The very first thing you feel... is a throbbing pain, like a headache. You know you've fallen, but your thoughts are a weird jumble. Memories come quickly to mind, then just as quickly disappear... and you can't even recall what memories they were. Was it where you lived? Where you were born? The friends you've made... and now lost?
You sit up, and take a gander around. You're in a grassy clearing, surrounded by trees. Off in the distance, you can see something that resembles... diamond? No, crystal. The tip of something made of crystal juts out from above the trees. You'd guess it's just a small distance away.
"Oy! New one, eh? Gyahahaha, Rekker'll ne'er get tired o' yer bewildered looks!" Before you can do anything, you hear a monstrously loud voice just nearby. You turn around, and see a... giant (?) approaching you.
He's easily three or four times your length, and five times your width. In a word... large.
"Gyahahaha! As usual, you're quite a ways off from where yer s'posed to have been! Ne'er fear though, 's a good thing you landed near good ole Rekker's Thrifts! Tha's me, aye, Rekker." You only just now realise the stall behind him, outlined with... so many things, it's hard to describe just a single piece of it. In fact, the stall is monstrously large.
"Now Rekker'll give ye som'thin' so's ye've a fightin' chance, so can ye stand an' saunter over to good ole Rekker's Thrifts, or is ole Rekker here gon' hafta giv ye a hand wi' tha' too?"
Of course, you can stand. You're dazed, not crippled. As you stand, you also find your thoughts clearing. You can't remember how you got here, but for some reason you get the sense it's not important.
Rekker smiles wide as you approach his stall.
"Now's wot happened is, ye've been summoned," Rekker explains cheerfully. "By th' Gobs. Yer kinda their hero now, an' ole Rekker here'll make sure you won't disappoint. Too much."
Rekker turns to his stall and picks out three items, which he lays out before you.
"Now, a good hero's got a weapon, yeah? So here's some help fer ya." Rekker squats down and points to the first item, a set of cards.
"Crest Cards, these. They's got some small magic in 'em. Ya draw a crest on 'em, and FWOOM, magic. Ain't gotta explain anythin' 'bout dat, eh?" He points to the next item, a large axe with a lion crest.
"The Warlion's Horn, true beauty. Also a replica. It's still got a mighty edge, an' if ye can swing it, its magic'll make sure it hurts."
Finally, he points to a dagger. It looks rather plain, but has a faint glow to it.
"This one's a right beauty, it is," Rekker says. "Magically enchanted by the Folgorn himself! Ye stab a back wi' this, the dagger's magic'll punch right through it. 'Course, ye hafta find a back first fer it to work..."
"So which one would ye want, eh, greenhorn?"
>Crest Cards. (Magic, Ranged)
>Warlion's Horn. (Physical/Magic, Melee)
>Folgorn Dagger. (Physical/Magic, Melee)
>Request other item. (Write in option.)
"Cards," you say, pointing at the stack of cards. Rekker nods and picks them up.
"Aye, a good choice! Now, Rekker doesn't know magic much, so Rekker can't help ye wi' the crests, but..." He takes out a quill and scribbles on one of the cards before handing it to you: a perfect circle with three perfect triangles in it.
"Rekker happens t'know this one'll call out yer inner strength, or sommat like't. Ye throw that one, it'll sear th' enemy wi' magic 'n return ta ye."
He hands you the rest of the cards, five in all (including your inscribed card).
"Now, I'll imagine ye've some questions, but Rekker's got more fer ya. Thanks aren't necessary, jus' make sure ye let people know who've helped ye out, aye?"
The next three items he shows you are a bracelet, a necklace and a mantle.
"All magical items, aye. Sure to make a hero outta a zero," Rekker says. "Th' bracelet'll make ye stronger, an' help ye lift. S'long as you have the bracelet's on, 'course. The necklace's been a wizard's priced jewelry, and it'll strengthen yer magic." He winks. "So's what it says, trust Rekker on tha' one. Got a good jewel innit.
The mantle Rekker bought from a treant, and it's been woven by the finest Sylphs can afford. Jus' put it on an' ye'll feel lighter and faster already!"
He rubs his hands together. "So's what's yer fancy, eh?"
