Trinsic Tales:Afterlife in the Fast Lane/Chapter 01
Chapter One: Dawning of the Dead
<Capn_Ascii> ---BEGIN CAMPAIGN---
<Capn_Ascii> It is pitch black in here. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
<Eralia> "Oh yay. I love canned non-introductions that don't tell me anything about where I am or how I got here."
<Rika> "What's a grue?"
<Capn_Ascii> Yes, that's right. You don't have any idea where you are or how you got there. In fact...
<Capn_Ascii> ...you all seem to be having difficulty recalling much of *anything* about your recent past. It must be...
<Capn_Ascii> ...AMNESIA! (dun dun duuuuun!)
<Eralia> "What's amnesia?"
<Capn_Ascii> I forget.
<Capn_Ascii> Anywho. At the moment, you're in the middle of a pitch-black darkness. Despite the lack of light, it seems to be relatively warm, as if you were outside on a summer night - you don't seem to be in a dungeon or the like.
Eralia looks up for a starry sky
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: Nope, nothing - up, down, side to side (you resist the urge to do the Electric Slide), there's nothing but dark, dark, and more dork. Er, I mean, dark. There's no sound, either - it's like someone's muted your TV, except the TV is real life. Only your still-functioning sense of touch seems to be working - you can feel a soft, yielding ground beneath you, like loam or soft soil.
Rika bounces up and down a couple of times, testing the ground.
Eralia goes into her backpack to grab a bow and arrow...
Rika pulls a wand of light out of bag, puts it in her belt and pulls out her swords.
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: You spring up and down on the heels of your feet a couple of times. It almost feels like you're standing on a mattress, or maybe a foam pad.
Dkort blinks and checks to make sure he still has all his stuff
<Capn_Ascii> As your initial bewilderment begins to settle down, your paranoia and greed flare up. You each delve into your packs to make sure your stuff is okay. Everything seems to be there; you can't see any of it, but you can feel the various items.
Eralia gives a slight smile of relief and pulls out her longbow and an arrow.
Dkort readies his awesome shield
<Capn_Ascii> ...a light appears, off in the distance. Looks like a doorway, although it's hard to tell for sure from here - it looks to be quite a ways off.
<Eralia> Eralia heads towards the light, it being the only point of interest.
Rika follows cautiously
Dkort casts a spell on his shield and follows, keeping his eyes peeled
<Capn_Ascii> Dkort: You mutter some ancient clerical incantations, wave your hands, and...!
<Capn_Ascii> You hear a noise not unlike someone passing gas. Other than that, nothing.
<Dkort> "Uh oh..."
Eralia just keeps going
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia, meanwhile, leads everyone towards the light. It takes a few minutes, but soon you can see it looming closer and closer. It *is* a door, and a fairly big one - easily 30-feet tall. Actually, it's more "doorway" than "door", as there's no actual closure to the portal - just a big open frame to pass through. You can see vague figures beyond the doorway, but the light is too bright to see much else from here.
Eralia cautiously tries to step through
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: Slowly, carefully, you approach the doorway, and step through. The light intensifies, momentarily blinding you! ...then it begins to fade, and you find yourself Someplace Else.
Rika restows the wand of light and looks around.
<Capn_Ascii> Someplace Else, at it turns out, looks a lot like a reception area. The room is somewhat fancy looking, like the lobby of a bank or an office building - there are chairs to sit in, and a variety of potted plants to make the place look less clinical. There's a big desk at the far end of the room, with a female secre--excuse me, administrative assistant, sitting at it - in front of her, a line of 6-7 people waiting to talk to her.
<Capn_Ascii> There's a heavy wooden door behind her, but otherwise, there are no other exits - not even the one you entered through. Weird.
<Eralia> "This is... interesting."
<Dkort> "Oh, great...a line."
<Rika> "...Do we get in line?"
<Dkort> "I don't wanna wait in a line."
<Capn_Ascii> Cheesy muzak plays through some unseen loudspeakers nearby.
Eralia appraises the line and steps in front of the person in the "front" of the line.
<Capn_Ascii> "Hey!" Every single one of the people waiting in line starts complaining loudly. "What do you think *you're* doing?" "No cuts!" "Back of the line, sister!"
<Eralia> Eralia swaps her bow and arrow out for swords and holds them easily at her sides. "And what are you all gonna do about it?"
Rika walks up to the person last in line. "what's this line for, anyway?"
