Unknown and unknowable? Hah! Just tripe these fellas use for stuff they don't understand. I know better; it's not that they're unknowable, just unpredictable.
Well, Guess it's worth a look at least. At worst, I'll keep some idiot from tearing reality to shreds around his mansion because he tried a ritual for fun.
Well, I'm in Winterbridge now. Suppose I ought to find this wagon.
I do need the work, I might as well check Winterbridge.
Just my luck then. I come to Winterbridge looking for clients and I also find jobs! Now I'm no fearless fighter, but I know for sure I am an expert
Lets go and find this Backwillow fella
Winterbridge is what one might describe as "quaint", or "quiet and boring", depending on outlook. Built around the part of the great river that froze first, it once acted as a major trade hub for caravans waiting to cross. These days, the city of Newbridge some ways upriver acts as that hub, and Winterbridge has become a quiet little shell of its former self.
Outside town, by the side of the road, sits a rather large cart. Almost like a small mobile house. Several oddities hang from the sides, ranging from trinkets to charms. The walls of the wagon are covered in what looks like various scratch marks and half-assedly cleaned graffiti.
Yep, that'd be the one. They don't know which trinkets work and which don't, so they just hang them all up. Gaudy as hell, but it's better than being caught unawares.
Don't suppose there's a door to knock on, is there?
Wait a minute…A cart… with trinkets and charms? that looks like competition to Maudi!
walk up to the wagon and knock on it fiercely.
As Oddeth looks for a door of some description, Maudi rushes past him to slam on a wall.
A hatch pops open on the top of the wagon, and a man peeks out
"Yes hello? Here on business?"
I could probably stand next to this thing and be mistaken for merchandise.>>18865
"Hey, Are you the one who posted this flier around?"
''Yes Maudi is here on business. Are you the Backwillow one? The one resposible for this flier?'' show the flier I took from a wall to him
"Are you the Mr. Blackwillow what's offering work? I've business with him."
He squints, pulls out a strange book, reads a few lines and then nods.
"Ok I need each of you to say your names backwards three times."
''Maudi is not here for games and tricks! She's here for work!''
"And I don't employ tricklings, who I know for a fact revert to their true form if they say their name backwards three times."
"If I were a trickling, and had just heard that, then I would just say some random name backwards three times." I sigh and lean down to face the human. "What's got you so troubled?"
"I respect a cautious fella. Let's see here… hteddo hteddo hteddo."
I stick out my tongue and blanch.
"Ugh, the 'th' sounds always so darn tricky to say backwards…"
''HMmn…Maudi likes the way you think, stranger…Very well! Rahza Iduam, Rahza Iduam Rahza Iduam. there, now we can get to business''
"Ya ok good enough"
He pops back out of sight, and soon emerges from a door that simply opens from one of the walls.
"Can never be too careful in this business. Lots of odd things out there."
Given the amount of claw marks on the wagon and the fact that he is missing his entire left arm, he probably isn't kidding.
''That explains all the trinkets of protection in the wagon…Maudi can assume you are not merchant then?''
"Don't I know it. Now, what manner of boogeyman have you ticked off so bad you need our help to deal with it?"
"Oh no, I wouldn't dare get rid of even one. They each have their purpose.
No, I'm more of a… scholar than a merchant.">>18877
"None right now, but if my research is right, the next one might need a bit of extra muscle to deal with. That's why I'm here in Winterbridge - there is reason to believe a…"
He takes out the book and flips through it with his thumb, trying to read a messy page
"…dream ….eater curse has been cast here. Most interesting, the first I've ever encountered!"
"I see.. what makes you think that this place is cursed?"
''Ooooh I seeeee…If the problem is dreams, then Maudi has big collection of dreamcatchers, and all in different colors! would you be interested in buying one before going further? three for the price of two~''
"Oh, great. That sounds particularly lovely."
I sigh and shift my feet.
"Mind if we go inside for the long chatter about what exactly going up against this thing entails?"
"I got six, thanks.">>18879
"Signs, my good fellow.
Bite marks on people as they awaken. Shared or similar dreams. A peculiar smell in any place one sleeps, even once.">>18881
"Certainly. Please, come on in."
Put away my wares and join him inside, carefully squeezing my bag through the door
"You sound sure that those are connected.."
I kind of stare at the drudge and the client a moment before following inside.
''Hmn?…What is it Myrmid? is there something on Maudi's face?''
The inside is remarkably less cluttered than the outside. Several books sit in small shelves and boxes, and there is a table with loose papers and writing tools on it. Beyond those and a folded up bunk bed, there really isn't much. Almost as if to leave enough room to fight in if need be.
Head on in and sit down on a box or something.
"So, a Dream-eater curse. What's that do, and how's it going to affect us while we're in town?"
"You just carry some interesting things on you." I comment trying to make a relaxed pose against the wall, coming off more as a posed armor statue than anything. >>18886
If only I had money to get a wagon myself…
''Very well, let us get into business then''>>18888
I get a toothy grin on my face
''Would you like to buy some?''
Smile back "depends.. you got anything that lessens the sound of annoying howls?"
"A dream eater curse, or, well, I think that's approximately how it should be translated, is a curse of the mind and flesh, cast on a place.
Now I've dealt with all of those things before, but never in one place at the same time. What's more, a Dream Eater Curse should only affect a small area, like one room of a house. A single house at most.
But if my reports are correct, half the town may be suffering from it. To even cast a curse this widespread would take… remarkable measures.">>18890
"Thank you. It has all the necessities of home, and space to study. What more could I need?"
''hmmn…Nooo…BUT Maudi have jar of repelent for wild wolves. just open it up and the smell will keep all howling canines miles away from you!''>>18891
''How fascinating…Maybe powerful and vengeful mage cast the curse in town? or maybe a strong evil spirit trying to cause chaos on the realm of living''
"A few friends I suppose. Speaking of, could it not be more than one curse?"
"If the reports say half, it's safe to assume the whole place is affected. So, if it's as resource-intensive as you say, it's something that's likely been getting planned for a long time. In which case some locals might be in on it, so better to just not trust any of them."
I lean forward and prop my leg up on the box to get more comfortable.
"So, what are the effects? Nightmares, prophetic dreams, bed-wettings? Are we going to need to stock up on coffee?"
"Anything is possible, which is why I need to get in there and take a look.
Thing is, not a lot of people like being watched while they sleep.
And Dream Eater makes you, well, eat. People. While you sleep."
"Fatigue, chills, muscle pain, stiffness, sleepwalking, biting and eventually cannibalism.
All you want to do is go to bed, and when you fall asleep you start biting, chewing on and trying to eat others while you dream.
Hence, Dream Eater."
I cringe ''Oooh yes Maudi remember they have tendency to do that, foul curse…Although Maudi was once interested in knowing how soft human taste…hhhheeehehehe''
"Like pork, little more stringy, little less sweet."
"Well now, ain't that lovely… Most people don't exactly like being eaten; there any side-effects that make those under the effect more dangerous than usual, or is it just that they get aggressive?">>18897
"Depends how long they've been dead. Not exactly worth seeking out, in my opinion, but when times are desperate it'll keep you going."
"…So, you want to watch us sleep?"
''Oh so you do know! You are a canibal then? consumer of your own kind?''>>18899
''Ah but don't need to worry, Maudi is just playing around. She does not eat humans''
"No, I simply read about it. And it pays to know, if someone tries to serve me dead people as food.
Drudge meat is not very good at all. Very chewy, sharp, earthy taste.">>18899
"Not aggressive per say, they aren't aware of what they are doing. They just kinda, shamble around mainly asleep, trying to eat folks. Or themselves, at times.">>18900
"Oh no, the opposite. I want you to watch my back while I watch people sleep, so I can figure out how the curse works."
''Aah I see…So, who are you going to watch sleep then?''
"So, they're not particularly dangerous unless they catch you off-guard. Good to know. You wanting us to just subdue anyone under the effects? Because if it comes down to it, I'd rather shoot to kill than get eaten alive by a horde of the buggers."
"…Oh, do you have someone in mind." I squint a bit at the human.
"Well I've yet to go into town to investigate that.
We probably should.">>18904
"No killing, please. Reflects badly on my reputation, you know.
And, well, I'd prefer to keep all the help I can."
''Very well, then let us not waste any more time dilly-dalling! Time is money!''
"I see, so we should go together to look for a suitable cursed person?"
"I've got rounds to stun and tranquilize, so I'll try to keep them down easy-like if they come at us. If it gets to a point where I need to get serious about it, the town'd probably be a lost cause anyways.
Lead on, then. Let's see for ourselves the lay of the land."
"Right, out we go.
Now, we want to find someone who is cursed. Someone who looks sleepy and hungry, possibly with bite marks on them."
As you leave, he lifts a board on the side of the wagon and locks the door with a hidden lock under it, before placing a fake silver key in the lock. "Fool me once, thieving little shits…"
"You sound like you have had a lot of trouble with these things."
I guess I'll go along with this, its a body guarding job at its heart, simple.
''Well that should not be too hard to find now…Maudi can ask spirits for guidance, that would save us time''
Hold my rod with both paws, then raise them to the air, my eyes open wide and rolling in the back of my head as I mumbled some chants, asking the dead for help
'1d10' communeRoll #1 7 = 7
"Right," I agree, readying my knockout and silencing bolts for my crossbow, which I then sling over my shoulder. "Hopefully this doesn't go belly-up from the start."
"You wouldn't believe the half of it. But silver burns their hands, so joke's on them.">>18912
The dead answer
Somewhere deep underground
You can't exactly hear them, nor have they seen anything in the last few hundred years.
Maybe try with someone more recently dead. Backwillow might know where to find some.>>18913
"Well, how hard can it be?"
"We're gonna find out in a moment now, aren't we? Lead on."
Keep an eye out for any suspicious locals as we move through town.
cursed be these useless undead and their descendants
''Hmmrhgh….The dead here are no help, Maudi needs freshly dead and get info out of them. Backwillow, do you know anyone who died in the last few days?''
I should invest in something silver.
"Finding someone who is cursed and doesn't find us suspicious? Walk in the park. Truly."
"Well I mean there are probably a few still out there on Hanged Man's Point, I think they executed some bandits not too long ago.
And then there is the graveyard on the other side of town.">>18915>>18917
You enter the town.
There is a well known festival here in winter, celebrating the river freezing and forming the town's namesake bridge. Many people come here just for it, especially from Newbridge. However that is still a few months away, so the place is quiet.
People slowly mill about doing their usual work. A few fishermen are by the river. A baker is trying to make sales with the locals. Someone is looking around for their maid, looking rather angry.
'1d10' does anyone look.. recently bitten?Roll #1 8 = 8
''Bah, that won't help…we will have to find someone that died more recently than that, and that hopefully the death was related to the curse…That or we could just look for someone showing the symptons, whichever comes first''
Missing persons are a good way to start.
"Excuse me, sir, did you say your maid is missing?"
The person looking for their lazybones maid has a bloodied bandage on her arm at least.
'Ah yes, I saw that…let us see how the capra will do talking with them''
"Do you need help Sir?" I add in stopping in front of the angry citizen.
"You bet your HOA! Whoa now. You're… big.
Yea! You seen a lazy good for nothing maid lounging around? She's supposes to be clearing out the rats from my house! Probably her fault we have them in the first place…"
"Dunno. What's she look like?"
