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File 153588375181.png - (30.86KB , 500x500 , Opening.png )
900061 No. 900061 ID: f7b510

The sun burns high in the sky. Cracking the land with it's blistering heat. The way is vast and unchanging. Seemingly never ending in almost all directions.

Why would you be here? What drives someone to a place like this? Madness? Insanity? Who are you?
367 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 953394 ID: eae5e0

If you don't want to try to share the fire, which is understandable, then let's find some other place til Dawn breaks. We don't have any wood to burn, so let's just find a crevice to hide in and earnest. It's probably not too many hours till morning.
>>
No. 953775 ID: 28c1e4
File 157932503505.png - (381.17KB , 1600x1200 , Wasteland_107.png )
953775

You weigh your options. Though you don't know what lie ahead, you bet you could pass for a simple trader in your current getup.

That usually isn't a good thing outside of a town with some kind of law or warlord. In the wasteland where anyone will kill you for a perceived easy mealticket. Only traders with a following or defenses make it riskier for enemigos to take the hits for your goods. The main equalizer you have is your grenades which could be a useful tool. But you wouldn't want anyone to call you on your bluff unless it is life or death. Your shotgun will make short work of a single target but might leave you lacking with it's sorry reload time and poor construction.

Spinechilling.

>>953233
None taken. At least one of the voices in my head has some manners.

-
But whatever, i-if they want to be g-greedy with their f-f-fire, who needs them. Rubs hands for warmth

You'll just make like a rat and take shelter in a crevice a bit back along the path. Luckily, you can find one just your size. So you unload your bags off the cart, and stash it in another hole right next to yours, and bundle up for the night. Like most of these crevices, it's been used by travelers before. But the warmth of the fire is still something that beckons you to think back to the light by the dome.

It doesn't take long before a scream echoes across the desert night. The howl of death of some unlucky fool.

Then, shortly after a steady rhythm begins to emerge from somewhere behind the cracked dome. Music of a most ancient kind. The sort that echoes the primal nature of being. You can't make many details at this distance, but the fact it plays on makes your sleep uneasy.
>>
No. 953777 ID: 28c1e4
File 157932564573.png - (219.62KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_108.png )
953777

Well as it turns out, the music does end up keeping you up all night.

You barely slept at all, but you did catch a few winks before the heat of the morning turns your comfy rat nest from freezing to melting.

First thing is first, you relieve yourself and drink the remainder of your bottle of water. Gotta stay hydrated while you've got the sip.

Empty Bottle

The music is still playing. Whoever is doing it must not need a break. You feel pretty secure here, maybe you could wait until they move on?

Or walk all the way around the shattered dome, It's rocky but maybe possible? Honestly the oyster is your world, and if you're feeling brazen, you can come up with whatever. Not being able to sleep kind of puts a hamper in your 'rest for at least a few hours' plan. That makes you grumpy.
>>
No. 953778 ID: b1b4f3

I am intensely curious. You should try to sneak over the top of the dome and peek in without being noticed.
>>
No. 953781 ID: e51896

Music still going all through the night? maybe somebody is playing recorded music? no way anyone could be playing music for that long. Be careful just in case though, there are weirdos in this apocalyptic world after all.
>>
No. 953797 ID: d63ea8

>>953781
I'm curious to see if it's something more mechanical in nature, like some sort of industrial process.

I agree that this warrants investigation. I'd say that we stash the cart here for now and try to survey the dome (and possibly whatever is making the music) at a distance. If we come across anything hostile we'll have the option to run and circle back here to get the cart.
>>
No. 953824 ID: 404f0f

If the music is coming from somewhere on your way, then you should check it out. In a relatively safe manner.
However, if it's too far, or out of your way, then you should skip it.
In either case, you need to move on and you can't afford to wait for it to stop.
>>
No. 953826 ID: cf0372

I'm kind of interested in hearing the call of the jungle drums. I say leave the cart and goods here, and try to approach in secret. If it seems handleable then we can do it that way.
>>
No. 953938 ID: 28c1e4
File 157955865489.png - (315.22KB , 1200x1400 , Wasteland_109.png )
953938

You decide that you cannot be daunted by a mere sound. You've got places to be, things to do.

Though you still have your signature caution. You decide to leave your cart and goods stashed in secret. You just bring with you your shotgun and a grenade so you can defend yourself if need be.

You feel like you might be a little too cautious. All this skulking around.

I mean, what kind of damage could a single tireless musician do?

>>You sweat


The grounds beyond are stained with the rigors of battle. Blood lay splattered across the stone walls and well trod earth. Bones stripped of flesh lay besides the fireplace, and several stone cairns are in different stages of being built. Several instruments lay battered and destroyed. The blood seems only recent. The melodies erupting from the musician growl lowly from an electric amplifier speaker wired to their instrument. They seem to be in a trance, staring from the crevice to the rising sun.
>>
No. 953939 ID: e7c7d3

Pretty sure bloody splatters are a big "NOPE" sign. But at least they're polite enough to make some graves. If you do approach, pretty sure the proper protocol is to toss a small token into the open instrument case.
>>
No. 953969 ID: d63ea8

My gut says that this person probably isn't the aggressor (otherwise why would they bury the bodies) but if the area shows signs of combat that danger could still be present. Judging from the scraps of instruments around, this might've been the rest of their band.

Best case scenario this person is in mourning and deserves privacy. Worse case scenario he's deranged and might attack you.

I would lean on the side of caution and give this place a wide berth, but if you think you can help/comfort the lone musician I'd say go for it.
>>
No. 953972 ID: 9876c4

I'm not saying we should murder him, but if things go south we might find some valuable loot.

Let's try to solve things peacefully, and let nature take it's course.
>>
No. 954012 ID: b1b4f3

My best guess is killer robot. Why don't you just leave and go around?
>>
No. 954039 ID: cf0372

Logic dictates we take the long way, but kangabf said we should stick to the cliff walls. I think we should just give it a shot and walk through.

