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File 170520257653.jpg - (463.18KB , 800x600 , cadvere 00.jpg )
1080954 No. 1080954 ID: 5ebd37

(Will contain gore violence and death)

This winter has been harsh.
The snows started in September, by mid October the woods were buried.
Now the new year has brought the worst storm yet, and the dim sun overhead reflects the waning hope of those huddled around fading hearths clutching empty bowls.
55 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1082630 ID: dc13c4

The very moment you stop moving you become easy prey, help out the wounded friend, and keep moving.
>>
No. 1083098 ID: 5ebd37
File 170761482346.jpg - (327.88KB , 800x600 , cadvere 12 long and full of spiders.jpg )
1083098

Inspecting the body, you can see the light fade out of its sunken eyes. Just as well, the prospect of carrying around a bat's head as a lantern seemed harrowing. You examine the glowing fluid that pools below the corpse. The cloudy liquid seems to glow brighter as it is exposed to the air, but it's also hissing and scorching the floorboard. You start to check your bag for something to poke it with, when you are startled as Jasper staggers up beside you. The shaken mouse thrusts the stick from his former lamp into the fluid until the end smokes and sparks. Your ears have recovered enough to hear, though not enough to hear the mice's footsteps.

Horace climbs to his feet, clutching his sack tightly with his one good arm. Jasper taps your arm "Can ye hear me?" You nod "Right, forget what I was saying before, we're making a run fer it. That passage there is a straight shot ter the exit. Ye get to the end, up through the wall, out the window. If we're not still with ye, go left round the corner, the woodshed has our mates." Jasper cocks an ear as you can barely make out the sounds of many legs scuttling closer. The mouse shudders and looks you dead in the eye. "We're off. Ye want to be on point, or taking the rear, stranger?"
>>
No. 1083101 ID: 64faaa

There's probably more danger in front. So take the lead, so you can give warning & try to keep the injured guy safe.
>>
No. 1083147 ID: dc13c4

Maybe falling behind because you are in better shape to defend yourself, at least they are familiar with this place and if something much stronger does start to chase you just have to be faster than the slowest member of your group. Be the shield but also be a calculative person, know when you can survive a fight and when you need to cut and run.
>>
No. 1083380 ID: 681cb5

Go in the middle of the group. Safest that way
>>
No. 1083428 ID: b3eab7

Take point. Best you see the monsters before they close in on you.
>>
No. 1083455 ID: 5ebd37
File 170806201657.jpg - (499.69KB , 800x600 , cadvere 13 tote.jpg )
1083455

Torn with indecision and panicking, you choose not the front nor the rear, but the middle. Scooping the two mice under your arms you break into a dead run. "What the feck, ye bloody fecking-" Jasper sputters invectives, clinging to his torch. Horace is quiet, blood running down his arm to drop onto the thirsty dust of the passage.
>>
No. 1083456 ID: 5ebd37
File 170806205399.jpg - (291.24KB , 800x600 , cadvere 14 spiderfolk.jpg )
1083456

The acrid light of the sputtering torch can barely keep pace as you rush pell-mell into the gloom. The sound of many legs scuttling seems to come from all directions. A bat shrieks, and from far too close another's answer screeches out. As you pass a corridor you glimpse glowing eyes coming closer. With the strength of desperation you increase your pace.

Suddenly you are confronted by a pair of spiderfolk emerging from a side passage. Their gaunt limbs end in wicked looking metal spikes, and their heads turn towards you, glowing eyes lurid in the darkness.
>>
No. 1083458 ID: 273c18

Remember, they catch movement. Stop, get to the side of the tunnel, hide your face, let the guy throw the torch.
>>
No. 1083465 ID: 426180

Try to avoid this fight, we are in no condition to fight the two of them at the same time while having a hurt ally.
>>
No. 1083481 ID: 64faaa

>>1083458
This
>>
No. 1083712 ID: 273c18

Oh and be sure to tell your companions about the spiders, in case they didn't notice yet.
>>
No. 1083761 ID: 5ebd37
File 170840652110.jpg - (430.36KB , 800x600 , cadvere 15 down in the dust.jpg )
1083761

A cloud of dust swirls up as you dive to the side of the passage, letting your thick wolf-hair cloak cover you. As soon as he spotted the spiderfolk Jasper tossed the torch, which tumbles to the opposite side from you. Peering out from under cover, you see the creatures stand still for a second, making an odd whirring and clicking sound. They abruptly break into motion, rushing the torch and stabbing it with their sharpened limbs. Just as suddenly the spiders halt, staring at the light as the contraptions on their backs scroll and click. lifting the torch by claw-tips, it is carried back down the passage behind you, leaving you in the growing dark.

Minutes pass, marked only by the sound of distant scuttling. A pair of spiders pass you by, accompanied by a bat. The thing lets out a barely audible screech, twisting its ears towards the distant echoes, then walks right past you. Scarcely daring to breathe, the three of you huddle until the susurration of tapping claws becomes a faint murmur.
>>
No. 1083772 ID: 273c18

>>1083761
Welp, no light. Time to carefully, slowly make our way out.
>>
No. 1083829 ID: 64faaa

>>1083772
Quiet is the word of the day.
>>
No. 1083832 ID: 2f41db

>>1083761
Hold your tail from disturbing the ground and progress slowly.
Trust your whiskers.
Both rat and mouse are soft of foot.
If your and your companions nerve can hold you will find safety or be well readied for danger between you and salvation.
>>
No. 1084067 ID: 6458c7

>>1083772
I agree with this one
>>
No. 1084390 ID: 5ebd37
File 170875677694.jpg - (254.04KB , 800x600 , cadvere 16 edge of the wall.jpg )
1084390

Climbing to your feet as quietly as you can, the three of you resume your trek down the passage. The going is slow, protruding nails and jutting pipes now serious threats in this inky dark. Jasper supports Horace, holding onto your tail with his free hand, while you proceed on all fours, feeling ahead to avoid obstacles.