<Capn_Ascii> The secretary looks at Eralia with a look of total 'I've seen it a million times-itude', chewing on a piece of gum and otherwise seeming disinterested. "It's not what they're gonna do, it's what I'm *not* gonna do. As it, I'm not gonna let you in with that attitude." She points. "You want in, get in line."
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: The last person in line is a middle-aged gentleman who looks a little lost. He looks at you, and shrugs. "To get in."
<Eralia> "Who says I want in? I have no clue what's going on, or even, what 'in' is."
Rika stares blankly, sighs, and gets in line behind the man.
<Eralia> "Care to enlighten me?"
<Capn_Ascii> The secretary rolls her eyes. "If I tell you, will you get in line so I can get on with my job?"
<Capn_Ascii> "You really don't know?" She sighs. "Must have been sudden. And violent."
<Dkort> "I don't like where this is going..."
<Capn_Ascii> "This..." She gestures. "...is the waiting room for the hereafter. You, and you, and you..." She points first at Eralia, then Rika, the Dkort. "...are dead."
<Capn_Ascii> "Dead. Gone. Kaput. 86'd. You are ex-adventurers."
<Eralia> "Even assuming I believed you, which I don't, where are you putting people?"
Dkort hangs his head and swears in Orcish
<Capn_Ascii> "Where do you think?" She hands Eralia a pair of pamphlets from under the desktop. One depicts a pair of heavenly golden gates, while the other depicts a dark, swirling vortex of fire and brimstone.
<Capn_Ascii> "This is the line to get into the afterlife. You have to get checked in before we can let you in."
<Capn_Ascii> "Of course, if you don't *want* to check in, you could always spend the rest of eternity sitting out here."
<Eralia> Eralia takes one look and smirks. "Right. Okay. Play it that way. Fine, I'll wait my 'turn', as it were. Since, apparently, I have all eternity."
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: Indeed you do. Fortunately, it doesn't look like it'll take quite *that* long - as you get into line behind Rika, the man at the front of the line is handed something and steps out. The wooden door swings open dramatically, and he steps through, the door closing heavily behind him.
<Capn_Ascii> You all settle in to wait as the next man in line steps up. After a minute or two, he's waved through as well. This repeats until everyone ahead of you is gone; Rika finally steps up to the desk, at the front of the line. The secretary speaks to you. "Name?"
Rika steps up. "Rika Karimel."
<Capn_Ascii> "Do you have anything to declare?"
<Rika> "I never saw friends."
<Capn_Ascii> "Smoking or non-smoking?"
<Rika> "Non, Please."
<Capn_Ascii> "Alright, then." She hands Rika an ID badge. "Keep this on your person at all times. Please move to the side so I can process your friends-slash-party-slash-dead-weight." She waves Rika off to the side.
Eralia stows her swords, walks up to the counter, and narrows her eyes slightly.
Rika moves off to the side and tries to find a place to put her ID badge.
<Eralia> "Neutral Evil"
<Capn_Ascii> "Mmmhmm." She writes something down. "Do you have anything to declare?"
<Capn_Ascii> As Rika fumbles with finding a place for her card, it suddenly sprouts a lanyard! How convenient.
<Eralia> "This is not Sparta, and this will never be Sparta!"
Rika stares at it, then puts it on.
<Capn_Ascii> "If you could be any celebrity, who would you be?"
<Eralia> "Cameron Diaz."
<Capn_Ascii> "Good, good." She hands Eralia a card. "Move along, please."
<Capn_Ascii> Dkort steps up to the head of the line. "Name?"
<Dkort> "Dkort Starkweather."
<Eralia> Eralia examines the card before putting it on.
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: It looks like your typical ID card - it even has your picture on it, somehow. It lists your name, alignment, occupation, and various vital statistics, such as age, height, weight, blood type, and measurements.
<Dkort> "To find the holy - sorry, I mean to find a way to live again."
<Eralia> Eralia raises an eyebrow but goes against and clips it onto her hip.
Rika, seeing that Eralia's card has her blood type on it, looks at her card to see what her blood type is.
<Dkort> "Chaotic Neutral."
<Capn_Ascii> "Do you have anything to declare?"
Dkort grunts noncommittally
<Capn_Ascii> "I'm sorry, sir, but I need an answer one way or the other."
<Dkort> "Nothing in particular. A spell component pouch, I guess?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Thank you sir, although I should point out that you can't cast magic here without a permit. You'll want to speak to the Registrar of Magic at the Celestial Archives once you've settled in." She looks over at the others. "That goes for the rest of you, too."
Rika groans quietly.