Offer the rocker a token. If he didn't kill those people, they might have been his mates.

I think a chunk of herb or a durry should suffice. Like what >>953939 suggested
>>
No. 954084 ID: 404f0f

Give them applause, then leave.
>>
No. 955292 ID: 28c1e4
File 158068664966.png - (467.73KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_111.png )
955292

You step into the shadow of the Shattered Dome. Reaching within your bag of goodies to pull forth what you think would be a nice offering to the musician. It's been a while since you've heard the music. You are fairly sure this is what was done for performers in the before.

The rat emerges from her place behind the rock. Though she is wary, she is overwhelmed by the chorus. The ancient sounds bring forth something that stirs within her. Something beneath the colourless empty of life. Some kind of underlying force that speaks to the experiences of her life. As though she has been here at least once before. What harm could come from offering a token of appreciation?


>Strange feelings overwhelm the driver. Should you like to influence her in a deeper way, this is a time that affect her.
>>
No. 955293 ID: 28c1e4
File 158068719803.png - (273.88KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_110.png )
955293

Before you stands, deep in a trance, a strange being. A bird wearing upon itself the robes of ancient bards, Draped in bones and beads, and modified with patches and pins denoting their would-be forgotten influence, skills, and revelations. This person is clearly a warrior poet. As the music they conjure seems to ebb and wane, as though telling a long drawn out journey of discovery through some kind of burning hell.

Only few times before have you heard music of this skill. They play upon their masterwork instrument until the tips of the fingers are bleeding, and dry blood clings to the fretboard.

Though standing directly in front of them is not enough to summon their gaze from deep within the spirit-world of their suntrance.
>>
No. 955296 ID: 28c1e4
File 158069318232.gif - (2.26MB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_112_1.gif )
955296

The journey continues. A vision of the longest desert road, where bones scorched by the sands lay without rest. These are the feelings elicited from the bard's song. The song of your life.

Only one thing seems to put any halt upon their headbobbing and rock and roll. As you reach out a tear covered fist to deposit the goods upon the cloth wrapping that must be their instrument case, you note the only thing on it is a single guitar pick.

They stop for a moment. The fuzz of their pedal continuing on with reverberations from the final strum echoing through the place. They notice your hand.



The Skald: "Lo... A knower of the tradition... Not many in the wastes still remember this rite..." They crow through a weakened, tired throat.

They look you up and down. Removing their hat to catch your payment instead of letting it fall.


You: "W-where did you learn such songs?"

The Skald: "I am borne. 'Lectrics in my blood. Then, from a far off tribe in a frozen place. They taught to me the songs of the ancient times."

The Skald: "You are the first of many in a long time who has offered upon me such gifts. For such humble skill."

You: "Humble skill?... Where did you unearth such an instrument?"

The Skald: "That answer is simple for someone with such a skill like you, Driver, and you should know the answer. You seek something."

You: "What do you mean? How did you know who I am?"

The Skald: "Your feet. They are several shades pinker than your hands. A sign that you sit upon the seat of your automobile as ruler of the road."

You: "T-that could be anything. What if I had worn boots before now?"

The Skald: "'Tis truth that most can smell the burn of octane upon your fur, Though I have met you before. In my dreams."

You take a step back
>>
No. 955299 ID: e7c7d3

Be skeptical about what they say about meeting you in their dreams. They're already proven that they have good induction skills and may just try to cold read you. Ask what they mean, but be careful not to fill in the blanks for them when they ask questions back.
>>
No. 955300 ID: d63ea8

>>955292
(Interesting)

Music moves mountains.
Perhaps you were once a dancer, or could've been one if the world was different.

This Skald seems more like a contemplative than a charlatan, but there's no reason not to be guarded as well.
>>
No. 955306 ID: c2f1f6

Have you got any answers? Which way is the tomb of the rider?
>>
No. 955316 ID: e51896

>Your feet. They are several shades pinker than your hands.

Looks white to me (I'm joking)

Yeah, ask if this person knows where the tomb of the rider is.
>>
No. 955321 ID: 404f0f

Ask him about the dreams. Then tell him that you are out of your way and that even with assistance, it may take a while before you can drive again.
>>
No. 956636 ID: 1391ab
File 158203102710.png - (326.46KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_113.png )
956636

This being is more than Ominous...

You: "What do you mean?"

Skald: "Simple... In our journey, our paths have crossed. The forever-dreams of man echo with the thunder of our legend. Even if this is the first time in this realm, Driver, It is not the only."

You: "What of these cairns? Victims?"

The poet leans down and lifts the playing pick. Gazing at it wistfully.

Skald: "Those who will go forgotten. I have heard their deathsongs, tho' and shalt carry them. It is tradition for those who follow this path to do battle. The one who lives can carry on the legends of their people, and their journeys. This place is a dueling ground for us. They challenged me, and I remain undefeated, as is my curse. Only through death or ancient rites can we be released from our oaths. Your offering? Havth released me."

They stare at the pick a moment more. Your gaze upon it arise some kind of feeling deep within you. A vague familiarity. Then they drop it into a pocket on their garb.

You look at them in silence for a while.

"What will you do now?"

You ask plainly.
>>
No. 956638 ID: 1391ab
File 158203314594.png - (337.35KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_114.png )
956638

Skald: "Simple, Driver. I continue my quest. As should you."

They reach towards, and pick up large dusty sack, hefting it over a shoulder.

You: "It may be hard... I need wheels. Even with help, it is going to be a while until I can use my 'skills.'"

Skald: "You've gazed upon my tool. A wielder of otherworldly skills needs an otherworldly instrument. Your wheels shall return."

They crow out before turning towards the sun, heading in the direction of your goal. The village of desert nomads.

You: "How? I own another vehicle, but..."

You: "Do you know of the Tomb of The Rider?"


