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  • File: 1334597087.jpg-(366 KB, 1000x1493, shun.jpg)
    366 KB Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)13:24 No.18739874  
    We are LIVE, everybody!

    For those of you not in the know, this is FIST OF SHADOW QUEST, a martial arts/magical assassin quest to find your master in a strange world you know nothing about. You are Shun, apprentice of Sifu Tong, master of the ancient art of assassination – The Fist of Shadow. It’s a style that emphasizes quick, focused movements to quickly eliminate an enemy and use his force against him.

    The old threads are here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Fist%20of%20Shadow
    They’re not too long, so go ahead and give them a quick read if you’re interested!
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)13:26 No.18739890
    Oh awesome I found this in the archive a day or two ago and I've been looking forward to getting in on the fun.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)13:35 No.18739978
    5 wooden shurikens, 1 dull wooden stake, 2 doses of Heaven Berries, 300 gp, a pendant of Ward Fear, 1 emerald gem, 1 fist-sized Shard

    Cloak of Shadows – You can be concealed by darkness while moving. +1 to stealth rolls while moving.
    Blinding Strike – When you make an attack, you can infuse your strike with shadows which will creep up into your target’s eyes, blinding them for a few minutes.
    Elemental Riposte – You channel the shadows into a vicious counterattack. When you’re hit, you can call forth a mass of shadows into a focused point in your palm, allowing you to discharge it when you counter.
    Shadow Feint – When you strike, you can choose to have an illusory weapon also strike at the same time. This hurts just as badly as your normal attack if it lands.
    (Your practice with shadow projectiles has allowed you to make mildly larger projectiles. Not as large as the lance, but a little more than the daggers and wires you’ve used up until now.)
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)13:39 No.18740010
    To catch you up to speed: Last time, you encountered the Tribe of the Dawnchaser, a nomadic people who travel the world in search of Shards. The man who told you all of this was being rather rude, so you decided to steal the Shard located at the top of a mountain. You climbed your way up, murdered a gargoyle, and knocked a Dawnchaser boy out to steal his Shard. When you were making your escape, you saw one of the tribesman glow a bright blue. Before you knew it, the tribe was hunting you down.

    Exhausted, you found a small cave hidden in the hills and passed out in it. You woke up to a cave-in, and explored the cave. After walking for what seemed like miles, you found the entrance to a large cavern that contained a massive jungle. You fought something in an abandoned metal building, and rested there for the night(?).
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)13:41 No.18740032
    You dream of an age long past…

    A serious looking teenage boy with long black hair, eyes closed, about 13 or 14 years old, meditates in a gleaming forest clearing. The sun showers down bright, warm rays. The steady flow of a river gently occupies the boy’s ears. As serious as the boy is, a look of serenity graces his face. Here, he is at home.

    His peace is interrupted by a man happily entering the clearing. This man’s closely cropped red hair contrasts with his shockingly white beard. A pair of golden eyes survey the boy temporarily, before the man brings the tranquil silence to a halt, announcing, “G’morning, Shun. You ready for your morning instruction?” The boy’s black eyes open in response.

    “Yes, Sifu.” Shun stands up and bows at his master, eager for the day’s training.

    The master beams at his pupil. “Of course you are, you’re always ready for the next step.” Sifu Tong begins to walk in a circle around his student, saying, “Today, you’ll learn about the Shadow Feint technique. It’s pretty basic, but you’re new to your training. I don’t want to push you into something you’re not ready for.”

    Shun frowns heavily, brows creasing, “But master, I’ve been training intensely! I can control the shadows now, I want to learn!” His eagerness causes Tong to gently shake his head at his student.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)13:42 No.18740044
    “Ah, you can make the shadows into shapes, yes, but do you really control them?” He comes to a stop in front of Shun, and stares directly into his pupil’s dark eyes before slowly continuing, “The shadows are a dangerous weapon, Shun. You can’t learn any of the more intensive techniques until I’m absolutely sure you can handle it.” A pause.
    “I don’t want you to get hurt.”

    Shun shifts his gaze towards the ground, dejected but compliant. Without looking up at his teacher, his father, he speaks, “I understand.”

    “I knew you would.” Tong smiles gently at his protégée, turns around, and says, “Now, the Shadow Feint is an invaluable tool in combat. With it, you force your opponent to make a choice: either block one of your attacks and certainly get hit, or try and dodge and risk suffering two blows. It is an excellent method of manipulating your foe in battle, which can and will save your life. Now, in order to perform it, you…” Sifu trails off, before turning around and meeting his student’s expectant and sharp stare.
    A light smile graces his face, “How about I show you?”
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)13:43 No.18740052
    Shun gasps in surprise, exclaiming, “Really?!” This was new! In the year he had learned under him, Sifu had never actually demonstrated any of the techniques of the Fist of Shadow! Maybe he was making progress…

    Sifu’s shadow creeps up into a space in front of him. “First, you prepare your shadows, and then you move to strike…” He releases a quick jab into the calm forest air. “But while you’re attacking, your shadow needs to attack at the same time.” He jabs again, but this time, a thin pillar of shadow also jets out to the imaginary target in front of him. “It’s a bit difficult to control shadows you aren’t touching, and it’s even more difficult to shape them. But when you’re good enough, you can turn it into nearly anything. Blades…” A keen sword shoots out of the darkness. “… maces…” This time, a blunt force strikes from above. “… even arrows.” Darts fly from the shadows.

    Wow… Shun knows, deep down, that one day he’ll be just as good as Sifu. Even better, if he trains harder! From what Sifu told him, he was quite the slacker when he was young. “But that’s enough shadow mastery for the day. I’m still a bit groggy. You mind going out and grabbing lunch for both of us? It’s… solo hunting training!” Apparently, some things never change. The man chuckles as he sits under a shaded tree in the glade, watching his son run off to feed them both. If only life could always be this way…
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)13:45 No.18740068
    The heat bearing down on you, you slowly awaken from your stupor. Blinking the moisture from your eyes, you look around. The cold, hating metal stands out from the warm, creeping plant matter around you. Blinking the sleep out of your eyes, you walk outside of the building. It made you feel uncomfortable for some reason. You didn’t notice it before, but everything about this structure was made for someone almost two feet shorter than you. You could ponder why, but you’ve got to stay focused. The heat in here is nearly unbearable, and you’ve been sweating since you woke up. The trees all around you stifle you, there’s maybe four feet between each tree, if that. Gazing upwards, you see that… *something* is on the ceiling of this cavern. It’s big, it’s dark, it’s hanging upside down… and it’s asleep. Some primal part of your brain tells you that, whatever you do, you can’t be in sight when that thing wakes up. You can’t. But you have no idea when that’ll be…

    So what's the plan?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)13:53 No.18740149
    A little bump to get this off the first page.

    I might've overdone it with the wall of text.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)13:59 No.18740209
    Well, we have to get out of this forest thing sooner rather than later, right?
    So we should probably start trying to find a way out.
    Unrelatedly, does it take some sort of energy to use our abilities, or do they just have a cooldown? If the second, is there some sort of limited duration?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)14:02 No.18740233
    All but your most basic abilities, such as forming weapons out of shadows and your Cloak of Shadows, have a cooldown. (I'll update the intro with this next thread).

    Blinding Strike has a cooldown of 5 minutes. Shadow Riposte is 1 minute, Shadow Feint is 3.

    I don't understand what you mean by limited duration.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:03 No.18740240
    Mainly relating to Cloak. Would it be possible to use it for forever?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)14:04 No.18740247
    Yes. There is an upgrade later that makes you completely invisible, but for a few seconds.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:06 No.18740272
    So anyway, what I'd say we do, is head toward one of the sides of the cave thing, then follow it around until we find an exit or get back to where we started.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)14:15 No.18740336
    You can’t stick around. You don’t know where you are, you don’t know the terrain, and you certainly don’t know what lives here. Nor do you really want to find out. It would be easiest to stick to a wall and follow it until you get out of here. You put your hand on the rocky surface. It’s glossy and wet. You walk along the wall for a time. Shrieks fill the air, you hear rustling all around you, the hairs stick up on the back of your neck, wet with fear. It’s unbearably hot, and you wipe the sweat from your eyes, hating it. You think you see something big moving on the edges of your vision. Is it stalking you? Hunting? You keep moving in a slow, desperate attempt to escape. An hour later, you hear a group talking. There’s someone else down here! Filled with relief, you trudge your way through the thick growth to meet them.

    You’re surprised when you see a dozen little men, all as grey as the cavern you’re trapped in. They’re about 3 or 4 feet tall, and their mossy hair is long and shaggy. Wait… that’s because it is moss! The things speak among themselves, a deep and guttural language. You have no idea what they’re saying.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:18 No.18740373
    The rocks are alive?
    Well, shit.
    I vouch for watching them, following them if they go anywhere, but if nothing happens soon moving on and continuing to look for our own way out.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:22 No.18740415
    Also, are there more than two of us in here?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)14:25 No.18740442
    Probably not. I think it's just you and me for now, but more will come as time goes on. And MMM MMM rice nigga. That shit's good.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:26 No.18740449
    Well, I hope they're satisfied with my BAD DECISIONS
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)14:28 No.18740467
    Bad decisions make a good quest, don't you agree?
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:28 No.18740474
    Couldn't say, this is my first. It's been fun so far, though.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)14:29 No.18740487
    Well, we've got time to kill. I'll be here all day.
    When did you join us on Shun's quest?
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:30 No.18740502
    Sometime during the first, I'm the one that sucks at combat RP. Haven't really posted all that much until this thread, but the really dickish suggestions were probably mine.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)14:40 No.18740610
    These things seem to be… waiting. You blink the sweat out of your eyes, wondering what they’re waiting for. Your question is answered within a few minutes. Another one of the grey things comes from the jungle… dragging something leathery. Wait… that’s a human! The thing dumps it in the middle of the group, and begins to remove its armor. Midway through, he wakes up. Screaming.

    Screaming. Screaming bloody murder, screaming for help, screaming for mercy. *Screaming.* It sends shivers down your spine. You've... you've never heard the sound of a man who knows he is about to die.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:44 No.18740664
    Well, I doubt there's much we can do to help him, there's a dozen of the bastards, one of them is strong enough to drag an armoured human, and we don't know if they have any sort of super special awesome power.
    We'd probably get more from seeing what the locals, if you will, of the cavern do than from grouping with another outsider anyway.

    That being the case, I would recommend continuing to wait and watch. Don't want to rush into things.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:51 No.18740727
    You can’t help him. For the first time in your life, you can’t help someone…

    You squat, transfixed on the scene. The things surround the poor man. You can hardly see him anymore. His screams make your ears ring. The screams don’t stop when you see a spray of blood shoot out of him. They don’t stop when you see the things ripping him apart. Even as two of them walk away , gnawing on a piece of his leg, the screams don’t stop. Are they… are they drawing this out? They could end his life easily, but… they’re staying away from the parts of his body that would mercifully kill him quickly…

    After a minute, the screams suddenly stop, as one of the things tears out his throat with its teeth. It chews and chews, mouth, body splattered with blood. The… monsters keep biting off chunks of the man, hungry for more. After they’ve sated their bloodlust, they scatter from the man, walking away into the darkness of the jungle. There’s nothing left but bones. Nothing.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:55 No.18740769
    That was... unexpected.
    We gotta get out of this cave. Cloak up and back to the wall.
    And try to change as little as possible, don't want to show them where we've been.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:56 No.18740783
    Also, >no name
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)14:57 No.18740788
    Sorry, posting in other threads and I don't wanna be a faggot.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)14:58 No.18740796
    I can dig it. It was pretty clearly you anyway.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)15:04 No.18740852
    Oh… oh shit. Oh SHIT. You’ve got to escape. You’ve got to.

