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Subject: CYOA - The Fiddler's Song rss

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Preface
This is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game, but it isn't the same CYOA as many of us might know from days past. I had just been thinking, since I posted a super-duper short CYOA in this GotW thread, how I could run a slightly longer CYOA adventure in PbF. And then I saw how Piero did it for a quick adventure "A Doomed Pilgrim in the Ruins of the Future", somehow the idea expanded as I went to bed, and the rest is history.

Gameplay and Rules
I would like to keep the rules simple, so that this can be easily playable and understood (and of course, making it a bit easier for me too, in running this). So here they are, the only 2 suggested (but not mandatory) rules/guidelines to enhance your gameplay:

A Vote your path. Each post I make will be to describe a scenario. At the end of the post, I will put up choices for voting, by YOU for your character. When I have sufficient majority (however sufficient as I may deem) of a choice, I will proceed with that choice into the next scene. If your vote belonged to the minority, it is just too bad that I will not expand the adventure into that minority choice, and I apologise for that.

B Record your Hit Points (HP). Each player shall keep your own record of your character's HP. Every character starts with 20 HP. This is the maximum HP your character may have, and cannot be exceeded (even if, let's say, you consume a magic potion that can restore 25 HP). If this reaches 0 or lower, your character's life and adventure ends. Feel free to follow through to the rest of the game though (you could even continue to vote, I can't and don't know how to stop that, lol).

General Stuff
During the game, I will use colloquially use "You" to refer to your character. I may also ask you to make certain decisions for your character, to which you should also keep your own record of your decisions.

As an illustration, I might say "The dead bandit has a short sword in his belt sheath, its hilt bearing an insignia of a bear's paw. If you wish to take it, add it to your inventory."

Any decision you make may or may not have consequences later in the adventure.

At any point in time, feel free to role-play your character, or make any rolls that you may be asked of. The fun is in not just voting your next path, but also letting everyone see what your character is doing or feeling or thinking.

If you have unrelated questions or wish to say something out of character, use the OOC tag as we do in other PbF games.

whistle laugh

In any case, I would like to start off with a short adventure. If the response is good, I might continue further and your character may be brought forward to the next adventure (or a new character be started if the old one is dead). We'll see about that later.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone has fun. Please feel free to drop me any feedback or suggestions so that I may improve things or take the adventure to a different path (at my discretion).
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The time of dragons had come to past. The last mighty red, Xnnerik, had been struck down in the Battle of Boundaries, and you wonder if what you read was true and no more dragons existed.

Flipping the bookcover close, you stood on your toes to place the book back onto its shelf in Magmaelian's library. The shelf was high and you barely reached it, and unintentionally, you knocked another book off the opposite shelf beside. As you proceeded to pick it up, you glimpsed its open last page that was a crudely drawn map.

Curious, you picked up the book and flipped its pages - a nondescript book that talked about composing songs for the fiddle - the only interesting part of it remained that of the mysteriously drawn map.

Poll
Do you borrow the book?
Yes
No
      8 answers
Poll created by taen
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Although it seemed innocuous, Alik thought there might be a code or a clue in the book that might further explain the map. He tucked the book into his coat and adjusted it to hide the bulge.

HP: 20/20
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Gilliad picked up the book and with curiosity opened the map to inspect it further. He decided that *this* book will be the next one he would borrow from the Library at Raezintaen. He quickly folded up the map and placed it back into the book and walked up to the counter where a guy in a pointy hat stared back at him -- "Excuse me mister, I'd like to borrow this book!" -- The guy in the pointy had looked at him behind a pair of thick wire framed glasses and took a toke off of his pipe, swiftly nabbed the book, flipped to the back cover and put a stamp marking on when it is due back. "Remember to have this book back on time, or else you'll have to pay the late fees!" the guy said with a surely sly wink and a smile. Gilliad couldn't tell if the guy knew he found this book with the map and it wouldn't be returned or what. He thought about asking about the map, but thought better of it and walked out. The guy in the pointy hat chuckled to himself "Another young buck about to change his life forever!"

