Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bujilli: Episode 55

Previously...
Bujilli and Leeja stand in the Arena. Beatrice Eberhard has commanded Leeja to kill Bujilli...

"No."

Leeja turned to face Eberhard. Her hair writhed like white-hot flames.

"You stand in the Arena. You have both declared your readiness. Your lives are forfeit."

"There are plenty of things that need killing in this place. But not him. I will not."

Leeja bowed her head ever so slightly. Her arms held out to either side, a short sword in the right, a hand-axe in the left. She knew all about the Arena. All too damned well.

Eberhard stood up from her darkly-draped bench. Her eyes smoldered blackly. Her visage was all the more terrifying for all that looked out from behind those lustrous black eyes. Those eyes were like twin abysses. They were far from soulless. Not empty. By no means voids. Those eyes, those hot black eyes contained multitudes. It was not at all what either of them were expecting. The very idea of carrying such a grim burden humbled them both. And is was clearly a burden. It exacted a heavy toll on her. The kind of thing no amount of bluster or make-up could disguise. She didn't even try.

"Indeed. There is much death in this place. You have shed more than a little blood upon this very culling floor. Why do you balk now?"

"There are other options. He has taught me that. I don't intend to kill him just because you tell me to. I'm not a mindless killing machine--"

"Ah. So you wake up at last." Eberhard nodded ever so slightly. She stared down at Bujilli. "I was right about you."

Bujilli bowed the way he was taught by his uncle. Never bend your knee, never submit, but bend from the waist, a gesture of respect from which you could still defend or attack as necessary.

"You are quite correct Leeja. There are many things requiring killing both here and all around us across the Parallels, Adjacent Worlds and elsewheres. But if we lose our selves to the killing, let ourselves become killing machines, then we do not serve humanity, nor ourselves, either one. A virus can kill. A bacteria. A speck of dust. It is no great thing to be able to kill. No real accomplishment."

"Then why do you make so many of us pass through this place?" demanded Leeja.

"Would you send out those unable to defend themselves into the Low Streets, or to the Burned Over Districts? Let alone to the wastelands or dead worlds surrounding us? Would you send our people forth empty-handed and heads filled with quaint rhetoric to face the horrors you know full well await them, often right inside these very walls? That would be irresponsible."

"No."

"Do either of you know what principles, what charter, what mandate this Academy was founded upon? What we do here? Why this place exists? Why we persist in the face of everything that has gone wrong?"

"It is a place of learning..." Bujilli looked about him. The arena was a very real place. A test. Eberhard had called it a 'culling floor.'

"Monster Hunters, Grue Killers, this is where the best of the best got their start--"

"Failures. Drop-outs. Most never made it past the Entrance Exam."

"But..."

"Would you become a monster? You who have come so very, very far. Fought so hard. Struggled against your upbringing, rejected and spurned, already you carry the stigma, scars and label as your birth-right. You were born a monster by your own people's laws. Your own parent's decree. Unsanctioned. Unwelcome. Unwanted. Hunted. Hated. Despised. Feared. How human are you really, Leeja? I wonder..."

"Stop it!" Leeja shouted. Her eyes blazed green-gold.

"Make me."

Leeja's hair whipped about like a swarm of angry cats.

For a moment Bujilli thought that she might attempt to attack Eberhard. He realized that he was tensed. Ready to jump. To join her in the fight. Consequences be damned.

She looked down at the gritty floor.

Flexed her arms.

Sighed.

"No."

"Are you afraid? There is no place here for cowards."

"It isn't about fear. It is about what is right."

"Of all the accusations you recited against me, which ones were anything I did? Would you assign the blame to me for how I was born? Is a child responsible for the union that produced them?"

Leeja looked to Bujilli. He nodded. They were kindred spirits. Well met. Well matched.

Eberhard stared down at them both.

"You reject the judgement of your people?"

"What people? Whose people? Like you said; I have been cast out, unwanted, hunted. They do not claim me, nor I them. I see no point in allowing them to define me. I am a free agent. I choose my own course. Go my own way."

"Rootless. Rudderless. Are you then a loose cannon or an ill wind that brings no good to anyone, not even yourself?"

"I came here seeking knowledge. Not. This."

"Yet you have spilled blood here, in this place. You have killed. Reveled in it."

"Yes. I have. It is in my nature..."

"Predator."

Leeja looked up at Eberhard. Stared right into her black eyes. "More."