Your fingers brush against open air as the way ends at the interior of the wall. Noticing you've stopped, Jasper whispers "Ye reached the gap? Good, Horace we're almost home." A faint groan is the only response "Hang on Horace, we've been in worse spots 'n this. Stranger, the window is right above us. There's a gap in the wall on this side, hidden behind the curtain. We just need to get up there."

Keenly attuned to the darkness, your eyes are drawn to a slight movement off to the side. Something glowing faintly blue is bobbing its way towards you.
>>
No. 1084392 ID: 273c18

>>1084390
Blue? A fungal beast, or someone carrying one? Well, we need a light, go take a look.
>>
No. 1084394 ID: 184595

The light warrants investigation, yes, but not without word first to Horace and Jasper. They'll know if it's cause for alarm, or a sign of the presence of friends. If nothing else, they should know why you're leaving their side.
>>
No. 1084412 ID: 64faaa

>>1084394
Yeah, this
>>
No. 1084415 ID: 8452b1

That blue light always came in handy, so we should go towards it. I mean they can't all be enemies that we are dealing with, there must be other friendly faces in this cruel place.
>>
No. 1085150 ID: 5ebd37
File 170943017084.jpg - (396.25KB , 800x600 , cadvere 17 lantern light.jpg )
1085150

Peering around the corner, you can make out a figure drawing closer, wielding a blue-glowing lantern. You whisper to Jasper, asking if this is a friend. "It was supposed te be just us two today. They sent some'n else?" he replies. The figure stops, and with a sharp snap the lantern light is cut off.
>>
No. 1085152 ID: 64faaa

Uh oh.
Did they hear us?
Are they friendly?

... ask if any of Jasper's friends have blue lanterns that are fancier than a fungal-beast strapped to a stick.
If that doesn't sound familiar, whoever-it-is is probably bad news.
>>
No. 1085153 ID: 273c18

Ask them to identify themselves.
>>
No. 1085198 ID: 08b744

Well, we have been spotted, and the only thing that we can hope for is a new person to be an ally. So far all the hostiles seemed animalistic or created to act like that.
>>
No. 1085199 ID: 273c18

Oh, at least draw your sword and be ready for a fight.
>>
No. 1085926 ID: 5ebd37
File 171002192417.jpg - (645.17KB , 800x600 , cadvere 18 whos there.jpg )
1085926

You inform Jasper that the figure bore a blue lantern. "Aye, must be one'a ours, the corpses make their own light." Still cautious, you set hand to hilt as you peep around the corner again. Just as you are about to whisper-call to the stranger, the lantern snaps open in front of your face.

"Who do we have skulking around, hmm?" a soft voice mutters, hidden behind the blue glow. "Ah, Jasper and... Horace, mmm, you've met the bats haven't you? Quickly, lets ascend before they hear us." The figure raises the light to illuminate the wall, showing a fairly easy climb up the laths.

Jasper helps Horace onto your back, and the two of you hurriedly make your way up. The newcomer follows, hanging the lantern from their tail as they climb.
>>
No. 1085927 ID: 5ebd37
File 171002204918.jpg - (412.56KB , 800x600 , cadvere 19 on the sill.jpg )
1085927

Emerging from a hole in the wall, you find yourself clinging to a thick curtain. Following Jasper, you climb until you reach the window sill. Outside the wind howls in the inky night, and snow swirls in through a broken pane to form a small drift.

The rat climbs onto the sill, and you finally get a good look at her. Her mantle and garb are of the deep woods style, but the weapon sheathed at her hip appears to be a repurposed needle of human make. She eyes you appraisingly, and grants a slight nod. "Well, you at least look capable. The wind should mask our voices, so its safe to talk here." She pulls out a length of bandage and sets to stanching Horace's bleeding shoulder. Jasper is peeking through a hole in the curtain to the silent room beyond.

"My name is Surrep. We haven't had a newcomer in quite some time. Tell me, who are you and what brings you to this wretched place?"
>>
No. 1085938 ID: 64faaa

"Things are wretched outside too, at least where I came from. A hungry winter. At least human places have food."
>>
No. 1085943 ID: 2d3b3d

Time to get some answers to what is happening here! Things are trying to kill and some of them look like they were constructed by somebody.
>>
No. 1085944 ID: dd3fe0

Humans are unpredictable. But as individuals, they can be allies, if capricious ones, can they not? Especially if you engage their nurturing instincts? They are capable of rational thought and moral choice and real communication, no? Even if they tend towards horrible cultures and madness.

...Right?
>>
No. 1086034 ID: 184595

It's quit relieving to see a friendly face after the terror in the earlier passage. Give thanks that Horace's wound can be tended so quickly.

Offer the truth: you are Tem'rty of Gravel Pit Nest in the meadow. Winter's privations have driven you and its other young rats to abandon the nest, and you've found this place in your search for a reliable store of food.
>>
No. 1086035 ID: eb0a9c

"Winter has come, and my clan is starving."
>>
No. 1086738 ID: 5ebd37
File 171082675672.jpg - (430.69KB , 800x600 , cadvere 20 rats at the door.jpg )
1086738

Introducing yourself as Tem'rty of the Gravel Pit Nest, you succinctly relate your family's plight, and your hope that a source of food could be found here.

