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Games, Games, and More Games => Storytelling and Roleplaying => Topic started by: PatMan33 on October 24, 2012, 07:26:14 pm

Title: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on October 24, 2012, 07:26:14 pm
You are in complete darkness. A howling of wind is distant and audible but the air in your immediate area is comfortable, if a bit stale. Up ahead you see a light.

How did you miss it before?

It shimmers and dances across the darkness, sending long arms into the void. The light is harsh and bright, however. Your eyes strain to take it all in and you have to turn away. A cough escapes your lungs and you shiver suddenly. The stale air, you realize, has begun to leave a sour taste in your mouth. You are feeling weaker. Maybe it's time to get a move on.

Either into the uncomfortably bright light, or into the darkness where the howling wind awaits?
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Inkling on October 24, 2012, 07:29:47 pm
Walk toward the train light.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Neoadept on October 24, 2012, 07:31:30 pm
You felt fine before the the light appeared.  Retreat into the comfort of the darkness.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Krakow Sam on October 25, 2012, 12:15:33 am
Seems like you can't decide. Stay where you are, you're fine where you are.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on October 25, 2012, 02:09:39 pm
Unable to see through the darkness, your eyes dart wildly back and forth as you cautiously wander into the howling void. - 4 votes
Squinting, you raise your hand to shield your eyes and approach the light. - 1 vote

You walk for a few moments and stop. The shimmering light has begun to pulse and you feel like it is calling for you.

Still, you've made your decision. And without much doubt!

Onward you travel and in short order the howling wind starts to grow louder. Much louder, actually. Far off in front of you a soft, yellow beckons in the darkness. The light is constant, but twinkles like a star. At least it isn't cold and oppressive like the other light. Involuntarily, you raise your hands to cover your ears from the noise. It is almost deafening but by this time it sounds less like wind and more like... steam? Groping around in the blankness of your mind, you seem to remember the grade crossing near the old grocer that you worked at after school. Freight trains used to rumble past regularly and ones that had local stops always let out a big blast of steam as they approached. The sound you hear in the darkness is rushing steam, not wind!

You are certain.

Knowing this, the sound becomes less menacing. The soft yellow dot has approached much more quickly than you expected. It turns out to be a sizable incandescent light bulb mounted in the center of a grumbling monstrosity of steel and energy. Amidst the light bulb's hearty pale the darkness is less-complete and you are able to make out the form of a giant steam locomotive. Or maybe it's a regular-sized steam locomotive, they are all pretty massive. Another pulse of light washes over your body and you turn away from the locomotive to see the shimmering white light from before spanning the distant horizon.

Okay, you're all-but-certain that it wasn't that big last time.

You hear its tingling voice in your head once again, beckoning you to step into the light. Still you refuse and instead rush toward the steaming engine. In the brightening, burning light you can clearly see not just a locomotive but an entire train. Six beautiful rail cars accompany the locomotive and the front-most car is open. Unable to keep your eyes open more than a sliver, you stumble up the ladder and into the vestibule of the first car. You turn the small, simple knob on the car's door and hurry inside.

The scent of mohair upholstery fills your nostrils.

Inside the car you feel safe but very, very alone. The air is almost warm, maybe cozy, and whatever mess was occurring outside seemed to be well within the specifications of the car's dark windows. Which reminds you. You walk over to the window and look out. The brightness was everywhere now, not a speck of dark to be seen. On the ground you could discern a cobblestone platform with an old crooked signpost and a few paths going off in several directions. The rest was flat. Just flat and grassy. Another bright flash washed across the land and very faintly you thought you could hear someone crying with lament. But whatever you thought you heard was pushed aside as you watched darkness roll over the land once more. The shimmering, shining light had vanished.

A whistle rattles the glass in front of your nose and the entire world seems to lurch.

