[AW] Flashback - Navarre and Dog Head

edited October 2010 in In-Game
(At the outset, I'm going to say that I'm going to be filling in a couple of elements which haven't quite been described yet, as far as I remember. In particular, I'm going to do some describing of Dog Head, and I'm going to be describing and naming Dog Head's 'hold. If anybody has any issues or comments on this, please lemme know, so that I can adjust accordingly.)

First day, Navarre. First day at Mine. Mine, as in, his, not yours.

The 'hold is built on the sand and dirt in between the water and the mountain. There's a thick line of trees behind it, blocking off the hold from one angle. A number of wooden piers extend out onto the thick green water, with shacks and other small buildings built along it. On the mainland, a series of thrown up stone walls make out the borders of Mine, behind which some of Dog Head's men stand on wooden planking, their guns peering over the walls. They leer at you as you move through the open gate, a rusted, wire thing barely attached to the makeshift wall by shoddy hinges. Fresh meat, you can tell they're thinking.

You're led along the crap-strewn dirt road that comes into Mine, towards a pit dug into the ground. A horde of half-naked men and women stand around the pit, their arms in the air, screaming, holding out slips of paper in their outstretched hands. The thin mist in the area doesn't seem to be affecting them much with the cold, or if it is, they don't show it.

Jackabacka, the motherfucker who's leading you into Mine, smiles as he sees the crowd around the pit. "Come on, you bitch, I've got something to show you!" he roars in your ear, and tugs you over towards the pit.

Why are you here at Mine? Of what relationship is Jackabacka to you? What do you know about Mine so far?
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  • (I'm going to say for purposes of this thread that Navarre picked up his Weird+2 in his near-death experience, and probably at this point only has Hard+1.)

    I'm desperate for food. I don't have enough woods-lore to be able to gather, and I'm a terrible hunter. Jackabacka is in good with Dog Head, or thinks he is, and was out on some kind of patrol when he ran across me. He's been feeding me and talking to me for a couple weeks while on patrol, and he seems to think I'm recruit-worthy. He's probably playing some kind of I-have-more-minions-than-you status game with another of Dog Head's men, but that's all stuff I know nothing about. All I know is that he's offered to bring me to a place where I can get food in exchange for being tough.

    And all I know about Mine is that people who go there without an invitation or someone to vouch for them are never seen again. I've been avoiding it so far, but this seems like an invitation *and* someone to vouch for me.

    Navarre is curious about the pit and the pieces of paper, but as it seems we're headed that way, doesn't say anything.
  • Jackabacka starts hooting as he gets closer to the crowd. The grin on his face is gleeful and broken somehow. He pushes his way through the crowd standing around the pit, dragging you behind him. You're jostled and tossed along the way, and you nearly catch an elbow or two to the face from the rowdy crowd. You get a good look at those pieces of paper, though. They're all torn haphazardly, and there's no telling exactly what type of paper each is, but you distinctly see dots of colored paint on their ends. Most of them have dots of only the same color, though the exact number varies.

    And then, you're with Jackabacka at the edge of the pit. Jackabacka smacks some asshole away to make room for you, and the guy goes down beneath the crowd and its stomping feet. You don't see him after that.

    "THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT, BITCH!" Jackabacka roars at you. "THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS!" He thrusts one grubby finger down towards the pit below.

    Four people, three men, one woman. Each one of them is stripped mostly naked, with a couple bearing tatters and shreds of clothing on their bodies. Scraps of the fabric lie about the pit. They're all covered in the pit's deep brown mud, but beneath that you catch glimpses of broad stripes of colored paint running all over their bodies. The colors match those on the slips of paper. Red, green, blue, yellow.

    Green is holding a big metal pole, with a rock tied to one end. The rock's edges are bloody and dripping, and as you watch, he roars and swings at Yellow, a shorter, stockier man. Yellow tries to leap back but catches the rock on his shoulder and goes spinning to the mud. Green raises the metal pole to bring it down on Yellow's head.

    Across from them in the pit, Blue, the woman, screams terribly. The noise cuts through even the roars of the crowd. She's got a shard of glass clutched tightly in one hand, and you can see the blood dripping from her palm, running along her forearm. Red is a bald man, well-muscled, with mutton chops and a grin. The teeth in Red's mouth are coated in red, too, a glistening, wet red. As Blue comes at Red with the shard of glass, Red simply sidesteps, catches her wrist in one hand, and snaps it deftly. Blue screams again, in pain this time, and Red throws her up against a wall of the pit, dips his neck down to her throat, and bites into it with a squirt of blood.

