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Games, Games, and More Games => Storytelling and Roleplaying => Topic started by: lowlevelowl on June 17, 2013, 10:57:25 pm

Title: Heart of Ice
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 17, 2013, 10:57:25 pm
In 2015, worsening conditions in the world's climate led to the first Global Economic Conference. It was agreed to implement measures intended to reverse industrial damage to the ecology and replenish the ozone layer. By 2031, an array of weather control satellites were in orbit. For added efficiency, and as mark of worldwide co-operation, these were placed under the control of a supercomputer network called GAIA, the Global Artificial Intelligence Assembly. The Earth's climate began to show steady improvement.

The first hint of disaster came early in 2037, when GAIA shut down inexplicably for a period of seventeen minutes. Normal operation was resumed but the system continued to suffer glitches. One such glitch resulted in Paris being subjected to a two-day heat wave of such intensity that the pavement cracked. After several months, the fault was identified. A computer virus had been introduced into GAIA by unknown means. The system's designer began programming an antivirus but died before his work was completed. The crisis grew throughout that year until finally, following the death of five thousand people in a flash flood along the Bangladesh coastline, the GAIA project was officially denounced. Unfortunately it was no longer possible to shut it down.

By the mid-twenty-first century, global weather conditions were in chaos owing to GAIA's sporadic operation. Ice sheets advanced further each year. Australia was subject to virtually constant torrential rain. The centre of Asia had become an arid wasteland. The political situation reflected the ravages of the climate, with wars flaring continually around the globe. Late in 2054, computer scientists in London tried to hack into GAIA and locate the replicating viruses in the program. GAIA, detecting this, interpreted the action as an attack on its program and retaliated by taking over a range of defence networks which allowed it to launch a nuclear strike. London was completely destroyed.

By the end of the century Gaia had routed itself into all major computer networks, taking control of weather, communications, and weapons systems all across the planet. Periods of lucidity and hospitable climate were interspersed with hurricanes and arctic blizzards. The US president gave an interview in which he likened GAIA to a living entity: "She was intended as mankind's protective mother, but this 'mother' has gone mad."

_______________

Spiralling decline in the world's fortunes left much of humanity on the brink of extinction. The population fell rapidly until only a few million people remained scattered around the globe, mostly in cities where food could still be artificially produced.

It is now the year 2300. The rich stand aloof, disporting themselves with forced gaiety and waiting for the end. The poor inhabit lawless slums where disease is rife. Between the cities, the land lies under a blanket of snow and ice. No one expects humanity to last another century. This is truly the end of history.

_______________

Choose a character.

The Explorer (CLOSE COMBAT, LORE, STREETWISE, SURVIVAL)
Others might mourn the collapse of civilization, but for you it only opens up new areas of mystery in the world.

The Bounty Hunter (CUNNING, PILOTING, SHOOTING, STREETWISE)
Times are hard and the strong prey upon the weak. It is left to the likes of you to enforce the law.

The Spy (AGILITY, CYBERNETICS, ROGUERY, STREETWISE)
Even as the world dies a slow death, governments vie with one another for the wealth and power that remain. You steal secrets and trade them to the highest bidder.

Quote
BISECTED BY A GIANT CENTIPEDE
The Scientist (CYBERNETICS, LORE, PILOTING, SURVIVAL)
Most people understand nothing of the machines created by their ancestors, but you've learned that knowledge is power.
Life Points: 10 9 4 2 6 3 4 5 3 -2
Scads: 30
Possessions (4/8): canister of vine killer, food packs (skudge bar x3)
HUMBABA, cyborg body-parts

Quote
The Mutant (AGILITY, CUNNING, PARADOXING, ROGUERY)
Born with strange powers, you are more than human. Others would kill you if they knew your secret.
Life Points: 10
Scads: 30
Possessions (1/8): psionic focus

The Trader (ESP, LORE, SHOOTING, STREETWISE)
Few dare cross the icy wastes between cities, so a daring adventurer can make a tidy profit.

The Visionary (CLOSE COMBAT, CUNNING, ESP, PARADOXING)
Cursed with second sight, you know that mankind has no future unless something is done to save the world.

_______________

SKILLS
Quote
AGILITY
The ability to perform acrobatic feats, run, climb, balance, and leap. A character with this skill is nimble and dexterous.
CLOSE COMBAT
The use of a range of martial arts incorporating elements of karate, ju-jitsu, and taiji.
CUNNING
The ability to think on your feet and devise clever ploys for getting out of trouble. Useful in countless situations.
CYBERNETICS
The ability to program and operate computers - almost a forgotten science in the apocalyptic world of the twenty-third century.
ESP
The ability to sense danger and read other people's minds. You must possess a psionic focus to use this skill.
LORE
A combination of history, legend, and general knowledge which gives you a good basis for dealing with the unknown.
PARADOXING
The ability to mentally affect the normal laws of nature. A slower and less reliable technique than ESP, but with sometimes miraculous effects. You must possess a psionic focus to use this skill.
PILOTING
The ability to handle virtually any vehicle from an air-sled up to a space shuttle.
ROGUERY
Stealth and espionage skills: picking pockets, opening locks, and skulking unseen in the shadows.
SHOOTING
Expertise with long-range weaponry. You must possess a charged barysal gun to use this skill.
STREETWISE
With this skill you are never at a loss in cities. What others see as the squalor and menace of narrow neon-lit streets is home to you.
SURVIVAL
A talent which enables you to cope in desolate and uninhabited regions: forests, deserts, swamps, and mountain peaks.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 17, 2013, 11:35:22 pm
The Scientist!

Cybernetics, Lore, and Survival all sound great.

Piloting should be useful to us if we're able to procure a vehicle.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 01:46:00 am
(http://i49.tinypic.com/33z8gwj.png)
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 01:47:56 am
The Etruscan Inn lies in the shadow of the Appenine Mountains, beside a frozen waterfall, sheltered from the wind by a high ridge of bare black rock. You sit at a long window and gaze out towards the mountains. Dusk is melting the sharp outlines of the crags, filling the valleys with blue gloom. The moon glimmers faintly under racing black clouds. Later this evening there will be more snow.

Turning from the window, you let the curtain fall back and make your way across the dingy room. Travellers sit at the sides, noisily gambling and sipping hard liquor the colour of fire. Many are hunters and traders from the plains which slope down from here to the Ligurian Sea. Others may have been here much longer: thin old men and women who found meagre employment. The Etruscan Inn is a famous stop-over for those who undertake the perilous Appenine crossing. If a few such, gazing up at the ice capped peaks, found their spirits daunted and chose to stay, who can blame them? You sometimes wonder yourself why you bother to press on across the world in the teeth of such hardship and poverty.

The story of how the inn came to be here is a strange one, even for these bizarre times. The building was originally an air-cruiser which crashed in the mountains two hundred years ago. An ancestor of the present innkeeper turned the wreckage into a hostelry for wayfarers. The power unit had not been damaged in the crash, so the inn has electricity - a rarity in the modern world. Even better, several of the air-cruiser's careteks were salvaged. These are robots which continually clean and repair the structure, sturdily carrying out the tasks they were programmed to do centuries ago.

Pushing aside a drape, you step into another room of the inn. On the wall, a screen flickers with scenes from an old film. The innkeeper is sitting with a few others at the back of the room, loudly commenting on the action. You step over a caretek which resembles a long metal cockroach. It extends polishing pads to clean the floor where you were standing. Propping yourself against the wall, you watch the film for a few minutes, but the innkeeper's shouts and jeers are impossible to ignore. When you complain, he only gives a great gusting laugh and says, "There's no point in getting interested in any film that appears on this screen. The video link comes from a satellite connected to GAIA, who changes channels as the whim strikes her. Sometimes I have seen newsreel footage over a century old. At other times there are films, musical shows, or documentaries. But I have yet to see the end of any programme. There!" He points at the screen and, turning, you see that the film has been replaced by a blizzard of grey static.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 01:48:16 am
"Turn it off, can't you?" growls a man from the adjacent room. "Some of us would like to get to sleep."

"Turn it off, you say?" The innkeeper belows with laughter at this. "It hasn't been off in all the time I've been alive. It can't be turned off. Not unless GAIA decides to take pity on us and give us a few hours' peace."

An angry florid-faced man stamps through from the other room and glowers at the screen, which has now changed to show a weather report for the coming month. "Preposterous!" He snarls in outrage. "It says New York will be having thunderstorms. There has been no rain in New York for years. It is buried under half a mile of ice!"

The innkeeper only chuckles and goes about his chores. "Don't blame me," he says. "Everyone knows GAIA is mad."

The man whose rest was disturbed glares after him and protests: "If you can't turn it off, why not smash the screen? It only shows gibberish anyhow."

Seeing the man step forward as if to do just that, the innkeeper wags a finger at him. "I'd advise you to leave it as it is. Stick wads of wool in your ears if the noise disturbs you. But if you smash the screen, the careteks will spend the whole night repairing it and none of us will get any sleep, what with their scuttling about and the clattering of spare parts."

