Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bujilli: Episode 66


Previously...
Assisted by the Ghost of the Grandmaster of the Antazzic Order, Bujilli has summoned forth his father, Lyhydris, intending to confront him once and for all...


Last Episode's Poll Results
6 votes total. 3 votes for 'Cast Shield and try to talk to his father.' 2 votes for 'Talk to his father first.' and 1 vote for 'Cast Confusion then attack.' There were also some excellent suggestions made in last episodes' comments section as well as 2 more FATE Cards drawn at random from the Deck of FATE by John Till from FATE SF: 'They Were Slow,' and 'Well Read.'

Bujilli shivered. Cold. Bloodied. Standing alone in a deep dark place. Only this time he was accompanied by a ghost. It was like so much of his childhood all over again. Even if his wounding was only superficial and by his own hand. This time.

He called out his father's name a second time.

Arcane Geometries swirled through weird sequences of no discernible order.

A third call.

It was working. He could feel it in his bones. Or was that his Counsel somehow letting him know the spell was effective? Did it matter?

He began to cast Shield. It was the accepted form, what most sorcerers would expect. Then he considered Zone of Normality, one of the spells he'd learned from the Gem of Muktra. He felt the loop of white hair around his finger. He wasn't alone in this dark place. Not really. Not this time.

Smiling, he cast Zone of Normality and remembered how he had felt in Wermspittle. Alongside her. Running across rooftops with his partner. Fighting beside the girl with the long white hair. Leeja.

He began to cast Shield, if only as a formality of sorts. Good manners. He got half-way.

"Who Dares!" roared a malevolent voice.

The geometries flickered. Locked down into a spiral of overlapping triangles that blurred into a circle of green light.

A figure stood at the heart of the circle. A grim silhouette. Bujilli thought he'd be taller.

The light shifted from crisp light green to wavering deep violet.

"I am Bujilli. I called you here. Father." He had trouble not spitting in disgust from the foul taste of the word.

"Not without help. Not without goading." Accused the dark figure of Lyhydris.

"That is beside the point--"

"That is precisely the point! Why else would I have answered your summons?"

"You would have summoned me, sooner or later, if I had not acted first--"

"Your Uncle does you no favors my son--"

"Who are you to call me son?" Bujilli spat in anger.

"Do you have another father? I think not."

"I'd rather be an orphan that your son.."

"And yet you summoned me here. Why?"

"My Uncle said--"

"That lying sack of dung. And has he told you how he infected your mother with a hateful mold and sent her to kill me on my last night among her people?"

"What? What are you saying? You killed her. I know you did. You can't deny it--"

"Of course I killed her. She was no longer truly herself any longer. Her mind was driven from her body. The mold controlled her flesh. It acted under your Uncle's orders. I destroyed the corrupted shell. Released her from her torment."

"But..."

"You're surprised. Shocked even. Obviously your Uncle intended for you to be so full of righteous indignation, so blinded by long nurtured hatred and anger that you would strike out at me before we might talk. That's how he works. Clever, conniving bastard. He killed the woman I loved, the woman who gave you birth, even as you blame me for her death, if not more so."

"I..."

"This is no quarrel for us. Unless you would persist in your ignorance and blame me for what had to be done. Would you rather I had allowed your mother to persist as a slave of the mold, a puppet in service to your Uncle?"

"No. But how do I know you are telling the truth?"

"I could tell you to examine your own heart or some gnoph-shit like that of course, but I won't. Have you some spell in your repertoire that will allow you to verify my veracity in this matter?"

Bujilli nodded. He'd read through every one of his Uncle's grimoires that he'd been able to sneak out from under the old sorcerer. For a neglected and abused child, Bujilli was surprisingly well-read, especially in terms of sorcery. He knew a spell that ought to work. He cast ESP (LL, p. 31). He looked across the dim Chamber of Summoning at his father's dark form and peered deep into the man's thoughts. Down to the core where emotions seethed and tossed like a turbulent black sun. He spoke truthfully, but the reality of his sorrow over the loss of his dear Yllorria was overwhelming, a wound that affected him deeply, that he carried out of guilt and regret. Regret. Shame. Remorse. He could see his father's long held belief that their son was dead. Murdered by Ylloria's brother. Then the connection was severed. There was only so much of this sort of thing any man can bear.

They both stood in silence. Each having looked deeply into the other's mind, heart, soul.

"I knew I couldn't rely on the brat. Ahtrishka warned me not to trust to his anger. He's always been a disappointment to me. Weak. Like his mother."

Three green tendrils of smoky non-light struck the ghost of the Grandmaster. Bujilli felt the ghost's screams as the spell unraveled the layers of its auric shells, stripped it of it's last vestiges of identity. It was gone. Destroyed. The spell left a lingering bitterness in the air behind it.

A dozen or more Yeren corpses shuffled into the Chamber behind Bujilli's Uncle. Each glared at Bujilli through green-lit eyes and gnashed their yellow teeth in rigidly restrained anger. His Uncle's influence was unmistakable. Pieces of a puzzle clicked into place. Dozens of encounters with unnatural tings, shambling masses, lesser demons and worse all took on a very different character. The words of the Lichipede* slithered across his mind one last time: 'Stupid little puppet.'

"You were the one who commanded the Yeren..."

"That'd be pretty obvious wouldn't it? Half-wit." His Uncle spit on the floor in disgust. It felt weird to see that gesture being done in front of him for a change.