The skald pauses in stride.

Skald: "What... Did you say..."

You: "I said th-"

They turn around, some kind of seriousness washing over their still stoic form.

Skald: "I know what you said, Driver. 'Hasth you any idea of to which you wish? That place lays beyond The Dune. No normal being can make such a journey. Even those with wheels have difficulty."

You: "Didn't you just say we were different? Whatever-dreams?"

Skald: "I know what I say. If you seek such a thing, it is your own choice. If it is your destiny, you will find it. Otherwise, you will number amongst the countless who have fed The Dune."

Skald: "Very few people know the secrets of The Dune. That is why it is such a dangerous place. It serves as an impenetrable wall for the people who live in it's shade. Is it truly your goal? Will you truly continue to such a fate?"



Uh oh
>>
No. 956640 ID: 094652

"Every legend points towards the mountains of technology buried with the Tomb's pharaoh. Not just guns and gas, but instructions on how to rebuild the small towns with food and medicine. I refuse to live like this forever, without the promise of a better existence."
>>
No. 956641 ID: 6e6f32

It seems I have been chosen.
The only way is forward.
>>
No. 956647 ID: e7c7d3

Pfft, this bird doesn't get to decide what you can and can't do. Still, if they're currently heading in the same direction, two eyes are better than one, yes?
>>
No. 956657 ID: b1b4f3

>>956638
The guy you got the key from managed to get past the Dunes to die in a cargo container. There must be a way.
>>
No. 956681 ID: c2f1f6

That's the definition of fate, you really don't have a choice. What else is there for me to do, die somewhere else? I have nothing more to lose there than I do here.

Consider you may still be on drugs.
>>
No. 956688 ID: d63ea8

>>956638
As it stands, we still have a job to do right now. But we will reach that tomb, despite the odds.
>>
No. 956703 ID: 908ca0
File 158209760152.png - (352.05KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_115.png )
956703

Your journey has always been one of guns and gas, but now you are in a position unique to you. As a pedestrian your eyes are a bit more open to the struggles of this class.

You typically wouldn't have given such a journey much thought, riding within your steel wagon, even great distances are only a matter of guz in the tank. If you are to reach the hidden treasures of the Tomb of The Rider, you might even need to become roadworthy before then.

Skald: "The spirit road is long and deadly. Some say without end... To head out beyond The Dune is to add a length unknown to your journey."

You: "I've lived this far by instinct, guns, and combustion, mate. I can't go on as a pedestrian forever. If diving a pharaohs tomb for lost treasure is the best way to get some solid wheels, I have to take it. My salvation lies at the end of that so called 'spirit road.'"

You: "But first. I have a job to do, and an engine to earn."

Skald: "Suit yourself, hoonigan. I shall sing your war ballad."

You return to your last nest and gather your goods and cart before returning. During the wait, the musician prepared a brown roll of the desert weed, to which you add some from your bulging stash.

The two of you set on your path

Skald: "-Some say receiving the curses of the land is a bad thing. Though, making bargains is part of life. What little we truly have." *Puff puff*

You: "It wasn't a bargain. It was a deal. I sell the fish oil, I get the engine, and I go."

Skald: "Do you truly think that is all this cliff dweller wanted?"

You: ...

Skald: "They do have the good stuff tho'"

The two of you share the smoke as the journey continues on. Only a twitch in your tail alerts you to what is next.
>>
No. 956704 ID: 908ca0
File 158209783461.png - (221.34KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_116.png )
956704

Two dusty natives emerge from the rocks ahead of you and intercept your path. Banditos?

"Oim gonna haft ask ya ladies ta halt. Theresa toll on this road"

The larger of the two, a lizard carrying a dock tool says.

"Thasright! Theresa roadway acumin! So its toll season." His seal companion horks out.
>>
No. 956705 ID: b1b4f3

>>956704
Yeah? How much?
>>
No. 956716 ID: e51896

give an annoyed sigh and flash them as toll payment, then continue on your way.
>>
No. 956723 ID: e7c7d3

>>956703
Is there something shining on top of the cliff, middle-left of the last panel?

>>956704
Is it ever not toll season?
>>
No. 956745 ID: d63ea8

I'd say that act like we're willing to pay. If we can get their guard down we'll be able to draw first and shoot the seal.

How does the Skald look? Does he seem willing to put up a fight?
>>
No. 956758 ID: 9876c4

>>956745
Spend our last round on a rifle and a melee weapon? Maybe, but only if we have help. We couldn't beat either one in a fair fight.
>>
No. 956759 ID: c2f1f6

Howabout legs that still work, would you like some of those?
>>
No. 956791 ID: b07f1c

So now we're at the Shattered Dome.

There's no ammo in that rifle of theirs. If there was, they wouldn't need the melee weapon. Pull out your own shotgun, aim at them and ask them how much they want to carry to their graves.

After they become cooperative, you can also ask them if there's any notable dangers on the way ahead to the village.
>>
No. 956813 ID: c8b64e

>>956716
This for sure

>>956723
Looks like mirror signals up to the ruins of that light house

I don't think we've used both our shotgun shells, but maybe if it comes down to it we can wing both of them in one shot. No way we can reload before one of them gets us. The skald seems like a capable warrior so maybe we would stand a chance. I say use the gun to intimidate them if plan A doesn't work!!
>>
No. 957297 ID: 4a283c
File 158263337086.png - (432.88KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_117.png )
957297

You sigh. Typical.

"Oh yeah? Is it ever not toll season?" You squeak, visibly annoyed.
"What do you want?"

The crow stands stoic besides you.

The lizard hisses out a few words. "That roight, squeaka. lay flat yer goods, n' be on yer way!"

You clench your fist. To give up any of your trade goods is flat out of the question.

You: "My... Goods?" You begin to undo your beach-toga.

You: "My GOODS?" You raise your voice which echoes along the cliffside.

