Geometric Archipelago:The Pyramid of Triangle Island/Chapter 05
Chapter #5: Wolves, Wolves, and More Wolves
<mainstreet> -----BEGIN GAME-----
<mainstreet> You hear a cricket chirp.
Dusty carries out his simple plan.
Dusty cancels said plan.
<mainstreet> (Sorry, I meant that no one has seen him today.)
Marcus, getting bored (and hungry), hobbles up to the nearest shopkeeper (tentkeeper?).
<mainstreet> A young boy is selling cucumbers for 2 silver.
<Marcus> "We're looking for a guy named Tanar. Have you seen him today, or recently? When's the last time you saw him? Do you know where he likes to hang out around here, and if so, what times of day and for how long? Oh, and do you have any pickles?"
<mainstreet> The boy answers the questions in reverse. "No pickles, pickle 'em yourself, Tanar roams wherever the trouble is usually, although during midday he might be at the bank, and I last saw him come out of the bank 2 days ago. He went due west."
Marcus affirms the answers in random order. "2 days ago, huh? Yeah, well, trouble is where we're usually at, too. West? Thanks! ...aww, dang."
<Brellius> "So let's go west!"
<Dusty> "It's about as good a lead as we're likely to get. Let's go."
<Marcus> "Go west, old man!" Marcus raises his cane triumphantly, as if to charge off at full speed - then hobbles slowly behind the others.
Brellius begins walking west
Marcus suddenly stops, then returns to the cucumber-seller.
<mainstreet> "Whaddaya want now?"
<Marcus> "Is there anything notable to the west of here? Other than fields and wilderness and such, I mean. Houses, dungeons, etc.?"
<mainstreet> "Not really. It's mostly farms and forest. Housing is to the south. The rich people live on the northern tip."
<Marcus> "What's in the forest?"
<Marcus> "And if you say 'trees', I'll turn you into a toad."
<mainstreet> "Well, nothing, really. Some wolves, and the occasional bear, I guess. The forestry is sparsely dispersed. We clear-cut most of it for farmland."
Dusty waits patiently for Marcus to finish his interrogation of the person.
<Marcus> "What about farms and farmhouses? Who all lives out that way? Anyone Tanar would want to visit?"
<mainstreet> "How should I know? Do you think he'd talk to ME?"
<Kanzel> "You can't say you don't hear things ocationally."
<mainstreet> "Please. This is Tanar. Anyone he would socialize with is going to be just as rich as he is."
<Marcus> "So, who *is* as rich as Tanar around here?"
<mainstreet> "Around here? No one. CEOs and the like, mostly. They all have business in the Industrial sector. Duh."
<Marcus> "Okay, I'm done." Marcus hobbles off again, just like before.
Dusty heads in the indicated direction.
Brellius continues marching west
<mainstreet> As The Party heads into the Western Farms, they pass all sorts of fields involving all sorts of crops. The "sparsely dispersed" woodlands look like excellent places to hide. If you needed such a hiding place. Off to the west a beautiful sunset is taking place...
<Marcus> "Sunset? Bah. I should be back at the castle right now, getting ready for my bath." He shakes a stray twig out of his sandal.
<Dusty> "Pretty. I've seen a lot of sunsets... never get tired of 'em."
Brellius stops walking and turns an ear towards the trees
Kanzel runs into him.
Marcus trips into both of them, Three Stooges style.
Dusty passes the entire bunch of them, still looking off at the sunset.
<Marcus> "Hey, hold on there, sonny!" Marcus knocks Dusty on the top of the head with his cane. "There's somethin' in those trees!"
<Brellius> "I heard it, too."
<Brellius> "Maybe it's another dragon!"
<Dusty> "Ouch!" Dusty rubs his noggin and looks back. "Don't you know that you're supposed to ride off into the sunset right about this time of day? It's in the Fharlanghn's Guide for Young Clerics."
<Dusty> "Oh, another dragon, you think? I could try some Draconic, if so."
<Kanzel> "Well, if it's not a dragon, you don't want to scare it aw--"
<Dusty> "That sounded rather more like a wolf or something."
<Brellius> "What, a half-dragon wolf? Ridiculous!" Brellius continues walking
<mainstreet> As if on cue, a trio of wolves comes tearing out of the underbrush!
Marcus blinks, then slowly inhales a deep breath. Then...
Dusty pulls out his crossbow and loads it, a second bolt clenched in the crook of his middle finger.
<mainstreet> Two of the wolves attempt to surround the group. The third growls menacingly at Marcus.
Kanzel pulls out her sword.
Brellius pulls out his flail
Dusty takes a shot at one of the wolves trying to circle the group.