HP: 20/20
Morale: Good
Emotion: Happy / Excited / Confused
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George Buss
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Tevya had pined for the day that something exciting would happen, an adventure beyond making bread every day. Without his mind really registering what was happening, his hand slipped the book into his tunic. It was impulsive. Just the way it should be for an adventure - which is why Tevya never had any. One was not impulsive with baking. But the minute that book fell from the shelf, Tevya was no longer baking.

HP 20/20
Hunger: Satiated
Thirst: Quenched
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It seemed that the choice was obvious.

The book was placed in a so-proclaimed "Reference" section, meaning that you couldn't outrightly borrow it, and so you placed it in your backpack when you thought no one was watching. As nonchalantly as you could, you walked out of the library, expecting at any moment a shout that would cause you to run, but the shout never came.

The walk to your makeshift place of residence was no less torturous. You were uncertain the rationale, but you feared robbery, you felt impatience, and you felt the book 'calling', if it could call...

Opening the wooden door of your home, you quickly closed it and retreated to your private sanctuary, tossing all but the book aside, and flipped the pages of the book again to its last page, where the map was. You stared at the map, stared again, and stared some more, turning the book this way, that way, and every other way, but found that the map made no sense, for wherever it seemed to point one to, the paths twisted and turned, diverged and closed, and returned to the same starting point. You found yourself unable to close the book and pull away your gaze, when suddenly you were drawn so deep into it the map took on a life of its own.

A single fiddler came to life in singular dimensional form on the page, and took out its bow. With a quick curtsy and a smile, he placed bow to fiddle, and started to play and sing his song. As he weaved the music to suit your ears and tell his tale, the map expanded and expanded, until when you next realised it, his music had ended and you stood mesmerised by the lone performer in an empty tavern that must have been before your time. Smiling, the fiddler reached out to offer you a silver ring that bore inscriptions of an ancient language you did not understand. If you decide to take the ring and wear it, update this in your inventory.

You became self aware, as you realised too that your clothes were now changed.

Poll
What were you now wearing?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Metal armour with a helment, bearing a great sword.
0.0% 0
Leather armour, with a sheathed longsword by your side and a bow slung on your back.
28.6% 2
Magician's robes, holding a Staff of Power.
71.4% 5
Voters 7
This poll is now closed.   7 answers
Poll created by taen
Closes: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:00 am
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Gilliad for whatever reason when he saw the Fiddler on the map muttered to himself, If I were a rich man.....

The he offered him a ring and Gilliad took it.

"Well done Motel" the Fiddler said "may this ring serve you well!"

"Motel?!?!?" Gilliad asked.

"That is your name, is it not?" replied the Fiddler.

"Well, no, it's Gilliad!" Gilliad replied.

"Hmmmmm, well then I guess I'll have to take back the ring and end this adventure for you!" Touted the Fiddler in reply.

"Ok ok ok, I'll don the name Motel."

"Much better!"

As Gilliad Motel looked down he saw that he was clothed in Robes, which fit like a glove, perfectly tailored and a staff of power was sitting on the table next to him.

"You might want to take that and hold on to it before someone else claims it from you! It looks powerful." The Fiddler said motioning toward the staff of power.

Motel grasped the staff of power and stood up.

"So where is this place?" Motel asked.


Gilliad Motel
HP: 20/20
Morale: Good
Emotion: Happy / Excited / Confused-er
Hunger: Satiated
Thirst: Quenched
Status: Name Changed
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the steep cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Taking the book, while not ethical, was turning into one of the best choices she had made in her life. When the fiddler came to life on the pages, she realized that this is what she had been waiting for. This is why she was still in this terrible dead-end town. This was why she hadn't left yet. It was all so she would find this book.

When the maps opened up and the world accepted her with open arms... ah, it was like coming home.