>Bracelet, we need more Strength!
>Necklace, gotta power the magicks.
>Mantle, because gotta go fast.
>Request other item. (Write in.)
"I want the necklace," you say. Rekker picks it up and hands it to you, grinning.
"Aye, Rekker thinks it suits ye. Yer a mage-type, eh? S'a good thing there be some mage-types o'er at the Gobs, else ye'd be in trouble, arright!"
You put on the necklace. Huh, you don't feel any different, or more competent. Still, best not look a gift horse in the mouth.
"I don't suppose you'd give me the stall if I asked, right?" you ask. Rekker looks at you like he can't decide if it's a joke or not, then shakes his head.
"Ye look ready t'go out there an' win. Or well, not get beaten too hard." He rubs his chin for a moment as he stares off in the distance. "Rekker here thinks there be some time afore yer needed, so aye, Rekker'll spare some o'his time t'help ye out wi' any questions y'might have."
>"Where am I?"
>"What do you mean, 'summoned'?"
>"What are Gobs?"
>"Write in a question."
>You don't need knowledge, you're a wizard. Head elsewhere.
You can pick any two questions to ask.
You look around as you ask, "Where am I?"
"Where ye are? Yer in Mother's Forest. Dun ask Rekker what Mother we're talkin' 'boot, cos Rekker don't know."
That's... not very helpful, but at least you know the name of this place.
"So... what's this summoning business?"
"Ye ne'er heard of summoned afore? Th' Gobs cast a ritual tae summon them a Hero from 'nother world, an' it looks like th'spell yoinked you from wherever." Wherever it 'yoinked' you from, you're at least thankful you're wearing trainers. It'd be horrid if you'd been barefooted. Huh, so you know what shoes are. There's that, at least.
"Then uh, how often do 'heroes' get summoned?" you ask.
Rekker rubs his chin before answering you. "Rekker rekkons Rekker's given out..." He counts on his fingers. "Three oth'r wepons tae new heroes." He claps his hands. "So Rekker thinks in th' past moon, there been a' least three summons in all, wi' ya here too. Corse, any heroes what ain't outta th' way and ended up wi' Rekker'd be paddlin' 'round wi' no weapon!"
A bit more quiet, he adds, "Tho' Rekker thinks th' Gobs summon heroes at th' drop o' a hat! Ye best be on y'r wits, wouldnae want ye dyin'."
Rekker looks about him again, then mumbles, "Rekker rekkons he oughta close up shop, aye. Ye'll be fine if'n ye follow Rekker's directions."
Apparently, there's Gobs strongholds north from here, but also to the east. You'll reach the crystal going north-east.
>To the crystal!
>Explore, be a rebel.
You figure you might as well follow Rekker. He's the first person you've met here, and you get the feeling things aren't exactly safe out here. After all, Rekker was handing out weapons. Weapons! You decide to follow Rekker. What's the worst that can happen?
You patiently hang around, watching Rekker fold up his stall. You rub your eyes and check again. ... Yep, he's folding up the stall, with everything in it, into a neat, perfect cube that fits perfectly in his hand. You'd probably need two people your own size to carry it... providing it's not too heavy.
"Yer not goin' tae see th'Gobs?" Rekker asks.
You shake your head. Rekker just shrugs and starts moving towards the crystal. You decide not to be too subtle about it and start following Rekker when he's five paces ahead. Unfortunately his paces are quite large, and he moves quite fast, and you find you've some difficulty keeping up with him. How can so large a man move so quick?
Before you can think of any answer to that, Rekker's out of sight and disappeared among the trees. You do your best to catch his trail, but it's no use--the giant's gone.
You're awfully close to the crystal, though, and you decide to just go towards the nearest thing instead then. It's just a short walk before you can see the light radiating through the trees, and you're out into another clearing in no time.
You see a dazzlingly bright crystal floating above a hole in the ground, surrounded by a beehive-like array of light.
You approach the crystal and the odd array of cool-blue light, only to find... You can't pass through the light. It looks like it's a wall, protecting the crystal. When you touch it, it feels smooth as glass, but when you knock on it softly (and then a little harder), it feels sturdy as rock.
Maybe there's a way to get through it still.