Marcus brandishes his rampant cowardliness.
<mainstreet> Dusty's first shot misses by a good eight inches.
Dusty immediately tosses in the second bolt and squeezes off the next shot.
<mainstreet> His second shot, however, hits neatly in the leg. Hrow-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! The wolf howls in pain.
<Dusty> "Hmph. That'll slow him down." He reaches for two more bolts.
<Brellius> "Bah, wolves are barely any challenge!"
<Marcus> "Maybe to you!"
<Dusty> "Usually I can avoid the wolves by flying past them, but I already used up my Fharlanghn-given flying ability for today."
Kanzel jumps at the injured wolf, bringing down her sword on it.
<mainstreet> Kanzel's sword arc is a biiit misjudged and the wolf dodges easily.
Dusty drops the next bolt into the crossbow and fires at the same wolf again!
<mainstreet> This crossbolt hits a tree dead on. Nice shot.
<Dusty> "That tree had it coming!"
<Marcus> "Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman!" Marcus is obviously not used to being in such close proximity to dangerous animals. "Game over man, game over! I'm outta here!"
Marcus's eyes begin to glow with arcane power as he performs the complicated gestures and commands of a magic spell...which in this case amounts to sticking his arms out to the sides and spinning around rapidly while making a strange "whup whup whup whup" noise. After a brief moment of looking absolutely moronic, he slowly floats up into the air.
<Dusty> "Yeah, I used that one earlier today... but I don't remember looking quite so... um... odd."
Brellius goes for the nearest wolf and swings!
Marcus crosses his arms and frowns. "Hey, I don't snark about *your* religion, don't snark about my spells."
<Dusty> "Yes, sir."
<mainstreet> Brellius swings, all right. And misses! ...no wait, he hits. What do you people have against that tree?
<mainstreet> Good luck getting that sword out of that tree, though.
<mainstreet> Wolf X growls fiercely and tries to bite off Kanzel's leg.
<mainstreet> Unfortunately, his/her lunge is a good foot wide. Wolf X stands there looking confused.
<mainstreet> Wolf Z charges at Brellius and tries to bite off *his* leg.
<mainstreet> The Wolf's jaws clamp down hard and twist at Brellius. It really hurts.
<Brellius> "Ah! Stupid wolves!"
<mainstreet> Wolf Y continues around, trying to get behind the group. It does manage to accomplish this, its back to a cornfield, but it spends all of its time moving and none of it attacking.
Kanzel turns toward Wolf X and brings her sword upwards from it's current downward position.
<mainstreet> The sword slashes hard, leaving a huge bloody gash down the wolf's shoulder.
Dusty turns toward wolf Z to try and dissuade him from further attacks against Brellius.
<Dusty> The first bolt fires.
<mainstreet> The bolt strikes the wolf in the chest, placing a definite blow on it's attempts at aggression.
<Dusty> "Hope that helps you, Brellius. Watch out for the last wolf... it's surely about to attack."
<Brellius> "Bah, this one only got a lucky shot...er, bite."
Marcus hovers malevolently overhead, his panic attack gone now that he's convinced that he's safe. "Alright, you dumb animals, time to put you down for the night." He waves his arms, chants a catchy tune, etc.
<mainstreet> The two wounded wolves fall down into a peaceful slumber.
Marcus grins. "There we go. Quick, somebody finish them off, while they're defenseless and sleeping peacefully!"
<mainstreet> The remaining wolf, seeing his pack just about defeated, decides to make a break for it. He charges off into the cornfield.
<mainstreet> A faint scream is heard shortly thereafter.
<Dusty> "Aw, crap..." Dusty takes off after the wolf to determine what it found.
Brellius runs towards the source of the scream
<mainstreet> You see a young girl of about 12 backing away from something... oh wait, it's that wolf.
Dusty immediately hefts his crossbow and shoots two bolts at it.
Marcus continues to hover overhead, like a vast, predatory bird, moving to keep up with his allies on the ground.
<mainstreet> The bolts shoot high over the wolf's head.
Brellius charges at the wolf!
Brellius dramatically swings his flail around at his side, then bashes the head of the flail into the wolf's head as he runs at it recklessly
<mainstreet> The flail sinks into the wolf's skull, killing it instantly.
<mainstreet> The girl screams again.
<Dusty> "It's okay, we've got the wolf taken care of. Are you all right?"
Dusty moves to the young girl, putting the crossbow away.
<mainstreet> The girl screams once again and runs off. You see a small barn not too far away. She disappears in it.
<Dusty> "...well, I'd have to say that she didn't like me. Then again, she did just see a wolf killed."