    The shadows cover you as you flee back to the wall. It’s hot, swelteringly so, but you’re shaking. You can’t let those things find you. You creep along the wall, looking around frantically, making sure nothing’s sneaking up on you. The shrieks and rustling of the jungle make it hard to tell if someone… or something… is tracking you. After a while, you know something is. The bushes nearby rustle, and they have been for too long now. Whatever’s following you is here.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)15:09 No.18740908
    Oh boy, combat. Stealth seems to be a non-option, as it's managed to track us already.

    As such, I'd try to locate where the thing is, and throw a shadow ball at it. If we can't do one big one, lots of small ones. If we can't locate it, lots of small ones all around the area it could be.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)15:17 No.18740988
    Fine, if this thing wants to get the drop on you, you just need to hit first…!

    (Attack roll = 10.)
    You grab shadows from beneath you, and unleash a barrage into the bush! There’s no way you could’ve missed it! But… you don’t hear anything. No screams of pain, no grunts, nothing. All you hear is rustling. And then… one of the things stalks out of the bushes, staring at you. Grey eyes unblinking. It’s got no weapon, and you think it’s the only one around… You can take one. Just one. Right?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)15:18 No.18740999
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)15:21 No.18741029
    Well at least we're not dead yet. If it's still a way off, try again with the range attacks. If not, prepare to dodge -> shadow feint.
    Relevant to combat: do we still take the damage from the hit when we use our counter?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)15:22 No.18741031
    Mhm. You need to get hit to use it.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)15:26 No.18741084
    Alright, maybe you just missed it last time… You call up the shadows yet again as the thing starts to stiffly walk towards you. You fling a massive shadow orb…!

    (Attack roll = 17!)
    And it strikes the creature dead on! But… it doesn’t stop. It doesn’t even flinch. It just… walks. Steadily. Towards you. Unblinking. Emotionless. Those dead eyes make you shudder…
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)15:27 No.18741095
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)15:30 No.18741131
    Good God. Well, at least all my decisions haven't been bad.
    Now is time to prepare dodge -> shadow feint.
    If that fails, guess it's time for fleeing.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)15:37 No.18741212
    Your back to the wall, you get ready to dodge this thing, slowly walking towards you. Its mouth contorts into a leer, its spiky teeth menacing you. It walks closer and closer, ever closer, and when it comes within reach, it lurches to grab you…!

    (Defense roll = 9+1 for being ready = 10!)
    You easily slip under its grasp and turn, grabbing a handful of shadows from around you and forming it into a blade! You prepare the shadow blast from the side, and bring back your arm to sink into its hide…
    (Attack roll = 16!)
    (Attack roll = 17!)
    Your blade dives deep into its shoulder, as a shadow spear pierces it from the side! You leap back, assessing the creature… a clear liquid seeps out of its wounds, but… it doesn’t look like it’s affected at all. It slowly turns back to you, teeth still bared. Its wounds… its wounds are sealing shut incredibly quickly! Plop. Plop. Its feet leave behind deep prints in the soggy dirt. Plop. Plop. It just won’t stop!
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)15:38 No.18741224
    Also, this music just got related to this quest.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)15:44 No.18741272
    Nice rhyming. That aside, we may be slightly fucked right now.
    We did manage to hit it, though. Maybe try using a blunt force to smash a limb off.
    Same approach as last time, but dodging in a different way so it can't expect it. Then blunt force feint, both attacks to the same point. Try to shatter.
    I guess if this fails, my next idea would be the same but back to blades, focusing, again, on limb removal. In case that makes things easier for you.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)15:54 No.18741357
    Fine, if blades don’t work, then you’ll just have to beat this to a pulp...!

    (Attack roll = 7!)
    Shadows leaping to you, you transform your arm into a dark hammer, and smash it onto the beast’s arm, crippling it! You hear a loud crack, and the creature doubles over in pain… wait, no, it’s just getting ready to punch you!

    (Defense roll = 17!)
    This thing is way too slow for you to not dodge. You swing yourself around it, making a shortsword, and using your momentum to cut off a limb…!

    (Attack roll = 15!)
    You hack into its thick, grey elbow… and get stuck?! Your blade was sharp enough to cut through trees, how did this thing stop it halfway? Somehow, it brings the same arm up to slug you!

    (Defense roll = 7.)
    Before you can get over your surprise, you catch a fist to the face! Gah… it feels like you got hit with a boulder, what is this thing?! You stumble backwards, confused by what’s going on. You hear rustling from around you…
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)15:59 No.18741406
    Sure hope we don't die right now.
    A couple of questions: How functional are its arms now? Still near enough 100%?
    If so, so long as we have any control left, run as fast as we can into the bushes, then cloak and keep moving, subtly.
    Otherwise... I don't really know.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)16:00 No.18741422
         File: 1334606457.jpg-(531 KB, 1680x1318, 1c60e54dd2bd2752f9facb2047e838(...).jpg)
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    These rock people are getting really annoying. We might be a little out of our depth here. Perhaps we should get to high ground before we get swarmed.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)16:01 No.18741430
    It looks completely unharmed, despite the damage you've dealt out.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)16:02 No.18741438
    Hey, martial arts arts person! Sorry for, like, everything. NOW YOU ARE HERE EVERYTHING WILL BE BETTER

    Well, shit. Time for running.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)16:03 No.18741444
    I have some bad news.
    [nospoilersontg]Things aren't going to get better.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)16:03 No.18741458
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)16:04 No.18741463
    Give or take. I'll be a couple hours before I'm at full capacity. GUESS I'M NAMEFAGGIN THOUGH
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)16:05 No.18741476
    >that feel when accidentally make the foundations of a circlejerk
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)16:12 No.18741549
    Do we remember what those murals on the building wall looked like?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)16:15 No.18741581
    Oh shit. They’re all around you, you’ve got to get out of here before they rip you to shreds!

    Throwing stealth to the wind, you sprint into what you think is an opening in the beasts. You run past a naked beast, too slow to stop you. You run into the jungle, deeper and deeper, as it turns darker and darker. Sharp branches slice into your flesh. Giant plants prickle your skin. Sweat pours into your eyes, and you can’t blink fast enough to get rid of them. Breathing heavily, you push yourself to get as far away as you can. Your legs scream at you to stop, but you remember the tortured cries of that man…

    You think you’ve run far enough, and you stop to catch your breath, mind racing. Thoughts fill your head, but you’re too panicked to make sense of them. Without warning, a deep rumbling sound fills the air, and you look up...

    The dark giant is waking up. Massive black wings, leathery wings unfurl. Sharp, spindly legs… more legs than anything should have begin to tap the ceiling. Eight massive eyes stare down at the jungle, hungry. Jaws, hidden between mandibles, open, to reveal a set of huge, razor sharp teeth. It rose from its sleep, and it’s ready to hunt.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)16:16 No.18741598
    Bearded men, both short and... stout. Oh.
    Oh shit.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)16:17 No.18741607
    I'm getting the feeling we may be slightly fucked.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)16:18 No.18741630
         File: 1334607523.jpg-(31 KB, 576x720, spiderbat oh god why.jpg)
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    We horror quest now.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)16:19 No.18741638
    Aw, whaaaat the hell. How did we not notice this creature when we went to sleep last night?
    Stay still, hide in shadows, look like another piece of foliage while this beast does...whatever it does. Think peace and calm. The last thing we can do is lose our head right now. What would sifu think if we panicked like this? We're better than this.
    There was more to the mural than that, I know there was. Anything else that comes to mind.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)16:20 No.18741654
    We saw it when we got up: >>18740068
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)16:22 No.18741672
    I saw that. You'd think we noticed something like that last "night."
    Any explanation for the sudden sweltering heat?
    Is the Green Shard still visible from anywhere?
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)16:22 No.18741673
    Oh by the way I support this action: >>18741638

    I have to go eat now, though. Now it's your turn to be all on your own.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)16:25 No.18741702
    The men seemed to be digging in the engravings. Some of them were fighting huge, humanoid beasts. They cut their limbs off, but they grew back. There were a few symbols you didn't get, though.
    Most interesting, however, is that at one point, the engravings suddenly shift to plant life, instead of earthen symbols. Then, a little later... the engravings stop.

    Retcons, I'm afraid. I really shouldn't have tried to start this section when I was sleepy. And the Green Shard is always visible if you look to the far end of the cavern. It seems to be floating in the air, almost like a sun.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)16:30 No.18741769
    What do you want to do, given this new information?
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)16:32 No.18741807
    Perhaps these dorf-type people became one with nature at some point, or it's something to do with the Shard. The humanoid beasts and regrowing limbs are justified at this point.
    Priority one is, naturally, to get the hell out of here. Part of me thinks we could take care of that blockage at the entrance we came in through. It won't be that simple, though. Perhaps the best thing we can do right now is make our way to the Shard in this cavern. What we'll do there, I'm not sure yet. DON'T BE DUMB about getting there, though. Discretion is beyond necessary, and calm is required.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)16:48 No.18741995
    I sure hope you're writing something for >>18741807
    If you aren't I will be SO COMPLETELY ANGRY GOD DAMMIT
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)16:48 No.18742002
    Okay, okay… you can’t panic. Whatever it is, it won’t find you as long as you DON’T PANIC. You take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down. Sifu Tong’s words come to mind: “Losing your head is a surefire way to lose your life. Always remain calm. Always.” You breathe in, and out. In, out. You focus on you slowing heartbeat. Thump. Thump. Thump. Okay. You snap your dark eyes open, ready to take on the jungle and get out of here.

    Hmm. Important things tend to revolve around shards, given your (albeit limited) experience. It might be wise to go and check it out first. You cloak yourself in darkness, and begin to skulk towards the Green Shard. It’s still extremely warm in here.

    You walk, and walk, straining your ears, listening to everything around you. It’s… quiet. Not quiet quiet, but too quiet for a jungle teeming with life. You feel eyes upon you... You begin to walk in a different direction to confirm if you’re being hunted. The brush behind you gently rustles as you meander. Yup. You’re being followed again. You don’t much like being the prey here.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)16:51 No.18742042
    Not again, dammit. We can't afford to draw attention to ourselves with combat, not that we'd win anyway.
    I'm fresh out of ideas, except for trying to stealth back a way to give the follower the slip.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)16:55 No.18742092
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    At this point, it seems to come with the territory. How these "dorfs" can detect us when we are masked in shadows is anyone's guess. Maybe heightened sense of smell or something?
    I'll assume our shadowmancy is not progressed to the point where we can create a doppelganger to throw off our pursuers. Maybe we can form shadow caltrops in our wake to deter our hunters somewhat. Whatever the case, they have the home advantage and will harass us whenever they can.

