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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?
421 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
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.
>>
No. 969544 ID: f89f75
File 159192527328.png - (268.10KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_135.png )
969544

Racking my mind

”You seem concerned, Driver; But I know you to listen. If you seek the Tomb of The Rider, you will do fine with getting a ride there.”

>A… Shortcut? That sounds fine to me… though; This is the second time I have been warned about the Seapriests. Do They hide something?

”Yes”

>…

You wonder to yourself what that could be. Or what they could want for that shortcut of theirs...

”I hide much as well. though, I can tell you about their desire… They seek an artifact. Hidden in a temple to the old gods of surface science. Deep on the ocean floor. Beyond the Oceanman’s fortress. The one he rose from in the new-times. The price of bargaining with the powers of the sea-gods. The priests fear it, but I love it.

>What? The oceanliner wrecked on that mountain on the other side of the salt flat? There’s a temple past there?

”Yes, you saw the vessel. Sailor. Beyond that in the deepest of depths, where only the ocean’s bleached bones lie will you find what they seek. It is the goal of the race after all, scavenger. It’s always the goal every year, and they choose a winner out of pity. Even though none understand what they truly seek.

You think for a moment. To think of the skald’s suggestion. Build your ride the honest way, take jobs with those looking for skills? How long would that take? Surely, if there is a shorter way you must pursue it. Bah with the worry of deals with desert-powers.

”Beware of promises of shortcuts, vagabond. Tripper. Your mind can lead you into dangerous water where there is much bait to take, fisher. Be wary of even the tastiest of morsels."

You wish to reach out. To pet the Eel. But it already beat you to it. You feel the Eel’s embrace. Relaxing in the water at last. Floating. Embraced. Naked. Why is this familiar?

”I cannot offer much more, as I am but only an Eel.

>What of you? What is it you seek, o’ Golden Eel?

”Only The ocean. Where did the water go?”
>>
No. 969545 ID: f89f75
File 159192549018.gif - (8.84MB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_134.gif )
969545

“… The Oracle Foretold! The stars have aligned! The moon ripens, and the sea stirs! The tribes have gathered, the trade is rich, and the ocean’s bounty still provides!”

The Eel filled your mind with too many thoughts to properly understand, but you did manage to make something of it. You have a lot of options now… You cry in your mind’s eye over the loss to the world. Though you aren’t sure just how much of those feelings are yours, or the Eel’s.

You could only barely catch what the priests speak of now. The golden creature’s dancing… It’s mourning… What did it say about shortcuts? What was the advice offered?

“…And so the races Will be starting at the end of the moon! Anyone may enter, and the quickest will win!” The serpent priestess says in a chirpy slippery tone which came out a little warbled as her mouth emptied of water.

That word pulls you out. Pushing some primal button in your brain. A race? That’s it! Then you can be the champion of this seacult? The Tomb of the Rider is as good as yours.

Now you just need a ride… Almost any will do. You’ve already seen several candidates. Though would taking a bike or ostrich mean your victory? Don’t think like a pedestrian. You know what you need. Wheels. Combustion. You turn to Kitten and tug on her sleeve. As you suspected, it’s empty.

You: “Do you know the Hauler?”

Kitten: “…Yes.”

You: “I need a ride. I heard they can bag me some wheels.”

She thinks for a moment before responding as the crowd chatters amongst themselves, waiting for what happens next.

Kitten: “I can take you there, but if I do, the debt is paid. I will not find you a buyer for your oil.” She casts her glance down at you. Tapping your barrel with her staff and curling her fluffy tail around behind her.

Do you accept Kitten’s offer? It might make fulfilling your deal with the Angler a little more difficult, but it could be an opportunity? You WOULD like to get your hands on a bitchin’ ride. As quickly as possible, but you do have all this oil to move. Then there’s always whatever nonsense the Skald had in mind.

Alternatively, the races welcome anyone who think’s they’ve got their hands on a mount or vehicle that could win.

The world is your oyster
>>
No. 969551 ID: d61bff

We should probably take care of the oil first; the eel did warn us about shortcuts, after all
>>
No. 969552 ID: f56a2b

Go with the oil. Settle the account.
>>
No. 969553 ID: b1b4f3

>>969551
>>969552
Yes.

We can find the Hauler a different way.
>>
No. 969556 ID: ba56e6

The Driver does not forget a fare, hers' or another's. The oil to repay the Angler must be settled first.

Remember to always lend an ear to passengers. Gather your Skald and hear his words.
>>
No. 969561 ID: e7c7d3

Take up the Kitten's offer. The oil can't be that hard to sell, but getting a guide to the Hauler might be a one time thing.
>>
No. 969570 ID: 9876c4

The cat's favor only go so far. Let's sell the oil, then do the rest on our own power.
>>
No. 969572 ID: dbc0ce

Oil is important right now.
>>
No. 969621 ID: 12b116

oil is top priority
>>
No. 969651 ID: 5877dc

Getting a ride has priority over selling the oil. We have plenty of stuff to trade so in the worst case, we simply do another trade to get another favor from the Kitten. We have plenty of time to trade the oil, but only so much before the races start.
>>
No. 969656 ID: e51896