And that wasn't even bringing up the ring! The language wrapping around it was almost familiar. But no matter how long she stared at it, the secrets it contained would not unlock in her mind. Placing it on her finger her mind expanded to fill areas she had never known were missing. A name whispered on the wind. Her name. She claimed it by whispering it back: Iridia.

Her jeans and t-shirt were replaced with robes. Simple yet well made. Covered in embroidered symbols that changed when she looked away. Always shifting, always changing. And yet so familiar.

A staff fit her hand as if made for her. Carved with symbols she knew she should know. It was like another piece of her past had been revealed to her.

She waited patiently to know more.

Name: Iridia
HP: 20/20

Inventory:
Silver Ring with Ancient Inscription

Spells:
~None~
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You were not sure if you remained in reality as the Fiddler spoke, each word extended unnaturally, "Hear ye me, young one! I have chosen you for a task - find the golden cat with one claw, and it will lead you to Xnnerik's heir! You cannot fail!"

The Fiddler seemed to blur then, as he morphed into various animal forms that you had never seen, before transitioning back to human. He spoke a word of command, and you froze as he laid his right palm over your head. The Fiddler then rambled verses in an ancient tongue, the archiac locutions flowing into your memory and you found yourself involuntarily memorising them, each memory imbuing you with magical power. When the Fiddler was complete and removed his hand, you felt the mystical energy course smoothly through your robes and into your entire being, the Staff of Power crackled with electricity as it now felt familiar in your hand. You felt immortal, such raw power that was given to you and the knowledge of how to use it when the need came, but knew you were not and that in the face of the might of dragons, even such power was inconsequential if misemployed.

Poll
Two portals now open before you. You may choose to:
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Enter the yellow one with an inscription that read - A LONG AND TEDIOUS ROAD.
37.5% 3
Enter the green one with an inscription that read - A SHORT BUT DIFFICULT PATH.
62.5% 5
Enter none.
0.0% 0
Voters 8
This poll is now closed.   8 answers
Poll created by taen
Closes: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:00 am
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the steep cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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A long and tedious road, much like my life up to this point. Thinks Iridia. She will go with what is familiar. After all, she had heard tales of dangerous shortcuts, and those never end well.

Name: Iridia
HP: 20/20

Inventory:
Silver Ring with Ancient Inscription

Spells:
???
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This was all moving too fast for Alik. He had hoped the map would lead him on an adventure, something that would bring some excitement to his hum-drum life, but he never expected this!

As he enters the world within the book, and his simple work garb transformed (into a dress?! Really?) he was so stunned that he dropped the magnificent staff that appeared with them.

He looked closer at the ring, wondering what powers it held. Then the fiddler touched him and the power he gave made him stagger back. Recovering, he picked up the staff and noticed the portals before him. Straightening his robes, he marched boldly into the short path.

I have had more than enough tedium in my life, it's time for Action! he thought as a cocky grin appeared on his face.

HP: 20/20

Inventory: Silver Ring, Staff of Power, Magician's Robes

Spells: ...
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Tevya rubbed his eyes. Too many late nights making challah. He really needed to get more sleep. When he looked up again, he was still in the tavern. He pulled his hands back to rub his eyes again, and slammed a wooden pole against his forehead. Where did that come from? Feeling a bit of a draft, he saw his tunic was gone and in it's place he was wearing a skirt. Well, more of a dress. A robe. That was it, a robe. These sleeves were going to make rolling biscuits hard.

When the fiddler touched him, the words that filled his head felt all mixed up. They floated and twisted with odd markings and odder ingredients. He felt the same way the first time he had read Augol's Recipe Book for Little Tarts.

Portals opened before him. He wondered if there would be cake.

HP 20/20
Hunger: Satiated
Thirst: Quenched

Inventory:
Silver Ring
Staff of Power
Magician's Robes


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You considered the yellow portal, but hesitated before it. Why not do it quick and dirty, if I am to do it anyway? I can do this. You assured yourself, full of confidence.

