[Serene] Grassy Knoll 1.0 (All)

It's a new day.

Last night, you picked up on things easily. There's a certain quality to the wind that let you know about the big space on the other side of the rise, a sound that's more felt than heard. It unsettled some of the Caravan enough, camping at dusk. Good thing, too. At first light, some of the scouts came back and everyone got it in gear. Over the rise, this is what you see:


There are some grumblings up and down the line about the added delay, and the family in front of you looks worried. There's neither hide nor hair of man nor beast, though. Some of the Caravan thinks to head through the cars instead of around.

Deg, where's the next stop for the Caravan? Why the hurry? And what does your little chunk of the Caravan look like, anyways? Where do you hang your hat?

Isis, why is that stretch of cars so dangerous to salvage? Who in the Caravan is most excited about this prospect? What is breakfast and breaking camp like for the Caravan, as a group? What scares you most at night?

Wisher, who did the Caravan pick up at the last stop, and why? How did they react when you brought out your instrument? What supplies does the Caravan need most? When was the last time you saw a Wolf?

What do you do?


  • edited January 2016

    Next stop Sparks.

    I hate Sparks.

    Call it that because they actually generate elec there. Most places don't do that. Some got a little. Some got more. Sparks is all lit up. With elec. It's unnatural.

    Folks there are weird too.

    To me at least.

    Others probably think Sparkies are norm. Somethin about them seems sideways to me though. Not sure why. Can't put finger on it. Maybe just me.

    Look around.

    I trade off with Half Pint. Sometimes he's up front. Sometimes he's in back. Me vice versa. Right now I'm in front. My cart is usually up here. Sitting on the roof. Feet on the hood.

    Call her Horse. Call her that because someone told me that carts like this were called hearses. Don't know that word. Know what a horse is. Horse seems right. Close enough. Lotta room. Curtains. Like that. Private. Like private.

    Things are quiet.


    Hurrying cause we saw some evidence of some scavers on the road. Small campsite. Half Pint and I took a look. Placed their numbers low. Not low enough. They'll be faster than us. So we been moving. They catch us might be a fight. Not one we can't handle but one we don't need.

  • edited January 2016
    imageOh great, another metal graveyard. Wisher will be happy - more junk to rumage through. Suspicious folk think the souls of the dead are left behind in these graveyards...I know it's just a prime place to ambush a caravan.

    If I have to eat deer meat for one more day...Remi the hunter (or at least that's what we call him since he packs a Remington and he won't tell us his name), caught a deer. We are now on day three of deer for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At least we get some eggs with our breakfast meat. Guess I better go tear down our tent and get ready to head out. Our tent is pretty small for two people...doesn't bother me much though, I don't sleep much anyway. Sleeping leads to dreaming...and dreaming...well, let's say I'd rather not do that. Sitting under the stars with a bottle of 'dreams-be-gone' is better. That's what I did last night while Wisher was snoring away in our tent.

  • edited January 2016
    imageAin't this just a beautiful morning? I love waking up early, and watching the sun rise once all the trees have their leaves... It's always a nice little promise that things are going to get better after a long winter. I'm chatting with Stopsign, the dude who joined up with the caravan back in the Fire Hills, over breakfast while Isis does her thing.

    Stopsign was just telling me how he had his eye on a cart since back when he was knee-high to a grasshopper – some people romanticize these things, and I think that's healthy. He told me how the whole village scrimped to get him a cart, so he could represent them on the roads. You can tell he's ecstatic to be out here finally, but he's anxious not to mess this up. I'm trying to tell him he'll do fine. No sense in worrying about what might be until it turns into what is...

    Between you and me, though, I was up way too late last night... I was drinking, and then someone mentioned that I play the viola, so that had to come out, encouraged Flower to keep singing so people would keep dancing, had another drink, asked Isis to dance, struck out with Isis, shrugged it off, and called it a night. Everyone was dancing well after I got to bed though, so I think I may have started something... People were slow coming to this morning, and that's always a good sign. Sleep is good after a night of partying.

    I may have dunked my head in the trough for a drink before officially passing out, and then again when I woke up. Just don't tell Isis that...

    Anyway. It's becoming painfully obvious that the caravan needs a better supply of food... Not that Isis and me haven't picked a moose dry over a winter, or eaten our weight in potatoes, but this is a damn caravan! Where's the veggies? Where's the spices? Some variety would be nice! My sourdough only goes so far without butter... You don't want to get too close to the bottom of the barrel, when it comes to food. The Wolves feed on fear and desperation. Seems they always show up when you think things couldn't get worse... Last time I laid eyes on one was back up in the Snowcaps over the winter, when we were snowed in that little hut we found. They didn't find us, though... We got lucky that time.

    I'm trying to listen in to the conversations going on with the scouts coming back... Did someone say metal graveyard? I love those things.
  • edited January 2016
    Flora and Fauna, the twins, are talking up a storm about what they've scouted, bows slung over their backs. Flora, the redhead, is worried about snakes, or worse. "Remember what happened to little Prim?" She has a shiver and makes a yuck-face. Fauna, the dark-skinned one, bounces up and down. "Every trunk is like a surprise! And who doesn't want extra tirewheels?" They both look around for support. Isis, whose opinion matters most to them? Who has the juice to push the Caravan one way or the other? Do you get involved?

    Here's Flora and Fauna:

    Deg, Half Pint pokes his head out the little sunfaded curtained window and squints. "Whuzza holdup?" His voice is still muzzy from sleep, but his eyes are sharp. He glances behind the Caravan. "Why're we stopped?" Remi is nearby, using a scope as binocs, chewing on deer jerky. Do you know what happened to little Prim?