I realize something,

Should we warn these people about how we spotted a group of weirdo warriors lead by someone named Enginehead and how they are gojng to ride their doom-train to destroy and steal everything in their path? Seems like kind of a huge deal
>>
No. 969869 ID: 5b93d3

>>969545
Beware the dangled bait. Pay your debt first.
>>
No. 970053 ID: e9da1f

Getting the boat motor from the Anglerbf is a solid plan. Let's try not to stir up too much worry about Enginehead until after we get our sick new ride put together. Even if it means collecting parts individually
>>
No. 970218 ID: ea1fff

Get the Hauler involved after selling the oil. We need to get the resources for the boat engine from angler. If we need to we can just use our rewards from winning the races to pay back the angler
>>
No. 971664 ID: cf6ac3
File 159414468905.png - (541.58KB , 1200x1500 , Wasteland_138.png )
971664

>>Should you mention the weird warriors and possible doom at the hands of the Enginehead's barbaric hoard and impending roadwar?
The answer is maybe... You know it's coming. There's probably no stopping it. The setback with the landslide will leave them scrambling for a while. Maybe long enough to get your car and go out past The Dune, like what the Skald mentioned. If you stir up worries, will it affect your ability to land a set of wheels?

Kitten calms you after a moment, as you still have yet to witness the miracle.

A few more minutes pass as chanting begins to erupt from the crowd, and suddenly what the seapriest said was true. The earth shakes as an eruption of water from a pipe below the dock issues forth it's rapture. Carrying along denizens of the deep.

[b]"At last! The ocean's bounty! Rejoice as a new set of the mothersea's chosen joins us, from within her watery-womb! Dip your buckets, children. Drink deep of her love."

The chanting continues well after the seapriests announce open season. Those with vessels of clay or glass or metal scoop their full from the brinepool. Avoidant of the critters that make it their home.

It astounds you. Free water?! Even salty muck can be purposed to something drinkable with a bit of effort, and these priests re just giving it away. No matter, as at the moment you have a canister of clean aqua-pura ready to drink. As much as you are into free things you don't really have much space to spare for additional water just yet.

You follow kitten after her praises to the ceremony begin to settle. As the crowd begins to disperse save for the most devout, you follow her through cramped village streets, stepping over drunks and cripples as you make your way to her destination.

You pass by several buildings of note on your way. Namely the Tyresmith, a Hookah lounge, and a Grill. In each of those locations you can see work or business being carried out as a fit worker stacks tyres, and the smith works on wheels for wagons or bikes. Fitting them with repurposed or patched tyres at an electro-powered machine, and smoke-addled people partake in drink in a nondescript longhut of earthen construction.

Kitten: "Our ancestors in their wisdom left us these artefacts so we could survive. Find new meaning in the vastness of our timescapes. The Seaking hid them well."

You: "..."

Kitten: "It is true. Through them, we are granted the gifts of the once-sea. The words of the Oceanman still ring true. The water is safe if our hearts remain pure."

You approach a clearing in the village in which a tent-bazaar is quickly filling with folks going about their business. Scents from the Hookahbar mingle with that of animals and exotic goods. A robed man offers trade of beasts out in front of a large covered wagon, and a watertower stands beyond the bazaar. A smoke stack pours charcoal fumes out the top.

You yawn and rub your eyes, but you continue forth. Following her into the crowded place. Ever-mindful of quickfingered urchins.
>>
No. 971665 ID: cf6ac3
File 159414852847.png - (437.28KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_137.png )
971665

Dodging around shouting traders and their haggling merchants, you make your way into the depths of the bazaar. Where you find scavenger merchants hawking their wares from a before-time, and nomad tradesmen sell their handmade or exotic goods. Weaponsellers trade around knives, swords, and crossbows to wastelanders. Even small bits of technology looks to be traded here, though much of their purposes are lost on you, being cobbled together from ancient parts and detritus.

Kitten leads you before a large successful-looking merchant. His tired eyes betray a past of success and wealth. He stands behind a counter bareing valuable spices. A rare commodity in the wasteland indeed. How long ago has it been since you had food spiced with more than just seasalt?

Nomad Merchant: "Ah. Kitten. Your debt I presume?"

Kitten: "This traderat. She has goods for sale. High quality Fish-oil. She is looking to make deal."

He peeks down over you and your pullcart.

Nomad Merchant: "I see. What is it you are looking for, Fish-o? Have a target price?"

Glancing around his stall, you can see it has many plastic containers of clean water. Barrels containing it are sorted all throughout.

You: "I do. I am looking for glass vessels. Phials, bottles, jars, anything. I also need welding wire and goon. Twenty gallons of the stuff."

Nomad Merchant: "Is that so?..." He slowly pulls from his headdress with his trunk, an inkpen, which he uses to scribble notes in a paper journal. This man must be pretty well-off.

Nomad Merchant: "Our glassblowers can make bottles to your specifications. I will charge you a quarter-gallon per piece. Five gallons for a spool of welding wire, and for your 'Goon' I can source you some of our wine. Price for that is a gallon-to-gallon basis.

You think for a moment. This seems like it was a pretty good call on Kitten's part. It sounds like this merchant is ready to purchase your full stock. You estimate you have around a 50-55 gallon drum of high octane fishoil. Is it worth that much?

