Posts Tagged ‘RPG’

In the Shanti Desert Pt. 3

November 5, 2018

A thin, spindly man slowly climbed out of the box. He had pale white skin and hair and he looked like somebody had wrapped a bundle of sticks in skin and hair. His striking appearance was the first thing that hit her but the man’s impossibly big smile surprised her. He looked sweaty and sore as he shifted on his feet after climbing out of the box but he still had a big smile on his face. His gaze scanned the room and when they fell on Saara, she saw that his eyes were a dark shade of pink. When he met her gaze, he winked playfully. It was then that the full realization that these people had been transporting a living creature in a box hit her.

Before Saara could object, Arana blurted out. “What are you?” Her eyes were wide and the words came out sounding awestruck.

“My lady,” The man said as he turned to her and bowed. The action made Sabri flinch slightly. “They call me Ba’as. As for what I am, I suppose you might call me one of a kind.”

“You’re Ba’as?” Saara asked. Her voice rose in pitch a bit in her excitement.

“Unless I’m lying,” Ba’as said. “Do I detect a fan?”

Saara nodded. “We didn’t think you were real, though,” she said.

“Sometimes I wonder myself,” Ba’as said. “Who is we?”

Saara pulled up her sleeve and showed off a stylized tattoo of a rat high up on her forearm. “The <>. Small crew. We heard stories from fences about you, though.”

Ba’as shrugged. “People do like to talk,” he said. “but I don’t like to brag in mixed company.” He gestured toward Arana, Adira, and Sabri. “It’s all true, though.”

Saara noticed a tattoo of a key and a question mark on Ba’as’ bare chest and she made a mental note to ask him about them if they were ever alone together. “Wow,” she said with a beaming smile.

Horseface Horu came in through the door and immediately reacted to Ba’as, a mix of startled fear and curiosity. When Sabri snapped his fingers, Horu was brought back into the moment. “Boss, we found the flag,” he said. “I can bring you there.”

“Are we to swing into action, ‘boss’?” Ba’as asked, turning toward Sabri with that unsettlingly broad smile. “Buckle some swashes? Locate some treasure?”

Sabri looked away and over at Saara and shook his head. “Not until daybreak when our sorceress should be healed up,” he said. ” Until then, I trust you not to try to escape.”

“It’s far too hot and dry out there, I’m sure,” Ba’as said. “Besides, I am curious about the job for now.” Ba’as then bowed low and gracefully for Sabri.

“Good enough, I suppose,” Sabri said. “Horu, get the man his clothes and then gather the rest inside.” He settled into a chair with one last glance at Ba’as and closed his eyes. He was either meditating or taking a nap. It was really hard to tell.

Horu started searching through chests until he found Ba’as’ gear. Saara watched Ba’as start to pull on black leather armor. “Ah, I felt so naked without my second skin,” he said. He chuckled a little to himself as if he had told a joke. When nobody laughed, he glanced around and raised an eyebrow. Saara could see that the armor had an attached half-cape with a heavily tattered edge. He went back into the box and pulled out a necklace, some rings, and a bracelet and slipped them on one at a time. He pulled out a white porcelain-looking mask with black braids dangling from it. He slipped the mask on and he looked somehow more ordinary, at least for a Kofrani city. He reached for two wicked looking daggers but Horu shoved him aside and picked them up instead.

“I don’t think we’re going to trust you with those yet,” Horu said. “If you need them, you’ll have them. Until then, I’d rather not have them sticking out of my back.”

“I’d love to disappoint you,” Ba’as said. “but it appears I have no choice but to wait.”

“What?” Horu shouted, outraged.

“Kidding,” Ba’as said.

Horu grunted and looked over at Arana. “I suppose I’m relying on you to help the boss keep things under control in here,” he said. “I wouldn’t put that burden on the healer.”

“I have my eye on all of them,” Arana said. “This is literally my house. I think we’ll all get along, right?” Ba’as simply smiled and Saara shrugged. Horu stepped back outside without another word.

“What is your name, witch?” Ba’as asked, moving slowly toward Saara, Arana, and Adir.

“I’m not a witch, I’m a wizard,” Arana said in a matter-of-fact tone with no anger but a tinge of nervousness. “My name is Arana.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Arana,” he said. “I promise I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You won’t or you don’t want to?” Arana asked.

Ba’as merely winked. Saara laughed. Arana frowned but then managed a fake laugh.

“And who is this young lad?” Ba’as asked. He gestured to Adir who was watching Ba’as with big eyes.

“This is Adir,” Saara said. “He’s a healer but he doesn’t talk.”

Adir gestured toward his throat, glancing at Arana.

“He can’t talk,” Arana said. “He was born that way so it doesn’t respond to healing magic.”

“Curious,” Ba’as said. “and also unfortunate. I’m sorry, Adir.” Adir shrugged and nodded and stuck his hand out. Ba’as was taken aback for a beat but shook Adir’s hand. “Trusting. I like that, sir.” Adir smiled and took his hand back.

