[Taocow PBEM] [Alex and Vesper] Book 3 - Chapter XVII

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Sat May 23 17:06:41 UTC 2015

OOC; Still waiting for Oz's post, but pushing on. To make actions
clearer, I'm going to split this into posts for Ted, Oz, and for Alex
and Vesper.

>> [GM]
>> The stairs are every bit as tricky as Alex and Vesper could have
>> expected. Centuries worth of water have eroded away large portions of
>> the concrete stairs to little more than rusted steel rebar and powder.
>> At times, Alex is essentially forced to climb, but with the line to
>> keep them safe, even missteps do not lead to any serious falls.
>> Still, it is backbreaking work, and seems to take a long time. Fortune
>> is on their side, however. As they descend, they find the general
>> structure of the building is in better shape, and the erosion of the
>> stairs less and less, until they can descend relatively safely, though
>> there are still spots where the stairs have collapsed.
>> As they descend, Alex and Vesper note signs of more recent occupation.
>> Here and there they see evidence of fires with animal bones, and in
>> some cases humanoid bones. Clearly the denizens of the ruined city
>> lead a somewhat barbaric life. Where access doors are missing, they
>> can glimpse the floors they pass; long wide hallways stretching off
>> into the darkness, here and there illumination from what must be
>> windows. There are more signs of occupation; mattresses sprawled on
>> floors, more fire pits, clothes hanging from lines. Both adventurers
>> can smell cook fires.
>> The stairs here are very well tended, and there are signs of recent
>> repairs; wooden or beaten metal steps replacing missing or damaged
>> concrete steps. It's then that Alex's keen eyes catch movement a floor
>> down on the stairwell, and the slight "crunch" of a booted foot
>> treading on concrete fragments.
>> [/GM]

> [Alex]
> Even though a lot of work and worried about their companions abandoning
> them, there is still something enjoyable about climbing. Not the first time she
> has climbed in ruins although she thinks to herself that maybe Vesper need
> some lessons.
> When she gets down where it looks like it is inhabited, she whispers to Vesper,
> "Be very careful. Some of what I see does not look real encouraging."
> She will use telepathy to scan to see if there are any minds around.
> [/Alex]

Alex's dagger aids her as she reaches out, without her even asking.
She can sense at least a dozen minds in the vicinity. Surface thoughts
seem to be fearful, the effects of adrenaline causing panic and
anxiety; "We need to hide", "I must make my daughter flee before she
becomes a breeder", "The Sons of Morning will kill my husband for

It's almost more than Alex can take, and the names "Sons of Morning"
and "breeders" seem to come up repeatedly. The overall impression is
of an enslaved, frightened people.

> [Vesper]
> Vesper taps Alex shoulder then back up a bit in case this doesn't work.
> Vesper will risk trying a chameleon spell casting slowly in order to make sure it
> works if it does he will also cast it on Alex.
> Vesper will have his rifle out as he wants to not push using magic if he doesn't
> have too.
> [/Vesper]

While the ley line storm still rages, its localized effects, at least
temporarily, do not interfere with the spell, and it successfully is
cast on both Vesper and Alex. Indeed, a sudden surge of PPE just as
Vesper is casting it on Alex means he does not deplete his own
reserves. It's a heady experience, like drinking a couple of shots of
hard liquor, with a similar euphoric effect.

With the spell in place, and Alex and Vesper hidden in plain sight,
the source of the crunching comes into view. It appears to be one of
the humanoid creatures they saw near the pyramid complex; of the same
kind as the creatures that have kidnapped Louissa.

It is an odd looking being; generally humanoid, but with slightly
reddish skin with yellowish splotches, random bristly hairs sticking
out from mole-like bumps. The head is large, bald and veined. The eyes
are almost reptilian in appearance, yellowish and glowing with mystic
energies. The creature is no more than five feet tall, but the limbs
still seem too long and thin somehow, almost emaciated. It is carrying
some sort of neural whip in one hand, a tube with a handle on it in
the other (it might be a gun). It is wearing black boots and a loin
cloth, but nothing else, save for a belt around the waste that has a
small black box attached to it with two blinking lights.

"Comez onz!" the creature shouts. "We iz needing more breederz! Givez
uz yerz womanz kind!"

Aaron Clausen
mightymartianca at gmail.com

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