You: "What else ya got? Car parts?"

Nomad Merchant: "Hmmn... We do have some... Boat parts mostly, but we do have this." He points to a large rusty muffler pinned on a wall behind him.

Nomad Merchant: "Two gallons. If you throw in two gallons more of water to sweeten the deal, then I have more. Trade the drum, Fish-o, and I'll give to you some choice parts. Any dune-eater would be jealous."

You squint a moment.

Nomad Merchant: "Shop around if you choose. Djinn, even sell it yourself if you can, but This is a fine deal I am offering. Even with those priests ruining the market, I can still offer you these excellent prices."

Kitten mostly stands there silently, trying to avoid everyone's gaze.

If you so chose, you could check out any of the other buildings, or maybe try to trade by hand. Parting it out. You yawn, as your day is catching up to you. Seems like they have a lot of goods for sale. A high variety if you are looking for something. Alternatively, you could try to seek out people who might be interested. The Angler did say it was good for nibbles. Maybe the hookah bar or grill might be interested? You do also have a bag of green you could trade, and all your other trade-goods. Though he DID say to trade the oil for as much as you could. This could be it. You want to find a way to win that first race, So hell, maybe you could even score yourself a mount here.
>>
No. 971668 ID: e7c7d3

We might be able to get goon elsewhere for cheaper. This doesn't seem like a merchant who sells the cheapest consumables. Still, with just ten gallons we can get the spool of wire and 20 glass bottles.

Though it sounds like if we just deal through him,(and go back to grab some water from the priests,) then we can get some good car parts too. I say agree to the whole shebang, even the wine, and try to barter for a mount as well.
>>
No. 971675 ID: 6e6f32

Let's Disect what just went down.

The trader preempted Kitten, recognizing her and mentioning "Her Debt", without being told why it was she was here. She either works for him and does this regularly, or is indebted to him.

The trader then asked questions find out what the oil was worth To you instead of letting you know what it's actually worth.

He then offered Custom Made Glass when you literally just asked for Any old glass vessel.
Let us also realize that he offered Custom Blown Glass of Any specification for One quarter the price of fucking hooch.
Blowing glass take special skills, equipment, but most importantly Fuel. Lot's of it.
I don't see an industrial glass blowing facility behind him. So either he possesses a lost tech power source, or he's lying. Considering that he is a merchant and not a king, It's probably the latter.
Also considering that pre-fall glass was cheap, common, and doesn't decay, it's almost a certainty that some Scaver around here is drowning in bottles.

He did not specify the size of the welding wire spool. You should deffo inspect it first and shop around.

Wine's quality and price varies wildly. Just ask random people on the street what they drink and who they get it from. Don't trust the word of anyone selling it. You'll find the right guy eventually.

Aaaaand a muffler. A shitty, rusty muffler. Not only do you personally have no need for it, as you need all the horsepower you can get out of your future ride, but in that condition it probably wont improve fuel efficiency anyway. It's trash. Literal Trash.

This is insulting. Move on. Don't blow up on him, even if he deserves it. The welding wire could be a specialty item, and if he's the only one who has it, better not get on his bad side.

Kitten got a free fish out of you, it seems. It may be worth pulling her aside privatly and asking why she's working with this guy, though.
>>
No. 971678 ID: ba56e6

>>971668
Agreed, get the wire and 20 glass bottles. We could look for cheaper booze, maybe a mount for the races, from other vendors. If nothing else comes up trade this guy for the goon.

If we get goon from him that leaves us about 20 gallons to work with finding a mount. Maybe more if we find cheeper goon.
>>
No. 971720 ID: 9876c4

Maybe we could race for this guy, and split the take in exchange for a better deal. Lots of money to be made...
>>
No. 971721 ID: 4286b4

>>971675
You need to remember that Kitten gave us a choice to take us to the Hauler instead. So while she may have a debt with this merchant, I don't think she's getting any favors for taking us here. However, I do think you're right in terms that this deal being somewhat unfavorable to us. As was written, this merchant seems to be well-off, and this would only be the case if the merchant often made good deals. Good deals for him, not for his customers.

Anyway, I'd first ask this merchant what sort of debt this cat holds with him. And then tell him that the deal doesn't sound great. The wine specifically, unless it was a really high quality wine, I don't think it would trade at 1:1 to the fish oil.

But, eh, I don't wanna get too greedy here. Tell the merchant that your offer is all your fish oil for the welding wire, 20 gallons of wine, 80 glass bottles, the muffler, a choice part, and forgiving the Kitten's debt.
>>
No. 971742 ID: d63ea8

I spy an adjustable wrench as well, how much does it cost?

I'd say that we should probably sell as much as we can today so long as we can get a decent price.
>>
No. 971743 ID: 16fd81

>>971721
That she would take us to the hauler doesn't mean much. She may have stuck around and offered to bring us here for another fish for all we know. Maybe she works with or owes a lot of people. Who knows? We sure don't. We barely just met her.
>>
No. 972541 ID: f005d3
File 159499466254.png - (631.91KB , 1200x1500 , Wasteland_140.png )
972541

Hmmn

You take a moment to look over your trade-goods and think. It might not be as good a deal as you initially thought. What exactly is the oil worth to him that he offers you these prices?

