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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?
332 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 950427 ID: 28c1e4
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Night falls like a net, entrapping you in it's embrace. Though it is not freezing as it is sometimes, the still warm air stands your fur on edge, as it's heat is sapped away in the passage of time.

The sky swims with stars as you near the landmark, nearly mid way across the bay you can still spot it against the starry backdrop.

The light of the moon is illuminating, and offers you respite from the drying light of the sun, all the light reflecting off the salty earth and your own self makes you plainly visible to all who look from miles on.

The night is still, and not even a breeze blows, but suddenly your instincts kick in. An ancient feeling, honed by too much experience puts you on edge.

The ground rumbles as a soundless shape begins to rise from the earth only a dozen meters from you.

The night grows darker
No. 950428 ID: e7c7d3

Ooooooh no...

Arm thyself?
No. 950431 ID: 210821

Try and get behind it to hide? However, we don't know what kind of nasty tail could be there...
No. 950435 ID: b1b4f3

Oh god it's one of those things again.
There's nowhere to run, and it's probably too big to kill with your gun.
Hide behind the cart and hope it's not interested in you?
No. 950438 ID: 8d4593

That looks like a giant horrifying.
Screw the Shotgun. Lob a grenade directly under it.

...Unless you think it would appreciate a fine can of anchovies.
No. 950494 ID: 9876c4

I would certainly rather use up the anchovies than the grenade.
No. 950506 ID: 0159f4

Don't we have like 5 days worth of seafood? Certainly thats more appealing than a can of anchovies. My recommendation is to try and fight your instincts of flight, and remain calm. Maybe you can offer it a fish or something while you ready your shotgun. If it makes a sudden move, blast it. Even though it's big, a shotgun blast still causes a lot of damage.
No. 950530 ID: 0fae41

I reckon those things aren't very big fans of you right now. Be very, very still.
No. 950532 ID: 8d4593

Oh that's right. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the smell of that is what awakened this beast. Could just put that down and back away.
No. 950580 ID: 9e04c9

Arm the grenade and wait to see how the creature reacts.
No. 951048 ID: 28c1e4
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>Lob a grenade!
>Try to hide!
>Offer it some food!

Your mind races, as it always does, and you hold yourself from doing something hasty. Your steeled nerves keeping you collected. You reach into your sack of food, past the bag of herb that the Angler snuck you, and you grip some of your seafood ration.

With a quick lob, you crouch and ready your shotgun.

*Splat* The fish lands on the ground, and though you cannot imagine what the ichor beast may do, you can let your breath out for a moment as it pauses to soundlessly snuffle and slurp up the fish.

It still seems hungry, and as it emerges from it's sandy tunnel, it clambers forth, clouds of black smoke and fluid that will not stay sloshed upon the ground in its wake, as though it seeks to seep up to the sky and surround it's form in this strange hazy mist. The drops of darkness evaporating before they hit the ground, only adding to it.

You stand, hand at the ready to release the springloaded mechanism of your pipegun. Ready to lay lead.
No. 951049 ID: 28c1e4
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If only you knew more of these beings, the fish did but only slow it, and now it bring's its six eyed gaze towards you. It's glowing oculars piercing you in a way you do not find in the least pleasant, but unchanging. It obviously is a predator. A very efficient one at that, and it was laying in wait for it's prey, or for night. The ichor beast's cloud seems to cause the surrounding night to grow darker, while it's piercing vision cuts a line through the smoke.

It takes a step forward and your mind cracks as it fills with the memory of the creeping tentacles of the place of the Oceanman. You squeak.
No. 951050 ID: 28c1e4
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Suddenly, and without warning, the beast halts it's silent approach. As though something had cut through the creeping smoke and halted it.

It spits a few drops of it's gaseous fluid, pitch as night, and then it tumbles to the ground. As silent as it rose.
No. 951055 ID: 8d4593

Well Then.
I guess we give it a wide berth and KEEP ON TRUCKIN
No. 951057 ID: e7c7d3

Was the fish that bad?

Perhaps a sniper? Check around to see where it might of come from.
No. 951058 ID: 0efe8e

we should try to tame this thing, get ourselves a shadow-blob-dog
No. 951061 ID: 0fae41

Get as much distance as you can from the beast and the sniper.
No. 951072 ID: b1b4f3

Alright maybe you should turn around and make camp somewhere that doesn't have ichor beasts.
No. 951141 ID: 9e04c9

If it could eat you, it would already have done so.

If a sniper shot it, we would've heard the shot and the impact. There was neither of that.

My guess is that this one is sick. How do we heal a sick ichor beast?
No. 951143 ID: 07a6af

Unless we were at a long distance, and it almost seems like it could have come from behind us maybe the Angler's work? I'm not sure on the range of a jezail but maybe he's particularly good.

