Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Campaign: Dachau Streets

Kazimir and Delfig climb down two flights of steps inside the city wall and emerge into the Foreign Quarter. This would put them somewhere in the northwest part of the city. The citadel is to their right, the North Gate to their left and the cathedral dead ahead.

It is quiet, very quiet. The streets are deserted, and except for the distant sounds of destruction and booming, there is no sound at all. As our pair make their way towards the Pig Tavern and the cathedral, they move through streets filled with the bodies of humans and slugs--there are some giant rats feeding off the former. All the buildings seem empty. The smell is overpowering at times, and at several points both characters must overcome the urge to step to the side and vomit.

As they emerge from the Foreign Quarter onto the avenue that will lead them to the cathedral, now facing the city barracks across the thoroughfare, the stillness is disturbed for the first time by a gentle breeze. At once it does not feel natural. In the first instance, it seems to be conjured from nothing, as taking a step or two back from the direction of travel causes the air to return to its stillness. In the second instance, the breeze does not so much push against the skin but pull from it. Both Delfig and Kazimir feel drawn forth along the avenue. It is not a compulsion, but a temptation.

Kazimir's hand drops to his axe, his fingers moving impatiently on the handle. At the moment the handle feels...so very nice. Delfig's sword feels lighter. Twice he catches himself half drawing the weapon for no reason at all, only to return it to its sheath, feeling vaguely disappointed...

39 comments:

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Kazimir.. there's a foul feel in the air. We must be cautious."

At at convenient point, not too close to the square, I'd like to climb the side of a tall enough building and do a recon, to see what I can see in the square. I'm not going to enter the building to do so.

Kazimir said...

If Delfig climbs a building, Kazimir will stand guard with the heavy crossbow ready.

Alexis said...

d100 please. At this point I'm going to assume you are about 150 yards from the square...which sounds surprisingly distant for being that close.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

d100: 22

Alexis said...

No trouble climbing to the nearby roof. As you climb, you rise out of the acoustic shadow of the street and your ears are nearly deafened by what you hear.

Your view of the square is somewhat obstructed. Much of what you can see is in ruin, including the principal spire of the cathedral and three quarters of the Merchant's Hall (which now lacks a roof and the front of which is open and devastated). You cannot see the Pig Tavern as it is on a lane connected to the square (near the square), and it is on the side of the square towards you (thus it is obstructed).

The very bricks of the square have been unearthed and torn, as a mound of earth and materials has been thrown up before the cathedral that is at least thirty feet high--beyond that, you can see the bare edge of what might be a pit or inky black fluid, it is difficult in the gloomy cloud-light to be certain.

The green and blue flame continues to erupt and crackle from beyond the mound, and from within that hidden core there emerges flashes of turquoise lightning, occasionally reaching out to nearby buildings and reacting explosively with the stone and wood that it touches.

The sound, as I said, compels you once on the roof to press your hands against the sides of your head to suppress it.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - this is what I like about text/post based play. If anyone had described that in words, they would not have gotten across much of what I can "see" when I read your words. I visualize a carnage that I think would require a well trained speaker to fully bring across. That's a really well visualized scene.)

I'll remain up there long enough to ascertain if I can see anyone fighting near the cathedral, or anyone moving near us (still looking for that walking/talking healer). Then I'll crawl back down the wall and relate what I just saw to Kazimir.

"I don't know how anyone could have survived that."

On a whim, I pull out the crucifix that the Friar gave me and whisper a prayer and touch it to my head in mute supplication.

Kazimir said...

"This is madness! What of the Merchant's Guild?"

Alexis said...

Having descended again, the sound reduces to a tolerable level. Do you wish to continue approaching the Kirche Platz?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"The Merchant's Hall has been damaged, and I saw no evidence of anyone alive. I fear the guards may have been correct that Hornung is dead. Kazimir, it seems that most of my choices have been ill-guided since we stumbled onto Herr Meyer's residence but a couple of days ago. I don't know what to do. My heart says to push on to the cathedral and see if indeed Hornung is dead, but I fear that path. My head says to go seek our companions and flee this place, but I gave my word to the Friar that I would try and stop what has happened, since I provided the blood for this evilness. What do you think we should do?"

