Research Gone Awry

Home to the wildest breeds of flora, Ninraih's entangled jungles cover southeastern Khy'eras. Ajteire, city of the Fae, is situated in the middle. Here, an overwhelming amount of magic and unexplained phenomenon has materialized. Read more...
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Leiven Loramrai
Character
Doom of the Mountain
Level 01
26 / 26 HP
16 / 16 MP
50c
Dwarf / Fighter
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Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Leiven Loramrai » January 16th, 2020, 3:05 am

Leiven was not quite expecting the tiny creature to dash off into the woods. He trundle along at what he considered a dead sprint, dodging roots and dips only by the grace of chance as he crashed through the undergrowth. Then they burst into the clearing and his instincts flooded his body with adrenaline. Everything seemed further away, his ragged breath a silent whisper as the moans and growls of the dead cut the air.

He snapped his attention around the area, taking in what was clearly some sort of strange battle. A small scattering of undead moaned and clambered around the base of a crumbled stone tower, spirits drifted equally listless, some looked like they were attempting to attack the undead, and above the whole mess a mass of less formed ghosts lit the air with an eerie light.

He looked over his shoulder and growled in frustration as the only remains of their path was a collection of footprints in the mud that ran straight into a solid wall of trees. “We’re not leaving the way we came,” he said just loud enough for his companions. Then the first undead noticed them and let loose a ragged howl.

“Behind me, anchor down, fire ready,” he snapped out, taking two large steps into the clearing and planting the tip of his shield into the ground. He gave it a quick pivot and grunted in satisfaction before smacking the shield firmly with the blunt of his axe. The sound was loud and drew all the attention that could be gotten from the nearby undead.

‘Idols be thanked they aren’t the sort that sprint and fight with weapons,’ Leiven silently thought before muttering a quick mangled prayer to the forge and smith would crafted his weapons. Several moments later, the first undead abomination reached the edge of his range.

His axe snapped out like his arm was an arbalest. The head of his axe cleaved the shoulders clean from the creature, causing the body to slump and collapse. Another neared and was felled with a downward swipe that split it’s skull like a rotting melon. There were three more approaching, but they looked more damaged and had started further away.

“I ain’t got one ball hair of clue about that damn tower, but I’ seen this afore when a big spirit or magic draws’n everything around. Jus’ like a fresh whore offering free rides. My guess, most o'these bastards are just collateral,” he offered as he shook out his shoulders and repositioned his feet for the final batch of enemies.
Word count: 434

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Tika
Character
The Tinker
Level 01
24 / 24 HP
20 / 20 MP
50c
Human and Fae / Alchemist
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Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Tika » January 16th, 2020, 4:18 pm

"Yes! That makes sense!" Tika trilled. "Old ghosts here. I've heard of the tower but not for many years. Childhood tales. But there must be something true if this is what happens!"

Tika peeked out from behind Leiven and threw a small vial at the feet of one of the shambling undead. That particular target was engulfed in flickering green flame that seared through what was left of its sinews and dropped it to the ground.

"Yes!" She crowed. "It works!"

The tiny fae was bouncing in excitement at her small triumph. Then she saw how close the others were getting and ducked behind the dwarf again. She had a few more vials of the alchemist fire but she didn't want to waste them. She might need them later if things got worse.

"Rory!" She called. "I think you might have hit on it! So how do we fix this and get back home?"

Tika thought one of those stories sounded very familiar, but laying ghosts to rest wasn't really her forte. Not that she wouldn't help! She just had no clue where to start. If the young mage knew the story then maybe there was a clue there.
Word count: 199
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Roridula Lunatus
Character
"Where's the library?"
Level 01
23 / 23 HP
21 / 21 MP
50c
Fae / Wizard and Bard
Posts: 34
Joined: November 4th, 2019, 4:17 am

Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Roridula Lunatus » January 17th, 2020, 5:40 am

Rory flipped through her notebook. “Folktales - ghosts - oh, here, maybe that’s it,” she muttered to herself, turning over leaves that had an organization only she knew. “Ah - the Panicum manor. Haunted by Mirabelle Panicum, the - child -” Rory broke off.

A child ghost. Of all the kinds of ghosts, it had to be a child. Rory had never been very good with those younger than her, and trying to explain to a child about death and passing on - well, to say it wasn’t her forte was a massive understatement.

She skimmed down her notes. Apparently Mirabelle had been left alone in her room - a nursery, maybe - when the older members of the house had suddenly taken ill. The servants that could, fled, leaving little Mirabelle by herself.