"Rats? Isn't that a job for a rat catcher or a cat, not a maid?"
"Wha!? Oh, down there.
She's uh… 'bout average size, young, dark hair, not exactly pretty. Got a mole on her cheekbone, sharp nose.">>18927
"Do I look like I'm made of money? Bah. Maybe I should be. Damn things bit me last night!"
"Really? My friend here is a doctor, can he take a look at the bite?"
"I'll keep an eye out for her. If you don't mind me saying, rats bold enough to bite folk are a rather serious problem, especially if they start spreading."
''Ah, see? bite marks! that was easier than Maudi expected!''
She seems annoyed
"Why do you take such interest in a rat bite?">>18930
"Hmp. Wouldn't be surprised if they were the extended family of that buck-toothed parasite of a maid…"
''Because it's a curse! A cuuuurse! That bite is the mark of your doom!''
I face palm at the crazy wolf.
"Its actually because rats carry sicknesses, you could get sick, but its easy to tell by looking at the bite."
"You stay away from me. Rats are enough, I don't want fleas too.">>18934
"And let me guess, there is a price to this service, hm?
"Not for checking, no. The medicine might have a price."
I shoot the dumb fuzzball a scathing glare.
''Shhh, Maudi is trying to make business with sucker'' I whisper to you>>18935
''Well it is your life then, but don't come crying to Maudi begging for help when you feel knee cramps and see your hair falling along with severe stomach ache''
"Ugh. Fine, I suppose.
Here, see? I patched it fine by myself, but, well, why turn down something free…"
She pulls off the bandages to reveal what looks like the bite of some sharp teeth. Not very human looking, unless they had comically big buck teeth and needle sharp canines.
''huh…Was this maid human or capra?''
"Human, ya daft animal."
"Yep, that's a rat bite. Looks like you took good care of it though; no signs of infection or anything that I can see."
I sigh and give her a nod.
"Sorry for harrassing you about this; you wouldn't believe how many end up losing limbs to bites like that because they didn't think to clean it out or sterilize it."
Nod in approval. "Thanks for letting us look. We'll send your maid home if we see her."
''Maudi is no animal! Maudi is great medium from the north!''
"And a great collector of things, we know.."
"Well, thank you I suppose.
If you do see my maid, send her my way. Heck, bring her by the ear and I'll give you a cup of tea for the pleasure of seeing it."
''Maudi wares are not 'things', they are powerful trinkets of protection possesing magical properties avaiable at a reasonable price!''>>18946
''Very good. Farewell, human''
"I can tell your sales method is very effective." I tilt my head at you.>>18946
Well, where did that odd human employing us go?
As the grumpy lady trots off, Backwillow is reading his book again.
"Interesting. I think her house may indeed be a cursed location. But it probably isn't the maid doing the biting…"
''Maudi is very experienced at trading and dealing with the supernatural'' I hold my held high with pride
''You are wise to notice it, Myrmid''>>18949
''not the maid? who is it then?''
And move on. We've got a person to look for, so that's something.>>18949
"Aye, but if she's missing, she might either be a victim or know something about it. Either way, it could pay to look for her.">>18948
"You get the feeling we're going to be spending as much time keeping the drudge out of trouble as we do looking for signs of this curse?"
''Bah, not to worry, Capra. Maudi can be old lady but she takes care of herself just fine''
"Supposed something happened to the maid because of the curse?" >>18950>>18951
"I believe Maudi, I've seenn.. things.. , thou he is scaring the locals a bit."
"Maid could be another victim, might start going on walks herself soon if she already hasn't. Then, this is a curse, not a disease. It doesn't just jump from a person to another via bites.
In any case we will need to find her, I want access to that house.>>18953
"Good point. What did that lady say the maid was like, I got lost in thought?
"Black hair with a pointed nose, big mole on her cheek."
"Buck teeth, though that might have just been a slur.">>18953
"As have I, but going on about it like that will just get us in trouble."
''Ah, the people here are just…uuh…Humans had a term for this…They are similar to a female feline of large size! that's it! that's what they are''>>18954
''Oooh, Backwillow is well known in the matter of curses. Maudi is impressed. Let us go find the house then''
"Well aside from the laziness, nothing points to her being cursed. At least yet.
Curses can jump from places to people.>>18957
"First we need the maid."
"…now where would a slack-off maid be hiding? What would she even be doing?"
"Of course, a drudge would
"Maybe we should pick up a leash for the wolf.
" I snicker an almost bug like laugh to you.
I groan. "You're saying it can move? So.. it could be just one curse moving through the whole town?"
''Maudi can't be sure. Maudi never had maids before… but if she had to guess, maybe inside barn or storage room in house''>>18959
''Oh and by the way, you have not said anything when Maudi showed the wolf repelent… Are you still considering making business?'' I pull out a tiny glass jar with a strange swirly liquid insde
I stare at the liquid.
"I don't think that will help, I have no trouble dealing with anything that comes near me, but you can hear annoying sounds for miles."
"Well, not necessarily. I mean, it is very rare for a cursed person to curse a place unknowingly…
…but not unheard of.">>18961
"Not too many barns around in town, just a granary and a few storehouses for the bakery and brewer and whatnot.
''Ah please, you just need to leave this open as you walk around and no wolf will come near you, I guarantee it! Maudi even makes nice discount for you since we are working together''
I nod sagely at the suggestion.
"Aye, you might be on to something there.">>18958
"We could check the local church, if they have one. Maybe a local tavern? There's always trouble brewing around those…"
''hmmn…Tavern might be our best bet actually, the Capra is right''
? So maybe.. lets go track down this maid."
"Tavern it is. There should be one in the inn, another with the brewer's house as I recall. Bit of a friendly rivalry with those two, makes for a fun narrative for the festival folks every winter."
''Should we separate then? it would be much faster. Maudi can look in the Brewer's house''
"Brewer's house might be a good place to start. Maybe pick up some ale while we're there."
"I'll take the Inn. It can't be that hard to find her if she's there."
And so you split up>>18969>>18970
You head to the brewer's place. He seems to be busily cleaning the beer barrels and does not hear you enter.>>18971
The inn is not exactly busy. There seems to be one sleepy patron at a corner table but that's it. The innkeeper welcomes you with a cautious smile
"Welcome, generous and intimidatingly big patron. How can I aid you?"
I set down carefully not to harm his small human seats.
"I'm Tilrok, I just got into town and one of your locals was distressed about her maid.. Quite the dramatic welcoming, does she often have trouble like that?"
''Hello, hello, Maudi is looking for a young, short lady. she has dark hair has a sharp nose. have you seen her anywhere here?''
"Evening, good sir. Any ale for sale in this establishment?"
"Oh I see you met everyone's favorite town rich lady. Nevermind her, widow of three husbands she is, bitter as a salty lemon.">>18974
"I don't sell girls to wolves. I sell ale.">>18975
"Sure is. All home made, finest quality. I'd send for a barrel of samples but my stockboy hurt his leg and had to stay home today."
''Maudi is not looking to buy her. we have business with that girl, and they are bery important!''
I chuckle as 'human' sounding as possible. "Yea, I bet. Still I got roped into looking for the poor maid, the one with the black hair and the mole, you haven't heard anything about her leaving have you?"
"Sorry. Got no info on her. Don't try to stick my nose in young peoples' business. All I know is she bought some beer earlier this week, and that she's a maid to that crotchety penny pincher widow in the fancy house.">>18978
"Well, I wouldn't normally bother to tell anyone, but…"
He looks a little scared of you
"She is probably out goofing off with the brewer's stockboy somewhere"
''hmn…She's not here then… Very well Maudi will try the church then''
let's leave and look for Tilrok
"Don't worry, I won't say it was you…" This always happens, does he seem bitten or hurt? '1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
The innkeeper seems fine.>>18980
Try the inn
''there you are. the brewer told me she was not there and had no information on her whereabouts. have you had better luck, Myrmid?''
I hum pleasantly, almost a chirp. "Thankyou. I'll come back closer to dinner time."
Time to check the Brewry, or if I happen to pass by the other two..
I stop before leaving to the brewery.
"Oh. Did he say that? I hope you didn't piss him off too much, I'd like to ask about his stockboy.."
''huh…Well perhaps you should go inside there and ask alone. he might have something against Maudi…Like everyone in this town does…Maudi is even starting to consider abandoning the unpolite people of this town to the curse…But a job is a job…Maudi will see to the church now, is that okay for you, Myrmid?''
WHERE IS THE LAZY SERVICE STAFF HIDING
WHAT MANNER OF BEAST CAUSED THIS CURSE
WILL ANYONE BE NICE TO THE DRUDGE
FIND OUT ALL THIS AND MORE
ON CURSE QUEST
"Sure. Just try to act normal until I get there."
You were trying to find a slacker maid in order to gain access to a mansion that may be connected to the curse.
She was suspected to be somewhere with the brewer's stockboy.
She's probally being a slut
I should find her and offer a deal of my blessed comdoms!
let's look at the church
"Ah, that's too bad. Hope the lad's all right. Do you only sell by the barrel?"
The church is near the center of town. It's small and humble, without any fancy trappings or treasures.>>19028
"Well I do keep bottles too, if you prefer."
Lets go into the brewery.
Let us explore then, see if we find anyone
"I've some coin on me. A bottle of the good stuff for the road, please."
Now that I'm here, who might know anything about curses? Or any afflicted?
It's at the back of the inn, seems like Oddeth is already here making business.>>19031
There are a couple of clerics lighting candles, but nobody else.>>19032
He raises a thick brow
There was a curious looking cart parked and locked outside town, covered in wards and charms. Must belong to a curse hunter.
And the only curse hunter you know of in the area is one mr. Backwillow, a reputable but eccentric to say the least man. Should be easy to find, he is famously missing an entire arm after all.
Proceed through town slowly but with deliberation then, looking for him.
I'm not particularly worried about him… I think.. Give him a nod and look around for the staff.
'1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
"Well, I'll probably be back for more later, since the doctor's probably going to be in town a while. I'd get some for my coworkers, but… one wouldn't want any, I'm not sure the other even can
drink ale, and… I'm in no hurry to see what alcohol does to the nutty furball."
I stop to think for a moment, then shrug.
"Eh, might as well get three, just in case. Always good to have extra for emergencies."
let's ask a ramdom one if they've seem the maid girl or the brewer's boy
Not too long until you spot a guy with one arm lugging around a large book. He seems to be looking for someone.>>19036
The innkeep seems to be the only staff around. You overhear him mention the stockboy hurt his foot yesterday and stayed home.>>19037
He digs up three bottles from a crate and hands them over>>19038
He turns to you with a tired smile
"Ah, child of the wilds, yes. I know of these two. Young hearts, aligned but not intertwined. Good friends they are, since a young age. Lively and well meaning, but misguided and oft found wanting in their duties. They will grow yet.
Why do you seek them?"
Without startling, of course.
You never startle a hunter, not even accidentally.
Pay him and pack away two of the bottles, then pop open the first and take a swig.>>19036
"Well, did ye have better luck than me?"
''Uuuh…Maudi needs to see the girl. Maudi suspects she might be under the effects of a dangerous curse…Do you know where they are?''
"Maybe.. The stockboy may know something, but he's at home."
