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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.
Expand all images
>>
No. 1080955 ID: 5ebd37
File 170520260405.jpg - (172.76KB , 800x600 , cadvere 01 tem'rty in the forest.jpg )
1080955

You are Tem'rty, a young rat of the Gravel Pit Nest. With no nut harvest this year, the food stores have been depleted. You and the other youths of the nest have been sent out, scattered in all directions. To find food, or to join another nest, for to return empty handed is to return to your grave.

You have been wandering for days with no luck. Any nuts or plants are buried hopelessly deep. The fungal beasts have either migrated or hibernated. Your own meager pouch of jerky is empty.

Half remembered rumors have brought you dangerously close to the edge of the woods, where a great house is said to lie abandoned. Tales of a vault of gold now pale beside the though that there may be preserves or pickling in some forgotten cupboard.

Peering through the thick snowfall you see it, the dark slumping mass of the aged mansion crouches just ahead.
>>
No. 1080956 ID: 5ebd37
File 170520263977.jpg - (247.07KB , 800x600 , cadvere 02 looming wolf.jpg )
1080956

As you struggle forward a movement in the corner of your eye freezes you more surely than the storm. To your left, just visible through the gray, looms a wolf. For one to be this far from the deep woods, and standing on four legs, means this must be an exile, one who has tasted flesh. For as every animal knows, to partake of flesh and blood is to become a beast once more.

Its breath steams in the air as it slowly swings its shaggy head back and forth, as if searching for something. Snow clings to its thick, dark coat of fur. Your hunting knife, long as it is, will do nothing against such a giant. It shows no sign of having detected your presence, small as you are. The slouching gate to the house's grounds stands not but 100 rat-lengths away.
Will you make a run for it?
>>
No. 1080958 ID: e51896

look closer, the beast is tied up. it can't go far. just stay as far away as it's bounds can hold it and you can get around it.
>>
No. 1080960 ID: 273c18

Observe. See the leash. Note what it is attached to. Estimate its range of movement... then go around.
>>
No. 1080961 ID: 64faaa

>>1080960
This.
Try to avoid it's attention anyway. It might draw attention even if it can't get to you, or it's chain might be weak.
>>
No. 1080966 ID: dbe734

don't run, you need to conserve your energy and it may call its attention. walk at an even pace and circle around.
>>
No. 1080994 ID: 34713f

>>1080961
Agreed. Someone leashed the poor wretched thing. Even if it can't reach you either way, you shouldn't needlessly risk it alerting something more intelligent and far less restrained than it. Stealth should at least be attempted.
>>
No. 1080996 ID: dc13c4

Try to bury yourself in snow, that might protect you from getting sniffed out and spotted by that creature
>>
No. 1081079 ID: 5ebd37
File 170535060422.jpg - (224.23KB , 800x600 , cadvere 03 at the gate.jpg )
1081079

Despite your instincts urging you to run you keep calm and still. Digging down into the snow, you hunker down and observe. The wolf continues to stand eerily still, only moving its head as it scans the forest. Now you see that the beast is tethered, a cord leading from their ragged back to somewhere unseen overhead. Who could possibly have accomplished such a feat?

The forest is silent, save for the hiss of falling snow. You can feel the air grow colder as the ghost of the sun approaches the horizon. Rising as slowly as you can you creep away, towards the house. The crunch of your wide birch-bark shoes on the snow seems like thunder in your ears as you pray the wolf won't sense you. After what feels like an eternity you slip between the bars of the iron fence and onto the frozen grounds of the manor house.