    Screw 'em.

    Keep going at our solemn pace towards the Shard. Keep an eye on the bugger on the ceiling, assuming it's not already swooping and hunting and whatnot.

    I shall return in a couple hours.

    >BIRDS kinduo
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)17:02 No.18742184
    You keep a steady pace towards the Shard. You’ll deal with your stalker if they show themselves. A minute or so later, you notice tracks imprinted into the dirt. Fresh tracks. About 2 feet long. Very thin, with 3 long toes, one of which looks longer than the rest. Possibly reptilian? They’re not that deep, either… so it’s unlikely that whatever made this was very heavy. That rules out the grey men. The tracks lead over to your right, into the bushes…
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)17:04 No.18742216
    Sorry about the wait, I got hungry. All this writing about hungry predators instilled the need to feed...
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)17:29 No.18742545
    Bump so other people can see this.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)18:40 No.18743310
    Alright, whatever this thing is it's managed to survive against the stone men and whatever's on the ceiling. We most likely don't stand a chance.
    Continue superstealthstyle towards the Shard, but be prepared for a suprise attack.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)18:48 No.18743412
    As you stand up, finishing your inspection of the strange tracks, a high pitched screech pierces your ears!

    (Defense roll = 17!)
    You dive to the left, just barely getting out of the way of some large creature! You stand up and look at the bipedal lizard. It’s nearly twice as tall as you, and its scaled skin runs from the tip of its long skull to the bottom of its feet, which end in a massive talon at least a foot long. The lizard begins to stalk around you in a circle, waiting for you to make a move. You’re no fool. You stand your ground, unafraid, ready to dodge this beast. But you don’t notice the other one leaping at you from behind!

    (Defense roll = 4.)
    It’s too late to do anything! The animal had a companion with it, and right now, it’s got a talon dug into your back! You fall face first into the dirt, struck with pain. God DAMN this hurts! If you don’t act quick, you’re not going to ever find Sifu Tong…
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)18:53 No.18743471
    >You are going to die: the quest
    How incapacitated are we?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)18:54 No.18743481
    You've got a ten foot tall lizard on your back.
    Your arms are fine, but you can't get up with this thing on you.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)18:57 No.18743514
    I guess it's time to slash at what's pinning us, then.
    Blinding Strike on the leg, if it doesn't get off then Shadow Feint.
    Assuming we can reach around.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)19:03 No.18743563
    You can’t die here, you just can’t! You’re juuust flexible enough to get a punch in…

    (Attack roll = 1.)
    The animal, seeing that you’re trying to strike it, quickly lifts its leg up and slams it down into your back again! Shit, you don’t know what it’s hitting, but it hurts, bad… You…. You don’t think you’re getting out of this one…

    Just as you start to pass out from blood loss, you hear someone yelling… wait, someone? You look up to see a slender girl running towards you, and as she leaps off the ground, leg extended, you black out.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)19:04 No.18743587
    Hopefully this girl is better at surviving than we are.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)19:10 No.18743648
    A child tries to climb a tree, failing each and every time. A man, sitting at the top of that tree, says something. You can’t hear it. The child tries, again and again. For hours he bleeds on that tree, pouring his heart into climbing it. The man sits there, occasionally speaking to the boy. Every time, the boy looks up at him, face contorted in determination and anger. He keeps trying. The sun sets, and the man leaves, telling the boy something. He shakes his head, and looks back at the tree. He keeps trying. For hours, he keeps trying. The man exits his home the next day, and the child is nowhere to be found. After looking around, he finds the boy passed out in the branches of the tree, a content smile on his face.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)19:14 No.18743697
         File: 1334618060.jpg-(540 KB, 981x950, shun.jpg)
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    this is how i see shun, minus the boobs
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)19:16 No.18743728
    Personally, I prefer the image I started with. Yours is just too pale for me.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)19:21 No.18743792
    Ugh… your back hurts.
    Your eyes open, staring at the green canopy of the jungle. What happened? The last thing you remember, you were on the ground with some animal about to claw your back open. And then… blackness. Sitting up, you ignore the pain to get a look at your surroundings. You’re very deep into the jungle. You can’t see the ceiling, nor can you see that… black spider thing. You shudder just thinking about it. Looking at yourself, your torso is covered in bandages. Strange, you don’t remember having any of those…

    A rustling puts you on edge; reflexively you ready a shadow blade… and a woman steps out from the undergrowth. Oh! Realization strikes you- she was the one who saved you! Her short black hair frames her pale, attractive face nicely. She wears a blue top with an ornate pattern, slightly ripped, and thigh high black boots. Little cuts are all over her body, but she looks otherwise unharmed. She looks weaponless. Your heart skips a beat.

    The woman smiles at you, “So you’re awake. I’m so glad to have found someone else down here.”

    You can’t hold back your stupid smile as you stammer out a thank you.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)19:30 No.18743913
    Er, that's you cue to start talking.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)19:32 No.18743936
    Gimme a minute so I can catch up.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)19:33 No.18743943
    Oh boy, she's kawaii.
    Might as well introduce ourselves and explain a little; "I'm Shun. I got trapped in a cave and managed to find my way in here, then I was attacked by some things and then you saved me - thanks again for that, by the way. Who're you?"
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)19:35 No.18743978
         File: 1334619340.jpg-(75 KB, 640x900, Naliah.jpg)
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    "I'm Shun, by the way. I got trapped in a cave and managed to find my way in here, then I was attacked by some things and then you saved me - thanks again for that, by the way. Who're you?"

    She blink at you and smiles widely before introducing herself as Naliah. “So, did you lose your weapon out here somewhere? It’s not a good idea to be down here defenseless.”
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)19:35 No.18743982
    "Well. Either I'm hallucinating from pain and blood loss, or there's a spot of color in this dank cavern. Much as I didn't expect to say this, I owe you my life. You are?"
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)19:37 No.18744010
    "I don't use one. Well, not a conventional one, at least. It's a little hard to explain. Where are we, by the way?"
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)19:41 No.18744056
    Hm. She looks like she’s in great shape. "I don't use one. Well, not a conventional one, at least. It's a little hard to explain. Where are we, by the way?"

    A wistful sigh escapes her. “I have no idea. Me and a few friends of mine stumbled upon this place when we were clearing out a temple near Terec.” She frowns. “I hate undead.”
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)19:44 No.18744085
    "Would that I met one, I'd likely empathize with you, given the name. Then again, I don't seem to know much of anything nowadays. Living under a rock all your life tends to do that. Where are your friends, now that you mention it? I'm starting to learn that some things require an extra pair of hands in this world."
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)19:44 No.18744089
         File: 1334619868.jpg-(98 KB, 650x911, 1334346131205.jpg)
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    "Why'd you stick around in here? Hardly seems the ideal location for... anything, really, except painful death."
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)19:45 No.18744096
    shut up lady deathstrike
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)19:45 No.18744098
    ask why she was clearing a temple and check to see if you still have your shard when she is not looking.

    ask about the city while you're at it
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)19:45 No.18744099
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)19:53 No.18744187
    "Would that I met one, I'd likely empathize with you, given the name. Then again, I don't seem to know much of anything nowadays. Living under a rock all your life tends to do that.” Naliah chuckles at your little joke. “Where are your friends, now that you mention it? I'm starting to learn that some things require an extra pair of hands in this world."

    She looks at the ground, downcast. “I dunno. We got separated when we were attacked by this big group of Squats. I’ve been looking for them ever since. I… I don’t even know how long I’ve been down here. Not too long, but when you’re underground, it’s hard to tell, you know?” A weak smile crosses her face. At least she’s staying strong.

    "Why'd you stick around in here? Hardly seems the ideal location for... anything, really, except painful death."

    Her smile grows a little wider as she chuckles and says, “Well… I’m kinda lost, actually. And I’m looking for my friends, too. I can’t quite remember where we came in from, but I think it was over by that weird Shard.” The Shard! Seeing your pack a couple of feet away, you shuffle over to it and look inside. You give a sigh of relief. Everything’s accounted for.

    “What, did you really think I’d go through your backpack? Naliah says, pouting. It’s rather cute, actually.

    “So why were you slaying undead in an underground temple?”

    Naliah shrugs and exclaims, “It paid well. Gotta make a living.”
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)19:57 No.18744230
         File: 1334620639.jpg-(169 KB, 600x600, 00a352053bd494a298672cc5c46f81(...).jpg)
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    "Well, in any case, thank you again for, well, this. I would say we should stick together, but that seems like a foregone conclusion at this point. I was making my way to that Shard you were talking about. Maybe it can point us to a way out."
    Try and stand up.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:00 No.18744272
    "Do you know anything about this hole? What it is, what's inside, anything like that?"
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:02 No.18744304
    She already said something tantamount to "I have no clue."
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:03 No.18744315
    I guess. Was hoping for some information regarding what lived in here, mainly.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:03 No.18744316
    You stretch your sore arms and neck, and say, "Well, in any case, thank you again for, well, this. I would say we should stick together, but that seems like a foregone conclusion at this point. I was making my way to that Shard you were talking about. Maybe it can point us to a way out." You put both hands on the ground and slowly lift yourself up. Your back aches, but it doesn’t feel as bad as earlier. That’s good.

    Apparently you were making a pained expression, because Naliah comes over and puts her hand on your back to help you up, saying “Easy, easy! Your back was pretty hurt when I found you, we wouldn’t want you to go and open that would, now would we?” Her hand feels warm on your back. It feels nice.

    Wait, you’re getting distracted. You shake your head, clearing your mind of thoughts you’ve never had before. You need to focus on getting out of here.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:05 No.18744344
    Relatedly, what does Shun know about sex and the like?
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:06 No.18744350
    Since we have a traveling partner, we can't be quite so stealthy anymore, assuming we can't extend our shadows to Naliah. We may as well get the obvious out of the way.

    "Can you fight? You harangued me for having no weapon, yet, I don't see one on you."
    >> Iron Lung 04/16/12(Mon)20:06 No.18744364
    Fuck yeah, Deception 2!
    Carry on.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:06 No.18744367
         File: 1334621213.jpg-(139 KB, 500x666, 2a0bc964c13f43cdad5f57a6cbbf59(...).jpg)
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    Obvious answer: not a fucking thing. Wouldn't put it past him to be a virgin, either.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:07 No.18744376
    Er... he got the talk from Sifu Tong, but Tong was... lacking with details. Shun knows only the basics (Tab A into Slot B and that jazz.)
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:10 No.18744414
    As I lack the social skills to decide for myself, should we tell her about that guy who got killed? Maybe he was one of her friends.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:11 No.18744430
    Wait, there’s something you need to know before you get moving. "Can you fight? You harangued me for having no weapon, yet, I don't see one on you."