(I'm assuming that I saw nobody. Do I see any bodies in this area that might look like clerics or healers that aren't being chewed by slugs?)

Kazimir said...

"I'd prefer to save our hides, lad," Kazimir says, "but I'm not such a lout that I'd leave our fellows behind. Besides... even if we flee, who is to say this will stop in Dachau?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"At the very least, the 5 .. wait.. the 4 of us might be able to do something more than the two of us. I am in no shape to head to that cathedral. I doubt that anyone is at the Pig. The guards didn't say anything as to where people might be headed... Perhaps they might be involved with the giant - or perhaps healers might be nearby there. Let's head back that way. When we find them, we can decide whether to press on or not."

Delfig will reverse course and proceed towards the North.

(I know, back and forth. Damn, but at 2hp and without some backup, I'm not going near a place like that. Delfig is right now all about survival. He'd hoped to see someone/anyone but the emptiness of the streets and the massive amount of carnage at the cathedral has told him otherwise. He's intending on getting his posse together and then make a decision. He's really torn about being responsible versus dying.)

Kazimir said...

Kazimir nods. "Aye, let's find you a healer. I've no intention of dragging your carcass through the streets."

Alexis said...

Ah, but you have come this far...

Delfig may wish to reverse course, and proceed, but why is his sword drawn? And why is it his feet will not move as he wishes?

Why is Kazimir's axe drawn? Why is it that Kazimir seems on guard against Delfig? Merely a false impression? And yet Kazimir's feet will not turn, and in fact he does not feel at all comfortable with leaving, however logical it might be to find a healer.

Does this not seem strange?

Kazimir said...

Kazimir shakes his head and tries to clear the confusion and madness of the past several days. He will try to make himself lower the axe, and remind himself that Delfig is one of his companions.

Alexis said...

Kazimir,

You do manage to put your axe back in its loop on your belt (though the handle still feels pretty good to the touch). But you don't find it at all possible to compel yourself to walk away.

There is a gentle pulling of the breeze towards the Kirche Platz.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(Sorry for the late post, I'm not getting the email updates like I usually do.)

My eyes widen in horror at Kazimir's and my actions. I will get the Friar's crucifix out and hold it up. "In God's name, we must get away from this place!"

I will resist as hard as I possibly can, even if getting on my hands and knees (with the crucifix out) to crawl away.

Kazimir said...

"Is it sorcery? Have the Nine Hells come to Earth?" Kazimir asks.

(Can Kazimir see anything from street level, in the direction of Kirche/Cathedral?)

Alexis said...

No. Even presuming you put your sword away (which you did not say you do), it just doesn't seem possible to get on your hands and knees or move away in any fashion.

Understand, however...there's a compulsion to continue approaching the square, but you're able to resist that for the present.

Alexis said...

Kazimir,

There is every indication that some kind of gate has opened that might connect to any one of a dozen underworlds.

The street, as other streets you've passed through, is marked with bodies and disrupted slugs, but you cannot see around the corners into the square.

But there's no doubt in your mind which path leads there.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I will indeed put my sword away, but I will put the crucifix in my belt in an easy to reach position. I'll get out my forgotten lyre and strum a tune, trying to distract myself from the compulsion.

"I fear we've entered into a trap, my friend."

(Is it possible to take a circular route, using alleyways, yards, side streets, so that we're remaining about a constant distance away from the cathedral and working towards the northern end. I just did some google-fu looking for a 16th century map of Dachau, and so far, my research is zip and I've got to get back to work. I understand we can't go back directly away, but I'm thinking like a dog on a chain, we can circle?)

Kazimir said...

"Well, we'd better do something, or we'll end up like these bastards." Kazimir will approach the nearest human body and examine it.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Those poor souls will tell us nothing - they're dead and they'll probably only tell us that we're going to be next. Come my friend... let's see if we can circle around this place. We might not be able to go back, but maybe around?"

Delfig strums a tune meant to inspire Kazimir and himself to push on, as best we can.

(Of course, if we find ourselves unable to move laterally, then we look damn f***ing funny marching in place.)

Alexis said...

