Let's Play!

edited February 2008 in In-Game
This game is an experiment in freeform PBP gaming. I've never tried it before, and I wanted to give it a go. Here's the deal. If you're reading this, you're playing the game. You can post into this thread, continuing, derailing, ignoring, or improving the existing story. Post as much as you want, about anything you like. Observe as many or as few "rules" as you like. Don't be afraid to "screw it up". Don't be afraid to play someone else's character. Don't be afraid to take on a role of authority. Don't be afraid. Just play!

The Beginning

Mist swirls around the trunks of the great trees, hung with moss and as wide as an ox-cart. Grumnash looked up at them nervously. Though they hid him and his warriors from the sight of Old One Eye in the sky, they might also hide ambush. He grunted to two of his swiftest warriors, and the the two orcs ran ahead down the trail, scouting. The hunt had been good this year, and they had captives and food to bring home. The last thing they needed now was another fight. They'd had their fill of blood in the valley, slaughtering human villagers and dragging captives screaming from their houses. They would feast well on the full moon, and Grumnash would have many new slaves. If they could reach the mountains safely, that is. The last village had managed to light their signal fire, and warriors would be on their way, warriors with steel shirts and horses.

Grumnash looked away from the trees, and from his concerns. He barked again to his warriors, and they picked up the pace, pulling at the long line of wretched humans they had tied together.

It was a good day.

Comments

  • edited February 2008
    A scream from one of the humans and Grumnash spins round; an arrow in the man's chest, and no sign of the archer anywhere. He hit the ground before his warriors, screaming the alert to them and shuffling behind a low shrub, struggling to unsling his crossbow from his back.

    'Bazr'kha! He'stilla Bazr'kha!' One of his warriors, sighting the enemy. Another arrow, piercing the lookout's hide breastplate.

    Grumnash spun to where he thought the shot had come from, but there was nothing to see, only the mist and the trees.
  • Another arrow from the mist entered Rerrick’s chest. He was one of Grumnash’s most valued advisors, a sage as well as a strong hand with the mace. The arrow dropped him. His heart had stopped.

    Grumnash moved closer to his fallen comrade, when he saw the arrow shift and move.

    It twisted slowly. Small roots slipped from its sides and dug into the orc’s body. It began to feed. It began to grow. Its fletching expanded. It began to breath. It’s thorny talons dug in deep and aggressive. Neither plant nor animal, it started drinking Rerrick’s blood.

    A tendril whipped up along its length and began to track the situation. The arrow was alive, it was growing and it was looking around.
  • edited February 2008
    Ellenna hit the ground hard when the man next to her - her father's cousin - fell. Tied to her, his weight dragged her to the ground. Her face pressed into the dirt, she watched the familiar face as dark veins of poison spread across it, turning the eyes black. She looked up, and saw twisted shapes sprouting from some of the fallen. Shaped almost like wolves, the things were tearing through the orcs and men indiscriminately, shooting out tendrils yards long, and then leaping on their victims to gouge and feed, growing with each victim.

    Elves. She thought, with flat panic.

    And then she saw them. Alien, faintly luminous figures flitting between the trees. Blank expressions and empty eyes as they loosed their deadly arrows at anyone fleeing the slaughter. If there were elves in this forest, it meant the infestation had spread over the mountains.

    Fire. Was her next thought, as she cast around her for something to free her hands. She found the jagged dagger of an orc warrior, still twitching as he drowned in his own blood. Using the dagger, she slashed the ropes binding her, and then scambled to search the fallen body. Not daring to look up, she fumbled through pouches, tossing aside trinkets and coins until she found what she needed. Only then did she look up at the carnage around her. The orcs were rallying, with weapons drawn, but they were fighting a losing battle. The plant things were tearing through them like their blades didn't exist, and arrows were still raining from the trees. She saw the orcish leader howling for his comrades, and trying to organise a retreat. She couldn't feel sorry for the creature that had so recently ravaged her homeland.

    Then she saw it. Across the clearing, one of the plant creatures turned its head towards her. The mass of vines betrayed no expression, and yet she could tell it had seen her. She knew there was only one thing that could save her now. With the dagger in one hand, and the flint in the other, she struck the two together. No spark was kindled in the wet forest air. She tried again.

    The plant-thing bounded across the clearing toward her.
  • Grumnash huddled under a bush, not seeing anyone, friend or foe, alive. He could still hear the noise of battle and the gurgling of the plant finishing off the leg it had taken from him. He pulled the knot on his makeshift tourniquet tighter. He was sure he could still feel the pain from the leg even as it was being digested 30 meters away.