The train slowly begins to come to life and you hear the brakes release with a hiss. You watch helplessly out the window as an invisible and alien world slips by. Catching a brief panic, you bolt toward the door you came in from but stop short of the handle. It is already turning and someone is moments away from entering the car.

Your thoughts race. What should you do? Step back and try to act natural or do your best to find a hiding spot?
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Neoadept on October 25, 2012, 02:50:10 pm
Take a seat.  This is your refuge from the cursed light, a gift from the void.  You've nothing to hide from it's keepers.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Inkling on October 25, 2012, 03:26:47 pm
You have no idea how long the train ride could last, it's not like you could hide in the closet forever.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Brandonazz on October 25, 2012, 07:35:47 pm
Play it cool. Be all like "I paid good money for this train ride."
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on October 25, 2012, 07:56:50 pm
You hurry to the nearest seat and try to look like you're where you are supposed to be. - 7 votes
Dropping to the floor, you scurry behind a few brooms in a pocket near the door. - 1 vote

This one was a no-brainer. The closet looked appealing for a brief second but you decide it best to just slip into the nearest seat. You end up in a booth seat on the car's left and you watch with palpable anticipation as the slender door opens. Someone begins to grumble and you see an old man with a heavy jacket and black conductor's hat shuffle in. His nose looks like a squished grape and two beady eyes peek out from the most luscious eyebrows you've ever seen. The old man reaches into his breast pocket and produces a hole punch, then strides toward you.

"Ticket please!!"

You swallow a giant glob of shame and smile at the conductor. This was about as far as you'd managed to plan. "Ah! No ticket. No ticket no ticket! I see then..." the conductor exclaimed. "Let's see what we can do for you." Reaching into a small pouch he had strung around his neck, the conductor found a slip of paper. He haphazardly punched three holes in it with his punch and then handed it over.

"I see you're traveling first class all the way to mumblemumblemumble... well well aren't you fortunate. And you're with us round trip! That gets you a complementary meal over in the dining car and free use of the observation car. Keep your hands inside, mind you. And remember, if you decide to stay long at any stops along the way just show the station manager your ticket and we'll come pick you up. Enjoy your stay!"

Before you can get a word in edgewise the conductor is off. He merrily begins talking what you guess are other passengers in the empty car. Best not worry about him for the moment. The train is rolling along very quickly, that much you can tell. So jumping off is out of the question at least until the next stop. Looking down at your ticket, you sigh.

No destination.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: martyk on October 25, 2012, 10:32:07 pm
What a pleasant fellow!  It only makes sense to take advantage of his hospitality.  To the dining car!
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Brandonazz on October 25, 2012, 10:57:40 pm
You perform better on a full stomach.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Inkling on October 26, 2012, 06:21:20 am
You're probably still a bit woozy from whatever was affecting you out there in the darkness.  Go to the Observation car to clear your head and figure out more about where you are and maybe where you're going.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on October 26, 2012, 07:50:14 pm
Go to the dining car. Maybe some food will get my mind working. - 3 votes
I loved riding the observation car when I was younger. Might as well check this out! - 4 votes
What's this other thing here? Smoke? Must be a smoking lounge. I guess I can take a look. - 2 votes

Tough one! You realize that you can't remember when you last ate. But you're hungry. Still, you are also curious about the smoking lounge... or jealous that you aren't allowed in. Either or. But that's beside the point. Fresh air sounds good. Plus observation deck! And you have a fondness for them from your childhood. You cock your head at the strangeness of recalling something so mundane. With that, you stand up and head toward the back of the car, seeing as it would probably be rude to bother the engineer. In your memory you picture six train cars. The first one behind the engine is a passenger car and you are currently in it. You reach the door and enter the vestibule between cars and arrive in...

... another passenger car. Empty.

