[DRYH] First Salvo (09)

edited June 2014 in DRYH

Scribbler went with you back to see the Wax King. He assigned one of the Blind Knights to you, left it up to you whether you wanted taciturn Ubert, or the slightly more talkative Lady Madalena?

You're headed up a waxy tunnel for the surface. The Wax King has had his Smothered Folk working dilligently on making this tunnel for what appears to be a very long time.

Scribbler says as you reach the very end of the tunnel, "The Finishing School's grounds are right above here. We can enter her domain without interference from any other Nightmares, strike, then return to the Warrens." Scribbler is followed by hundreds upon hundreds of doodle-warriors, all carrying little sharp sticks, bows or stick guns. Some of them are as big as you, others are smaller.

You asked Scribbler to draw something special though, didn't you? What was it?

"Benny!" you hear echoing from the tunnel, back where you came from. You look back to see Bianca, white hair, pale skin, running up the tunnel towards you. "The King said you're going to kill Mother When?" she asks as she reaches you. There's a moment where she hesitates, like she wants to come up and touch you, kiss you. But for some reason, the others seem to give her pause.

What do you do?


  • I'm with Madalena, at the end of this tunnel, looking at the last day of the first of my life, or whatever. I'm completely jazzed, nervous but also excited, driven by a specific purpose other than survival for the first time in days. I've got my game face on, literally:


    The gun's all Scribbler, though. Looks like something a kid would get kicked out of fifth grade for drawing. ("No tolerance policy.") Scribbler's pretty sure it'll pack a punch, though, at least for the first few shots.

    I reach out my hand, touch Bianca's pale cheek. "Yes. Yes, we're going to end Mother When. I'll be back." Lean down for a quick kiss, then look up. "We ready, then?"

  • Bianca smiles when you touch her, leans in when you kiss her. "I can help you, Benny. I won't let you get lost in there." She looks over at Scribbler, "You need me."

    Scribbler shrugs, "All hands, right?"
  • Every part of me wants to say "No," just on instinct, but Lord knows I have no call to get all chivalrous with Bianca after all's said and done.

    ::sigh:: "Stay close, and don't get yourself hurt trying to protect me."
  • edited June 2014
    She squeals a little in excitement when you accept her help, and looks you up and down. "You look very badass, Benny. I like your gun." She smiles sweetly as she says so. "We're going to sooo kick her ass."

    Scribbler gapes at you both, then says gruffly, "You... have a girlfriend who's a Lady in Hating, Ben-nee?" He sounds a tiny bit jealous, and a little freaked out.

    Lady Madalena interrupts, "We should get moving. The Smothered Folk should be encroaching the grounds of the school now. They will only distract the Ladies in Hating briefly before they are destroyed."
  • I give Scribbler a smirk and a little shrug. Madalena's last words should be more disturbing than they are, but there's a mission. "We go then. The bitch must die."
  • The four of you exit the Warrens through the waxen portal created by hundreds of Smothered Folk, climbing up the molten surface. Wax cakes under your nails. A couple times, your handholds feel like they will slip. But somehow, you're still moving up.

    In moments the dim waxy tunnel is gone and you're on the soft grass of the Finishing School grounds, moving quick and quiet as the sounds of women and girls grunting with effort, screaming hateful cries and the sound of things being cut and ripped and killed fill the air towards the gate. The Smothered Folk do not cry out as they die.

    Lady Madalena kicks open a side door, and you enter an unlit gymnasium. The parquet wooden floor squeaks under your shoes and echos bounce off the walls. Lady Madalena has her weapon drawn, her nostrils flaring with excitement, her candlelight eyes shining in the dim light.

    Bianca sniffs the air once, then says, "This way."

    A hundred doodle-warriors stream in behind Scribbler as he trails behind you. Bianca leads you through a set of double doors into a hallway, making a beeline up a hall that looks exactly like the hall you found yourself lost in before. Bianca doesn't hesitate.