    He started to crawl. Away from the noise; away from anything. He knew if he just got far enough away, he would be safe. He closed his eyes for just a moment, and woke up in darkness.
  • RusRus
    edited February 2008
    “Place the bodies over here.” The captain ordered. A large bonfire roared as the men in black-metal armor collected the dead. Tal’Eman company. Grumnash recognized their colors—a black saber on a grey black cloud. They had not noticed him while unconscious. Probably though he was dead. They had not noticed him yet that was. Grumnash dared not move.

    The company deity approached the captain. The captain crossed his chest with his arms, to worship and show respect to his company’s god. The deity walked though not entirely of the same world and spoke:

    “We sense more Elf Bloom to the north.”

    “Do you think 20 men are enough to contain them here?” The captain looked toward the deity but did not meet his gaze.

    The deity took a deep breath and contemplated. “Yes. That should be enough. The rest of your men must move north. Move north.” The captain bowed slightly, gave a short prayer of honor and turned to his assistant.

    Good, thought Grumnash. The humans still were predictable as ever. Once a company got orders from their deity, he knew they rarely did anything else. Stupid humans. Why didn't they realize they were better off as his slaves than so dominated by their gods. Very little chance they would take time to search the area and find where he hid.
  • edited February 2008
    Ellenna awoke to the sound of voices, human voices. She peered out from beneath the branches covering her.

    The elves were gone. A spray of sparks from the flint had driven back the plant-thing, and she had run, trying not to hear the dying screams behind her. Another spray of sparks was enough distraction to send the elves' arrows astray, and she was away. She'd hid in a small hollow, covering herself with bracken and branches for warmth.

    Now it was dawn, and fingers of light were reaching through the canopy overhead. She heard the voices again, and the clink of steel. "Soldiers" she thought, with relief. She heard the crackle of fire, and caught the smell of smoke. Her relief grew. Fire would keep the elves away. She stood, throwing off the bracken, the aches of a night spent on the ground causing her to wince. She began to run towards the voices.

    Ellenna hit the ground without warning. She'd tripped over something in her hurry. Dazed, she brushed leaf litter out of her face, and rolled onto her back, looking for what had tripped her. She found herself staring into the face of the orcish warchief, his hideous face drawn into a snarl. She opened her mouth to scream for help.
  • Grunmash reached out quickly, snatching the woman up with his strong arms. His calloused hand clamped firmly over her mouth.

    "You might not want to do that. Those are Tel'Eman soldiers-- they won't help you. Stay still, stay quiet and I won't kill you."
  • The orcish warrior snatched her up, and Ellenna felt its hand, vice-like, over her face. She kicked and tried to bite, but to no avail. The thing snarled in her ear in its brutal and harsh language.

    But miraculously, it didn't kill her. A moment later, the thing was carrying her away, still holding a hand over her mouth. She stopped struggling as the long strides of the orc jostled her.
  • "I was peeing in a bush when they arrived in the camp. That filthy orc dropped the girl with a bump and sat down at the fire. He just seemed to take it for granted that there would be a fire waiting for him. Didn't even care that someone else might have spent twenty minutes making that fire! Gods damn orcs! They just sat there, keeping warm, him talking and her staying mostly quiet. She was probably scared of him, too. Not that I was scared, but that brute looked ugly and mean.
    That was when I realized I knew her. I had gone to school with her when we were little girls. Helen, Ellen, something like that. Oh man, now I know I know her. That means I have to try to save her."
    "So you weren't going to save her, but now that you know her, you will?" he enquired.
    "That's how this thing works, right? Aren't you the one who knows the rules?" she asked agressively.
    He held up his hands (if you could call them hands) defensively. "You have to make the decisions, you know that."
    "Ok then, let's go!"
  • Grumnash cursed to himself under his breath. Bursting in on that campfire had been a mistake. He was still not really sure why he did it. Counting Coup should be the last thing on his mind now. But the loss of his warriors stung him. He couldn't appear weak in from of his captive, or he'd lose the right to keep her. And he had enjoyed the look of stunned fear on the female stranger's face when she came back to the fire to see him sitting there. The robed one seemed impassive. He'd smelt odd as well.

    But it had been a mistake. He could be sure of being followed now, and he was making terrible time. The woman, his captive, insisted on walking herself now. He could carry her, but she kicked and screamed. And now she kept looking behind her with shining eyes. He knew she was hoping for rescue.

    He couldn't help but admire her strength. For a human, she was remarkable resiliant. Most slaves became silent and numb after a few days of capture, but she was alert, and active, always looking around her for a chance to escape. Even if she did slow him down terribly, she'd be a valuable asset once he brought her home.
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