The conductor shuffles in behind you and begins asking the empty seats for their tickets. You can only imagine what goes on in his head. Right then, another passenger car. This one is identical to the previous car. Rows of dark green mohair upholstered booths with the movable backs that allow you to switch direction to match the train's. Each one is unoccupied. With a shrug you continue on to the third car and are greeted by a long, narrow corridor. The sleeper car. Three skinny doors and accompanying windows with privacy shades dot the right side of the hallway, while outward-facing windows run down the left. The thought crosses your mind that your first class ticket may net you a room. You smile for the first time in a while and enter the next car.

Chicken corn chowder!!

The smell dominates your senses and you immediately feel hungrier. It must be the dining room! The car is separated at its midpoint by a wall, with a corridor to the next car along the right side. The rest, you assume, is the kitchen. Someone is toiling away back there working on the spectacular-smelling chowder. As you wander through the dining area you notice the painstaking work that has gone into each place setting. Every fork and knife is perfect. The glasses are all spotless and each napkin is folded into the bust of an eagle. You lament your departure from the dining hall but vow to return.

Next you find yourself in a storage car. All along the front half are pallets of food and other supplies, as well as a fair amount of luggage. In the middle is a large white box with a depiction of an eagle carrying a letter. The train must be carrying mail, too. In the back portion of the car three small staff rooms had been designated, and beyond that the door to the final car. You quietly pass the staff rooms just in case someone is trying to sleep and step over to the observation car.

Another long, narrow corridor to the back of the train. There is some kind of room dominating the entire area to your right, but you've got no idea what it could be. Finally you arrive at the rear observation deck and look out the glass-paned door. It's dark, but two lights shine brightly and illuminate the entire deck. You are about to leave when you notice something out of the corner of your eye. There is another door behind you.


Of course, the smoking lounge! Or SMOKE. Whatever. You give the door a wary look and exit onto the observation deck. Taking a deep, long breath you approach the back rail and lean against it. One of the deck lights rustles softly to your right and you look over at it. It is very pendant-like and suspended by a strong silvery twine. A large whitish-green jewel is in its center appears to be giving off a cool, calming light. You peer closer and notice raised artwork on the pendant. It appears to be a depiction of a battle. Men killing men and beasts killing men. Not exactly what you expected. But then again, take a look around.

"Excuse me?"

You stop dead. A voice. A female voice. On the weird train hurtling through the infinite void.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on October 28, 2012, 08:44:23 am
Act natural and fail. Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you? - 2 votes
Be blunt. You're on the doom train in the nega void, after all. - 6 votes
Jump over the railing to escape! - 0 votes

"Hey! Sorry if I didn't see you. It's been a weird day. You're real, right? Not just some figment of my imagination." Being honest has worked so far, so you decide to keep it up. The woman giggles and removes her small hat. Her face is soft and pretty and you can't help but notice her pale red eyes. Long black hair runs down to the small of her back and meets up with her light tan blazer. She is strictly business casual. Except for the two sharp, narrow horns that protrude from her forehead.

I need to start paying better attention.

Again, you kick yourself for not noticing something like that earlier on. Two pointy horns measuring about two and a half inches in length are set just above her hairline. With a bit of reckless courage, you reach out and attempt to poke one of the woman's horns with your index finger. With a sigh, she reaches out and smacks your hand away. "Yes, I'm real. And don't touch those!! That's not for you..."

She gives you a wink and then smiles mischievously.

"This is your first time, isn't it? No need to say it, I can tell. If I'm being honest, it's only my third time and it hasn't gotten any less-bizarre. Did you try the soup yet? It has been tempting me but I can't work up the nerve to try it." You look at the strange women and think. She seems to be acting honestly. Or at least she isn't acting very strangely. So far you've got first place in that contest. Your mind wanders back to the soup and you speak. "I haven't! But I think I'm going to when it's ready."

