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Old 10-03-2017, 06:10 PM
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Game Wide Event #2: The Dread Clock (Prequel)

Chase awoke in a cold sweat - panting. That was the fifth time this week... what the hell is going on? Since the hearty ranger had begun his career as a dungeon explorer, his sleep had been very often interrupted by nightmares of the horrors of the Crypt and Labyrinth. This; however, felt different. When he awoke from his usual nightmare, he immediately knew that it had been as such. These dreams, though, plagued him even in waking. They felt real. They felt ominous. As he walked the streets of Old Town the day after such dreams, he often looked upon the denizens there in horror as - for a brief, fleeting moment - it seemed as if their form changed before his eyes. Children playing in the street suddenly morphed into rotting corpses lumbering towards him. Women going about their daily routines into hideous hags cackling at his agony. He had seen them in his dreams as they were in these visions. Get a hold of yourself, Chase... your true work hasn't even begun - don't crack now. On the sixth night, with bloodshot eyes, the ranger once again laid down to rest, but this night even more than any before... it did not come.

The usual dream commenced. He was traversing Old Town... or, at least, something that resembled Old Town in spirit. A warped, demented version with untold horrors all around - watching him. Waiting for him. Salivating. It was at this point the dreams had ended before - with the ranger upright in bed in a puddle of sweat. This night; however, was different. This night... it continued. As if drawn by some unknown force, the ranger continued on through the streets of this horrific vision. Past Lucky's Gambling Hall, past The Half-Filled Helm, past the entirety of this corrupted version of the city and into a secluded corner of it where the ranger had never ventured before - neither in the real world nor the dream world. There, he found a small caravan that stood out from the rest of the buildings as it seemed almost... normal. Or, at the very least, not rundown and horrific as the rest was in his dreams. As he approached, he could hear music coming from it - and colors began to dance in his vision. In one moment, he was looking upon this exact same structure in the daylight with happy citizens of Old Town rushing around. In the other, he was back in the dark, demented world of his dreams - though still staring at the same caravan. Bravely, the ranger pushed towards it - feeling as if he wasn't wholly inside his body as he did.

***

Slowly, you approached the caravan. Short wooden steps led to a curtain-covered opening on one side of the mobile home. The music grew louder, daring you to take a peek inside. And you did. As you push the curtain aside, your nose was assaulted by the smell of burning incense. The interior seemed bigger than you had initially guessed. It was dimly lit, the only source of illumination being a single lantern sitting next to a deck of cards on a round table in the middle of the room. The walls reminded you of a shop - it was covered with shelves containing various baubles and trinkets, although you doubted that any of them was for sale. On the shelf closest to the entrance, you found the source of the melody, a gold-gilded music box.

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"Aah, it's you," said a female voice. It was frail, only slightly louder than a whisper. The words were long and drawn out, as if to emphasize the mischief behind them. And for some reason, you got the feeling that the voice knew who you are. A small figure suddenly stepped out of the shadows, startling you. An old halfling woman, dressed in colorful clothing, reached out her hands toward you. "Come in, come in," she said. "Don't be shy."

She sat on a stool by the table and began shuffling the deck of cards. "Sit," she commanded. Strangely, your body seemed to move on its own as you took a seat on the stool across from her. "Money on the table, then we shall begin." Once again, your body seemed to move on its own. You put a stack of gold coins on the table as you asked yourself, What am I doing?

You found her staring right at you. Crows'-feet framed a pair of eyes which reflected the warm fire light coming from the lantern. The halfling woman laughed. "Come now, silly child. Surely, you don't expect my service to come for free, do you?"

Wait, what service? you thought.

"Glancing into your future, of course," she laughed again, as a shiver ran down your spine. It's the autumn chill, you told yourself, although you realized that the old woman just red your damn thoughts.

As she spread the cards on the table in front of her, you caught a glimpse of the beautiful drawings on the card. Their colors were faded, edges worn, but you could definitely tell that they were no ordinary playing cards. She gave the cards a good shuffle before putting them back into a deck. "Now let us see what Fate has in store for you."

