Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bujilli: Episode 141

the pavement ended suddenly and Bujilli and Leeja found themselves half falling and half sliding down a steeply inclined pit..

Cold gravel scrunched like snapping teeth under Bujilli's boots as he tried to check his momentum. He bent his knees, shifted his weight, used his hands to slow himself down and to not tumble. The gravel around him started to slide so he flopped down on his backside and dug in his heels.

It worked. But only just.

Leeja screeched in pain as she rolled past him in a flickering cloud of hair. She came to a stop less than a dozen feet further down than he was. Her feet were badly scraped and bleeding. gold-green eyes wide with anger at having fallen into a hole in the ground, Leeja started to clamber over the loose gravel towards Bujilli.

"Stop! You're going to start a landslide. We'll get carried even farther down into this pit."

"I'm not staying here..."

"No. Neither of us are. Let me get my bearings and we'll find a way out of here."

"Fine. Just hurry. My feet hurt."

Bujilli cast a minor Glyph of Gloom and sent it floating back towards the lip of the pit.

Gravel. Small rocks. Bits of fractured pavement. No weeds. a piece of something metallic-looking here and there. Possibly some glass fragments as well.

There was nothing to grab onto. No overhanging branches, no sturdy bushes, no protruding pipes or culverts. Just a lot of gravel ready to slide down over them if they weren't careful.

"Scheiss." Bujilli swore softly to himself. This was a bad spot. He felt that he had a good chance of making it out on his own, but he didn't see how Leeja could follow without making the gravel give-way...and that would be catastrophic for them both.

"Looks like you two could use a little help!"

Bujilli looked up. Something darker than the surrounding darkness loomed overhead. Whatever it might be, it was huge and slowly coming down lower and lower towards them...

Rinjal set the hammer down. Six spikes ought to be plenty. Especially for a stout oaken door like that. Shame to ruin it, but he didn't want any of those horrid pig-things coming after him. He checked the softly glowing sigils encircling his wrist. Less than three minutes until the next transition... 

Bujilli shifted his position in order to get a better look at whoever it was that was approaching them from above. Dim violet light seeped along the edges of a vast oblong object that floated majestically overhead. Brighter spots winked into view. Markings, symbols, some sort of insignia all became slightly more visible.

"What is it?" hissed Leeja.

"An airship." Bujilli couldn't believe it. No one had seen such a thing for several generations among his mother's people and the folk of Wermspittle had given up on ever seeing one again.

But there it was right overhead.

"Here! Grab hold of the harness and get it around you so we can winch you up out of that pit!"

Clank. Scritch. A harness landed less than a foot away from Bujilli.

Leeja yowled in anger. Her harness had landed on her toes.

Bujilli clipped the harness into place as best he could; it was enough like the harness he had used as a dangler that he got it sorted out fairly quickly. Once he was ready he waved to signal that he was ready.

The cable went taut almost instantly. He lifted off from the gravel and started to spin slowly as he was pulled upwards at a constant, steady rate of speed.

He looked back to see that Leeja was not far behind him. Then they were both hauled through an opening in the floor of some compartment. Both their cables stopped at the same moment and they hung there suspended over the mouth of the pit below where they could see what might be water or dark oil down at the center of the crater-like depression. Then the hatch slid shut and they were pulled over to the side and lowered so their harnesses could be removed by a crew of winch operators.

The crew were silent and highly efficient. Each one had a number on their crisply-creased military overalls. Bujilli realized they must be Pruztian-style homunculi. He'd seen an old magazine article on these creatures that his uncle had acquired form a Dravulish trader.

"Welcome aboard the Freeship Wanderjahr." A tall, slim morlock officer wearing a baroque military jacket three sizes too wide and with too short sleeves clicked his boot heels together and saluted them both. "I am Oberleutnant Schaungrazz." the oficer's boots were clad in greave-like armor plates of some yellow metal and he wore a cuirass beneath the lopsided, mis-sized jacket. The insignia of a black three-headed eagle was hard to miss.

"Thank you." Leeja grabbed onto the railing surrounding the hatchway to steady herself.

"Yes. Thank you for getting us out of that pit." Bujilli moved closer and pulled Leeja's arm over his shoulder to help her walk. He whispered to her; "I think we may have been picked up by pirates..."

"Not at all. We were in the area and one of our observers spotted you and the Baroness gave the order to retrieve you from your precarious situation. you are both cordially invited to attend her at your earliest convenience in the forward viewing salon...but first, perhaps we should attend to you my dear--"

"Yes. Please. My feet are still bleeding." Leeja clutched more tightly to Bujilli's shoulders and whispered; "They may just be mercenaries..."