And then you turned about and stepped into the green one.

Almost as soon as you were through, you saw the most beautiful angel stand before you. A flicker... all was not as it seemed.

The Angel turned... transformed. Wings of fire shrouded it, engulfing it entirely. In those fires, you saw a pit fiend emerge. It raised an arm, and suddenly three spheres of fire were thrown towards you.

If you did not take or if you are not wearing a Ring of Magical Fire Protection (yes, that silver ring with inscriptions), roll a percentile die: 1-25 you suffer 3d8 fire damage as you take full brunt of the dark fire, 26-50 you suffer 2d8 fire damage as 2 of the spheres struck your upper torso, 51-75 you suffer 1d8 fire damage, lucky only 1 of the spheres were true, 76-100 you deftly dodge the spheres as they flew past.

If you are still alive...

Poll
What spell power do you use?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Fire for fire. You rain down a meteor shower on the beast.
0.0% 0
Magical poison arrows. Let it die slow and painful.
0.0% 0
Cone of cold. Freeze it, if not douse those flames.
100.0% 7
Voters 7
This poll is now closed.   7 answers
Poll created by taen
Closes: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:00 am
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George Buss
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"It seems, that is, I may have become, quite by accident, the chosen, what what?"
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“Here is my secret. It's quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Petit Prince
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The fire would have singed the hair on his arms but Tevya had stopped growing arm hair years earlier. It's an occupational hazard when you are a baker. The last ball aimed right at him, but the silver ring on his finger glowed and the fire didn't hurt.

I need to keep this... Could come in really hand during crepe season!
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OOC: One day in the future (assuming Tevya lived to tell the tale) as Tevya was preparing a charcoal fire to make crepes, he presumed the Ring of Magical Fire Protection would grant him immunity to fire, and reached out to arrange the burning coals.

Alas!, either the ring was not working or... as he pulled back his hand, blisters forming over his fingers and crying in pain.

laugh laugh
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"Oi! Vei! Seriously?" Shouted Motel as the flaming balls of burning cleansing inferno rolled around his body not singing any hairs on his head or newley found beard.

"What's wrong with you?" He said as he pointed a finger and the staff at the angel and then a blast of frigid air and ice spewed forth from his hand and struck the Angel true!

(Done from iPhone will post stats with next post.)
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A pit fiend?! Why not start off with something easier, like an orc or a minotaur? Alik thinks as he backs quickly away.

"Uhm, I think I took a wrong..." is all he has time to say before he in engulfed by the inferno.

"Ahhhh! Fire, burning, hot!!"
Wait, no pain? Ah, right, powerful Sorcerer! So what can I do to him...?
Yes!


"You seem a little hot under the collar, why don't you Chill out!"

He's not quite sure whether the groan of pain is from the ice or his horrible pun...

HP: 20/20

Inventory: Silver Ring, Staff of Power, Magician's Robes

Spells: Meteor Shower, Magical Poison Arrows, Cone of Cold
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You never had a single day of training in wizardry, nor had any inclination you knew of for the magical arts. Yet the spell came easily from your lips, as you read it aloud from memory, pointing your staff skyward and then towards the beast, "Sinangkia horlerhguarsiiii...!"

A powerful blast of icy wind rushed forward from the staff, turning moisture from the air into ice to envelope the pit fiend. The creature's fire dulled, when the ice became sleet, and soon enough was put out. The image of the creature flickered again, and in its place stood a smirking gnome who easily dispelled your cone of cold with a wave of his hand.

The Gnome wore a dirty green tunic, a broad brimmed hat, carrying little else except the arrogance of a trickster. You noticed on his tunic, a gold brooch shaped as a cat, and strangely, a cat holding out a paw with only one claw.

"I must say I am impressed, for one so young and new. You must have been sent by that pesky fiddler, whom I wholly disclaim any relation with even though we share the same blood!" the Gnome squealed in a high-pitched voice, before casting a spell of expedition and turned about to flee.