"And I suspect just asking where he lives will not be met with a kind reply.."
He turns around
"Ah, good. The maid, I presume?">>19041
Fruity, with a strong taste of alcohol and a faint hint of mahogany.>>19042
"A curse? Oh no, there are no such evils here. We take care of that.
But if you wish to speak her, they did always enjoy hiding among the hay in the barn as kids. Most likely still do, for what the heart loves when it is young, it finds comfort in when it is old."
"Not a very astute presumption, I am afraid."
Ahh… Good stuff.>>19043
"Yep, so you've found pretty much exactly what I did. At least we're on the trail. Let's see if the others have found anything, shall we?"
Nod ''Thank you, Maudi will be on her way now''
Let's go find that barn
"Then, who are you, and what is your business?">>19047
Go alone or tell the others?
"I suppose the church might have a registry we could check, but I don't know the kid's name.."
I shouldn't bother them until I'm sure, let's go alone
Put a hand on my chest and bow slightly. I am sure he appreciates that human gesture.
"Blue Lights. My sole aim in life is to make the world a safer place. I use my talents in the arcane to hunt for beasts and break curses. I have been led here by my findings."
The only barn you can think of is the one that was near the edge of town. The stockboy probably lives in one of the nearby houses.>>19051
"Ah, a curse hunter. I see.
Here to deal with the Dream Eater?"
hmmn…Let's look at the barn first
"What if we were to join forces? Does that appeal to you?"
"Aye, but we're treading dangerous ground. If we press the locals too hard, they'll start getting suspicious, and that'll make getting information even harder."
You can hear people talking up in the rafters. Drunkenly talking.>>19054
"Assistance is always appreciated, if you are willing to share the rewards."
I nod, only looking at your drink with a raised eyebrow.
"Lets go meet with the others then..">>19056
I start walking to the church.
"I only need the share that will provide me with enough materials for the next hunt."
Follow your gaze to the drink, then back to you, and hesitantly offer the bottle.
"Ye, uh… want some? Or… can ye even drink ale?">>19056
To the church we go!
It's a small church, very humble and bare.
A few clerics mill about inside tending to candles.>>19058
"Good hunter, first we must live to see
the next hunt."
Let's sneakily investigate
"One more reason to assist each other."
Roll for sneaky>>19062
"Indeed. Consider yourself hired."
You mentioned a maid?"
'1d10' sneekiRoll #1 4 = 4
Check the registry if we can. Maybe it has notations, or other information we can use to make a guess as to which name is the one we're looking for?
I shake my head. "Thanks, but
I'm actually a lightweight, think that might be genetics, but I can't say, never really met another Myrmid." >>19060
Small is good, I'll just walk around like I know what I"m doing, do any of the halls or doors in here look important?
I tilt my head at that, after taking another sip.
"Never met another? What about yer parents? Were ye adopted?"
"Indeed. I am in search of a maid who belongs to the local lady, who I think may be cursed, which is why I need permission to enter her home, for which I need the maid.">>19065
You get close enough to notice it indeed is a young girl and a lad of the same age, with a wrapped up foot, sharing beers amidst the hay.>>19066
You could inquire after the local lady and her associates.
Do you wish to ask one of the clerics tending the candles, or look for their leader?>>19067
There are barely any doors, one clearly leads to the preacher stands upstairs, the others might lead to backstage rooms or storage.
"Do we have any idea how she looks like?"
let's take a look at the girl, does she matches the description of the maid?
"..Yea, only left my adoptive family
a couple years ago in fact, spent most of that time with an Aeon.">>19070
I'll knock on the door of the backstage room.
"Supposedly wiry, with bad hair and buck teeth.">>19072
She does, yes. Well,perhaps the description was a bit mean.>>19073
A cleric without half his usual garb opens up. Must have been a changing room.
let's sneak out and look for the others
Ooh, touchy subject then. I'll avoid prying for now. At least into the adoptive family bit.
"And ye've yet to meet another myrmid? I know they're not too prolifent, but I've known a few in my time. Worked alongside them even."
I pause at that thought.
"Now that I think about it, can't recall them ever drinking ale either. Strange."
"I will get to it."
I suppose I can just walk around and look for her.
At worst, I'll get a feel of the town and the layout.
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
Your instincts tell you to try the church again.>>19077
It's a small town and there isn't a lot going on.
Two inns, one with its own brewery. A few houses with barns near the edge of town. A small church. Residential and rent houses. A big road and several storehouses. That's about it.
back to the church we go!
Get a closer look at the residental houses.
Most of them are unremarkable, but some close to the river are quite swanky. One of them doubtlessly belongs to this lady you seek.
I am going to try and find out which.
Even if it means knocking on each and every one.
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
"Hi, sorry there. We're looking for someone that can help us find some information, any idea who we'd need to speak to?"
"Depends on your information, really. Talk to anyone.">>19082
Are you sure you want to do that
Some of them might have guard dogs
Or angry gardeners
If it is what the job takes.
"Are you the head priest here?">>19076
"I heard that Myrmids are common mercenaries, because we are stronger than a human. If I keep going long enough, I'll probably meet them."
And then the drudge arrives>>19085
You knock on the first door.
A servant answers
Maudi needs her arrival to be announced!>>19086>>19083
''You two, stop everything you are doing. Maudi has found the maid girl! and the brewer's boy!''
"I am looking for a Lady of the House who is afflicted with a curse."
"Yeah, unfortunately that's a bit of a weakness too; they get so used to being stronger and tougher than the rest that they don't realize something's dangerous to them until it's too late. The one I knew with the most experience got there because he never got cocky, treated everything as a threat even if it wasn't.">>19089
''Maudi does not jokes on the job. They are in the barn, hiding in there and getting drunk off their rears''
"Curses are superstition. No solicitors."
"Curses are what kill people. She has displayed the signs of it. For your safety, I must find her. To my knowledge, she has a maid. Wiry, bad hair, buck teeth."
Someone shouts from inside, asking who is at the door
The servant turns around
"Just some weirdo saying that old hag Nettlebrook has a curse"
You can hear uproarious laughter from inside following the comment
"So the name is Nettlebrook. Where does she live?"
Disregard the comments. They will be grateful later.
"Should I tell it, sir?"
There is a vague 'go ahead' somewhere in the middle of the laughter
The servant gives you a cold look
"Nettlebrook lives a bit further upriver. Green and white house.
Do the world a favor and don't fix any curse she may or may not have."
"I am sure you and your master will be grateful. He would not laugh while you ripped each other apart without being aware of the fact."
Turn around and head to the directions I was given.
"Whoa what?!" >>19091
I give you a nod. "Smart thinking, even a mouse can be dangerous if its enchanted or infected with something."
''yes yes, hurry, we must go there immediately before something bad happens!''
You head up the road near the river, and soon find a house matching the description given.
Backwillow is also there, observing the house from afar.
Rush to this barn right away.
You rush back to the barn at the edge of town.
You can hear drunken chatting from the upper rafters.
"Exactly. When crossbow bolts bounce off you, you start to ignore them since they don't hurt, then bam! You're down because the other guy was using diamond bolts that go right through you.">>19103
…Should we really be interupting this? They're two young kids, alone in a barn; it's not hard to figure out what they're up to.
''They are still there, see? Maudi tells the truth!''>>19104
''Yes we should. Remember what we are her for''
I blind my bug-like eyes at you. "Huh, Diamond tipped, That's an expensive arrow.." >>19103>>19104>>19105
"Right. Who wants to go first?"
"This is the house."
''Maudi already found them. Myrmid is a big and strong figure, he should go first to intimidate the two and convince them to cooperate!''
"So it is. Look."
He is holding an intricate talisman of interwoven strands of metallic string in a complex pattern. You can see some of them vibrating.
"This place IS cursed"
"It needs to be cleansed then."
"Aye, and hell to maintain, since they tend to crack if handled too roughly. Thing is, they work better than anything at piercing armor, and tend to snag and shatter when the prongs get in, which mulches the insides of whoever was unlucky enough to get hit. Nasty business, that."
"I nominate you to go first, just because you've a level head. Unlike others I could mention.
So you can convince them to cooperate without scaring them senseless."
"First we must understand what causes it."
"Looks like Tilrok is going to crash their little break
I open the barn up and walk inside.
"Do you have tools for it in your wagon?"
You hear the talking stop, and the rustling of hay.
They are probably trying to hide.>>19114
"I do. But I won't need them yet. First I want to see it with my own eyes. Perhaps we can tell what caused it without bringing in the big scary stuff."
Follow her inside.
"We know you're here. Don't worry, we just want to talk."
"Shall we then?"
Approach the house.
"No. We still don't have the maid. Barging in will only incite suspicion and chaos.">>19116
You see two heads pop out from the hay. A young lad and a girl his age. She matches the description of the maid, though isn't quite as ugly as she was made to sound.
"We weren't doing anything wrong, these beers were paid for!"
''Yes, and offer a good deal as well. Maudi has medicine for hangover…It is expired but it is still good!''
"What if the maid is inside?"
"Then we wait for nightfall and sneak in.">>19119
"Oh please. We're just drinking socially."
"What is this about, anyway?"
"I'm not hear about your beer theft or not-theft, come down, or I'll come up there." Look intimidating with my arms folded. '1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
"You got something to say, say it and leave."
''We need you to come with us, little human.''
"Put your clothes back on, kids. I need to talk to you two about a curse." Start climbing up to the top where they are.
Turns out they are fully clothed, and that the stockboy indeed has a hurt foot.
"What's this nonsense?"
Even I can be surprised sometimes!
"I think the lady knows, If you don't want to say in front your boyfriend we can talk outside."
''Well, there is a curse going on that affects the sleeping, and it is mighty dangerous to be around the ones affected. You can stay out of this, boy, we only need to speak with the girl''
They glance at eachother and stifle a laugh
"Suuuure, 'boyfriend'. Riiight.
No, this I gotta hear.">>19129
"A curse? Really?
This sounds an awful lot like bullshit."
"Alright.." This is not going very well, do they have any bites on them?
growl a little
''Boy, Maudi does not like to waste time. you stay where you are. And you, human girl must come with us, Maudi doubts you will think this is 'bullshit' when you wake up surrounded in dead, half eaten bodies. Now come''
Not visibly, but they are both wearing quite a bit of clothing. The only possible indication is the hurt foot.>>19132
The maid sighs
"Now you just sound like my employer…"
"Your employer? Did you know she's been worried sick about you? What happened exactly?"
"Really now? Yer looking at a giant Myrmid what's seen her share of fighting, a capra armed to the teeth, and not a hint of humor between the two of us. And we're talking to a maid and a stockboy, who we took the trouble to track down despite not knowing you previously. Do you honestly think people like us would bother looking for people like you without a good reason?"
''Ah yes, we talked to your employer as well, but we are not taking you to her. This is much more serious''
, thankyou. I know you softer races have a hard time telling, so I'll let it go."
"She's a bitch so I took the day off to have a drink with my best mate here. Duh.">>19135>>19136
"Ok so what exactly do you want of us?">>19123
Backwillow puts the talisman away
"I wonder if the others have found that maid yet…"
''No no no, not 'us' only you. The boy stays, you come along!''
"Maudi, let the boy come along. Its fine for him to be there. Someone might have to carry him, if his foot is badly injured."