    The crowd around you roars. Jackabacka echoes the shriek while he reaches out and grabs a woman amongst the throng. Without warning, he presses his lips to hears and begins tearing at her shirt with one hand. She resists, but it's almost a joke, as she starts clawing at Jackabacka's crotch. He surfaces for just long enough to bark at you, "LOVE IT!"

    That's when you really look around, and you see them amidst the crowd of screaming men and women. They're not everywhere, and not everyone's doing it, but here and there, you catch a glimpse of a bared breast, a moaning fast, thrusting hips.

    Somebody grabs you by the shoulder from behind, and as you turn, you're met by a hard-looking bald woman, her eyes blazing. She only has one arm, but she wraps her hand around your throat and pulls your face at hers, teeth bared by smiling lips.

    What do you do?
  • Going from living mostly alone and seeing another person maybe once a week to this is just total overload. Somewhere in the back of his head Navarre has the weird notion that people are basically good and decent, and this just doesn't line up with that.

    I half pull myself away from the woman, half shove her away, shouting, "Get the fuck away from me!" I bounce off of a rutting couple, almost lose my footing; the man mistakes my intent and shoves me down to my knees, pushes the back of my head so I get an unpleasantly close view of what's going on. I go sprawling onto my back and half-roll, half-scramble out of the crowd, as he snarls something unintelligible after me. I want to run but I don't dare lose sight of Jackabacka; they're probably going to need a new Yellow and a new Blue, and probably a new Green, too, if Red's viciousness is any indication, and I don't want to find myself in that pit if I can possibly avoid it. Even starving is preferable.

    I make my way over to one of the buildings. There are a couple of men sitting there, shooting the shit, keeping an eye on the fighting pit but not terribly involved in it. I sit down with them, panting from the sudden shock and the fear and adrenaline, and eye them warily.
  • Hmmm. Do you think that's an acting under fire roll? That's what it sounds like to me. The fire is the throng of screaming, fucking people filled with blood lust, in every sense of the word. Unless we didn't want to roll in this. What do you think?
  • Works for me. Acting under fire: #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • Okay, so you've got a choice, Navarre. You're pressing your way out of this hell of skin and crazy, but that one-armed bald bitch is pressing right after you. What's worse, there's another shriek from the pit at your back, and now suddenly the crush of bodies is greater than it was before, as people come streaming from out of nowhere to join the crowd at the pit. So you can either take it slow, make sure you know where you're going, make sure you know where in the crowd Jackabacka is, but then this bitch is going to come out of the crowd right on top of you, or you can give up trying to keep track of things, and just flail the fuck on outta there. You'll get out, but you won't know where you are, or where Jackabacka is anymore.
  • Oh, I'm outta there. I'll find Jackabacka later.
  • Awesome. You escape the mob, but you have no idea what part of Mine you're in anymore. You don't recognize the buildings, and you're not sure you could find your way out if you had to. Jackabacka's lost somwhere inside the mass of surging, screaming bodies. You think for a moment you see the bald head of the crazy lady pop up from the crowd, but it dives back down shortly, and you don't see her anymore. Probably figured you weren't worth the effort, and went for someone a little closer to hand.

    The men you're sitting with are older, each of them with wrinkled, sooty faces. They look at you as you sit and pant and hold your head, and they grin gap-toothed grins at each other, and at you.

    "Couldn't take Dog Head's antics, yeah?" one of them says, half-giggling, half-wheezing. "Aren't you just a little gem." He reaches into a bag nearby, and pulls out an iron bowl, and some cylindrical container. He dumps the contents of the cylindrical container into the bowl, and they clatter with little panging sounds. Then he holds the bowl out to you.

    "Spit in it, I'll read you," he says. "Good way to get to know a man." Looking down into the bowl, you see a confection of human teeth scattered along the inside.

    What do you do?
  • Oh hell, compared to what might be happening, this is nothing.

    Navarre leans forward and spits neatly into the bowl, then looks at the man, expectantly.
  • The old man sticks his finger in the bowl, swirls it around a bit, and then suddenly slams it onto the plastic tray in front of him. When he lifts it, the teeth have scattered randomly where the bowl slammed down, and he begins gazing intently at it.

    "Uh-huh...Yep. Thought as much. Well, Naverre, can I call you Naverre? Well, it's looking like you probably shouldn't be here. You'll probably want to hitch on up and get the hell out of Mine, straightaway."

    The other two men lean over too, to peer at the teeth. One of them reaches down, picks up a molar, and pops it into his mouth. He swishes it around against his cheeks for a moment, and then spits it out.

