[Sorcerer SoC] Scene 4: A babe in the wood [Trithemius]

edited November 2008 in In-Game
The distant cry split the silence of the underwood. Trithemius looked towards the sound as he stood from where he was gathering spores. He glanced at Thinker whose head was cocked towards the sound, its front legs ceasing their tinkering with the odd machine it had been playing with for a few days. Trithemius knew the sounds of the insects and the few other animals that dwelt in the forest. This cry didn’t sound like any of them.

The cry continued and it didn’t take long to find where it came from. The woman lay sprawled on the giant mushroom, unmoving. Bound on her chest was the source of the weak, breathless wailing. Trithemius uncovered the infant’s head, the wailing faltered as the tiny eyes scanned him, then flared again with new urgency.

The wail stopped again, and the child blinked. Trithemius looked up to find Thinker, lowering its head over the child, its antennae twitching. The baby looked at Thinker for a moment then started crying again. Thinker withdrew its head by a couple of feet, curling its antennae, it glanced at Trithemius, and cocked its head as if to ask “what now?” then returned to staring at the infant.

Looking over the woman Trithemius realized that she wore the livery of a servant but she didn’t have a mask. This deep in the jungle she would have breathed too much of the miasma. He could already see the telltale veining in her neck and face. He looked again at the infant. It seemed fine, if weak, but he didn’t see any evidence of mask either. Perhaps the woman had given it to the child and it had fallen away when they fell through the sand.

The woman stirred weakly. Her eyes barely opened. She saw Thinker and her eyes went wide and fearful. She made a dry sound that might have been a scream had she been stronger and began to try to move.


  • The hermit glared at the massive insect, and gestured for it to move back. "Show some respect, Thinker. That's not a toy."

    Brushing his white, mangy hair out of his eyes, the hermit knelt down to the dying woman. "Shh. You needn't be afraid. Thinker will not harm you, and neither will I. Here in the underwood the forest is not so vicious as it is above. My name is Trithemius, and this is my home."

    Taking a flask from his belt, Trithemius poured a few drops of the cool, clear, pure water of the underwood between her lips. The water couldn't save her, but it would at least ease the dry rasping of her breaths. This done, he sat next to the woman, leaning up against the great mushroom. The only sounds in the forest were the infant's squalls and the soft buzzing of distant insects. Trithemius sat in silence, afraid both to lie to the woman about her chances or to tell her the truth.
  • I almost see Trithemius as looking like a mountain man or like Anthony Hopkins in Instinct, maybe a little younger.

    The rasped word was so quiet that Trithemius had to lean in to the woman's face. "Dying" she repeated, her eyelids droop but her eyes are steady on Trithemius face. "Pro..protect her... Please"
  • Trithemius nodded, and held her hand until the last breath left her lips. Whatever her story, her private tragedy, it was a closed book to the hermit.

    The infant lay on the corpse's breast, sucking her thumb, not yet aware that her mother was gone. At that age, we are too young to tell the difference between a person and a body, and death seems to be sleep's silent twin. But when the strange man picked her up, the infant realized something was amiss. She began to bawl, a great wracking howl that bit at the most ancient parts of the human brain. Trithemius winced. The hermit patted the baby on the head, and rocked it from side to side, and tried to remember what his mother had done to soothe him when he was a child. He even brought the child to his face and cooed, much to the amusement of Thinker. The sound the insect made when it sawed its wings against the back of its rear legs bore an uncanny resemblance to melodic, mocking laughter.

    Embarrassed, Trithemius held the child to the chitin plate covering his chest, and bent down to search the dead woman for a bottle of milk or some other small mercy.

    I don't know how to do colors, so I'm just going to use bold as my ooc text. And yeah, trithemius is a pretty mangy fellow at present.
  • Ignotus" said:At that age, we are too young to tell the difference between a person and a body, and death seems to be sleep's silent twin.
    Fantastic stuff! I love the description.
  • Patient searching of the body finds a drinking skin partially full of milk. In a moment the infants cries are quiet, replaced by gentle sucking noises. Quiet once again dominates the underwood.

    Trithemius, contemplating the child as it feeds, looks up to find Thinker sitting right in front of him watching the infant, it's head cocked slightly to one side, antennae twitching. Thinker looks between Trithemius and the infant several times, then holds out its front legs, clicking the "hands" softely as it reaches out in the familiar gesture.
  • "I can't give you this."