    Here's Half Pint:

    Here's Remington:

    Wisher, Stopsign is staring at that metal graveyard and you know he's thinking of his own not-full cart... but also that an ox don't run for very long. Now that you think about it, some of those car trunks might very well have some canned food."I wonder what those big things are? Could be boxcars full of jingle. What's the worst that could happen?" You overhear him talking to himself.

    Here's Stopsign:

    And his cart, and ox Belina:

    What do you do?
  • imageI'm all but salivating at those carts down there... Story has it millions of folks packed up these things with treasure around the time the Wolves started hunting, and left them as an offering to the Wolves to spare their lives... Shame the Wolves don't value material wealth. I like digging through that stuff, though... It's where I found my viola, and these fancy pants with all these pockets! One time, I found a picture book with all kinds of memories inside from before the wolves were in the world. You could see the joy on people's faces in every picture... People don't always have that here. Times must have been happier back then.

    Either way, I think Stopsign's got the right idea. I make my way over to Isis, boiling over with joy, and say, "please tell me we're going down there!"
  • image

    Prim? Nope. Liked Prim. No idea what happened. Heard she's gone. Didn't want to know.

    Liked Prim. Don't want to think about it. Couldn't help. Don't want to know.

    Look at Half Pint. Shrug. "Don't know much. Cars blocking way. Twins wanna scav. All eyes."
  • edited January 2016
    imageFlora and Fauna have come back from scouting, giddy like school girls, telling everyone what they saw. They are looking to Deg and Halfpint to back them up - muscle in case there are snakes and other nasties.

    Even though the caravan doesn't have a leader in the strictest sense, there's an old dude named Rocco that seems to have everyone's respect. People listen to him. He's over talking with Remi, hashing out a plan - I think they are related somehow.

    I have a bad feeling - I'd just like to keep moving around the graveyard....but the Twins, Stopsign, and Wisher are all too eager and I'm not about to let them go on their own. That could be disastrous.

    Wisher comes up and pleads that we go have a look..."Fine..." I say grudgingly, "After all someone has to watch your back."
  • edited January 2016
    imageI'm grinning from ear to ear, "It'll be awesome, you'll see! C'mon!" I reach for her hand, hoping to start pulling her down to the graveyard. It's not like we're strictly with the caravan. If they don't want to come, they don't have to come... "Remember the time we were crossing the ruins, and we came across that big box cart full of stuff? And I insisted on staying to look around, and we found our tent? It'll be just like that." Probably.
  • Half Pint looks at you, Deg, with his face screwed up like he'd been sucking on a lemon. "Lord, we can't stop every six minutes." He looks back along the way the small troupe came, as if he's expecting a horde of raiders and bandits and mounted warboys. "Maybe Rocco should listen to wiser words. There's not enough o' us here to guard the Caravan and a scavenge squad." He makes to get out of Horse, give Rocco a piece of the truth.

    What kind of history went on between those two, Half Pint and Rocco? Any bad blood there?
  • Stopsign hops down from Belina and moseys over to the twins, hands tucked into those overall things he wears. "Uh," he says. "I think we should check it out?"
  • edited January 2016
    Rocco's like, "It's probably all picked over, fools. Anything that's left has got the rot or boobytrapped maybe. Down there, we're sitting frogs."

    Remi's quieter, and points. "High ground. Lookout." Man spends his words like he could only use 'em once. He has a shrug like he can handle anything. You know that look, Isis. What's it mean?
  • edited January 2016
    imageLooks like Remi is going up to higher ground to get a better look. He doesn't care for scavaging...I bet he is going to go take a nap up there.

    "Ok let's get this over with." I say to Wisher as we make our way down the hill to the carts. There are way more of them than I expected."Stay close...and just pick a couple to look through."
  • edited January 2016
    image"Aye, aye, miss serious," I smile, pat my chest in a mock salute, and wink just for her, as I guide her down the hill. Stopsign and the other caravan owners may be in this for jingle, but I'm in this for history... I'm looking for the carts that look like they've got a story to tell. When we get there, I'm going to take some time walking through the maze of metal, running my hand along the hoods, and listening to whatever they have to say...
  • Isis, Wisher, you and a couple of the more starry-eyed others (like Stopsign) start making your way to the metal graveyard. Rocco and most of the guards are staying behind, "too keep a sharp eye" for whatever may come. Fauna's showing you the path she and her sister found, pointing out good places for feet and hands where the plants aren't too thick or irritating. You can tell that there's no sane way to haul out tons of jingle or scrap without setting up a full block and tackle and camp and having another dozen more hands.

    There's a whispering sort of quiet in the metal graveyard, the oldcars lined up in their columns neat as can be. You pass a red van has a tree growing through it, roots seeking out the open doors like hungry fingers. Black gravel crunches under your feet as you wade through the grass. There's dozens, maybe hundreds of these. A body could spend a lifetime going through these, and you certainly see a few oldcars look like they've been picked over. Most look just empty and abandoned, with a haunting lack of a sense of purpose.

    Wisher, it sound like you want that brain of yours to be open. I'll address that in just a sec.

    Isis, are you actually doing any salvage or searching, or just watching out for Wisher?

    Deg, are you headed down also, or do you have better things to do up top?
  • Wisher, that brain of yours is about to be open. What's that like for you, and how does it reveal things to you? What do other people see? What happened last time it was open?

    Feel free to roll that move, too.
  • edited January 2016
    imageI have to admit I am a bit curious about what's in these carts...when I was little my grandfather would tell me stories about the old world. Maybe I'll take a quick look around...keeping my katana at the ready though just in case...this place is creepy. Wisher better not stray too far off...
  • imageMy brain is always at least half open... You know how when you're trying to do something, and someone keeps talking in your ear, and if you try and listen, you can't quite focus well enough to do the job, but if you put your mind to it, you can kind of block them out and keep working? That's what the world is like for me. I hear voices, see shadows where they shouldn't be... Some of them are harmless, spirits of the world, and the people who do, and have, inhabited it. Some of them are wolves.