You: "I gotta lotta good Oil here. Let me see what kind of wine you've got on offer."

He nods slowly

Nomad Merchant: "A sample? Of course..."

He stands up so you can get a good look at his size Seems like he is crosslegged behind the stand there. He heads behind a tent to fetch a bottle.

In the mean-time you can get a word with Kitten.

You: "Debt? What kind of debt?"
Kitten: "I owe the sandsmen life. Without his resources, I would be without leg and arm. Now I can feed myself. Someday I get new arm." She says, motioning her empty sleeve.

Seems like it is an arm and a leg in debt. Might take a lot to repay them.

She sees you thinking

Kitten: "Worry not for my sake. I am crafty. I repay." You don't think you were too keen on paying someone else's debt in most cases. Especially with another person's goods anyway.


The elephant returns baring a clay jug, and a spool of welding wire. Looks complete and of fair enough quality that you'd probably use it for autobody work if you had it.

He begins to pour you a small sample of the wine. To which you scent and taste. Though your tastebuds are weathered and blunted, you taste hints of wood and fruit. This wine is of exceptional quality for the wasteland, like most of the goods created by these crafty people. This is a far cry from anything you'd come close to calling "Goon".

After you taste it he looks at you expectantly. You begin to turn and walk away.

Kitten: "You are going to let her walk? I saw the oil. Is good."

Nomad Merchant: "Hush Kitten. You know the deal gypsy. I'll have my boy dig up those Choice Parts for when you return. Then you make up your mind."

-

You set your pace throughout the bazaar. Looking through people's stalls and letting others merchants know what you're selling. Your first destination is the desert cultist who has been shouting about her beasts for sale.

Bug Acolyte: "Behold. Beasts of burden, beasts of speed! Wanna-be racers, workers, travelers? Come trade! Limited time offers! We are practically giving them away! Ride one off the lot today!"

You: "I have fish oil. How much?"

Bug Acolyte: "I have Camels! Cadillacs of the desert! Light on your money pouch for refueling, with no emission control! Ride through eternal sand-sea in style! Efficient, stable, with a medium payload! Comes in one or two hump trim levels! I offer... for thirty gallons of your oil... Thirty five for two hump.

For mutant Emu? What a deal! A real sandspeeder! With your frame, and a light payload? You'd be leaving your pursuits in the dust in no time! Live fast, eat fast, die quick with these 'beauts! Twenty gallons. For... Erm... a less mutant Emu, I offer Twenty five. This one produces eggs!

Burdenbeasts are valuable. They are mighty, strong, and have oodles of torque. Carry all your goods with ease! Also thirty gallons."

*Sniff* "I-I'll trade for half that stash you got..."

The bug is chipper and ready to sell.

You nod, and continue on. Sounds expensive, but you never expected a mount to be cheap.

-

Some Scavver: "Oh yeah. I'm just drownin' in bottles. Gottem outda' whazwoo. Ifya need bottles, I'm yer man."

"Gimme yer bottle'o pop'n five gallon's o' yer oil, n' Ill setcha up with..."

You tap your foot impatiently.

"Forty?..."

You: "With no cracks?"

Some Scavver: "Ya drive-a hard bargain ya tradergypsy-types..."

You: "I'll think about it."

-

Finally, a short trudge brings you back to a drunk you saw before. An old vet of some water war.

You: "Where can I get some cheap drink?"

Drunk: "Jus n' thar, lass..."

You thank him and pull open the curtain to reveal the hookah lounge. A hyena sits at a bar, and the sounds of a simple two stringed twang ring out. The voices of a few patrons enjoying their smoke and drinks in discussion of some description. the bartender waves you over.

Bartender: "Ah! What'll I getya! here fer drink or smoke?"

You: "I'm here for goon. Heard you can get me some of the cheap stuff."

Bartender: "You heard right. Good deals. Whatya got to trade? I'm low on sweets."

You: "I need twenty gallons of goon. I'll pay you two gallons of fish oil for twenty gallons of goon."

Bartender: "Hmmn... Buying for a party? I can do that..."

You: "I'll be back."
>>
No. 972548 ID: f005d3
File 159499587357.png - (238.19KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_141.png )
972548

You begin your return back to the Nomad Merchant.

You've done some investigating of your own, and you think you could score pretty good deals on your missing supplies. All that is left is the welding wire, which you can trade for there.

You are doing the math of how much oil all of those deals would cost you before you come upon the merchant's stall ahead. Looks like he has new things set upon his counter. A young catboy is unpacking a box.

Nomad Merchant: "Ah, hello there. You've returned at a good moment. I have here some choice goods."

Choice indeed. There is lengths of electric wire in good condition here, fuses, a couple spark plugs that don't look overused. A couple boat parts including a length of rope, and a ship's wheel. An oil lantern, While they are unpacking you place that huge adjustable monkey wrench you saw near a pile onto the counter as well.

Nomad Merchant: "And the main event..."

The catboy struggles to put a huge turbo-charger onto the table here. You sweat.