    She reaches for your hand, the one not holding the gun, wanting the touch of you, your reassurance. Her face is set in determination, but you know she's killing her entire life before you. This is her commitment to you, Benny. How does that feel?

    The halls are clear. Evidently, the Ladies in Hating are wholly focused on the carnage at their front door. Up ahead, you see someone in the hall. Looks like this:


    Even without visual details, you know it's her. Mother When. Waiting on you. Waiting FOR you.

    Before Lady Madalena gives out her war cry, before Scribbler sends forth his brigade, before Bianca shifts into something inhuman and lashes out, what is it... that you do?
  • I see the indistinct but definite silhouette of Mother when, and just lose my shit. Really, she's the one that sent Bianca for me and started this whole terrible chain of events.

    I let out a rage-scream, and suddenly I'm not John-Travolta-from-Pulp-Fiction, I'm one hundred John-Travoltas-from-Pulp-Fiction, charging toward this Nightmare, cartoon guns blazing. Mother When may be the only one that sees it, but I'm rushing faster in my hundred Travoltas than anyone else around me can, and shooting deadly sketched bullets from a hundred sketched guns.
  • Attacking Mother When, leading my allies

    Discipline: (Rolled: 3d6. Rolls: 6, 4, 3. Total: 13)
    Exhaustion: (Rolled: 6d6. Rolls: 4, 2, 3, 1, 1, 5. Total: 16)
    Madness:(Rolled: 6d6. Rolls: 2, 5, 3, 1, 4, 2. Total: 17)
  • Pain: (Rolled: 10d6. Rolls: 6, 1, 5, 2, 2, 1, 6, 3, 6, 2. Total: 34)
  • Your eight successes are better than my six. Pain dominates the roll, so I gain a second Coin of Despair.

    The scribbled guns bark forth inkspot bullets that scream ahead of you. Mother When grows three times bigger, her yardstick becoming a giant, two-handed wooden sword. She bats aside nearly half of the bullets with a single move, but the others strike true, some slamming into her habit, her hands, her neck.

    Lady Madalena jumps forward, running beside four of you, but she is struck down with Mother When's back-handed strike. Then Mother When grows larger, larger than the hall can contain. Her torso fills the hall, and like a shadow covering the ceiling, her head and shoulders loom over you.

    Before you finish Mother When, Benny, she strikes down one of your allies. Who was it? Bianca? Or Scribbler?

    How is that you finish her off in retribution?
  • edited June 2014
    Mother When is swarmed with Travoltas, with doodle-creatures. Cartoon bullets tear into her. There's a moment when she turns her attention to ME, the actual me, and I'm pretty sure that I'm going to get cut down by her gigantic sword. She swings it down, and at the last second one of the doodle-creatures throws itself between the sword and me, bisected and poof! gone in an instant. I fire the last shot, my last shot at Mother, Bianca jumps in to protect me, just a moment late, and is struck down by one twitch of Mother When's now-massive hand, slammed against the wall, senseless. As Mother When convulses her way to a final end, her foot lashes out and strikes Bianca in the temple, crushing her skull.

    I walk up to Mother When's twitching body, watching as the light in "her" eyes fades. Just to make sure. I'm not sure she's done. I say, "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you." Then, my hands around her throat finish the job, choking.
  • Mother When dissolves into a black pudding after you choke the life out of her. The broken bodies of both Bianca and Lady Madalena lay in the hall that seems lighter, brighter somehow.

    There are splotches of ink and pencil marks all throughout the area around you, like some grenade went off in a big ink vial. A very tired and bedraggled Scribbler says quietly, "Ben-nee... it's done. We. Well, you did it. We should go. Before any of the Ladies return. All my doodles are gone."
  • I look at Bianca's body. There may be something we can do, right? I told her not to do that... I scoop her up, strangely light, throw her over my shoulder. Follow Scribbler, hoping that someone grabs Madalena's body on the way out. Tears streaming down my face.
  • Madalena's body is melting. Not like Mother When's, but like wax, of course. In moments, she'll be gone.

    --END SCENE--
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