    To most people, I probably just look lost in thought. Nothing fantastic. I often get lost in thought, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Last time I got "lost in thought" I walked clear across four fields to this tiny little brook... We'd gone almost a day and a half without water, and I could have sworn I heard a little girl splashing and giggling in the distance. I like to think of it as a water spirit, guiding us to her in our time of need. The spirit was shy, and disappeared as soon as we found the water, but I left her a little offering of bread in thanks. Maybe it'll bring an animal to keep her company.

    Now... About these carts...
  • Opening brain.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 6, 3. Total: 10)
  • Isis, let's use a move to see what happens when you go searching.

    When you scavenge in the ruins, roll+sharp.
    On a 10+, choose two and find an oddment worth 1-barter. On a
    7–9, choose one and find an oddment worth 1-barter:
    • You find it quickly.
    • You find it with relatively little trouble.
    • You find an item that is valuable.
    • You find an item that is hi-tech
    If you hit, please detail your oddment.
  • edited January 2016

    You walk past the carts, your fingertips gently thumping on their metal and fiberglass bodies. The wind seems to pick up, echoing the empty taps and thumps, speeding it up faster and faster to a steady impossibly fast staccato rhythm, landscape flying past you faster than a fast horse's gallop. You're sitting in one of the carts, holding onto a wheel, adjusting a dial to make different music. It's like it's brand new, you're driving the cart.

    The sun glints off the mirror and you glance to see a shadow behind you, creeping like mist, thick tendrils looping and swirling to the other new carts. There are people there, real live people dressed like the beforetimes, carefree and oblivious to the shadow... even as it takes them, leaving nothing behind and the carts slow down, slower slower, you can hear the creak of the rubber tirewheels as it settles. Then in a flash, you see the cart settle down as the tirewheels lose air, the paint peels and fades and cracks, plants grow and die and grow and animals sniff pass, dust and pollen and bird shit accruing over the years. You sense the wild spirit of the cart withering, lonely and fading away to nothingness. It may be a powerful beast spirit, but it gets hungry and needs its hurts tended.

    It's gone. They're almost all gone, the cart spirits. The plants, a lush green wall of inevitability, watch quietly.

    When you snap out of it, you hear the buzzing of bees.
  • Scavenge in the ruins

    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 5, 4. Total: 10)
  • image
    Watch Half Pint go.


    Like Half Pint. He's smart. Strong. Means well.

    Rocco? He's okay. Half Pint tends to be no nonsense. Like me. Rocco likes to please people. Why people like him. He's nice. Smart. Good. But can't please everyone. Please everyone, eventually please no one.


    Follow Half Pint. Back him up when he talks to Rocco.

    "Hey, Pint. Wait. I'll, um, come with. Help out. With Rocco."
  • edited January 2016
    OOC: I pick the following:
    You find it quickly.
    You find an item that is valuable.

    imageI'm drawn towards a small, blue colored cart, somewhat hidden between two huge ones. It's become a home for some squirrels, and they've made quite the mess inside.

    The trunk has been scavenged already, but I decide to look around in the front. Not everyone thinks to look in the compartment between the seats and in the one at the foot of the left...uh I mean right...hand side seat. I find a small box, and in it is a beautiful emerald pendant. I'm not usually one for jewelry...but this one looks real swell. I put it on and call over to Wisher "hey, look what I...."I stop mid sentence as I get a very strange feeling after putting it on. It's almost as though it makes me feel safe...protected...
  • edited January 2016
    imageIsis' voice snaps me out of my little vision, and I have to look around a second to catch my bearings... Bees? I look around, just to make sure I'm not going crazy, before I make my way over to Isis, who seems to have stopped talking, mid sentence. "Uh, you ok?" I notice the new bling around her neck, "hey! Nice find!" She looks totally hot in it.
  • It's only been a few minutes, but Rocco's already got one of his pipes out and has it stuffed with leaf. He's chillaxing on a blue and white folding lawn chair with one ankle crossed over a knee, jiggling his foot like he'd rather be dancing. But he is watching the small party with intent hope. Deg, what went right the last time he looked that way?

    Here's Rocco:

    Half Pint has had a good almost a minute to build up a head of steam as he stomps his way to Rocco. A few of the cart-drivers watch him nervously, and one of the horses stamps its feet in an answer as he clomps by. Is he overreacting, Deg? Or is the threat of those scavers that real?

    What do you do?
  • image"Uh, yah I'm fine. I just got a weird vibe from this pendant. Did you find anything good?" I say to Wisher as I fumble with the pendant. I decide to take it off and put it in my pocket. I don't really know the caravan that well - don't want to draw attention to it...it would probably just be seen as something to sell. But I think it's worth more than that.
  • edited January 2016
    imageMy concern eases, and I let a smile creep back onto my face as she takes off the pendant, and pockets it. I shake my head, "nothing good. Maybe Bees... Want some honey? Help me take a peek around?"

  • image"Sure, let's go have a look."I say to Wisher. Mmm honey...haven't had that in ages. I wonder why Wisher was so lost in thought again...it happens pretty often. He sees things, or at least that's what he tells me. I'm not sure what that means exactly. Makes me a bit uneasy.
  • edited January 2016
    Rocco looks happy. Got good sense. Last time he looked like that we found more food than we knew what to do with. Crisps. Crackers. Cans. All undisturbed. Pantry of a little untouched house. Middle of nowhere. Rocco took one look at it. Made that face. Sat and watched. Looked happy. He just knows. Part of why folks follow him. Gets feelings. Good feelings. Bad feelings. Feelings.

    I always get bad feelings.