With a flick of her wrist, she drew a card out of the deck and brought it to her face. You could feel your heart pounding as anticipation built inside you. The halfling woman glanced at you and chuckled. "I see, I see!" With another flick of her wrist, she turned the card toward you. Her cackle turned into a full laughter. You stared at the image in front of you. You could finally see it clearly. It was, without a doubt, beautiful. The artistry superb. But then you realized that the image was... wrong. It branded itself onto your mind. Onto your soul. It haunted you, as if it had stepped right out of a nightmare...

You immediately close your eyes, trying to keep the image out of your head. You felt yourself stumbling backward and expected your back to hit the shelves behind you. But it never did. Instead you felt your back hit the stone pavement of the square. When you opened your eyes, you realized that you were once again alone. Autumn colors danced around you to the rhythm of the wind. And the caravan... was nowhere to be found.

***

Suddenly, Chase could hear the distant chiming of a clock coming from the far Southern end of town - a sound he had never heard before. There was a clock in that direction, true - one that some say was haunted. Though he had never heard it make sounds like this before... or any sounds, for that matter. As his eyes shifted in the direction of the sound, his vision once again flickered between the dream world and the real - the visages habiting each changing rapidly between normal and grotesque. The ranger could feel his mind swimming - his psyche about to burst like a dam after a downpour. And then...

He was in his bed - staring at the ceiling in a puddle of sweat. An all too familiar situation for the exhausted ranger now. This time; however, he knew in his heart of hearts that the dream had been as much reality as not. While he collected his wits, he could hear the cackling of the fortune teller ringing in his ears. And then, as if a whisper coming from behind him, he heard it. "Meet me at the caravan if you aim to learn the truth..." and then more laughter. It was the voice of the fortune teller - as clear as he had heard it in his dream.

Before the sun had even risen the next day, Chase had assembled his equipment and made for where he had dreamt of the caravan's location. Walking through the city, he could see various people around Old Town preparing for festivities. Tomorrow is All Hallow's Eve... how could I have forgotten? As he approached the spot from his dream - and not at all surprising to him - he found the mysterious caravan waiting for him. It looked exactly like he had seen in his dream - and the same music played. With a deep breath, as he had the night before, the ranger bravely pressed forward towards it and pulled the curtains back to reveal the interior...

-----

OOCWelcome to the 2nd game wide event! This one is going to be different from the Dragon Event in that we will be splitting groups up into different "instances" with similar game worlds in broad strokes, but different DMs (ie. the 3 instances will not be clones of one another - so if one group has an encounter somewhere, it doesn't mean the same encounter will happen to your group if you go there). Currently, we have 3 DMs (myself, Foibel and Lykaen) volunteered to run an "instance" and are aiming for 4-5 people per group (12-15 total) - though if we get overwhelming interest I can run a second group. If you plan to participate in the game (which will kick off 10/9) feel free to come roleplay with Chase, the fortune teller and the rest of the PCs that will be playing here!

PS. The groups will not be made by you all. The DMs will be randomized for a little extra added 'flavor'. That said, we will try to make balanced groups in terms of class structure and posting rate, so please state in this thread your expected "role" and post rate (with the obvious exception being Chase, Edrick and Foibel have to be in a different DM's games).

PPS. We will also be testing Ellias' fortune teller dynamic in this event to see if its balanced enough to put into full effect for dungeons - meaning that everyone will be forced to draw a card to participate.

PPPS. There are no level restrictions for this event. The "instances" will be tailored to fit average party level.
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Last edited by Agrudez; 10-03-2017 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:16 PM
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:46 PM
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Heck yeah I'm in!!

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Old 10-04-2017, 01:07 AM
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Sleep deprived AzureThat incessant music was driving him bloody crazy. Day and night, Azure was followed by the music always on the cusp of the auditory sense but persistent. Never faltering, not even during the night hours. Azure tried busying himself, focusing on his tasks and brewing. Yet, the music continued to haunt him. The pounding of iron, the roar of bar room revelry, nor submerging under water drowned the music out.
It wasnt scary. It wasnt mysterious. It was just bloody irritating!