"I got my goods RIGHT HERE, MATE!!" You shout, raising your voice as you tug up your gypsycloth, flashing your bare chest. The pair of them seem stunned enough, and before you notice it, the skald is already walking.

You hold your finger aloft for a few moments as you begin to follow. When suddenly from behind you hear a slobbery hoark.

"Aii tink, I loik that one. 'er goods... 'oi tink I'd take 'em!"

The lizard speaks up.
"Drop da cart, rat! Ifn' you wanna leave wit yer dignity!"
>>
No. 957298 ID: 4a283c
File 158263385040.png - (205.70KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_118.png )
957298

"Toll's jus been raised!" You just know he is smirking. Cheeky cunts.

You spin around, tugging your shotgun from your sack.

You squeak at them "Yeah?! How much ya wanna carry to your graves!? How about legs that still work?! Want those?!"

You hold the pin of your mechanism. Ready to fire.

"Drop yer shooter, and your tool! I know you're empty, but I'm not!"

The two freeze in their tracks before they manage to lay hands upon your oil cart. Your wild eyes frightened them.
>>
No. 957299 ID: 4a283c
File 158263410589.png - (305.84KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_119.png )
957299

"She's joshin! That pipe's empty!" The larger of the two dusty bandits speaks.

The other resumes his drooling, eyeing you up and down.

Just as you're about to release hot death upon those two, the skald steps up. Steel clear from scabbard.

"Careful there, Driver. I know yer cocked, but there's more that meets the eye..."
They crow softly. You squint.
>>
No. 957300 ID: 4a283c
File 158263477072.png - (231.97KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_120.png )
957300

Skald: "...'Lo... Up yonder sun bleached rocks... A figure with a bow."

Lizard: "Tha'as what we're saying'! Lay yer arms... Don't get corpsed er-"

The bird completely ignores them. Staring up upon the figure beyond. They seem familiar to the skald...

Who are they?

What do the two of you do?

|Inventory Check|

Combat Gear Includes:

(2) Shotgun shells
Makeshift Pipegun (Loaded)
Ancient Switchblade
Frag Grenade
Stahlhelm Grenade
Shansei .45 Pistol (Empty)
Plastic Bottle (Empty)

Rest of gear available as well
>>
No. 957303 ID: b07f1c

I dunno what the Skald is communicating to the bowperson, but let's assume the worse.

Surrender.
>>
No. 957311 ID: e7c7d3

If the skald wanted to rob us, they had just as good opportunities before even without the numbers. They do seem to be signalling with whoever is up there though...

For now, just lower your gun, not drop it.
>>
No. 957328 ID: 6c227a

Driver, that bow shot is too far to be terribly accurate, and at this distance, easy enough to dodge now that you can see it coming. One of these fucks will definitely die if they make a move at this range though. So you've still got the upper hand, and you're just gonna take your stuff and back away now. Ain't nobody needs to die today. Right boys?

Skald, do you make out the profile of that spikey-haired figjam with the safety pins what calls himself Ramone over there, or what?
>>
No. 957331 ID: b1b4f3

Alright here's the plan. You go take out the archer while the skald deals with these idiots in front of you. Feel free to shoot the one with a gun in case he's got any bullets in it.
Also don't forget there's one more bandit behind the rock that was signaling to the archer.

Alternatively you could ignore the archer since he's waaaaaay the fuck over there and accuracy with a bow is shit at that range, but I get the feeling this setting ignores weapon types and goes for cool factor over anything else.
>>
No. 957334 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, taking a grenade out might scare them off, if we're going that route.
>>
No. 957679 ID: c6be62
File 158305756157.png - (262.87KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_121.png )
957679

>>Surrender, the skald might be in on it
Hardly! If so, you don't think they would have warned you about the archer. With their reflexes, you suspect you wouldn't even notice your head severed from your shoulders should they be trying to.

>>You've still got the upper hand at this range
Damn right


You lower your gun... Trying to make like you are playing nice.

You: "Fine! You two made your point!"

You reach into your sack, as if to pull out an offering. The two stand triumphant whilst the skald rubs their chin, still looking up at the archer who yet aims at you two.

Lizard: "Heh, thas whot we liketa hear!"

Seal: "huuhuu,,, Drop ya s-shorties t-too..." The lard spills.

You feel around and find what you need, pulling it forth above your head. Raising your gun again.

"THATS it. I am TIRED here! No sleep, and a harshed mellow makes me mad!"
>>
No. 957680 ID: c6be62
File 158305819211.png - (261.43KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_122.png )
957680

"One of you makes a move, I blast that one. Two of you make a move, I blast everyone! Don't think I won't! My gun's loaded, and I ain't afraid!" You squeak.

Lizard: "Now now!! Less not be too hasty 'ere!"

The two are visibly frightened now. Sweating on the edge of their pants. The archer has lowered their bow, and Skald makes ready to go.


You grumble out some more words.

"I'm gonna lay it on you... I'm gonna pick up my cart, and walk away. Neither of you has to die... Then when we leave you tell your friend I said fuck you, alright?" You feign a calmness that makes everyone uneasy.

Lizard: "A-alroight Crazy-eyes... We 'ere ya..."

The seal is fuming and disappointed and only groans in frustration.


Issue demands? You think you had seen what might be the village itself at the end of the cliff walk. Several hours in the distance.
>>
No. 957689 ID: 13059a

>>957680
Kneecap them with the gun for even trying to toll the shit out of you, and tell them to consider it a idiot tax for trying to rob travelers just trying to make do.
>>
No. 957695 ID: ca4acd

>>957689
Nah, that's unnecessarily assholish. "tolls" are the way of the land here.
>>
No. 957696 ID: bef60d

>>957680
Tell 'em not to let us see thier ugly mugs again, if they value thier lives.
>>
No. 957698 ID: b1b4f3

Tell them not to bother you again.