The woman pursed her lips and looks you up and down. "You're interesting. And also the first person I've ever met on this train with a personality other than crazy. Maybe I'll take you up on that soup later. For now, though..." She looks down and takes something small from her handbag. It's a ticket! "Looks like I've got to get going. Don't wander too far!" With a quick smile she turns and heads for the observation deck door. She reaches to her side attempts to slip the ticket into her bag but it falls to the ground instead, unnoticed. Instinctively, you reach down and pick up the ticket. Now what?
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Rysworld on October 28, 2012, 10:11:07 am
Return the ticket. You already have one, and it can't hurt to give her's back.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: martyk on October 28, 2012, 04:51:12 pm
Return the ticket, but ask her about the SMOKE room.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Brandonazz on October 31, 2012, 01:57:54 pm
Do the gentlemanly thing.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on October 31, 2012, 07:52:15 pm
Return the ticket. This is probably a test. - 8 votes
Keep the ticket. This is probably a test. - 3 votes

You must have made some noise down on the floor because the woman turns a half-turn to see what is happening. With a big smile, you hold up her ticket.

"Ah! Thank you!! Would've been the end of me if I'd lost that ticket! Make sure you hang onto yours, too." She warns you sternly, before lightening up once again. "Anyway, why don't you run along and make for the dining car. I think I may be waiting for you there." With a wink, she slips the ticket somewhere underneath her blouse and leaves the observation deck. She makes an abrupt turn and reaches for the SMOKE door. There is a dazzling flash of fire peppered with sparks and the young woman is gone. You blink a few times and a bit of panic crosses your mind. Finally you get up and resolve not to touch the SMOKE door just now and carefully inch past it on your way inside.

Quickly, you jog out of the rear car and find yourself back in the storage car near the staff rooms. A light is on in one of the compartments and you see puffs of smoke hovering up from the roofless space. Before you find a moment to look away the door creeks open and the conductor looks out. Giving a glance in either direction to see if the coast is clear, he beckons you over. You oblige and quietly kneel down outside the compartment door. Inside you detect the smell of cherry pipe tobacco and coffee. Lots of coffee. Through the small crack you can see a long red blanket draped along the far wall and a pair of shiny lanterns providing a soft yellow glow. The edge of a table can be seen against the wall behind the old man and on it you spy a steaming kettle and a small plate filled with some sort of red meat.

The old man pulls and small felt-padded board out from behind the doorway and holds it out to you. On it, you see three green cards. One has some sort of crude hammer, the next shows a cross, and the last depicts a blue circle. He looks at you urgently, his feet tapping softly against the wooden door frame.

"Hurry now! Before the coffee is done and the demon returns, else it will all be ruined. Hurry! Pick a card!!"
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: martyk on October 31, 2012, 08:00:01 pm
Circle!  It's the least visibly threatening and therefore will lead to the most dangerous and exciting outcome!
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Inkling on October 31, 2012, 09:15:35 pm
Hammers are for Communists. 
Upside down red crosses are for high school Goths. 
Neutral Blue Circle 2012.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Brandonazz on October 31, 2012, 11:44:17 pm
Upside down cross, 'cause that's never a good thing.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on November 01, 2012, 08:12:36 pm
The hammer card. - 3 votes
The cross card. - 1 vote
The circle card. - 3 votes

Your mind races and you struggle to choose between the hammer card and the circle card. Eventually you make a breakthrough and settle on the circle card. The kindly old conductor smiles and hands you the card, then slips back into his cabin to finish his coffee. You are left holding a single green card with a blue circle on it. The card is very simple and somewhat crudely-made. It was probably thrown together with scraps found on the train itself. Still, there is something strange about it. You narrow your eyes and the circle lights up. Your vision is filled with a brilliant light and you hear gushing water. As the light fades you see translucent walls of hard stone; a cliff side at the edge of sprawling green plains. In the distance lie the ruins of a massive city.

Where am I?