Either way, we fed it seafood so I would like to get some return on our investment. If it's dead, I'd leave, but if it's still breathing maybe give it something else? Otherwise I would leave a wide birth around it and continue on.
No. 951431 ID: 58dc55

perhaps its been pacified by something in your memory of the ocean monument?
No. 951458 ID: c2f1f6

Perhaps the fish is very, VERY poisonous. Or maybe ocean man is on your side. go up to it and poke it with a stick- naw i'm just kidding, throw rocks from a distance first.
No. 951461 ID: b1b4f3

I mean, I figure it just got shot by our friend back at the cliff. He is carrying a scoped rifle.
No. 951541 ID: 28c1e4
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What the hell happened?! You look over your shoulder to the great canyon cliff, where the Angler dwells. If he had seen what had happened through his longlookers, he might have intervened. In any case, the Ichor beast seems particularly vulnerable now. It would be a simple flick of the wrist to dispatch the fallen creature...

But maybe it was some stroke of pity or something else that brought you to crack the head off your clawfish and leave it for the thing.

Your mind swims with memories of that hidden place. Somewhere amidst all those twisting canyon trails and cliffside grottos lies the tomb of some hero. A god of the sea, and what he had shown you deep in the recesses of your mind was that of the wet. You are still trying to make sense of it, but you feel these creatures are connected in some way. Thinking about it makes you feel slimy and eelish. Not in a bad way.

You give the Ichor beast a wide berth and continue on your path.
No. 951542 ID: 28c1e4
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Your path takes you between the rockface and the spire of steel of the age before. It seems as though it was once a place travelers would pass through, you can tell by the non-maritime refuse that can be spotted. Crushed bottles and bones of stuff not entirely sunbleached. There are occasional crevices and stacked stones where people have taken shelter in the past, but most avoid the spire itself.

Looking past, in the distance beyond you can spy the edge of the cliff, and maybe your next landmark? It is hard to tell at this distance, even with the light of the moon reflecting on the surfaces beyond.

The time is a few hours past darkness. Maybe near midnight, give or take. You no longer have the digital clock of your car keeping time. Not that that ever was accurate with how much you traveled.

You pause a moment to drink some water from your bottle.

Half Bottle of Water Remaining
No. 951543 ID: e7c7d3

Keep on truckin'

Maybe stay by the cliffs. Keep an eye out to see if there's anything useful among the refuse of other travelers.
No. 951547 ID: 33056f

Keep your eyes open for anything neat tossed among the debris.
No. 951551 ID: 9e04c9

If you're tired, use one of those crevices to rest. If not, then carry on.
No. 951557 ID: d63ea8

Honestly if we only have a half-bottle of water left, we might want to stick with travelling at night. The sun will dehydrate us real quick.
No. 953189 ID: 28c1e4
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>>Only have half a bottle left

Whaddya take me for? Some kind of rat-shaped sponge? I still have half this, plus the whole canister of Aqua Pura.

In any case, you decide your time is best spent traveling while you can, so you do so.

The wall of the cliff besides you is tall and imposing and stretches on for miles. Your feet dry as they beat against the salted ground, but you make good time.

The temperature sure is dropping, so you bundle yourself a bit tighter. Ahead must be the next landmark. An enormous formation of sealstone reaching up towards the cliff, it looks like some kind of shattered dome, or a cracked bone of some massive thing.

There seems to be the light of a campfire at it's base. You don't seem to see any shadows dancing in the light at this angle.
No. 953190 ID: e7c7d3

Being by a fire would be nice. Just be aware that if you approach you'll be considered the threat. Hopefully, since you're carrying goods you'll come off as a trader rather than a raider.

On the other hand, be prepared to defend yourself should they try anything funny.
No. 953191 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, this is bad actually. We're carrying valuable goods, which means it's very likely for whoever's at that campsite to doublecross us if we try to share camp, and if we don't and just pass by, they could try to ambush us later. It might maybe be possible to pass by without being noticed, since it's nighttime and thus they're likely sleeping...
Alternatively we could turn around and set up camp somewhere earlier in the route, then try to wake up and start traveling before dawn in case they're going in the opposite direction we are. Also obviously make camp out of sight. This is rockier terrain so that should be possible.
No. 953197 ID: 404f0f

This is more or less what I was thinking.
No. 953206 ID: 9876c4

Stuff like this is why the value of an unused grenade are greater than the value of the grenade itself.

Harm to our person and the shipment goes kablooey.
No. 953233 ID: d63ea8

Sorry, didn't mean any offence. You're the expert on this matter.
I agree. We'd look to be an easy target, especially if it is a group of people.
I'd say that we double back a bit and find a nice concealed position to rest. If the people at the camp wake up and see wagon tracks passing them they might be inclined to follow.
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
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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.


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
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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

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
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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.
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