    "Def'nitely, def'nitely, def'nitely," he grumbles, his large eyes fixed upon you.

    The third looks at you, then at the teeth, then back at you. He squints with one eye, colored sour yellow, and sneers. "Yep. Wouldn't make it here anyway, even if you weren't on a direct course for deadity."

    "Well, there you have it," says the first. "The opinions of Ik" - he motions to the second man - "Clot" - he motions to the third - "and Polk." At this, he gives a little half bow. "Get the hell out of here, Naverre. For all our sakes."

    What do you do?
  • I look at the teeth, and the men. I haven't told anybody, not even Jackabacka, my name. These guys are real.

    "What," I ask, "um, what happens if I stay?"

    I stand up. I'm waiting for an answer, but glancing around, trying to figure out which way is the way I came from, and which way is the quickest way out. (But I want it to be wrong, so I'm declining to roll for fuck this shit. Or maybe this explains why Navarre is so good at finding escape routes.)
  • You see a couple of thin alleyways between these rusty metal shanties, which might lead you...somewhere. The most promising seems to be one to your left, which is heading out towards what seems to be one of the outer walls of Mine. At least that one's likeliest to get you out of here. Maybe.

    Polk rests his eyes on you. "Who the fuck knows? Could be anything." He leans back, but his gaze never falters. "Could be you let in some nasty thing from outside. Could be that you're infected with a plague, and you kill us all with boils and blood. Could be you betray this place and everyone inside." Then he leans forward again, suddenly, his eyes piercing into you. "What do you think it is?"

    "I think he'd just die the way most people do, here in Mine," says Clot, still sneering. "Bleeding, on the ground, no dignity, and our most famous pupil standing over him."

    "Could be, could be," says Polk.

    Suddenly, Ik lunges forward, and grabs at you. He's pawing at your tattered sleeve with his thin fingers. "To stay?! The Pit! Dive in!" he half-whispers, half-shrieks at you. He lifts one finger and points at the throng around the pit unwaveringly.
  • My self-preservation instinct and my curiosity are at war.

    I'm glancing to the left, down that alley, easing a little bit in that direction, when Ik lunges, but I don't flinch.

    "Not planning on staying, Ik, just curious. I'm not the betraying kind, though, so I don't think that's likely to happen, even if I do stay. Who's your most famous pupil?"
  • "Heh. Who do you think?" asks Polk. As he speaks, another shout and roar echoes up from the pit, and the crowd follows suit immediately after. Polk smiles a grim smile. "Sounds like he just won another fight, too."

    "We didn't teach him to do that," says Clot, the distaste evident in his voice. "We taught him better than that."

    "No. We didn't," replies Polk.

    Ik looks at you confusedly, however. He tilts his head back and forth. "Not stay? Not stay? Have to stay!" Ik then lunges for a satchel next to him and begins rooting for it. For a moment you're worried, but then he pulls out a piece of dark, heavy bread. Your stomach rumbles at the sight.

    Ik offers it out to you, while Polk and Clot fall immediately silent.

    What do you do?
  • I reach for it. Damn, I'm hungry. But then, I think.

    "I can't pay you for that. I don't have anything to trade."

    But damn, am I hungry, and if he isn't asking for anything....
  • "Nothing right now." Polk.

    "A favor, later." Clot.

    "When asked." Ik.

    Their words flow right into each other, with only the appropriate amount of pause in between, as if all three men had the same thought at the same time.
  • A favor? Is that all?

    "Done!" I take the bread, just barely not snatching it out of his hand. It's actually good bread, chewy and tasty, and somewhat fresh. It's the best thing I've had to eat in weeks. I try as hard as I can to savor it instead of just wolfing it down, and don't really succeed, but the flavor lingers after the bread is gone.

    "Thank you, Polk, Clot, Ik, but I think I'm going to find my way out." I turn towards the alleyway to the left.
  • "You too, kid," comes Polk's voice. "You're gonna need it," says Clot.

    As you turn for the alleyway, you hear behind you a crackle and then a hiss, followed by a voice booming out from the direction of the pit. The screaming and noises of the throng quickly subside as the voice speaks.

    "My children! You have borne witness to the work of the Dog today! You have reveled in it! You have basked in it! You have tasted of heaven!"

    A cheer rises from the crowd, mad and savage.

    "Now, you bow your heads, and offer your thanks! Offer your prayers to the Dog, that you be blessed!" A low murmur arises, from the crowd at the edges of the pit.

    You hear Clot audibly snort, and Polk sighs.

    Meanwhile, the alley to your left remains open and available. Do you wanna go running down it?

