Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bujilli: Episode 77

The room around them teeters on the brink of slipping into Unreality. Sprague is unconscious; his mind trapped deep in nightmare by cruel black chains of oneiric-iron. Bujilli, Leeja and Gnosiomandus must act quickly, decisively, or become trapped forever outside all they've ever known. There's no going back--the doorway they came in through is blocked and the Mirrorborn Not-Sprague might still be in the next room...

Bujilli considered the room full of steaming green mud beyond the door, the shattered mirror surrounded by jagged shards like glittering teeth, the black chains leading down into darkness of the worst sort. Not one good choice among them. Typical.

"Whatever we're going to do--we need to do it quickly!"

"What do you mean by this 'Unreality' you're so worried about?" Leeja distrusted Sprague intensely. Even more so now that he was apparently trapped in some dream-state.

"There isn't time to discuss paradigmatic inertia or how the spectrum of consciousness interacts with the fundamental basis of manifest reality and imagination--"

"Save the lecture for class. We need to leave this place. The way we came in is blocked. The only real option before us is to follow these black chains down into wherever it is that Sprague's soul or whatever has been taken. I don't like it. I don't pretend to understand it. But I also do not see any alternative. Do either of you?" Bujilli could feel the hairs on his arms and legs bristle from a peculiar fluctuation of static electricity. The walls were growing translucent.

"No." Leeja stared down at Sprague. For a moment Bujilli thought that she might cut his throat.

"No." sighed Gnosiomandus; "I fear that this really was more of a trap than I anticipated."

"Fine. It's a trap. Let's break it. Turn it against whoever is behind this business."

Gnosiomandus nodded solemnly. He had misjudged this young half-breed. He'd misjudged quite a bit lately. It couldn't all be from getting old. But this wasn't the time or place to address that.

The old scholar cast spell. A scintillating, billowing curtain of mauve light flowed around all three of them and Sprague upon his bed. The light corruscated through deep purples and rippled into a swirling barrier of violet luminosity.

Bujilli felt his ears pop even as his own spell ceased to operate. Whatever Gnosiomandus had cast, it cancelled-out his Zone of Normality. He'd never encountered anything quite like that before. It was slightly disturbing. But then quite a lot of what he'd recently discovered was drenched with upsetting ramifications. Nothing was ever very simple around this Sprague person.

"You didn't want to lave his body behind, so how are we supposed to follow these chains and keep him with us?" Leeja sheathed her stilletto. Reluctantly.

"Ah. No worries. We're already underway."

"What?" Bujilli realized even as he spoke that they were in motion. He wasn't sure how it worked. Then he looked at the black chains. They were piling up on the bed next to Sprague.

"Where?" Leeja hissed.

"A very, very bad place, I'm afraid."

"You live in Wermpsittle." Leeja scoffed.

"Not by choice." Gnosiomandus looked away.

The black chains spilled off of the bed with an incredible racket. Sprague didn't move. No reaction. Just barely breathing. Dreaming.

Bujilli shivered. His breath billowed out in puffs of white. It was growing colder. Much colder.

He looked at the ever more rapidly accumulating black chains. They were wet. Glistening. Traces of frost were crackling across them.

The violet light snuffed out.

Leeja shrieked in rage.

Bujilli vomited.

"I'm sorry." Gnosiomandus patted Bujilli on the shoulder. It cleared the nausea.

Mist filled the air. A thousand distorted shadows slunk and slipped about just on the very periphery of perception. faint echoes pulsed and rippled through the floor...the ground...a gritty gray courtyard of some sort. Walls of pitted and streaked stone were quickly swallowed-up by unrelenting blackness.

Sprague's senseless body sprawled on the grit. A thin trail of white mist showed that he was still breathing. Shallowly.

Bujilli looked up. Quickly looked away. He could feel his soul almost fall out of him. At least that was what it felt like. The darkness above nearly had him in that one careless moment.

He grabbed hold of Leeja. Shook her. Forced her to look into his eyes; "Whatever you do; do not look up!"

She pulled herself free. Shook out her white hair. Nodded. Her claws were fully extended. He could feel the anger boiling behind her gold-green eyes.

Betrayal didn't suit either of them very well.

Clusters of scraggly, scabbed-over and leafless white trees, wretched things, poked up from the gray grit. Reaching upward to the devouring darkness. Blood red leaves covered the grounds nearest to the writhing whit trees. The whole place reeked. It reminded Bujilli of when his distant relations back in the mountains made candles from rendered fat.

There were four double-arched doorways. Past the sparse clusters of trees. One double arch in each of the decayed and crumbling walls. The stones were scored. Scorched. Broken in places. All the doors were split asunder, the locks ruined. The very air appeared cracked in places. Strange colors seeped through unlikely and incongruous gaps in the stones of the walls.

A single, drawn-out scream barely registered.

It started to snow. Each flake razor-edged. One after another raising tiny welts. A dozen cuts would quickly escalate to scores, to hundreds...

Gnosiomandus stood just ahead of them both. Back to them. His head bowed. Tears.

Smooth, translucent anemone-things swarmed into the dim courtyard from one of the shattered doorways. Pale colors flowed and sloshed through their elegantly tapering limbs as they floated closer. Closer.

"There was no other way..." Gnosiomandus called out as he ran towards the anemone-things. Teal-blue flames swirling around his right hand as he struck out at the servitors...

What should Bujilli do now?
  1. Run after Gnosiomandus and fight the anemone-things?
  2. Pick up Sprague and head for an open doorway?
  3. Leave Sprague there and go exploring?
  4. Cast a spell?
  5. Something else?
The Anemone-things are clearly malevolent. They literally radiate hostility. Leeja is really, really upset. If Bujilli is going to do something other than fight, he needs to do it fast, before she goes berserk.