    Half Pint? Worse than me. Jumps at every shadow. Scavers are bad. They are. But he's always just a little more worried than me.

    But yeah. Bad feelings. In general. Just not Half Pint bad.

    Half Pint and Rocco don't get along. I get along with Rocco. Get along with anyone, really, long as they don't bother folks. Figure I'll start cause of that.

    "Rocco. We. Um. We wanted to talk."
  • edited January 2016
    Rocco looks up at you, Deg, eyeing Half Pint warily. "You lot got some trouble?" He carries a handgun in a holster made from a plastic bottle, and his hand makes a half-reach for it, ready to protect the Caravan.
  • Isis, I figure you and Wisher are there watching the bees, thinking about which of these carts has a hive, right? Some sprit in that jewelry cart suddenly remembers its job, or maybe some battery inside woke up when you took the box, but either way, it lights up like a demon full of sound and fury, flashing lights and letting out a WOOOO WOOOO WOOOO WOOOO, whooooOOOOOOOOP whooooOOOOOOOOP whooooOOOOOOOOP, eeeeee ooooo eeeeee ooooo eeeeee ooooo, merp merp merp that you could probably hear for miles.

    What do you do?
  • edited January 2016
    imageWhat's that noise?! I turn around to see the pretty blue cart I was just at flashing with light and making loud siren sounds. That's not good. I start scanning the area...what if it attracts an ambush? Should we run back to the caravan? Is there a way to make the noise stop? I look at Wisher and motion for him to duck behind a cart just in case there is something lerking around.
  • Sounds like you're aiming to read the sitch, Isis. Go ahead and roll+sharp if I hear you right.
  • image
    Half Pint's gonna rant. I step in.

    "Maybe... maybe we should move. Scavs. Scavs around. Not worth a fight."
  • Rocco keeps his hand near his gun, and his eyes tighten at the mention of Scavs. "Even with all that? There's plenty." He jerks his chin at the metal graveyard, and you know he's thinking of a big payday. Sparks down the way is a fine place to sell freshly found things. They have the elec to use bits from those carts, you know.

    "We need to get the fuck on the road and dispense with the sightseeing!" Half Pint bites off his next.
  • edited January 2016
    imageI'm already down on the ground, cowering back towards a cart, and scanning for danger when Isis starts telling me what to do. I've learned to trust her in times of danger. "What do we do?"

  • edited January 2016
    imageRead the situation
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 3, 6. Total: 10)

  • imageOOC: I pick the following questions
    - what's my best escape route?
    - what's my enemy's true position
    - what should I be on the lookout for?
  • image
    Alarm goes off. Up on a cart, fast as can be. Looking around. Have to protect folks. Did Wisher and Isis and the twins all go down by carts? Scavs. Scavs.

  • image
    Reading sitch. That's my job.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 4, 6. Total: 11)
  • edited January 2016
    Enemy's true position?
    Biggest threat?
    Most vulnerable to me?
  • image


    You know your best escape route- back the path you came to the Caravan, just a little more direct and less wandering in the metal graveyard. The climb up might be tricky if you're being chased or otherwise under fire. Your enemies' true positions are in the metal graveyard itself- there's a medium pack of wild dogs nearish that's sniffing to investigate prey (you), any number of snakes that would not take kindly to being trodden upon, some plants with thorns and poison, and one of the carts is basically one giant wasp nest. Do not disturb, says Mama Nature. As to the last, be on the lookout for humans. They're the worst. They know what the alarm means. Which scares you the most? Oh, and look out for Wisher. He needs you.


    Fauna, Isis, Stopsign, Wisher, and Doghead are all down there. You see Isis and Wisher hunkered down nearby. Fauna's got something she's carrying in a sack and is hustling back, Stopsign stumbling behind her, trying to drag something along. Doghead climbed up on a cart to see what the what. What kind of weapon do they have ready, if any? Your enemies are the scavs, the real scavs. You can see heads pop out of carts, the grass. A couple come out the back of a van, guns up. Your biggest threat is the one with the rifle. He's super skinny, like drug-skinny, and has a cookpot as a helmet, but you can see the scope he's got is nothing to disregard. He can get a bead on any of you easy. Any of them are vulnerable to your blade or a bullet, but the one that's most vulnerable to you is the scav who still loves you.


    When hunting for visions, how often does it backfire like this?

    What do you do?
  • Oh, the lay of the land is akin to this.


    There's the Scavs and cookpot on the left, the Caravan and pack animals along the bottom, but I've only detailed Deg. You should see the wasp-bus, the alarm car, and the pack of wild dogs.

    Doghead, Wisher and Isis, Stopsign and Fauna are in the middle. Assume there's a ton more green all over the place, and those big grassed-over things are down there too.
  • edited January 2016
    imageYou mean, how often do we stumble on something that attracts the unwanted attention of a bunch of scavengers with actual fucking guns, and bullets to shoot from them? ... Rarely. More often than not, we'll stumble on some rotting corpses, or piss of a wild boar. This one time, I stepped in a bear trap... I almost lost my leg... I got lucky there.

    I call out to Isis, a little more frantically now, "What do we do?"
  • edited January 2016
    imageThings are starting to get busy down here. We have to stay away from the scarvers to the west. I think going straight up the hill, back the way we came, is best bet. Deg has an eye on us so we should be OK for overhead cover. Stopsign and Fauna are heading back up too. "Let's go back up the way we came...quietly creep through the carts, just so we don't set off more alarms, and when we get to the open spot we make a run for it." I say to Wisher, pointing up to the caravan.
  • edited January 2016
    imageThat's fantastic, that your visions never backfire. Must be nice. But, Wisher, the maelstrom's echoes come to you in this moment.

    When was the last time you made a mistake that got someone maimed, or killed? And whatever did happen to your parents?