"A story much like mine, I'm afraid." Surrep says "My family hail from the Shale Ledge Nest, before it collapsed under the weight of the snow. We dug most of us out, but without our food stores we were forced to wander. Eventually we followed the old rumors to this house, to look for old food, or fungal beasts feeding on the rot."
>>
No. 1086739 ID: 5ebd37
File 171082679899.jpg - (472.94KB , 800x600 , cadvere 21 they drop down.jpg )
1086739

It waited until we were all in the entry hall, then it sprang its trap. Lamps flared to life, blinding us. A voice screaming "Capture them! Bring them home!" Dozens and dozens of corpses, strung up like puppets, dressed in ridiculous costumes but bearing very real weapons, descended upon us.
>>
No. 1086740 ID: 5ebd37
File 171082684275.jpg - (386.71KB , 800x600 , cadvere 22 the doormen.jpg )
1086740

Some broke for the door, a few even managed to get out, but there came a screaming of crows, and I don't expect they got away. I made a run with a group for the doors opposite, when I heard someone calling. Some mice were showing us the hole under the stairs. We got under the floor just as the hall doors opened, and we scurried away as heavy footsteps strode over us.
>>
No. 1086741 ID: 5ebd37
File 171082687726.jpg - (330.39KB , 800x600 , cadvere 23 a prison.jpg )
1086741

"The mice lead us to the woodshed, where other survivors were hiding. And so we've been trapped here, for three, maybe four months? Getting by on what beasts we can hunt in the walls without drawing attention." Surrep finishes bandaging Horace, who is looking pale but a little better.

Jasper rejoins the group "Horace n' I came much the same way, only our group was lookin for th treasure. A year on and we've yet to find a glint of it." the mouse sighs, "If this was a ghost story we'd tell ye 'and those who try to leave are never seen again', but not so. We do see em again, dangling from those bleedin strings like the rest of em."

If you hadn't seen those monsters below with your own eyes, you would never believe these disturbing accounts. It is not only the raging wind that makes you shiver, as you consider these dire circumstances you find yourself in.
>>
No. 1086744 ID: 273c18

>>1086741
There must be someone controlling the corpse puppets. Kill them, and the house will be much safer.
>>
No. 1086748 ID: af6d69

>>1086741
Just how much longer will this winter last? Cause if we weren't facing starvation outside I'd suggest we just GTFO
>>
No. 1086786 ID: 0a23c8

I am more concerned that this puppet master wanted for all of you to become residents of its home. That is even worse than just wanting to kill or eat you, so how many of the others who are friendly and willing to fight are in here to help us? We have a target and we just need to get to it.
>>
No. 1086794 ID: 64faaa

>>1086744
This would be good.
Or sabotage the mechanisms, though I assume they've thought of that already.

>>1086748
I think they just said that most critters that try to leave end up as puppets? So it's probably harder than it seems.
Maybe the guard we saw outside is meant to keep critters in, not out.
... if that's the case, there's probably a lot more guards or traps that we passed without noticing on the way in. They just didn't go off because we were headed farther in.
>>
No. 1086810 ID: 184595

If all who leave meet a death and then a mockery of their living selves, there is nothing but to stand against the evil in the house. Join forces with these brave rats, and strive to vanquish whatever malevolence is animating these abominations.
>>
No. 1087195 ID: 5ebd37
File 171148969507.jpg - (494.77KB , 800x600 , cadvere 24 differing goals.jpg )
1087195

You question whether the house is really so inescapable. "Alright, mebbe some of em got away, but not many." Jasper concedes, "There's somethin on th roof that watches, and if it spots ye leavin sends crows after ye. Doesn't seem to look under the eaves though, so stick to the wall if ye go out."

"Anyway, there's no leaving while this winter lasts. Not a nibble for miles it sounds." You admit, you're nearly starving. Jasper elbows you conspiratorially, "Aye, but we've got a plan! The master of this house, whatever it is, it eats human food. Ev'ry month it sends it's servant to the town and comes back with a cart o' vittles. Cheeses, dried meats, crackers and jams, enough to last the likes of us for a year! Iffen we can just get a safe route to the pantry our problems will be over."

Surrep scoffs, "There is no safety here until the master lies dead. We must avenge our kin, and end that monster's reign!" Jasper rounds on her, "I've told ye missy, no one's been past the second floor! The guard in th walls is double what's down ere, and whatever they're doin in th rooms its got the master's attention full time. Whatever's in that attic must be ten times worse."

"And you would have us just hide? While more poor souls swell its ranks? Those bats will be listening in all the walls now, it's only a matter of time before they find where we hide." she counters. "We must act quickly to save all our skins." The pair glares at each other, though thankfully neither reaches for their weapons.
>>
No. 1087199 ID: 273c18

Hmm... I think the pantry is the answer to both problems. If we can gain access to it, we can get some food, but also it provides a safe route to the boss. If we can sneak in among the dinner plates then we can kill the leader at mealtime.
>>
No. 1087200 ID: 273c18

Oh, or maybe we can POISON the enemy's food!
>>
No. 1087203 ID: eb0a9c

We need to find out why the Master of the house wants prey rather than servants. Everyone in this group is, in some form or another, a mercenary desperate for food and pay. If the Master simply paid everyone, they'd have an army ready to conquer the province by the end of Fall!