The edifice towers above you, its windows dark, its paint peeling. The scale makes clear, this is the work of humans. Unpredictable creatures, but they often have great stores of food. Surely a house as grand as this had an extensive larder. But how to gain access? The front doors appear shut fast, and none of the visible windows are broken. You shiver as the wind begins to pick up.
>>
No. 1081081 ID: 462d8c

Circle around. Might be a less secure basement door, or maybe a drain spout you could climb up towards more vulnerable windows
>>
No. 1081100 ID: 52c264

You could find a sewer underground, and swim in a waterway inside and come out thru a toilet.
>>
No. 1081103 ID: eb0a9c

Just go in, act cute, and beg for food. If you're lucky, they'll throw you in a cage and remember to feed you.
>>
No. 1081105 ID: 64faaa

>>1081081
This.
>>
No. 1081123 ID: 273c18

Is that a hole in the wall?
>>
No. 1081146 ID: 5ebd37
File 170538718810.jpg - (203.34KB , 800x600 , cadvere 04 hole in the wall.jpg )
1081146

As you draw closer to the house, intending to explore its far side, you spot a small hole just above the snow line. It looks a tight fit, but you could probably squeeze through. Peering into the darkness you can't make anything out, and you lack a light source. Your ear twitches as you would swear you hear something skittering inside.

Do you go in? Or continue to the back of the house?
>>
No. 1081147 ID: 75b262

Holes are made for rats, this is our element. Go for it.
>>
No. 1081156 ID: 462d8c

Someone has already entered. With a house this large there should be more than enough to share. Head on in
>>
No. 1081163 ID: dc13c4

Beggars can't be choosers show your ass in that hole but at the same time be wary when entering. Maybe this whole place is falling apart, maybe there is somebody inside or maybe there is a dangerous reason why this place is abandoned.
>>
No. 1081182 ID: 34713f

If there wasn't already a hole there, our suggestion would've been to start gnawing. Head on in, but be on the lookout for others of your ken.
>>
No. 1081203 ID: 64faaa

Making decisions with more information doesn't hurt.
But, wandering around outside for too long may draw attention, & leave more tracks.

So: listen at the hole for a bit, maybe check for smells, but go on in if it seems OK.
>>
No. 1081285 ID: 5ebd37
File 170555357707.jpg - (368.22KB , 800x600 , cadvere 05 the empty hall.jpg )
1081285

Carefully, you stick your head in the hole and look around. Dark and brooding silence greets you. Taking a quiet sniff, you detect dust, some kind of insect, and a trace of something harsh you can't identify. As your eyes begin to adjust to the darkness you can barely make out the narrow space. Stretching up, down and to both sides, the space between the walls at least looks easy for a rat to navigate. Stowing your birch shoes under your cloak, you climb inside and clamber towards a dimly visible hole in the far wall.

The hole opens into a cavernous entry hall, dark and still. Three doors line the far wall, flanked by grand stairs that lead to yet more doors. A chandelier looms down from the high darkness like some monstrous spider. The light creeping in through holes in the curtains is already fading away to the coming night. A faint blue glow seems to be coming from under the stairs to the left, hopefully heralding the presence of fungal beasts.

And on the second floor, behind doors that leak threads of lamplight, a high-pitched voice can be faintly heard.
>>
No. 1081287 ID: 273c18

>>1081285
Let's check out the blue.
>>
No. 1081291 ID: e51896

we're mouse, light means big scary humans are awake and resides in them. lets investigate the room behind the door that has no light, which is the door under the right stairway
>>
No. 1081292 ID: 4591f8

the house seems to be occupied rather than empty. although the blue light is interesting, there is a high risk of getting caught if we pursue. if we were to sneak in, though, this is probably a quieter option than a door. unless it's trapped. it's probably not trapped, but check for traps just in case.
>>
No. 1081293 ID: 64faaa

>>1081291
This. See if we can squeeze under the door.
>>
No. 1081294 ID: dc13c4

Well, this place is not abandoned as it appeared, try to at least look and see who is in this place. Just so we would know what we are dealing with and be really stealthy about it, there is no need to freak out anybody.
>>
No. 1081353 ID: 462d8c

Check out the blue light. If it's dangerous we should know sooner rather than later when we're leaving weighed down with food
>>
No. 1081358 ID: b57fea