...tempting to tell them to drop their trousers. You showed them your goods, they show you theirs.
>>
No. 957700 ID: c09fb4

Tell the lizard to chuck his spear as far as he can to his right, then start walking back the way you came, not looking back, and don't stop 'till he's out of your sight.

Tell the walrus to set the safety on his rifle on, hold it vertical and pull back the bolt so you can see what ammo is in there. If there is, tell him to dump it out on the ground; You'll collect it before you go. That done, he's to chuck the rifle as far as he can to his right and start walking after the lizard, not looking back, 'till he's outta your sight.

Once those two are well out of blast range, stow the 'nade but keep the shotty out and start pushing the cart forward. Ask the skald to walk backwards behind you so he can keep his eyes on those two, the archer and any other of their buddies that may pop 'till they're outta sight. Keep scanning the terrain ahead of you for trouble and keep your ears perked up.

>>957689
These idiots aren't worth wasting a shell on, (especially if it's our only shell,) or risking our improvised shotgun exploding in our hands upon firing. Shooting also increases the risk of the archer shooting at us once we're out of the 'nade blast radius of these two, since the archer may feel they have to shoot since we hurt one of their's.
>>
No. 957782 ID: b07f1c

They could still aim and shoot at you once they're out of the grenade blast radius. Just to be safe, you should show them some of your shotgun shells, so that they understand your own gun is for real.

I don't really think you can make demands here, that is, I don't think they'll surrender just coz you're holding a grenade. So, just be on your merry way, of course, with your gun pointed at them for a sufficient amount of time.
>>
No. 957851 ID: 9876c4

I think we're done here.
>>
No. 958487 ID: 7a49cd
File 158365258046.png - (180.63KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_123.png )
958487

You command them to drop their weapons and unload, which they hesitantly do, now noticing the archer has disappeared from view.

You join the skald back down the path. Relighting the stubby.

"H-HOW did she guess w-we didn't have bullets!" The seal erupts in tears at his missed opportunity.

"Ehs-a getting' tougher n' tougher ta makea liven' these days..." The lizard says
>>
No. 958492 ID: 7a49cd
File 158365380952.png - (204.48KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_124.png )
958492

The two of you walk along the cliffside. Hanging to the shelter of the shadows to keep out of view of others and the sun. The skald recites seaside poetry that feels like it has lost it's meaning.

No ships travel on waves of blue, or others take joy among the surf. You think the skald knows this, and in uttering, brings up vast feelings of regret. Feelings you rather leave behind buried in the sands of a past long gone.


As the hours pass, the cliff path gives way to the open of the village which lay sprawled before you.

A multitude of ships of various sizes, all obviously inhabited or in use. Few figures and beasts make their way between them and to an enormous walled tent which must be the village proper. The outlying places seem to serve as homes and dual purpose as guard towers as they are the only things that really stand above the blasted salt flat of the seabed.

In the greater distance you see a ship that casts its shadow upon the village below, it lay beached upon enormous sand dunes, but at an even greater distance, nearly hidden by the sky you see they continue. Where the cliff becomes level with the salty earth you suspect is a way to reach the higher lands above.

The two of you pass by a boat where at least half a dozen figures move around within. The two on the roof give you two only a second glance. It seems that your guise is not out of place to these people. If what the Angler said is true, they must often see traders and visitors from all around, and that the locals venerate old water-gods, but other faiths must be present as well. That much is clear through those who have done battle with the Skald in the shade of the Shattered Dome.

What is your first course of business?
>>
No. 958496 ID: b07f1c

Ask around if anyone knows the Angler to find out if he had any regular customers.
>>
No. 958532 ID: e7c7d3

Find out who this fish oil goes to. The sooner we lose all this weight, the better
>>
No. 958671 ID: e51896

lets ask around.
>>
No. 958979 ID: 8e3f44
File 158418263267.png - (315.48KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_125.png )
958979

You decide the best way is to look for established customers. He must come here once in a while to trade, right? The two of you head towards a nearby gathering a while closer to the main entrance. There sits a couple stands of tribesmen hawking their wares and servers cooking small things for trade with travelers. The Skald takes their time and picks out a stand that looks to serve some kind of shawarma.

Meanwhile, you look up to a stopped tribesman atop a particularly large toothy emu. He wears a metallic pack and wears finecrafted goggles made from the bottoms of stained bottles. As a native he may be more familiar with those who pass through than simple travelers. To your surprise he addresses you before you can ask your query. However, you cannot understand his language.

Seeing your cluelessness, he corrects himself.

Acolyte: "Mistake. I smell something. Within your bag? What do you want for it, trader-gypsy? What flavour does it hold?"

You tilt your head but continue.

You: "I've got a barrel of fish oil. Know who uses such a thing?"

Acolyte: "Fish... Oil... Fisho? Are you- Fish-o? What is in your bag for trade?"
>>
No. 958987 ID: b07f1c

I guess he's interested in the smokes? If not, we can show him our whole inventory (>>948733). There's nothing, other than our weapons, that we wouldn't care about missing much. So depending on what he's willing to offer us in return, anything goes.

And yes, we are a Fish-o then.
>>
No. 959026 ID: e7c7d3

I get the feeling that they're mistaking use for something else, still, they seem interested in the oil.
>>
No. 959259 ID: a6b9f6
File 158461136845.png - (393.31KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_126.png )
959259

You reach down to open your bag and reveal your trade-goods

Trade Inventory

Plastic Bottle: Empty
A spanner
Canister of Water: Mostly Full
Seatucka: Three and a half Days Worth
Lucky 8 ball Knob
A Screwdriver
Empty Tin Can
Tin of Anchovies
Bottle of Soda
Sunglasses Missing a Lens
Empty Ballpoint Pen
Box of Cigarettes (1)
Well Used Switchblade
Strange Key
Box of Pomade Tins
Bag o' Green: Bulging


He looks through the goods that are now laid out.