Marcus glances back the way they came, then motions to Brellius. "Hey! There's some guy over there skinning those wolves I...uh, incapacitated."
<Marcus> "Someone might want to go find out who he is..."
Brellius looks over at the other two wolves
<Dusty> "Why don't you?" Dusty looks up and then back the way they came.
<Marcus> "Because I'm not going near a guy with a skinning knife."
<Marcus> "Go on, I'll keep an eye on the barn in case that girl comes back out."
Brellius walks over to the guy with the skinning knife
Dusty rolls his eyes and heads back to the guy skinning the wolves. "Pardon me, sir?"
<mainstreet> "Hmm? Would you happen to be the ones that helped eliminate this infestation for me?"
<Dusty> "We were involved, yes. I'm Dusty Bivi, this is my colleague, Brellius."
Kanzel comes out of the corn and stands behind Brellius.
<Dusty> "...and my other colleague, Kanzel."
<Dusty> "Don't ask about brothers named Darrell. I don't have any."
<mainstreet> At this point, you notice that his face is a bit atypical for a human -- hmmm, looks half-elf, actually. He stands up and holds hid hand out for Dusty. "The name's Tanar Irazel. Pleased to meet you. These wolves are everywhere. They've started attacking villagers and farmhands, and ruining crops. Anytime you kill a wolf, it's good. At least, on this island."
<Brellius> "If you need more wolf pelts there's one more back there," Brellius points his thumb back at the wolf he smashed
Marcus is hovering over said wolf, staring at the barn intently.
<mainstreet> Marcus: Nothing to see here, move along. ;)
<Dusty> "Glad to hear we could be of service. Speaking of, we were sent here by Princesses Ashley and Lilly in hopes of getting your key to the Pyramid of Triangle Island. We'd heard you might be the one to speak with."
<Marcus> Somehow sensing that his current activity is unproductive, Marcus returns to the others, hovering above and behind Tanar in a semi-unsettling manner.
<mainstreet> "Key to the Pyramid... hmmm... I don't... oh, maybe... that thing. Wish I could help you there. But I can't."
<Marcus> "Who's this?"
<Dusty> "Oh, this is our other colleague, Marcus. Marcus, this is Tanar."
<Brellius> "You can't?"
<Marcus> "Oh, so this is the guy."
<mainstreet> "Nope. I don't have it anymore. *sigh* That's another reason I'm killing wolves."
<Kanzel> "The wolves took it?"
<Dusty> "What's the wolves have to do with losing this key?"
<mainstreet> "The lady has the right of it. The wolves raided the farm where I'd stashed it. It's gone. I can only assume it's in the gullet of one."
<mainstreet> "For the past week and a half, I've been looking for it, killing every wolf I come across."
<Brellius> "Why would a wolf eat it?"
<Dusty> "What IS it?"
<mainstreet> "Don't ask me. Nothing about what the wolves are doing is natural these days. They've always raided farms for food, sure, but they've never entered barns, silos, and ranch houses before."
<Marcus> "Do you think someone might be controlling them?" *hover, hover*
<mainstreet> "Indeed. And I've got ten-to-one odds on who."
<Marcus> "Well, don't keep us waiting. Who is it?"
<mainstreet> "Most likely, it'll be that teenage brat in the palace who thinks she should be ruling the island. Nasty piece of work, that one. Never trusted her, and probably never going to. You did *not* hear that from me."
Kanzel nods "I thought I sensed something wierd there."
Dusty pauses. "WHICH brat?"
<mainstreet> "Well, only one of them's still in her teen years, and I'm not stupid enough to say the name directly, in case untoward ears hear. Untoward ears can work it out for themselves, but I still have deniability."
<mainstreet> "Now enough on that subject. It really doesn't matter. You want the key, you get it yourself. Gut every wolf you come across and you might find it."
<Dusty> "What is the key again? Literally a key, or what does it look like?"
<Marcus> "MIGHT?" Marcus growls. "Now see here, we're not going to go trapsing around killing random lupines in hopes that one of them swallowed a key. Don't you have any way to *find* the damned thing if it's so important?"
<mainstreet> "Not really. I'm ah... not supposed to lose it. If word got out that I actually lost it, Her Majesty would be demanding my head, no excuses, no regrets."
<mainstreet> "And... well... it's a jug, all right? A small gold jug."
<Brellius> "Small enough to be swallowed by a wolf?"
<Marcus> "A...jug?" Marcus scratches his head. "Are we talking like, moonshine jug?"
<Marcus> ("Not my favorite kind of jugs, but still.")
<mainstreet> "No, like a water jug. And, just barely, but probably, yeah, if the wolf was *trying*. Hence my suspicion this isn't just chance."