<Eralia> "Don't worry about that. I never have, and doubt I ever will."
<Capn_Ascii> "Boxers or briefs?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, TMI." She checks off something on a list, then hands Dkort his ID card. "Alright, just step through the door there and you'll be on your way. If you have any questions, head for the Arrival Centers to speak with your assigned afterlife relations representative." She presses a button beneath the desk, which causes the heavy door to swing open. "Have a nice death."
<Rika> "Um.. Thank you?"
Dkort shrugs and walks through the door
Eralia walks through, shaking her head
<Capn_Ascii> As you pass through the doorway, there's another flash of light, and once again, you're standing Someplace Else.
Eralia sighs. "Where am I *now*?"
<Capn_Ascii> You appear to be standing on an elevated highway overpass. The road runs almost totally straight several miles into the distance, beyond your field of vision. There's a sickly green sky overhead.
<Capn_Ascii> Looking behind you, you discover that the end of the highway directly behind you terminates in what has to be the world's *longest* staircase; it runs straight out and up, up, UP, disappearing into a bank of clouds overhead - the only clouds in the otherwise bare, sunless sky.
<Capn_Ascii> The only other object of note here is what looks like a call box.
Eralia examines the call box
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: The box has but a single button on it, with a label: "PRESS FOR ASSISTANCE"
Eralia presses it
<Capn_Ascii> The button starts flashing.
<Capn_Ascii> Nothing happens. Then, more nothing happens.
<Capn_Ascii> Finally, after more than a minute, you faintly hear a distant rumbling.
Rika looks around for the source of the sound.
<Eralia> "Ordinarily when I hear rumbling, I'd get down, but it's not like I can get killed or anything."
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: It seems to be coming from the far end of the highway.
Rika gets to the side of the road, just in case, THEN looks.
Eralia is already at the side of the road.
Dkort steps to the side of the road
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: Squinting and peering off into the distance, you can just barely make out something coming down the highway, miles away.
<Capn_Ascii> Then, yards. Then, feet! Yikes!
<Capn_Ascii> The *something* covers the distance incredibly quickly, zooming up like a rocket before screeching to a sudden halt mere feet away from you.
<Capn_Ascii> As the huge dust cloud it kicked up begins to dissipate, you finally get a good look at the object. It's...it's...
<Capn_Ascii> ...it's the world's most kick-ass hot rod! It looks like a 30s-era roadster that's been tricked out in true drag racer style - huge, exposed engine block, massive exhaust pipes running along the sides with fire and smoke billowing out of them, flame details overlaid on black body paint...
<Capn_Ascii> Sitting in the driver's seat is a rather small fellow (about gnome-sized) wearing goggles and a racing helmet. He looks over at you, and speaks in a high-pitched, squeaky voice. "You folks need a lift?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, you pushed the button, didn't you?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Are you going my way or not?"
<Eralia> "Are we?"
<Eralia> "Where do you go?"
<Capn_Ascii> The little man shrugs. "To Hell and back."
<Capn_Ascii> He points off down the highway behind him. "Hell is that way. And that way..." He points at the staircase. "...is Heaven. Take your pick."
<Eralia> "I don't particularly like either option."
<Rika> "Which way is the... UUh... The Registrar of Magic at the Celestial Archives"
<Capn_Ascii> "Ah, the Archives?" He points at the stairs. "That's in Heaven, right off the square. You're casters, I take it?"
<Eralia> "Apparently these two are. I have never trusted such flimsiness."
<Dkort> "Magic has served me well."
<Eralia> "Magic is a tool, nothing more. Fire is good. That's about it."
<Rika> "In a manner of speaking. I guess we're going to Heaven then?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Looks like it. Shame too, I'd have loved to have some passengers in ol' Betsie here." He pats the dashboard. "But hey, if you head down Hell way, look me up. Name's Shamus." He tips his head to salute.
Rika nods. "Thanks."
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, if you folks don't need a ride, I'll just head on back now. See you around!" He guns the engine; the hot rod violently whips around in a peel-out turn before rocketing back off down the highway.
<Eralia> "Guess it's the long climb, then," Eralia mutters and starts climbing the staircase.
Rika sighs and follows. "I was kind of hoping his car could climb stairs..."
<Dkort> "Eh, I've climbed worse."
<Capn_Ascii> And so, our party begins their journey into the great unknown, watching Shamus ride off down the Highway to Hell as they climb the Stairway to Heaven. Is this really the end for our adventurers? I hope not, 'cause otherwise this is going on record as the Shortest. Campaign. Ever.