Acolyte: "What do you want for the greenfish, Fish-o?"

You: "Right now I am looking for goon, glass vessels, hoses, and welding wire."

As the two of you discuss, you see others take interest. 'Fish-o's in town?' some say. 'Fish? In this season?'

The acolyte takes from his pack, a length of rubber hoses. He offers you two different sizes, and three meters of each in exchange for the fish. Feels like a lot for a fish, so you try to squeeze more out of him.

You: "Are you sure that's the best you can do? This is fresh fish. Barely caught two days ago!"

He glances at you through his tinted goggles before removing them and adding it to his trade-stack.
Acolyte: "This too, but add a cutchie of... Your green..." You think that might have been what he was after when he noticed your sack in the first place.

You remove a sample from your bulging stash to show to him. He accepts it and you hand him the fish. A slot opens from his metallic pack to which he introduces the ganj. A process begins when the slot retracts. He says something about seeing you elsewhere when he begins to ride off. Smoke pouring from his pack.

Added: Two sizes of hose totalling 6 meters
Added: Finecrafted Tinted Goggles
Removed: 1 day of Seatucka





Meanwhile, a panting one-eyed man on a bike rides up. "Fish-o? Do you 'ave oil this time?" He says, looking over your goods with his one beady eye.

You: "I do... But I need glass vials or bottles, welding wire or goon..."

Shorthair Dog: "Hmmmn... I 'ave me glass vessel... But it's how I store me water 'n oil..."

You think for a moment. A plastic bottle isn't too much to part with, so you tell him you can fill that with oil in exchange for his vessel.

Shorthair Dog: "What a deal! Tell ya what. I'll tossa leather cord if ya lemme take these too!" He holds the sunglasses missing a lens...

Shorthair Dog: "Perfect fit!" He smiles amidst his panting, his one good eye fitting under the lens.

You: "I'm not sure... I'm really looking for glass, goon, and wire."

-

As you are thinking, a cat with prosthetic limbs who is wrapped in bandages that cover her scars and burns, approaches. She doesn't look like she has any trade goods on her. She speaks in a soft voice.

Cat: "Give to me a fish. I will find you customer for your oil."

You squint at her skeptically. She might just be a cripple beggar looking for an easy meal.
>>
No. 959260 ID: 094652

Eh, give her the fish. You can claim her augmentations if she bolts; after all, what is the traditional penalty for petty theft.
>>
No. 959264 ID: dbd72b

Eh, the plastic bottle's likely to get damaged if you keep it, and you aren't finding a better deal on the glasses. Take the doggo deal.

For the cat lady, 1 day = 1 fish, it seems. So counter offer the half day bit (unless it's your leftovers, let's not directly insult them), and in any case, see if you can get her to elaborate on this "customer"
Most importantly, no pay until you see the customer, and no dark alleys or secluded spaces. You don't need an ambush from people who might shoot first this time.
>>
No. 959265 ID: b07f1c

Ask her if there's any other... services that she offers. Because a fish for doing something that you can easily do yourself doesn't sound like the best deal.

But if she added her bottom underwear to the deal, it would be fine! Well, even if she refuses, I'd ultimately accept her offer.
>>
No. 959270 ID: 6f7a5a

>>959265
I agree, ask for her underwear.

see if you cant get the dog's shorts as well
>>
No. 959297 ID: 015bf2

Cripples don't get prosthetics that easily. She either fought hard for those, or someone's taken good care of her. Either way, she should be good to her word.

If you're feeling leery still, you can state that if her promise isn't solid, you'll let other tradesfolk 'round these parts know. She can scam for a fish for a day, but she won't be able to scam for a fish tomorrow.
>>
No. 959353 ID: 9876c4

I don't think asking these struggling villagers for their last vestiges of dignity aligns with our long-term plans.

Tell the dawg to sweeten the deal. Tell the cat she'll get half the fish now, and half when you meet the buyer.
>>
No. 960500 ID: b323f1
File 158581184356.png - (343.91KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_127.png )
960500

You accept the deal from the dog, leaving you with his leather cord.

Added: Leather cordage

Shorthair Dog: "If you wanna offload some stuff, ya should set up shop inside! Lotsa business with the races soon after all!" He says as he pedals off with a wave.



Meanwhile, you think over her proposition for only a second.

You: "Seems awful expensive for something I can do on my own... What other services can you offer for the fish?"

Cat: "You won't be able to sell it whole without parting it away... That will take time." She says silently.

That is a good point. Maybe a local can find a buyer much easier than you could. She seems to have dodged your question though.

You: "Oh yeah? Throw in your underwear and you can have a fish. Can't go wrong with a length of cloth!"

Cat: "Yes... There is much utility..."

Without much of a delay she sets her walking staff down, and as she comes up, her metal claw undoes the knots keeping her under-rig together. Her tail swishes as she pulls the length of cloth free. She holds it forwards.


Cat: "Here. I can make another."
>>
No. 960502 ID: b323f1
File 158581203430.png - (319.79KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_128.png )
960502

You sweat as you take it in your hand. The voices in your head made you think it, so you were only half serious.

Skald: "Good trade." The rocker returns. A bite taken from their strange roasted shwarma. Smells good.

Skald: "I am heading to 'The Mississippi Queen'. A ship-tavern to ply my skills. The merchant said they have drink and room. You may as of yet find someone who needs the skills of a driver."

You: "Huh... I am still looking to trade for the things on my list. More glass, and all that goon and wire."

Cat: "The Tyresmith has much wire."

The beggar has been looking over some of your goods, eyes drawn to your remaing seatucka. Her tail swishing in the air.
>>
No. 960504 ID: b323f1
File 158581308390.png - (327.64KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_129.png )
960504

You hand her a toothy Greenfish. Leaving you with half your clawfish, and another longfish.

One and a half rations of Seatucka Remaining

She must have caught your gaze upon your fish as you hand it over.