    Naliah grins cheekily. “I’m a disciple of the Phoenix Storm martial art! My body is the most dangerous weapon of all!” Actually, Sifu told you that the mind was the most dangerous weapon…
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:11 No.18744431
    If it comes up, it'll come up. Otherwise, I'd leave it alone.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:14 No.18744477
         File: 1334621663.jpg-(1.1 MB, 1235x2046, 90f77c2717fdaff1077929aa2b1f31(...).jpg)
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    "Is THAT a fact? Can't say I know the style. I do some bujutsu myself, if you must know. I doubt you've heard of my style, though. It's one-of-a-kind."
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:14 No.18744488
    >Hipster mode: engaged
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:15 No.18744493
    Like we have a choice in the matter.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:18 No.18744535
    tell her about her friend, ask about the city tepu-whatever, perhaps teach each other something like with our rival?
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:18 No.18744545
    We're hardly in a fit state to learn things.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:19 No.18744547
    Consider your… interest aroused. "Is THAT a fact? Can't say I know the style. I do some bujutsu myself, if you must know. I doubt you've heard of my style, though. It's one-of-a-kind."

    Naliah looks at you, interested. “You don’t say? Hmm. You’ll have to show me sometime.” She winks at you. You’re sweating. It’s just the heat, though. Right? “Oh, hey, did you happen to see anyone while you were exploring?” She bounces on her heels, waiting for your response.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:19 No.18744548
    We can trade techniques and get to know each other better AFTER escaping the mortal danger death pit.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:19 No.18744557
    "Sort of. I may have some bad news for you." ... "Earlier, before you saved me, I saw a man in leathery armour get killed by a bunch of the small stone people. Might have been one of your friends."
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:20 No.18744567
    "...One. A fellow in heavy armor. The, uh, the Squats got him before I could."
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:21 No.18744581
         File: 1334622079.jpg-(208 KB, 638x854, 1218704289308.jpg)
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    Let's not get presumptuous about whether or not it was her friend. Just say it was a dude. She'll fill in the blanks herself.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:23 No.18744609
    Hence the may and the might. I guess your way makes more sense, though.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:23 No.18744610
    "Sort of. I may have some bad news for you." She stares at you intently. You’re not quite sure how to put it, so you just spit it out. "Earlier, before you saved me, I saw a man in leathery armor get killed by a bunch of the small stone people." It hurts to see the girl’s face drop so dramatically.

    “Oh.” She grits her teeth as her eyes narrow. “Thanks. We should get going.” she says emotionlessly.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:25 No.18744640
         File: 1334622328.jpg-(18 KB, 182x477, 182px-ValaraSaarHumanForceAdep(...).jpg)
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    "I'm sorry."
    Let her stew a while.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:35 No.18744778
    You try to assuage her with an apology. She ignores it. You both walk in silence towards the Green Shard for a while. Your back hurts and you’re obviously injured, but apparently the animals here prefer single targets. You smirk. No reason to complain. On that note, this heat is really getting to you. Your mouth is severely dry, and you lick your lips to try and deal with it. Everything here is strangely wet, but you learned at a young age not to go around licking things when you’re thirst. Sifu let you learn that one the hard way.
    Before too long, Naliah breaks the silence between you two. “Hey. Look up ahead.”

    You avert your gaze from her bare back to where she’s pointing. A group of buildings like the one you saw earlier is up ahead. This seems to be like a small village. Like the first structure, plants have invaded, although not as badly. There are a few buildings around the same size and shape as before, but what stands out is the large, nearly pyramidal building. Unlike everything else, this one doesn’t have any windows and the growth on it looks… sickly. Dying. In the distance, the Green Shard pulses. The giant spider creature is nowhere to be seen. For now.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:38 No.18744811
    Good God, we're a creep.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)20:38 No.18744816
         File: 1334623115.jpg-(289 KB, 480x600, 407ca43c784dc51565c845e3ce70aa(...).jpg)
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    That pyramid could be a shrine of sorts. A shrine we probably shouldn't fuss with. Plus, who knows how many other Squats live here, if any? Take a cursory glance inside a couple buildings, but keep moving.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:39 No.18744824
    Well shit man, what would you do if you were in the sexual prime of your life and just met a cute girl your age for the first time?
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:40 No.18744840
    I didn't
    I don't
    You win this round
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:45 No.18744905
    Huh, I could've sworn there were more people around.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:46 No.18744919
    So far as I can tell, there's me, Martial, and one other guy who doesn't use grammar.
    And you, of course.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:47 No.18744930
    Ah. Martial was the only one telling me what to do, so I assumed...
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:54 No.18745027
    i'm here, just distracted

    can we at least ask her about her fighting style?
    give her a vague answer if she asks about ours, like, we depend on speed and finish fights fast or something
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)20:54 No.18745035
    I've just been agreeing with what they suggest. If you want I could say that I do.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:58 No.18745085
    It reassures me that people are still here.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)20:59 No.18745099
    Hm. You don’t like the look of that pyramid, it’s too… unsettling. It would be best to stay away from it.

    Naliah doesn’t share your sentiment. “Wow, what’s this?” she exclaims as she bounds over to it. “Hey, Shun, come check this out! Look at the engravings on this thing!”

    You sigh and say, “Naliah, we really should get moving. We don’t know what could be around here.” She waves you away, insisting that you come inspect this with her. Underneath the decaying vines, it looks like there’s a series of engravings that depict a big spider fighting a pack of short men. One of the stout men stands alone, and with his pickaxe, strikes the spider down. A pyramid was built over its corpse. You figure that it must be this one.

    “I wonder what it means?”
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:01 No.18745128
    "Maybe the squats managed to kill one of the big spider things like the one on the roof. I mean, if I managed to, I'd sure want a monument built to mark the occasion."
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)21:03 No.18745156
         File: 1334624635.jpg-(80 KB, 640x480, 794122eb6cde1c6be1f031cde4b861(...).jpg)
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    "It seems like a tomb or honored burial ground for one of their heroes, if these glyphs are anything to go by. Whether it was to the Squat or the spider, I can't say. Neither are friendly, I know that much."

    Naliah is quite the lively one.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)21:08 No.18745223
    Hmm. You think for a moment, before saying, "It seems like a tomb or honored burial ground for one of their heroes, if these glyphs are anything to go by. Whether it was to the Squat or the spider, I can't say. Neither are friendly, I know that much.” You pause. “But I know if I managed to, I'd sure want a monument built to mark the occasion."

    Naliah giggles, “Yeah, me too. But I’d rather something way cooler, like an awesome dojo made out of gemstones or something!” You let a smirk slip past you as Naliah moves around the pyramid to see what else is around here. Just as you leave to inspect the houses, you hear her scream. You break out into a dash, worried. Did she get ambushed? Was the pyramid trapped? When you get to her, she’s on her knees next to a decaying corpse in rusty armor. You hear her whisper “No….” The poor girl’s on the verge of tears.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:11 No.18745255
    Oh boy, emotions. Just what we need.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:12 No.18745277
    suggest you two bury the body
    that'll make her feel better
    not by much i imagine but it should help
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)21:13 No.18745291
         File: 1334625192.jpg-(92 KB, 560x654, 735712328b3005a6004578b28e3839(...).jpg)
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    "I'm sorry, Naliah. But we need to keep going. If you want to honor your comrade's memory, you'll survive, and you'll live. All right?"
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)21:14 No.18745311
    >bury the body
    >keep going

    Uh oh.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:14 No.18745324
    We could offer both, let her decide.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)21:17 No.18745363
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    It'll be her choice.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)21:28 No.18745527
    You put your hand on her shoulder. She’s shaking… you really wish you could sympathize, but… you’ve never had anyone close to you die. You’re not very good at this, but you try and keep her on track. “Naliah, I’m sorry. But we need to keep moving. If you want to bury him, though, I’ll understand.” A sniff escapes the poor girl.

    She stands up and looks at you, eyes misty. You hear her whisper, “You’re right.” Her voice picks up as she says, “The best way to honor him would be to get out of this hellhole. To… survive…”

    You two leave the stinking corpse of her comrade behind. Naliah is even quieter than when you two were travelling here. You take the silence as an excuse to stay completely alert. You’re not out of the woods yet, so to speak. You’re not too far from the Green Shard yet, and you haven’t seen any Squats for a while. Good.

    A few minutes later, your ears pick up someone speaking. A Squat growling, to be precise. Shit. It sounds like it’s in between you and the Shard.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:30 No.18745565
    Get her attention, make sure she's heard it too.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)21:31 No.18745588
    You tap Naliah on the shoulder, and her wide brown eyes meet yours. You whisper to her, asking if she heard the Squat. She nods in response.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)21:33 No.18745613
         File: 1334626425.jpg-(91 KB, 540x720, 1211694413964.jpg)
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    I'm assuming we can't make out what the Squat is saying. Perhaps we can swing wide and avoid the Squat and still make it to the Shard.

    >gicajew species
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:33 No.18745615
    "Sneak around?"
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:34 No.18745628
    dat picture
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:41 No.18745724
    double team the gnome
    shatter his skull and/or cutt off limbs untill he is can't act
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:42 No.18745745
    Fighting these things didn't go so well last time. Let's just sneak around.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:50 No.18745870
    i hoped we could defeat it now that we have an ally and an idea as to how it works.
    i'm sure we could win if we fought creatively
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)21:51 No.18745885
    You know too well what happens when you fight one of these things. “Sneak around?” you mouth to her. She nods, and the two of you begin to sneak through the trees, as quietly as you can, still moving towards the Shard. You’re almost directly underneath the Green Shard, and you stick your head out to investigate. Squats. An entire colony of them, dozens sit on the ground, mouths moving, transfixed on the Shard. And past them, a building! It doesn’t look like any of the other ones you’ve seen around here. Tall columns frame a wide, expansive door into a dark brick laden room beyond. You feel Naliah’s breath on your neck as she whispers to you, “I think that’s the temple I was telling you about. We can get out there!” she’s got a wide smile on her face. This is your best chance to get out, but there’s a lot of Squats between you and the exit.

    They look distracted, but the jungle ends before the temple begins. You’d have to sneak across an open field AND get Naliah with you. This is going to be difficult.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:52 No.18745896
    We don't know how potent our new ally is, and our attacks don't seem to do any damage at all. I wouldn't recommend going into combat in this situation.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:54 No.18745921
    So, first what we do is pull back a bit so we won't be seen. Then we decide on a plan.
    I'd suggest us going away from where we are, getting their attention so they come investigate, then stealthing past to the exit.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)21:55 No.18745944
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    The Squats are all transfixed by the Shard. Much as it'd be interesting to claim it for ourselves, it's probably in our best interest to leave the Shard alone and slip past the hypnotized Squats into the temple. Hopefully, they won't follow us once we make it into the temple. I anticipate a mad dash towards the end.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:56 No.18745962
    fuck that dawn chaser bastard for getting us into this mess. i guess we won't be able to take that green shard.

    can we cover her in our shadow cloak? lets try
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)21:56 No.18745967
    The Shard's actually pretty big. Like, the size of a car big.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)21:57 No.18745981
    You're only experienced enough to cover yourself for now.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)21:57 No.18745983
    Try a way back though, if we do. Like fuck is our first attempt going to be the one that counts.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:01 No.18746039
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    Then don't worry about the Shard. Assuming the Squats care about the Shard more than us, we should hopefully be able to slip past them. We can swing wide if we have to. Once we hit the open field, we sprint like bats out of hell and make it for the temple. Presumably, we'll be home free if we make it.