The stockboy leans back into the hay
"Eh. Just help me down, I got the day off and I'd rather stay in bed than go on some ridiculous adventure"
''Fine, he comes along, but Maudi is old and weak old lady. A good young and strong myrmid like you should do the job of carrying him''>>19141
''Good, Maudi is glad we come to agreement''
"Fuzzball, please, stop fighting losing battles. You're just making this harder.">>19138
"Well, our employer picked up signs of something starting up in this town; call it a curse, or a disease, or whatever it is you want to call it, but the results aren't pretty if isn't taken care of before it develops too far. You're just the first to show what might be symptoms that we've noticed."
''Who are you calling fuzzball, you fuzzball?''
You help the stockboy back to his room and walk off with the maid
"Ok so, tell me of this… whatever it is. What's it got to do with me?"
''We heard about you and believe you showed signs of being afflicted by this curse, that is why we are taking you to a man who is familiar with this curse''
"Its a dangerous creature, sort of vampire like from what I understand, You need any weird bites when you wake up?"
"I do like to chew on things. Helps stress and all.
Gum. Tobacco. Toothpicks. Tried a soup bone once but it just got gross.
So where is this mystery curse man?"
''Come with us and you will see. Also soup bone is good for you, make chest hair grow and gives shine to your fur''
I blink in confusion and then realize my mistake.
"Oh, I see. Well, if you're hungry we'll get you something to eat. But has anything bitten you recently?"
Nudge him discreetly.
"Works either way, remember? More than one method of transmission.">>19148
"We're headed to see him now, he should be in town somewhere investigating other possible carriers. One of the symptoms is restless dreams or trouble sleeping; had any difficulty with that lately?"
"Well now that you mention it, I did sleep a lot better when I slept literally anywhere but in the house. Figured it was mold. Always woke up with a dry mouth and a gross taste on my tongue. Not to mention the neck pains."
You can see Backwillow and an aeon discussing something in the distance
Wave at him ''Hey, Backwillow, Maudi and comrades have found the human girl!''
"Huh.." I walk a little closer to her, sounds like she might have been cursed after all. "Would you mind showing us where you slept?"
"You… want to see my bedroom?
Look big guy I don't know what you're planning but no. This is way creepy now.">>19153
Backwillow turns to greet you
"Good work. Find out anything else?"
''Yes. She is showing the sighs of being afflicted. And who is the aeon you speak to?''
"Don't worry, maid girl. I just want to see if there is mold, or something else there that made you sleep so poorly."
"Less your bedroom, and more the house itself. If it's the source of this, then we need to be able to prove that in order to fix it before the whole town's infected.
I know it's uncomfortable, but it's better than dying in your sleep. Stuff like this is deadly."
"Somehow I don't trust you, mr. assumed-I-was-naked-in-the-barn…">>19156
"A fellow hunter of curses and beasts. I have yet to catch his name, but he agreed to work with us.">>19158
"Well it's not like I have the key. You need to ask lady Nettlebrook directly."
"What was I supposed to assume when you were drunk and hiding in hay with a male?" I make a dismissive gesture with my hand.
''That's good. The more help we have, the better''
"Oh boy. That's
sure to be fun… This is why I hate work like this; you've got to play nice and let other people stop you from doing your job and all that. So much easier when the town's already a lost cause and you're just there to clean up so it doesn't spread."
"Look, lets make a deal then.
I really don't care to dust a big moldy house today, and you don't want to talk to the lady.
I'll tell you how to get in, but I get to walk away and enjoy my day. Deal?"
"Works for me. I'd rather just get this taken care of so we can move on to the next job."
"I'm not sure if she would have let us do what we need to even if we did drag you back.."
"…alright, how do we get in?"
"Backyard window, facing the river. Leads to a guest room the lady never uses for anything, so I left it unlocked for good as a convenient quiet door.
Have fun, try not to kill her."
NEXT TIME ON CURSE QUEST
''Don't worry, human, we are here to save this town, not murder''
I was waiting outside.
"Thank ye for your time. We'll do our best to keep this quiet."
Backwillow puts his book away
"Guess we're breaking in then. Here's hoping there are no guards."
"Aye. Let's go then!"
"Worst that can happen is we get thrown out of town."
"If you deem that the best course of action.">>19272>>19270
Nod to those two.
"Oh yes, Backwillow introduced you to Maudi already. Greetings, I am Maudi"
"Heya. You ready for this?">>19271
"If the hag spots us, I'll just knock her out. From the sounds of it, nobody in town likes her all that much."
"I always am.">>19275
"Blue Lights. Hunter."
"How unusual. Maudi has never seen aeon hunters before… You do not need food or water is that right?" I start circling you to get a good look
The sun is starting to hang low in the sky as you sneak around the large house. The exterior is not well kept, though it's clear this used to be an impressive place. One of the late husbands of lady Nettlebrook must have had it built, but the lady never cared to keep it in shape on the outside.
The yard is trimmed and proper, but not opulent like one might expect. There isn't really anything out there at all, which goes a long way to imply the lady prefers the indoors. The window you are looking for is not hard to find, it looks like the only one anyone has opened in years, and the dead grass under it shows that someone has been using it as an entrance and exit for quite some time.
Just like the girl said
Let's get inside
"I do not see how that is relevant.">>19279
In we go.
"It is very important to Maudi's interests"
"The maid didn't lie to us, let's go inside.."
I walk as quietly as possible.
"I am afraid we must focus on the task ahead of us now."
Prepare some knock-out arrows, just in case the hag catches us inside. I'll need to be able to act fast before she raises an alarm.
In you go.
The window offers no resistance, and is oiled to be quiet.
The inside of the house is very clean. Some spare shoes and a few coats are in here, but not much else aside from the furniture. It's a very barebones guest room without much in it - a dresser, a mirror, a bed, a closet, a few stools. Not even a painting or a potted plant to give it some color.
You can't really hear much, the lady might be reading or something, but she certainly isn't walking about.
Backwillow inspects the bed with a critical eye.
"Whatever yer looking for, do it fast," I hiss as quietly as I can, scanning for any sign of the lady coming in on us.
I stay quiet and by the door, waiting for Backwillow to get results on his examination
Stand guard and watch.
"Oh, he didn't tell you? We have to sleep here." I look at the closet.
He digs up a small amulet from his bag and places it on the bed, pressing it down gently with a finger and focusing.>>19291
Empty. Big enough to fit a person or snugly fit two.>>19289>>19290
Still no sign of the lady.
Well let's watch Backwillow work then, the lady is probally asleep
Maybe she is sleepwalking or sleeping outside this very moment…
Soon, Backwillow gets back up
"Residual at best. This bed is not one that a cursed person has slept in, nor is it in itself cursed. We need to go deeper."
"May I point out she is likely sleeping or sleepwalking this very moment in the house?"
''Okay, and how do we go deeper, Human?''>>19296
''Sleepwalking? Maudi doesn't hear or feel any footsteps about''
"If she is sleeping, that's bad.
If she is sleepwalking, do NOT let her bite you.
Now we must find the other beds here. We must find the source of this curse, and a bed is the most likely place."
"Then we need to look for her room.." I check the door, does this room open to the hall.
"She said it was small?"
Quietly leave this room.
The door opens to a large adjacent room, likely the living room. The setting sun and no light sources make it look red and foreboding.
The smell of stale air hangs around you. The furniture, though valuable, seems largely unused. There are some fake flowers in a vase. A well kept potted plant near the big window, next to the couch. The whole place gives this feeling of being kept clean and neat as if expecting guests, but also understanding that nobody would ever want to come here. A hollow, but well polished shell.
what an uncomfortable place
And still no sign of that woman…
''We should go separate ways again, if anyone sees something out of the ordinary, we meet back here in this room…Or give it a shout if it is something REALLY out of the ordinary
Slowly and lightl proceed. Is there a couch of some sorts?
Unsurprising, given what we've seen of the woman. I stay at the ready to shoot anything that moves at us…>>19302
and shoot the drudge an unamused glare.
"We're trying to be quiet… and you're thought is for us to 'shout' if we find something? Come find the rest quietly if ye stumble on some horror, so ye don't alert the mistress of the house."
''Well if we do find an horror in the house, don't you think alerting the lady would be good as well? she wakes up and we run her off the house so we do not have to worry about her if bad spirits try to use her against us!''
The living room couch does not seem like a comfortable place to sleep. It's made for sitting and isn't very soft. There is a fireplace nearby, along with some comfy chairs.
A staircase leads to the upper floor, and another door leads towards what you assume should be the dining hall and the kitchen.
Investigate the comfy chairs.
''Maudi will go see to the floor up there, whoever wants to come with Maudi, do so''
let's head upstairs
"Bedrooms tend to be upstairs. Let's head up."
Lead the way by carefully staying pressed against the wall to minimize any creaking from the steps.
I'll go upstairs as well.
Very plush, and well used. From the looks of it, one was used by someone far more robust than the lady, possibly one of her three late husbands.>>19308>>19309>>19310
You creep up the stairs, minding your feet so as to not disturb noisy floorboards. At the top, you find a smaller living/gathering room with a table and a bunch of chairs, as well as four doors.
Intruiging. Does the chair of the lady have any residual curse that could be detected?
Backwillow presses the amulet into the chair and waits.
"…yes. You are right. There is.
The lady is cursed, there is little doubt about it. But is she a source or a victim?"
four doors you say?>>19313
''Can you find out if you examine her?''
"…She has so many living rooms, where are all the beds.." Check the west most door.
Nod to him.
"That potted plant is taken care of well. Perhaps we can compare the residual output with the chair and see how much they differ. If she is a source, the plant may be carrying unusual values too."
"I need to see her in person. Find her.">>19315
She lives alone and hasn't had guests in ages. She only really needs one bed.
The westmost door opens up to what looks to be the maid's room. A hammock is set up here, along with a table, a trunk, a few closets for supplies and enough room to change clothes.
let's try one of the doors Tilrok hasn't tried yet
"If you say so."
Not a big one, but enough to have several bookshelves and chairs
let's look for her, see if she's asleep somewhere here
Carefully open and check the door to the East.
"You know, she might be in the basement… She was complaining about there being rats down there."
Get the attention of the crazy human. "Hey, This one is the maid's room, wanna check it for curses?"
The east door leads to a bedroom. It's very large, so most likely serves as the master bedroom. In the middle is one of those big fancy bets with curtains on all sides. You can hear breathing. The lady must be napping.>>19321
Nobody in here. Just books.
One is open on a chair, as if it had been read recently. It seems to be a medical book.>>19323
Backwillow climbs up the stairs and starts inspecting the room.
"Nothing much here… residual at best…"
Get the attention of Backwillow with Telekinesis, and motion at the room with the breathing.
I sigh and check around the living room for signs of rats.
Sweet. Wave Blackwood over and put a finger to my lips, then take a position where I can keep a crossbow loaded with a knockout bolt aimed at her just in case.
let's take a look at this open book
A few scratch marks and rat droppings do confirm that there are rats in the house.>>19327>>19325
Backwillow comes over, his amulet visibly vibrating even before it touches anything. He looks deeply worried.
"The source is here…">>19328
[Insomnia: chapter 4 - Cures]
Keep my voice low.
Tighten my grip and steady my aim just a bit tighter.