    Ever lose someone in the maelstrom?
  • image
    Running down. No second thought. Half Pint with me. What we're here for.

    Doghead has a hunting rifle. Thank the maker. That'll help. Everyone else, though. Hope they're armed.

    Cookpot's the biggest threat. Gotta get to him. That's where I go. Gotta get to him before Vet sees me. Vet sees me, he'll know I'm alive. He knows I'm alive, he'll have questions. He's my enemy right now. That makes things complicated. No way. Get to Cookpot before Vet sees me.
  • imageMy parents? My mother died when I was pretty young, and my Dad... Well... He was a wolf.

    Look... I know what you're saying. The world is a dangerous place – and it is – but you can't go around blaming yourself for every time someone dies around you... Isis and me don't travel with other people, but we have had friends die around us. Like the time I got my foot caught in a bear trap, I was following a snow spirit to a moose we were tracking to make it through the winter. Isis, and this trapper we met, Tipp, lost the trail trying to keep me from bleeding out, and the wolves caught up with us as they were dragging me back to camp... Tipp never made it back. I made a point of putting up a memorial for him before we left camp again.

    As for losing someone in the maelstrom... Yes. I've watched someone put a mask on. The transformation is... Unsettling.

    I spot Deg and Half Pint running down the hill towards us, and decide we should probably move... I stand up, and make my way to Isis, "Ok, let's go!"
  • imageI grab my pistol from my boot to have at the ready should trouble follow us. My katana is impractical with all this metal in the way, plus it's only short range. I know Wisher is unarmed, not sure about the others. If I need to use my gun I will, but hope I don't have to. I hate guns.
  • Deg, let's see you Act Under Fire to get to Cookpot before Vet puts eyes on you.
  • image
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 4, 2. Total: 7)
  • image

    Deg, you're on a beeline for your target, and you're flitting from cart cover to cart cover to deliver your sting, but you've hunkered down next to a big bus, waiting for the next step in the dance, when you hear a bone-deep buzzing and realize you have taken cover by that fucking huge wasp's nest, I mean this entire bus is a huge nest of those bastards, you can see where these nest itself has cracked through the windows, spilling waves of paper and bulging organic construction and you see a few dozen wasps big as your thumb irritably circling near your head.

    I guess that harshes your mellow.

    So now, Deg, you can chill by these wasps and let what happen happens so that you can still get the drop on Cookpot as Vet ambles by, or you can GTFO and see where the wind takes you- you could advance on Cookpot and Vet is sure to see you, or back the fuck away and lose your chance to ring his bell. Or maybe you got a better idea.

    What do you do?

  • image
    Can't stay here. Damn. Vet. Gonna see me. Damn. For now, use it. He'll be shocked. No doubt. Hope he won't want to hurt me. Get the drop on Cookpot. Take him out. Deal with Vet after.

    No choice.

    No choice.

    Let's go.
  • imageI'm making my way back up the hill towards the caravan, when I notice Deg isn't coming towards us... She's running back out towards... Is that a group of scavs? I put a hand on Isis' shoulder to stop her, "What's Deg doing?"
  • image

    Deg, you slide the fuck away from that nest, and good thing, too- you pass right by Doghead who doesn't know about the wasps. He's got his rifle out and you know he's not swimming in bullets, but he's taking aim on one of the scavs. The sharp crack of the rifle is met with one of the scavs shrieking and collapsing, but almost immediately by a buzzsaw roar of a hum from the nest. The wasps, already cross from the car alarm (which is still merrily WOOOOO woooo WOOOOO wooooo -ing) get downright disagreeable with the rifle noise and go for Doghead. You can imagine where this goes for him, but your focus is on Cookpot and you don't see it.

    That rifle, now, is a badass one and you see the glimmer in his other eye (it's brown) as he locks a target on one of your friends. But you're up in his face right as you see the little muscle in his fingertip start to pull back, and the tiniest shift of tendon in his elbow right before you lop it the fuck off at the bicep with a mighty swing of your machete. I suppose the followup is straight to the neck? Either way, goom-bye Cookpot. You see his eyes focusing and unfocusing on you as the hot blood spurts and seeps into the earth. The grass is red.

    Vet whips his head around at some noise to see you standing there, in the moment. Rapidly, you see his face melt from murder-rage to human.

    What was the sweetest memory you have of Vet? What's Louise got to opine about this kettle of fish you're sitting in, anyway?
  • image

    Isis, Half Pint is right by you and one of the carts- Fauna is slowed by Stopsign and his whatever the fuck he's hauling, but they look decently far enough, assuming nobody wants to burn rifle ammo. Wisher's words stop you and you see Deg, but also poor Doghead is screaming now and he takes all of yall's attention as a great cloud of wasps surround him. Poor fool has lost his rifle, and has his shirt bunched around his face while he runs blindly, but it doesn't look good. You see welts rising on his arms and thin belly even at this distance. Even if all of the wasps took a coffee break right now, what would you do with him? Unless there's a rolling clinic cart with the Caravan.

    "Aw, no," Half Pint clearly wants to help Doghead and Deg at the same time. I doubt he knows about Vet just yet. But all three of you hear Cookpot's wail of pain.
  • edited January 2016



    We were lying on Vet's cot. It was hot and sticky out that day, so we were down to our skivvies. Vet was an artist back then, in the colony, before folks all went their separate ways after The Long Night. Things were good enough, then, that there was call for artists and other such people. We lied there, surrounded by his work. Marionettes, mostly. Vet had just finished a new piece he modeled after me. He named her "Louise" and as we lie there, in the heat, he showed me how she could dance when he pulled her strings. She was exquisite. Like nothing I'd ever seen, and the best he ever made. I was as delighted as a child studying the nighttime sky for the first time as I watched him make the puppet jump and move and spin.