    Trithemius met the gaze of Thinker's black compound eyes, and shook his head.

    "It's not a toy. She's not a toy. She's a person. And you always break the things you play with, anyway."

    Thinker didn't react. It was always a little unclear whether the insect could understand his words or just his tone of voice. Trithemius spoke to the creature often. Amidst the endless insect sounds of the forest, it was a comfort to hear a human voice, even if it was his own. And secretly, Trithemius worried that years of silence might rob him of his speech.

    "I can't take care of her here, anyway. I'm going to bring her to the village. We'll find something to amuse you there."
  • Thinker rears up to it's full height, at the same time closing the distance between it and Trithemius, crowding him. It looks down from above and snaps its manipulators once with a sharp pop, while a low tone emerges from its wings.
  • So, it looks like It's On Now. What do we roll?
  • edited December 2008
    It depends, what does Trithemius intend to do? He can order Thinker to back down. (will vs will) He can punish it, for free, up to I think your Will score in dice removed from it's power. (as far as narration it would be up to you, but I imagine it as something like playing some tones it really doesn't like on the worm flute.) Or of course he could run away or do many other things.
  • edited December 2008
    Ok. Let's do will vs. will for now, though I recall that from the disastrous binding I'm going to be a leg down : /

    Is it kosher to roll first before I describe Trithemius trying to stare down thinker?
  • edited December 2008

    I hope you don't mind if I share with you what I'm finding out in my Scene "Death & Taxes" with Trevis.
    I've added it to the OOC comment/discussion thread to keep this post in your scene from getting too wordy.
  • edited December 2008
    Ignotus, let's go ahead and describe your intent, narrate if you like, keeping in mind the retcon thing I said in OOC. We're in free and clear right now. Your demon is going to try and snatch the baby from your grasp.
  • Trithemius's heart pounded. Thinker had been his companion so long that he had grown comfortable with the inscrutable creature, had forgotten how fragile their truce was. Running through the jungle, pursuing a quarry or fleeing a predator, Thinker's silhouette represented safety and familiarity, strange though it might be. Now all he could think about was how long its talons were, how cruel the sharp angles of its carapace, how alien its glittering compound eyes.

    The hermit hid the child in his chitinous helm and pressed her to his chest. Reaching up and standing on tip-toes, Trithemius put his hand on Thinker's snout, gently but firmly pushing the insect's head downward.


    Will vs. Will!
  • Good call, and good lead in! I'll give you +2 for it.

    Let's roll your lore against thinker's power to see if your knowlege of the denziens of the rotwood gives you any edge here.

    Trithemius' Lore #DiceRoller(5d10)
    vs Thinker's Power #DiceRoller(5d10)
  • ] Wow, you lucked out. 5 more dice into your roll! Somehow your knowledge helps you.
    Now the will roll

    Trithemius will + bonus dice #DiceRoller(10d10)
    vs Thinker's will #DiceRoller(5d10)

  • oops, thinker gets one more die b/c it's got the advantage in the binding.

    Thinker's extra die. #DiceRoller(1d10)
  • Okay so the 10's cancel and then you have one success over thinker's 9. You win, but barely

    Oops, I really meant that to be a stamina roll for Thinker as it tried to grab the baby. No matter, you won and Thinker would have aborted the action to defend, so we'll call it good.

    Trithemius hand lands on Thinkers snout just as its forlegs reach for the child. The insect resists the push at first but, after a tense moment, slowly lowers it's head and pulls back its legs. It's wings let out a disappointed whistling tone. It steps carefully back, but continues to stare, it's forelegs figiting. Trithemius is unsure whether it's compound eyes are staring more at him or at his tiny charge.

    That feels right for scene end, if you want to make a final post. Should we move to a new scene? What would you like?
  • Woo! A victory, for once, after the disastrous binding rolls... I'm happy to close the scene here, without a final post from me.

    Trithemius's plan is to go into town and look for someone who could raise the child (or, failing that, to get some supplies so that he can do the job himself. The next scene could take place in town, or on the way there.

    BTW, when Trithemius goes into town on his periodic visits, Thinker doesn't come with. Instead, the insect hunts near the edge of the jungle, just within earshot of the worm flute (in case anything disastrous happens in town). As a reward, Trithemius then brings Thinker back something to play with from town.
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