"Don't worry, I've got you covered if she tries anything. Do what you need to do."
let's go back to the others
Backwillow reaches at the curtain around the bed and pulls it aside, nearly falling over in shock.
In the setting sun's red rays you can see a… thing, sitting on the bed, mount still wet from its snack. It's no bigger than a capra, covered in what looks like coarse black fur, with beady, gleaming red eyes and a face that might best be described as a caricature of a particularly monkey-faced man with a tiny upturned nose, receded lips and deep wrinkles. Its claws still cling to the pillow and a lock of hair as it turns to stare at you.
Lady Nettlebrook has a few bites on her shoulder and upper arm, but seems to be sound asleep.
"This is an issue."
Activate Protective Bubble.
"Ahuh, looks dangerous alright. Will it hurt her if we do anything?"
''Backwillow…That is the dreameater?''
Shoot the thing in the face!
'1d10' Knockout Trick Ammo, Single Weapon(+1 Skill tier)Roll #1 10 = 10
A magical shield shimmers around you>>19337
Your bolt slams right between its eyes, sending it careening into the far wall before falling into a nearby ornament vase and getting stuck.>>19335>>19336
Backwillow pulls out his book and frantically pages through it
"…there! Yes. This is a…
This is not a cause of the curse, it is merely an effect. A minor
one. They feed on the cursed, and deliver their harvest to a master, a… Dream feaster."
"I suppose finding it will what we need to do."
''And why have you not mentioned about this to us before, Backwillow?
"Can this one lead us to his Master?"
Reloading with standard bolts, I take aim at the thing and get ready to start pumping it full of holes.
"If you need it alive, say so now or it won't be."
"I didn't think we'd actually see
one! These don't appear until there are plenty of victims or the curse has been going for ages, as in at least several years.>>19339>>19341>>19342
"The dream feeders are, according to what it says here, basically mindless. They only exist to feed, and if need be, fight to defend the feaster.
If we let it go now, it should return to the feaster with what it has. But there is another thing to this - either the whole town is cursed by now, or this house has been cursed far longer than I expected."
''Let us hope the former is not the case''
"I see. We can follow it then?">>19342
"Let's it go unless you have a tracking bolt in there."
"I suppose we need to see the damage. I would rather not purge the town unless it is entirely neccessary."
Stay aimed at it, my trigger finger itching to just finish it off.
"Or both. As far as I'm concerned, we assume the whole town is affected. If we're following this thing, then the rest of you ought to get ready for a fight.">>19345
"I've got homing bolts, but not tracking ones. Usually it's better to just kill these things on the spot."
"We can, as long as it thinks we are not following it.">>19346>>19344
"Well we can eliminate one of the possibilities by sweeping the house, and questioning the lady, if she can answer. If not, we need to find someone who knows about her past."
"I shall see about the basement."
Proceed down there.
''Maudi believes she should mention she found the lady has been reading books about imnsonia and cures for it''
"…I see, what exactly are we looking for?"
Loads of boxes of old crap here. Dusty and uncared for, stored here because they were unwanted.>>19350
"Curious… I wonder if it's related to anything?">>19351
"Something that might explain what would have made someone cast a curse on this place years and years ago."
Lift a few things with my Telekinesis as I look around… nothing out of the ordinary?
A lot of this stuff seems to belong to men. Odds are these are the belongings of the lady's three dead husbands.
If nothing out of place or cursed or wrong is here, I can leave.
Check one last time.
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Roll my eyes
''This lady had husbands, yes? it is likely maybe one of them cast a curse on this place or something along that''
I groan a bit, and start looking around her room for a diary or something '1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Find a place where I can watch the dream eater without it seeing me, keeping my crossbow ready to shoot.
I'm not taking any chances with this one.
You find an old pile of portraits, depicting the lady and each of her husbands.
The oldest one, where the lady was still young, shows a husband who seems like he has never slept in his life. Energetic but hollow inside.>>19357
You find a spot on the wall where there clearly used to be a painting, but it has been taken down.
Digging through the nearby dresser, you find a box that has almost rusted shut. Inside are some men's nightwear, including three sets of pyjamas with names on them. Two are well worn, the third barely touched.>>19358
It groans and struggles in the vase, but is stuck. You could easily transport it anywhere in that thing.>>19356
"…" Show the box to the others. "Is this normal for humans?"
Shit… and the others are all gone…
Carefully move in and grab the vase, carrying it out of the room and into the hallway.
"Looks like this fella could act like a compass for us if we wanted…"
…this may indeed be a clue.
Try to find out which husband he was.
I will have to rifle through his belongings.
The first husband, one Mr. Jasper Nettlebrook.
His belongings seem a lot more worn and torn than those of the others, and a few have bloodstains left in them.>>19360
"Curious. It's almost as if the man never slept.">>19361
"Good thinking. It will not be as accurate as letting it lead us on, but at least we can't lose sight of it this way."
Squint at the box
''As far as I know… This is not common custom among humans''
Check the names in the pyjamas>>19361
…anything that might be related to the curse? Or even have residual magic on it?
"Somebody else gets to carry it, though. I need my distance in order to get a good shot."
"…." Check the living room for any paintings or personal pictures. '1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
The bloodstained clothing is all larger than the worn ones. It seems Jasper got fatter with age, and then something started going wrong with him.>>19364
You find a nude painting of what appears to be the late Will Nettlebrook posing like a god of hedonism. It was turned around and shoved behind a bookshelf, which is understandable, given how ol' Will was not much to look at.
"I wonder why she kept this.. Or any of these things from her exes.." >>19366>>19368
I'll carry around the vase.
Take 6 on a teleport upstairs.
Find the human.
"I have found something distressing. Maybe the origin of the curse."
Show him the picture of Jasper.
"The first husband. Looks troubled. Symptoms of insomnia. His clothes got bigger, and covered in blood. Probably feeders. The curse may be older than we thought, which is as we feared."
"Thanks. Don't worry, if it tries anything, it'll get pincushioned before it can do anything to you; I'll make sure of it."
"I don't think its little teeth can really hurt me."
Perhaps, in an effort to cure this insomnia, the curse of the dream eater was used? It does induce more sleep, though troubled sleep."
"How would that explain the bloating?"
"Maybe he just got fat."
"I would rather not dismiss a possibly important clue as coincidence. My theory is that the dream feaster may or may not started developing in him, if not taking his body over. I would suggest checking his grave."
"Or… he got fat off the people he ate while sleepwalking.
We should find out how he died.">>19374>>19373
"We may need to take one more stop before hunting down the feaster.
Or we can go now, and hope we know enough to stop it. But one thing is for sure - if one Feeder is here, there will be more. If not in this house, then elsewhere. This whole town may soon be a feeding ground."
"Shall we ask the woman, or find and dig up the grave?"
"We can try to wake her, sure.
Or we can ask any of the locals who might know. Given how she has been married twice since then, and how young she was in the portrait, I don't think we'd find more than a skeleton."
"You shall ask around in the town. I will exhume the corpse, just to be sure."
"I think she'd be cooperative if we show her this.. thing." I nod to the Jar.
"You want to take another stop, sure. I'll just be here, making sure this thing doesn't go out of control again.">>19383
"Fair point. She's been complaining about rats in the basement; maybe the feeder's set up down there."
"If you insist…">>19383>>19384
"Well, lets try to wake her"
Roll to wake her
'1d10' rollinRoll #1 9 = 9
It seems the Myrmid is handling the interrogation at least.
You nudge the Lady and she groans, before opening her eyes
"Another nightmare… I should drink mor-WHO ARE YOU?"
"You need to calm down. We are here to help."
"We're here to end your nightmares." I say simply.
"How did you even get in here!?">>19390
"And how do you know about my nightmares!?"
"You are plagued with evil magic. The whole town may be compromised. Your first husband might have been the source."
"Well, considering we found this thing.." I tilt the vase to show you the creature. "You might not be imagining it all."
"Evil magic? Jasper? Wha…
…no… can't be that…">>19393
"THAT'S THE THING! THE THING FROM MY NIGHT TERRORS! IT JUST SITS THERE AND BITES ME!"
"Go on. Tell us everything about his issues."
I step back, cover it with a hand. "And there are more, we want to get rid of them. Gonna help out?"
"You.. make a compelling case.
I always thought it was my conscience giving me these dreams, not some… THING that haunts my home! Get rid of it! Kill it!
And if you must know, Jasper was an insomniac. Something he neglected to tell me when we married. So I had my share of sleepless nights listening to him ramble and amble and write and jog and who knows what. So I fixed the problem with some magic I got from a travelling merchant. Worked wonderfully it did, though he started getting fat afterwards. Probably the lack of marching around the house for eight hours a night.
And then he died. Can't say I was sorry for the loss."
"The magic item. Where is it. What sort of trinket was it? This is important."
"I see.. what kind of magic?"
"An enchanted pillow. I think I still got it somewhere…"
"That is concerning. You must find it."
"The floating armor is right, we need to see this thing, and possibly his grave, do you know where you buried him?"
"Probably in the basement. Why, you want to steal it or something?
Look just because you caught a bad dream in my vase doesn't mean you can just do whatever you want in my house - which you broke into!"
"Should the curse be failed to be contained a purge of your town may be in order. I doubt you wish that, so we need to be able to operate freely."
"We only broke in so we could prove the curse was real, now that you have seen it, you'll help us get rid of it.. the pillow's magic might have turned bad or something.."
…you know what nevermind.
If it makes you happy, and makes you go away, take the damn pillow."
"You still need to show us where it is."
''Take us to it then, human!''
"I'll wait in the living room while you get your slippers and such on.." then leave the lady alone for a moment.
"Look at it this way; when we're done, every last one of these vermin is going to be dead."
And follow the Myrmid out.>>19409
"I admit, I'm concerned this pillow's a false lead. If the bloke was sleepwalking beforehand, that might have meant the curse was already present, just not as strong."
"So.. maybe he turned into a feeder? Is that how this one works?"
She begrudgingly gets out of bed, tosses on a robe and stumbles down to the basement
"Should be in one of the boxes. Will did not like Jasper's old stuff laying around so we boxed it all and put it down here. Well, I think I used the pillow in the guest room for a while. But then people stopped coming here."
That might have contaminated everyone who ever came here."
"Not sure about that;
if they feed on the dreams the curse causes, then victims turning into Feeders seems like a snake eating it's own tail. So nah, I don't think he turned into one. I just have my doubts about this pillow being the source of the curse."
''Well, you put a magic pillow in the guest room, Maudi is not surprised guests stopped appearing…But as the Aeon said, that must have afflicted all your guests''
"I've never known monsters to be particularly clever. This one seems mindless enough anyway." >>19412
"What color is it?"
"White, little blue trims on it, like cursive writing.">>19413>>19415>>19414
Backwillow looks pensive "I fear you may be right"
"I sure hope we are enough to handle this situation on our own. In any case, we need a contingency plan to get a word out of this curse in case we do not make it."
Say that completely nonchalantly.
"Now, for that pillow."
Start opening up crates with TK.
I nod and check the guest room for the blue trimmed pillow. '1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
"You are to blame for being so foolish, human. But hopefully we will be able to set this right. Now, can you tell us anything helpful about those guests?"
With a bit of searching you find the pillow in a box in the basement, under some old blankets.