    >(Not quite a monk, but I like the picture.)
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:02 No.18746057
    >cleavage windows
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:09 No.18746161
    Motioning towards the far edge of the jungle, you and Naliah sneak there without incident. The Squats seem too preoccupied with the Shard to see you. Naliah whispers, “So what’s the plan?”

    “We try and slip past them. If that doesn’t work, then ru-“ The Shard pulses, and everything around you quakes and rumbles! A massive ring of energy shoots out of the Shard! Before you can register what’s going on, the spider creature bursts out of the jungle, scuttling towards the Shard, screeching at everything, impaling Squats on its legs; it’s absolutely chaotic! The little grey men slowly run at the beast, trying to smash it apart with their fists!

    It flails, sending Squats flying into the air all around it! Unfortunately for you, one of them crashes through the trees where you’re hiding, and it doesn’t seem phased at all by the landing. When it sees you, though, a deep, loud groan erupts from it, and now entirely too many Squats are looking right at your position.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:10 No.18746179
    ok, shadow cloak and go to the opposite side of wherever we are and cause a distraction so she can get to the temple then lead the gnomes around a bit and lose them.
    then catch up to her in the temple.

    throwing some knives at them will prolly suffice for a distraction
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:10 No.18746183
    Oh Jesus.
    I do believe it's time to say, fuck this shit let's get out of here.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:12 No.18746197
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    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:14 No.18746229
    Too complicated. Just book it.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:16 No.18746258
    oh, that was for before the shard pulsed like that

    only coarse i see now is running, maybe try and ride the spider thing like a horse to the temple
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:18 No.18746274
    That idea
    That idea
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:20 No.18746305
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    Wait, wait. I'm sorry.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:20 No.18746316
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    Stop it.
    Stop it.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:20 No.18746317
    You yell at Naliah to run, and you both kick off towards the exit. The spider beast ignores you, but the Squats that were near the temple don’t; they position themselves in a line in front of your destination.

    You run and run. You can figure out what to do when you get there, but if you stand still and think, you’re going to die. Looking to your right, you see Naliah running far faster than you, straight at the Squats! Her legs moving into action, she moves faster and faster, until she’s almost too fast for your eyes to catch up to, and she leaps clear over the Squats! A couple of them turn to face her, and you use that as your opening to use them as steps, making it past the line!

    You both run deeper into the dark temple, but you don’t hear the deep footsteps of the Squats behind you. You slow down to see what they’re doing. The Squats are all staring directly at you, still in formation, but you see something you never could’ve imagined: on their faces is a look of absolute terror.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:21 No.18746325
    hey, you never know.

    hop on the giant spider and make two shadow knives, stab it when it takes a wrong turn.

    i mean, hell, its the only thing that seems to be damaging the gnomes
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:23 No.18746348
    This goes from bad to worse. Still, at least we won't be eaten alive by small stone men now.
    I'd say recuperate for a short time where we are, then move on further inside.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:23 No.18746354
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    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:25 No.18746391
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    Pah. If Naliah made it through here on the way in, then we can make it through on the way out, especially with us here.

    "Well, we made it. You remember how to get topside again from here, Naliah?"
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:29 No.18746460
    But that doesn’t stop you from running further into the temple. After a minute, you both slow to a stop. You’re out of breath, but Naliah seems perfectly fine.

    “Ah… hold on a bit, Naliah…” You take a few deep breaths as she looks at you, smugly smirking. "Well, we made it. You remember how to get topside again from here?" Still smiling, she looks around at your surroundings. You’re in a hallway. Moss grows through the bricks, glowing just brightly enough to let you see. Wooden coffins line the walls. While she cranes her head, Naliah’s smile slowly, slowly slips away into a look of confusion.

    “Uh… No, actually. I don’t remember a hallway like this, and especially not near the jungle. “She blinks a few times, deep in thought. “But I know we got lost in the jungle right underneath the Shard in a clearing…”
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:31 No.18746492
    "That doesn't sound so good. We should probably be careful."
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:34 No.18746544
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    That's not encouraging.

    "Well, as long as we keep going up and out, we ought to reach the surface at some point.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:40 No.18746619
    "Well, as long as we keep going up and out, and stay very careful, we ought to reach the surface at some point.” For the first time in years, doubt enters your mind. "Right?"

    Naliah yawns, “Well, yeah. But… I’m getting really tired. We’ve been on the run all day. We should really rest here.” A chill wind blows through the hallway, causing you to shiver. “Hey, are you alright?” Naliah says concernedly.

    “Yeah, it’s just a cold wind. I’ll be fine.”

    Naliah blinks. “A cold wind? I didn’t feel anything.”
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:42 No.18746649
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    You want to stop and rest in a room full of coffins, never mind in a dungeon of sorts. THAT will end well.
    "...Let's move. Now."
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:42 No.18746668
    "This is some crazy voodoo shit. We don't want to stay here."
    I kid, but seriously.
    "There's something wrong about this place. We need to get out as soon as we can."
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:49 No.18746763
    The hairs on the back of your neck stand on end as you feel goosebumps prickle on your skin. “There's something wrong about this place. Let's move. Now.” Naliah looks at you, confused.

    “But Shun-“

    “Now.” You begin to walk down the hallway. It’s deathly silent here, so quiet all you can hear are your footsteps and your blood pumping through your veins. When you reach the end of the hallway, a bust of some sort of horned monster greets you, stony teeth contorted into a face of hate. There’s an archway to your left, but the glow of the moss doesn’t reach that far, and you stare into the blackness. Something about this place makes you feel ill.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:50 No.18746782
    We can take out our Shard and use that to show the way, right?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:50 No.18746786
    Of course, if you want to be the only light in a dark room.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:52 No.18746803
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    We could.
    Are there no other exits?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:53 No.18746807
    There's the exit to the jungle.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:53 No.18746811
    Didn't Naliah say she followed Phoenix Storm?
    Maybe she can do fire or something.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:55 No.18746832
    You ask her if, given that the follows the Phoenix Storm, she can conjure fire.

    She laugh lightly and says, "Er, no. It revolves around transitioning between slow and quick movements, like the death and rebirth of a phoenix. Sorry. It's purely martial."
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:56 No.18746851
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    ASIDE from that.
    Guess not.
    Whip out the Shard or whatever torch we have for light.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)22:57 No.18746872
    So, maybe, we could get her to create INSANE FRICTION with our dull stake, thus creating a throwaway torch?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)22:58 No.18746902
    So, do you reveal your Shard?
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)22:59 No.18746920
    If we don't have any other light source.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:00 No.18746930
    Ahem. >>18746872
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:02 No.18746954
    Sorry, my browser's fucking up.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:03 No.18746973
    find another way damnit!

    she went monster hunting for money, ya don't think she'll try and steal it later when she has seen it?
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:04 No.18746995
    That's silly.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:05 No.18747000
    A brilliant idea strikes you! You whip out your dull wooden stake and ask, “Naliah, do you think you could create enough friction to light this thing on fire?”

    She scoffs, “With what, my bare hands? The bricks? I mean, I could, if you wanted me to shred the skin off my palms.”

    … she didn’t have to be so sarcastic about it.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:05 No.18747006
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:05 No.18747015
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:09 No.18747049
    Seeing no other choice, you pull the Shard out of your bag. Naliah’s eyes follow it, and they widen in astonishment when she you unveil it, illuminating part of the room.

    “A Shard?” She moves closer to you and says, “Where did you get this!?”
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:10 No.18747060
    "It's a long story, now isn't the time. We need to find a way out, I can tell you after."
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:10 No.18747069
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    "Let's just say you can thank the Expedition of the Dawn for introducing me to you. Come on."
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:14 No.18747107
    Walking into the room, you say, "Let's just say you can thank the Expedition of the Dawn for introducing me to you. Come on."

    Naliah opens her mouth to say something, but when you step through the archway, a deep, dull, guttural roar shakes the foundations of the room. Fuck.

    “Uh, Shun, what was that?”

    You’re not sure what to say. This room is square, the cracked bricks reflect your light well. Spiderwebs decorate the ceiling. To your left and right are heavy looking wooden doors.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:15 No.18747118
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:15 No.18747121
    How far off did the growl sound?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:17 No.18747150
    I recommend keeping this going to get in the mood.


    The growl sounded very, very close.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:22 No.18747215
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    Is there any sort of foliage around either of the doors? Perhaps some green worked its way down the temple and is getting some air. Beyond that, we're wandering blind, so we need something to work with.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:23 No.18747230

    The room you're in is startlingly empty for a temple. There is literally nothing but the doors and cobwebs.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:25 No.18747253
    Then screw it, let's take the doors one at a time.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:31 No.18747323
    You creep over to the right door first. You open it slowly, and it creaks, creaks, creeeeaaaaks open. It’s a flight of stairs, leading up. You sigh in relief; there might be a way out of here after all!

    Naliah, however, opened up the other door. “Hey Shun, come check this out!”

    Deciding to indulge her, you go to investigate.
    Through the doorway is another room, but this one is well furnished. There are three rows of long wooden benches, all facing an empty altar. A statue of a man in fur robes looks over the room with a disinterested gaze. Your nose twitches and- ACHOO! Ugh, everything in this room is piled with dust. It hasn’t been touched in forever.

    You hear Naliah yawn next to you, and she rubs her eyes. “Shun, please, can we just rest here? If you’re worried about something sneaking up on us, we can just barricade the door and take turns sleeping or something. Come onnnn.” Great, now she’s doing that cute little pout again.

    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:34 No.18747351
    Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope
    "That'll hardly help if it's already in the room. Come on, I found some stairs upwards."
    [spoiler]No copy/paste was used[/spoiler]
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:35 No.18747359
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    "...Fine. We'll take a short break. Help me brace the door." Grab some of the pews and wedge them against the door.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:37 No.18747392
    yeah lets rest, for all we know the dawn chasers are waiting for us up there, lets rest up just in case.

    lets do something about hiding our shard though, we don't know this girl enough to trust her. just cause we like her and shit doesn't make her trustworthy

    maybe cover it up and hide it in shadows or putting it in a very delicate and easy to rouse location on our selves?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:37 No.18747400
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    >if it's already in the room
    >you just checked it out and didn't see anything

    You're just paranoid, man.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:37 No.18747404
    As much as I don't want us staying in an ominous temple, better not to die fatigued at least. We can spare a couple hours.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:38 No.18747408
    I don't trust you any more, I just want to get out of here.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:39 No.18747417
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    But my friend, you made the mistake of trusting me in the first place.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:39 No.18747419
    Besides, this pretty clearly isn't natural tiredness. She was fine when we only just entered.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:40 No.18747444
    Well, she did rescue you and explore with you for hours on end.
    But that's just my justification for it. Don't let that stop your paranoia.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:40 No.18747446
    We don't know how long she's been running around before we met her.
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:41 No.18747457
    To clarify, by entered I mean entered the temple. As in, not long ago at all.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:50 No.18747558
    You sigh and give in. "...Fine. We'll take a short break. Help me brace the door." Naliah beams at you and hugs you tightly.