Knowing this may give us insight into how we can end their reign.
>>
No. 1087219 ID: 7c1f1c

There's no need to pick a side at the moment; we're still in enemy territory. Offer a calm word, and mention that all the talk of food has reminded you that you'd very much like to get to where there's a bite to eat, if that's alright.

Long-term, our goal should be stability. If we choose the path of revolution, and prioritize overthrowing the master of the house, we risk sacrificing the source of the food that is our ultimate object. The most gainful plan would be not only to remove, but to usurp the master, and use the same powers the master does to keep the food flowing.
>>
No. 1087222 ID: ff1372

>>1087195
Hey calm down everyone, regardless of your disagreements fighting eachother will just make things worse. Save your energy for the things that are already trying to kill us all.
>>
No. 1087319 ID: 2c00c3

I got an idea, why don't we just try to hide on the vehicle of the servant and they can give a ride to the place where the food comes from. Better to be there than here where somebody is currently hunting us.
>>
No. 1088126 ID: 5ebd37
File 171246220129.jpg - (473.39KB , 800x600 , cadvere 25 the wind blows harsh.jpg )
1088126

Stepping between the two, you tell them they both raise good points, but its not worth coming to blows over. Also you're starving and Horace is injured. The pair move apart, looking chagrined.

"A-aye, we've dallied long enough." Jasper grumbles, "Stick close, we have to head outside so's nothing follows us. Over here, lets go."

Thick flakes streak past the window as you peer out into the night. At the edge of the pale lamplight a long string is tacked, whipping in the strong wind. Jasper grabs it and ties the end around Horace. The three of you struggle against the storm to lower the injured mouse to the ground without letting him bash against the house. Once he is safely down he braces against the wall to hold the string steady as you all shimmy down.

The storm rages. Even with the lantern you cannot see more than a foot in front of you. Keeping one hand to the wall, you are lead around the corner of the house and into the slumping woodshed.
>>
No. 1088127 ID: 5ebd37
File 171246223739.jpg - (507.90KB , 800x600 , cadvere 26 woodshed camp.jpg )
1088127

Inside you find the first warmth you've felt in a long time. A handful of ragged tents surround a cheerily crackling fire, stoked in an old tin lid. The harsh wailing of the wind is cut off as Surrep pushes the loose plank back into place. They lead you over to the hearth where a hedgehog sits, staring into the flames.
>>
No. 1088128 ID: 5ebd37
File 171246227414.jpg - (565.36KB , 800x600 , cadvere 27 Afton.jpg )
1088128

The grizzled urchin looks up at your approach. "Hrrm, finally back you two? Seems you found something at least." Rising, he offers you a hand which you clasp firmly. The one-eyed hog offers an approving grin. "Heh heh hrm, a fighter eh? A hunter? That's good, yeh might last a while. Name's Afton, been here longer'n anyone else." You introduce yourself, but before you can continue the conversation Horace staggers on his feet and drops his sack. Afton steadies him and looks at the mouse's injured shoulder. "Hrmm, got yerself a bite there young Horace? Come along, we've a bit of poultice left." The hedgehog lifts the mouse like a child and carries him off to one of the tents. Jasper follows, pausing to call to you "Thank ye for yer help tonight. I owe ye one. Good night."
>>
No. 1088129 ID: 5ebd37
File 171246231537.jpg - (608.69KB , 800x600 , cadvere 28 cooking fungos.jpg )
1088129

Surrep sits down beside the fire and opens the abandoned sack. Pulling out the fungal beasts held within, she arranges them along the edge of the tin. The sizzle and the smell have your hungry guts twisting, but you manage to hold back while they cook.

To take your mind off the hunger you discuss ways of getting to the mysterious master of the house. You ask why not simply poison its meal, or sneak up with it. She shakes her head "The kitchen is well guarded, with both the glow-eyes and the puppets active at mealtimes. They have some kind of little room that rises up to deliver the food, and it always has at least four armed rats on it. The pantry is no better. I don't know how Jasper plans to get in, the walls there are solid wood, not plaster like the others."

Surrep stares into the swirling sparks that dance over the simmering fungus. "We might not have a choice soon. The beasts are getting harder to find. This lot won't even feed half of us." she jabs at the cooking lumps, steam escaping from within. You ask about stowing away on the cart to escape. She frowns "It would be difficult, the cart is open with nowhere to hide, and the trip takes days." her expression hardens "My family won't be leaving, not until we have vengeance."

The smell is unbearably appetizing as Surrep finally stabs the fungals with her needle and moves them to a wooden trencher to cool. "Wait here a moment" She takes one beast back to the entrance and sticks it out into the frigid storm for few seconds. Returning to the fire she hands it to you. "Since you helped bring them back, you get one to yourself." You tear into the spongy flesh in a rush, abandoning manners in your ravenous need. Surrep takes a smaller piece for her own dinner.