    Nice memory. Kinda hate nice memories. Specially when other stuff going on. Want to go to Vet. Damn. Knew that would happen. No time. Not right place. Take out other scavs, maybe? Help Half Pint, Isis, Wisher. Go to Vet.

    Don't know.

  • edited January 2016
    Louise. Help. Need you.
    Rolling Norman
    (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 1, 5. Total: 6)
  • imageDamn poor Doghead. I'm betting he won't make it through the night at this rate, but I'll see if I can get him to calm down a bit. Wasps hate being agitated.

    I motion to Wisher to keep going up towards the caravan, and I go a bit closer to Doghead - close enough so I don't have to yell at him and piss off the wasps even more, but far enough so they don't see me as a threat. "Doghead! Lie down on the ground facedown and cover your head. Try not to move. Wasps attack when they think there's a threat." I say to him while crouching behind a cart.

    I'll hang here for a few incase the scavers give Deg trouble. She might need back up. Wisher, Fauna and Stopsign should be back up to the caravan shortly.
  • image
    Deg, my dear, you always need my help.

    I've missed you. We've missed Vet.

    You should bring Vet with us.

    You always need my help.

    And don't you forget it.

    I love you.

  • edited January 2016
    imageI watch Isis turn around and run back into the chaos, but she's already out of reach by the time I call out, "hey wait! Isis!"... This is getting bad, and I'm guessing that gunshot just made things worse... I make a bee-line back for the caravan, mostly for our stuff, but also to make sure nobody else is planning to run down there and start shooting things up.
  • image

    Here's where we're at.


    Isis, Doghead half hears you, he's blind and going mad with the stings. You see him drop down and start to roll, probably hoping to kill the wasps or put out the fire of the pain. Does anyone in the Caravan have the skill to heal? Or do you get on by gut and by god, hoping towns have a medico?

    A glance over your shoulder reveals Fauna pulling Stopsign along. She's got her bag quick-tied to her, and Stopsign doesn't want to let go of the thing he's got. They're almost to the embankment and will need to climb soon. Wisher, you're close to them. You could help in any number of ways, or keep running to the group. You think you see Remi's orange hat moving up there, but it's a quick glimpse and you're not focused on him.
  • imageNot sure if Doghead really understood me or not, but he has dropped and is rolling around on the ground. I think that's just going to make things worse. No one with medical skills on this caravan, at least not that I'm aware. Some basic first aid, like tournequets and bandages, sure - gotta know some of that when using guns and knives. But no medicine for wasp stings. In a caravan you are kind of on your own. Docs don't leave villages - it's too risky for them, they are too valuable. Let's hope the next village has one...and that Doghead (and the rest of us) make it there.

    What is Deg up to anyway...I'm surprised a ton of gunfire hasn't erupted over there yet....
  • image
    She's right.

    She's right.

    Vet looks at me. I look at Vet. Vet liked my eyes. Motion with my head. C'mere.

    Please understand.

    C'mere Vet.

    Come with me. Please.
  • imageCrudbuckets... This is getting out of hand. I'm not very strong; but Isis and I lug a lot of stuff around, and I've seen what an open wound does to people on the open road... I run over to Stopsign and Fauna, "Let's go, guys! What can I do to help?"
  • edited January 2016

    Deg, he understands. Vet understands you. He always could, Louise can't disguise your lovely eyes. Vet can read you like a book. You see he's starting to lower the weapon he's got, some sort of metal throwing stick and its point gleams in the pretty morning sun and his whole body language changes and somehow gets softer and one of his mismatched boot raises up as he takes a step, not a run, not a charge, just a half step to come to you.

    That's when one of the other scavs, the ratty-haired one with the face, pulls his trigger and Stopsign catches a bullet. Poor fool makes a shocked "—ggck?" noise right in front of you, Wisher, and there's a bloom of red splots running all over the big black case or whatever, and Fauna is shocked but still rabbiting, she's waffling on to stop and and help or run back to the Caravan. In this moment, you know Stopsign was sweet on Fauna, but it didn't go anywhere. Maybe never will. Is he dead, Wisher? Do you check?

    Deg, a few bullets fly in your direction, badly, but the fat scav with bad teeth and the girl one with the green glass beads are rushing at you for to avenge Cookpot. "Vet, Vet, go go go!" shouts the fat one.

    Isis, you know all this is going on. You could help Doghead or Deg or Stopsign or your own ass. You also hear a few yips and questioning barks, now that your ears are sharpened from the gunfire. Must be the adrenaline.

    What do you do?
  • image
    Just a few seconds before they get to me. Where does Vet stand?

    reading Vet
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 6, 1. Total: 8)
  • image
    How can I get Vet to turn against the other Scavs? Least stay out of way while I deal?
  • imageStopsign's blood spatters across my face, and a wave of nausea washes over me. I drop down next to him, checking the wound in his neck... The bullet just grazed him, but it looks like it clipped the artery. It's gushing a lot of blood... Gun shots are dicey, even when they aren't to a vital organ. Infections, blood loss, internal bleeding... None of it's good. This? This is bad. This is why most people don't leave their homes. Life out here is dangerous.

    I look to Fauna, "help me drag him to cover over by one of those carts!" We can't drag him up there without possibly getting shot ourselves... So we're going to ride it out, and make Stopsign more comfortable. I grab Stopsign's arm, and start pulling him back into the graveyard... "It's OK, buddy. We're here for you! Stay strong!"
  • imageBastards! Poor Stopsign... Looks like Wisher and Fauna are taking care of him. Time to help Deg and fight fire with fire. If we don't stop the scavs they will just come for the rest of us.