    “Thanks, Shun! To be honest, I’m so tired that I was just gonna fall asleep anyway. I’m just about ready to pass out.” You spend the next few minutes properly blocking the door. If something tries to get in, you’ll definitely hear it. You’re not too worried anymore. As soon as you’re done barricading the exit, Naliah curls up in a corner and black out. Guess you’re taking the first watch.

    You spend the next few hours bored out of your mind. Your thoughts drift from that one time Sifu threw darts at you while you slept to get you to be more vigilant to that other time Sifu beat the crap out of you for 3 hours straight after you disappeared following a butterfly and got lost in the woods. Those were the days. Of course you think about Naliah. You don’t have any experience with girls, and you know it. She’s pretty, and fairly nice, and she even knows martial arts! Are you getting overly excited? Should you do something? Hours fly by while you try and deal with these new feelings, when you hear her begin to stir. She stretches and yawns, “G’morning, Shun! Looks like it’s your turn to get some rest!”
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:51 No.18747569
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:53 No.18747597
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    "Are Phoenix Storm practitioners always so...perky? I thought the martial arts were to assist in centering yourself, honing your identity."
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:54 No.18747602
    fuck fuck fuck, if she does end up stealing the shard from us, we will hunt this bitch down
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:56 No.18747617
    Oh, we should sleep with our pack as a pillow.
    She ain't takin' our shit, no siree.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/16/12(Mon)23:58 No.18747641
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    Sleep on top of our satchel. Barring that, encase it in a small spiked shadow dome so Naliah doesn't get any sticky fingers.

    "Nothing against you, Naliah, but I only know your name and your style. You'll forgive me if I'm still rather cautious."
    >> Anonymous 04/16/12(Mon)23:59 No.18747655
    no no lets not make it obvious
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/16/12(Mon)23:59 No.18747658
    You’re a little surprised that she’s so energetic when she’s sleepy AND seconds after she wakes up. "Are Phoenix Storm practitioners always so...perky? I thought the martial arts were to assist in centering yourself, honing your identity."

    Naliah giggles, “Not all of us are, I’m just a perky girl! Thanks for noticing, though! I never really thought that my style could be used to find myself.” Her voice picks up, “I always thought that exploring the world, meeting people, and experiencing life would do that better.” She shrugs.

    Eh, that makes sense too, you figure.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)00:00 No.18747668
    Well, I think I'm starting to see why her brain isn't her greatest weapon.

    I kid, I kid. Just wanted to make the joke.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)00:00 No.18747669
    lets sleep on our pack
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)00:04 No.18747733
    Methinks she's mildly missing the point of the martial arts, at least to us. Then again, it's all we know, so perhaps Shun is a bit of a purist regarding its usage. The arts should be used chiefly for defense and self-improvement of some manner. None of that "strong rule the world" or "violence" malarkey.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)00:06 No.18747768
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    Bullies have always pushed people around, making passive sheep of the so-called weak. The arts were created so that the weak can stand up to the strong and prevail. To think that strength is all there is in the world is horseshit.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)00:07 No.18747774
    >replying to own post
    I don't understand.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)00:08 No.18747782
    You yawn, and tell Naliah that you’re going to turn in.

    “Sweet dreams!”

    You take your bag off your back and put it under your head as you lay down. Nothing against Naliah, but you’ve got some things in here that you’d rather not anybody know about. After a minute, you drift off into a dreamy landscape. You’re stumbling through long, dark hallway after hallway, unendingly walking forward. After what seems like forever, you see a light far off in the distance. As you get closer and closer, the walls slowly crumble, crumble… you see that the light isn’t an exit, but Naliah holding a Shard. Your Shard? You don’t have time to think, as her face begins to melt, teeth grinning upwards at an angle that isn’t possible for a human jaw. You hear the sound of glass breaking as she crushes the Shard with her bare hand, throwing everything into darkness.

    You jolt up with a start in a cold sweat. You look around for Naliah; she’s run off with the Shard, she stole it and left you here to die…
    No, no… she’s in the corner, looking off into the distance. You slowly stretch your neck, and you notice something strange on the floor. You crawl over to investigate and… footprints? Muddy footprints come from the door… right to where you slept.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)00:09 No.18747790
    Thoughts tend to come to me after I post something, so I try to tack it on after the fact.

    Is that an issue?
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)00:11 No.18747811
    I was just slightly confused, thought maybe someone had stolen you name for some reason.

    Well that sure is creepy.
    I told you about the resting, bro.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)00:11 No.18747815
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    Why does this shit happen only to us?
    Double-check our pack to make sure everything is in order.

    "Naliah. What is this?"
    Point to footprints.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)00:17 No.18747885
    What the fuck.

    You quickly rustle through your bag to make sure everything’s there. Shurikens, stake, berries, skull, money, gem… it’s all there. You get Naliah’s attention by pointing to the footprints and asking, “Naliah, what’s this?”

    She looks over at where you’re pointing and gasps, exclaiming, “Shun, I… I don’t know. Nothing came in here while you slept, I promise. I didn’t even hear anything all night!” You don’t like the sound of that. Not one bit.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)00:18 No.18747904
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)00:20 No.18747918
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    "Guess I'm rested enough. Let's get out of here. The sooner I see some Shards in the sky, the better off I'll be."
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)00:25 No.18747977
    You shake off the nagging feeling of dread in the back of your head. "Guess I'm rested enough. Let's get out of here. The sooner I see some Shards in the sky, the better off I'll be."

    Still staring at the footprints, Naliah agrees.

    You both move the benches out of the way and get ready to open the door. Your hand moves towards the handle, but… what if the thing that left these footprints is still out there? Wait. What if it’s still in here? The thought gives you the adrenaline to open up the door, staring into the room, ready for something, ANYTHING, to happen. Nothing does.

    Looking down at the footprints, you notice that they started from the doorway and headed further into the room. There’s nothing leading outside of the room or into it. It was just… there.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)00:28 No.18748023
         File: 1334636922.jpg-(39 KB, 356x640, 1253817391910.jpg)
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    Ugh. Either someone didn't clean up after themselves, or someone's messing around. Let's get going.

    And what's with the skull earlier?
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)00:28 No.18748026
    I'd say try more doors, but keep the stairs open in case we need a sudden exit.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)00:35 No.18748114
    Whatever, you need to keep going. The sooner you’re out of here, the better. You walk past the room and head upstairs, taking each step very slowly. Before too long, another archway is in front of you. You fill your lungs with air before you cross it…

    And right when you do, a rumble nearly knocks you off balance. A deep growl penetrates your ears. It’s close. Very close. You hear Naliah behind you ask, “Shun, did you hear that?” You nod. “I… don’t remember the temple being like this…” You step into the room fully and look around. There are three doors here, and… and a skeleton in the corner. Grinning. At you.

    It stares.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)00:36 No.18748136
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)00:38 No.18748160
    What skull were you talking about earlier?
    I don't remember ever picking up a skull.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)00:39 No.18748175
         File: 1334637560.jpg-(422 KB, 849x1024, 1252539868474.jpg)
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    "And just what do YOU think is so funny, dry bones?"
    Anything unique about the doors?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)00:40 No.18748191
    Unlike the ones before, these have knockers in the shape of skulls.

    Leering, jealous skulls.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)00:42 No.18748212
    >Questrunner ignores question about skull that nobody remembers
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)00:46 No.18748274
    While you ponder which door to open first, a piercing scream comes from the door on your right, causing Naliah to jump and yelp in surprise. “Shun, what was that?!” The poor woman’s shaking. To be honest, your fingers are moving a bit more than you’d like them to…
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)00:47 No.18748299
    Oftentimes, the most ridiculous answer is the right answer. Part of me wants to go through the right door.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)00:54 No.18748385
    … something tells you that you should open that door. You know it’s a bad idea, you just know it, but you have to. You shuffle over to it, and slowly push it open, hinges creaking loudly, rattling your ears. You step inside. It’s… a torture room. Chains with cuffs attached to them hang from the wall, a wheel with fasteners on them, a firepit with a noose hanging over it… and it’s all covered in blood. The room, from floor to ceiling is painted red, and a sickly copper smell hangs in the air like fog. Behind you, Naliah wretches in disgust. From what you can see, despite the blood… there’s nothing else in here. No bones, no body parts… nothing.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)00:59 No.18748440
    Slam that door shut and open the door opposite to it.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)00:59 No.18748443
         File: 1334638776.jpg-(405 KB, 707x1000, 1252538388074.jpg)
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    If there's no other exit, quietly close door. Move on to left door.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:01 No.18748463
    Right, I've got work to do. It's 6AM already and I have a regular day coming. Thanks for the fun quest.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:02 No.18748474
    oh god, when did this turn into a horror movie?

    try another door
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:03 No.18748486
    Unsettled, you quietly, slowly close the door, and it creaks all the while. Alright, you’ll just have to try the other door, then. You walk over and push it open. Or, you try, since it absolutely refuses to go forward. Fine, then, you pull it open, and… it’s a wall? A brick wall just like the others except… this one is falling apart. Almost literally, like it’s been here far longer than everything around it. Uh. Alright. You’d rather not think about it.

    As you turn around, you notice that the skeleton in the corner is bleeding. Profusely.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:05 No.18748511
    "Is something wrong, Mister Bones?"
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)01:06 No.18748534
    "I guess you're not so dry now, huh?" Where is it visibly bleeding from?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:08 No.18748543
    You joke a bit to lighten the mood. "Is something wrong, Mister Bones?" A nervous grin cracks on your face as you walk over to it to check it out. It looks… it looks like it’s bleeding from inside the bones. But you’ve never heard of anything like that before…
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)01:11 No.18748559
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    Come on. We're Sifu Tong's kid. No temple will get the best of the heir to the Fist of Shadow. Head for the middle door.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:11 No.18748566
    destroy it with shadows
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:14 No.18748599
    You bolster yourself with courage. You can’t die here; you’re one of the Fists of Shadow! If you died, all of Sifu’s teachings would’ve gone to waste, and you can’t disappoint him like that. That fear is greater than anything this place can throw at you.

    … but before you open up the middle door you throw a few dozen shadow needles into the skeleton. Just to make sure. You stand in front of the door, hand shaking a little bit. You reach for the handle, and just as you grab it, you feel a violent shaking in your backpack.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:15 No.18748613
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:15 No.18748618
    Search backpack for the origin of the shaking?
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)01:18 No.18748649
         File: 1334639903.jpg-(154 KB, 700x807, 1252539546461.jpg)
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    I had a feeling he was evading the question for a good reason.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:18 No.18748650

    You rip it off your back and yank it open, dropping everything onto the ground. Out pop your shurikens, your stake, the emerald, your sack of gold, your bag of berries… everything is accounted for. But… maybe it’s still in there…
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:19 No.18748658
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:20 No.18748670
    Do you look into the bag?
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)01:22 No.18748686
         File: 1334640138.jpg-(176 KB, 589x774, 1283625203810.jpg)
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    Continue holding bag upside down.
    Lance through to the center of the bag with shadow needles from our hand, making sure not to damage the bag itself.
    THEN look inside.
    The Shard is accounted for, right?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:22 No.18748690
    The Shard still illuminates the room.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:23 No.18748702
         File: 1334640225.gif-(1.79 MB, 320x240, 1334629370402.gif)
    1.79 MB
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:26 No.18748726


    BUT… you… you have to. The Fist of Shadow is supposed to be fearless. Right? Fearless.
    You quickly turn the bag upside down and look into it, and you’re astonished.
    It’s just nothing.