The family had left, whether to find aid or simply die elsewhere, Rory didn’t know. Without food or companions, Mirabelle died in her room, only discovered when some adventurers came across the abandoned manor. Her ghost had haunted the building - and now the ruins - searching for her family and playmates. Any ghost or undead that ventured near was drawn to her longing.

“Damn,” whispered Rory. How would she explain to a little girl that no, her family wasn’t coming back, and that she was dead? Moreover, some of the ghosts might have become protective toward her, altered by the magnetism of her desire.

“Well - I think it’s Mirabelle Panicum. She was a child and she’s searching for her family and friends,” she told Tika and Leiven. “I’m not sure what to do. She died alone and so she draws other undead to her because of her loneliness.” Rory shook her head slowly.

“Also, sometimes a ghost that can draw other undead in can - change them, make them more defensive if you approach the one who’s drawing, so we need to keep that in mind.” Rory felt her stomach clench with uncertainty as fear began to trace an icy finger up her spine. Even her usual curiosity seemed to have been scared away. Her notebook held no answer to her question: what do we do now?
Word count: 371

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Tika
Character
The Tinker
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Human and Fae / Alchemist
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Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Tika » January 20th, 2020, 11:07 pm

Tika was getting very nervous. Despite only having known the dwarf for an hour or two she completely trusted him to defend her from the shambling horrors that currently faced them. Of course she did. But they were getting awfully close and she couldn't help backing up almost into Rory, who seemed to be hanging back as well. Tika looked around and found Tok on a low branch, cleaning his whiskers and acting completely nonchalant. She didn't know how the little creature was so calm. She was scared!

This child ghost did not sound like fun either. For the most part ghosts didn't bother Tika. They were relatively harmless in her experience. It was the zombies that worried her, and how many of them this little Mirabelle might have gathered in to protect her. Obviously the creatures overriding brain functions made it clamor for the living. Tika imagined a ghost with such distinctly human longing for companionship had drawn in not a small amount of others. Getting through them to speak with Mirabelle might be more than the three of them could handle! Leiven was taking care of the zombies but what about the ghosts?

"Rory? Not to put too much pressure on you but do you have anything in your book about weaknesses that ghosts might have?"

Tika was looking around the area frantically, trying to keep an eye out for a path. She had noticed too that the way they'd come in was blocked. They needed an escape route!

"I've heard stories of things. Iron, salt, lightning strikes even, but i never learned what was true! It's never come up before!"

Tika knew that the fireflies kept Ajtiere safe from these things, but had never studied the mechanism of why. Traditional fire, alchemists fire, obviously worked on the corporeal, but would it disrupt the ethereal? Would magic touch them? Or a silver blade cut them? There was so much in her head from childhood tales and none of it felt useful at all!

"I want to be able to help here but I'm not a fighter," she squeaked, ducking behind a tree. "I'm an engineer!"
Word count: 357
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Leiven Loramrai
Character
Doom of the Mountain
Level 01
26 / 26 HP
16 / 16 MP
50c
Dwarf / Fighter
Posts: 27
Joined: August 17th, 2019, 6:55 am
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Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Leiven Loramrai » January 22nd, 2020, 8:42 pm

“Cold iron works an’ve got a few spikes, but works is relative. Makes ‘em right pissed and saps what keeps ‘em solid. Takes time, and you deal with 'em in the meanwhile,” Leiven said helpfully as he hefted his shield and stepped into an approaching undead. The creature’s erratic movement was more dangerous than their less damaged companions and so moving forward to deal with them quickly was a common tactic.

“I dun’ know much about talkin’em down, but if that’s an option I’m thinkin’ I’d prefer it,” he added as he bashed the approaching corpse and then followed up with a clean cleave. “We can move in, I don’t have much to deal with those flyin’ bastards though. Maybe convince the ghost gal to come out instead?”

He slid backwards to his starting place, planting his feet and waiting for the next pair of approaching undead to come into range. “Not real keen on being inside a collapsed stone nuthouse with grabby hands comin’ through walls.” He frowned intensely at the shambling pair and shifted to angle his body towards the one on the right. “Watch the one on the left, gonna bounce ‘em but no promises he won’t crawl fast.”