Hearing this, the man throws up his arms in exasperation and, gathering his blankets, stomps off to sleep at the far end of the inn.

Night falls. The drunken roistering turns to low murmurs, then snores. You huddle on your own bedding and listen to the moaning of the wind outside the fuselage. Tomorrow you have to set out again into the cold. It is not a pleasant prospect.

From the adjacent room you can hear the screen crackling with incessant babble. There is part of a game show probably taped before your great-grandfather was born, followed by clips from science fiction films of the twenty-first century. You are thirsty and you cannot sleep. Ignoring the mumbled complaints of the people stretched out around you, you get up and step over them, moving through to the room where the screen is.

You sit down. Maybe a half hour of random videos will cure your insomnia. Then the screen changes. It is a news report from the year 2095. The main item concerns the crash of an air cruiser in the Appenine mountains. You sit forward in your seat, intrigued. Pictures taken from the air reveal the broken tangle of wreckage that was later repaired to form this inn.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 01:48:34 am
Suddenly the picture changes. "In another item today," says the announcer's voice, "scientists studying the meteorite that fell in Egypt last month say that it may be the oldest object in the universe. These pictures show the safety suits that are needed to approach the meteorite, which emits radiation of a type never previously identified."

The scene flickers to a date months later. A reporter is standing at a roadside, an armoured truck blazing in the background. "Terrorists of the sect known as the Volentine Watchers today seized the mysterious meteorite as it was being transported to Cairo for further tests. The terrorists, who worship the meteorite which they call the Heart of Volent, have yet to issue a statement."

The screen crackles again, becoming a rich green colour, the world's continents outlined in red - the continents as they looked before the sea-level fell and the polar caps crept down to cover them.

A warm feminine voice speaks. "The Heart of Volent remained in the hands of the cultists for twenty years. They founded in the city of Du-En in the Sahara and learned how to tap the Heart's power, which they used to devastating effect in the Paradox War. Later Du-En suffered civil war and became abandoned. I have now completed analysis of the scientific tests carried out before the Heart was seized by the cultists. These are my findings. If a human were to make direct physical contact with the Heart, this would release the full energy stored within. The effect would be to activate that person's total psychic potential. In effect they would gain ultimate power over their surroundings. This has been a communication from GAIA. Thank you for your attention."

The screen goes blank and silent for a moment, and then starts to show a cartoon. You hardly notice it. You are too awestruck by the realization that you have just heard the voice of GAIA.

What she said begins to sink in. Ultimate power...it lies somewhere in the ruined city of Du-En, across the Saharan Ice Wastes. Suddenly wary, you look at the sleeping forms stretched out around the room. Did anyone else hear Gaia's broadcast? You listen to the snores, the drone of slow regular breathing. No one shows any sign of being awake. Plunged in thought, you return to your blankets and stretch out, but now sleep is even harder to come by. When you finally doze off just a few hours before dawn, your dreams are filled with dreams of the strange meteorite from space and the power that it contains.

Will you go to Du-En and seek the Heart? Are you tempted by a power that could change the whole world?
Title: 1
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 01:50:28 am
You are packed and ready to leave the inn at dawn. Cold grey light seeps in through the row of dusty portholes at the side of the common room. Making your way to the door, you find the innkeeper polishing the antique Formica desk. Seeing you set your pack down beside the door, he comes over and kicks away one of the careteks which had its metal body pressed down across the door-sill.

"You're lucky having those," you say, pushing the door open a crack to take a breath of fresh icy air. The innkeeper grunts as he watches the caretek re-orient itself and glide away across the floor. "They are a mixed blessing, since they insist on trying to repair the inn to the form it had originally. This door is a feature that I added myself, more convenient than the hatchway at the back of the fuselage. But if I leave it unattended for more than a few hours at a time, those wretched careteks always try to weld it shut!"

You smile to show that you sympathise. "I'd be grateful for your advice. I'm now travelling on to the Sahara. What is the best route?"

The innkeeper flings the door wide, ignoring the curses that erupt from his customers at the sudden intrusion of cold air. Gazing across the expanse of dazzling white snow, he says, "The most obvious course would take you to Venis, where you could board the ferry for Kahira, and yet..." He rubs his hands, blowing out a long furl of steam in the chill air. "Myself, I'd be tempted to go instead through the Lyonesse jungle, just to savour a bit of warmth in this frigid world. Thence across the Jib-and-Halter and the Atlas Mountains - unless you stumbled across the ruins of lost Marsay, of course, in which case you might even find a tube tunnel to take you straight to the Sahara!"

Thanking the innkeeper for his advice, you indicate that you are ready to pay your bill. He looks at you in surprise and points to a small dapper man in a grey-trimmed white snowsuit. "Your friend there has already paid."

At this, the small man comes over and extends his hand, smiling broadly. "Hello. My name is Kyle Boche. I believe we're travelling in the same direction."

Quote
  • accept Kyle Boche as your companion on the road
  • tell him that you prefer to travel alone
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 18, 2013, 02:03:52 am
Accept him.

He did just pay for our tab, after all, and companionship is always nice.
Title: 23
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 02:08:13 am
"I overheard you say you were bound for the Saharan Ice Wastes," says Boche. "My own journey takes me in that direction."

As you set off together through the deep drifts of snow, Boche takes your arm and points to a row of black wooden posts. "That is the road to Venis. We can catch the ferry from there to Kahira."

Quote
  • agree to go east to Venis
  • go west through the Lyonesse jungle, as the innkeeper recommended
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 18, 2013, 02:14:16 am
Go to the Lyonesse- that tube tunnel sounds promising and quick, if chancy, and if even a few other people caught that broadcast they're almost certainly heading the same way as you now.
Title: 177
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 02:39:21 am
Boche is not enthusiastic. "The Lyonesse region is infested with malefactors and noctambules," he avers. "We would be at great risk. Also, the Atlas Mountains are a daunting obstacle. As your partner in this venture, I strongly urge you to reconsider!"

He is obviously not willing to accompany you if you insist on heading west.

Quote
  • do so anyway
  • change your mind and take the road to Venis
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 18, 2013, 03:11:26 pm
He could be great help on our journey, so we should probably stick with him.

Go to Venis.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: eropS on June 18, 2013, 03:46:30 pm
Do so anyway
Title: 221
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 06:25:28 pm
Flipped a coin to decide on the split decision, eropS came out on top. Though I'm thinking that, in future, whoever has more justification for their choice will get it, since it's nice to be able to see into the decision-making process.
__________

As you travel west, the bitter cold begins to ease. Instead of wild blizzards, you find yourself trudging through flurries of soft sleet. After several days you see a harsh light on the horizon. Ahead looms an arc of light slanting through a wide gulf in the clouds. Even when night falls, the light keeps blazing down. An old weather satellite far out in space, misdirected by GAIA's freakish whims, bathes the landscape in endless sun. These are the steaming swamps and jungles of Lyonesse.

On the northern fringes of the region, you have heard that men exploit the fertile farmland to support the old city of Lyon. To the south, the warm waters mean plentiful fish. But no one inhabits the interior of Lyonesse, which is the stalking ground of mutated beasts and carnivorous fungi.

You press on undaunted, pleased to be able to shrug off your thick furs as you leave the icy wasteland behind and enter the lush dank morass. Foliage like ships' sails blots out much of the sky, leaving you plunged in green gloom despite the ceaseless daylight. Extravagant blooms with jewel-like colours exude a mingle of musky scents. Creepers stretch in nets between the black trees. Ferns form high banks across your path. Off in the distance, the chittering and screeching of jungle animals seem unreal after so many days with only the wind's howl in your ears. Here there is no night or day. When tiredness becomes too much, you slump sweat-soaked beside a fallen log and roll your clothing up to make a pillow. The succulent jungle whispers lull you off to sleep.

Quote
  • ESP w/ psionic focus
  • AGILITY
  • neither
__________

Since we don't have the skill of ESP (requiring a psionic focus) nor the skill of AGILITY, we must choose neither.
Title: 75
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 06:27:45 pm
"What's that, what's that?"

You bolt upright and stare around. The voice you heard was jarringly strange: human-like, but not quite human. Nerves tingling, you scan the undergrowth -

(http://i47.tinypic.com/25pq15d.png)

Teeth snare your shoulder and you cry out in pain and surprise. The attack came from above. Lose 1 life point. You look up to see an uncanny beast peering down at you. Stretched between the branches, its body is a tent of leathery wing-flaps. Its head is a narrow snout filled with teeth, swaying on a long flexible neck. It watches you with small glittering eyes and croaks, "What's that?"

Nothing nice, that's for sure.

Quote
  • SHOOTING w/ charged barysal gun
  • otherwise
__________________

Since we don't have the skill of SHOOTING (requiring a charged barysal gun) we must choose otherwise. Also, I'll always automatically update the first post for life points, scads, and that kinda thing.
Title: 118
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 18, 2013, 06:29:14 pm
You jump to your feet and scramble off through the undergrowth. The creature follows at a leisurely pace, squawking triumphantly from high in the branches. It claws its way effortlessly between the closely-spaced trunks, sometimes sailing out across clearings on the wide leathery kite of its body.