>>1081285
Blue is my favorite color, so go find the blue
>>
No. 1081371 ID: 5ebd37
File 170570008113.jpg - (391.00KB , 800x600 , cadvere 06 mouse with a lantern.jpg )
1081371

Scampering soundlessly across the musty carpet, you approach the blue glow. Rounding the stairs on the left, you find the glow is coming from a hole in the floor. As you draw near there is a rustling and a faintly glowing fungal beast tied to a stick pokes up, followed by a small mousy face. "Bloody he-" the mouse hisses, drawing back in alarm "What're ye doin up there? Git down 'ere afore yer seen!"
>>
No. 1081372 ID: dc13c4

wrap the blue thing in your cloak to stop it from revealing your position
>>
No. 1081374 ID: 2c8e43

Do what he says and get down in there. But Point out that they're more noticable than you are, that glow was like a beacon in this dark room, you could see it from far away which is why you investigated this area. Suggest him to move farther away from that hole so that it doesnt attract predators and follow him.
>>
No. 1081379 ID: 273c18

Go on in!
>>
No. 1081389 ID: 64faaa

>>1081372
>>1081374
This & this.
>>
No. 1081450 ID: eb0a9c

"I'm looking for a new home. Need a worker?"
>>
No. 1081715 ID: 5ebd37
File 170605684912.jpg - (526.70KB , 800x600 , cadvere 07 down in the floor.jpg )
1081715

You follow the mouse down under the floor boards, chiding him that if anyone is going to be seen its him with that glowy bug. He glares at you, then his eye's widen "Well I'll be damned, yer new ain'tcher?" You begin to explain how you're looking for a place to stay but the mouse cuts you off and softly calls down the passage "Ey, Horace! We got a new arrival!"

Another mouse pads up. Eyeing you up and down he shifts the bulging sack in his hands nervously. "Are ye armed?" he asks, to which you indicate your hunting knife "Right, keep quiet, stick with us, and ye won't get strung up." He turns to the other mouse "Come on Jasper, somethin don't feel right down 'ere and is not just the spiders."

Jasper pats him on the shoulder and begins creeping down the dark passage. "Ye coming stranger? We can lead ye to the only safe place in this house o horrors."
>>
No. 1081720 ID: 64faaa

If they seem trustworthy, follow them. Ask for the most urgent reasons it's a "a house of horrors" right away.

If they don't seem trustworthy, make excuses to get away from them.
>>
No. 1081723 ID: 273c18

>>1081715
Sure let's see what the town's like. That's our mission, in the end-- to find a new place to live.
>>
No. 1081734 ID: e807fe

They're called Horace and Jasper. That's already a red flag.

But yes, ask them what makes this place so dangerous and ask them how they live here and enumerate your many skills, especially the ones you need to be well and in one piece to perform.
>>
No. 1081751 ID: ca7ffc

Hmmm best to figure out what might harm you in this place, ask about the light that came from the upper floor and how many newcomers end up here? I am extremely suspicious of this place, like we entered a living thing that traps you inside until it completely eats you up.
>>
No. 1081964 ID: 5ebd37
File 170640423033.jpg - (437.33KB , 800x600 , cadvere 08 jasper's instructions.jpg )
1081964

Not quite trusting these mice, but feeling you have no other options, you follow them through the seeming labyrinth of the underfloor. Frequent detours past pipes and through holes in the beams has you soon disoriented. Horace and Jasper keep up a swift yet cautious pace, frequently pausing to peek around corners or cock an ear at the distant sound of scuttling. When you attempt to ask questions they shush you, "got t' keep a wary ear, lad. Wait till we get where its safe."