Cat: "The seapriests gather today. They bring word of the watergods."

You look at her questioningly

Cat: "They can offer vision at the brinepool to find your desires. For a sacrifice."

She says nothing else as she takes her fish into her mouth to hold as she bends to grab her walking staff.

There it is again. The strange seeping feeling from the grotto of the Oceanman.

Skald: "Be wary of deals with desert gods. Their bargains come with high prices."

You: "Maybe I don't mind paying the price? What do you know? I have things to find, mate. Stuff to get done."

Skald: "Your choices are your own, Driver. Even I feel the call of the sea, but I have much I quest for as well... Your wheels won't come to you for nothing."

Skald: "Arest thou to follow to the Queen, or how to you plan to less your load?"
>>
No. 960516 ID: b07f1c

I doubt the Tyresmith would be interested in the fish oil, so we'd probably need to sell our oil and other stuff first. However, we don't know what the Tyresmith wants, so either we'd need to sell the oil for what the smith needs, or something that we can use as a currency. Ask the cat to take you to the Tyresmith and on the way ask her what people use as a currency around here. Or what would be valuable to trade the oil for that we could then use to buy the stuff we need.
>>
No. 960517 ID: ba56e6

>>960504
Go along with the cat. You paid for her help after all. Ask what title she goes by.
>>
No. 960643 ID: e7c7d3

Go get your fortune told at the brinepool
>>
No. 966903 ID: a66a83
File 158972649339.png - (421.15KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_130.png )
966903

You: “Look. We might be traveling together, but we aren’t traveling together, mate. I’ll keep in mind you’ll be at the Mississippi Queen. If we meet back up, I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ve got some Aqueous Divination to get done.”

You say, easing your cart around towards the village proper.

Skald: “Driver… Always so stubborn… Always stuck in the old ways. As if gods and bargains ever works out.” *Chew Chew*


You pick your tail up so it doesn’t slip under a wheel as you try to catch up to the cat. She was at a slower pace. Still quicker than you expected by the state of her condition.

You: “What do I call you?”

Cat: “Kitten.”

You: “Oh.”

As you pass through the large packed earth walls, and metal gates of the village you can see the place before you. Shrouded in shade given by the vast cloths and tents that surround it, giving a fine respite from the scorching sun.

The buildings are ramshackle scrap and built of tin one room construction, ancient boats, or made of earth and crafted well. Some even have lighting. People you pass by seem to be desert nomads. Wearing clothes and goods they have crafted, or traded and scavenged from far away on their long voyages across deep sand-sea. Even street-side merchants ply their trade. Offering baubles of glass and strings intermixed with fine desert-dweller crafts, such as kopeshes and knives made by hand. Strange aromas fill the air as you pass by tent covered bazaars.

You: “Are you leading me to the Tyresmith?”

Kitten: “No. The seapriests gather.”
>>
No. 966906 ID: a66a83
File 158972713885.png - (817.36KB , 1200x1500 , Wasteland_131.png )
966906

You breach the outer ring of small shops and homes, and before you, you can see a large crowd has gathered. It must be nearly everyone in the village right now, save for the few strange wanderers you had passed on your way here. Above the crowd you can see an pier high above. On that upper level you can make out the metal workings of an old rollercoaster and whatever buildings are up there are obscured from view from below.

Kitten: “Follow close. I know the way to the front.”

A foul stench clings to the air. That of salt and brine. So thick and fetid. You try to stick close behind her. The people here are not just nomads or desert voyagers. They are scrappers and scavengers. Travelers from places elsewhere. They mix here with strange sea-people who must be those religious water-cultists who live in the village year-round while not in use by the nomads.

“Do you think you’ll see it?”

“I wonder if the time is soon.” A raspy bat says

“The Sea Shall Provide…” A man wearing a crabtrap on his head

“This all seems bogus.” Some wandering catman

All mutterings of the people gathered here.

You brush past several desert-dwellers carrying large handmade Amphorae, and bump elbows with wastelanders and desertrippers holding their bottles and jars, and offerings of vege and foods.

You wait patiently. The crowd chatters amongst everyone else. Mostly keeping to their spots so as to not upset their neighbors in waiting. Kitten manages to bring you to the front, where you have view of what lays below. The source of the smell.

The brinepool. Eerily similar to the sea you found within the mountain, you think… In the Tomb of The Oceanman.

A blaring horn of conch blows, as if on cue.
>>
No. 966908 ID: a66a83
File 158972760088.png - (410.96KB , 1200x1200 , OceanInOurBones.png )
966908

They arrive in procession.

The seapriests number three. Dressed in great robes and regalia. Bones and shells and artefacts of the time past drape their forms. Doing much to hide their being, but as they near the pier’s end, you can see their true forms.

One carries their banner and water tank. This one, draped in robe and net is long and serpentine, wearing a breathing apparatus turned reverse to suit their needs, as if in some holy ritual of meaning.

The conchbearer wears a regal robe of shells and seaglass. A blindfold inscribed with a familiar sigil of the Eye. She has a glowing lure which dimly illuminates the frightening teeth behind the shadow of her hood.

Finally, the head priest raises a clawed, webbed hand. As if to silence an already quiet crowd. His voice booms.

”Another cycle has passed. The… Ocean quakes once more. Mothersea SHUDDERS with anticipation. Those of you who have arrived, come at a momentous time! A time of binding, a time of PEACE and PLENTY. The BOUNTY of the SEA is ENDLESS. She will RETURN, and with the GREAT INUNDATION, THE WORLD WILL LIVE. COME. OFFER SACRIFICE. GIVE TO THE SEA. FEED HER CREATURES, AND SHE WILL GIVE BACK. FIND YOUR FORTUNE IN THE BRINEPOOL. The Oracle has seen it’s depths, and the Eel cometh, bringing your greatest desire. It precedes the Geyser. As is the cycle. Offer your prayers to the gods and heroes of the sea-past, and may they find Poseidon's ear. Then you may fill your vessels with the fluid of life. The gift of the once-sea. The Ocean in Our Bones.”