Nomad Merchant: "The muffler did not impress you, but maybe this? This power-snail is fine and strong. Largest we've seen. Out of a powerful truck. With this, no matter your ride, any Dune-eater would go green."

Looks like some huge diesel truck is missing it's turbo. You reckon you could pull some serious boost from a thing like that. With the proper set-up.

Nomad Merchant: "Do all your oil deal through me, and you can have everything here."

Seems like he wants you to trade your oil for his wine, wire, and glass, and he would throw all this in as a bonus.
>>
No. 972553 ID: ba56e6

Hm. That mutant emu sounds like it would be just the ticket for the races if you were a more experienced beast rider instead of a driver. How good are you at steering animals?

Do you happen to know what they're a cultist to?
>>
No. 972615 ID: e7c7d3

So we've got better deals of goon and bottles outside of the merchant. The wire though we'd have to get from him.

If we go purely through the merchant, we can get 20 galleons of wine, the wire, and a whopping 100 bottles. Plus the turbo, fuse, spark plugs, lantern, monkey wrench, and ship wheel

Outside the merchant, we would still need to grab the wire from him, the 20 gallons of goon, 40 bottles,, a less mutant emu, and still have 8 gallons for other things.
(If I did all my math right.)

The bottle guy technically has a better deal, but if we really can get 100 bottles from the merchant, then that's a better goal. Plus we get a lot of goods for fixing up a car.

I say we take the merchants deal
>>
No. 972616 ID: 9876c4

>>972615
Ultimately we're in a race against time, and we need all the contacts we can get, so I agree.

I'm not saying this is a trustworthy fellow, but his influence could probably prove useful.
>>
No. 972619 ID: ba56e6

>>972615
You've convinced me. I am in agreement.
>>
No. 972717 ID: ff6f52

I'm convinced as well. It's obviously not a great deal, but we can get these parts too? Hopefully the Angler wouldn't be too cross that we weren't able to get absolutely the best deal we could. Maybe he'd think we are doing this for ourself? Guess all we need is a car to put the engine he promised us into
>>
No. 972746 ID: 5b93d3

>>972548
>Do all your oil deal through me, and you can have everything here
He wants us to trade through him, not just with him. He may take a cut, be we can let him handle haggling for the bottles and Goon while we just offload all our oil easy-peasey.
>>
No. 972926 ID: 4286b4

>>972746
Yes, I think this would be the smartest thing to do.

Basically, we tell him about the other merchants selling the mounts, the goon and the bottles. Then we tell him that, if he went there and haggled with them for us, he could take the difference he makes with haggling as his own profit.

So like >>972615 said, we'd be getting a mount, 20 gallons of goon, around 40 bottles and the wire. But because we would be doing the deal through him, we'd still get all of these bonus parts. Who knows, maybe he'd even haggle us a better mount.
>>
No. 973058 ID: 83c82f
File 159558124382.png - (186.04KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_142.png )
973058

You: “I can do my business elsewhere. There are traders who can get me better deals on the goods I am looking for.”

Nomad Merchant: “That is true. My goods are better quality. Top glass, top wine… Top parts…”

You have to agree, it is pretty tempting. That settles it.

You: “I’ll do my business through you. If you can get me a better deal on the bottles. There’s those smoke acolytes who are selling mounts. I want to get one of those Emus.”

Nomad Merchant: “That isn’t part of our deal, gypsy… If you want to purchase one of those creatures, we would need to adjust our negotiation.”

You: “See what you can do. I need as many bottles as I can get, all the wine, the wire… Everything I said. I’m against the clock here. If you can get me a quick mount, I’ll race for you.”

He tilts his head. Placing weights on a scale, measuring some bright red spice.

You: “Split the take. Lots of money to be made. Lots of trade.”

Nomad Merchant: “Eh? You don’t strike me as much of a rider… Besides. We already have a racer. Born to a tribe of beastmasters. Last year’s runner-up. You think you could do better than a natural-born cavalier on a sandstreaker?”

You: “If I beat this Beastmaster, you sponsor me. I need parts. Good ones, mate.”

He strokes his trunk in thought

Nomad Merchant: “I see… You have plans, yes? To build a ride? Become the priest’s champion?”

You: “If their reward will help me reach my goal.”

Right around now the silent cat begins to speak. Tying herself new underwear from a length of spare cloth.

Kitten: ”That beastmaster is just the runner-up… The current champions are a team… Never been beat.”

You tilt your ears at that. Whiskers twitch.

Nomad Merchant: “No one said we needed to beat them. Not that it’s an option. Runner-up gets a fine reward every year. Along with our wagers? More than worth the investment to even come to this desolate place.

Kitten: The first race of the series begins the end of next week. I seen. Many new contestants this geyser-cycle. Warriors, scavengers. Dangerous. Some with combustion. Beastmaster is not sure thing.”

She obviously has her nose to the ground with workings of the town. Looks like Kitten has this merchant’s ear in these matters.

Kitten: ”Perhaps a new driver is good investment. A crazy-eyed warrior who can do what is needed to get what she wants” She glances at you from under her hat’s brim.

You wait for his response. Obviously, he is thinking of how to best protect his investments. Racers mounted on the backs of beasts, even on mutant creatures would have a hard time competing against combustion vehicles.