A piece of wood crackles and collapses as you finish your meals. "You must be tired after your long journey. There's an empty blanket in our tent that you're welcome to. Anything else to discuss before we retire for the night?"
>>
No. 1088134 ID: eb0a9c

"Do you think the actual owner of this house would tolerate servant mice?"
>>
No. 1088135 ID: 273c18

>>1088129
Have they explored every unguarded room of the house?
>>
No. 1088274 ID: 9c049c

>>1088134

On that topic can we try to communicate with him, wright him a letter or create a drawing in order to tell him that we are willing to work along with that person. It is clear that the puppet master has a respect for you all since the corpses are dressed in human-looking cloths.
>>
No. 1088276 ID: 9c049c
File 171261116035.jpg - (30.53KB , 150x123 , 171246223739.jpg )
1088276

On a more lighter note I just can't get enough of this thing. Who is even pulling it, what is inside of it how was it built? So many questions for that little thing.
>>
No. 1088355 ID: 184595

There's the matter of food. You want to make sure that you won't be a burden, and that you'll be able to earn your keep going forward.
>>
No. 1089092 ID: 5ebd37
File 171341989310.jpg - (583.73KB , 800x600 , cadvere 29 sleepy now.jpg )
1089092

Feeling a little guilty at having downed a substantial portion of food, you ask about earning your keep. "We could definitely use another hunter." she replies "Talk to Afton in the morning. He's nominally in charge and organizes the hunting. Also he likes to get to know newcomers. He'll introduce you to the others, show you a map of the house."

You nod along sleepily, trying to think of anything else important that needs asked. You mumble something about just working for the puppet master. The look of appalled disgust Surrep shoots you would crush your little heart, but you're too busy slumping slowly backwards to see it. "Hey hey, don't fall asleep yet!" she hisses as you thump onto the ground "Hey, I'm not carrying you to bed." But it's too late, as the fatigue of many day's walking drags you down into quiet unconsciousness.
>>
No. 1089093 ID: 5ebd37
File 171341992896.jpg - (686.22KB , 800x600 , cadvere 30 sad news for bats.jpg )
1089093

Sounds of activity rouse you from your dreamless slumber. Blearily you sit up, finding yourself still beside the fire. Your thick cloak has been draped over you, and your long knife set carefully aside.

The mood in camp is dour, but not as bleak as you would have expected. Mice are moving about the camp, doing various chores. Up on the wood pile a pair are wielding a crude crosscut saw to take small pieces off one of the logs. With a clunk another pair deposit a tub full of snow by the fire. They eye you and whisper together, but don't approach.

You spot the hedgehog Afton among the bustle, head and shoulders above the smaller rodents. A pair of young bats are talking to him. As you watch Afton looks at them sadly and slowly shakes his head.
At this, the pair slump like puppets with cut strings. The smaller one starts weeping, keening in a pitch that scrapes the upper range of your hearing. The older bat stiffly leads them away, moving like all the life has been drained from them. Placing the younger on their back, the bat climbs up to the highest shelf and disappears. Afton shakes his head sadly once more, and spotting you, walks over.

"Morning, young Tem'rty. Hope ye slept well, as there's another hard day ahead of us.
>>
No. 1089094 ID: 5ebd37
File 171341995884.jpg - (647.43KB , 800x600 , cadvere 31 first floor map.jpg )
1089094

Afton leads you into one of the tents where hardened looking mice and rats are strapping on hunting equipment. A few shrews are running a grindstone, sharpening knives and repairing straps. Surrep is here, discussing something with her fellow rats in hushed tones.

The hedgehog brings you to a makeshift table where some rough maps and diagrams are arranged. "Don't know if ye have any experience with human's houses, but this'ns not much different, just bigger. Ye've the garb of a hunter, so I hope we can count on ye. We've mapped out most of the first floor, take a look 'ere"

1: The library: There are fungos feeding on the books, and the window makes for a quick escape. Tis usually quiet, but teams of puppets will occasionally come to take a book or clear out the fungos, so stay alert.

2: The entry and main hall: Empty, and sometimes patrolled by the glow eyed ones. Best to avoid unless ye need to bypass the underfloor.

3: The dining room: This is where we usually hunt. There's a rottin feast up on the table, but the fungos are runnin a mite thin lately. And keep quiet, the master gets upset when 'e catches folks here.

4: The kitchen: Puppets work here at mealtimes, but even when they're dormant there's glow eyes on guard. Some sort of moving platform takes food up to the higher floors. There's a pantry too, but ye'd never make it to the door without gettin caught. And don't expect any help for any foolishness, just don't mess with this room.

5: The water closet: Not much, a human toilet and sink, some cleaning chemicals. The tiled walls keep the fungos out, so no reason to go there.

6:The lounge: Some human furniture, that's about it. Might be some fungos, and the only time puppets show up is when they're carryin a book from the library. Probably the safest place to hunt.

7: The servant's quarters: Moldering beds with plenty of fungos to catch. The human servant stays in here, but he's away for at least the next several days. There's also the stairs to the basement, but keep out. The stone walls down there mean ye'd be out in the open with no easy escape.

"So" he claps you on the back "where would ye like to hunt?"
>>
No. 1089097 ID: 273c18

Huh, is it *possible* to work for the puppet master while still alive? Maybe someone could infiltrate their ranks, and serve as a double agent?

>>1089094
If the fungos are getting thin in the dining room then they're being overhunted. Gotta hunt somewhere else today.
...the chemicals from the bathroom might be potentially useful for a plan of some sort. Which chemicals are they? For instance, we could kill a human by mixing specific chemicals together in a place where the fumes would reach the room they're in, and sabotaging the exit so they can't get out.