"Truly?"

"I am the sum of my mother and my father, but I am not either of them. I am something...someone...new."

Eberhard nodded. Once. The lights went out.

"Well and good. If you can both make it out of the Arena, you will have passed your Exam."


Roll for Initiative...
...as per Labyrinth Lord, p. 50:

Roll 1d6 for Bujilli [he receives a +1 bonus],
Roll another 1d6 for Leeja [she gets a +2 bonus],
Roll a third 1d6 for the monsters as a group.
[1d6=One Six-Sided Die. Feel free to use the dice-rolling widget to the right]

Then we need to determine what monster(s)
get released into the Arena.

We have a handy Alphabetical Index of Our Monsters.
Reader's Choice.
Declare your Top Three Choices in the comments.
I'll roll a few dice to break any ties.

You Decide.

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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

16 comments:

  1. A Fantomist with a pet attack Molg and a Manitrude.

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    1. I'd love to see the Manitrude, but I'm not sure my vote should count. I do see it more as a lurker in dark and remote places, but here it could be a specimen, or even a resident or interloper if it's an older and weirdly wiser individual. It's a similar situation with some of the other creatures in the list, that they have their own suggested context, and those are some of my favourites. It's a really tough choice, even with three slots - I'd be happy to see the whole A-Z in action.

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    2. You will see the whole A-to-Z of critters in action eventually. Some sooner rather than later...

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  2. Raw score 1D6 rolls in order: 1, 3, 2.

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    1. Thanks Rob! Now we have Initiative settled...

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  3. How about an Elajess, controlling an Infectidrone (or perhaps more than one, as they seem best suited to group combat) and an Iron Pig, possibly by means of something similar to the amulet that Idvard uses for his drones?

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    1. This line-up also presents some interesting challenges. I may mix-and-match these with Rob's suggestions. The Elajess and Infectidrones can be summoned...so we might get all of the above...depending on how it goes. This could turn into something of a Battle Royale...

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    2. That sounds both interesting and at least vaguely terrifying...

      I got a 40 on the roll to see if the Iron Pig has an enchanted weapon, and a 1 for the number of enchantments on it, if that ends up being relevant.

      Also, I can't seem to recall what happened to the Miasmagister spawnling, and I don't see it in the Loot post; is that something that, potentially, they could release here, or did Bujilli get rid of it at some point?

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    3. The Iron Pig now has a magic weapon. We have some new tables for that sort of thing that we'll try to post early next week.

      Thanks for catching that, in regards to the spawnling. It must have gotten lost in the shuffle. We'll amend the Loot Page. Yes, the spawnling might very well be of use in the Arena. It is an option to consider, definitely.

      This is getting a bit terrifying...just a Fantomist on their own is a tough opponent...to face one with a Molg and Iron Pig under their control...ouch. Then roll-in whatever the Fantomist summons...like some Infectidrones...ouch. Should be interesting!

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    4. Indeed... Hopefully this won't end up killing either of them. Though admittedly, the Examination should be hard, so it does make sense that the Academy would throw this sort of lineup at them.

      Would a Fantomist be immune to Charnel Breath? It still might be useful should they release the spawnling, but that would affect when it would be good to use it... And such a creature would be unaffected by Protection from Shadows, yes?

      Also, seeing as protective spells have made good weapons in the past, might one, with a bit of time, attune Zone of Normality to an enemy, and create a Zone of Abnormality around them? What about trying to force a reversed Auric Sheath or Thought Wall onto someone, so as to presumably make them more vulnerable to such things, then either using the reverse of Oneiric Bubble, if Bujilli still has the proper meta-planar alignment with Zalchis, or inverting Protection from Aethyrial Intrusion?

      In regards to other means of attack or defense, is it possible to use the Transveyance here, whether to bring in beasts of their own, in the hopes that whatever survives the fight will be weak enough for them to kill, or to get rid of their most dangerous foes?

      And as Bujilli and Leeja seem to have new gear, is there any chance of getting that added to their sheets?

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    5. Exactly--the Exam is meant to be tough. This line-up presents some very different challenges, and opportunities as you are pointing out very nicely.

      RE: Fantomists/Charnel Breath--The Fantomists are vulnerable to this spell. They are predominently focused upon ectoplasm and phantasm, but with distinct necromantic and shadow/umbral qualities. Protection From Shadows will block the Fantomist, but not the Molg. But do keep in mind that a Fantomist is not strictly a 'Shadow' in terms of the spell, so they have a chance of subverting or corrupting it, and thus potentially turning it back upon the caster. The Fantomists are infamous for that sort of thing.