Behind the crystal, you see two towers. They're not quite so large, and barely reach the tops of the trees. They're immaculately white in colour, with doors meant for people half your size. There are no windows in the towers, at least not from where you stand, but a cool-blue light shines on the tops of the towers.
The same cool-blue light as the wall of light, actually, come to think of it.
>Attempt to bypass the wall of light.
>Explore one of the two towers. (Left or right?)
>Forget towers and huge crystals, let's go to one of the strongholds.
>Attempt to bypass the wall of light
I have a few rules in life number 3 is that if I see a portal or a wall of light I shall always attempt to go through it. Doesn't happen often.
You figure you might as well forget about all of this for now. Whatever the crystal is, and whatever's in those towers, well... You're none too eager to poke your head into stuff you don't (yet) know anything about. There's other stuff to sate your curiosity for now, like these Gobs.
You remember there was a stronghold to the north and to the east from where you met Rekker... Might be a tad hard to find either way again, but you decide to make for the eastern one.
After a while walking, you find a path through the woods. Well, not exactly a real path with gravel and all, but the grass's been stomped down to the ground, and it looks enough like a path to you. You never were big on the outdoors, you recall. Preferred to stay inside to... do what, again?
Thinking to yourself, you eventually see a series of huts at what looks to be the end of the woods. Small figures are running to and fro. When you get closer, you realize they're seriously small, and stand at half your height. Perhaps they're related to the towers by the crystal?
When one of the creatures spots you, it comes running toward you, flailing its arms around. The creature has a green skin, with a squat build. Thin arms, with equally thin legs and bodies, and a face that goes hidden behind a large mask carved out of wood. The mask has a jovial expression, with red paint around the lips. Is it a girl?
The Gob shrieks something, or maybe it's yelling? Other Gobs come running, and they start tugging at your arms.
You let them drag you towards their 'stronghold', a collection of wooden huts surrounded by a palisade. A flag sits in the centre of the stronghold, flying a red flag with... is that a slug on it? You don't get the luxury of admiring it for too long, as the Gobs get impatient and start pushing you along harder, towards a peculiar stone house. The first thing that comes to mind is Roman, but you have no idea what that is.
The Gobs push you through the open door, then stand back, heads bowed... and blocking your way out. You go further inside.
Candelabra, carpets, pillars... You're no expert, but you're pretty sure this place isn't just a normal house. There's a single Gob here, wearing white robes that hide its features, but the mask is a tell-tale sign. The Gob is slightly taller than the other Gobs, and the mask is contorted in an expression of pain.
"Ah, Hero. You are late," the Gob says. His voice is deeply masculine, raw. His accent is odd; it doesn't seem like he's used to speaking English. "That's the third time this moon our summons has failed. "
He pauses for a moment, and you get the feeling the Gob is sizing you up. "Those clothes look... inadequate, yes? We can forge you armor. It shall serve you well." He pauses again. "... We admit, we are unsure of your gender. Would we craft armor for a male or a female of your kind?"
>Clarify that you're a guy.
>Clarify that you're a girl.
>There is no other.
You cross your arms, a little insulted. There were people who'd mistake you before, but you think you look pretty feminine. "I'm a girl."
"Ho-hum, so you are female? Very well, we shall have armor crafted appropriate for you." The Gob falls quiet for a moment. Again. Then he beckons for you to come closer, and you do.
The Gob raises bony hands and arms, and before your eyes unfolds a map drawn in light.
The Gob points to the centre of the map, and says, "This is where we are now, Wizard. The central island, if you will. Here and here," he points to the island on the northern side, and the one on the southern side, "live the vile Ghols, worshippers of death. They have sought to destroy our crystal and bring ruin upon the land! We are no match for their vile weaponry and magicks, but..." He pauses to look at you. "You are our hope, and salvation. You are the one who shall defend our crystal by bringing to the Ghols the light of judgment."
He points to the square on the right side of the map. "This is Benghl, one of our ports. If you travel there and say you are the Hero, they shall lend you a ship with which you can travel north or south. Each island has its own crystal, vile and dark as the hearts of the Ghols. Shatter their crystals, and we shall have ever-lasting peace. It is clear, yes?"