As if on cue, or by the card's magic your mind feels fuzzy and knowledge begins to appear. You suddenly have basic knowledge of the place you are standing in. You are standing along the waterfall cliffs at Shank. It is an eerie maze of clear stone caves filled with torrents of crystal clear water that can be seen through the walls. A few farmhouses and cottages dot the fields of rye at the feet of the cliffs. The colossal remains in the distance are of a city dating back before living memory. It has always stood as it is and treasure hunters have become wealthy and powerful beyond their dreams from the prizes held inside the city's vaults.

You begin to move but as you do the illusion fades and you are back in the train. Scratching your head, you shake the inert card a few times before stuffing it into your pocket and heading to the dining car. And while you shouldn't be surprised, you stand agape to see the woman from earlier waiting for you at a table. She waves and points to the seat across from her. Clearing your throat, you walk over and sit down. Before you can even say hello the waiter approaches with two giant bows of chicken corn chowder. The woman smiles at you and muses:

"It looks like you have good timing, as well! Maybe you are cut out for this."

With a wink, the woman scoops up a spoonful of the chowder and eats it. Her eyes begin to water and her face goes flush. She swallows and grins a broad grin, then points at your bowl eagerly. You look down at the bowl and take a scoop and the next hour of your life seems to melt away. Before you know it the two of you have gone through three bowls each. With a final gulp you finish your chowder and lean back in your chair. The woman stares at you for a while, pondering something. Eventually you begin to stare back and make faces.

"Right. I suppose it's time then."

Her expression turns solemn and you straighten up. Reaching down into her handbag, the woman reveals a thick deck of fancy cards, like tarot cards but visibly, clearly of arcane origin. Casually, she selects three cards at random and lays them out in front of you. You stifle a gasp. The card on the left depicts a glittering golden hammer amidst a backdrop of aquamarine flame. In the center is a card with an inverted cross overlain with ivy. And on the right is a card showing a blue orb crackling violently with lightning, with a small star suspended at its center.

"Portals to different realms. The industrial planet of Zy, where the Empire forges weapons of godlike proportions; Last Gate, the greatest sanctuary of the demons; and Shank, a place humbled by technological nightmares." the woman announced, "Maybe you've heard of them, maybe you haven't. It is not my concern either way. I am not allowed to tell you any more than this, but..." she frowns a bit and sadness crosses her eyes. "You're a nice person. So please trust me and do your best. If you can do this, then we'll talk. Anyway, now you must choose a card and go to its realm. Your task should become clearer once you arrive."
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Rysworld on November 01, 2012, 08:23:39 pm
Stand by our choice.

Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Brandonazz on November 01, 2012, 08:29:49 pm
Ruins definitely seem to be the superior choice to a weapons factory and hell.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Krakow Sam on November 02, 2012, 01:22:50 am
****. Lets be Myst.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on November 02, 2012, 07:16:13 am
Glad someone can see where I've drawn some inspiration from. It's not Myst, though. Was telling Brandon, once we start exploring worlds, I just wanna remind you guys that I do take your comments into consideration and your ideas can and will end up in the poll. So feel free to keep commenting! Just try to stay focused. :)
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on November 03, 2012, 10:01:02 am
Industrial Planet Zy - 0 votes
Demon Sanctuary Last Gate - 1 vote
Humbled Lands of Shank - 4 votes

As the old saying goes, stick with what you know. And that's what you decide to do. While Last Gate seems mildly interesting, Shank seems like the way to go. Nodding, you point at the card to Shank and look at up at the woman. She smiles faintly, then looks a bit worried.

"Please be careful in Shank. And don't lose your ticket! You need it to find the train again."

With that, she removes the remaining two cards and taps the Shank card. There is a faint glow across the card's surface and then the world becomes fuzzy. You look at your new friend but she is gazing over your shoulder at the passageway to the rear of the train. Everything becomes silent and then there is a burst of fresh, warm air. You open your eyes to the sights and sounds of Shank. You are standing around mid-level on a tall cliff side overlooking the fields and distant city ruins. A large waterfall is pouring out of the rock above you and the stream of water arcs over your head, hitting you with bits of spray. Then you notice that the rocks are almost all clear, or at least mildly see-through. You spend the next half hour looking at the rocks and tracing caves and canals in the distant earth.