Backwillow touches it with the amulet, which vibrates so hard you can see his arm shake.
"Yep. This is cursed. We have our source.">>19420
"Pff. Curses aren't real. Only dumb folks believe in them.
Anyway, my guests were all the finest people who came here, local or visitor.
Or, well, used to be…"
"Do we destroy it?"
"Well, ain't this a fine mess we've stumbled upon here. Things just get better and better…">>19421
"Call 'em whatever you like, but the effects of things like this are real enough. Why do you think these blokes started showing up?"
"…what exactly happened to your guests?"
"We should. But we need to ensure we destroy it the right way.
The curse is too old and has seeped too far into the building and those in it. We need to kill off the Feaster to be safe. Maybe burn down the house or at least the beds.">>19424
Well, nothing. People just stopped coming after Dieter died. You know, rumors and whatever.>>19423
"Look I still have no idea what the nightmare monkey is, or how you got it, so don't look at me."
"What of the rest of the infected in the town?"
"Less contact than anything in here. At most they will attract Feeders, who all die if we kill the Feaster anyway."
"…Say, Maim' would you considering moving? This old place, and the old clothes, and old memories.. its probably giving you more nightmares than this old monkey. Why not start over in a new place?"
"We got it by pegging it between the eyes while it was busy taking a couple bites out of you.">>19427
"Then we ought to hunt the blighter down and clear them out now."
"So to find the Feaster then."
"So what you're saying is the enchanted pillow I bought thirty years ago has infested by house with flesh-eating nightmare monkeys?">>19430
"That seems to be the case.. But hey, I heard you aren't very popular here anyway.. why not just move?"
"More that the enchantment placed on the pillow has the added effect of making you smell delicious to these vermin. Hence why they've gathered here."
…do what you must.
I think I need to pack."
NEXT TIME ON CURSE
THE ROOF IS ON FIRE
You have the source of the curse - an enchanted pillow.
Now you must find a way to dispose of it, and to destroy the Dream Feaster so this place can at last be safe.
I'm sure the human has something among his supplies
What about the jar with the dream feeder?
"So.. do we just burn this?" I gesture to the pillow.
He is back to reading his book
"Hm.. seems there is possibly a way to undo the curse with a ritual
Or we could simply destroy the object.">>19467
It's still stuck in there.
You can let it go and follow it, or carry it around as a compass.
"We need to do a bit more than just burn, but yes, that is an option."
''Wouldn't it be dangerous to simply destroy it?''
I sniff the dream feeder in the jar to make sure I got it's scent
"So, what happens if we just destroy it now? Is that jest gonna leave a bunch of loose ends for us to wrap up? Because frankly, I'd rather not stick around this town longer than necessary."
"Would the destruction achieve the same?"
"Well, it won't be of any help to us that way, but it can't make things worse either."
The creature smells of sweat, grease, soil and bad breath.>>19472>>19473
"If we destroy it, it's gone and that's it. It can't do further harm.
If we fix it, it may alleviate the effects of the curse on those already cursed."
"Can we not do both?"
"Do you have any idea how to fix it?"
"Destroying a purified item is pointless.">>19476
"it will require a ritual"
"What's this ritual involve.. exactly?" I ask warily, my armor-like body leaning over the odd human.
''And can you perform this ritual quickly enough? Maudi can help if you need''
"Let us try to purify then."
"We will need…
…the original wording of the curse, or something of the same essential meaning.
Along with items first used to cast the curse. In this case, a few herbs, a drop of blood, and that gunk you get in your eyes when you sleep."
"All right then, I see where this is going. Just… just tell me what you need me to do to get this done, so we can get to it.">>19481
My eyes then drop to half-lidded.
"…Uh-huh. You do realize the odds of us finding that stuff without causing an uproar, right? I doubt she's gonna let us bleed her and dab at her eyes."
"I would offer my services for such tasks yet I am afraid I neither bleed nor sleep.
I can try and survey the basement for the original items, however."
"Who's blood? What herbs? Who knows the words?"
'' Maudi can find the herbs while you manage the blood. but she needs to know what kind of herb is needed first''
"Well, the lady might know the words.
The blood is irrelevant, as long as it's blood.
The herbs are…
…huh. Mostly common spices.">>19485
"You can probably find everything but Nightblooms in the kitchen. And even those are a fairly common garden plant."
To the kitchen we go then!
"I have met a human once who was told by a witch the cure of curse was a spoonful of cinnamon. Not very bright fellow, that one."
Go down to the basement.
"I see.. I'll go ask her."
Find the lady of the house.
Well stocked. Smells lovely in here.>>19488
Backwillow joins you
"Now, if anything we should look at the first husband's stuff.">>19489
She is upstairs, looking through some old book
"What do you want now?"
"I need to ask you if you know.. the words that were used to enchant the pillow."
Spices, spices, spices and herbs…Let's find them and maybe something to snack on as well
Point to the crates where I found the bloody clothes.
"I think they were over there."
Head out to the garden to see if there's any Nightblooms there.
Or wait, does this hag even have a garden?
"What makes you think I remem-
…wait. I always keep my receipts. I think I might still have the instructions the pillow salesman gave me!">>19492
The spices are easy to find. Many of them are used as traditional remedies for insomnia.
There is a lot of food to choose from too, from cured meats to a lot of breads and vegetables.>>19493
He starts digging through the stuff
"Chances are some of his other stuff has become cursed over time if he slept on that pillow for years.">>19494
A small one, but well kept, outside the window you used to enter.
Nightbloom is growing in a small patch near the back, overlooking the river. It is easy to tell from the fact the flowers only open at night, and are faintly bioluminescent.
Nod slowly and follow her. "If you think you have that, it could really help."
Maudi loves herself some good cured meat.
Surely the hag won't mind if I make a little snack before return
Once I'm back with the spices I speak up ''Alright Backwillow, Maudi got the spices''
Help him look.
"Should we destroy the rest of his belongings then?"Roll #1 1 = 1
Harvest a few of them, since she won't be needing them anymore, and bring them back to my employer.
"Well, here's the odd ingredient out."
"Let me look in my old diary"
She digs out an old book from a drawer in the library and dusts it off.
After a bit of scrolling she pulls out a yellowed slip
"Here. Now get rid of those horrible things.">>19497
"Good work. These will do well.
Now all we need is fire.
And the bed.">>19498
After an exhaustive search, you found nothing useful
"Well that was a waste of time.
No reason to destroy any of this.">>19499
"Good. Now all we need is the sleep gunk and someone willing to spare a drop of blood."
"Where else would his belongings be?"
''Well Maudi hopes you don't mean we will have to drag the bed here. You can make the fire yes?''
"It seems none of these are cursed at least.
So if any of his old stuff did end up cursed, it's gone now.">>19502
"We can bring this stuff to the bed.
Might need a bowl to burn this stuff in."
I'll get the bown thenBe right back
Return the slip to the human quickly!
Backwillow takes the herbs and flower, and mixes them in the bowl.
He then checks the paper slip
"Hm. A simple wording. Must be read with quite some passion and emotion to take effect. No wonder the curse took years to become this bad.
Now, who wants to go get some eye gunk? I can provide the blood myself."
"I suggest someone with soft fingers."
"Not it. My hands are meant for triggers, not delicate work."
"Also we'd need someone who is asleep at this early hour."
"Maudi will do it! In her younger years, Maudi study some medicine, plus Maudi is very good at making dools. Firm pulse!"
"What about some teenager?"
He did say he wanted to rest."
"Think he's still back at the barn?"
"Probably at his home next door to the barn."
"Let us go fetch him then"
"I'll go with ye, in case he's one of those shamblers that'll try to bite you in their sleep.">>19514
"Alright, Let's go Maudi." To the house next to the barn then.
Backwillow stays behind to prepare the ritual.
You soon arrive at the barn next to the house. The sun has almost set now, and darkness is creeping in. You can hear snoring from one of the windows.
"Who wants to go up? I'll give you a lift." I whisper to my two 'friends' and stand under the window ready to assist.
Load a knock-out bolt in my crossbow and draw it.
"I'll wait for the dog to give the all-clear or dive out the window, whichever comes first."
"Ah yes, thank you my Myrmid comrade."
Let's sneak inside
'1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
"If anything goes wrong I'll back you two up."
In all silence, the drudge enters the open window.
Inside, the stockboy is asleep, with his leg wrapped up like before.
It will be easy to swipe some of his eye goop even without waking him, if you're willing to risk it.
Take aim at the window, ready for anything that might go wrong.
Go to the window and give everyone a thumbs up to show that it's all okay
Let's get that eye goop veeeeery carefully
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
"Guarding someone's back while they get some ingredients for a ritual.. never thought I'd be doing that again.."
The grey armor shakes his head.
"..fate Is strange."
As you touch his face, he turns to grab your hand, then hugs it sleepily like it was a stuffed toy.
"You've done this before? Heh. Most of these jobs turn out this way, and the ones that don't tend to involve angry mobs."
How cute. He thinks I'm a fluffy toy
Pull my paw out of his grasp slowly…
'1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
"Yea.. my old job involved a lot of guarding sneaky mages while they crawled around looking for an old book or artifact or rare herb.."
He doesn't even notice. Dude is fast asleep after all the wine.
"Eh… mages," I snort derisively, "Aren't they the reason we've got to deal with all of this stuff in the first place? Everything tends to go belly-up whenever a mage is involved."
Glance at the myrmid out of the corner of my eye.
"Whatever compelled you to work for them in the first place?"
I am standing up straight ready to draw my weapon at the sign of danger, my armor-shell is a mix of grey and orange.
"Compelled.. that's a good word for it. It was my parent's
idea, that arrangement."
Hmmn… I might need to ask someone to hold him down for me >>19534>>19533
Head out the window and signal for someone to come up here. I need help!
"Damn, that sucks. Bet they're none too happy you've finally gotten out of that, are they?">>19535
Sigh as I holster my crossbow and get ready to go up.
"Guess that's my cue… furball can't seem t'manage anything on her own…"
I reply with a death stare along with raising a voodoo doll of a Capra and needle. Hopefully you get the message
Draw the crossbow and aim right between her eyes.
"My pointy stick's bigger'n yours."
Roll my eyes and lower my doll
You win this one Capra
"They don't have much to say anymore."
I sigh. "You got this covered or should I go up?"
"Nah, I got this. Besides, I doubt I could give you a boost as easily as you could boost me.">>19539
"That's what I thought."
Holster the crossbow and climb in with a boost from the Myrmid.
"Now, what's the holdup?"
"We shall be fine, you stay there and cover us, myrmid"
"Hmm, good luck then."
Stay here after the dog and goat climb over me.
Now let's get the goop
"Capra, hold him down for Maudi"
'1d10' goop time
Roll #1 7 = 7
All right, I'll hold him still so the dog can get the goop.
You gently wipe some goop off his cheeks and climb back out the window.
Back at the mansion, Backwillow has set everything up. As soon as he gets the last ingredient, he adds it to the mix and lights the entire thing on fire, flooding the room with spicy smoke. As the fire dies down to embers, he cuts his finger and drops a single drop of blood into the ashes. At the same time, he begins reciting the words he has prepared to counter the curse.