Quote
  • SURVIVAL
  • LORE
  • neither
____________________________________

Since we have both skills, we can choose to use either LORE or SURVIVAL.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 19, 2013, 12:53:48 am
Let's use LORE- hopefully this thing has some sort of weakness we can exploit specifically, rather than SURVIVAL which I imagine is just finding a good way to run or hide.
Title: 140
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 19, 2013, 01:00:04 am
The creature that attacked you is a sanguivore, a mutant lizard with gliding and mimicking abilities. The sanguivore's saliva contains an anti-clotting agent, ensuring that its prey slowly bleeds to death even after escaping from it. That explains why it's in no hurry to catch up with you. It is content to track you through the woods and wait until you collapse from exhaustion. Well, you have a few resources not shared by any wild animal. Tearing the lining of your jacket into strips, you bind the wound to prevent further blood loss.
Quote
  • rest here
  • press on through the jungle
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 19, 2013, 01:24:01 am
Keep going. Apparently we don't know how good it is at tracking, and I'd prefer not to wait where it can easily find us.

Let's give this sanguivore a run for its money, eh?
Title: 250
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 19, 2013, 02:06:02 am
(http://i49.tinypic.com/fnwydj.png)

Crashing through a thicket of glossy green fonds, you are brought up short by an astounding sight. A majestic ruined city spreads off into the jungle in front of you, seeming to shimmer in the haze of eternal tree-filtered sunlight. Some of the buildings have been choked by vegetation, grappled to destruction by cables of vine, walls uprooted by inexorable growth and carpeted with moss. But other towers still stand gleaming, bright glass and polished steel glorious in the dappled green-gold light. Those must be the buildings still cleaned and maintained by careteks, the diligent robot janitors left by the ancients.

You skirt the perimeter of the city, stumbling and staggering from sheer awe, like a blind man suddenly given the gift of vision. It can only be the remnants of old Marsay, the mythic place lost for two centuries. A bee as big as a child's fist goes careering cumbersomely past your ear, legs sprawling like a helicopter's skids, disappearing into a vast buzzing hive in the caves of a crumbled house. Birds sit pecking at lichen-stained girders, sparing you only a disdainful glance. You feel like an intruder here.

A barren patch of ground lies ahead, about fifty paces across, forming an avenue towards the intact area of the city.

Quote
  • follow the avenue
  • press on into the jungle
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 19, 2013, 02:37:50 am
Follow the avenue.

This is what the innkeeper was talking about!

He said there would be a tube leading straight where we needed to go in the ruins of Marsay, as I recall.

And it doesn't seem and harder to lose our tracker than in the jungle.
Title: 271
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 19, 2013, 02:46:42 am
A man emerges from a low building and stands in a wary posture as he watches you approach. He licks his lips nervously and shifts his grip on the shovel he is holding, but your impression is that he is nervous rather than hostile. When you smile and hold out your hand, he relaxes with a shrug and tosses the shovel aside, introducing himself as Portrin Fax. He is a loose-limbed fellow, slender as a starved mantis, with fretfully pursed lips and wet blinking eyes.

His dwelling is paved with umber and grey tiles and shows signs of having once been a transit terminal of some kind. The air is cool. Panels along the side wall shed a brisk white light. The only items of furniture are rickety frameworks of wood with ragged furs stretched over them. Fax waves you to what he describes as a chair and pours drinks. You take the mug he offers, wincing at the powerful fumes. "My own liquor," he explains. "I brew it by mixing herbs into a tank of cleaning fluid."

You pour the drink away when he isn't looking. "You live alone here?"

He sits, folds his arms, only to leap up and stride around the room. Company clearly makes him nervous. "A hermit, that's old Fax," he says. "In the outside world I was a misfit, but here I live like the Sun King. The city has generators which supply light and keep the air cooled." He giggles. "Who would dream, in this time of the fimbulwinter, that a man might wish for a cool breath of air? But here in Lyonesse it is necessary."

Quote
  • LORE
  • otherwise
___________________

LORE is used.
Title: 313
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 19, 2013, 02:47:36 am
Electric lighting is rare enough in this age, and is usually arranged by means of a coal or oil-fuelled generator. For there still to be electricity here, when Marsay has been abandoned for nearly two centuries, there must be a nuclear power source. Presumably such a power source would have to be regulated by computers, giving the possibility of a link to GAIA.

Quote
  • CYBERNETICS
  • otherwise
___________________

CYBERNETICS is used.
Title: 335
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 19, 2013, 02:48:18 am
Although the computers monitoring and maintaining the power supply must still be functioning, it is obvious that they are not connected to GAIA. GAIA is too erratic to have kept up such a task for two centuries. However, if you can get access to the computers here in the city, you might be able to set up a link with GAIA.
Title: 356
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 19, 2013, 02:50:05 am
Portrin Fax provides you with a makeshift couch and you drift gratefully off to sleep, bone-weary after your long trek through the steaming swamplands.

It seems only a moment later that he is shaking you awake. As you open your eyes, he jumps back and gives a jittery laugh. "Morning." he says.

You yawn and stretch. The air inside the building feels almost chill in comparison to the sweltering heat outside. "Morning? How can you tell?"

Fax points to a clock on the wall, above an archway leading to a staircase that descends underground. "There is one indicator. Also, although the sun never sets here, it does move across the sky. Indeed, at times I have thought to see two suns."

"No doubt the 'second sun' is an orbiting mirror, aligned so as to focus the sunlight in this region."
Quote
  • ask Fax to show you where he gets his food
  • ask about the barren patch of ground leading to his dwelling
  • leave now and press on westwards
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 19, 2013, 03:13:49 am
Ask about the barren patch.

It seems auspicious in such a glamourous place.
Title: 399
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 19, 2013, 03:19:46 am
Instead of answering, he rummages in a locker and brings forth a metal canister. Taking this outside, he approaches a thin stalk of ferns sprouting from the ground beside the barren area and sprays it with a chemical. It almost instantly withers. "I found a storehouse full of the stuff." he cries gleefully, brandishing the canister. "It's well to keep the surrounding area free of plant life, you see. The sanguivores travel rapidly through the trees, but they will not venture onto barren ground, where they are as clumsy as waterlogged tents flapping in a breeze."

He presses the canister into your hand and urges you to keep it. You are on the point of commenting that the liquor he offered you is probably almost as toxic, but you decide not to offend him. Record the canister of vine killer among your possessions.

Quote
  • ask if he has any food
  • say goodbye and go on your way
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 19, 2013, 12:54:28 pm
Ask about food. More food is always good.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 19, 2013, 12:55:56 pm
Yeah he seems generous.
Title: 378
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 19, 2013, 01:23:05 pm
Fax leads you down the stairway. At the bottom lies a wide circular hall with various tunnels leading off it. A sign above each tunnel proclaims the destinations available. You read them with a feeling of melancholy: New York, Moscow, Edinburgh...most of these places are now buried under a kilometre of ice.

Fax shows you a food machine set into the wall. "Most of the buttons no longer work, but the 'skudge bar' is nutritious. He presses a button, the machine hums, and a moment later a foil-wrapped block drops out of a slot. Unwrapping it, you find a chewy fudge which surprises you in having a savoury taste. You can stock up with as many of these as you wish, noting them as 'food packs' among your possessions; each counts as one item.

Quote
  • CYBERNETICS
  • explore the tunnels
  • bid Fax farewell and continue on your journey
___________________

Your inventory can hold up to 8 items at a time. One slot is already taken up by the canister of vine killer, though you may drop anything at any time to replace it for another item.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 19, 2013, 01:48:23 pm
Take THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE AMOUNT OF SKUDGE
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 19, 2013, 02:27:52 pm
Hehe, agreed. Take seven. We can always drop them if we need something else.

Use CYBERNETICS as well- I'd assume that fixes the machine?
Title: 9
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 20, 2013, 12:04:51 am
MAXIMUM SKUDGE TAKEN.
__________________

A short distance along one of the tunnels you find a doorway. While Fax looks on with fluttering gestures of protest, you force the door and enter a small computer room. A caretek is crawling across the banks of equipment, dutifully sweeping away the dust. You log into the computer. As you suspected, it maintains the city's generator and lighting systems, as well as hydroponic gardens which are presumably the ultimate source of food here.

Fax screws up enough courage to peer over your shoulder. "What are you doing?"

Your fingers flit across the keyboard. "Trying to find if there's a communication line to the outside world still working anywhere in the city. Ah, here's one! Now I'm going to contact GAIA."

Fax utters a doleful bleat. "Surely GAIA is mad? You are rash to draw her attention. She might switch off the sun!"
Quote
  • persist attempting to contact GAIA
  • agree that the risk is too great & explore the transit tunnels
  • agree that the risk is too great & leave Marsay to continue west
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 20, 2013, 12:25:06 am
Hmm.

I don't know what to do here. If GAIA DOES do something to us, Fax would probably try to kill us. But it seems like she was maybe expecting to be contacted, with her message?

