IC [The Nightmares Underneath] Byzantium: Nightmares Undreamed Of

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User

The stars know your name, Amata. You don't know what these creatures in front of you are, but you know they're from out there, somewhere far away, somewhere not here. It triggers a memory of your early years, a time when you realized you were in the wrong place living among the Star Ambassadors, a moment of realization that it wasn't you who was wrong, but the masters you lived with. Something about the buzzing and the alien communication and the concentration necessary to even make sense of what's happening right now... it all comes flooding back.

What memory gets triggered, Amata?
 

Tedster

Vigilante of Love
Validated User
"Uh, greetings? I can't say we were expecting to meet anyone in here who wasn't implacably hostile. I see that you clearly have no need to stand, but I'd still watch the floor below you - there's something nasty down there. Is there something that we can help you with?"
"Um, I'm hoping you're not referring to me as nasty, are you, Amata?" Caldwell calls out from the bottom of the stairs.

Sliding his battleaxe back into its harness so that only his lantern remains in his grasp, he looks up with palms open to meet the eyes of whoever may respond.

"If I may be so bold, I would like to offer my assistance in unknotting these stalled negotiations. Amata can vouch for my...proficiency with strange tongues."
 

Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
Validated User
The stars know your name, Amata. You don't know what these creatures in front of you are, but you know they're from out there, somewhere far away, somewhere not here. It triggers a memory of your early years, a time when you realized you were in the wrong place living among the Star Ambassadors, a moment of realization that it wasn't you who was wrong, but the masters you lived with. Something about the buzzing and the alien communication and the concentration necessary to even make sense of what's happening right now... it all comes flooding back.

What memory gets triggered, Amata?
Gossamer wings unlike the ones before her now, but to human ears it's impossible to discern the epistemological difference. Swarming winged ants, piled up into a loose approximation of human form, with a massive, corpulent queen at the heart of the 'body' being held aloft by the wings of hundreds or thousands of others. The insect golem's head turns to stare at the child peeking over the balcony. She squeals in terror and runs.

"Caldwell?! What are you doing here?"

Amata doesn't take her eyes off the dragonfly-folk.
 

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User


The flying insects buzz at each other. The two in the back switch positions, while the two up front do their asynchronous talking thing.

"Answer"

Nobody looks around the corner of the stairwell at you, Caldwell. Must be occupied above. You'll either have to shout up from here, or head up the stairs.


OOC: The initiative order falls away, due to the extended dialogue. If somebody takes aggressive action, initiative will be rolled fresh from there.
 

Tedster

Vigilante of Love
Validated User
Even though his presence has been acknowledged, Caldwell takes no chances. Not wanting to upset the truce any more than necessary by his arrival, but also recognizing the tenuousness of the situation, the cultist's steps up the staircase are calm and measured, yet possessed of determined exigency.

"If you will permit," he declares as he ascends, one empty palm still raised. "I have a spell that allows me and another entity to communicate in each other's native tongue."

Spoiler: Show
Caldwell's just making sure he's not gonna get mauled by Trystane who is at the top of the stairs, who I assume he can see coming up the steps.
 

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User
Everyone on the second floor sees the human-sized flies grow more agitated at the words of the man below, whom Amata seems to know. They buzz more frenetically, and their large pincer arms twitch.

Trystane or Caldwell, have either of you been a negotiator in a tense situation before? Or anyone else?
 

MixterAsh

CotTS Grand High Keetom
Validated User
Trystane is not an experienced Nightmare fighter, but he has been in a tense negotiation with a malevolent entity before. The first nightmare he encountered after leaving home. It inhabited a home, not unlike this one, and he and the others hired to remove the incursion barely got out alive after they tried to use words and magic to banish it, but had been forced to fight to destroy the anchor and the entity with it. The memory of the way it had stuck its fingers into his mind makes his skin bristle.

Trystane looks between his companions, perplexed by their hesitation.

Talking can only go so far before action is needed. They will lose patience and strike soon. Whatever is conceded, there will never be an end to their demand, their manipulation.
Give anything to them, and you will never be whole again. You know that from experience. It all must be destroyed or they will keep coming back.


"Amata, you're not seriously thinking of negotiating with them, are you? We are not here to do deals with nightmares," he cautions. He turns his head a little to call down the stairs to Caldwell.

"Greetings, friend! Perhaps you should come up?"
 

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User
You make your way to the landing, Caldwell. Going further will require a physical negotiation of the passage with the sad watchman, and there's no space beyond his stance at the top of the stairs. One of the creatures hovers there, blocking the entrance to the room.

The watchman stands over the corpse of a sea bravo, whose calloused feet lie at the top of the steps into the larger room above, the corpse's head resting on your end of the stairwell. His shirt and the torso underneath have been shredded by some violence, what looks like days ago. You smelled it at the base of the steps, and the stench has grown stronger as you climbed the tight confines of the stairs.

But what captures your attention even more than the incongruity of the dead sailor in a painter's home are the things beyond. You see two of them, their wings holding them in the air.



These aren't Nightmare creatures, but rather creatures from the Realms Beyond. Dwellers in the Deep. Yuhannah's acolytes have precepts for defense against such as these. You recognize these ones as battleflies, violent creatures with a thirst for magic and items that might be tainted with magical residue. Likely drawn here by the encroachment of Nightmare. The one furthest away from you looks like what the Forbidden Atlas of Ebony Truth labels an 'Arcanist', a diabolical caster of potent magics. These creatures, these battleflies, are fierce, brutal, and hard to kill. Susceptible to cold. Immune to fire. The sting of their tail burns so greatly that it incapacitates its foe for a few moments, if it doesn't shred a man outright. Despite all of that, their armored forms are beautiful in that too seductive fashion of the alien entities of the Beyond, and scintillate with color.

It occurs to you that such creatures would not welcome a spell being cast in their presence, would see it as an attack. Your Tongues spell requires as its target just the person designated to benefit from it. If talking is the route proscribed for dealing with these creatures, you could cast it upon yourself out of their sight and pose less of a threat to them.

What do you do?

Map:

Spoiler: Show


Rolls:
Spoiler: Show
 
Last edited:

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User
Trystane, you're not comfortable with the idea of negotiating with these foul terrors. You toy with the idea that they might have cast some spell on your companions that stays their hands, but you dismiss that as paranoia. You can trust your allies.

Spoiler: Show

Through the mess of his smeared face, Stanles appears to have a wry smile, like he's bemused by the prospect of his death, and perhaps more bemused by the idea of negotiating his way out of it. Whatever else can be said of the nobleman, there's no doubt he's stared death in the face numerous times.

Ren's look is fiercely calculating. Her fingers twitch. She's just the sort to leap onto the one nearest her with her silver dagger, throwing caution to the wind and trusting in blind chaos to carry her through. She's probably plotting what she could do with their alien blood. Do aliens have blood?

The battleflies? They're poised on the edge of action. They look ready to lash out at a second's notice, yet they hold. How long will that last?

Amata, Tomás, Trystane, what are you doing?


OOC: Whomever acts first will set the initiative for everyone else, including the battleflies. If you don't respond to them very soon, violence will erupt from some quarter. Them, or one of your allies.
 
Last edited:

Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
Validated User
"There is surely no need for fighting. I've had enough of that for today, and I know that the others present here have had their fill as well. I will offer no violence unless it is offered to me first."

Amata glares in Ren's direction.

"I believe that my friend, who has just arrived, may be able to facilitate a more open dialogue between us. We can discuss our concerns and desires and hopefully come to a mutually beneficial arrangement. Trystane, do please take care not to insult these people again."
 
Top Bottom