Pausing at an intersection, Jasper turns to you. "Right, so, we have t' pass under the library now, and there's more creepers there, so here's the rundown. If ye hear a spiderfolk coming, hide yer face. Their eyes catch movement like ye wouldn't believe but they'll miss ye if yer still. I'll toss the torch if they get too close and they oughta follow it. Don't worry bout yer breathin, they're deaf as a brick. And don't bother tryin to kill em." He grimaces, "They're already dead."
>>
No. 1081966 ID: f93fe1

Could he expand on that some? What does he mean they're already dead? Why is he still here if there's zombies running about?
>>
No. 1081968 ID: 32d7ee

Uh, what exactly does a spiderfolk sound like in the first place?
>>
No. 1081975 ID: dc13c4

I don't want to concern you but there is somebody staring at you in the darkness. Try to let the rat know it without saying it.
>>
No. 1081978 ID: 273c18

What is that, a bat? Point it out to them.
>>
No. 1082296 ID: 5ebd37
File 170685995740.jpg - (418.51KB , 800x600 , cadvere 09 swooping horror.jpg )
1082296

Before you can ask him to elaborate, the barest movement catches your eye. Just at the edge of the light stands a grotesque bat, dimly glowing eyes hovering above too-long fangs. Before you can do more than set your hand to your knife hilt the thing lets out a deafening screech. You shove Jasper out of the way as the bat leaps towards you, managing to duck under its out-stretched wings.
>>
No. 1082297 ID: 5ebd37
File 170686012727.jpg - (387.44KB , 800x600 , cadvere 10 just a nip.jpg )
1082297

Horace isn't so lucky. The bat rebounds off the wall and falls upon the reeling mouse. Collapsing to the floor in a monstrous embrace, the pair struggle in the dust. Horace desperately shoves the sack of supplies in the way of the snapping jaws that dive for his throat. The ringing in your ears silences his scream as fangs dig into his shoulder.
>>
No. 1082298 ID: 273c18

Get in there and fight it off!
>>
No. 1082300 ID: 9ac971

slice at the wings! or the... wires?
>>
No. 1082301 ID: 184595

Protecting Horace from harm is first priority. Go for a kill on the bat--its throat? The device on its back can be examined once it's dead.
>>
No. 1082302 ID: 273c18

I'll support cutting the wires.
>>
No. 1082304 ID: eb0a9c

Whether it's an augmentation or a mind control device, cut the wires and stab them through the back for good measure!
>>
No. 1082306 ID: dc13c4

Quick clarification, these guys aren't shady they needed to act that way because this whole place made them careful about their surroundings. They are just like you prey to the predators of this place, help Horace. If you can stab it in the neck or the eye. All predators no matter how opportunistic they are usually calculate all their attacks if you mess it up badly enough maybe it will retreat.
>>
No. 1082538 ID: 5ebd37
File 170710961929.jpg - (406.68KB , 800x600 , cadvere 11 get it off.jpg )
1082538

A struggle ensues in the cramped darkness. You draw your long hunting knife and slash the wires of the strange device clamped to the bat's back. Sparks flash as they are severed, but the bat doesn't seem to react, so you drive your blade into its back. You feel the knife scrape against something hard, and a sizzling, glowing liquid spurts out. As the bat begins spasming, Jasper rushes over. The frantic mouse jams his daggers into the sides of the bat's head ,struggling to pry its jaws from Horace. With your assistance the pair of you hurl the thing down the corridor.

Dust settles as the decrepit bat continues to twitch and leak hissing fluid. The two mice catch their breath on the floor, Horace clutching his torn shoulder. Yanking the hunting knife out of the bat, you wipe it clean and join them. Your ears still haven't shaken off the effects of the monster's screech, you can't hear a thing.

The darkness closes in as the glow fades from the crushed fungal beast.
>>
No. 1082539 ID: 273c18

>>1082538
Spiders are deaf, they won't have heard the screech at least... but what are we going to do without light?

I think it's time to recover from the fight. Stop the bleeding as much as you are able and wait until your hearing returns, then you can ask what they normally do when the torch dies.
>>
No. 1082543 ID: eb0a9c

Is there some way to re-wire the cyborg bat so they can be used as a makeshift flashlight?
>>
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.
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