Persist, I guess.
Title: 336
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 20, 2013, 12:36:38 am
"Possibly you overestimate GAIA's powers; she does not control the sun." you reply with a scornful laugh. The screen flickers and a blue globe logo appears announcing access to GAIA. Quickly you type.

Quote
>GAIA, ARE YOU THERE?
>Where is there? Here is everywhere.

Unfortunately GAIA is in one of her confused phases. You try again.

Quote
>HOW MUST I REACH DU-EN?
>Giza first. The pyramid.

You seem to sense, in the juddering way the type appears on the screen, a great struggle is going on inside GAIA's mind.

Quote
>You can find a friend in Gilgamesh. Enter Humbaba...

The message degenerates into gibberish. You break the link then, after pausing to reflect, you order the local computer to shut down. There is a chance it became afflicted with GAIA's viruses during the link, and it would not do to have a nuclear reactor go critical somewhere nearby.

"I'm afraid you'll lose electricity soon." you tell Fax. "There's probably enough power in the storage cells for a day or two, then you'll have to make other arrangements for your lighting and so forth."

His jaw sags. "What have you done? You have wrecked my little paradise, all for the sake of a word with your precious GAIA!"

You shrug. "Those few words might mean the salvation of mankind if I can work out what they meant."

Write down the codeword HUMBABA on your sheet.
Quote
  • try exploring one of the tunnels
  • say goodbye to Fax & continue your journey west
____________________

Keywords are a system used in the physical book to keep track of possible variables, like companions and passwords and such. I'll keep track of them in the first post with the rest of the inventory, for when or if they do arise.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 20, 2013, 01:06:16 am
Explore the tunnels- hopefully they're less dangerous than aboveground, and they might take us to where we need to go quicker.
Title: 439
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 20, 2013, 01:10:29 am
Out of curiousity, would you have any interest in a second gamebook thread? Just eyeballing this box of books sitting beside me and pondering. This forum is pretty quiet though, and I feel like two threads might be a little obnoxious if the interest isn't there.

__________________________

The tunnel echoes stonily with your footsteps. At the far end it widens into a long foyer with open doors at intervals along the opposite wall. You step through into a cylindrical chamber with a glass window at the end. The chamber is lined with seats. It takes you a moment before you realize you are inside a subway carriage. Fax watches from the door, wringing his hands in agitation, as you explore the carriage. The motilator, encased inside a brass cylinder at the front, senses your approach and activates, speaking in a chiming voice. "Please specify your required destination."

Questioning the motilator, you consult a map which it projects onto the front window of the carriage. The subway has an intercontinental range, but most of the terminuses are now either inactive or destroyed. Nonetheless there are several destinations which are still marked as in service, and any of them would bring you closer to your goal.

Quote
  • travel by subway
  • return to surface & journey on foot
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 20, 2013, 09:24:51 am
Travel by subway, schlepping around on foot is a great way to get killed by mutants or something.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: eropS on June 20, 2013, 10:36:35 am
No way you never know what's in the dark.

Topside!
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 20, 2013, 10:50:03 am
Subway mutants are easily cowed by the miracle of fire. The surface worlders are too smart for that cheap party trick to work on them.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 20, 2013, 01:06:22 pm
Subway!

We will travel quicker in there.
Title: 212
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 20, 2013, 08:05:07 pm
The motilator registers your destination by flashing a light on the map. A chime sounds, warning that the doors are about to close. Fax steps back and raises his hand to wave. You watch his lean figure recede along the platform as the carriage gathers speed. The lights of the station dwindle into the distance of the tunnel. You are on your way...where?
Quote
  • to Kahira
  • to Karthag
  • to Tarabul
  • to Giza
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 21, 2013, 12:19:26 am
Giza first! (the pyramid)
Title: 74
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 21, 2013, 12:23:27 am
The carriage gathers speed. You sit at the front and stare through the window at the darkness rushing by. Hours pass before you see the glimmer of lights along the tunnel. The carriage glides to a halt at a sleek station lit by dull red lights. You stand up, but the doors do not open. Instead the motilator gives a placid announcement. "We have arrived at a restricted area. We will now proceed to Maka, where you will be able to transfer to another vehicle for your journey onward. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Again the carriage picks up speed, this time for a journey of less than two hours. Arriving at another terminal, you wait to see what other destination the motilator will offer. On the map, only Tarabul continues to flash.

Quote
  • take the subway to Tarabul
  • disembark and see where you are
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 21, 2013, 12:25:36 am
Restricted area? Must be brimming with riches. Disembark men!
Title: 375
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 21, 2013, 12:28:04 am
You step out of the carriage and set off along a deserted tunnel which soon brings you to a staircase. You climb until you can see a shaft of daylight filtering between toppled blocks of masonry. There is not much room, but you manage to squeeze through, emerging onto a broad expanse of tarmac with a few single-storey buildings nearby. The air is crisply cool but there is no snow here. To the south, outlined against a china blue sky, you can see a cluster of ancient spires surrounding a high stone fortress wall.

(http://i48.tinypic.com/2hxrt4l.png)

A whine of jets begins to grow across the tarmac. Turning, you see a narrow-hulled flyer a few hundred metres away. On the stilts of its landing gear, gleaming in the pastel sunlight, it reminds you of an insect poised for flight. The nozzles of the flyer's vertical jets are beginning to glow; it is about to take off.

Quote
  • hurry over and try to attract the pilot's attention
  • shelter in the subway entrance & watch the flyer take off
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 21, 2013, 12:31:39 am
Catch dat plane!
Title: 102
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 21, 2013, 12:35:58 am
You are halfway across the tarmac when you realize your mistake. The pilot of the flyer has already engaged the boosters. You see him at the cockpit window, his face contorting in surprise and shock at the sight of you racing towards the craft. Your last image is of him jabbing desperately at the controls, but he is too late to abort the booster ignition. An instant later, a blast of white-hot gas bursts from the landing jets and billows up to press a wave of solid heat into your face. Blinding light burns into your retinas, followed by darkness and oblivion.

Lose 5 life points.
Title: 122
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 21, 2013, 12:36:11 am
Awareness returns slowly, the details of your surroundings emerging out of a blur. There is a white ceiling above you and soft fabric at your back. The air carries a faint smell of antiseptic. You can make out the low whine of air conditioning.

"You're able to hear me?" booms a voice.

You wince, focusing on a face that looms above yours. The colours seem harsh, garish. Sounds come to your ears with a rasping undertone, as though filtered by electronics.

Another face comes into view, slender and handsome, with a high forehead capped by a green circlet. He has a lopsided but not unfriendly smile. "How are you feeling?" he asks.

"I've got pins and needles." you say in a voice still slurred by anaesthetic. Reaching across to rub your left arm, you feel the unyielding hardness of metal in place of flesh. You bolt upright with a thrill of horror, throwing off the sheets. You can only stare at what they have made you: a being half of robotics, half of living tissue. A cyborg.

"It was all we could do to save your life." explains the man wearing the green circlet. "You were caught in the jets as my flyer took off. I brought you up here. It was touch and go for a couple of weeks, but you should be all right now."

"What's left of me, that is," you say bitterly. Write down on your sheet you now possess cyborg body-parts. Turning to the window, you see a surprising profusion of stars in a flat black void. "Where are we, anyhow?"

The other man, the doctor, takes you by your still-living right arm and leads you to the window. A vast crescent globe of swirling grey and white hangs in space below you. "That's the Earth," he says. "You're on al-Lat."

The pilot joins you. "I know you are still shaken, but I must ask you some questions. You should not have been in Maka. How did you get there, and why?"
Quote
  • tell him the truth
  • invent a convincing story
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 21, 2013, 02:18:05 am
Tell him the truth. They did just save us from death after all.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 21, 2013, 09:25:43 am
BEEP BOOP.
Title: 144
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 21, 2013, 10:17:02 am
"I found a terminal of the intercontinental subway system, beneath the ruins of Lost Marsay. I tried to reach Giza, but I was unable to alight there and was left with no alternative but to travel on to Maka."

He strokes his thumbnail across the cleft of his chin, deep in thought. "Why were you trying to reach Giza?" he asks at last.

The truth seems absurd, but you tell him anyway. "I was following the advice of GAIA."

He gives you a sharp look. "Do not attempt to contact GAIA while you are on al-Lat! Our computer systems are secure from viruses, and that's the way we'd like it to stay." His face softens into an easy smile. "Still, I'm forgetting my manners. I am Riza Baihaqi."

You shake hands. There is a moment of uncomfortable silence, then Riza says, "I can never atone for the guilt I feel...this dreadful injury you've suffered..."

You raise your artificial arm and flex the fingers. There is a soft buzz of gears, but they seem dextrous enough. "It could be worse," you admit. "These prosthetics will do as temporary repairs, at any rate."