>You understand everything.
>No, you have questions. (So ask them!)
Drew a map, since clarity's your weapon!
Sorry for the roundabout chargen, we're done with that now. Time to become a wizard of legend!
You don't understand. "What happens if I ate a crystal?" you ask.
The Gob doesn't reply immediately. "We'd venture that's an impossibility," he finally says quietly. "The crystals are large, and protected by a field of prayer. If you were to eat one, you would have to be at least thirty times the size you are now."
You are a font of good ideas. "Okay, so if the Ghols are worshippers of death... Why don't you kill yourself and become their god?"
Again the Gob takes his time replying to you. "Wethinks the Hero doth not understand how this works. There is nothing after death. We are cast from this world and exist no longer. There has been no Gob who has ventured to death and beyond!" As he speaks, his voice grows increasingly louder and has hints of anger.
"The crystals must be shattered to kill the Ghols! There is no eating, and there is no dying, there is only shattering! If the Hero is done questioning us, perhaps the Hero should start making for the port."
>You get the hint. Depart from here.
>You still have questions.
"I didn't mean to offend. I'm just curious. I don't know enough," you insist. The Gob doesn't respond, and you take that as a sign to ask more questions.
"So if there's nothing after death, why do the Ghols try to bring it to the world? Why did you start worshipping it anyway?"
The Gob shrugs and instantly replies. "You would have to ask the Ghols that, Hero. We have no answers."
All right. "You still haven't told me why I should kill your enemies for you, though," you point out. "'They're bad, we're good' isn't a reason."
"They seek to destroy the world!" the Gob says loudly. "Their crystals must be shattered lest we all die! We summoned you for this singular purpose; to vanquish our enemies and bring peace to the world!" The Gob starts waving his arms around wildly by this point. "The Hero has questions that makes us wonder if the Hero is not, in fact, a Hero!"
From this point on, he starts yelling and shrieking in a language you don't understand (if it isn't just unintelligible shrieking and yelling anyway), and you take it as a hint you've overstayed your welcome. You beat a hasty retreat from the stone house, and find that it's become darker out. The Gobs that brought you here have all gone. The streets look empty.
The wooden huts have all closed their doors. Behind you, you hear the Gob continuing its shrieking and yelling. The palisades open out to the east, or you could go back to the crystal.
>Follow the path east.
>Return to the crystal.
You decide to go east for now. You're not entirely sure about this entire quest-to-save-the-world shindig, but lingering around doesn't seem like a good idea. Perhaps you'll find some Gobs who are more willing to answer your questions, or maybe you'll run into Rekker again.
The path isn't very eventful. The forest on your right, and a wide open plain on your left. It keeps gradually growing darker, and before long it becomes hard to see very far ahead.
You can see a light in the woods, though. Maybe a fire? Someone ought to be there, then. You could also try forging on ahead; the map, as you recall, showed there was a triangle between the port and the stronghold. Might be there's something there, and it shouldn't be too terribly far ahead... right?
>Investigate the light in the woods.
>Keep going forward.
Okay, a creep camp. That is actually dangerous if we're level one.
Unless they're crappy creeps. Can we investigate from relative stealth?
(Like, outside aggro range.)
Move slowly to it.
Mostly running on time to keep things going. It's my first thread, don't want it to die due to stagnating while waiting for posts.
Investigate it is!
You're not Twisted Fate with a faerie charm.
Staying on the road is rather lonely, and you've still got questions you want answered. It's time to explore a little and see what's up in the woods.
You move as quietly as you can, careful not to alert anything that isn't friendly. You've got a magic weapon, there's Ghols worshipping death, and crystals that shatter or something like that, you're not risking anything.
As you creep and crawl closer, you manage to find a good spot from which you can watch the fire. And the creatures huddled around it.
You see two bodies lying on the floor. Their green skin and masks (albeit damaged) immediately give away that they're Gobs. They're not moving, and, well... You're pretty sure they're dead from the way they look.
The three creatures stalking around the dead bodies remind you of bears. Their excessively large corner teeth point upward, and make you believe they're not herbivores. From the blood spatters, they're probably not friendly.
