some other word for alcoholic beverage. After supper (4 sp) we navigated our way back to the armourer’s and bought Ben an undecorated red kite shield. Neither of us could remember whether Ben had wanted a steel or wooden shield, but when we saw the prices, we ultimately opted for the more economic choice, writing out a U.O.Us for seven gold nobles for the large wooden shield.

Surton, Gaellus

With somewhere over an hour an a half of sunlight left, all families travelling from the farms had settled into the church and town hall, and those families living in town were beginning to finalize their move to gather. Messengers were dispatched to make sure those families who had elected to remain in their homes were prepared. There wasn’t enough time to send more than two messages to the farms, first about the problem, and then double-checking that anyone who remained were committed and were safe.

(Alright, now I don’t want anyone going ahead and saying ‘I told you so’ when their guess is proven right XD. If the defenders have any plans they want to suggest for defending the town, discuss and post. Ray and I don’t have much to do, though there is room for suggestions for the evening, as well as roleplaying banter.)

Posted on 2009-11-14 at 04:57:34.
Edited on 2009-11-14 at 05:00:00 by Sibelius Eos Owm

RDI Fixture
Karma: 22/5
513 Posts

Back we go

I turn to Owen. “Did we make the right decision? Even though nothing has to happened to the escort, I feel that my duty has been fulfilled.” I listen to his reply, hoping that he feels like wise in this situation. Jeremy's own intentions were just as noble, and now that we are back at the city, his seem a lot more pressing in hindsight. “We need to get back to the group right away. I did give the mayor a plan, but that wont stop someone from doing something stupid.” I start searching the local area for an open stables house; we will need our own horses, they don't need to be the best, just fully rested and well fed. I will even put a payment that is worth more then the actual horses, and say that I will expect it back when I return with the creatures.

If I find a stables with the said requirements, I will purchase the horses and have them prepared for a journey to Surton. We need to get there ASAP.

Posted on 2009-11-26 at 04:42:20.
Edited on 2009-11-29 at 23:08:24 by Shades331

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts

Settling down for the evening

Mid afternoon
June 25 (5th Day)
Surton, Gaellus

“The bow was found near a copse of trees just beyond the edge of the farm.” The man who spoke set the weapon on the council table. “We figure he dropped it when—well, when he ran.”

“Rather, we figure he ran. A couple hundred feet from the bow the grass was stained with dried blood, it was an even bigger mess than where the body was found,” said the second man, “near there we found a quiver’s worth of arrows and this dagger.” He laid the items out on the table. The arrows were clean and in decent condition, however the dagger was indiscriminately covered with splattered blood.

“We also checked out the ground just between the trees and the farm and found another arrow. We figure the woodsman took a shot an’ missed, or at least hit and didn’t wound it.” The three men of the sent to investigate the scene concluded their report with a thanks from the mayor. In the discussion that followed, ideas were conjured to aid in putting and end to this menace. Jeremy suggested finding some poison, but it was pointed out that the village lacked an apothecary and the villagers lacked the skill for this level of poisoning. Besides, Galen noted, they didn’t even know if the monster would be susceptible to poison.

The other main idea that came out of the meeting was received better. Jeremy also suggested to dig up a covered pit trap and to find some way to lure the Demon Dog into it. Of course the biggest problem would be finding some way to make the beast show up where it needed to be to fall victim to the trap. After that it was a matter of provoking it to run into the trap, for which, Galen suggested, the bow and arrows already on the table seemed well suited.

As there would hardly be enough time tonight to even start the pit trap, they would be better off buckling down the village with what little daylight remained, and starting on preparing the trap tomorrow.

Early Evening
Some day of the week, June 25 (5th Day)
Corazon, Gaellus

As the cart trundled on to the city’s cobblestones once more, Ray turned to me. “Did we make the right decision? Even though nothing has happened to the escort, I feel that my duty has been fulfilled.”

I nodded, "We didn't know that everything would have been fine. It was necessary to come, as far as we knew at the time."

"For me, I'm just glad to be well and far away from any monster prowlin' the country. We’d’ve gone anyway, but I'm happier that you were there just in case something did happen," one of the drivers offered. They dropped us off at the Cat’s Cradle and were on their way.

“We need to get back to the group right away. I did give the mayor a plan, but that won’t stop someone from doing something stupid,” Ray said to me as we stepped inside.

"If you make it foolproof, they will make a better fool," I quoted—not to be condescending towards any of the villagers or anything—it just so happened to be true.