    What do you do?
  • Oh yeah, down the alley, out of Mine. At least I hope.
  • You race down the alley, which is a twisting, winding, disordered thing. Really not an alley, so much as something like a tunnel, or a path made up of ever-changing space in between shanties. Sometimes it branches off into new paths. Sometimes its pressed nearly closed. Sometimes its opened wide. You can still sort of triangulate your way based on the noise of the Pit in the distance, but you're not confident you're headed towards where you came in from.

    That is, until you stumble into a wall of rusted metal, raised high. Clearly the outer wall of Mine. All you've gotta do is follow this until you reach the exit. Or, it'd be that simple, if it weren't for the fucker on guard duty who spins around at the sound of you're running feet. He's got a nasty looking face, covered in boils, and a weird, patchwork spiderweb of a beard. A rifle in his hands, too. Big thing. He's standing on a stool next to the wall, so he can periodically peek over its top, and he clearly wasn't expecting anyone to be coming from behind.

    "The fuck?" he exclaims, and flecks of spittle fly through the air. "Who the fuck are you? What're you doin' here? Isn't Dog Head holdin' services? What the fuck?" It's then that you notice he's standing strangely on that stool. He's holding himself odd. He's...trying to hide something right behind his back.

    What do you do?
  • I try to look as unthreatening as possible. "Sorry! Jack-- I mean, one of the guards here brought me in, and I'm just trying to get out." I back away a few feet and start edging away, towards the Pit because I know there's a gate there. "I got lost, I was kind of freaked out by all the people at the fight. If you can tell me where the gate is, I won't be any trouble."

    Of course I'm curious about what's behind him, trying to get a glimpse of it, but surreptitiously, as I move sideways.

    I'm ready to bolt if he makes a move, especially if he lifts his rifle like he means business.
  • For a moment, the guy keeps looking confused and wary. Then a slow grin spreads itself across his face.

    "Ooooh, you're new here? Oh, that's great. That's just great." He pauses for a moment, lowers the gun a bit and rubs his chin with one hand. Then he gestures towards you.

    "You look skinny as fuck, boy. You must've brought something with you to trade for food. What'd you bring? Whaddaya got on ya?"
  • "Nothing, sir. I mean, I was told that I could get food here if I was tough, but I saw what was going on, and I don't think I'm tough enough for that. I just want to get out. Please?"
  • "Out?" The grin widens. "Out? Why in hell would you want out, boy? Don't you know, this place is as close to Heaven as you are gonna get."

    He sweeps his gaze around the area, and spies a tiny little empty shack nearby. There's a large piece of wood on the ground nearby, clearly intended for use as a door. The shack doesn't have any windows, and the only light inside comes from what little trickles through holes in the metal.

    "Heh. Tell you what, boy. I'm ready for a break in guard duty. You get in that shack, and you help me with something, and I'll make sure you find the exit." While he speaks, he takes up the gun again with both hands.

    What do you do?
  • I look at him warily. "Okay, it's a deal."
  • You wouldn't think it could, but somehow, that evil grin splits the man's cheeks even wider. "Fantastic."

    He hops down off the stool and moves up right behind Navarre, notably not prodding him with the barrel of the gun, but coming damn close. "Well, boy? After you," he says, his eyes on that empty shack.
  • edited October 2010
    I step into the shack. There has to be something up here, so I'm keeping my eyes open for it.

    And I think whatever it is will come from this guy, so I'm going to read him: #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • He steps in after you, and then steps to the side within the shack. It's tiny, so he's pressed up against one of the walls. He motions towards the door of the shack with his gun barrel.

    "Now, why don't you shut the door? Just pick up that thing and put it right into place." The thin beams of light falling on his face from the holes in the wall illuminate his boils and his yellowed canines.
  • Here are the questions I want to ask - fit them in as appropriate as we interact. What does he intend to do? What does he wish I'd do? How can I get him to show me the way out of Mine?

    I pick up the board, and put it in place as the door. "Okay - what do you need help with?"
  • He grabs his belt buckle with one hand, keeping the other around the grip of the gun. "Well now. Why don't you come on over here and just help me undo this thing?" He's grinning madly as he speaks, and he barely stops talking. You can see the glee and excitement on his face, and you get this...odd feeling from him, as if he's running on somebody else's fuel.

    "They all said that ugly ass Gash wasn't gonna get any. They all said it! Wouldn't touch me, y'see. Even in the Pit sermons! EVEN IN THE FUCKING PIT SERMONS! But you and me, boy? We're gonna change that now, aren't we?" He shifts the belt buckle around again, waiting for you to approach.
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