Delfig,

While I like your chain metaphor, the difficulty is that the breeze is not blowing in a circle.

Kazimir,

You find that you must move generally in the direction of the cathedral to examine a body. This one appears to have died by slug.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Is there any discernible pattern to how the breeze blows, aside from that it 'pulls' us to the cathedral? Are we able to move in any direction except in a path towards the cathedral? Did I feel this same breeze on the rooftop?

Kazimir said...

Kazimir will rifle through the pockets of the corpse, looking for loose coin.

"Doesn't seem to be any way out of it, lad," he says to Delfig over his shoulder, "unless your dweomercraft can lift this fog in our minds, we seem bound to follow it."

Alexis said...

Delfig,

No. No. Yes.

Kazimir,

Apparently others have been before you. There's evidence that his clothes have been pulled apart, and you find nothing.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Kazimir, would you agree to tie up your weapon, and I shall tie mine up, so that we don't kill each other, if this madness takes hold? Perhaps one of us could get away?"

Alexis said...

I had hoped to bring this thread up to date with Anshelm today, but sadly that's not going to happen. No problem.

I am stepping out to join some others, all of us going to a bar to, basically, to express how we feel about the likelihood that we will all be unemployed within a month.

I love a recession.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - hoist a few, and good commiserating. We'll see you when you restart things. )

Alexis said...

All right, we're ready to go.

Action?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I'm tying up my sword so that I don't draw it unconsciously (I know it will take time to undo it in combat, but I don't wish to start slicing Kazimir up - and - if I'm "allowed" to tie up my weapon as such.) and waiting for Kazimir to do the same.

Whether we can or can't, I'll go about halfway in distance towards the cathedral and do another climb to see if I can see people alive or dead and get any more details than I did prior.

(If I'm being compelled towards the cathedral, do I feel/hear/sense anything else in looking around or listening?)

Alexis said...

You can do another climb with a d100, but another block or so and you'll be near where the Pig Tavern ought to be and you'll be able to see the square from the ground.

The primary sound continues to be the crackling of lightning and the occasional collapse of building parts on account of that, but moving around the next corner will give the sign that there is still a battle going on (swords striking swords).

Kazimir said...

Kazimir will agree to Delfig's plan and tie his axe and club together. He will stow his dagger in his backpack. For the moment, he keeps the crossbow loaded, since if he has to use it suddenly he'd rather have it ready.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I will keep my lyre in my hand and peer (not fully move) around the next corner to discern what is going on with the battle.

Alexis said...

Delfig and Kazimir,

Surprisingly, the Pig Tavern is whole and undamaged. It is behind and on your left, visibly deserted, as you look out into the square. Your view is blocked by the mound I described, 30 ft. high, made of earth, street bricks and various materials. What battle might be occurring happens on the other side of this.

The sound here is deafening. You can't hear each other scream, or communicate.

Your fingers and palms ache to hold weapons. Kazimir finds himself setting a bolt into the crossbow and drawing back the string for firing.

(OOC: a crossbow cannot be kept strung tight, as this stretches the catgut and it won't fire. So it can be kept at two-thirds tension, requiring one round to make it ready, same as a bow, which in one round can be taken off the back and fitted with an arrow).

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Given the noise, I'm assuming my magic abilities are useless. Is that true? Assuming it is, I'll replace my lyre on my back.

I'm going to move away from Kazimir and towards the Pig, using available cover to try and hide as best I can from whomever might be fighting. My goal is to get to a vantage point where I can see the fighting.

(Kazimir, if you shoot me, I'm going to haunt you in very specific and nasty ways. You won't be able to do certain things again in peace.)

Alexis said...

Delfig,

Yes, the magic assumes being able to hear the music.

While Kazimir rolls a d20 (!) you'll have to circle around the perimeter of the square to remain as far from whatever is going on yet reach a point where the mound no longer obscures what's happening.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I figured as much, but thank you for the confirmation. Shigata ga nai.

I will load my (new shiny) heavy crossbow. I will then continue to circle the square.

(You'll never have a peaceful trip to the outhouse, Kazimir. Seriously.)

Alexis said...

This is continued on a new post.