He snapped his shield out in a bash for the left shambler, then swept his attention around to the right in time to collect a wild swing of limbs and shove them aside. His first strike of the axe only cut deeply, not quite severing the needed parts from the body before it could bring another wild swing in. Leiven grunted as he absorbed the blow and readied a second swing to finish the bastard.
Word count: 285

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Roridula Lunatus
Character
"Where's the library?"
Level 01
23 / 23 HP
21 / 21 MP
50c
Fae / Wizard and Bard
Posts: 34
Joined: November 4th, 2019, 4:17 am

Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Roridula Lunatus » January 26th, 2020, 3:20 am

Terribly thankful for the time she’d spent on her ignimancy, Rory readied herself to cast a fire spell. She would have to direct the effects using her own body, due to her limitations. Latching on to the fizzy feeling of magic, she sent it toward her outstretched hand. In her mind, she created the familiar diagram and guided it to her hand to direct the effect. She turned the spell loose with the phrase “vena vmuf {fire flow}”, using her palm to aim the flame at the undead on Leiven’s left.

The shambling undead shrieked and blazed up, burning brightly. It twitched for a moment and its charred bones fell in a heap on the ground as the fire burned itself out. “One down,” she muttered to herself.

Looking over the clearing, there were a number of undead roaming about and probably twice as many ghosts, whose lack of corporeal bodies troubled them not a bit as they traveled through each other. She’d have to get Mirabelle over to them for the little group to have any real chance of dealing with the situation.

Rory took a few steps to the side behind Leiven. Putting her hands up to her mouth, she called, “Mirabelle! Miss Panicum!” A bright spot pulsed from near the ruins. It bounced as though whoever held the light was skipping. As it came closer, the bright spot resolved into the ghostly form of a little girl of about seven years old or so. She wore an old fashioned dress with a frilled pinafore over it and a large bow in her hair.

“Did you come to play?” the ghost asked in a high-pitched echoey voice.
Word count: 282

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Tika
Character
The Tinker
Level 01
24 / 24 HP
20 / 20 MP
50c
Human and Fae / Alchemist
Posts: 19
Joined: October 30th, 2019, 9:05 pm
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Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Tika » February 3rd, 2020, 5:50 pm

Tika watched as the skipping light transformed into the little ghost. She marveled a bit at the detail of the apparition. Clearly she was powerful to have manifested so completely. The girl asked if they wanted to play and Tika felt a pull on her very soul, almost as though she could hear the child's compulsion. It was very disconcerting.

At the same time she didn't really know what to do or say. Tika wasn't a fighter, and the dead scared her. Still, she decided to speak to the little ghost.

"Mirabelle? You have to stop this game now. You're not letting the others rest," she said, trying to control her trembling. "They're dead, you know. They should be sleeping."

Tika was very scared of the undead, but it was hard to be afraid of the young girl ghost. She looked so innocent and guileless. And yet she clearly had the power to control those around her. Tika wondered if the child had been prone to magic before death. That would explain her power in the afterlife.

"Rory? Can you maybe dispel her or something? That or an exorcism?"

Tika, for all of her life, had been protected by the fireflies. Her experiences with the dead were pretty well non existent except for the stories. She knew there was magic that could combat ghosts but it wasn't her forte. The physical, tangible world of chemicals and mechanics were what she dealt with. But she had no little gizmos that could handle this. Unless maybe the alchemists fire would work? I mean, it would burn on anything solid, even stone. Would it burn something that didn't have a body? She pulled out a vial and fingered it musingly.
Word count: 287
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Leiven Loramrai
Character
Doom of the Mountain
Level 01
26 / 26 HP
16 / 16 MP
50c
Dwarf / Fighter
Posts: 27
Joined: August 17th, 2019, 6:55 am
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Leiven Loramrai » February 7th, 2020, 2:31 am

“Unless the lass’s much weaker than it seems, or bookish’s a lot stronger than I’m guessin’ we don’ have the firepower for that,” Leiven provided with an intense frown. “Ghosts, always want something, na’ like most of the dead.” He pointed to the small glowing spirit with his shield. “Figure what she wants, best bet if it’s easy.”

Leiven turned himself fully to the young-before-dead Mirabelle. “Hello little one, ya look ya want to play some. I know a few easy games, but your friends are all too excited. Can you calm them down?” His voice was much friendlier sounding than usual, and he even crouched slightly to seem at least a little less threatening.

Mirabelle looked at him oddly for a moment before her face split into a broad grin. “We can play, HURRAY!” she shouted, the last word almost painfully loud and seemed to draw the ire of nearly every undead in the clearing. Leiven frowned, taking a quick assessment of the enemies and realizing he had at least another chance before he needed to deal with them.