Poll
Do you give chase?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Yes
83.3% 5
No
16.7% 1
Voters 6
This poll is now closed.   6 answers
Poll created by taen
Closes: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:00 am
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  • 1d100 =
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  • Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:11 pm
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You recalled the Fiddler's instruction - ...find the golden cat with one claw, and it will lead you to Xnnerik's heir!

Who or what is Xnnerik's heir? you wondered, and quickly cast your own spell of expedition to follow the Gnome.

And what did the gnome mean when he said that he and the fiddler were related by blood? you also wondered, confused. You didn't recall the Fiddler to be gnome, but then, you didn't recall whether he was anything else either.

You realised that you were caught up in your thoughts when you looked up and found that you had lost the Gnome. Instead, you now stood in the middle of a mysterious forest, the foliage a deep purple instead of the green that was common in your home world. Even the detritus was purple, instead of brown, as if it did not decompose. You picked up a dead leaf and examined it, and found that it seemed as alive as though it was still attached to any of the trees. Update your inventory if you decide to keep the strange 'living' leaf.

What is this place, if not another illusion? You stood there, unmoving, unsure what to expect.

Suddenly, the silence became so loud it was deafening and eerie. An indeterminate amount of time passed, and suddenly, a commanding voice boomed out, breaking the silence, "You do not belong here. What do you seek, strange walker of our lands?"

Poll
How do you respond?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
You ask, "What is this place? Where am I?"
0.0% 0
You retort, "My business is my own, and none of yours. Who are you?"
0.0% 0
You say, "I was following a rather peculiar gnome. Have you seen him?"
50.0% 2
You answer, "I seek Xnnerik's heir. How do I find this 'heir'?"
50.0% 2
You choose to ignore the question, and keep quiet.
0.0% 0
Voters 4
This poll is now closed.   4 answers
Poll created by taen
Closes: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:00 am
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George Buss
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"It seems, that is, I may have become, quite by accident, the chosen, what what?"
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“Here is my secret. It's quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Petit Prince
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Magic maps, cryptic fiddlers, magic rings, demonic fireballs, running gnomes, missing heirs, living foliage, and now what ... Talking trees?

Tevya's stomach growls slightly. It was getting on to lunch time, and he was beginning to feel a little peckish. The magic ring was great, but a never diminishing k'nish might have served for all occasions a wee but better. But don't worry about me.

The baker never thought well when he was hungry. That voice, the booming, it shook right through his thin robe, vibrating his empty belly. He lifted his head and spoke a response, not thinking if it would be the right one.


HP 20/20
Hunger: Slight edge
Thirst: Could use a beer right about now

Inventory:
Living Lead
Silver Ring
Staff of Power
Magician's Robes

Spells:
Too many to list


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>take leaf

Motel thinking about all that's happened reflected back to the Fiddler's Riddle -- "Hear ye me, young one! I have chosen you for a task - find the golden cat with one claw, and it will lead you to Xnnerik's heir! You cannot fail!" -- and then do what when I find him/her?

The disembodied voice startled Motel and he spoke --


Gilliad Motel
HP: 20/20
Morale: Good
Emotion: Stressed
Hunger: A minor grumbley in the tummy
Thirst: Could go for a cold one, but could go for a while without one.
Status: Startled

Spells: Cone of Cold, Magical poison arrows, meteor shower, Magic Missle

Possessions:
Magician's Robes
Staff of Power
Silver Ring (currently being worn)
Undead Leaf
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the steep cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Well, this certainly changes things!

Spells to do the incredible!
Angels that aren't angelic.
Pit fiends that aren't demonic.
A transmogrificating gnome!
A gold brooch shaped as a cat with one claw.
Xnnerik's heir...
And purple leaves that do not die!

Will wonders never cease?

How fascinating life is in this map!