      RE: Zone of Normality can indeed be reversed as you describe. The real challenge comes in specifying conditions that are truly abnormal in respect to the target. A little imagination and this spell can indeed prove exceptionally deadly.

      RE: Reversal of Auric Sheath, again the short answer is yes. Reversing this spell can be used to stifle ectoplasmic extrusion, shutting down the mediumistic abilities of the Fantomist. It can be manipulated/reworked to do quite a few other things as well, including chakra-oriented attacks, impressing a pattern deeply into a target's aura, constricting their aura, imploding it, and worse. Again, it depends upon what is specified in the course of adapting and casting it.

      RE: Reversing Thought Wall...yes...this can and is done, forming a roaring cascade of static like the TV screen from the classic Poltergeist movie. It can cause brains to crash, minds to overload, and form a barrier that inhibits or suppresses or even disperses thought. This will disrupt most egregores and thought-forms. It also can scramble spells, damage spell-books and ruin scrolls, etc.

      RE: Reversing Oneiric Bubble would potentially cause an Oneiric Hemorrhage, or worse. It could be a very effective attack against an Oneirist. A slight revision would create an Oneiric Disruption effect, very effective against dream-things, nightmares, etc.

      RE: Inverting Protection From Aethyrial Intrusion...is a nuclear option sort of thing. It would form a vortex that channeled outside influences past the standard defenses of the victim, a powerful and very damaging forced intrusion that would have some very nasty side-effects and repercussions. It would invite mass possession. It would also run the risk of forming a feedback loop with the Cacophany surrounding Zalchis...

      RE: Bujilli's meta-planar alignment with Zalchis...is pretty much null and void now that he has rid himself of the Green Gem. He could attempt to revive the link, but would be very loathe to do so, unless in very dire circumstances.

      RE: The Transveyance...Bujilli can certainly attempt to contact it through his Counsel. Should he succeed in making that connection, yes, he could then make use of the Transveyance to summon beasts and reinforcements...but he has no Pacts nor Contacts out there to call upon, so there is no guarantee that anything he summons will assist him, unless he uses additional spells or negotiates some sort of arrangement. This could easily be a side-trek sort of adventure for Bujilli in and of itself. It is the sort of thing that Gnosiomandus would very likely cover sooner rather than later. Excellent question. More will be revealed regarding the Transveyance now.

      We will be updating the Character Sheets shortly. And the Loot and Booty Tally as well. This has been a busy week...

      Thanks again for all the great questions!

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  4. Much thinking later, I'd suggest the funky Bruthem (maybe looking for a friend's hide, now hanging with the armour), a Crannit (full of potential here, but also very dangerous...) and/or a Petrified Colossi (for the grumpiness), Unseen Beast (for the mystery and confusion) or Yirgao (for the direct nature and scope for the unexpected), with whichever one it is possibly also infected with a Jotunifluke...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are all interesting choices. I am putting all of the suggested/requested monsters onto a list and will sort them out randomly, but the Fantomist with a Molg gets to go first, because Rob rolled initiative. C'Nor raised some excellent points, so there will be more details regarding how Counsel operates and ways that Bujilli might want to use it. C'Nor opened the way for the Miasmagaster Spawnling to be with Bujilli and available for use in the Arena. Originally, it was left-behind in his room. Now it is with him. Did it follow him oneirically? Or was it fetched for him? By whom? To what end?

      There will be a Counsel post giving the gaming-aspects of the Counsel, at least that is the plan. and I will be updating the Character Sheets and Loot List as well. I got behind a bit. Things will be running more smoothly now, I hope.

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  5. I'll throw an Ungezeifer (with or without attendant Cacozombie) and a Ferric Blob into the list of possibles.

    I rolled 5d20s on the widget in the sidebar and got 15, 19, 18, 19, 12 in case you need them.

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    1. Thanks! I have added those creatures into the list. They will all show up, one way or another, inside the Arena or out, within the next few episodes.

      I always make a point of using any/all random numbers readers/commenters submit. Any type of die is potentially useful. I have gotten used to the utility/simplicity of using a D20, but D%/D100 and sets of D6 are always handy and easy to use.

      Rolling for initiative at the end of each episode for the next one seems like a natural fit.

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