One of the creatures is a lot thinner than the others and carries a staff. The other two are rounder and look more buff, with both of them carrying a large club. Each of the creatures is twice your size. This is a land of either giants or midgets. Wouldn't hurt to meet someone your own size.
There's a backpack by the bodies with what looks like food. The three creatures are too preoccupied talking (?) among themselves to notice as of yet. You have the element of surprise...
You know monsters when you see them, and you think you're seeing them right now. Probably. Either way, they're going down. What did the Gob call you? Wizard. Right. You have those magic cards, your necklace, you're a wizard all right.
What defines a wizard? The fact that they cast magic. And you...
... Realize you don't actually know any magic spells. Wait. Waitwaitwait. You have those cards! Rekker inscribed one of them, didn't he? You quickly select the card from your pack of five and examine it again briefly. Perfect round circle, three perfect triangles. Rekker's calligraphy is astounding.
You decide that the one holding the staff must be a mage as well. If there's anything you know, it's that mages aren't well-known for their durability. You take aim and toss the card at the mage.
In mid-flight, you watch the card transform into an arrow made of fire, striking solidly against the blue bear! True to Rekker's word, you find the card re-appearing in your hand shortly after.
... And now you realize that didn't kill the bear. In fact, it alerted them to your presence! The blue one looks singed at least... They've turned towards you as one and the two brown ones are now advancing on you! Before you can do anything, the closest one of them lunges forward, and you only narrowly manage to avoid getting crushed by the club.
>Attack with the same magic!
>Try a different spell. (Write in.)
>Write in action.
Shit. SHIT. You're not going to cut it against three of them if the fire arrow didn't even do that much damage! You're a wizard, right? You've gotta have more spells!
You try casting a binding spell! ... Um. Uh. How... how exactly does one cast one of those spells?! You don't actually know! Wait, Rekker scribbled something on your fire arrow card, maybe you should draw on one of the other cards? Do you have something to draw with?
CRASH. You narrowly dodge the other bear's club. Dammit, this isn't working. The first bear raises its club again and?
Just as the club comes down, the bear is sent flying! With a furious roar, a man comes to your aid, smashing the bear away with his hammer. His shining armor and red cape almost make him seem a paladin, but you've never heard of paladins resorting to hammers.
Well, it'd help him smite... wait, now isn't the time.
"You alright, lass?" the warrior asks, as he parries the second bear. Not one to be outdone, you use your fire arrow again, sending the bear stumbling back.
"I'm... I'm alright! I was just trying a new spell."
"Didn't look like it!"
A wave of cold air washes over you right then, and you realize the bear with the staff was -actually- a magician! The wave of cold doesn't seem to harm you much, though, but the paladin's movements have slowed...
>Try to inscribe one of your cards. You probably carry SOME writing utensil, right?
>You've got a meatshield now, time to run!
Right, writing! Of course. That's what Rekker did, that's what's gotta work for you, too. You quickly search your pockets, but they're all empty. You didn't bring anything!
How to write?
"Aaaaggghhh!" You look up to see the paladin mercilessly swatted to the side with a fierce club swing. Not good. One of the bears goes after the paladin, the other is advancing on you. From the corner of your eye, you can see the mage is casting again...
Desperate times call for desperate measures. You drop the cards you were holding save one, then you bite your finger until you draw blood.
Hastily, you try scribbling some rings, maybe some downward triangles... The bear is looming over you and raising his club...
Do or die. You hold up the card and... how to activate it?!
The card starts expanding! A black orb of... something expands from the card, and the bear steps back, unsure of what to do. Heck, you're unsure of what you're doing!
The dark orb keeps growing though, and you can feel a strain growing on your arms... Is it charging? It can't be charging, can it? It must be charging!
"Come on, come on, come on... finish... go cast..." you mumble. The bear's regained its courage and lifts its club again...!
Right as the ball launches forward, drawing the bear into it. A painful roar escapes the bear only briefly before it's completely silent, and the orb implodes on itself, gone without a trace.
You only later realize it swallowed the blue bear as well.
Hold on. That's just two bears! You frantically look around, and see the paladin's still holding up against the other bear. Though he looks wounded, you're pretty sure the bear's looking worse for wear.