As you finally collect yourself and start to form a plan, you feel a twinge of nervousness. The air is quiet, save for the waterfalls, and you've seen no signs of intelligent life. But it feels like you're being watched. Something is watching. Maybe it is the woman from the train, maybe something else. You're not sure, but you can feel its presence on the horizon. Looking down, you spy a few homes on the plains below. There is a long and narrow stair leading down... or further up the cliff. That is for you to decide. Then there is the order of the city ruins and why you're even here to begin with. She said it would be come apparent.

Scanning the horizon once more, something catches your eye. A small glint of silver in the distance. It hops up from one of the taller buildings in the ruins and begins darting about erratically. Colored rays of light appear to spout from the small glint from time to time. What the heck is that thing? Answering your call, a loud alarm begins to sound in the far distance. Two long beeps followed by one short beep. You presume it is coming from the city. The strange light in the distance flashes and starts to approach at great speed. You glance down to the plains and for the first time notice tiny specs of people running from the fields and hurrying to their homes.


The loud roar that overshadows the blaring alarms doesn't do much to calm your nerves. Atop the tallest tower deep in the middle of the ruins you see movement on the roof. Must be something massive to have sounded so loud. It strides across the entire roof in a few swift steps, then four massive wings unfurl and the creature leaps into the sky. After only moments it is thousands of feet in the air, then it turns toward the silver light and charges. Is that a dragon!? Even at this range you can hear the whistling of the creature's flight. For as fast as the silver light can move, the flying beast has it beat.

You are startled as the silver thing whizzes past directly overhead. It looks like a biplane... but not. Definitely not a biplane. The thing must be armed because colored beams of energy are being shot at the dragon frantically. Another loud roar followed by blistering heat. You see the beast gaining rapidly and a bright purple energy is forming around its mouth. Without thinking, you dive behind a large crystal just as a purple beam of energy collides with the top of the cliffs, sending massive boulders into the air. You hear a loud clang, then the sound of mechanics failing before the silver plane smashes into the ground topside. The dragon thing comes to a stop roughly a mile from your position and you look it over. Even at this distance the creature is huge.

Its wingspan is longer than a suspension bridge!

But whatever it is, it is no dragon. You're not even sure if it ever was a dragon or if it was simply designed to look like a dragon. Machine-like devices have been implanted or grafted to nearly every portion of the creature's body. Along its spine is an apparatus you can only describe as painful. Long rods stick out of each of the creature's exposed vertebrae with colorful energy arcing between them at random. You squish your body against the dusty ground and wait. The dragon surveys the scene for a while before letting out a long sigh and returning home.

After a long time you decide to leave your hiding spot. The feeling of being watched is as present as ever, though you are fairly sure that the dragon is not what is concerning you. Not that the dragon doesn't concern you. It does. A lot. But at least you've seen it. Who knows what else Shank is hiding. What better time than now to find out?
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Rysworld on November 03, 2012, 10:30:07 am
Let's get a good view of the surrounding area, that might be more important than hiding.

Besides, if something's already watching you there's no point in hiding anyways.

Up the stairs.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Krakow Sam on November 03, 2012, 11:25:17 am
Nah, stay where you are until you are found by some natives you can enlist as guides.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Brandonazz on November 03, 2012, 12:02:48 pm
Go check out the crashed 'plane' on top.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: PatMan33 on November 13, 2012, 01:31:31 pm
On the topic of interest. Does anyone want me to continue this?

Votes are down and I'm not hearing anything from anyone.
Title: Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
Post by: Inkling on November 13, 2012, 02:10:56 pm
Oops, I missed this thread somehow.  I really like where this is going!  Let's go check out the crashed not-a-biplane.