We ate our supper quickly, then made quick trip to the armourer’s shop and purchased Ben a red wooden shield that would seem particularly suited to his preferences. Ray hung the shield over his shoulder by the guige strap and we went on to look for mounts. A moment of quick rationale sent us back to the Cradle where we asked if it was possible to rent out a pair of beasts from the stables for a few days. We were redirected one of Katrina’s sons who was the stable master. In the end we took out a pair of horses, saddled and loaded with enough feed and water for a couple days for six silver nobles apiece, and rations for ourselves for another five. Since we still had rooms booked at the Inn, our collateral was already accounted for.

I decided to neglect mentioning that I didn’t actually know how to ride a horse until well away from the stables. Sure I had ridden one before, but clinging to the back of a stomping monster when I was a child was far from being considered working experience. I didn’t know what Ray’s prior experience with riding was, but I suspected he had resolved to wing it as I had. Instead of complaining about it, I crawled ungracefully on the beast’s back and turned my head down the south road. It was worse than taking a hill lengthwise on grandpa’s riding mower in terms of stable seating, but the horse reacted to the shift in my body weight, and needed only a bit of encouragement from a twitch of the reigns.

There is a clear difference between theoretical and practical knowledge in about any field of expertise, and it was probably clear that I lacked the latter. Eventually, though, I fell into the rhythm of the horse’s steps, rising in the saddle as the shoulder would otherwise be jolting me from the bottom. To think, without The Thief, I would have been rattled like a sack of bones for the entire trip. Who says fiction is useless? Fools.

Unbeknownst to us, a pair of light brown eyes traced our path through the gates and out into the country, then finally turned to the western and falling sun with a distant, thoughtful gaze.

Sunset and Twilight
Surton, Gaellus

By the time the preceding edge of the sun touched the horizon, no one dared step foot outside the makeshift forts of the church and town hall. A subtle air of tension settled over the buildings and mounted gradually as the sun was consumed by the west. Mothers pretended nothing was wrong for their children, but even they, save for those too young to comprehend it, grew hushed against the fading light.

More than a few people—in either venue—took to praying with voiceless lips. Sunset passed, and twilight fell. In anticipation for the nightly wails to begin even the semblance of activity ceased. Each man and woman in the structures waited for the beast that had been preying upon their livestock to sound its nightly haunt, and, though no one wished to acknowledge it even to themselves, to discover whether the demonic creature would be content to sate its hunger on their livestock or if its tastes had become more refined.

The minutes since sunset ticked on, eventually growing long enough that a few people began to have hope that the monster had moved on from their poor village. Several people shifted uncomfortably, trying to loosen muscles that had been clenched unconsciously only to have them tense up again.

Then, finally, release.

The relatively low-pitched, moaning howl broke over the village and hearts beat double time in the wake of an adrenaline rush. The sound rang loud and uncomfortably close for a good few minutes, then died into the twilight. The wail seemed to break a spell held over the villagers, and people resumed to settle down for the evening. The consensus of silence held for a short while, but soon a few hushed voices rose to the discourse of such matters as to get to bed and to stop squeezing my leg so hard. Howls fell into chilling, irregular intervals that snapped rooms full to attention for a second the way a great thunderclap might.

June 25
South of Gaellus, Corazon

Ray and I made decent progress south, stealing the last drops of daylight to add to our travel time. Eventually we decided that we had better let ourselves rest, and stopped by the side of the road where we could tie our horses to a tree. I yawned a couple times, and then cast the spell that would keep watch while we slept. I lay and watch the stars come out, then tried to get some sleep. As I lay on the brink of sleep, it occurred to me that bedrolls would probably a wise investment in the future as Kiara exultantly bore down on a field mouse.

(I meant to get more done, but it’s already quite late. I’ll leave you to chew on this while I go write myself up a few thousand words over the next week and a half. If anyone wants to do something quietly as dusk falls, feel free to whisper quietly. Else, I should have another post coming eventually.)

Posted on 2009-12-02 at 06:38:55.

RDI Fixture
Karma: 22/5
513 Posts

the night

June 25
South of Gaellus, Corazon

I watch Owen's abducted cat as it catches a field mouse and consumes it. I have had some dinner already, so I do not feel the ping of hunger right now. But I wonder, will Owen's cat give him and me "presents"? Nothing like a dead mouse in the morning to get you up and going.

I turn to my sack, and look at the delve into the contents, pulling out my bedroll. I gather some grass and wood in the surrounding area, and prepare to light a safe fire (making sure that it is surrounded by rocks, area cleared, etc.). It will not hold out the entire night, but it may help us for a while.

I see no reason for us to hide our presence, but I do look to Owen to see if he has anything against this idea. If he agrees that one would be beneficial, I start it up. then I drift off to sleep, knowing that Owen has put up a spell to warn us of any impending danger.