The library is a good place to hunt today, I think. Might even find a book worth reading.
>>
No. 1089102 ID: e36f14

>>1089094
Quick question has anyone considered burrowing a hole into the shaft the moving platform goes through and swiping food as it travels, I assume no guards go with the plates.
>>
No. 1089172 ID: 7c1f1c

I think the servant's quarters are probably the best place to hunt. If this is a place we don't typically have access to, it's good to profit from it while the opportunity is still there.
>>
No. 1089239 ID: d2faab

Just have a question do any of you know how to write human language? To leave the message for the puppet master, will he freak out if he sees that we can talk with him. As for the hunting go for the servant's quarters.
>>
No. 1089720 ID: 5ebd37
File 171410242145.jpg - (585.06KB , 800x600 , cadvere 32 watch yourself.jpg )
1089720

The servant's quarters strikes you as the most likely place, if it's usually inaccessible. Afton nods "Aye, Most of the other teams will be hunting there as well. Got to get in while we can. There aren't any puppets in there but be careful, the glow eyes may patrol through, or hear ye from the kitchen."

The library doesn't seem like the best place to hunt today, but it intrigues you nonetheless. Reading is a skill in short supply in the forest, and you know but a little. You ask if any here know the ways of words. "Not many" Afton replies "But yer in luck, we have a scholar among us. A chemist even." the hedgehog directs your gaze to a small mouse in a big coat. "Just joined us last month. Iffn ye need anything to do with the alchemic craft, Lisel's your woman. She'd probably love having someone actually listen about salts n' fumes n' whatnot."

You wonder whether food could be stolen or poisoned on its way up. Afton shakes his head "We did steal some once, a long while ago. That's why the bastard keeps four guards on the thing at all times now." Considering how locked down the mysterious master of the house has everything, you ask about the possibility of contacting them, offering service in exchange for clemency.

The grizzled urchin grabs you by the shoulder and fixes his one good eye on you. "Yer a woods lad, so I wouldn't expect ye to know, but ye don't muck around with humans. First thing ye learn as a house raider, and I've seen enough good men n' women die that didn't heed the adage; 'keep hidden, keep alive'. They're fickle things, humans, and they'll as soon kill ye as look at ye. And this one's madder than any I've known, so don't ye dare bring 'is ire upon this refuge, got it?" Faced with his unrelenting glare, you cautiously nod. "Good lad. Now ye'll need t'partner up with someone, seein' as ye don't know these walls yet. Why don't ye ask around?"

Around you the other hunters are finishing up their preparations. Surrep has moved away from her group and is having her needle sharpened. The tent entrance brushes open and Jasper slouches in, looking like he's had a long night. Across the room, Lisel is eyeing you appraisingly. Seems like you have time to talk to one person before it's time to head out.
>>
No. 1089727 ID: 2b8229

Well if Lisel is eyeing you time to eye her back. Go and talk to her you fool.
>>
No. 1089728 ID: 7c1f1c

Lisel is the most interesting. I want to hear what sort of alchemy she can do, and understand better what she would most desire from a raid on the house. If we can help her advance her craft, her elixirs so advanced might prove to make life easier for everyone.
>>
No. 1089892 ID: 5ebd37
File 171427683067.jpg - (511.71KB , 800x600 , cadvere 33 science mouse.jpg )
1089892

Lisel peers at you through thick glass goggles as you approach. The white-furred mouse extends a slim hand from her voluminous sleeve to shake yours. "Tem'rty was it? Pleased to meet you." Glancing around, she drops to a whisper "I couldn't help but overhear, you are curious about the murderous master of this manor? That is an interest we share, my friend. We can talk more when we have a bit of privacy, but suffice to say, this house holds secrets that I have come a long way to obtain."

She reaches into her cuff and retrieves a pair of vials. "In the meantime, I have a few tinctures that, applied to your blade, should provide effects you will find most pleasing. This one" she shakes the greenish goop "has a stunning effect on fungal creatures. It is rather adhesive though, so not as useful in a fight." The other vial has a silvery fluid. "And this one slicks edges for smoother stabbing. It may make chopping a bit harder though, it has not been fully tested. So, would you like to try one?"
>>
No. 1089906 ID: 462d8c

Try the silvery fluid
>>
No. 1089917 ID: 184595

We're hunting fungal creatures; let us take the green goop.

If we want to make a secret ally of her, then it would do us well to make a gesture of goodwill. Ask what she's interested in finding within the mansion, and offer to keep a lookout for it during your hunting.
>>
No. 1089931 ID: d37872

greenish goop, getting stunned in video games is so annoying so use that for a hit and run strategy.
>>
No. 1090494 ID: 5ebd37
File 171511203382.jpg - (627.46KB , 800x600 , cadvere 34 applied chemsitry.jpg )
1090494

You choose the paralytic solution and offer your long knife. Lisel dabs a bit of the green slime onto a rag and methodically presses it along your weapon's edge. "There, give it a few minutes to set. And mind you don't go and lick it, though it smells refreshingly of mint." The two of you take a seat along the tent wall and observe the bustle while you wait. You remark that this is your first time being among other animals. The elders would do the talking those few times that travelers came by your small nest.

"Well you are in good company among these fine folk." the chemist replies "Given the harsh circumstances they have done exceedingly well." She sniffs "Hah, you woodlanders can be a downright odd lot though. Those tinker shrews, they seem to operate half on craft and the other half on mysticism. And the bugfolk!" You look at her quizzically "Ah, you wouldn't have met her yet; there is a moth priestess here. Up on the high shelf she keeps to herself, sending her beetle guards out to hunt. Apparently they are here to rescue their princess." At that you have to scoff. A princess, from one of the legendarily reclusive bug kingdoms, here? Lisel grins at your disbelief "I have not seen any sign of this being true, but to rescue a princess, why, surely that would give you access to their lands. They say some of the insectfolk produce strange substances within their own bodies. I would so love to investigate that for myself. Ah, well. The solutions ought to be set by now." she rubs the edge of the knife and nods, handing it back to you.
>>
No. 1090495 ID: 5ebd37
File 171511207529.jpg - (553.23KB , 800x600 , cadvere 35 the library.jpg )
1090495

The dim light of day greets you as you follow the other hunters out of the woodshed. Last night's storm has died down to a gentle drift of flakes, though the sky remains a desolate gray. You and Lisel lag behind the others, as the little chemist struggles through the deep snow. Sound carries in the still and frozen air, distant crunching alerting you to the presence of a wolf, its hulking shape intimidating even at this distance. You watch as it patrols through the trees, your eye following the dark line that tethers it to the house.

