Poll

Now what?

Climb the stair to the clifftops
Descend to the plains
Stay in place

Author Topic: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.  (Read 6075 times)

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Offline martyk

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2012, 04:51:12 pm »
Return the ticket, but ask her about the SMOKE room.
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Offline Brandonazz

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2012, 01:57:54 pm »
Do the gentlemanly thing.

Offline PatMan33

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2012, 07:52:15 pm »
Results:
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!!"

Offline martyk

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #18 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!
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Offline Inkling

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #19 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.
Probably not a Goat, either.


Offline Brandonazz

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2012, 11:44:17 pm »
Upside down cross, 'cause that's never a good thing.

Offline PatMan33

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2012, 08:12:36 pm »
Results:
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."

Offline Rysworld

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2012, 08:23:39 pm »
Stand by our choice.

Shank.

Offline Brandonazz

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2012, 08:29:49 pm »
Ruins definitely seem to be the superior choice to a weapons factory and hell.

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2012, 01:22:50 am »
****. Lets be Myst.
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline PatMan33

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #25 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. :)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 11:03:41 am by PatMan33 »

Offline PatMan33

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2012, 10:01:02 am »
Results:
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.

Crap.

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?

Offline Rysworld

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #27 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.

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #28 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.
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline Brandonazz

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Re: A light is up ahead and darkness lies behind.
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2012, 12:02:48 pm »
Go check out the crashed 'plane' on top.