Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bujilli: Episode 24

Previously...
While waiting in line to meet with the administrator of the Entrance Exams at the Academy in Wermspittle, Bujilli was challenged, then attacked by a young boy using Hard Candy. Bujilli defeated the boy, but was wounded. The boy collapsed, then began to melt horribly as part of the Vile Transformation brought on by prolonged use of the illicit substance concocted from White Powder. Horrified at this grotesque turn of events, Bujilli sought to help the boy. Administrator Beatrice Eberhard has led Bujilli to the offices of Wilhemina Hedrard, where he has carried the writhing, liquifying body of the melting child. The hag has temporarily halted the progression of the boy's condition, for a short time. Now Bujilli must decide how much he is willing to do, how far he is willing to go in order to save the boy who attacked him...

  "Well? Will you stand there gaping, or will you lend me your hand to help this child? You brought him here seeking my help. will you balk at the price of it now?" The hag scowled at Bujilli. Her amber eyes bore through him. He could feel them examining his bones as though they had been cast before her on an embroidered clothe like some diviners read the future.

"What you intend to do--you say it is dangerous: how dangerous? What are the risks?"

"Wicked dangerous. For both of you. This is not some simple parasite to be sliced out of the brat's belly. You're dealing with a deep, pernicious reorganization of his entire being from the very roots of his life essence. The Vile Transformation has already begun. He's lost a good bit of his humanity already. Some things don't ever come back. Some things can't be fixed or repaired or healed. This is biology, not a reputation or some trick of make-up. Hah. A mask and a cape won't be near enough for this one, not unless.."

"Yes? Unless what? Please. I need to know more so that I can make the right decision."

"Hurm. Folly. Whatever you decide, there'll be repercussions. Consequences. Way of the world my boy. But I see your dilemna. You will suffer. Terribly. The pain is beyond the threshold of all but the most hardened of brutes; but you dare not succumb to it, for to do so will jeopardize everything. Fail in your part, and you'll likely share in the boy's fate, if you're lucky."

"And if we succeed?" Bujilli looked into the hag's eyes. He wanted to do the right thing...but he still wasn't sure what that was, not yet.

"He'll live. You'll both live." The hag turned back to the nearly shapeless white mass upon her work table.

"Tell him." Hissed the lady in black beside Bujilli.

"Oh aye. I'll not mislead the fellow. He has a goodly heart. Best to break it earlier than later. But it has been long ere old Hedrada broke the heart of a strapping young man...and never quite like this..."

"What? What are you both talking about?" He confronted the hag; "Have you ever done this 'transferance' before? Did it work? What are you not telling me?"

"Such a transfer establishes a bond betwixt those involved. Even as you help him recover his humanity, to claw his way back up from the protean depths unleashed from within his cells, the primordial ooze itself, you will be dragged down into this same stuff. Even if you are strong enough...he may not be."

"And?"

"He could pull you down with him. You could dissolve into so much goo, just like he's doing. Or it could get messy."

"Isn't this already quite a mess?"

"You're in Wermspittle now; it can always get worse. Often does."

"You have a choice Bujilli. You said you wanted to help this child. Now that you know that it is risky, do you have the heart to do what must be done, or will you turn your back on him?" The lady in black stared down at Bujilli. Her features were sharply angular. Her hair reminded him of a raven's rough feathers. She was cold. Ruthless. Exacting. Challenging.

"Best you talk to your tutelary spirits. There's time enough for a brief prayer. You'll need it." Hedrard the hag busied herself tending to the boy's body. She started to hum and mutter, perhaps it was some odd little chant? A spell?

Bujilli closed his eyes for a moment. He called upon the Counsel that had been imprinted upon his bones back in the ruins of Zormur's Palace. Maybe it could help him make a sound decision.

"Machine," he whispered; "Can you help the boy?"

Query: Assistance Required

"Yes."

Preliminary Analysis Indicates Immunological Conflict

"What?"

Query: Specify Mitigation Or Elimination Protocol

"Explain--"

Images flooded through Bujilli's mind. There were squiggly silver worm-like threads in his wound. They were physically keeping the wound open, potentially causing him to bleed out.

The Counsel registered Bujilli's intense revulsion and quickly encysted the wriggling silver threads and expelled them from his wound in phlegmy gobs of fat and congealed blood. He stepped back from the bloody mess on the floor.

"What have we here?" The hag hobbled over to peer down at the glistening, jiggling bits of yellowish matter. Bujilli pulled out a rag and wiped off the residue. His wound was sealing already. He could feel his body returning to normal. The fever broke. He was getting hungry. Despite looking down at the grisly bits on the floor that had only moments before been inside him.

"Bloodthreads." hissed the raven-like woman.

"Yes. Bloodthreads. This young man is quite full of surprises, aren't you?"

"I don't know what these...things...are. I was wounded by the boy's knife. He stabbed me in the arm. These were left behind. Like poison."

"Oh indeed. Very like poison, only no curative or salve would do a damn thing for it--you're lucky not to have bled out already. How did you remove the things? I did not see you do anything overt..."

"I...well..." Bujilli hesitated, not sure just how much he wished to reveal to these two. They were both still strangers to him and this was a strange place. He wished Gnosiomandus were here to guide him. But the old man was gone. Bujilli had to start making some decisions. So he did.