He needed a new way to display his disgust.

"You dug up my mother's corpse. Gave her body over to that demon-bitch."

"Yes, yes, yes; a thousand times yes and so fucking what about it pup?"

"You bastard!"

"Yawn. Get over yourself you sentimental tyke. I've done all that you say and more, far more and much worse besides. So what?" His Uncle clutched his pot belly and laughed at Bujilli. His eyes radiated a deep resentment, a smoldering hatred he'd been forced to hold back for too damn long and now and this was his chance to end things once and for all. The old Almas was finally revealing his true feelings once and for all.

Bujilli could feel his stomach twist in disgust. All his life he'd been raised to be his Uncle's pawn. A twisted reflection of the vile old Alma's own self loathing.

"Release me. I would settle our score--"

"No. He's mine."



Roll 1d6 for initiative. (Labyrinth Lord, p. 50)

You Decide what Bujilli does next:

What Does Bujilli Do Next?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

* From the short story: 'Purple Wrath', to be available shortly.

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

8 comments:

  1. 3 on initiative roll. And I vote free his father then attack. His Uncle is likely pretty tough and he'll need the help. Good installment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bujilli beat his uncle by 1. Nice.

      And a vote for freeing his father...

      Delete
  2. This strikes me as near genius, and I certainly couldn't see the key detail of it coming. Super smart, a long game coming good, or at least changing play style.

    I worry about releasing his father - there could be even more games within games going on. I'm not sure Bujilli can risk it just now, especially with the grandmaster lost.

    I like the idea of calling Leeja - but can it be done so easily, and how likely is success? That said, I'm really not convinced he can rely on distracting his uncle. We may be a little past that point now. He seems to mean business.

    Maybe combining two or three of the options would help? For example, play-acting as if overwhelmed or deeply disturbed and casting a fairly obvious spell to lull his uncle into a false sense of security, while attempting to call Leeja and closing subtly to bring the tulwar into play.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Culmination and End Game. The Uncle has been patient, after his own fashion.

      You are right to worry. Lyhydris hails from another of our settings that we've barely touched upon at this blog...but a lot of the materials for it that were going to go elsewhere are coming here shortly.

      Games within games. Count on it.

      Calling Leeja...she isn't exactly sitting on her hands waiting for the call, just saying...

      The Uncle means business. Terminal business. End of the matter sort of business.

      Interesting strategy-tips, some of that might just come in handy over the course of what happens next!

      The Tulwar Hates the Uncle passionately. Maybe we'll find out why...

      Delete
  3. As much as Bujilli could use help, his father's an unknown quantity and potentially a threat. The reading Bujilli got from the ESP spell was emotionally convenient ("Regret. Shame. Remorse. He could see his father's long held belief that their son was dead. Murdered by Ylloria's brother."), especially at this moment, and may be more manipulation than fact.

    Bujilli should open the way to Leeja as best as he can while defending himself. Counsel might be able to help with this.

    Are these Yeren fungi-possessed, like Lyhydris said happened to Bujilli's mother? In fact, is his uncle possessed as well? Fungal Tyrants play the long game ("They're vicious things, smarter than the average fungi, and they definitely make for nasty opponents. The kind of bad guys who work through catspaws and puppets", from commentary on the Fungal Tyrants post) and all this may run way deeper than anyone realized. Bujilli has run into Fungal Tyrants before (Episodes 42-44, under Idvard's Keep) and used Auric Sheath to free Bortho from one's control. Bujilli should cast Auric Sheath on himself to clear any potential influence.

    I rolled 5d20 and got 19, 14, 11, 18, 17 in case they're helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Emotionally Convenient,' you pegged that very well. Lyhydris comes from a society rife with sorcery and manipulations on every level. How much of what Bujilli 'saw' via his ESP spell was a reflection of his own internal processes, and how much was accurate or actually present within Lyhydris, aside from some psychic pantomime? We'll find out as things go forward...

      The Way to Leeja is open already, has been for a bit now. Timing is everything. She comes from a line of predators, remember.

      Yes. The Yeren show signs of sickly blackish seepage around their green-glowing eyes. They do appear to be Infested Corpses, but it is unclear yet if they are possessed by a Fungal Tyrant, as Lyhydris did say 'mold,' specifically...however, we can be fairly sure that Lyhydris is not altogether as forthcoming nor as honest as he has presented himself. The reference to mold might have been a deliberate obfuscation, or perhaps an intended insult to the Tyrant. We do not know Lyhydris' relationship to the mold/fungi that took over Ylloria, Bujilli's mother/Lyhydris' mate. But Bujilli is seeing a lot of pieces drop into place, and part of that might very well be his becoming aware of the presence of something he recognizes from a previous encounter...and perhaps he is beginning to realize that his recognition of the Fungal Tyrants is based on a much closer association that he ever realized...

      Auric Sheath may well be a very good option right about now.

      There are 19 undead Yeren in the control of Bujilli's Uncle. 14 of them are seriously wounded. 11 are missing pieces. 18 of them are showing signs of that black seepage.

      Delete
  4. I support the course of action described by ETP. I drew a card from the Deck of Fate. It has the Aspects "Low Morale" and "Slippery".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Low Morale,' ouch. But appropriate.
      'Slippery,' fits as well-- there's a lot of blood and black ichor dripping from the undead Yeren, making the floor a foul, slippery mess.

      Delete

Thanks for your comment. We value your feedback and appreciate your support of our efforts.

ShareThis