Nomad Merchant: “These times are changing… I will offer you a chance, Fisho. Beat the Beastmaster in the first race in the series, and we can sponsor you. We split the keep of these races. I cannot offer you anything else until you can prove you can beat our racer. I will haggle with the Acolytes for a mount. Though I am unsure how many bottles I will be able to provide afterwards.”

The conversation pauses for a moment. The sounds of the bazaar echo around you. Only one thing is on your mind.

You: “Who are these champions?”

Kitten: ”They are Dune-eaters. Technowarriors from beyond the sandsea. Drive their ride. The Doom Buggy. An all-terrain vehicle powered by artefact of the lost age. A nuclear engine. Even the seaking could not hide it’s awesome power. Like a dragon it flies over the salt.

That is a tough one… That would normally be in a category all to it’s self, but they race it alongside tribals on bird-back?

Nomad Merchant: “Don’t worry about them. If you even beat the Beastmaster, we will make profit.”

Nomad Merchant: “Meanwhile, our deal is at hand. I will need time to have all the goods prepared and consolidated. You should find yourself bedding here in the village. I will leave you two gallons of oil for such a thing. You have water too, right? Should be more than enough to find lodging. That Tavern-ship always has space. Even at this time of year. Or stay with Kitten.”

She shifts a bit on her robotic leg.

You do feel tired… It’s been a long few days. Maybe something to eat and drink, and a safe place to sleep might do you well. You could probably find lodging anywhere you want with your oil and water. At least you’ve finally lightened your load.

Removed: Drum of Fish Oil

Added: Jug of Fish Oil (2 Gallons)
Box of Choice Parts and welding wire

>>
No. 973079 ID: 6931f1

The vehicles do have a weakness tho. Sabotage~
But how could we get to the Doom Buggy unnoticed? Hmm.

I'm pretty sure staying with Kitten would be cheaper than the Tavern-ship, so that should be a good choice. Assuming she's fine with it heh. What's the bird up to tho?
>>
No. 973085 ID: df76b1

We don't need the best accommodations. Something flat and warm would do nicely. I'd rather spend most of that remaining fuel on rations for the trip there and back again.
>>
No. 973101 ID: 6e6f32

Hmm... I wonder if we could take or break a critical part of The Doom Buggy.
Messing with the nuclear core is a fools errand, but... It probably has special parts to make the core useful for a racing vehicle, though without knowing the individual nature of the core it's impossible to speculate.

One thing is certain though: It's gonna have a super high quality custom transmission.
The core will behave differently than and likely operate outside of the normal ranges typical of a combustion engine. Stock part's likely won't be able to efficiently transmit that power to the ground. I bet our trader friend here could get us a pretty penny for it though.
>>
No. 973188 ID: ba56e6

>>973101
True. Any part we break besides the nuclear core would be almost impossible to replace.

Ask if Kitten would be fine with you staying with her. And make sure to check what the Skald is up to.
>>
No. 973309 ID: 389f51

I'd like to see what the SKALD is up to before making a decision. Staying with kitten sounds cute, I wonder what her home is like
>>
No. 976435 ID: 764f9e
File 160017931008.png - (486.09KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_143.png )
976435

>>Vehicles do have a weakness, sabotage
>>Taking or breaking a critical part of The Doom Buggy

You might not be entirely above sabotage if it means you can win, but if these guys are serious racers with a ride like that, they probably take precautions. You yourself aren’t averse from boobytrapping your own ride to protect it from others, but in turn you’re pretty good about spotting security systems.

You: “Is The Doom Buggy in the village? Can I see it?”

Kitten: ”They are not. The technowarriors arrive the day of the events and only stay long enough to claim their prizes. It feels as though the races are just a formality to collect the treasures of the sea and add them to their swag bag.

You think for a moment. They obviously have some way to tell when the races start, but arriving the day of? Maybe it could give you a chance to scout the competition

You: “How about the beastmaster? Is he in town?”

Kitten: ”Yes, but the visiting tribes follow tradition. They stay on the outskirts or in the outquarters where they are amongst those of their ilk. Away from the eyes of the sea.”

You expected about as much. Its harder to sabotage a creature anyway, but you’ve got time to prepare for the race… Maybe it’s about time to hunker down. You’ve been standing about the bazaar for some time now, and many of the visitors seem to be finishing up their transactions and heading out.

You: “You don’t mind if I bunk with you?”

Kitten:

She nods her head softly

You: “… I think I’d like to visit The Mississippi Queen. Maybe grab some grub. See how someone’s doing.”

Kitten: ”I can accompany”
>>
No. 976439 ID: 764f9e
File 160017979064.png - (668.16KB , 1800x1200 , Wasteland_144.png )
976439

You go for a walk across the village. Mind filled with thoughts of that nuclear vehicle, and it's mysterious core... The packed salty earth soft against your feet, padding through the well-trod village streets. You see many people returning from the brine pool with their vessels full of the salty water. It seems like the ritual had been successful, as the boardwalk above the village seems to be lit by electric lights in celebration.