"I asked my Counsel about helping the boy, Lemuel, and it detected these things in my wound. It helped me to get rid of the stuff. Sorry about the floor."

"Ha. The floor he says. Ha! Will you sell the nasty things to me? Or do you intend to keep them to yourself?"

"I...I honestly don't know anything about them. What use would they be to me?"

"They're a weapon. An edge. An advantage. One that could overcome the defenses of things that tend to heal overly quick for anyone's liking. Especially if you're faced off against them in the Arena or elsewhere." The lady in black spoke quietly. Businesslike. Bujilli wasn't sure if she approved or not. He suspected it was something else. Harsh realities tended to trump feelings or even eclipse morals. If one allowed such a thing to happen.

"Here. I'll split them with you. I have some flexglass vials around here. We can scoop them up and seal them so they don't get out until we intend to release them. You can have two vials, I'll keep four, and we'll call it even. Deal?"

"Deal."

Hedrard cackled evilly. The glistening blobs were scooped-up, dumped into a glass beaker and some kind of acid or solvent was poured upon them. The bits of Bujilli's flesh and blood cast-off with the bloodthreads dissolved into a whitish, almost milky fluid that settled to the bottom of the beaker. The hag produced a pipette and a syringe and quickly extracted the silvery things from the solution and filled a set of vials that she then closed with a pinch. The vials closed seamlessly. She handed over two of the vials to Bujilli with a disturbing grin on her heavily wrinkled and scarred face.

Bujilli accepted the vials from the hag. They sat cool and smooth upon the palm of his hand. He distrusted the things. But he knew better than to throw away a possible tool or resource out of ignorance. that was not how he was raised. No. He placed the vials into his belt-pouch.

"Since you've been generous, and you have a kind heart, I will not take advantage of you. This time." Hedrard smiled gruesomely.

"And now you have a choice to make. Will you help the boy?" The woman in black crossed her arms in front of her.

Query: Authorization Mitigation Protocol

"What--" Images flashed. Bujilli smiled. He knew what to do. He stepped up to the work-table and extended his hands over the gelatinous form slowly melting away like a sugar sculpture in the mist. He saw a way he might set things right without having to use the hag's questionable skills. Bujilli smiled.

"Yes."

Mitigation Protocol Initiated

"NO! You Fool! What Are you--" The hag screeched. The woman in black involuntarily dropped into a fighting posture.

The boy screamed. Wetly. Garbled. As though he were drowning in his own flesh...which he was.

A cool pinkish light surrounded Bujilli and the boy and the table.

The light swirled with golden motes of light.

It grew increasingly reddish.

Redder.

BRIGHT RED

Bujilli screamed.

"Give me your hand!" Yelled the hag.

"Do It!" barked the woman in black...


What should Bujilli do now?

Does he trust the hag? Does it matter?

Should Bujilli take her hand?

Should he attempt to stop the process? (Can he stop the process?)

Or should he see things through? Whatever the cost?

You Decide!


Previous                                                      Next

Series Indexes
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six


About Bujilli (What is This?) | Who is Bujilli? | How to Play

Bujilli's Spells | Little Brown Journals | Loot Tally | House Rules

Episode Guides
Series One (Episodes 1-19)
Series Two (Episode 20-36)
Series Three (Episodes 37-49)
Series Four (Episodes 50-68)
Series Five (Episodes 69-99)
Series Six(Episodes 100-ongoing)

Labyrinth Lord   |   Advanced Edition Companion

5 comments:

  1. "You're in Wermspittle now; it can always get worse. Often does." - first of all, this is an excellent back of the book (or front of the book) blurb.

    Bujilli should see the process though, ride the pain, and not touch the hag's hand. His Counsel (the iPad's spellcheck wanted me to change that term to CPU) told him that the boy's malady can be fixed, so I think he should trust his own resources. The hag definitely seems to be up to something, and it is never a good sign when someone you don't trust too much to begin with shouts "You fool!"

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  2. He may come to regret it, but I say he should give the Hag his hand.

    ReplyDelete
  3. John: That line just happened, but now that you mention it, maybe it would work as a sort of tag-line for Wermspittle. Remember the bloodthreads. Bujilli saw a chance to address the situation without the hag's 'help,' but by attempting to fix one thing, the Counsel might be running afoul of something else. Might be. Someone needs to roll a few more D20s...and we moved the widget down to the bottom right-hand of the blog. We'll be adding a link to Roll Dice Online at the bottom of the newer Bujilli posts starting with the next one, unless anyone suggests a more appropriate/effective alternative.

    John & Trey: One vote against and one vote for giving the hag his hand. So we'll need to see a few more votes. This is where you the readers can really make a difference. Anyone can vote; it just takes a comment. (I'll also refrain from asking which hand, for now...)

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's Wotan's Tag and no more responses yet. I'll shift my vote to align with Trey. I rolled 11, 6, and 5 on the ruby d20 with teal numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bujilli should give her his hand. He's "not from around here" and a connection to her may be able to provide some stabilizing influence for the boy (and potentially Bujilli).

    I rolled a 17 and a 14 on the widget below in case you need a couple of extra numbers.

    ReplyDelete

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