Now... could it be that the Fiddler and the Gnome both have the power of transmogrification? Or is it they share the same ink that drew them on the map? The philosophical puzzles keep Iridia occupied while waiting for the way out of the woods.

The voice, while startling, does make some good points.

And "strange walker" rings with much truth in this forest of mysteries.

Name: Iridia
HP: 20/20

Inventory:
Silver Ring of Magical Fire Protection with Ancient Inscription
Strange 'Living' Leaf

Spells:
A prodigious, multitudinous collection.
If you can imagine it, it can be cast!
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Rae Zin were here
Singapore
Singapore
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All good things
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The BANCE - bear dance!
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The questions formed in your mind, but before you even spoke them, purple vines shot outward with surprising speed that you were unable to react. The vines entangled your arms and legs, and held you up in the air by your limbs. The length of vine entangling your staff-wielding arm crushed your arm so tight you dropped your Staff of Power in pain, and saw it fall from height to the ground. You lose 1d6 HP from the pain.

From the foliage, a most beautiful being stepped out, her hair crimson and worn long, her svelte form in a dress so thin it accentuated her nubile figure. It was her eyes that enraptured you, for they were a bright golden yellow, and seemed to light up the darkness about.

You did not need to ask your questions, for she seemed to have read your mind, "The gnome is not your business, neither is he mine. But what do you want of Xnnerik's heir? Answer me!"

Without waiting for your reply, she picked up the staff you dropped, and held it up against the light of the sky. Without a word or emotion, you saw her fling it towards you, but before the staff reached you, a bolt of purple fire struck it and the staff exploded into pieces. You suffer another 2d6 of damage from the splints that pierced your body.

If you are still alive...

Poll
What is your answer?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
You stare back at her, anger in your eyes, refusing to reply.
25.0% 1
You answer meekly, "I seek the one last dragon! Only the winged one can save us!"
50.0% 2
You growl in defiance against the pain, "You. You are the last dragon. Release me now."
25.0% 1
You tell her, "I am to search and find the last dragon, to destroy it and save the world!"
0.0% 0
Voters 4
This poll is now closed.   4 answers
Poll created by taen
Closes: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:00 am
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Caroline Berg
United States
Washington
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the steep cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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The Pain! 1d6 = (2) = 2
Exploded Staff! 2d6 = (3 + 3) = 6

Iridia stares defiantly into the being's eyes. So, completely rude, goes straight to dealing pain AND she destroyed my staff? Hah! Like I'm going to tell her anything!.

Name: Iridia
HP: 12/20

Inventory:
Silver Ring of Magical Fire Protection with Ancient Inscription
Strange 'Living' Leaf

Spells:
A prodigious, multitudinous collection.
If you can imagine it, it can be cast!
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  • 568177. adularia25
  • 1d6 =
  • (2) =
  • 2
  • The Pain!
  • Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:10 pm
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  • 568184. adularia25
  • 2d6 =
  • (3 + 3) =
  • 6
  • Exploded Staff!
  • Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:12 pm
George Buss
United States
Muncie
Indiana
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"It seems, that is, I may have become, quite by accident, the chosen, what what?"
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“Here is my secret. It's quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Petit Prince
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Crush! 1d6 = (6) = 6
Splinters! 1d6 + 1d6 = (4) + (3) = 7

Tevya grimaces from the pain. Not quite as bad as that time Farmer Johan's ass had kicked him in the chest so hard that he had a 3 embedded on his chest from the shoes, but pretty dang bad.

Good thing his fight wasn't with this tree girl, his fight was with the last dragon after all.


HP: 7/20

Inventory:
Robes
Leaf

Spells:
Not now, I'm busy.
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  • 568249. ThatFedoraGuy
  • 1d6 =
  • (6) =
  • 6
  • Crush!
  • Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:55 pm
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  • 568250. ThatFedoraGuy
  • 1d6 + 1d6 =
  • (4) + (3) =
  • 7
  • Splinters!
  • Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:56 pm
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