Roleplaying > Bleak Wood: Nightfall

Episode 2, Part 1 - Decisions [DONE]

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Ancient Gamer:
<OOC: Stay tuned for character skill increases and other stuff later today>

At the Mountain Cabin:

The goggles rolled and bounced on the sweaty silks before they were stopped by a chaotic heap of pillows. It had been fun, experiencing the whole séance in nuances of green, but now the oil lamp was lit and the fun was over. Kiph wavered, energy drained from the exertion. He looked over at the prone form of Abak Loett. The old bastard still slept, moaning in his sleep; obviously he hadn’t heard a thing. Well, the FateBringer Master was generous with his concubines in any case. Looking over to Tiana, the third and newest concubine of Abak Loett, he felt a renewed tinge of desire. She hadn’t redressed, but was dipping her hair in a pail of water.

I should do the same. I probably smell worse than Bakur does by now

Bakur had been one of them, a business partner in this trade venture of theirs. He was dead now, left behind in Bleak Wood, his body decomposing in a hole covered up by stones and sand. Bleak Wood… What a horror that had been. A spacer aircraft had been expected to arrive, but something went wrong and the d**n thing plummeted burning from the sky. It tore through the city like some infernal plough, devastating everything and breaking free the herd of mutant G’Kraun Enfatah imprisoned within the South Wall Storage Facility. The grey horrors with blades for hands had then engaged in wholesale slaughter, lacerating and dissecting the population of Bleak Wood. As Kiph and his friends fled town, everything was aflame and rioters had taken to the streets. Bakur had bought it when a tattoed tribal shot him in the chest just as they drove out of town.

Kiph snapped to reality as Tiana walked up to him, pressing her chest against his, kissing him passionately. “I love you, Kiph”.
“Mmmm” he replied, pulling the carpet aside to peek outside. They had spent the night in the back of a truck; their field hospital and the only place in which he and Tiana could have some privacy, Abak Loett aside, but he always slept anyway. Outside the sun was rising and from the sound of it the others were already awake.


Ralkhara had been gone for a long time now. The nomad PathFinder had told them not to worry. He would come back the same evening. That was four days ago.

Ceres rubbed the horn jutting from her forehead. The Horned Smith they had called her back in Corona, her place of birth. “Ralkhara is not back!” she said to no one in particular. No one was close enough to hear it anyway. Not Kiph, the nomad FateBringer hiding in the truck with his little mistress. Not the other two concubines that had embraced this existence wholeheartedly, and cooked and cleaned like they were meant for nothing else. Not Riv, the newcomer, an old acquaintance of Kiph, who had arrived late yesterday evening, a harried and weary look on his face.

These last weeks had been paradise for her. The peace and tranquillity was unrivalled in this distant location. There were berries to be gathered, mountain deer and hares to hunt and even canned supplies in the goods brought along by Abak Loett, the sick FateBringer Master. But now she felt this growing unease, her senses crying out to her. Whatever happiness had existed at this place, she no longer felt at ease here.


Riv watched as the canned beans fried in the pan, the tomato sauce boiling. The fireplace was burning brightly, the flames hungrily devouring the firewood. Like me then. It burns with a passion so deep and sincere. A slab of deer meat had already been prepared and his nostrils flared as he inhaled deeply, savouring the smell of food. His luck was incredible, he just could not believe how fortunate he was; to stumble upon Kiph in the mountains like this. Kiph didn’t seem angry anymore either, which was generous of him. Anya had been a severe blow to him, and discovering her in bed with Riv hadn’t made things easier. That had ended their business relationship somewhat prematurely, though Riv had been square enough about it, leaving Kiph with his rightful half. Besides, he had seen what Kiph was capable of and that was not something he wished for.

“Hah!” he yelled triumphantly. Not because of Kiph or Anya, but because he suddenly envisioned the face of Oldboy Smith when he discovered what he had done. A soft whistle escaped his lips as he exhaled. “Luck is with me. I can feel it. I just feel it”.

The hum of the wind melted into the song of a distant ocean she had never seen, and the stars flared incessantly, almost painfully bright in the clear skies. Lost in thought, Ceres traced the new scar that ran along her leg, courtesy of the Bleak Wood incident. A thin slightly lighter line ran from her ankle to the knee, resembling a bleak road like the one that was hers almost since she left Corona.

Man had been given too few years - the Author gave him but enough ink and parchment to write one short tale. She felt like she was scribbling doodles on it. The locale may hav been serene, sustenance abundant and danger absent, but she brought all the trouble one might need with her.

No, the young woman was not depressed by her percieved failure - she hated it. The loss of the armors to the bandits, soon followed by all their merchandise and companion in the madness back at Bleak Wood. Jonathan was gone too - and with him likely the option of accessing what knowledge was kept in the city's archives and the minds of its scholars. All the quests she undertook for that one prize, one fate would ever deny her.

There, in the middle of nowhere, Ceres had more than enough time to ponder whatever unpleasant thought crossed her mind - she was not of much use in hunting nor standing watch, and failed to find common ground with Abak Loett or his girls. Indeed, she wished to do something that mattered, something that would make her grow. There is a long way from surviving to actually living.

The turmoil within was concealed by a chill serenity without as she sat there, on a large flat rock ovrseeing the valley below, and watched the clouds roiling on the horizon, reminiscent of what she imagined the sea would be like.

Perhaps... going back, to face fate once more, to wrest what was hers and all the people's from its grasp. To wipe the feeling of failure. To be alive.

Riv took out his knife and carved a good sized portion of the venison, and quickly devoured it.  A little rare, but just the way he liked it, bloody and too hot.  A little pain lets you know you're alive. 

The odds had turned in his favour.  His pursuers, offended at just a little housefire that just happened to roast that prick, should probably catch up with him in a day or so.  With only one of them with a gun, he had originally figured he could get a few of them before he fell, but now with at least two other allies, maybe he could actually surivive the fight.  Yes, things were definately looking up.

With the rest of the breakfast ready, he stuck his head out the door and hollered "Grubs on! Come and get it!".

Caught up in thought, Ceres at first did not percieve Riv' words. The scent of meat nad hearbs though easily circumvent her tangle of thoughts and spoke directly to the stomach.
A protracted rumble from her abdomen snipped off her ponderings, and she rose. Brooding may be a great way to spend time, but it does not confer many calories.

Sitting in the kitchen, she eyed her portion of the venison, took a sharpened branch and proceeded to roast it in the fireplace, studying it as if it as some strange alien creature. Not looking at him, she spoke to Riv. "You might consider roasting that meat more thoroughly, mister. Otherwise, you'll catch trichinellas, and they'll turn your muscles to swiss cheese."

Considering the topic closed, she turned to the sizzling meat again. Really - in the wastes, the maxim was "cook it or forget it". She shook her head absent-mindedly. Some people...

[ooc - actually there was a bit of delay between him helping himself, and then serving it.]

"Yes mom," Riv said.  He'd eaten much worse then slightly rare venison - you'd be surprised what you would eat in the deserts....
She probably was right - dying of disease was not in his plans.


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