The third day dragged by. Azure now heavy with insomnia, rolls in his bed with pillow held tight to his ears. ENOUGH!! This is bloody rediculous! Im gonna find the source and then Im gonna smash it to pieces and then Im going to sleep. The cleric flings off the covers, pulls on a loincloth, grabs his mace and stomps off outside.
It was louder now, like his intent had awoken it. It also seemed more...directional. He followed the music through the town. Was it darker? The shadows deeper and crawling? Wiggling like a canvass of onyx maggots? He shakes it off. Insomnia. It was a real pain in the arse. Yet the darkness remained and the music grew louder.

With the music now blarring out and what can only be described as 11 on a scale of 1-10, the shadows part. In the deep gloom, a caravan? It was hard to tell in the shadows. Only the entrance was clearly visible. No question, this was the source.

OI! QUIT WITH THE BLOODY MUSIC!!!!

A quiet whisper echoes through his mind you took your time Son of Sune..
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:25 AM
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Chase glanced behind him as he heard a shout. Azure? Myst be my imagination... Chase rubbed his blood red eyes, but still after the vision of the cleric persisted.

What... what are you doing here?
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:28 AM
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The aged cleric isn’t best pleased to see Chase in his current state. Sune herself would be hard pressed to get a smile from him.
“Chase!! If you’ve been messing around with demon music boxes I’m gonna waterboard you in the brewery!”
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:42 AM
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OOC: I'm in, assuming Goran survives getting pummeled by Dryads.

Cleric, Life Domain. Currently level 1, but if he lives through this fight, almost certainly level 2. Primary role: healer/support, but can fight in the front line when needed.

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Old 10-04-2017, 11:59 AM
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OOC:I'm in when we are done this dungeon! lvl 2 Fighter, front lines
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:13 PM
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Chase scratches his head - clearly confused. He then seems to come back to his senses for a moment as he glances behind him. The music... right. It's become some persistent I hardly notice it anymore.

You mean the song coming from the caravan? What makes you say it is demonic? Have you... heard it before?
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:56 PM
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On the way to the docks, Marward notices the people gathering to decorate the town ready for All Hollows Eve. Changing direction he decides to check out the completed work and help out where he can. While walking down the lane passing up decorations or holding ladders Marward notices Azure storming past looking twitchy and disturbed. Not one to miss out on a good fight or a chance to help a fellow adventure he follows along.

Until the outburst from Azure, he was not aware of any music. This could be due to the fact that he normally had some sea shanty on his mind when going about his day to day activities. The mechanical tones of the music were somewhat off-putting but no reason for such an outburst. Just about to call out to Azure to see if he was ok, Chase spoke up. Watching the exchange between the two, Marward decided to make his presence known.

"Can’t we just tell the monkey to stop turning the crank?"
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:36 PM
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Marward... my friend.

Chase forces his exhausted cheeks up into a half smile.

This is starting to seem a bit more than just a coincidence.

He glances over at Azure - whom clearly had been drawn to this spot, much the same as Chase had been. Marward; however, seemed rather oblivious to the situation that the other two faced.

What brings you to this part of town?
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:36 PM
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"Well, you know me, always keen for trouble. With the state that Azure was in, I knew it wouldn't it would be too far away. What brings you here?"

Looking past Chase, he now notices the Caravan and the source of the music.

"Would you like me to head in and ask them to turn off the music, our buddy here doesn't seem to be doing so well."
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:16 PM
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Chase glanced at his two companions.

Yes, that sounds good... we will follow you as well. Perhaps you two could do the talking? I'm... not quite myself at the moment.
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:48 PM
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A sense of dread washes over Marward.

Uh oh, what have I got myself into. I usually follow Chase. He may be right about not being himself if he wants me to take the lead.

Walking over to the short stairs leading into the caravan Marward tries to get a glimpse of what could await him inside and possibly the owner.

"Hello. Excuse me, anyone home?"

Looking towards Chase, he shrugs, assuming the music may be too loud inside for the owner to be able to hear him he starts up the steps and reaches out for the curtains.

"Do you mind turning off your music it seems to be disturbing my Cleric friend?"
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:08 PM
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Azure follows in behind Chase and Marward, still straining from fighting exhaustion and irritation. Azure calls out to the darkness,
“YEAH! TO SAY THE LEAST!! CUT IT OUT!! OR I SMASH THIS PLACE UP!”
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