"You are putting a brave face on things, my friend," says Riza. "But, in all truth, where on Earth could you hope to find a cure for your dreadful injuries?"
Quote
  • tell him about Du-En
  • say that you are keen to return to Earth
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 21, 2013, 11:46:56 am
Say we're keen to get back to earth. This fool who maimed us does not deserve ULTIMATE POWER.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 21, 2013, 02:19:16 pm
Agreed.
Title: 275
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 22, 2013, 09:56:29 pm
Riza conducts you along a passage which leads out into what seems at first like open air. Seeing you look around in amazement, he laughs and points across a lawn towards a group of buildings. You now see that the horizon seems to rise upwards the further you look, curving over into the sky until it is lost behind a haze of light directly overhead. To either side of you, only a few hundred metres away, unimaginably vast slabs of cliff reach off into the sky.

(http://i47.tinypic.com/9hju45.png)

"Did you expect a cramped space-station in the ancient style?" says Riza. "We have enlarged al-Lat over the centuries, until it is what you see today a cylinder some two kilometres wide and half a kilometre long. Rotation provides us with gravity, the sun's rays with light and heat."

You have to admit that it is more comfortable than Earth is these days. Riza takes you to his flyer, and soon you are dropping towards Earth's atmosphere. You descend just ahead of the dawn, touching down on the shore of the Sea of Reeds at a fishing village called Sudan. You bid Riza farewell and stand watching as the flyer climbs back up into the early morning sky.
Quote
  • do some shopping in Sudan
  • set out for Du-En without delay
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 22, 2013, 10:51:52 pm
Go on.

We need no supplies but MAXIMUM SKUDGE.
Title: 234
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 22, 2013, 11:00:01 pm
The ground underfoot is hard-packed gravel under a sprinkling of snow. As you travel on, a biting wind sweeps down from the north bringing heavy snow. The pale blue sky is blotted out by glowering clouds through which enough daylight seeps to give the snow a canescent hue. You hunch into the wind and trudge on, fearing to stop to rest in case you never get up again. Lose 1 life point unless you have either SURVIVAL or a fur coat.

If you survive, you eventually reach the River Isis and cross over an old iron bridge to the west bank. From here, a broad sweep of gleaming ivory dunes extends to the horizon under a sky darker than wet stone. These are the Saharan Ice Wastes, thousands of kilometres of uncharted wilderness, desolate snow fields pounded by incessant arctic gales. This is the terrible barrier that separates you from your goal.
Title: 393
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 22, 2013, 11:00:34 pm
A fierce wind with teeth of ice thunders relentlessly across the land, pushing billows of powdery snow ahead of it. You hunch behind each step as though pushing a heavy cart, at times having to crouch down to avoid being blown off your feet. By day you are surrounded by a painful white glare; at night, moonlight turns the snowscape into a scene of unearthly mystery. You trudge wearily on, feet numb and cold, eyebrows bristling with icicles. Do you have either a fur coat or cold-weather clothes? If not, lose 2 life points. Even if you do have such clothing, the cold is so severe that you still lose 1 life point, unless you have SURVIVAL.You lose 1 less life point if you possess a burrek, as you can huddle close to it and share its body warmth.
Quote
  • polarized goggles
  • SURVIVAL
  • otherwise
Title: 443
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 22, 2013, 11:00:59 pm
You need protection against the harsh glare of daylight thrown up off the snow. Tearing two thin strips from the lining of your sleeves, you tie them above and below your eyes, leaving only a narrow slit to see through. That should protect you from snow blindness. If only the other perils of the Sahara were so easy to deal with!
Title: 403
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 22, 2013, 11:01:18 pm
You pass on through a plain of ice tors baroque crags which glint with a metallic sheen against the delicate blue sky. The wind, blasting between these tors, makes a desolate keening sound. You see no signs of life. Cold gnaws at you from outside, hunger from within.
Quote
  • eat two skudge bars
  • eat one skudge bar
  • you brought no food
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 22, 2013, 11:23:52 pm
TWO SKUDGE

SKUDGE IS LIFE

SKUDGE IS NOURISHMENT

SKUDGE
Title: 100
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 22, 2013, 11:36:14 pm
You eat two skudge bars, combating the creeping hunger and cold. Skudge is life.

(http://i47.tinypic.com/334un37.png)

You continue on, watching the sun slide dankly down into the west. A silvery afterglow rims the skyline. Pale hollows brimming with violet shadow. Catching a movement out of the corner of your eye you freeze, slowly turning to see a huge sabre-fanged bometh standing on a rise not fifty metres away. You slink back behind an ice boulder, not certain if the creature saw you.
Quote
  • codeword GILGAMESH
  • SURVIVAL
  • SHOOTING w/ charged barysal gun
  • stun grenade
  • close with it in melee combat
  • track it using binoculars if you have them
  • creep off before it spots you
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 22, 2013, 11:55:02 pm
Survival.

Hopefully we can hide from the Yao Guai thing.
Title: 256
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 12:11:16 am
A hunter who makes a habit of tangling with bomeths will not live very long. Instead of grand heroics, you decide to track the beast to its lair. Crouching motionless until the moon rises, you see the bometh rouse itself and go loping away across the undulating hillocks of snow. You follow until you see it disappear into a snowdrift, whereupon you drop low and compose yourself for a long wait. Two or three hours go by. At last it emerges from the lair, sniffs the wind, and lumbers off in search of prey.

Once it is out of sight, you scramble over to the snowdrift, pushing along a tunnel into a hollowed-out cavity where there are three small bomeths on a nest of moulted fur. Ignoring them, you turn your attention to the closely packed walls of the lair, the bometh's 'larder', where the beast has stored remains of previous kills. You dig out the carcass of a large fowl, which the icy cold has preserved well. Wrapping the flesh carefully, you make one food pack which you can add to your inventory.

One of the young bomeths nips at your ankle. The teeth do not penetrate your boot, but it is a timely reminder that the parent might return at any time. You squirm back to the open and hurry away.
Title: 298
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 12:11:52 am
The next day, with the snow glittering like diamond dust under pale gold sunshine, you see a shimmering haze in the middle distance. Approaching, at first you think the oasis ahead is a trick of your imagination. Dwarf conifers surround a steaming pool fringed with moss-covered rocks. Long-beaked birds peck at the ground for grubs. Then you catch a sulphuric tang on the air and realize that the warm updraught here must be rising from fissures deep underground. It feels as unreal as a dream when you pass between the foliage and settle yourself on a slab of rock, pulling off your clothing to enjoy your first experience of warmth in many days.
Quote
  • rest up here to recover your strength
  • press on without delay
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 23, 2013, 01:20:20 am
Rest here.

We're quite low on health.
Title: 405
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 01:48:37 am
Quote
  • SURVIVAL
  • codeword GILGAMESH
  • otherwise
Title: 58
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 01:49:51 am
The volcanic gases here make the air poisonous, stunting the trees around the oasis and causing the slow death of animal life. No doubt those insects swarming in the sudorific updraughts have had to mutate in order to tolerate the conditions here. You know that prolonged exposure to the tainted air might eventually cause cancer unless you have some protection. Otherwise it is only worth staying if you are on the brink of death and are so desperate for recuperation now that you are willing to take a gamble with your life.
Quote
  • gas mask
  • cyborg body-parts
  • stay for a day or so
  • continue onwards at once
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 23, 2013, 03:18:55 am
This poison affects us not, for we are of flesh that is not flesh! Corpore metallicum! Deus ex cybernetica!
Title: 169
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 04:14:02 am
The air here is tolerable once filtered of volcanic fumes. You build a lean-to beside the bubbling pool in the shelter of the dwarf conifers. Although the water of the pool is undrinkable, you can easily collect snow from beyond the edge of the oasis and bring it back to camp to melt. For food, you catch insects and grubs and bake them on the hot rocks.

Recover 4 life points. You are ready to move on.
Title: 426
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 04:14:49 am
Surrounded by a limitless expanse of snow, you slog wearily towards your goal. The sun slides low in the sky, wavering like a bob of flame-orange oil against a sky of swirling violet. As it disappears in a scud of cloud lying along the horizon, you feel the dreary cold of day begin to yield to the frigid tyranny of night.

If you lack both a fur cloak and cold-weather clothing, lose 4 life points. If you possess either of those items, lose only 2 life points. Lose 1 less life point if you have SURVIVAL, and 1 less if you possess a burrek.
Title: 444
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 04:16:16 am
Hunger is a knot of ice inside your belly; weariness turns your feet to lead weights. Each daybreak you find it harder to shrug off the lassitude of sleep. Every effort costs intense concentration.

How do your rations stand?
Quote
  • eat two food packs
  • eat one food pack
  • no food left
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 23, 2013, 12:28:23 pm
Eat two foods.

The Skudge extends life, the Skudge expands conciousness, the Skudge is vital to space travel.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 23, 2013, 12:58:56 pm
Agreed.
Title: 125
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 02:36:05 pm
You take the frozen fowl you found in the bometh's larder, rewrap it with a sacred skudge bar, and shove it in between your thighs for an hour to heat it up. By the time you eat it, it has become a lovely pink chicken-ish paste. You are rejuvenated.