    I sneak a bit closer to the group, then grab my pistol and start firing towards the ratty-haired scav that shot Stopsign and the fat one who is shooting at Deg, all while trying to keep cover behind a big cart door.
  • edited January 2016

    Deg, Vet's in love with you- or as least he was in love with Green, which is more or less the same thing in the heat of the battle. If you want him on your side, give him some hope that he could get back with you, maybe make a life. What do you think Half Pint would say with vet in your life again? Anything there we should know about between you two?

    Wisher, your words help snap Fauna out of it. "Look, Wisher, here!" The big flat black thing he was lugging can be something like a sled, and the two of you get Stopsign on it and drag it over the rough grassy ground. Stopsign groans and yells with some of the bigger bumps. You duck back behind one of the carts, its impossibly shiny chrome bumper a startling contrast to its faded peeling pink paint. You're leaving a blood trail, though. Any sort of animal could easily find you. But you're safe from another stray bullet.

    What do you do?
  • edited January 2016


    Don't want to lead him on. Need him to come with.


    Okay. I yell out to him. Don't like yelling. Need to. "VET! KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK, FRIEND!" Feel silly yelling it. It's what I said when I visited him. A joke. He had no door. Just a curtain. Couldn't knock. Said it instead. I was funny then. He'll remember. He'll get it. I want to come in. I'm asking nicely. Being polite. Being funny.

    Half Pint won't like a new guy. Specially not with me. Nothing like that. I don't have the parts he's interested in. But he doesn't like change. Doesn't like unknowns. Feel bad about that. Half Pint's good. I'll explain it to him. Try at least.

    Grip machete. Glass beads and bad teeth. Fuck 'em. Going down.
  • imageOnce Stopsign, Fauna, and I are safely back behind cover, I'm reaching into my bag and pulling out old rags to try and stop that bleeding from draining him here and now. Small comforts, right? "Y'know Stop, there are easier ways to get scars if you're trying to impress women..." I look to Fauna, after I've got the rag on the wound securely. If Stop's going to die, he might as well do some unburdening... I aim to make that happen. "can you hold this?" I go digging through my bag for something sweet to chew on – sugar is a natural painkiller.

    That's when I notice the trail of blood... Are those dogs I saw earlier getting any closer?
  • image

    Isis, that sounds like Seize by Force to me, if you're trying to seize freedom. Let's see the dice if that's your goal.
  • image Seize by force

    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 6, 1. Total: 9)
  • image

    Deg, he's conflicted. You see it as he looks back and forth beetween you and the scavs. He takes a half step and half-heartedly raises his throwing stick thing. You shout your greeting and it's like a splash into cold water of remembering for him, eyes widened. "Green?" he calls, uncertain. He's rattled and not raising arms. By then glass beads and bad teeth are much closer, and glass beads is shouting wordlessly at you, grief plain on her face. She looks a bit like Cookpot, but that's a little detail doesn't mean much in the heat of battle. They're about to unload on you, and if you're going to help Isis and seize some freedom for you all, let's hear how.
  • image

    Wisher, Fauna knows a bit of road aid, seems like. "Lessee here," she says, fussing with the improv dressing, holding it. "Hang in there, Stoppy, it's okay, it is," she tells him. You see his eyes rolling and he flinches in pain when the cloth presses firm. He kicks and looks like he's trying to keep his shit in. That's good, he wants to live.

    You have your hand in your pack, grabbing for candy or some crap, and your eyes walk up the blood trail, and around the corner of a cart, you see something like this:


    There's intelligence in those eyes.

    What do you do?
  • imageI stick a few more rags next to Fauna – but she won't need them if Stopsign doesn't stop thrashing around like that. Just as I feel a few wrappers deep in the bottom of my pack, I spot the dogs around the corner, and freeze. I've had a few encounters with packs of wild dogs... If we're lucky, these ones are recently escaped from captivity. If we're not lucky, they're rabid, and hungry.

    I can't make myself bigger without also exposing myself to bullets, so I do the next best thing... Submit. "Easy boys... Calm. Nobody here's looking for trouble. Easy." I'm hoping they feel the same way about violence today.
  • OOC: Seize by force
    I pick these two:
    • you suffer little harm
    • you inflict terrible harm
  • image
    No time to think. Isis is shooting. Easier to hit a distracted target. I yell out. "OVER HERE! I'M THE ONE YOU WANT!"

    Get their attention away from Isis.

    roll to help.
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 2, 4. Total: 8)
  • edited January 2016
    imageI keep talking in a soft, soothing tone. No aggression. No cause for alarm. "That's it... Good dogs..."

    Disarming Presence
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 4, 1. Total: 7)
  • edited January 2016
    OOC: seize by force

    With Deg's help I add:
    • you take definite hold of it
  • edited January 2016
    A lot happens in a short space of time.

    Wisher, the dogs relax at the low tones of your voice. Teeth are tucked and haunches lowered. The brown and tan one sits and cocks his head, giving you three a curious look. A couple of the others turn in circles before settling, sniffing at the blood and whining at Stopsign. The black one with patches of brown looks at your hand in your pack, sniffs, then at your face, then at your hand, licking his chops. The matted tail thumps once, hopefully. They watch you.

    Isis and Deg, your life is somewhat less idyllic and pastoral.

    Isis, you let loose with some precious bullets. Where do you get them? They zip zip zip and find marks in ratty's flesh, the cracks loud enough to startle a flock of parrots from a nearby tree. Deg, you find your sweet machete drinks deep, and often. Bad teeth and glass beads are so much soft meat beneath your might as you strike. Louise seems to approve. Vet is right there, too. Does he know your violent side?

    But it's not one-sided. The scavs trade bullets with both of you, and you catch more than your daily ration of lead. Let's deal with harm in a moment.
  • edited January 2016


    2-harm from bullets minus 1-harm for armor minus 1-harm for suffer little, and you've got zero harm coming at you. Please roll+0.