June 26
South of Gaellus, Corazon

I awaken the next morning with a bit of a stiff back. I do some stretching, and then start to do some exercises that Ben had taught me previously. As I do my swings, and work with my defensive stance, I think of something. A bit of a mischievous grin crosses my face :3. I creep up and swipe Ben's kite shield, and sling it around my left arm. I don on my leather armor, and with both equipped, I try the same defensive stance. Not bad. Not bad at all. I go for some shield bashes, and find that this technique is harder to accomplish. I do not have the arm strength or the training to proficiently do such a maneuver. I take instead to going back to that defensive position, and performing a few feints. This works far better.

After I finish the exercises and have worked up a sweat, I decide to eat some of my road provisions. I notice at this point Owen is studying his tome thoroughly, and his cat companion is consuming another mouse. I give Owen the shield.

"I think I will have to get myself a shield too now..." I state with the same grin I had when I got the idea of practicing with it :3.

After a quick breakfast, the two companions and familiar break camp and head to our destination. My anxiety is growing, as Jeremy's words of warning linger in the back of my mind.

Posted on 2009-12-05 at 18:00:33.
Edited on 2009-12-07 at 04:09:23 by Shades331

Veteran Visitor
Karma: 6/6
153 Posts

And now for a much overdue post

Mid Afternoon
“Rather, we figure he ran. A couple hundred feet from the bow the grass was stained with dried blood, it was an even bigger mess than where the body was found,” said the second man, “near there we found a quiver’s worth of arrows and this dagger.” He laid the items out on the table. The arrows were clean and in decent condition, however the dagger was indiscriminately covered with splattered blood.
I felt quite a dilemma, trying to picture what could have happened, while not trying to picture what could have happened. The bloodstained dagger made the latter very difficult. I wondered whether the blood on the dagger was his or the beasts. If it was the demon dog's then he managed to wound it but not kill it. If it was his the dog managed to kill him before he could even wound it. Considering he had shot an arrow, it is unlikely he got caught by surprise.

A chill ran down my spine. This was a trained hunter who was killed. What chance did we stand? All we had fought were some slow moving corpses and several bandits. I had no idea of what the extent of the new abilities we had obtained were. Especially mine. My knowledge of magic was extremely limited, I doubted that shining a light in the dog's face would cause it to flee in terror. While I was a decent fighter I still had difficulty making my attacks hit home.

The truth is that I had little chance of winning if the demon dog turned out to be really strong. No, it wasn't just me, none of us did. Despite our new abilities what we lacked was experience. What would be do if a huge wolflike creature suddenly leapt out of the bushes and attacked us. Would we manage to collect our wits soon enough to fight intelligently or would we just end up flailing our weapons at it. What we needed was some kind of edge, something that we know would give us an advantage. It really doesn't matter how large this advantage is, merely having a plan might be enough to keep us calm.

I highly doubted we'd be able to find poison in a small town but it was worth a shot to ask. So far the pit seemed to be the most sensible idea. The only issue was time. Digging a pit large enough to accomodate for however big the dog is would be no simple task. However night was approaching and we did not want to be attacked while we were focused on digging the pit. We would have to start it tomorrow, but that did little good for us if it attacked tonight.

Sunset and Twilight
Many of the villagers had gathered in the church and town hall, I didn't like this. Sure it would be easier to protect them but if the demon dog managed to slip through our guard it would little trouble finding potential meals.

I had felt guilty about what I had said earlier for quite some time but I only had time to address it now that it was still and silent. It was not that they didn't care about the villager's lives, maybe they just hadn't judged the situation as I had. Perhaps I was wrong too, who knows if the demon dog will end up attacking people. They had chosen the honorable approach, helping the people that we had promised to help. I had just done what set my conscience most at ease. Ray especially had seemed hurt by my accusation. I didn't intend to say it as I did, it just came out that way.

I was so immersed in my thoughts that when I heard the howl I jumped. My heart started racing and the blood pooled in my head. All of my mental preparation for this was falling apart. I needed to calm down. I thought back to the old world and climbing competitions. I'd always be so nervous right before I climbed. Fortunately from that I knew how to calm myself. I took in slow breaths and closed my eyes.

This was quite different from climbing however, whereas normally I'd only have to worry about falling and broken or bruised limbs now it was my life that was at risk if I were to fail. But I couldn't think about failing, that only helped to heighten my heart rate. People around me seemed to be having the same issues as me. Strangely their panic helped me calm down. My heart rate was now approaching a normal range.

I approached Ian, Galen and Ben. "Were do you think we should guard?"

Posted on 2009-12-13 at 02:11:23.


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