(Rolling BD&D-style Surprise: Bandersnatch ⚃, Adventurers ⚃; Monster Reaction⚄⚄ = 10: Neutral; Initiative: Bandernatch 5, Mirdon 6, Shanix 6, Lorenz 6, Walken 9)
Shanix stood on an ancient stone balcony overlooking the lava flows below. All around her was a carpet of luminous blue moss and brightly glowing white flowers. Their perfume overwhelmed the stench of brimstone they'd been breathing for hours. Glowing orange fire bees leaving heat trails behind them moved from bloom to bloom, studiously ignoring the human intruder.
For a moment, her permanently chiseled-on smirk fell into open-mouth wonder. She walked slowly, like a child in a yuletide snowfall, to the edge of the balcony and a broken rail. Below, across a broken stone bridge, was a dome of precious metals surrounded by glowing fungus. There, the orange lights of the fire bees shimmered brightly. Strains of alien music came up from below barely audible under the roar and hiss of geysers.
She shook herself from her trance and forced her face back into a scowl. Walking back to the foot of the rope she called up:
"Get the lead out of your asses! I think I can see the hive."
The twisted, hunchbacked dwarf Mirdon was next, surprisingly nimble coming down the rope. Then the featherweight Lorenz; too pretty and delicate to be a farm boy to her mind. They too, went to the edge to look at the hive as Walken came down last.
He was halfway down when her mind began to stutter. Colors became too bright and all at once muted and washed out. One moment Walken was coming down too fast, the next he seemed to be going up the rope. Time echoed forward and backward assaulting her ears with echoes, some of them sounds not yet made, or that would never be made.
She forced her head towards the origin of the pain and sound and distortion, and saw a horrendous parody of life slithering from a nearby archway.
It's flesh was neither ooze, nor air, nor solid tissue. At angles it was like looking at scaly reptilian skin through a bubble or a bent mirror . At other times it was completely translucent. She couldn't pin down exactly what it should be. She felt nauseous trying to interpret its matter, so she pulled her perspective back to look at the thing itself.
This was a corrupt parody of a snake. It's tail branched out into fractals like a spiked club of twitching scales. It's head, a bulbous oversized imitation of a viper's head. It unhinged its jaw slightly flicked out a tongue - a more clearly defined two-headed snake, which in turn flicked out tongues with bulbous tips suggesting that they too were in the process of becoming snakes heads rather than forks of a serpent tongue.
"Mirdon...?? She called as the thing seem to skip space to get closer to her and then rewind slithering backwards while being in front of her all at once. Processing it made her stomach lurch.
"You are not completely intersected." The voice was musical. The right fork of its main tongue moved its jaws as the thing spoke.
"...Good to know?"
"You are in the correct coordinates in four dimensions. But out of alignment in two. You may not be the one we need."
"This incursion is incomplete. our interpretation of our first host is not fully aligned."
She felt Mirdon's hand on her shoulder, heavy and cold. Walken was somehow now in the grass and off to its side, his ahnd hovering to seize his spear, but not yet drawing it. Echoes of Future Past gave her an alien certainty that Lorenz was behind her.
"Are you the Bandersnatch?"
"Our calculations tell us that may be a name we are known by. We would not use it for ourselves."
"Then, what are you called?"
"We are the 7th dimensional incursion."
(Monster Reaction⚄⚃+4 = 13: Friendly; Initiative: Bandernatch 6, Mirdon 6, Shanix 7, Lorenz 5, Walken 3)
Slowly the flows of time began to right themselves. The echoes died down to a whisper and things moved more or less from past to present, save sudden jumps and jerks in.
"Why are you interested in what we are unto ourselves?"
Mirdon held his breath. Hoping that Shanix would not say something to give deeper offense. She seemed like the wrong person to be trusting this conversation to. However, he was there to test these people. Could they survive the vaults of gloomy chaos? Best to let her continue.
"People are sensitive about their names. I often call people by the wrong name to annoy them. I don't want to annoy you. I asked you your name so I could use it."
"You have no fear. You are far out of alignment."
The thing looked more now like a being of flesh and blood; less like a wound in reality.
"What do you need to complete your incursion? What does that mean?"
"Our first attempt to enter this reality was through the ovum of a snake. We did not have enough time before hatching to fully integrate with this time space.
"We are unable to keep this form together without help of the gnomes of Earth and the Lord of Torment and Nightmares. To gain a stable form, we must be reborn."
"And you need a person for that?"
"We must create progeny in a more stable and preferably advanced vessel. Preferably one with an easily disrupted consciousness."
Shanix played dumb a great deal. She didn't like showing her brains off. It caused her nothing but grief in her home village. But, she was capable of doing the calculations. The name of the creature's pacts, his choice of words... she did not care for what she heard.
Smiling, she knelt down in front of the being, meeting the speaking head eye to eye.
"So, you need someone to break, and then hatch out of?"
"That is factual."
Shanix lashed out hard and fast grabbing hold of the speaking snake head, and calling fire to her hands.
(Shanix: Salamander -1, -3 narrative advantage vs. Difficulty 3: RV 5: ⚂⚂,⚄: become Ethereal, Automatic Damage ⚅: Severe Wound.)
"Then fucking die!!: she screamed as she pulled the tongue. It's flesh cracked and tore in the heat of the arcane fire that wreathed her hand. As she snarled she became a thing of fire herself, shimmering gold, with heat shimmer wreathing her.
With a snap, she wrenched he head off, leaving a smoking stump behind as the creature let out a wail echoing backwards and forwards, forward and reverse, metallic and alien.
(Lorenz: Salamander -2, -1 Narrative advantage vs. Difficulty 3: RV 6: ⚅⚃, ⚄: become Ethereal, Automatic damage ⚁, It.)Although confused, Lorenz reached out and grabbed hold of Shanix' blazing shoulder, tapping into her magic, as the strange transformation wreathed them both. He pushed power through, and the flames flared brighter and hotter, searing the monster's tissue.
(Walken: Spear -2 vs Difficulty 3: RV 7 ⚅⚂,⚃: Stunned)
|Created by The Lesser Bot