    You put your items back into it, deeply disturbed.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:28 No.18748743
    ok ok we get it, it was silly to suspect the girl.... yet
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)01:29 No.18748758
         File: 1334640588.jpg-(111 KB, 620x877, 1289956312770.jpg)
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    Middle door.

    >More modern brawler than monk, but still.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)01:35 No.18748829
    That had to have tipped Naliah off to our power, right?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:36 No.18748836
    Um. Yeah, you should keep going. You open the middle door to find another set of stairs.

    Your footsteps are the only thing ringing throughout the stairway. That and your heartbeat. You can’t hear anything else. Once again, you stand in front of an archway at the top of the stairs. You don’t want to cross it, you really, really don’t, but… the Fist of Shadow fears nothing. That’s how it’s supposed to be. You resolve yourself to not be afraid, but that dries away when you hear demons screaming into your ear the second your foot steps onto the rug.

    You’re in… a dining hall? A long table framed by chairs dominates the room, and an unlit, ancient chandelier hangs from the ceiling. There’s a few paintings on the stony walls depicting various landscapes. Plates adorn the ebony table, empty save for one at the head of the table, where a massive throne resides. The plate here is covered with a dome. There’s a door to your left and to your right.

    Something feels off.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:38 No.18748846
    She didn't say anything when you did it.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:40 No.18748868
    ok, lets calm the fuck down now. we have been trained from the time we could throw a fist, we have been prepped to fear nothing. lets stand still for a second, breath, and let our training take over
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)01:40 No.18748874
         File: 1334641244.jpg-(219 KB, 900x1367, 1290877245512.jpg)
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    Inspect the head of the table before we move on through either door. Just to be thorough.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:41 No.18748884
    Remove the dome with a thrown stake.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:46 No.18748941
    Alright, you’ve let your emotions get ahead of you, it happens, but you need to calm down. A few deep breaths, in and out…. In and out… Okay. Okay. You’re good. Really.

    Doesn’t mean you trust that dome, though. You pull a stake out of your bag, and with careful aim, you throw it right at the dome, knocking it aside to reveal… an empty plate. Now you’re just jumping at shadows. You walk over to inspect the throne. It stands out from the other chairs, being incredibly ornate, even for a throne. Every inch of it is detailed with animals, people, symbols… Interesting, but not strange. You ask Naliah what she thinks about the engravings.

    She doesn’t respond.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)01:48 No.18748981
         File: 1334641721.jpg-(161 KB, 1146x697, 1289879913668.jpg)
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    Ground control to Major Tom?

    >Charlie's Angels, if you wanted to stretch it?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:51 No.18749020
    Oh blimey, I tripped over my internet chord on my way to get a light so I could leave my room and not be scared shitless.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:52 No.18749029
    ok lets check on the girl

    why wouldnt she react or respond when we ask a question and when she saw our shadow powers?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:54 No.18749051
    You turn around to ask Naliah if she’s alright.

    She’s gone.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)01:57 No.18749090
         File: 1334642247.jpg-(184 KB, 500x575, care free.jpg)
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    oh for fucks sakes!

    shout her name and throw shadow blades at everything, EVERYTHING
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)01:59 No.18749105
    >just calmed down
    >see something normal
    >flip your shit
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)02:01 No.18749127
         File: 1334642476.jpg-(27 KB, 251x411, 1291463701646.jpg)
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    Sonuvabitch. This is really starting to drag now.

    "I said stick together, Naliah! Where are you?"
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:02 No.18749144
    “I said STICK TOGETHER, Naliah! Where are you?”

    You’re not really surprised when you get no response. So, left door or right?
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:05 No.18749166
    throw a shadow dagger in the air and go in the direction it lands
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:05 No.18749172
    Er... that doesn't make sense.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:06 No.18749189
    I'm not certain that shadow projectiles actually have mass or are affected by gravity.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:06 No.18749192
    go in the direction the sharp part points towards when it lands
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)02:06 No.18749196
         File: 1334642819.gif-(744 KB, 472x324, 1255468938525.gif)
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    Start with the left.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:17 No.18749307
    Well, since you’re closer to the left door, you might as well see what’s on the other side. At the calmest you’ve been since you entered this damn temple, you boldly swing the door open into… a kitchen?

    When you step inside… yup, it’s a kitchen. It’s got a stove with a rusty pot on it, ebony cabinets, a couple shelves, a fireplace… It’s actually not too different from the kitchen you had back home. You walk over to the stove and lift the pot, expecting to see a severed head in it, bleeding more blood than should be possible. All you find is more rust. Grasping the cabinet handles, you fling them open, knowing a body’ll drop out! And they’re full of dust and nothing more. You investigate the fireplace, and you know, you just KNOW there are bones hidden underneath the ancient, rotting wood. Nothing.

    It’s almost strange how normal things are now.
    You don’t notice something moving in the shadows at the edge of your vision. You head back into the dining hall
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:19 No.18749321
    other door
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:23 No.18749362
    You walk over to the other door, hoping that it’s finally an exit to this hellish place. You kick it ajar, fearless now. It’s a massive entryway lined with pillars, leading outside! The doors are wide open, inviting you into the starry night outside. You walk down the hall, when something on the wall to your left catches your eye.

    Secure in yourself, you walk over to it and raise the Shard up to read it. Written in… what looks like blood is:
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:24 No.18749376
    Whelp. That's good to know.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)02:26 No.18749389
         File: 1334643982.jpg-(88 KB, 455x640, 1294003207574.jpg)
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    Any sign of Naliah?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:27 No.18749394
    Nope. Nary sight nor sound.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:27 No.18749400
    If not we have a favor to return. We'll have to go back in after her. Won't that be fun?
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)02:28 No.18749407
    Call out for her one more time. I'd hate to think she's still somewhere inside.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:29 No.18749411
    there is probably a boss around somewhere with her
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:30 No.18749430
    Perhaps. We may have been hit with some sort of mind altering effect when we stepped on the rug as well. Seeing as we probably don't have any reliable way of getting out of an illusion though, we'll just have to assume this is all real.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:31 No.18749437
    The exit’s right there, but… you can’t leave Naliah behind. She saved your life, and you need to return the favor. That’s just how the world works to you.

    You call out to the empty hallway, “NALIAH, CAN YOU HEAR ME?!” You hear something stirring in the corner of the room…
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:35 No.18749486
    What's your next move?
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)02:36 No.18749498
    Check out the stirring, naturally.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:36 No.18749506
    follow the stirring, this shouldn't even be debated
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:37 No.18749526
    yep. Prepare for something to lunge for our shard while we're at it.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:40 No.18749555
    You raise your Shard and walk towards the stirring, ready for anything…

    Sitting limply in the corner, pale as bone, is Naliah, her clothes soaked in blood, eyes shut. She… she can’t be dead…

    As you move to touch her, the same deep, dark growl rumbles right in your ears, like it's inches away from you! You jerk your head towards the sound, and all you see are hating, furious shadows in the distance.

    The growl halted your hand. Dare you go further? You can still escape...
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)02:41 No.18749570
         File: 1334644891.jpg-(36 KB, 416x600, 1293859985932.jpg)
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    Fireman's carry over the shoulder, and BOLT.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:41 No.18749574
    keep going!
    you're a shadow fist warrior not a pussy!
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:42 No.18749586
    Choice time. I'm for manning up and pressing on.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:47 No.18749639
    No, you can’t back out now, not when you and Naliah are so close to getting out of here. You’re going to get her out of here. You put the Shard on the ground and heave Naliah onto your shoulders. She’s lighter than she looks. Almost too light… but you can worry about that later, you bend over to grab the Shard…

    And the shadows betray you. Stretching from the blackness behind you, a mass of arms reach out towards you, ready to swallow you whole! You can still make a run for it, but you’d have to leave the Shard behind…
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:49 No.18749663
    fuck no, take the shard, we're a shadow warrior we must have some sort of resistance to shadows or something
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)02:49 No.18749664
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    >put the Shard on the ground
    Bitch, we had a perfectly serviceable belt within which we could jam the Shard so it doesn't fall out. This entire tangent was because of that Shard.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:49 No.18749668
    Life > Trinket. Admittedly it's a trinket that we busted our ass to get, and it's an extremely important item to many. What has it brought us though?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:51 No.18749685
    It's like the one in the OP pic, it would totally fall out while you were running.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)02:52 No.18749702
    As long as the Shard remained on our person, it'd be a matter of hoisting Naliah up and catching our grip on the Shard again. It's like doing a hammer-and-nails job and holding the nails in your mouth.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)02:53 No.18749709
    Regardless, you're the tiebreaker here. Do you try and get the Shard?
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:54 No.18749722
    it might get us an ass load of cash or better yet satisfaction at crushing it in front of the dawn chasers
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)02:57 No.18749752
    We've kind of proven our point though. They were rude to us so we took it. Leaving it here will still be a huge pain in their ass to retrieve and they won't be able to track us any more. I don't mind the prospect of money, but that's something we can earn through other means. But hey if you guys want to beat the shadows into submission I won't cry about it. If we live we'll probably learn a cool new technique.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)02:58 No.18749755
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    We fought a stone hunter, pissed off an entire tribe of people, went spelunking against our will, met a perky young girl, and traversed through a temple of unspeakable horror, all because we watched a bright technicolor explosion as the Shard crashed into the hills.

    As prestigious and gratifying as it would be to walk into Terec holding a Shard for all to see, even though we don't know what exactly it does, fuck it.

    Let's bail.

    That's too petty.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)03:02 No.18749799
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    Not to sound like a coward or anything because we couldn't get the girl AND the Shard without jeopardizing our health and hers. We're no stereotypical shonen hero.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:05 No.18749810
    You tell yourself it’s not worth it as you make a mad dash to the exit. It seems like that’s all you’ve been doing lately.

    It’s about 30 yards to the exit. You can make it, if you just run… but Naliah’s really slowing you down… The arms don’t just come from behind you, but from both sides, reaching for you, squirming for you, they NEED you, Shun, they NEED TO HAVE YOU and YOU NEED THEM SHUN. Thoughts that aren’t yours invade your head. EMBRACE IT SHUN LEAVE HER JUST DIE SHUN DIE DIE DIE

    Tears streaming down your face from sheer adrenaline and gut punching fear, you keep running… you’re so close! When you’re not 15 feet away, a wave of shadows surges in front of you, blocking your only way out! From behind, from the side, arms stretch out to intercept your stride, but you can’t stop running, you can’t!