"Granter of sleep, bearer of dreams. Give us rest from your feast. Take not our slumber, nor our rest. Denied be your gifts, banished your children, they are not welcome in this home, not now, not ever! We share not our nights with you, for they are ours! Ours to hold on to with as much greed as we desire! HOLD NOT OUR HAND, SHUT NOT OUR EYES! BEGONE, BANISHED, STILL OUR DREAMS, DREAM EATER!"
He then slams the smouldering remains in the bowl onto the pillow, and angrily rubs them on it before sitting down and wiping his brown.
Nothing seems to happen
"Yeah… that should do it.
This pillow no longer holds a curse, and any cursed from sleeping on it should be released from their curse in turn.
Now all that remains is to hunt the Dream Feaster, so those cursed by contact with others can be saved too."
NEXT TIME ON SWEARWORDS
WALK INTO THE NIGHT
CALL INTO THE NIGHT
AND FIGHT WHAT LURKS IN THE NIGHT
''Excellent. But now what will we do to the pillow? Offer it to any who seem cursed and say that it shall cure them of a curse they did not knew about?''
"So.. this little guy's time to shine?"
I hold out the jar with the trapped monster.
Notch my crossbow and load it with the real, business variety of bolts.
"Well then, let's go hunting, shall we?"
"Now for the hard part."
"Leave it here. It's just a normal pillow now.">>19633
Hold it at arm's length and wave it around a little, it should react when it goes closer to the Feaster.">>19634>>19635
"Off we go then"
''If you say so…''
let's go let's go
Hold out the little demon and shake the jar just a tad aggressively.
"You heard the old man, get to work."
Follow the Myrmid and his little compass-beast, staying alert in case any of his friends decide to show up.
"Doubt the Dream Feaster's going to be all alone; there's probably going to be a lot more of those things down there. Everybody be ready to get swarmed."
"On the plus side, we won't run into any cursed people in town now.
Had we left the curse active, we might have had to beat down a few sleepwalkers.">>19638
As you point it at the north wall, it lets out a sharp hiss and tries to climb out.
You have a direction now.>>19639>>19640
"We could ask the locals if someone wants to bring torches and pitchforks."
"Would this not be too dangerous for them?"
''And what use would torches and pitchforks have against those demons? it would be best if we let the people out of this…Too many makes a crowd and a crowd breeds chaos. Maudi is safe with just her comrades helping''
Then North we go.>>19640>>19642
"We can handle this alone, no need to involve farmers and bar tenders."
"So be it then. Lets move."
You head off into the darkening night, leaving behind the last lights of Winterbridge.
A sharp, cold breeze bites into you as you walk upriver. Winter is on its way, and the river would soon freeze here. Perhaps that, too, was a curse. But it was not your problem right now.
The creature hisses wildly as you walk along, biting at the iron that keeps it still. You are getting close.
Somewhere in the shadows around you, you hear the skittering of claws and the hisses of angry creatures. The Feeders are returning home, scared off by the broken curse.
Let them be. They are not a concern.
Keep my crossbow up and aimed as I scan the shadows, slowly circling around to scan behind us every now and then.
They'll not catch me off-guard. Not this time.
With all my fur, this cold barely bothers me
Keep following the myrmid
"Demons. All Cowards."
I scoff and keep moving.
"There's a difference between cowardice and non-suicidal, mister. Knowing when not to engage and when to cut and run is what keeps you alive in this line of work."
You are suddenly shocked by an inhuman shriek coming from the bushes.
Something stumbles at you, slavering and screaming. Though hard to tell in the dark, it looks human.
"Is this a trick?"
Try spell breaker on it.
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
smack it with my staff!
''Foul demon! you shall not jump on Maudi like that!''
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
Engage Protective Bubble
Shit, and my crossbow's loaded with the deadly type of bolts…
Step forward and crack the damn thing in the skull with the butt of my crossbow.
'1d10' Great Weapon (crit on 9+, deals +1 damage), Trick Ammo: KnockoutRoll #1 2 = 2
While Blue Lights' shield absorbs the hit, the rest of you are thrown down by the unexpected fury of the assailant.
It's the town baker, with a Dream Feeder biting into his head. The baker's lips are bloody and he has claw and tooth marks all over his neck, face and shoulders. But perhaps most worryingly, his eyes are glowing much like the Feeder's.
Magic Bolt at the Feeder
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
''You stand back, Maudi will take care of this!''
Take my voodoo doll, linking it to the dream feeder and force it to remove itself off the baker
''Do not try to hit the feeder, you might hut the baker!''
'1d10' Voodoo DoctorRoll #1 6 = 6
'1d10+2' Doomsinger at the Dream Feeder.Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
"Damnation and derision! I knew I should have just shot the bastard!"
Prop myself back up before any of his friends show up and catch me down. '1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
Ignore all that, I can't mumbo jumbo on the dirt
Well, you didn't say were were helpless, but I'l roll to get up.
Roll #1 5 = 5
The Feeder turns at you, smacking you away with a backhand. You can see the muscle on the baker's arm bruising as he swings his arm with more force than it was designed to endure.>>19658>>19660
You both clamber back up.>>19659>>19662
While Tilrok gets struck by the raving baker.ENEMY
Dream Feeder 3/3
I will try and Teleport the Feeder off then.
'1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
NOW we get the dream feeder off the baker and command it to fuck off through voodoo
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
What of my extra wound DM?
'1d10' get upRoll #1 5 = 5
"Catch, ye overgrown rodent!"
Wherever the lightbulb teleports it to, I'll nail it down with a particularly heavy bolt.
'1d10' (crit/critfail range +1, +1 damage dealt), Ranged (does not require LoS)Roll #1 1 = 1
In a flash of light, the Feeder disappears off the Baker, only to land on the capra's face.
In a panic, Oddeth fires his bolt at the Feeder, hitting himself and pinning his ear to a nearby tree.
The Feeder, spooked and compelled by voodoo, flees into the darkness.>>19666
You did roll that crit fail while already Helpless.
You do manage to stand up now that the chaos has dissipated.
The Feeder is gone
The Baker needs medical attention
Oddeth is stuck to a tree by his ear.
''…Maudi believes we should work on our teamwork…Someone help the capra while Maudi tends to the Baker''
Let's crouch down to him and use good voodoo to heal him up
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
The Baker vibrates violently, then explodes, tossing you into the cold river.
Just hold still.
Try to help the Sniper Goat out of the tree. '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
You yank out the bolt, freeing Oddeth. He will have a big hole in his ear from now on though.
Look at the chaos.
"Let us hope the Dream Feaster will not give us as much trouble as one of its minions."
''Uuh…These dream feeders cursed the body of the poor man…Maudi couldn't do anything to save him anymore…Comrades, lets take a moment of silence for the poor man that could not be saved''
"How hard could it be?"
I just ignore the exploded citizen, which way did the monsters go?
"GHAAAAAH! FUCKing shitstorm in the straights of Santa Bella!"
Groan and rub my ear gingerly.
"…Aaah, damn that stings. Guess it's my own fault, eh? Should have just shot the minute I saw movement, human or not.">>19669
"Ye trying to kill me?! Touch me with that stuff, I'll make you a pincushion, fleabag."
"Curses come with casualties."
"I hear that ladies love battle scars." I pat you on the back and smile at you.
"We should probably try to finish this while we're still alive."
''Bah, you speak too much capra, Maudi says you deserved that hole in your ear!…Actually, now that you have that, perhaps you would be interested in buying an earring that would bring you good luck with the ladies. Maudi can sell one to you at the price of 15 gold pieces. you don't want to leave that ugly hole there now do ya?''>>19677
''Of course. Now let us get moving, we have no time to lose''>>19679
''We were caught by surprise. Next encounter will be easier for us''
Grin at that and nod at him.
"Well, it's certainly not my first, heheh… As long as my hearing's all right, I'm not worried about it.
Guess some good came of it though; we know anyone attacking us can't be saved, so we can just shoot to kill instead of risking our necks like that.">>19679
"All right then, let's move out. Carefully
"..Can't be saved huh.." I look away into the distance, shining my mace dramatically into the light.>>19679
"Where do we go now?" '1d10' look for clues.Roll #1 2 = 2
To your misfortune, the Feeder in a jar escaped during the battle. You'll need to find your own way from here.
"Feasters do not want to be disturbed. A cave would be perfect for it, or some kind of underground lair, like an old cellar."
Pick up the Capra without even asking, put him on my shoulders.
"Get a good look around from up there, see if you can spot any caves."
Assist his roll?? '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
''Let Maudi ask for diretions''
Let's see what our dead friends know
that baker who exploded, his soul should still be around. let's make contact and see what he knows!''
'1d10' communeRoll #1 9 = 9
"You saw what happened, as soon as we kill the thing controlling them they blow up. Hopefully it'll end if we kill the big momma monster, but along the way it's either kill or get killed.">>19684
We might not be able to track the Feasters, but we should be able to track the baker. See if I can backtrack along his route.
"Cave might work too. I'll keep an eye out."Roll #1 7 = 7
"Maybe wherever this baker came from, if it is not the town."
>>19686Yes hello what's going on?>>19687>>19685
You can see what looks like the burnt down remains of an old house further upriver.
"There's a burned-down house up there. If the cellar's still intact, we might have just found our nest of nasties."
"We're going to check that house, don't die out here."
I carry Oddeth in the direction of the old house as he points it out.
>>19691Maudi understands. thank you, and now go and rest in peace>>19692
''Yes you are right little capra… Maudi spoke to the dead and the dead aswered. The dream feaster is in the basement of the old mansion up the river. that is where we will find it''
As you head towards the burnt ruin, you start to notice the remains of other people. Some relatively fresh, others skeletal, all with clear bite marks on them.
The Feaster has been eating for a long time, luring people here with its Feeders…
Sit down on Tilrok's shoulders and grin. Yay for piggyback rides!
…Plus this is a nice vantage point for shooting anything that attacks us.>>19696
"Aye, this is the place. Or if not, then there's something here what needs killing."
"Curious how these deaths went by unnoticed."
"Perhaps not unnoticed, but simply disregarded. People get lost in the woods all the time.">>19697
"Dare we head down there?"
"Very strange.. No one said anything odd was happening.. Maybe it was just travelers?" '1d10' check the bodies.Roll #1 9 = 9
what a dump
let's look for the front door, or what's left of it>>19698
''Maudi is certainmost of these were noticed…but the cursed ones couldn't be found anyways''>>19699
''Maudi will not back down now. let us go''
Townsfolk and tourists. Being the popular travel and trade location it is, Winterbridge was a great source of victims.>>19701
There is nothing left of the house but some foundation stones, remains of the floor, a few pillars and the basement itself.
"Getting jitters on the home stretch? We're the ones who'll do all the fighting. Let's get this done so it's finished.">>19700>>19698
"You saw what that town was like. Someone just up and leaving for greener pastures wouldn't be so out of place…"
''the thing is down there…Is everyone ready?''
"Perhaps the curse gave them apathy."
"I will do my best to find a way to battle it effectively. The book should contain some aid.
When you're ready… let's do it."
''Avoid getting yourself in danger. you are the only one among us besides Maudi who has experience with this. And even Maudi' knowledge is smaller than yours, Backwillow''
Let's do this
"Its a variety of victims here.."
'1d10' is the structure itself weak at all?Roll #1 7 = 7
Could be collapsed with enough force. Odds are the supports in the basement itself are badly damaged as well.