Sabri opened one of his eyes. “I would suggest you rest your mouths and your bodies,” he said. “We will be working hard tomorrow and I do not want my investments failing on me.”

“Aye aye, boss,” Ba’as said with a mock salute. Saara giggled and mock saluted as well. Ba’as leaned over and ruffled her hair with his hand.

“Gross,” Arana said and she grabbed her spellbook and moved over to settle in a chair.

Adir slowly laid down on his back and closed his eyes.

Questing

September 28, 2014

As you can see, this is a little story snippet from my Untitled Fantasy Project. I’m still exploring the world and discovering the mythos on the spot.  It will be an interesting world to explore either in writing or if I ever run an RPG campaign in it.

*                                *                          *

Lao crawled out of the weather-beaten tent slowly on his hands and knees, he had never mastered the low crouch that was a slightly more dignified way to exit.  The sunlight hit his eyes like the savage thing that it was and he cringed and blinked and covered his eyes for a moment.   The moment stretched on until he heard Allendra clearing her throat and he drew his hands away from his face slowly.  There she was, sitting by the fire and giving him that same disapproving look she gave him every morning.  Thankfully she was still blurry so it had less impact which was always nice.

“I told you not to stay awake so long reading.” She said as she thrust a bowl of something tan and sludge-like into his hands.

He grunted and nodded and mumbled something about being sorry before starting to eat.  Everything started to come into focus as he got some warmth and food into his belly.  The first thing he noticed was Allendra’s golden hair blowing in the breeze and the second thing he noticed was that she had already put her armor on.  He knew that somewhere behind her back, her sword floated invisible and ready for action.

They were in the hills of northwest Altiria not far from Glassare Lake.  He could barely see the starting point of their journey, the Grand Spire of Cammarata, far in the distance.  The Lake of the Ancient Frost was definitely another marker.  In the lore, they said that the lake was left over from a massive magical ice storm a long time ago.  It was still a point of pilgrimage for people who took the spirit of ice into their souls.  If they were going to find a clue there, they would picking over ground covered by thousands of young people from year to year.

“It’s about time you got up.  Where are we going?  Which way is the map telling you?”  Allendra asked impatiently.  She would not sit down but Lao had rarely seen her rest so he was not surprised.

“It’s not that simple.  The map is written in three languages and one of them is almost dead.  The map referes to markers we’ve seen along the way.  You know, like the mark of the Fallen Soldier.” Lao explained.  He could tell by Allendra’s frown that it was not satisfactory.

“Yeah. I remember all of the symbols.  I am not just here to swing a sword.”

“And my sisters are Swords of the Throne and they taught me everything they know.” Lao said with a smirk, shovelling more of the gruel into his mouth.

“I never say that.  Who have you been talking to.” She was giving him a vaguely threatening but curious look.  It was important to be careful here.

He took the last bite of the gruel and started to scrape the bowl out as he chewed.  This was definitely not a stalling tactic.  Stalling could be dangerous against a woman like Allendra.  Sure she was charged by the crown with protectcing him but it was always better to err on the side of caution.  So this was definitely not a stalling tactic.  This was a moment to diffuse the tension and besides he belly was still grumbling.

“I studied up on you.  That’s what I do.  I study.  Information on you is freely available especially in a place like Cammarata where rumors are more abundant than water.”  He answered, depositing the mostly clean bowl and spoon into her pack.  She insisted on carrying the heavier pack which was just fine by him.  He was a city boy used to his lonely little library study and all of this walking was hard enough on him.

“Well, I guess that makes sense.  Zoe and Mabella are really famous and people are bound to run their mouths.  You’re not one of those people, right Lao?”  She gave him another pointed look and he could see the rising sun glint off of her armor.  Lao had been swallowing down half a jug of water and it was hard not to choke on it when she looked at him like that.

“Of course not.  I just make it my job to learn everything I can.  How else am I going to quantify our strengths and weaknesses out here?”

Allendra harrumphed. “You’re the weakness out here.  The sun’s already up and you’re barely mobile.”  She started to break down the tent as they talked.

“That’s only because I spent most of the night studying that map and the fourth and fifth symbols.  What’s your hurry?  I know I wish I was back in my comfortable bed but this is an epic quest, right?  We may be the first people ever to walk this path.”

“So far it’s been pretty tame, Lao.  So far it’s been a lot of walking.  I have trained my soul to fight evil and injustice and so far we have just been walking here and there through the countryside.”   She rolled up the tent and tied it to her pack.

“If this artifact is as important as I think it is, then other people might be coming after us.  If they get the map, they could tip the balance of the peace.”

“All the better for us to get going then.  If we’re going to save the world then we had better get there first. Right?” Allendra said as she shouldered her pack.

“You’re right.  We’re heading to the Lake of the Ancient Frost.  We’re going to find something that nobody has ever seen before.”

Allendra smiled and started walking toward the lake. “I like that confidence.”


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