"Of course. Follow me if you please." The officer nodded his head only the slightest bit then turned on their heel and proceeded to march through a doorway that the homunculi-aeronauts quickly opened before him and held open for them all.

Oberleutnant Schaungrazz led them along a narrow corridor into a round chamber then up a set of catwalk-ramps that zig-zagged three times before they came to another wider hallway that led to the main corridor through the center of the airship. They passed more of the silent homunuculi and a couple of other soldiers or sailors who seemed to duck out of sight at their approach.

The sick-bay was a small, but very clean and orderly space overseen by a pair of nurses who quickly tended to Leeja's scrapes, bruises and cuts then gave her a pair of thick felt slippers to use until she could acquire more suitable foot-wear. The entire process was over and done with and they were on their way to meet the Baroness before Bujilli could get a word in edgewise or even ask any questions.

They boarded a small capsule-car that Shaungrazz ordered to take them to the forward viewing salon. Leeja seemed to enjoy the little capsule-car. It made Bujilli nervous. The car slid smoothly into place at a platform flanked by a pair of black eagle statues, both with three heads and a sword in one claw. One wore a monocle, the other a triple-spiked helmet. He didn't get a clear look at the heraldic markings on the shield strapped to their chests.

Lavishly carved wooden doors opened before them. The walls of the intervening corridor were hung with expensive tapestries depicting stylized boar hunts, heroes wrestling with griffins, valiant horsemen charging into battle, cannons bombarding a city under siege and more such scenes. The floor was tiled in a checkerboard pattern of red and black. Another set of doors opened and they entered a round mezzanine space that formed a circle around a globe constructed from hundreds of overlapping layers of little glass hexagons.

Their guide led them to the left and as they came around the globe they could both see the Baroness standing there with her back to them. On either side of her there was a gargoyle wearing a scratched and scored cuirass and heavy spiked collars with chains that were connected into a heavy block of metal. Three more aeronautical homunculi stood off to one side awaiting further orders stood just out of reach of the smaller gargoyle while a surly looking Ourang scowled at their approach in obvious disapproval.

"Baroness--" Oberleutnant Schaungrazz stopped in mid-step as a wet scarlet flower blossomed from his right shoulder, his left thigh, sparks jumped from a three other spots where his cuirass deflected the bullets.

"Death has found you Margaret!" yelled a burly man in blackened chain-mail as he cast aside his modified six-barreled fowling-piece and drew forth a pair of short but heavy sabers and charged directly at the Baroness...

Roll some dice!

Synchronocitor Status: Quietly observing the current situation.

Roll for Initiative...
Roll 1d6 for 1) Bujilli, 2) Leeja, 3) The Mysterious Attacker, 4) The Baroness, 5) Schaungrazz, 6) The Ourang. Right now, the Mysterious Attacker has a +3 bonus to their Initiative, everyone else is suffering a -1 penalty.

Time to either pick a side, run away or maybe just take cover. Should they get involved? would you rather they attempted to defend the Baroness (she did save them), or should they attack the Mysterious Attacker, or should they try to drag poor Oberleutnant Schaungrazz out of harm's way and try to stop his bleeding? Or so you have a better idea? Let's hear what you think they should do next in the comments...

We can always use a few bonus d6 & d20 die rolls, if anyone would be so kind. Thanks!

What Should They Do Next?

You Decide!

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  1. Initiative (modified per the notes above):
    Bujilli = 5
    Leeja = 2
    The Mysterious Attacker = 5
    The Baroness = 5
    Schaungrazz = 3
    The Ourang = 2

    Bujilli and Leeja should prepare to defend themselves and try to not get caught in any crossfire. Can Counsel give Bujilli any information on the number of crew and soldiers on the airship and / or the sigils and insignia Bujilli saw? Are any of the insignia or names familiar to Leeja?

    If they can pull Schaungrazz out of harm's way and tend him they should.

    I rolled 5d20s (20, 13, 16, 19, and 15) and 5d6s (4, 3, 3, 6, and 2) in case they're useful.

  2. Thanks for rolling those Initiative rolls. Getting out of the cross-fire makes sense. They can certainly attempt to pull Schaungrazz with them out of harm's way as best they can. Counsel will play a pivotal role very shortly. thanks for the other die rolls, they will certainly get used!


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