Bujilli, Leeja and Gnosiomandus all three need to roll a Save versus Spells once again. See p. 55 of Labyrinth Lord for the Tables. Bujilli and Leeja both need to roll an 8 or higher on a D20. I'll roll for Gnosiomandus and post the result in the Comments.

Whatever happens next, we could use a few Initiative rolls for (1) Bujilli (2) Leeja, (3) Gnosiomandus, (4) The Anemone-things, (5) The Trees, (6) [undisclosed NPC], and (7) Sprague. Thanks.
Remember:Bujilli receives a +1 bonus to his Initiative, Leeja gets a +2 bonus. Gnosiomandus gets a -1 penalty for being distracted. The girls both receive +1 bonuses due to their DEX. (as per P. 50, Labyrinth Lord.)

As usual, anything readers don't roll for, I will roll.
  • We could use 8-10 D20 rolls!
What happens next is up to you, the readers.

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


  1. ""There isn't time to discuss paradigmatic inertia or how the spectrum of consciousness interacts with the fundamental basis of manifest reality and imagination--"

    When is there ever, really?

    I rolled a 7 for Leeja and a 12 for Bujilli. I think getting a bit of cover from the snow might be prudent, but I do think they should try to find a way to help against the anemone things. A spell, maybe?

    1. Oh the misfortunes of a scholar. All those deep things to discuss some other time, somewhere else, with someone else...

      Thanks for the Initiative rolls. Getting out of the snow would be prudent. Trying to get Leeja to Not attack the Anemone-things will take some doing at this point...

      Any ideas what spell you'd prefer? That reminds me, I need to finish-up a few of the other Bujilli-Pages, like the revised/improved grimoire. I've been sick, in-between the hard-drive I'm moving a little slower than planned.

    2. I suspect Trey's rolls are saves not initiative rolls? They're too high. You've set this queer, sinister scene so well - I can't wait for tomorrow's chapter. I'm worried. I took the honor of rolling an actual initiative order. From first to last: Leeja 5+2 = 7, anemone-like servitors 6, the trees (?!) 4, undisclosed NPC (??!) 3, Bujili 1+1 = 2, Gnosiomandus 2-1 = 1, Sprague 1.

    3. I believe you are correct. I've been under the weather a bit. I'll treat Trey's rolls as D20s/Saving Throws for later. Very useful. We'll go with your Initiative rolls. Thanks for arranging it all in order. Sorry to see Bujilli roll so low, but it happens and it gets boring when the heroes always seem to roll high in other stories. This could get messy...

  2. Cool structure for an open "play-by-blog" RPG-serial. Plenty to explore here.

    1. Glad you like it. Bujilli's ongoing adventures have been a lot of fun. We've been developing things as we went along. There are several more quick indexes, episode guides and more nearly done. I got sick again, and we had a hard-drive crash, so we're still getting caught-up.

  3. Now two questions. The "single drawn-out scream" was who? And are these anemone-like servitors Yiggo-Bosh? If so could Bujili identify them as such with the benefit of counsel? If Leeja will listen, I see she carries a small mirror, or could conceivably create an even larger one through phantasmal force. What spell Bujili should cast once he's got cover I don't know. Something to improve Gnosiomandus's odds. Confusion?

    1. First, thanks for the comment above--this is a strange old place...and I never thought we'd end up here. It is fun to explore it in this manner.

      As to your questions;

      The 'single drawn-out scream' was in a woman's voice that only Gnosiomandus recognizes right now. Bujilli & Leeja have met her previously. But it was under some small bit of duress and her voice was far more confident, strong and in-charge at that time. If they hear her scream a second time, and they've moved closer, they will each gain a chance to roll their intelligence or wisdom (Reader's choice), or below, on a D20 to see if they recognize the voice.

      Are those anemone-things Yiggo-Bosh? Yes. Entry 7. Yiggo-Bosh. These particular servitors are an advanced form of Yiggo-Bosh with 4HD each, having alternating violet, green and mauve bands, and they inflict 1d8+Poison per successful attack. The other stats remain pretty much as-is.

      Yes. Bujilli has a chance to recognize these creatures due to his experience as a spell-caster. (Int + Level as spell-caster: 17+7=24) Counsel can add a bonus to the roll (+10), for a 34% chance to recognize these creatures (D100/D%). I'll roll this time. I rolled a 9. Bujilli recognizes the creatures as some form of Yiggo-Bosh.

      Excellent call, in regards to Leeja's small silver mirror. Yes. That can be modified with a Phantasmal Force spell like you suggest. that will force the Yiggo Bosh to flee. Nicely done!

      Bujilli is used to using his Confusion spell to wreck trouble and distress on his enemies. It is often overlooked in favor of more 'pew-pew/shooty/explodo' spells, which is a shame--it's very effective when properly deployed. Another good call.


  4. Bujilli and Leeja should follow Gnosiomandus. If something is running / riding him as well ("There was no other way....") they need to deal with it now rather than giving it a chance to find another host / disguise. In any case he seems to have the best idea of where they are and potentially the best idea of how to get out and back to Wermspittle.

    1. Follow the yello--the old guy. Okay. Neither Bujilli, nor Leeja has the sense or impression that Gnosiomandus is anything other then the same old scholar they've met previously. He hasn't been replaced. That's a major reason why things are falling apart for the impostors at the moment; they chose wrongly, mostly out of ignorance and opportunity.

      "There was no other way..." Good catch--Gnosiomandus realized something extremely disturbing, supremely upsetting to him, and is dealing with it forthwith, no delays, no excuses. He knows it amounts to a betrayal of sorts to his two young wards, but this is something that he has to deal with right away, if possible, for he fears he may be too late already.

      Getting back to Wermspittle is the least of anyone's worries right now...


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