You near the large steamship. The Mississippi Queen. There are several armed guards keeping out riffraff, but they look you up and down, and allow you through with little hassle. You climb the creaky wooden stairs to it’s deck. There you can clearly hear the turning of the massive engines within. That must be what is providing power for the few electrics and machines you have spotted in several places around judging by the multitude of wires exiting the ship.

When you enter in through the heavy door, the room is bathed in the soft glow of ‘lectrics, and oil lamps. The warmth of steam and the various heat sources help make this place part sweat lounge, by the feel of things. The tavern itself isn’t as busy as you expected. Likely everyone is still counting their gains from tonight’s ceremony. Wires are fed through cracks or holes in the various decks, and there are still some figures around the bar.

A drunken possum, obviously a seacultist by the smell of brine and the fishhook piercings,

Some mercenary-looking wastelander types, a frustratingly tall rabbit server-girl who dresses like the nomads from before, and a few simply dressed tribals who look to be of different groups. They speak amongst themselves at a table in the corner.

You note there doesn’t seem to be a barman present right now, but there is a ladder that is leaned against the smokestack of the ship that leads to the decks below and above.

Finally, the Skald seems to be playing a set on a slightly raised stage. The thunder of their music seemingly lessened by the chatter of the various people here. They don’t even look up to you. Likely in their songtrance.

Before you make your way inside, the rabbit shouts down the ladder. “I need another round of seascum and a pickled nipper!” That’s when you hear a rougher voice return from below “Aye! On it!” They say, ascending the ladder.

You suppose this place is manned after all. Kitten stands patiently besides you near the entrance.


There are people coming and going. Most everyone must have wealth of one form or another, or else they wouldn’t be coming to an establishment like this.
>>
No. 976444 ID: ba56e6

>>976439
Servers hear a lot of things, and the view is nice. Find a table and see if you can chat her up until Skald is finished.
>>
No. 976499 ID: 4286b4

Talk to the bunny and order some food.
>>
No. 976500 ID: e7c7d3

>>976444
Seconding
>>
No. 976549 ID: 2be85e

Perhaps offer to buy kitten a drink. There help was appreciated.
>>
No. 977270 ID: fe18e3
File 160113145155.png - (433.31KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_145.png )
977270

Scanning the room, you feel a bit of a rumble in your stomach. It’s been since your time with the Angler that you last ate so you take some steps towards the bar. Kitten follows behind. Damn you could go for some seafood.

That what ascends is a wet and steaming exotic form. Hottub down in the bilge? At first you mistook her for a serpent like the priestess. Obviously with a good look at her, that was a mistaken assumption. Fish don’t have jugs like those… But you think she might have caught you staring.

Dragoness: “‘Ello… See something you like? When did we start serving teens?”

You: “What! I’m older than you!” you feel

Dragoness: “O-oh! Welcome to the Queen… My mistake…” She stretches her neck to examine you. “Lass? I’m Maurea. Call me Leah. Proprietor.”

You cross your arms. Hopefully not pouting. She looks at Kitten who nods in greeting. They’re probably familiar.

Maurea: “What’ll I get you two today?” She says, scooping a frothy beverage from a blue barrel using a ladle. It glows with seaweed pods.

With a sigh you pull out your remaining clawfish

You: “Cook this for me. I’ll pay.” Her eyes light up and she licks her lip with a long wet tongue.

Maurea: “The… fishos in town?”

You: … “Just been doing some trading.”

Maurea: “Hmmn. Those seapriests must be happy. Everyone loves somethin’a lil fishy.” She says with a little (long) smile. Spearing a miniature nipper for the next strong drink she fixes.

Maurea: “That all?”

You: “…Two grogs”
>>
No. 977271 ID: fe18e3
File 160113158386.png - (328.82KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_146.png )
977271

You leave your clawfish with her. She begins stepping down into the sauna of the engine room. Likely to go sit in some boiling water with your clawfish.

Taking kitten and your two drinks, you find an open booth. Not as good a view of the whole room as you would have liked, but you take what you can get.

Kitten: ”The madam is very influential. She has elevated position because her origin.”

You: “So. You know her?” You say, taking a sip of grog. It’s bitter and weak, but it will get you good.

Kitten: ”Yes. Though, she is well known around town. Most desired bachelorette. Pearl of the sea. In fact, she has the most pearls of anyone.”

Kitten: ”She is known for teaching many of the sandsmen the tongue, and her serving girls are top picks.”

The two of you sit and listen, trying to exchange words over the Skald’s thunderous riffs, but mostly resign to a quiet drink. Don’t think Kitten is much of a talker any way. She has a small voice.

Soon, the server wench arrives. The rabbit is staring at the large clawfish, watching her footing so as not to spill such a meal. When she deposits it, you take the opportunity to strike up a conversation. Maybe squeeze some info you’re after.

You: “How long have you been working here?”

Rabbit: “I’m sorry. Every water season we come. I take work here. Maybe, ten years? Since I was small, I have worked for Missus Maurea-Leah. Learned very much from her!”

You: “You must hear a lot then. Know a lot of people.” You say, pulling your screwdriver out of your sack. Cracking off a claw to set for Kitten who sweats at the sight.

You: “Know anywhere I can score some wheels?”