(http://i49.tinypic.com/110hthi.png)

At last you see a streak of dark rubble against the dazzling skyline. You fear it might just be a line of hills or even a trick of the light, but as you approach on quickened footsteps it is possible to make out the details of brooding towers, empty palaces, and gargantuan snow-bound walls. You have arrived at the lost city of Du-En.

Quote
  • codeword DIAMOND
  • otherwise
Title: 213
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 02:36:34 pm
Up ahead you can now see a small figure trudging through the snow, dwarfed by the high walls of the city. Approaching, you attract his attention and he turns. As he unzips his hood you are struck by sudden recognition. "Kyle Boche," you mutter wryly. "What a small world."

"So," he says with a wide grin, "you have also come to seek the ultimate power!"
Title: 191
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 02:37:14 pm
The gates of Du-En stand open to the elements, leaving the wide avenues piled under deep snow-dunes. The buildings are monoliths of dark stone, desolate remnants of a civilization long gone. Their vast scale and pitiless geometric decoration make them seen out of proportion to the human soul. You find them tyrannical and depressing.

"Impressive architecture, eh?" says Boche, looking to a high black tower whose fretwork dome shows like a fleshless head against the bleak white sky.

You see a thin swirl of smoke rising from a campfire in the main plaza of the city. "It seems we're not the only ones to heed GAIA's message," you say dourly. "Come on, let's introduce ourselves."
Title: 243
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 02:37:58 pm
Passing under a broken arch, you enter the central plaza. This is a broad area of snow-covered flagstones roughly three hundred metres across, enclosed by ruined palaces that gleam like lead in the white haze.

There are several campfires built up against a fallen colonnade. As you get closer you see antique furniture and splintered doors crackling in the flames, plunder from the once great city of Du-En, lost art treasures beyond price. In this desolate place, their only value is the warmth they give.

A man steps forward from the fireside and pulls off his glove to shake hands. "Greetings. I am Janus Gaunt."

While Boche makes the introductions, you take stock of Gaunt. He is younger than his grey hair would suggest, with an open friendly manner. His servants stumble along behind him in the snow, but they wear only thin clothes and you guess they are past feeling the cold. Gaunt sees you looking at them and nods. "These are my xoms reanimated cadavers, loyal and tireless."

Others are now emerging from their tents along the colonnade. A wizened old man with no legs who comes drifting through the air like a ghost is introduced as Baron Siriasis, a psionic from Bezant. Next comes a woman who walks with long feline strides, eyes glittering like jade in the wan afternoon light. She gives you a single guarded look and then turns away. "That is Thadra Bey of al-Lat," says Gaunt. "And here is Commander Chaim Golgoth, an agent of United States Intelligence. The two strapping bronzed ladies behind him are Gargan XIII and Gargan XIV, sole survivors of a clone superwarrior group."

Golgoth smiles and shakes hands; the Gargan twins watch you with a glare like Medusa's sisters. "There's also Vajra Singh," adds Golgoth, nodding towards a large scarlet-and-black pavilion across the plaza. "You'll meet him soon enough, I'll warrant."

Quote
  • codeword SCYTHE
  • otherwise
Title: 111
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 02:41:10 pm
After a cursory greeting, the others start to disperse back to their tents. Janus Gaunt tells you he has just brewed a pot of tea and invites you to join him. You are pleased enough to share  the warmth of his fire, but when a xom hands you a teacup in its bloodless fingers you cannot suppress a shiver of dread. "Don't bother about them," he says with a laugh. "They're just robots, really except that they're made out of once-living tissue instead of plastic and metal. They're powered by a small electrochemical implant in the chest cavity."

"They're an abomination against nature," says Boche flatly, draining his tea. "Where do we get firewood?"

Gaunt is taken aback by Boche's rudeness, but replies courteously. "Take it from the buildings around the square. The mulberry window-shutters you are warming your hands over, for instance, date from tenth-century Persia. It is a pity to burn such artifacts as these, but the former owners have no more use for them."

Boche rises with a grunt and trudges off, entering a narrow doorway. You follow to find him flashing his torch around. "Ah, here is some firewood already broken up for our convenience," he says.

"It is mine," purrs a voice of menace from the doorway. Thadra Bey stands there, muscles coiled taut in pantherish grace, a lethal dart-projector in her hand.

"Down!" roars Boche, cannoning into you from behind and sending you flying into Thadra Bey. You and she go rolling out into the snow, her dart singing through the air and narrowly missing Chaim Golgoth, who responds at once by drawing his barysal gun. In seconds all hell has broken loose, as the uneasy truce splinters apart. Thadra Bey rakes her fingers across your face and leaps away, levelling her dart-projector, and you hear Gaunt yelling to his xoms, "Defend me! Slay any who attack!"

For a moment it seems that the struggle for power will be decided here and now. Then a voice rips like thunder across the square. "STOP THIS SENSELESS FIGHTING NOW!" and, turning, you have your first view of the mighty Vajra Singh.
Title: 300
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 02:43:05 pm
(http://i47.tinypic.com/9h5c3m.png)

Vajra Singh stands like a demon in the snow, a great slab of a man with a darkly saturnine face and eyes like a lion's. His silver anti-laser armour gleams in the weak sunshine. He watches you all for a moment, scanning you as he might size up a pack of hyenas. Then he raises his huge hand-cannon and touches the fire button. The air is riven by a sound like a volcano erupting as a torrent of blistering white plasma streams from the cannon, juddering across the walls above and scattering chunks of smouldering plasma far out into the square. Everyone dives for cover. Still unleashing the barrage of crackling energy, Vajra Singh turns and directs it at the foundations of a building across the square. The heavy stone walls burst apart, and slowly the whole facade collapses to leave only a burnt-out shell.

Vajra Singh touches a button on the side of the cannon and the blast cuts out. The roar dies a low hum. You notice a small red light glow as the weapon powers down. "That weapon is the mantramukta," Janus Gaunt whispers in your ear.

"This squabbling must cease!" snarls Vajra Singh as the others come out from hiding. "We must work together in the short term or we stand little chance of penetrating as far as the Heart. Is that clear?"

On the side of the mantramukta cannon, a green light winks on. Now you know that it takes a few seconds to rebuild its power after each blast. You see that Chaim Golgoth has noticed this too.

Seeing that the only reply is sullen silence, Vajra Singh goes on. "Here in the main square we shall remain in a state of truce. While exploring beneath the ruins, this truce is not in force. Also, no underlings or servants are to be taken on expeditions. This is a contest to see which of us deserves the ultimate power, not whom is able to hire the most bodyguards."

Janus Gaunt glances from face to face, then takes it on himself to answer. "We agree to these terms."

With of swirl of his majestic robes, Vajra Singh turns and strides off to his tent, where his four servants stand waiting.
Quote
  • codeword HOURGLASS
  • medical kit
  • Manta sky-car
  • otherwise
Title: 278
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 02:44:20 pm
The sun lurches into view above the city walls a disk as pale as watered milk. Out in the main square, the others are preparing to set out into the ruins. You see Golgoth clipping on his weapon-belt as he chats to the Gargan sisters. Apparently they have agreed to explore as a team. Surprisingly, Gaunt and Thedra Bey have also formed a group. Baron Siriasis and Vajra Singh both opt to search for the Heart alone.

Vajra Singh oversees the drawing of lots. "We shall set off into the ruins at fifteen minute intervals determined by the lots," he tells the others. "You can explore individually or in groups, as you prefer. Remember that the truce applies only here in the open. If groups encounter each other while in the catacombs below the city, they must negotiate or else do battle."

Quote
  • descend into the catacombs
  • a day's rest is in order
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 23, 2013, 03:04:16 pm
Rest- we are still quite low on health.
Title: 363
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 03:06:15 pm
You rest throughout the morning, recovering 1 life point, unless you have the codeword HOURGLASS, in which case you begin to feel feverish and recover no life points.

The others start to return around midday, beginning with Janus Gaunt and Thadra Bey. They explored a warren of tunnels under the plaza but found no clue as to the location of the Heart. Next comes Chaim Golgoth, emerging from a military bunker which he investigated in company with the Gargan twins. There is no sign of the twins, and when you ask Golgoth about them he merely replies with a wink.

The ruins are bathed in the long light of sunset by the time Vajra Singh and the baron reappear. You soon learn that they met up underground, and are obviously excited by what they discovered. "We have identified the temple precincts," announces Vajra Singh, gesturing to a cluster of buildings across the square. "The Heart of Volent lies somewhere below. Tomorrow may be the last day of the search."
Title: 38
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 03:07:58 pm
If you have the codeword URUK, erase it and write down GILGAMESH again.

As night falls, an eerie glitter of lights appears in the sky, like a translucent curtain draped across the cosmos. Janus Gaunt gazes up and tells you it is the Aurora Cordis, caused by particles from outer space falling into the field of paradox radiation emanating from the Heart of Volent.

You stand in awe, humbled by the magnificent sight. The curtain of light ripples and stirs in the heavens. "It seems staggering," you remark to Gaunt in a whisper, "to think that just a fraction of the Heart's power could create something on such a scale."

He chuckles. "The Heart's power is much greater than that! Power enough to shape worlds and shift the stars in their courses, if the legend is to believed."