    When you’re within arm’s reach of the door, a cold hand snatches your ankle…
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:08 No.18749836
    didn't the sign say they hate light?
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:08 No.18749843
    Struggle on towards the exit, be prepared to sever that hand if need be. If our wits are about us enough see what has a grip on us before attempting to sever it.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)03:08 No.18749847
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    If that's not the adrenaline burst we need to learn how to manipulate shadows around our other limbs (shadow blades and spikes on our feet to cut the assailing hand), then I don't know what is.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:09 No.18749854
    It did. Apparently they can move around it just fine though.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:10 No.18749861
    They do. That's why they waited until you weren't holding the Shard to strike; you couldn't use it against them.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:11 No.18749880
    Necessity and innovation and all that jazz. Agreed. We haven't attempted any shadow manipulation against this thing yet. We may be able to sever the shadow or even wrest control of whatever is hindering us.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:13 No.18749883
    Everything gets heavy as you feel your strength leave you… your legs get sluggish; your shoulders cry out in pain under Naliah’s weight, it hurts to breathe… Is it going to end this way? Consumed by what you thought you could control? Is this what Sifu was always afraid of? Losing yourself to the darkness?

    You don’t have time for questions. You need to save Naliah. This isn’t for you anymore, it’s for her… you’ve got enough strength to maybe throw her out of the temple, but it’d be suicide. Maybe, just maybe you can both still make it if you press on, but… it’s so hard…
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:14 No.18749894
    Or maybe there’s a third option…
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)03:17 No.18749927
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    Perhaps you didn't hear me the first time.

    As >>18749880 said, necessity begets innovation. Just because we can form shadow tools with our hands doesn't mean those tools can't be projected by other means that are still connected to us. They are still an extension of us, regardless of where they form.

    We form a blade of shadow along the length of the sole of our unrestrained foot, and we stomp on the hand that holds us, cutting us free.

    Because this is some bullshit on a level that has yet to be comprehended. It's our job to be alive so that we eventually can comprehend exactly how much bullshit this endeavor has been.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:19 No.18749936
    Push through it. Hard is living every day of your life in harsh training. Hard is fighting off sheer terror that can make a man's head explode. Hard is climbing a sheer cliff with nothing but your skill and and some luck to fight a monster made of stone, steal an artifact of untold power and run for your life over the course of several days. This? This is just running a few dozen yards with a teenage girl over your shoulder. If you died because you couldn't even complete a simple sprint while laden with the weight of one girl you'd never be able to face sifu in the after life. So suck it up and push on through!
    /internal drill sergeant
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)03:19 No.18749945
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    On another note, SIFU TONG DIDN'T RAISE NO PUSSY. We may be his son through adoption, but there's damn good reason why he chose us to be the heir to the Fist of Shadow. You don't become heir to a powerful esoteric style by whining and complaining about every little hardship. There is no such thing as "human limits."

    So long as the soul is willing, the body will never tire.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:20 No.18749954
    Here. Also this: >>18749927
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)03:26 No.18749997
         File: 1334647599.jpg-(49 KB, 354x279, Kamen_Rider_Stronger.jpg)
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    As the recently-departed Kamen Rider Stronger put it:
    >"I am stronger today than I was yesterday. I will be stronger tomorrow than I am today.
    >"'Strongest?' That word doesn't exist to me."
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:35 No.18750050
    Sifu told you once that the step between student and master is complete control over one’s own shadow. That one’s innate connection with their own darkness would be able to produce edges sharper than any blade, arrows stronger than any steel, armor unable to be pierced by the greatest lance. This unseverable connection would save any follow of the Fist of Shadow many times over, and would become its greatest ally, always at its side, stronger than any foe, prepared for anything. All it takes is enough willpower.

    You know you have enough will for this. You search deep inside of you for that spark that Sifu instructed you laid in the souls of every true man, the light that ignites power, the candle that flickers eternally. The brightest light leaves the longest shadow. Wrestling in your very essence, you dive, frantically looking for it. You know it’s there. It’s always been there.

    You see it! Far off, beyond everything inside of you. You dive further, swatting aside your doubts. Your fears assail you, your terror of failure, your phobia of being unworthy, and they bounce off of you uselessly. As you stretch out your arm to grasp it, an arm grasps at the back of your skull, telling you that you’ve lost, that Sifu should’ve picked a better student, a better son, a better man. Telling you that Naliah should’ve left you to die, that you could never be enough for her, or anyone. Telling you that you’re not good enough. You ignore it as you wrap your hands around the light…
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:36 No.18750052
    Your shadow bursts into action, throwing off everything around you, shredding through the darkness, more powerful than it! Legs stronger than ever, you sprint at speeds so fast that you can hardly see straight! You pierce through the wall of shadows in a split second, as the ground, the walls, the shadows furiously quake and scream at your survival. Nothing could stop you from saving Naliah. Just as you breath in the cool night air that your lungs so desperately deserve, the massively thick wooden doors behind you swing shut in a rage.
    Digging your legs deep into the dirt, you arrive to a stop, panting wildly. You did it. You actually did it.
    Just like you knew you would.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)03:38 No.18750069
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    Not so much for Naliah as for ourselves, but yeah.
    Mission accomplished. Kinda.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:39 No.18750077
    What can I say, Shun's a selfless guy. When people aren't dicks to him.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:40 No.18750086
    Give our selves a second to catch our breath, then tend to Naliah. If she needs them give her a dose of the berries and see if it helps at all.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:45 No.18750136
    You pant, and pant, and pant until you’re finally okay enough to move. You set Naliah on the ground and look her over. Despite her paleness, none of the blood she’s drenched in actually looks like it’s hers. That’s… good, you think. You shake her a little to try and get her to stir. Her eyes twitch and flutter open. Dark eyes look into yours as she says, “Shun? What… what happened? All I remember was seeing you open a door and then… nothing. It was really weird.” You smirk as you begin to relay what happened while she was blacked out…

    (You can now control your own shadow. Shadows made from your own are stronger than normal ones, but are in less quantity for now. Self-Shadow manipulation is required for high level techniques.)
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)03:48 No.18750158
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    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:48 No.18750159
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    And on that note, I'm bringing tonight's quest to a close. It's archived here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/18739874/

    As always, I'd love some feedback and I'll be more than happy to answer questions.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:48 No.18750164
    That's definitely something we'll want to cultivate. Now we just gotta figure out where we are...
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:48 No.18750168
    i don't suppose we can go back for the shard later?
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)03:50 No.18750181
    So this was your exercise in setting tone? A horror episode?
    I'd say for our own safety, that Shard is lost to the ether. Then again, it's right inside the doorway, so who knows?
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:50 No.18750182
    When we're more powerful we may as well go back for both if the opportunity arises.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:51 No.18750192
    It's probably not a good idea to go back into the place that almost swallowed you whole.

    Besides, it would make giving you a choice to leave it or take it pointless if you could just go back and grab it now.

    Yup. I wanted to do horror in the jungle, but I wasn't quite sure how to do that with the setting I had written out, so I said fuck it and just went full on Eternal Darkness WTF mode.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:53 No.18750204
    And shit guys, you've foiled my plans. I was going to have Naliah die horribly here, but you just had to be selfless, didn't you? Now instead of ending the quest on a somber note, we're stuck with some FUCK YEAH.

    Dammit /tg/.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:53 No.18750213
    I'd say the shard's in the safest place possible right now in terms of storage. The expedition of the dawn may be able to track it to the temple, but I doubt they can do anything to get it. Also, now that the shard is no longer with you I don't think they can track you anymore since it would appear that they track shards, not people. Also, the entities within the temple can't get at it since it radiates light.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:57 No.18750240
    Found the quest in the archives, and I'm glad I was able to make it for the end of this one. I don't remember seeing it so forgive me if it's already been asked but why don't you use the /tg/ dice roller? Just curious really.

    Horror isn't usually my bag, so I'm glad that it looks like the story will get back to kung fu fightan and more adventure.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)03:59 No.18750263

    Rolling my own dice allows me to fudge it for dramatic reasons.
    I'm not sure if it good or bad, but I haven't messed with any rolls that mattered too much. I fucked around with things like if you hit the Squat in your first fight or not. I figured it would be a good way to show off its extreme hardiness and regeneration, at least in a better way than having some animal do it.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)03:59 No.18750268
    Kudos to you for rolling with it my man. That's a big plus in my book [for what it's worth].
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)04:01 No.18750288
    I'm not much of a railroader. I've seen too many bad stories on /tg/ and from my friends to walk that road on purpose.

    Besides, players fucking over my plans just makes things better for both of us: you get to feel important because your actions actually have consequences, and I have to find new ways to deal with your actions (and fuck ups).
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)04:06 No.18750324

    Ah I see. So on a scale of 1-10 where would shun be in regard to his mastery of the Fist of Shadow? Have we ever seen Sifu do really crazy shit with it?

    Sounds good.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)04:07 No.18750338
    Shun's at the high end of a 2, low end of 3. He hasn't *seen* Sifu do any crazy shit, but he's certainly heard stories. Like that one time he walked on his own shadow from a cliff to a tower to murder a corrupt noble.

    Crazy shit, bro.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)04:11 No.18750374
    Last question from me for the night. Would it be possible for us to look at advanced skills in the training manual to see what foundations we need to acquire them? It may help us pick when we learn a new technique.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)04:11 No.18750379
    Sure. I'll write them up for the next quest.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)04:14 No.18750409
    Sounds awesome. It's been a fun read so far. Keep up the good work man. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the world as Shun explores it.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)04:15 No.18750415
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    And I'm looking forward to writing it.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)04:22 No.18750472
    I know you're out there, Martial Arts Artist. I've grown to expect more than one question from you, but I'm getting tired. Drop a question/feedback and I'll answer/read it in the morning.

    And that goes for everyone reading this. I'll see you guys Friday afternoon for the next thread.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)04:23 No.18750483
    Not much out of me tonight.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)04:24 No.18750495
    Not sure how to feel about that.
    I'll take it as either I did good, or you're also really tired.
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)04:27 No.18750515
    Just thinking about how Naliah clashes with Shun's sensibilities. I would imagine Shun doesn't turn into a slobbering dog in front of her, even if she's the first female his age she's met. I wasn't expecting a perky martial artist who travels "for kicks" and doesn't put much stock in her style.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)04:28 No.18750535
    I agree, actually. I wrote her as a one-off character who was slated to die, but I guess now I have to actually give her a character.
    Oh well, I don't have a problem with that.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)04:30 No.18750554
    Nah, nah, that's all right. You can say she decides to part company. Say the hooplah in the temple gave her perspective on things and that she needs to reevaluate. I have no issue with swapping her out. We just saved her because it was the right thing to do.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)04:31 No.18750566
    A good idea.
    We'll see. I'll have to think about what to do with her...
    >> Martial Arts Artist 04/17/12(Tue)04:32 No.18750578
    That was me, FYI. I keep taking off the name in other threads and forgetting to put it back on.
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)04:33 No.18750587
    Yeah, I've been there.
    Welp, time for bed. 12 hours of this stuff really grates on you.

    See you assholes Friday.
    >> Anonymous 04/17/12(Tue)07:51 No.18751582

    How did I miss this thread yesterday!?
    >> Student !!+u5zzp0LPDj 04/17/12(Tue)12:21 No.18753315
    I dunno, especially since we were up all day.

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