Rabbit: “Wheels?” She tilts her head, almost drooling at the sight of you dipping a fork into the succulent flesh of the crawfish.

Rabbit: “The tyresmith? Some of the traders have bye-cycles and carts they make.”

You: “I mean a car, longlegs. You gotta know some people who’ve got combustion.” Cracking the shell.

Rabbit: “N-no.. S-sorry I mean, there’s the Dune eaters, and the the shogun’s tribe… sometimes a wastelander signs up to the races with a mobile. Every driver who comes to The Queen pays for much; and sometimes the other clans have motorbikes and trucks they maintain, but every year theres less.”

Kitten: ”There’s also the Hauler.” She interjects, knocking back a quick gulp of grog.

Rabbit: “Yes… Former loyal customer. The Hauler hasn’t paid tab in a while, I don’t think business is good. Madam Maurea-Leah said the hauler still owes her ten sessions of our special massages.” she says blushing, wiping down your greasy table with a cloth to appear busy in front of the dragoness.

Rabbit: “They say The Hauler drinks on the other side of town now.”

You: “Come on, you don’t know any other racers? Surely someone owns that bug I saw outside.” You say, mouth full of clawfish. Using some fishoil as a dipping sauce. He was right. Good for the nibbles!

Rabbit: “Yes… Actually, warrior braves from the mountain tribes arrived in the village a day ago. They sold several vehicles around, but I don’t think most of them are in town anymore. Nomad clans took them apart for spare parts, the bug was among those sold.”

Bull: “Cottontail! Bring me and my comrade here another scum!” says a raucous mercenary type from the booth behind you. Probably watching her tail twitching from the scent and sight of your meal

Rabbit: “B-back to work…”
>>
No. 977272 ID: fe18e3
File 160113163926.png - (522.57KB , 1200x1200 , Wasteland_147.png )
977272

Almost in a flash, the set ends when a fresh bottle of drink is placed on the skald’s instrumentwrap. They hop off the stage, and nearly down it all in one single pull. Suddenly, their vision is fixed upon you. Uh oh.

Skald: “Oh-ho-ho. ‘Lo! Driver! I knew you’d arrive!” They say, coming upon your table in what feels like only one stride. Taking a seat besides Kitten who is caught by surprise “We’ll take three sea scum, and a bottle of goon!” they say, holding aloft The Sign to the server.

Kitten: “Driver? Do you know this skald?”

Skald: “Of course she does. She and I are fate bound. Destinies intersect in many different consciousness.” They say, emptying their bottle.

Wait a second… Something is strange. You know something is missing…

You: “Skald… Where is your sword?”

Skald: “I pawned it.”

They say, having pulled a mug of drink off a passing serving platter.

You: “Pawned it?! Have you fried your dome?”

Skald: “Of course not. I heard there was races. I’ve wagered the funds from my Oathblade on you.”

You: “How could you be so sure? What makes you think I’m going to try to race?”

They only look at you, bemused. Grrr, this idiot. A wanderer needs their weapon. Just giving it away like that? Risking it? It’s not your problem, but it kind of ticks you off for some reason.

Skald: “Come on Driver. In what realm do you avoid such a tantalizing drive. A roadwarrior like yourself cannot hope to fail at smoking these flotsam riffraff.”

Skald: “Besides. I know groups looking for drivers! This is the place to find work, There’s many!” Says the skald, and almost on cue, a group has formed by your table.

An eagle tribesman, a dreadhead dog, and a wild eyes badger.

Badger: “Ahhh!! Would you look at lil-miss psychagypsy ‘ere!” He says, picking up one of the legs of your lobster and sucking it dry.

Badger: “Gonna buy us a round too?” your eyebrow twitches.

Badger: “What was it this greasy bard said?” He leans to the birdman

Bird: “She fancies herself a racer.”

Badger: “Just ‘cuz ya got some money you think you got what it takes to win the races eh merchant?! Better drop out before ya began, rat. We’ve got Emu, and racers, and gas; and now a buggy?! No chance you’ll beat us! Hahaha!”


What the hell?!
>>
No. 977284 ID: 864e49

"First; touch my food again and we're gonna have trouble. Second; what you got is shit, do you even have anyone that can drive that buggy? And how well?"
>>
No. 977307 ID: ba56e6

>>977272
Seems cocky. Wonder if you can win that buggy in a wager.
>>
No. 977322 ID: df76b1

Hard to keep up a decent speed, with your gums flapping that much.

Keep your hand off my plate or I'll chop it off and have it grilled.
>>
No. 977324 ID: 6e6f32

The eagle in the back shares your eyes. Speak to them instead.
You keep her out of trouble until the race, ya'hear?
>>
No. 977438 ID: 1e01b2

Easy. We dealt with those kinds of braggarts in the past. Point your shotgun at him And tell him to shove off. You don't have Nothing worth a buggy to wager but maybe he'd might. don't tell him you plan on building a car to race, it's better if they think they've got the advantage.

In either case intimidation is a good way to get what you want. Maybe during the race we can claim that buggy or it's parts
>>
No. 977440 ID: 4286b4

He who laughs last, laughs best. But yeah, see if you can find out where their confidences comes from.
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