"And do you believe it?"

He gives you an odd, half-frightened look. "Believe it? I have studied the scientific records. I know it for a fact."
Quote
  • codeword NEMESIS
  • otherwise
Title: 82
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 23, 2013, 03:09:34 pm
The moon rises, wreathed in a haze of frost. In the crisp cold light, the ancient halls and towers look more than half unreal. You watch the others huddled by their campfires. No one has much to say. Each of them is absorbed in private hopes, dreams, and fears of what tomorrow will bring. And each knows that their brittle truce is in its final hours. When the Heart is found it will be every man for himself. Who would expect anything else, when the prize at stake is nothing less than the power of a god?

Vajra Singh and Thadra Bey have retreated to their respective tents and scarcely seem to invite conversation. If you wish, you can talk to one of the others.
Quote
  • Chaim Golgoth
  • Kyle Boche
  • Janus Gaunt
  • Baron Siriasis
  • turn in for the night
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 23, 2013, 04:01:06 pm
Lets talk to the Baron. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on Barons.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 23, 2013, 04:14:26 pm
Agreed.
Title: 170
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 24, 2013, 12:32:44 am
The Baron is cloistered in his tent. A couple of servants are hunkered down in the snow outside next to a glimmering fire, but they pay you no heed. Glancing into the tent as you pass, you notice that the baron is intently studying a video screen which he has set up on a low table next to the cushions on which he is propped. He seems to be muttering something quietly to himself.
Quote
  • eavesdrop
  • boldly enter the tent uninvited
  • go & talk to Golgoth
  • go & talk to Boche
  • go & talk to Gaunt
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 24, 2013, 02:22:04 am
Eavesdrop... He could be muttering to himself about important information, as barons are wont to do.
Title: 364
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 24, 2013, 02:37:09 am
Quote
  • use ESP w/ psionic focus to delve into the Baron's mind
  • sneak closer using ROGUERY or chameleon skin
  • you possess Little Gaia & want to leave her to record what the Baron says

Otherwise you must...

Quote
  • slope away & retire for the night
  • slope away & try talking to Boche
  • slope away & try talking to Golgoth
  • slope away & try talking to Gaunt
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 24, 2013, 06:37:31 am
Blah.

Go talk to Golgoth. He's got a neat name.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 24, 2013, 09:18:02 am
I get the feeling that shortcut via orbit was not to our advantage.

Lets just hope the catacombs have a lot of skudge based puzzles.
Title: 126
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 24, 2013, 01:37:02 pm
Sam, you may be right.
_______________________________

You find Golgoth squatting by torchlight at the end of the colonnade, where he has laid out all his weapons on the flagstones. As he checks each, he slips it into its concealed sheath: a garotte wire under his belt, along with a flexible steel blade; poison darts in a bandolier inside his jacket; guns at hip, ankle, and wrist; small flat grenades clipped along his sabretache. You watch him aghast for a few minutes. "Quite the professional killer, aren't you, Golgoth?"

"Don't get far if you only make a hobby of it," he quips.

You sigh. "Does human life mean anything to you?"

He buckles on his barysal gun, gets up, gives you a long thoughtful look in the torchlight. "Not the life of scum like this." He gestures along the colonnade. "I've happily sent hundreds like them to an early grave. Who do you think my USI bosses should've sent a pack of boy-scout Marines?"

"So you're here as a USI agent?"

He nods. "Of course. The power of the Heart cannot be allowed to fall into hostile hands. In order of priority, I will either take it to the States, get the power myself, or destroy it."
Quote
  • codeword NEMESIS & want to propose an alliance
  • go & talk to Kyle Boche
  • get some sleep
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 24, 2013, 01:47:54 pm
Talk to Kyle.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 24, 2013, 01:48:01 pm
Agreed.
Title: 104
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 24, 2013, 10:45:09 pm
Boche struts around the fire under the colonnade while outlining his plans for how you will share the power of the Heart. Lost in your own deep reverie, you hardly hear his words. Finally you look up and ask him, "Why do you want ultimate power, Boche?"

He stops short and looks at you sharply. For a moment you think he is about to give you a straight answer, but no: "What are you saying? Are you having doubts? surely not, when we are on the verge of triumph. You must not be so timid!"

Quote
  • codeword NEMESIS & want to suggest an alliance
  • get some sleep
Title: 192
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 24, 2013, 10:47:01 pm
You return to your campsite in the shelter of a ruined building and settle down for the night. The flames of the fire throw long capering shadows across the walls. The ground is so cold that it seems to suck the vitality out of you. How long has it been since you ate? If you have a food pack, you can regain 1 life point. You can regain another 1 life point if you have a medical kit. If you own a Manta sky-car, you can find a medical kit and several food packs in its storage locker.

If you have the codeword HOURGLASS, you lose 1 life point while you sleep. Once you have made the necessary adjustments to your life points total, and if you are still alive, you wake up at dawn.
Title: 83
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 24, 2013, 10:48:29 pm
The sky is clear and blue, with high wisps of grey cloud. The snow crunches underfoot as you walk across the square to join Kyle Boche. Floating out of his tent comes the legless Baron Siriasis. You look around but the square is otherwise deserted apart from clumps of waiting servants beside the tents.

"The others have already descended," Boche tells you and the baron. "Vajra Singh went with Golgoth, down through the main temple complex. Thadra Bey took herself alone into the adjoining subway tunnels. Janus Gaunt was gone before I woke."

"I suggest we three team up, then," says the Baron briskly.

Boche nods. "Agreed. If we find the Heart, our alliance holds until the other teams are dealt with. Where shall we descend?"

Last night you noticed an icy crevice beside the building that Singh levelled with his mantramukta cannon. You point it out to the others. "It looks to lead into the cellars, and there may be a way through to the temple catacombs below."

The Baron gazes down into the crevice, then gives a curt nod. "I sense it is a favourable route. It will lead us to the Heart."
Quote
  • Manta sky-car
  • otherwise
Title: 39
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 24, 2013, 10:51:11 pm
You ease yourselves down into the crevice. The walls are slick with frost and you have to brace your back against sharp rocks to keep from slipping. At last you see a glimmer of light below and you emerge onto a ledge overlooking a large underground cavern. A distant howl of rushing air reaches your ears, magnified by the vast space surrounding you. The light is a dull grey phosphorescence from deep in the rock. Climbing down to the floor of the cavern, you advance through a forest of slender stalagmites which glisten like old candles.

Baron Siriasis bobs alongside you like a grotesque broken manikin. He points. "Ahead is a chasm. Fortunately for you both, there seems to be a bridge across it."

As you step out from among the stalagmites, you fail to notice at first that a thick glowing vapour is roiling around your feet. Boche heads towards the chasm, but stumbles and gives a cry of alarm as the vapour begins to creep up around his limbs. With a groan, the Baron seems to sag and drift down to the cavern floor. You take another step, then you realize that the mist is draining your strength. It rises across your vision, a luminous fog that seeps into your skin like ice water. You can no longer see your comrades. Then you see a sight that sends a tingle of dread through you. Taking shape within the mist, reaching towards you with ghastly imploring fingers, is a horribly twisted figure that looks like a squashed effigy of white clay.

Quote
  • codeword GILGAMESH
  • cyborg body-parts
  • LORE

Otherwise, there is nothing you can do to stop the phantom from reaching through your skin and extracting your life-essence, and your adventure is at an end.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 24, 2013, 11:46:31 pm
Hrrrrg.

CYBORG BODY-PARTS is probably the superior choice, but I really want to know what this thing is.

Hum.

LORE.
Title: 171
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 24, 2013, 11:56:29 pm
It is a beam phantom the victim of a teleporter accident which has left it eternally out of phase with the rest of the world. Such creatures suffer eternal torment because of the teleporter's mangling of their internal organs, but there is nothing that can be done for them, since they do not truly exist. Even in their ghostly state they are dangerous, however, as their desire to return to solid form means that they insatiably seek contact with the living. And their touch drains all life energy.

While you still have strength to move, you shrug off your jacket and lunge forward, catching the beam phantom inside. The feel of it is sickening, like a broken body that has been put back together by a maniac surgeon. Even with the jacket insulating your grip, its negative force drains you like a well of coldness. Lose 2 life points. If you survive, you succeed in manhandling the squirming creature over to the chasm and hurling it down. Its thin bleating cry echoes up from the depths as it falls, trailing its gleaming wisps of vapour like a comet's tail.
Title: 149
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 24, 2013, 11:57:25 pm
Slowly the chill leaves your bodies. "Curious..." mutters the Baron, floating over to peer into the chasm. "It seemed to be a genuine ghost, so far as I could tell. I could not read its mind, at any rate."

"Just as long as it's gone now," grunts Boche. He gestures at a narrow stone bridge spanning the chasm. On the far side, an archway opens onto a tiled hall. "Who wants to go first?"

The Baron gives him a scornful look and hovers out across the drop. As you watch him drift to a halt on the far side, it occurs to you that he looks a rather ghostly figure himself.