The pair of you catch up to the others outside the library window. Single file you shimmy up the rough cord to the sill and make your way inside. The pallid light filtering through the dusty windows barely penetrates the room, stacks of shelves looming above and stretching far into the gloom.

While the other hunters start making their way down to the floor, Lisel nudges you and then makes a show of patting her pockets. "Oh dear, I seem to be all out of carbolic and lye powder. I'm just going to borrow Tem'rty and gather some at the washroom. We will meet up with you at the hunting ground." The other hunters wave her off, and she leads you down into the tangled stacks. Once you are halfway across the room she pulls a small lantern from her sleeve, twisting a knob to fill it with a harsh white light. "Now we have a bit of privacy, we can discuss how we might help one another not just survive, but wrest the secrets from this rotten manse."
>>
No. 1090571 ID: c6a1d6

Alright if she is interested in secrets may she start out by telling her own. To be honest I don't know if your character has any secrets worth telling.
>>
No. 1090615 ID: d87606

Our mission is to gain easy access to unlimited food. We're skilled with a knife, and experienced in hunting; once we learn the ways of this place, we'll be able to raid places others wouldn't dare. If she can promise to help us analyze how the puppets are controlled, then we can promise to fetch her materials the others won't get for her.
>>
No. 1090622 ID: 273c18

>>1090495
Oh? That sounds interesting. What places hold secrets of interest?
>>
No. 1091113 ID: 5ebd37
File 171592686746.jpg - (498.16KB , 800x600 , cadvere 36 stalking the stacks.jpg )
1091113

The stacks tower over you as you follow Lisel across the dusty floor. Abandoned puppets can be seen, perched on shelves or dangling limp. Their lifeless eyes nonetheless leave you feeling uncomfortably watched.

You walk along, pondering what you could offer this odd mouse, and what you need from her. The sound of your footsteps is eaten away by the dense carpet, the air itself seeming to close in on you, until you speak just to break the dreadful silence. You recount a bit of your family's plight, how you need to find a source of food if they are to have any hope to survive, and time is not on your side.

"Ill times indeed" Lisel commiserates "If you will but aid my research, I'll do all I can to assist your quest. Allow me to explain why I'm here."
>>
No. 1091114 ID: 5ebd37
File 171592692555.jpg - (589.22KB , 800x600 , cadvere 37 surreptitious science.jpg )
1091114

I come from a family of house raiders, far to the south. Far enough away from the forest that the humans still think talking mice are just a myth. It certainly makes raiding easy when they just leave traps and poison out as if we are dumb beasts. My family have been living in a great house, bigger even than this one, for several generations now. The lord of that house's son is a man of science and learning, and I was his secret apprentice. Watching his experiments, reading books left out at night. At first it was to better help my family avoid poisons and the like, but I became fascinated. There is so much that can be done with just simple substances that could make all animal's lives safer, easier!

The young master has correspondence with other scientists, sharing discoveries and inventions. One day a package came with the most extraordinary sample. A vial of glowing, boiling fluid with more energetic properties than anything I've even heard of! The attached letter spoke of the substance's life-giving effects, though I see now the writer meant that in a far more macabre sense then I would. But at the time I was spellbound, mind awash with the possibilities! Sadly, the sample soon faded once opened, and none of the master's return letters were answered. But I couldn't just let it go, so I trained a replacement and set out to find the source. Years later and I've finally found it, here, in this house.

You've seen it, haven't you? The fluid that bursts out of the reanimated corpses that roam these halls. That's what I have been seeking, and I exaggerate not when I say that with it I could change the world. What samples I've managed to obtain have been inconclusive, and I don't have the tools to fully analyze. I just need to find where they produce it, or if there are any notes.
>>
No. 1091115 ID: 5ebd37
File 171592695720.jpg - (527.84KB , 800x600 , cadvere 38 eager chemist.jpg )
1091115

You stop as the pair of you come to the closed library door. Lisel hops in place a little, excitedly. "Oh its so good to be able to talk about this with someone at last. The others are just too wrapped up in their own problems to see the potential here." She looks up at you with eager eyes "So what do you say, shall we work together?"
>>
No. 1091146 ID: 273c18

>>1091115
Alright, but on one condition. If it turns out that creating or using this chemical requires the suffering or deaths of living people, then she'll stop. If this is a means to reanimate dead flesh and control it *without* the living paying a terrible price, then... well, that's gross but definitely useful.
>>
No. 1091228 ID: ae9a5f

I mean she does give me the mad scientist vibes, but not to the point of creating dead puppet minions. Sure work with her but only under one condition she always has to refer to you as daddy.
>>
No. 1091461 ID: 184595

Yes, we work together. We are another that would see past the present to a better future, and in this respect we are allies. But we have our own ideals, and need to make them known. Our first responsibility is to the welfare of the people we seek to aid, and our adventures to improve their lot are secondary to the fact of survival.
>>
No. 1091599 ID: 5ebd37
File 171644037160.jpg - (520.63KB , 800x600 , cadvere 39 the way is shut.jpg )
1091599

Despite her odd manner, you find the mouse's story intriguing. Holding out a hand, you tell her that you'll help her, as long as she isn't planning any corpse desecrating herself. "Ha, no chance of that!" she says, grasping your hand firmly "My interests are far more, ah, mechanical."