    2-harm from bullets minus 1-harm for armor minus 1-harm for Rasputin, and you also have zero harm incoming. Please roll+0. Thanks for helping.


    2 harm from Isis, plus one harm for inflict terrible, minus one harm for armor, and they've got 2-harm to enjoy.

    Vet is not fighting and Cookpot is bleeding out already. They're not impressed, dismayed, or frightened, but they are GTFOing.
    The Book said:

    When you suffer harm, roll+harm suffered (after armor, if you’re wearing any). On a 10+, the MC can choose 1:

    • You’re out of action: unconscious, trapped, incoherent or panicked.
    • It’s worse than it seemed. Take an additional 1-harm.
    • Choose 2 from the 7–9 list below.

    On a 7–9, the MC can choose 1:

    • You lose your footing.
    • You lose your grip on whatever you’re holding.
    • You lose track of someone or something you’re attending to.
    • You miss noticing something important.

    On a miss, the MC can nevertheless choose something from the 7–9 list above. If she does, though, it’s instead of some of the harm you’re suffering, so you take -1harm.

  • edited January 2016
    image Harm roll
    (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 6, 4. Total: 10)

  • image

    Isis, you've racked up 1-harm extra from something. How? Where?
  • image
    Poor Vet.

    Never seen Deg. Just Green. Sad he finds out like this.

    harm roll
    (Rolled: 2d6+0. Rolls: 1, 5. Total: 6)
  • image

    Wisher, the dogs look up at the shots as one. Individually, they return their attention to the band of humans. Fauna is still as a rock, eyes wide, and tense. Looks like Stopsign has passed out. He's still breathing, you see his chest rising under his thin T-shirt.

    Deg, Isis, the scavs who are still alive break for it. Two are dead, two are walking wounded, Cookpot is crippled, probably dead, but glass beads is dragging him off to cover futilely. Bad teeth is using that sweet long gun as a crutch. The other two are still-warm meat, soon food for dogs or something else.

    Glass beads calls out, "Vet! GTFO or they'll kill you too!" but he flips her off, saying "Fuck you, I'm done!" He turns his back on them and shoves his throwing stick into a quiver made of a green rubber boot with a few others. He steps closer, Deg. He's gonna say something, you know how he pokes his tongue in his lips before he talks. A thinker, that one.

    Isis, Half Pint is by you, looking at Doghead, who's crawling weakly away from the nest, his head scraping the grass and his jacket pulled over. "That's gotta suck," he says under his breath, sucking air in his teeth in sympathy.

    What do you do?
  • edited January 2016
    imageI don't stop talking. I can't, really, since they seem to find my voice soothing, and I like having my throat in one piece. "That's right guys... We're all friends here, and good dogs get a steak of venison." Without taking my eyes off of the dogs, I lean back to get Fauna's attention. "It sounds like someone's giving up... Why don't you run up to the caravan and get me something to appease our furry friends here? Stopsign's not going anywhere..."
  • imageWell, that's that. The scavs are now retreating. I hate shooting at people, but it had to be done or we'd all be dead. I knew coming here was a bad idea.

    I take an inventory of my glock...one bullet left which means I fired four total. Precious commodity. About a month ago Wisher and I came about an old make-shift Sherrif's station. Someone had been trying to create order in the small community of Watershed a few towns over. Some people didn't like that though as the place got raided just a few days before we arrived. I got my gun off a dead guy and found a box of bullets in the station. Have a good bunch left but keep them hidden different spots in our gear since you can never be too careful.

    I put my pistol back in my boot and look at the damage on my shoulder. Got grazed by a bullet when I was ducking for cover. Will need to patch it up, but I've had wounds like this before.

    All the scavs are leaving or dead except for one hairy guy...Deg seems to know him...I turn to Halfpint: "Do you know that guy? Deg seems to...wonder if he can be trusted?" I look over to Wisher to see if he is OK. Looks like he has those dogs under control...I've always wanted a dog...
  • edited January 2016
    Wisher, Fauna gives you a "for-real?" look with a bare cock of her head so as not to spook the pack. Something about you convinces her. "I'll be right back, Stoppy," she says, giving him a little pat-pat-squeeze that he may not feel. She pokes an eye up at what remains of the scav group, then she backs off, hardly making a sound, moving deliberate like the huntress she is. I bet you she'll get some jerky from a deer she felled herself, but she's not offering up anything from that sack she found.
  • Isis, Half Pint gives you a shrug and a shake of the head, "Hope she's not just after a roll in the sack, even though he is cute. Can't trust a scav, right? You mind that shoulder, girl. Could be nasty." He's not being a dick about it. I'm sure you know people die from infection all the time... or wasp stings.

    "I can haul fool over there on account o' your bum arm." He scowls, looking at the nest. The wasps seem to be bored with tormenting Doghead, but that nest is still a-humming with activity.
  • image
    Vet. Don't say anything.

    "Vet. Don't say anything."

    Don't want to hear it. Don't want to know what I look like now.

    "Just... come with me. Talk later. Move now."
  • image"I'll be OK. I have some bandages in my gear that will tide me over till we find a medic somewhere. You grab Doghead and I'll cover you - just in case the scavs come back. Let's go check on Stopsign...we better hope we find a medic soon..." I say to Halfpint.
  • image


    Things seem to move faster now that there's no obvious threat. Rocco sends Remi and another couple of strongarms to help get Stopsign and Doghead up the embankment. It takes time, and you burn more daylight than anyone wants. Rocco doesn't want anyone else going in the metal graveyard, you lot need to get on the road to Sparks.

    Between Vet and possibly a hound, it sounds like the Caravan has a new couple come-alongs. At least Fauna, Stopsign, and Isis got some stuff for all the trouble.

    It's gonna be a fair piece to Sparks, and the moon waits for nobody.

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