“Little lady, we can’t play if all yer friends are too excited. Tell ‘em to calm down, and then we can play a whole heap of games,” he offered, letting just a touch of sterness into his voice. She had been a child after all, perhaps she just needed him to play the part of a concerned uncle a bit.

Mirabelle looked confused, a frown smooshing up her features as she puzzled over his words. Suddenly, she put her hands on her hips, taking on the perfect picture of a young girl imitating her mother’s scolding. “All of you need to be nice, if you’re not we don’t get to play.” The admonishment sound so amusing in her tiny voice.

The ghosts and zombies seemed to freeze, almost vibrating in place. Those nearest Mirabelle turned away first, shuffling away as if compelled. Soon, the whole gaggle of horrors and abominations was scooting out of the clearing. Most didn’t go far, turning back immediately once they reached the trees and looming in the nearby trees with malice clear in their movements.

“I uh- Guess we get ta play some games then. Keep on yer toes, no telling how long that lasts and none of tha’ bastards look happy,” Leiven said warily to his companions. He hadn’t really expected this to work and now they were here.
Word count: 415

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Tika
Character
The Tinker
Level 01
24 / 24 HP
20 / 20 MP
50c
Human and Fae / Alchemist
Posts: 19
Joined: October 30th, 2019, 9:05 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Tika » February 23rd, 2020, 3:30 pm

Tika had an idea and started searching the many pockets in her coat. She pulled out foods and balls of wire and little doodads before she found what she was looking for. It was a rolled up cloth and a small sack that made clicking noises when she shook it.

"Mirabelle, have you ever played Fox and Geese?" The little ghost shook her head, looking excited for a new game. Tika unrolled the little mat on the ground, revealing a game board with lines all across it and dots at the intersections of lines. Then she shook out the little bag, revealing two different colors of stones.

Quickly she set up the board, explaining as she went. She picked up a black stone.

"These black ones are your foxes, and these white ones are geese. The foxes can jump spaces and eat the geese, like this," she said, demonstrating. "The idea is to surround the foxes with the geese before all the geese get eaten."

"But you have more geese than i have foxes! That's not fair!" Mirabelle complained like the small child she was. Of course it didn't seem fair.

"That's because the foxes can eat the geese but the geese don't kill the foxes. They can only run. So the foxes are more powerful. That's why there is only three of them. Does that make sense?"

The little girls brow was furrowed in thought. After a few seconds she nodded, agreeing with the setup.

The game began and they took turns moving pieces. The foxes ate two geese almost immediately and Mirabelle clapped in glee. Tika concentrated on moving her geese into position without losing more. It didn't help. Two more geese died. The game really did lean favorably towards the fix side, which is why Tika gave them to the spirit. She seemed to really enjoy winning. In short order the geese had been defeated.

"You're good at this game Mirabelle!" Tika encouraged. "Do you want to try playing the geese now?"

"No," said the girl ghost. "I like the foxes better."

After two more games Tika finally won and Mirabelle turned sullen. She didn't think it was a fair win, and no amount of explaining by Tika could change her mind. Sighing in frustration Tika packed the game up, seeing that Mirabelle was unlikely to play again if she couldn't win.

"I know," Tika mused. "Why don't we play hide and seek?" She looked to Leiven and Rory for approval. It was a game they all had to play after all.
Word count: 425
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User avatar
Leiven Loramrai
Character
Doom of the Mountain
Level 01
26 / 26 HP
16 / 16 MP
50c
Dwarf / Fighter
Posts: 27
Joined: August 17th, 2019, 6:55 am
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Research Gone Awry

Post by Leiven Loramrai » March 6th, 2020, 9:56 pm

Leiven watched the ghost girl become immersed in the game and felt a bit of hope. She seemed like a perfectly normal young girl, no understanding of strategy and all. When Tika suggested hide and seek he had to suppress a grimace.

“I think we can manage. Mirabelle, ‘s’not fun if yer friends cheat, can ya make sure they don’ try and interrupt our game?” he asked the ghost, hoping he wouldn’t need to deal with the undead while attempting to indulge the girl. This was still a deadly situation, even if there was a temporary peace.

Mirabelle rose and looked to him, frowning for a moment before her features brightened. “No cheating,” she said as if making a decree, her hands going to her hips as if imitating a respected matriarch. There was a pulse of power, a sense of looming strength, and then suddenly all of the undead began to shuffle away.

A handful of spirits emerged from the tower, moving up into the sky and zombies trundled out of sight deeper into the woods. Lieven let out a breath he’d been holding for several long moments. “Alright, who’s going to be it then?”
Word count: 200

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