"Let us get to it then!" Lisel spins around and neatly smacks her snout into the shut door. "Ah, right, this way is closed now. Hmm, the lounge should still be accessible, or we could risk the underfloor. Which would you prefer?"
>>
No. 1091626 ID: 462d8c

Let's go lounge-ward
>>
No. 1091640 ID: 184595

We know what it's like to slink between the walls; I doubt things would be better under the floorboards. Let us make our way to the lounge.
>>
No. 1091683 ID: 687c26

Let's go with the risky maneuver, nothing ventured nothing gained.
>>
No. 1092078 ID: 5ebd37
File 171704594550.jpg - (487.32KB , 800x600 , cadvere 40 dark lounge.jpg )
1092078

Remembering last night's crawl through the spider-infested tunnel makes you shudder. Taking Lisel by the shoulder you somewhat hurriedly usher her through a gap in the bookshelves to the lounge door, which does indeed stand ajar.

The lounge is still and dark. Hulking furniture emerges from the gloom into the harsh lantern light. From this side you can make out a plush chair across from an equally soft looking couch. Each has an accompanying end table, their contents hidden high over your head. There is a wicker box next to the near chair, with spools of thread spilling out. Past the chair a cold hearth holds a heap of forgotten ashes. Something glints in the piled gray as Lisel sweeps her lantern around. The center of the room is dominated by a large table with a trailing table cloth. Something shiny peeks above the table's edge.
The other end of the room is lost in shadow.
>>
No. 1092082 ID: 273c18

>>1092078
Check the glint in the ashes. Whatever's shining on top of the table won't be worth the exposure.
>>
No. 1092102 ID: 4c474c

>>1092082
Yeah, go for the free loot!
>>
No. 1092115 ID: 184595

We're looking for fungos, right? They might be most visible in the dark, where their glow is most obvious. It looks for not like the coast is clear. Absent anything else of interest, including fungal glow, it makes sense to investigate what remains of whatever's been burned. Leftover cutlery on a table doesn't merit investigation.
>>
No. 1092386 ID: 5ebd37
File 171754044348.jpg - (466.50KB , 800x600 , cadvere 41 hearth ash.jpg )
1092386

You pad over to the hearth, ashes cold and white covering the stones. Shards of a shattered tumbler stick out of the pile, and scattered around are the half-burnt remains of a pile of papers. Writing can still be made out on some of them, if you could read that is.

"Oh, what's this?" Lisel paws through some of the fragments. "This... this is a letter from where I used to live. Why would it be burned?" she rubs her chin, smearing ash into her pale fur. "Tem'rty, give me a bit to go through these, would you? Why don't you see if there's anything useful around." she sweeps the lantern light around the room. " I don't see any signs of fungus, but the rats have been asking for more weapons. Maybe you can find something sharp." She tilts the lantern up, revealing the dangling forms of more grisly puppets. "Just keep an eye out, be ready to hide if the lights come on."

While Lisel continues pawing through the ashes you survey the room. You can't see much of interest from down here, but there appears to be something on top of the central table. As well, the end table in the corner, next to the couch, has fallen over, its contents hidden on its far side. There's also the wicker basket next to the door you came in from.
>>
No. 1092387 ID: 273c18

Wicker box probably has some needles, those would work as weapons.
>>
No. 1092502 ID: dd6546

Time to do like the rats and start to scavenge what we can. Is there a limit to how much we can carry?
>>
No. 1092539 ID: 184595

The table is exposed, and there's no easy path of retreat from it. Stay low, and investigate the toppled end table while Lisle puts this letter back together.
>>
No. 1092689 ID: 5ebd37
File 171790300421.jpg - (457.77KB , 800x600 , cadvere 42 tumbled in the corner.jpg )
1092689

Nosing through the sewing basket you find it has already been looted. Nothing but ratty spools and an empty needlebook. But at the bottom of the basket you find a tear in the lining that has been overlooked, where a small scissors has slipped inside. Tucking the bulky tool into a handy loop inside your cloak you make your way across the room to the fallen table.

The table has dumped its contents into the corner by the far door. You find a some kind of U-shaped curve of wooden tube that tapers into point, a bag of pungent herb you can't aren't familiar with, and something you've only heard of from travelers; a box of matches.

while you inspect your findings you hear a sound from behind the door. A muffled voice you can't quite make out, something about a book. Lights turn on in the hallway, creeping in through the slightly open doorway.
>>
No. 1092696 ID: 273c18

Hide!
>>
No. 1092704 ID: f7b5e9

Try to hide behind the open door. As for the matches they can be used to burn this house. But do not use it yet, that would be the last case scenario.
>>
No. 1092756 ID: 7c1f1c

This basket is so long disused that it may constitute a good hiding spot. If additional stealth is desired, you may be able to worm your way into the slit in the basket lining in which you found the scissors.

Don't lose track of Lisel. Best not to hide together, lest you both be discovered at once; but see where she is before seeking refuge yourself. When the coast is clear, try to reunite. Pilfer the matches, if you can hold them.
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