Boche glances at you, shrugs and strides rapidly across the bridge. "It's not too bad as long as you don't look down," he calls over his shoulder.

They are waiting for you to cross. As you step onto the bridge, you find your gaze drawn downwards in spite of Boche's advice. The walls of the chasm plunge dizzyingly into feculent darkness. Then you notice something else. Set into the rock walls, about five metres below the level of the brige, are a row of metal grilles.

Quote
  • climb down to investigate
  • continue across the bridge
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 25, 2013, 12:17:05 am
Rys you idiot WE HAD CODEWORD GILGAMESH.  >:(

Investigate the grilles.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 25, 2013, 12:51:52 am
Ffffpiss.

Yeah, we did.

Investigate! Manmade stuff in a cavern could lead to STUFF.
Title: 193
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 25, 2013, 12:53:09 am
Nope, the only codeword we have is HUMBABA.
______________________________

Quote
  • length of rope
  • AGILITY

Otherwise, your footing slips on an icy outcropping as you are making your way down and you fall to your doom in the bowels of the earth.

THE END
______________________________

Well, it took a surprisingly long time to come upon the infamous pitfall (literally, huehuehuehue) of most 80's-era gamebooks, the death by wrong choice, or death by random chance. There's a couple ways we can handle this one.
Quote
  • revert to the previous page and take the other choice
  • restart the entire adventure with another character
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 25, 2013, 12:54:22 am
Heurg, let's not go back to the beginning. Sounds VERY tedious.

Take the other choice.
Title: 215
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 25, 2013, 12:56:32 am
You reach the far end of the bridge and pass through into the tiled hall beyond. The architecture here is the same oppressive design as on the surface the heavy harshly-chiselled lintels and monumental bulbous columns, the gigantic vaults and grotesque carvings. You have a choice of routes on from here, either of two wide passages directly ahead, or a doorway to your left.

Quote
  • go through the door
  • take the left-hand passage
  • take the right-hand passage
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 25, 2013, 01:14:59 am
Well that's just mean, isn't it?

Take the door.
Title: 259
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 25, 2013, 01:28:16 am
You are in a dimly-lit room with a number of smaller rooms leading off of it. You guess that this was where the acolytes of the Volentine cult lived. Even after two hundred years, there are still signs of the rioting that led to the city's downfall. You clamber through a wreckage of broken furniture and toppled cupboards. Crumpled sheets of writing-plastic litter the floor.

Boche picks up a book, ruffles the charred pages, and drops it to the floor. "There's nothing here to interest us," he says. "Let's press on."

Quote
  • insist on searching the wreckage
  • go back to the antechamber & take the left passage
  • go back to the antechamber & take the right passage
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 25, 2013, 04:12:30 am
Search. No reason* not to be thorough.

*Except possible horrible, painful death
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 25, 2013, 05:04:46 am
I would have voted for a restart. Pretty sure we've painted ourselves into a corner.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 25, 2013, 05:48:28 am
Then we'll frustratedly snort at the choices until we've run out of all of them.
Title: 259
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 25, 2013, 08:24:29 am
Quote
  • ROGUERY
  • otherwise
Title: 242
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 25, 2013, 08:25:28 am
You sift carefully through the debris, but find nothing more than torn clothes and broken ornaments. Boche points out a rusty brown stain on a broken tabletop. "The rioters went in for human sacrifice."

The Baron hovers over the spot, peering back through the curtain of time. Finally he gives a curt nod. "Yes. The populace broke here and slaughtered the acolytes. But this is not where the High Priest and his adepts dwelled. That lies deeper in the catacombs, and there we shall find the Shrine of the Heart." He swivels in the air and glides rapidly back to the antechamber, calling over his shoulder. "Come!"

You and Boche exchange a glance, then follow. The Baron is inspecting the two passages, but his psychic senses cannot tell which is better. "You choose," he says.

Quote
  • go right
  • go left
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 25, 2013, 09:09:18 am
...

Right.
Title: 128
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 25, 2013, 08:18:13 pm
The passage brings you to a series of galleries, each consisting of a cloister running either side of a central concourse softly illuminated by chandeliers. Many of the heavy buttresses have been defaced, leaving chunks of broken masonry scattered across the marble floor. "No doubt this devastation was wreaked in the city's collapse," says Boche in a hushed voice. "It's said that the populace of Du-En went mad and turned against their leaders."

Baron Siriasis drifts to a halt and peers off into the gloom of the cloistered walkway at the side of then room. "I sense a presence," he says after a moment's concentration. "Something is stalking us."

Quickening your pace, you hurry on through the galleries until you see a heavy iron-bound doorway ahead. A rasping sound echoes out of the cloisters to one side. It sounds like chitin slithering across stone. You are about to break into a run when the lights go out and you are plunged into darkness.

Quote
  • night vision
  • ROGUERY
  • ESP w/ psionic focus
  • SHOOTING w/ charged barysal gun
  • flashlight or lantern
  • otherwise
Title: 260
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 25, 2013, 08:19:17 pm
There is the rattle of hard insectoid legs on the smooth floor, then something huge slams into you. It feels like a coiled monster with a body as hard as ebony. Striking out blindly, you feel a segmented eye squash under your fist, spurting out ichor. Something seizes you in its mandibles and two scything blades are driven into your sides. You give a scream of agony. It feels as though the monster is trying to saw you in half. If you have CLOSE COMBAT, lose 4 life points; if not, lose 6 life points. Lose 1 less life point if you possess cyborg body-parts. Assuming you survive, you manage to break free with a sob of terror and stumble on to the doorway. Boche and the Baron slam and bolt the door behind you, and you see it almost buckle off its hinges as the monster throws itself furiously against it. "I hope that holds," you say to the others, "or else we're insect food."

THE END
______________________________

...and we're dead again.
Quote
  • revert to the previous page and take the other choice
  • 'respawn' with full health and continue on from this passage
  • restart the entire adventure with another character
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 26, 2013, 05:11:24 am
restart!
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 26, 2013, 06:33:39 am
Urgh.

Restart.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 27, 2013, 12:47:34 am
Back to the first post to pick a character then! You also have the option of making a custom character by choosing 4 of the 12 skills.
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 27, 2013, 04:16:56 am
The Mutant!
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Rysworld on June 27, 2013, 05:18:42 am
Agreed.

I'm interested in seeing how paradoxing can be put to use.
Title: 1
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 27, 2013, 08:19:14 pm
HEART OF ICE, TAKE 2
____________________________________________

You are packed and ready to leave the inn at dawn. Cold grey light seeps in through the row of dusty portholes at the side of the common room. Making your way to the door, you find the innkeeper polishing the antique Formica desk. Seeing you set your pack down beside the door, he comes over and kicks away one of the careteks which had its metal body pressed down across the door-sill.

"You're lucky having those," you say, pushing the door open a crack to take a breath of fresh icy air. The innkeeper grunts as he watches the caretek re-orient itself and glide away across the floor. "They are a mixed blessing, since they insist on trying to repair the inn to the form it had originally. This door is a feature that I added myself, more convenient than the hatchway at the back of the fuselage. But if I leave it unattended for more than a few hours at a time, those wretched careteks always try to weld it shut!"

You smile to show that you sympathise. "I'd be grateful for your advice. I'm now travelling on to the Sahara. What is the best route?"

The innkeeper flings the door wide, ignoring the curses that erupt from his customers at the sudden intrusion of cold air. Gazing across the expanse of dazzling white snow, he says, "The most obvious course would take you to Venis, where you could board the ferry for Kahira, and yet..." He rubs his hands, blowing out a long furl of steam in the chill air. "Myself, I'd be tempted to go instead through the Lyonesse jungle, just to savour a bit of warmth in this frigid world. Thence across the Jib-and-Halter and the Atlas Mountains - unless you stumbled across the ruins of lost Marsay, of course, in which case you might even find a tube tunnel to take you straight to the Sahara!"

Thanking the innkeeper for his advice, you indicate that you are ready to pay your bill. He looks at you in surprise and points to a small dapper man in a grey-trimmed white snowsuit. "Your friend there has already paid."

At this, the small man comes over and extends his hand, smiling broadly. "Hello. My name is Kyle Boche. I believe we're travelling in the same direction."

Quote
  • accept Kyle Boche as your companion on the road
  • tell him that you prefer to travel alone
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Krakow Sam on June 28, 2013, 01:29:25 am
Let him travel with us. If nothing else we can use him as a source of sustenance.
Title: 23
Post by: lowlevelowl on June 28, 2013, 11:56:18 am
"I overheard you say you were bound for the Saharan Ice Wastes," says Boche. "My own journey takes me in that direction."

As you set off together through the deep drifts of snow, Boche takes your arm and points to a row of black wooden posts. "That is the road to Venis. We can catch the ferry from there to Kahira."

Quote
  • agree to go east to Venis
  • go west through the Lyonesse jungle, as the innkeeper recommended
Title: Re: Heart of Ice
Post by: Cyst on September 28, 2013, 09:46:30 pm
Safety seems to be in Venis. My vote there. If this bump is in poor judgement, please PM me and I'll remove it.