Cock my crossbow and make sure my spares are all ready and waiting.
"Let's kill the bastard already."
And down you go.
The basement is cold, as one might expect. The lingering smell of smoke and mold covers any hints of rot and death that might be found here, but you know there is much of both here.
It is not a small cellar, but indeed quite a large room, held up by creaking wooden poles.
Somewhere in the deeper darkness, you can hear heavy breathing, and everywhere around you, dozens of scratching claws.
"If we have a hard time, we can just bring down the building on it. That should kill it."
Better put that Bubble up.
"Just so long as we make sure we have an exit for ourselves first.">>19712>>19707
"Okay, Blue, light 'em up for us!"
Can I try to take control of one of these little dream feeders?
"This place might even scare the little demon."
'1d10' bring up a nightmare aura around us.Roll #1 3 = 3
As you remain undetected, you manage to set up a field of darkness, a bubble of protection and gain control of one of the Feeders.
lets get to work
'1d10' controlRoll #1 5 = 5
"Good start Team.
Now just keep an eye out for the big one..
[Dream Feeder] 3/3
You can sort of make it out in the depths of the basement. It is a hulking mass with no real shape to it, a strange devouring blob that slowly moves around, seeking things to feed on.
"I'll handle the little stuff, if somebody just gets some light in here so we can see…"
"I don't have any lights, but I see.. something
'1d10' Cast enfeeble on the blob.Roll #1 4 = 4
just waiting for the next turn here
The blob reacts angrily, and the shrieking of dozens of Feeders fills the air.
Too late to back out now.ENEMY
Dream Feaster [Tier 4] 6/4
Feeder Horde [Tier 1] 50/1
Support Columns [Tier 2] 100/1PARTY
Magic Missle on the Support Columns
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
that's a lot of feeders
Lifestream any of the horde and give the sapped life to Blue
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
"That's a lot."
'1d10+2' Doomsinger on the Dream Feaster.Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
"Soup's on, Varmints!"
Lay into them all with a volley of bolts from my more stable crossbows, firing just as fast as I can reload.
Arsenal to change weapon tag from great to Single
'10d10+2' Ranger (-1min to hit, +1 skill tier, Ranged)(each success hits all nearby foes)Roll #1 4, 2, 1, 8, 9, 1, 1, 10, 3, 7 + 2 = 48
Your magic bolts slam into the rotten wood, chipping off great splinters.>>19728
You sap the life of one of the feeders, aiding Blue.>>19729
The corpulent blob jiggles, then slams into you with frightful force.>>19730
Screaming and firing everywhere, you manage to shatter more of the supports and down several Feeders before being overwhelmed as one of the Feeders grabs you by the wounded ear and slams you down.
Backwillow conjures up a countercurse from his book '1d10+1'Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
Causing one of the Feeders to vanish in a poofENEMY
Dream Feaster [Tier 4] 5/4
Feeder Horde [Tier 1] 38/1
Support Columns [Tier 2] 93/1PARTY
"We need our shooter in the game here."
'1d10' help Oddeth upRoll #1 2 = 2
…Can I teleport the colums away?
Or at least one?
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
now let's take control of another of these dream feeders, but instead of using magic, I use my voodoo doll and bind it to one of them
'1d10' Voodoo Doctor to make one of the feeders attack themselves
'1d10' make my feeder minion attack the other feedersRoll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
"Persistent little gnashers, aren't they?"
Get back up with Tilrok's help. '1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
You have not been healed since the last fight.
To make things worse, the Feaster is still trying to overwhelm you.>>19736
You manage to stand up though>>19734
With a bit of outside the box thinking, you teleport one of the columns away.>>19735
The feeders turn on you as you mess around with your doll, but your feeder puts up a solid fight.
Backwillow goes through some pages and tries another incantation '1d10+1'Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
It does not work one bit.
Dream Feaster [Tier 4] 5/4
Feeder Horde [Tier 1] 33/1
Support Columns [Tier 2] 83/1
PARTY [Tier 2]
let the feeder keep doing his work '1d10'
while I heal Tilrok '1d10' natural remedyRoll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
I will keep working on it.
Magic Bolt the columns
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
'1d10' just attack some of the horde.Roll #1 7 = 7
Fire into the Horde and at the Feaster, Trying to hit as many of them as I can.
Trick ammo- Split (hits two targets)
'1d10' (-1min, +1 Tier, Ranged)Roll #1 1 = 1
The feeder fails to win against his own.
Your heal works wonders though.>>19740
Your magic falters and backfires, sending you flying.>>19741
You smash three of the approaching Feeders>>19742
Your shots ricochet off the floor, then the walls, and then hit you instead, dropping you like a bag of potatoes.
The wounded Backwillow attempts to find some sort of bolstering incantation '1d10+1'Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6
And it works!
+1 to all!
Dream Feaster [Tier 4] 5/4
Feeder Horde [Tier 1] 30/1
Support Columns [Tier 2] 83/1
PARTY [Tier 2]
'1d10+1' Help Blue up this time.Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
"Thank you for the assistance."
Activate Prot Bubble
now let's lifestream another of the horde '1d10+1' and give the life to Backwillow
'1d10+1' attack my feeder!Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
/ Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11
Well, that's embarrassing…
Drag myself off the ground yet again.
'1d10+1'Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8
The aeon is up and protected>>19747
The horde is too fast for you, but not for the plucky Feeder, who is now tearing apart six of his former brothers at once.>>19748
You pull the arrows out of your legs and stand up proud.
Backwillow attempts to cast a destructive incantation '1d10+1'Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
And what a blast it is.
The basement is at last illuminated by a swirling vortex of fire, showing the true shape of the Feaster.
It is as a giant slug, with many mouths and grasping tentacles, yet no eyes. The Feeders cower near it, and scatter at the sight of the fiery torrent among them.
Dream Feaster [Tier 4] 3/4
Feeder Horde [Tier 1] 20/1
Support Columns [Tier 2] 75/1
PARTY [Tier 2]
Blue 5/4 [protected]
Magic Missiles at the support pillars again.
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
'1d10+2' doomsinger on the Dream FeasterRoll #1 6 + 2 = 8
Switch back over to my heavy crossbow; if I'm going to die here, I'm at least going to do some damage first. Let's see how big of a hole I can make in the Feaster.
Arsenal to switch to Great Weapon+ranged
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Ooh baby Maudi picked the best feeder for the job
'1d10' get'em baby!
'1d10' natural remedy on that blasted capraRoll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
Your casting is interrupted by the horde nipping at you.>>19752
The Feaster quivers, and seems to weaken.>>19753
You fire on the Feaster, impaling it and pinning it in place with a great bolt!>>19754
Your Feeder at long last gets torn apart by the horde.
Oddeth recovers from his wounds.
Backwillow has to rest after such a strong spell.ENEMY
Dream Feaster [Tier 3] HELPLESS/3
Feeder Horde [Tier 1] 20/1
Support Columns [Tier 2] 75/1PARTY
Blue 5/4 [protected]
Magic Bolt them away.
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
lifestream another of the horde and give the health to Backwillow
''No time for being lazy Backwillow!''
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
'1d10' attack the Dream Feaster while its down.Roll #1 4 = 4
Cut loose; all or nothing. Let's end this fight with one last volley.
'10d10+2' Ranger (great, ranged)Roll #1 3, 4, 8, 8, 4, 5, 10, 10, 9, 6 + 2 = 69
You blast one and the others scatter away from you>>19757
Backwillow nods and stands up>>19758
Your attack snaps the bold holding it down, allowing it to move again.>>19759
You fumble with your weapon and get nothing done. Try focusing harder.
Backwillow tries to conjure an attack against the Feaster
'1d10+1'Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8
The conjured bolt hits the Feaster as it regains its composure
Dream Feaster [Tier 3] 3/3
Feeder Horde [Tier 1] 17/1
Support Columns [Tier 2] 75/1
PARTY [Tier 2]
Blue 5/4 [protected]
'1d10+2' Keep doomsinging at the Feaster.Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
Try to Teleport some more of those columns
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
>>19760Why is that 1/3 feeder still there?
let's try taking control of some more of that horde and keep getting them to turn against themselves
'1d10' Voodoo doctorRoll #1 9 = 9
Whatever you're doing to spook it, it's getting pretty damn spooked. 2spooked even.>>19763
You pull out a chunk of column, but your bubble breaks as well.>>19764Copypaste errors
The horde attacks itself in confusion
Backwillow flips his book to the final pages, and tries casting something huge
'1d10+2'Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
The magical blast rips into the support columns, but also forces Backwillow to take a breather.
Dream Feaster [Tier 2] 3/3
Feeder Horde [Tier 1] 10/1
Support Columns [Tier 2] 50/1
PARTY [Tier 2]
Damn it! Steady my fingers and try again. I am a soldier, and by Dickens I'm going to fight like one!
'10d10+2' Ranger (great, Ranged)Roll #1 4, 9, 2, 8, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 6 + 2 = 45
Time to Bolt the columns.
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
"Even demons have fears.."
'1d10' attack the horde this timeRoll #1 10 = 10
let's take control of a single of those feeders again
'1d10' controlRoll #1 5 = 5
You send a bunch of bolts wildly ricocheting around the room, and then take one of them to the shoulder, sending you down for the count.>>19768
The column you teleported away earlier crashes through the ceiling and slams into you.>>19769>>19770
Maudi takes control of one of the Feeders as Tilrok smashes the rest to goop.
Sensing its allies are gone, the Feaster visibly deflates.
Now is your chance!ENEMY
Dream Feaster [Tier 2] HELPLESS/2
Support Columns [Tier 2] 45/1PARTY
Time for another Bubble then.
make the feeder attack it's leader while I lifestream it!
'1d10' lifestreamRoll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
'1d10' Let's just attack the Dream FeasterRoll #1 4 = 4
I'm not out just yet! The fight's still going!
Pull myself up one last time. '1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
You proceed to be helpful by hiding in a bubble>>19773>>19774>>19775
With a final push you rush the Feaster, and despite its best efforts to fight back, it ultimately falls to Maudi's life drain, splattering across the floor into a dark puddle. As it dies, so does the last of the Feeders, and the darkness falls silent at last.
Backwillow wipes his brow. The spells have left him a little sooty and bloodied, and the pages of his book ragged, but he is still breathing.
"…I think that should do it."
"Thank goodness. Got a bit dicey there for a bit."
Finally just sit down an lean on my crossbow stock for a while. Those rats were nearly the end of me…
Pat the small human in the head ''You did good, Backwillow…Everyone did, especially Maudi''
"One less terror in the world.." I sigh and help stabilize the capra.
"We should bury this place."
"Frankly I'm not sure I'm up for another one like this.">>19780
"Not much need, it's just some leftover goop and guts now.
But feel free to knock the supports out if it gives you peace of mind."
"Thanks… Don't know what happened there. Guess I'm getting older than I thought…" A nervous chuckle comes out as I rub my injured shoulder.
"I shall once we are safely out."
''Bah, you are so young and still such a pushover. Maudi is an elder and she feels like she could face three more of those feasters!''
''And now that we did our work here…Maudi believes it's time to give her a payment~!''
And then everyone went back to town and found a fulfilling way to go on with their lives
[Last 50 Posts]
"Meanwhile I still owe 84 more demons."