With that, the offerings are tossed. Pieces of valuable bread and hardtack. Vegetables, and even meat. A half eaten fish. The meal given to Kitten by you lands placidly in the water with a sploosh. A great token of faith amongst the faithful.
>>
No. 966912 ID: a66a83
File 158972851312.png - (181.46KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_132.png )
966912

You catch yourself gazing into the pool… A simple crag between stones, where no other who is gathered here bothers check. There, through its murky salty algal depths do you see a flash of gold. Eelflesh. You have found it. Or has it found you?

"Hey there dreamer"
“Planeswalker? What is it your greatest wish, Driver?”
“I sense The One Who Saved within you"


The eel speaks into the depths of your mind.
>>
No. 966922 ID: d63ea8

"Salvation."
>>
No. 966926 ID: e51896

Is the eel speaking to your mind, or are you hallucinating?

regardless, your greatest wish is a never-ending one: survive.
>>
No. 966929 ID: 5877dc

Tell it you need a bitchin' ride. Say that the Oceanman didn't tell you shit so it better start talkin'. Or would it be better if you asked the priests? A Cadillac made for the desert would be nice. And if it doesn't know of any usable cars nearby, then you at least want to know the way to the Tomb of The Rider.
>>
No. 966930 ID: 6f7a5a

if she ask the priests anything talk to the serpent, she looks the most friendly
>>
No. 966942 ID: ba56e6

My core. Survive.
My quest. Salvation.
The Driver drives. To outrun the end, the Driver needs a road, the road to a future.
>>
No. 966951 ID: 094652

Do not answer.
>>
No. 966967 ID: 9876c4

We seek to craft the ultimate sandwich, that heralds the end of all things. Might need a few trial runs, though.
>>
No. 966975 ID: 5b93d3

>>966912
>What is it your greatest wish, Driver?
To drive.
>>
No. 967796 ID: 681fd6
File 159040223738.png - (134.87KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_133.png )
967796

>>Salvation
The thought that immediately comes up is often the truth. You seek salvation. Whatever lies at the end of this road, you know it will save you

"You seek salvation, but what does it entail, drifter?"
"Are you hoping that whatever is at the end of the path will harry you to a land of plenty? Will they absolve you? Save your soul, warrior?"


>>Is the Eel speaking in your mind, or are you hallucinating?
You ask yourself, but before your brain is able to form a solution or idea, its presence slips in between the folds of your mind. It's there.

>>Say nothing
...

"Your mind is open to me. As clear as a moonlit night. Not as placid. You can understand what I say as simply and easily as the voices in your head. Do not fear me, traveler."[s]

You see only the eel. Turning in on itself in strange knots and coiling into impossible slippery angles. It probes your mind as you don't respond.

[s]"I know you hunger. You, like all, seek food that will not only sustain you, but nourish body and soul. You will find your meal. sandwich? Hero?"

"You met him. The Oceanman in his watery grave. All beings of the sea owe their lives to him. He was judging, nomad. To deem you worthy of the water's grace.

You may wish to speak with the priests. They carry much power, much sway, but beware. They never grant anything for free, acolyte."

"Speak your mind, I already know what you want. Say it. Your desires must be yours to make known."


The Eel reads you like a book. You resign yourself to communicate with it.

>>My greatest desire?

>>My core. Survive.
>>My quest. Salvation.
>>My greatest desire. To Drive.

"Yes. The Driver drives. To outrun the end, the Driver needs a road, the road to a future. A road to salvation. Only you can find that road, hitchhiker."

>>I know. Everyone says the same thing. I need a ride. A bitchin' ride. One to take me where I need to go

"I know. I know. You seek a treasure. One that does not come easy. The driver has driven many rides throughout all ages. Always you find yourself your wheels. You are already on the right path, you know. The heart of your ride must be firm. You could build a body, sure. You could trade for one. Ply your skills, and work for one. Even the priests could bestow one to you, should you find yourself in their graces. Even win one in the races, speeder."

Though, Kitten knows more than she lets on. She can lead you to the Hauler. The Hauler can show you to a bitchin' ride. Perhaps in this case, the quickest solution is the best. The tomb of the rider is far, road warrior. You will do well with a ride, and a guide. One or the other?"

"Will you listen to my words?"

>>
No. 967798 ID: 015bf2

>Will you listen?
You might be hard headed but not hard of hearing, you've been listening. Asking Kitten about Hauler sounds good. Ocean priests is the second time you've been warned of... and while a shortcut's tempting, you'd rather keep all your limbs inside the vehicle.

Unless... what, you have a request, o' golden Eel?

You'll listen. There's a time for pit stops and there's a time for side-quests.
>>
No. 967824 ID: e7c7d3

>You will find your meal. Sandwich? Hero?
I always suspected our protagonist was a sub.

Speak with the priests and see what they can offer. But the Kitten is probably our best bet for a ride.
>>
No. 967841 ID: 422cea

I wish to pet the eel.
>>
No. 967930 ID: ba56e6

The driver always listens to her passengers. Say your piece, eel.

And a good turn deserves another in kind. Have you a desire, eel?
>>
No. 968069 ID: 5877dc

Why are we being called a hero? We've done nothing yet. And at this point we'll take all we can get. Sure, we'll listen.

If we need to make a choice, then I suppose we should turn to the Kitten for now. And the Hauler.
>>
No. 968142 ID: e51896

>>968069
Nah, it's talking about a hero sandwich, as in a sub sandwich. There's no heroes or villains in this wasteland, just crazy people trying to get by... lets stop thinking about food though, ok?
>>
No. 968145 ID: b1b4f3

>>967796
Sure let's talk to Kitten.
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