Since you lost the card you just used, you grab your fire arrow and send it striking towards the bear, eager to help the paladin.
It works! The bear falls on its knees, then buckles and drops to the floor.
"Well done," the paladin says, inbetween heavy breaths. He doesn't look very well, but he still stumbles toward you. "Y'arright, lass? Should've cast that from the start, we'd not be in this mess."
You want to agree, but you're not sure what you just cast or how you did it.
"Well, I guess you wanted to keep it for an emergency," the paladin continues, "but what were you thinking, attacking bugbears by yourself? You don't even have any armor, for Rekker's sake!"
Oh. Right. The Gob promised you armor. Well, not your fault it got so uppity because of a few questions...
>Speaking of questions, let's question the paladin.
>Say a prayer for the poor bears who died just now.
>We didn't kill those things for charity. Loot the corpses.
Nothing to do about that armor. Oh well.
"I just invented that spell," you say. "Couldn't have used it sooner."
The paladin looks at you incredulously, then roars with laughter.
"Just INVENTED it? Gobs' balls, lass, I've never heard of a mage inventing spells on the fly."
"Well, it's true."
"If that's what you want me to believe, I'll believe."
Whatever. "You mentioned Rekker. Who is that?"
The paladin frowns. "Never heard of 'im? Well, shouldn't surprise me... He's a bloke what loves sticking his nose in other people's business. Runs a shop, but most of us reckon that's just a front for hoarding as many magical weapons as he can, without anyone raisin' an army to stop him."
He grimaces. "It'd be a problem if someone with THAT many magical weapons'd decide to be a problem, see? Problem is, he's damn near impossible to find."
You nod. Sounds believable, considering how he just disappeared on you earlier. "And who are you?"
"Me?" The paladin grins. "Miscaton Chattel Hammer, at your service."
He nods. "Yes, Hammer. It's the name I was given for wielding this," he lifts his hammer a little, "and being damn fine at it.
What about you? Who are YOU?"
You realize you can't remember your name.
>Introduce yourself as Wizard.
>Introduce yourself as Hero.
>Make up some name.
I was actually in the process of writing an update, but names are serious business.
How many for "Scap", how many for Hero Wizard? This'll also probably be my last update, went on longer than I'd planned already.
"I'm Hero Wizard!" you reply confidently. ... You're not very good with names. Well, it'll grow on you, probably. Not like you can think of a better name.
Miscaton gives you a deadpan look, then shrugs. "Hero it is, then." He points at the Gob corpses. "Were they friends of yours?"
You shake your head. You hadn't even met these Gobs before. Or any Gob before today.
"Well, I suppose you have first dibs on looting then," Miscaton continues. Doesn't sound very paladin-like, but maybe he isn't a paladin. "Shame there's nothing left of those bugbears you killed. Could've made some money there, too."
He nods. "You take out their teeth. Sell 'em to one of the Shopkeepers. S'one of the best ways to make money if you're a roving adventurer like me. And you, I suppose. You look a little too lightly geared for adventure, but I've my pack down there," he gestures to the woods, "an' if you don't mind, we can share a camp for the night."
Well, sleeping near a guy you just met after gruesomely murdering bears can't really go wrong. Can it? Without waiting for your answer, Miscaton disappears in the woods for a moment, before returning with his pack. Looks like a heavy backpack, and you can see he's packing only one bedroll. Well, you weren't hoping for much anyway.
Looks like your first day of adventuring's nearly come to a close.
But looting the corpses, praying for bears and whatever funky business we have before sleep will have to wait!
Calling it here for the night. I'll be back tomorrow at 8 PM UTC. Refresh my notes, make some new ones, and see if I can't put together something that looks like a good character sheet for those curious on our progress. Maybe if I feel adventurous, draw.
What we did:
- Acquired a magical weapon and jewelry from Rekker the giant.
- Explored the site of the crystal.
- Pissed off a Gob, forgot to collect armor.
- Established that we're Hero Wizard, female inventor of spells.
- Killed some bears.
Things to think of tomorrow:
- Two corpses to loot.
- A backpack they had which contains food.
- One bedroll, two people.
- Are we really going to wreck some Ghol crystals?
Thanks for coming!