<Marcus> "What's it do? Is it magic or something? What's it filled with? Is it real gold, or just electro-plated?"
<mainstreet> "Electro-whated? Never mind. It's empty. And I don't know much about it. I'm supposed to guard it, not delve into its mysteries. That right lies strictly with Her Majesty."
<Dusty> "Well, I think we can cross our morning berth off."
<Marcus> "I don't suppose you have a picture of it?"
<mainstreet> "Of course not."
Marcus is notably annoyed by now. "Do you have *anything*, absolutely *anything* for us to go on, that would point us in the right direction? *Any* direction? We don't have the time to search every inch of this place and slaughter every critter we come across."
<mainstreet> "Well, killing the wolves will help regardless. But you're right -- there's a good chance it's dead already."
<mainstreet> "And, the way I see it, you have all the time in the world. Unless there's something you're not telling me."
<Brellius> "Well, we're not infinitely patient."
<Marcus> "Especially me." Marcus grumbles.
<Dusty> "There's an immediate need, yes. Otherwise we'd not be looking for it."
<Marcus> The God of Comedic Timing sees fit to cause his flying spell to wear off at exactly that moment; Marcus gets a suprised look on his face as he falls and lands squarely on his butt. "OW!"
<mainstreet> "Alright, what is this immediate need? I haven't heard anthing from the rumor mill that says Hex is going to try anything, which is the only reason I can think of to cause a hurry up in these times."
<Marcus> "Who's Hex?"
<mainstreet> "...you seriously don't know who the Hex are? Were you born yesterday?"
<Dusty> "And have you actually tried, I dunno, following the tracks of those wolves to try and find it?"
<mainstreet> "Something's obscuring the tracks. I think it's magical in nature, but as to what... I don't make accusations without lots of evidence of one sort or another, and you know my thoughts."
<Dusty> "Well, detecting magical things is something I CAN do..."
<Kanzel> "And that's as good as tracks, isn't it?"
<Dusty> "If they're close enough. If there's a magical field obscuring the tracks... we might be able to... track it."
<Brellius> "What if there's another magical field obscuring the first magical field?"
<mainstreet> "I sure couldn't do it. And I'm guessing that's why. But you can try."
<Dusty> "Where was the object when it was taken?"
<Marcus> Marcus glares at Brellius.
Brellius shrugs innocently
Kanzel starts to laugh, and turns it into a cough when she sees Marcus's face.
<Dusty> "A magic field obscuring a magic field is STILL a magic field. Shocking, isn't it?"
<Marcus> "Look, I'll cast Detect Magic and see what I can find. so, where *was* the thingy before?"
<mainstreet> "Hmm. Come to think of it... that barn."
<Dusty> "...you keep your highly important artifacts in barns on a regular basis?"
Dusty shakes his head and heads for the barn.
<mainstreet> "It's my family's barn. This cornfield is run directly by my son and daughter. Usually they keep it safe."
<Marcus> "Speaking of which, there was a little girl who ran screaming into the barn when we killed the wolf that was about to tear her throat out. What's up with that?"
<mainstreet> "Oh no... that sounds like Mira, alright. My daughter's been... traumatized by recent events. I'd guess the sight of another wolf was a bit much for her."
<Dusty> "Hey, Marcus, you want to do the first spell, or want me to do it?"
<Marcus> "Not to mention the sound of said wolf gettings its skull caved in."
<Kanzel> "Sound? Sight, you mean."
Dusty continues heading for the barn.
<Brellius> "Would you have preferred it if I gutted it with a halberd?"
Brellius tags along
mainstreet follows. Oh, wait, no he doesn't. Tanar does, though.
<mainstreet> The barn is a barn. What did you expect, really? You know, red, white beams going in the traditional barn shape, etc. Small barn, but barn nonetheless.
Marcus looks the barn over. "Hmm. Somehow, I knew we were all going to go barny eventually."
<Dusty> "Well, might as well start now." Dusty casts Detect Magic with a brief chant about how great Fharlanghn is and how much he really wants you to know what you are searching for. Nicely. He then looks over the barn structure for magical auras.
<mainstreet> There is a dim magical aura at the front door.
<mainstreet> It trails off into the woodlands from whence the wolves came.
Dusty turns and heads into the woodlands, following the aura wordlessly.
Kanzel follows slowly, watching around for other forms of wildlife.
Marcus hobble-follows. "Found somethin', eh?"
Brellius tags along. "Just let me know if something finds us."
<mainstreet> As you head into the woodlands, you notice a game trail that seems to follow the aura's path pretty well after about a minute.
Dusty finally murmurs "Game trail. Looks like it followed it for a while." He follows as long as the spell holds out.
<mainstreet> The spell still holds when the aura diverts from the game trail again. It isn't long before you realize that past the next row of trees is a clearing, and there are about a dozen wolves in this clearing.
<Dusty> "...I think this is our destination..." Dusty looks up and sweeps the group of wolves for auras before blinking. "Oh, crap. Wolves."
<mainstreet> No living wolves have any auras. There do appear to be a couple of dead wolves in the back though. Looks like the aura is going towards them, although you can't be sure which.
<Dusty> "...Marcus, do you have any illusion spells?"
<Dusty> "Or a prestidigitation spell?"
<Marcus> Marcus shakes his head. "Sorry, I can't cast illusion spells. It's 'forbidden'." He makes finger quotes as he says it.
<Dusty> "Okay, it was worth a shot."
<Dusty> "Maybe we can chase a pack of rabbits through the clearing?"
<Brellius> "I have elixirs that can make someone much stealthier...somehow."
<Kanzel> "I could sneak over thee and check it out. A diversion meanshile might be nice."
<Dusty> "Well, diversions I can provide."
<Dusty> "Okay, here's an idea... I'll run through the clearing and angle for the far side, possibly shooting at some of them. The pack SHOULD follow me. At some point, I'll end up in a tree, admittedly, but it'd work."
<Kanzel> "While you're doing that, I'll check the bodies."
<Dusty> "Right. It won't distract them for long, but it will for a few minutes."
<Kanzel> "Just don't get eaten."
Dusty pauses, then casts Longstrider on himself before taking off across the clearing as fast as his enhanced feet will take him, making sure not to angle too close to the wolves and give himself plenty of room for outright running.
<Kanzel> "Berellius, help me look, Marcus help Dusty if he can't get up the tree fast enough."
<Dusty> "GERONIMOOOOOOOOOOOO....whoever he WAS!"
<Marcus> "Right. Wait, what?"
<mainstreet> The wolves go chasing after Dusty! Wait, no... all but one of them do. One stays behind, carefully watching the spot where Dusty entered.
Kanzel runs around the cleaing, and enters to the wolf's rear right, pulling out her kunai, jumping on it, and atacking at the same time.
<Dusty> Down the hillside, Dusty's voice carries back toward the group, "YEEEEEEE HAAAAW! COME ON FHARLANGHN, THAT GOD OF TRAVEL BEST NOT BE FOR SHOW!!!!"
<mainstreet> Well, no, she doesn't attack, because when she jumped, she forgot to get her kunai out of the way, slamming into it herself.
Brellius then charges at the wolf, slamming the flail into its flanks
<mainstreet> The flail crunches the ribs hard and the wolf topples over, dead in one shot.
Marcus facepalms again, out of habit. Then he realizes that Brellius actually pulled that one off. "...hey, wow. Nice shot."
<Dusty> "I'M A LOVER NOT A FIGHTER, WOLVES! AND NO, THAT'S NOT A PROPOSITION!"
Kanzel runs over and feels around the freshly dead wolf body for a jug-type object.
<Brellius> "You should see me wield a halberd."
<mainstreet> Kanzel: No.
Kanzel cancels said action, and instead searches one of the dead wolves.
<mainstreet> Kanzel: There's *something* hard in this one, alright. Feels like it might be a jug. You'll need to gut the wolf to know for sure, though.
Kanzel mumbles "Gotcha."
Brellius searches another one
<mainstreet> Brellius: Hmmm. Feels very... wolfy. Nope, must be the other one.
Kanzel puls out her kunai and slices down the wolf's flank.
<mainstreet> As the blood and guts tumble out, you notice that the stomach does indeed seem to have something large in it.
Kanzel cuts that open as well, on the bottomside.
<mainstreet> As the Hydrochloric acid spills out, leaving a foul smell in the air, you do see a gold jug taking up most of the availble space. It's covered in that acid stuff, though.
Brellius pulls out his waterskin
Kanzel reaches into her bag, pulls out her waterskin, pours some over the jug and her kunai before replacing it in her bag. she then pulls another kunai out of the side pocket,hlooks the blade around the handle, and picks it up.
<Marcus> "Hurry up over there!"
Kanzel holds it out for Berillius to douse again
Brellius pours some more water over the jug
Kanzel grabs the jug with her other hand, and hands it to Berillius, running back to where Marcus is.
<Marcus> "Alright, we've got the MacGuffin. Er, jug. Let's vamoose, people!"
Brellius puts away his waterskin and the jug
<Brellius> "Shouldn't we go retrieve Dusty?"
<mainstreet> ----END GAME----