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File: 1660056021358129.jpg (76 KB, 564x797)
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It is night. You have set up camp in the hollow of the roots of a great tree, resting your weary feet from your wanderings in this immense and labyrinthian forest. You are Khazad the Dwarf, and you are lost. As you pick absently at the small, merry campfire, you hear something rustle in the trees. Your heart leaps to your throat, hammering painfully like dwarven wedding drums. You snatch your sword and hold it before you, gripping it tight with both hands.

"Who's there?" you say. "Show yourself!" Then you repeat the command in all the languages you know. The last one, used by the human merchants that sometimes come to trade with the mountainhall, is answered by a weak voice, something between a rasp and a moan.

A man stumbles out of some bushes, his face briefly illuminated by the light of the campfire. Dark circles hang beneath his half-lidded eyes. His lips are chapped in the extreme. As he steps forward, he gasps for breath like a man who has just surfaced from a long dive. "Please..." he says. Then his eyes roll back and he collapses to the ground.

All is still. You cautiously poke the man with your sword, but, though he breathes, he does not stir. He seems to have only lost consciousness, likely from exhaustion, for you can see no injuries, no blood or wound—except for a strange bruise on the back of his neck, in the shape of curled fingers. You turn him over. He has a pair of daggers on his belt, and is dressed like a common traveler. He also has a satchel, as tattered and patchwork as your own knapsack, and a piece of yarn around his neck on which have been threaded a set of shiny lockpicks.

>Choose all that apply:
[ ] Rifle through his satchel
[ ] Take any valuables
[ ] Slit his throat
[ ] Monitor him through the night
[ ] Share some of your provisions with him
[ ] Inquire about his bruise
[ ] Write-in

I'm back. I wanted to give this another shot. I think I know what I did wrong the first time and I think I can do better this time around.
>>
>>5412177
>[ ] Monitor him through the night
>[ ] Share some of your provisions with him
>[ ] Inquire about his bruise
>>
>>5412177
[X] Slit his throat

Initiate Operation Murderhobo
>>
>>5412177
>[ ] Monitor him through the night
>[ ] Inquire about his bruise
>>
>>5412177
>[ ] Monitor him through the night
>[ ] Share some of your provisions with him
>[ ] Inquire about his bruise

Give him a spot of dwarven liquid courage, see if it numbs the pain and gets the tongue moving.
>>
>>5412207
support, dwarves love their drink
>>
>>5412177
>>5412180 >>5412187 >>5412189 >>5412207 >>5412287

First, you drag him closer to the fire. He was shivering (though the night is not so cold as the nights in the mountains) and his skin is icy to the touch, almost like a corpse. The heat does him good, for the color returns to his cheeks and his breathing calms and steadies. You keep watch over him, keeping your sword naked in your lap, sharpening it with a small stone whenever you find yourself nodding off.

He wakes a few hours later, a little before dawn. He sits up, rubs his eyes, looks about him, does not notice you sitting there, at first, and then jumps to his feet when he does, swaying like a drunken man. His hands dart to his belt, but you've already taken his daggers. You hold them up, and throw them at his feet. Does he consider you the enemy even after you saved him? These big folk really are lacking in manners. He crouches down, slowly, grabbing the daggers, his gaze resting on the sword in your lap. You try and introduce yourself, first in your tongue, then in a broken version of his.

His name is Elfric, son of Elwund, and that's as far he gets before he staggers back and falls. What he needs is a bit of liquid courage, a drop your plumberry brandy. You uncork the wineskin and hand it to him. He sniffs it suspiciously, shrugs, then takes a bold swig. His eyes widen with pleasure and he takes another, and might have taken a third if you didn't unceremoniously snatch the wineskin from his hand. He presses his hands together and bows his head, in contrition and thanks, both of which you dismiss with a gruffly mumbled "welcome".

You repeat your questions, and suddenly, he draws his daggers, and, quick as a silverfin's tail, he throws one. It spins through the air, above your head, hitting something behind you which shrieks with pain. "To me, master dwarf!" says Elfric. You leap over the campfire, turn, and draw your sword. Then you see it. It comes into the circle of firelight: a human, but not a human, a corpse, but not a corpse. It's skin as pale as winter's rime, with dark blood flowing from its nails and mouth, and with no eyes, no nose, only holes that seem to draw into them all light, all heat, all hope.

"Undush," you whisper, slipping back to the dwarven tongue. You've read about these in the historical archives, eaters of spirit, twisted offspring of the god of death. Their touch siphons vitality, the living spark, and they are immune to all but what are banes to death's host: silver, fire and enchantment.

The dagger in Elfric's other hand, which had been poised to throw, now clatters to the earth. "Hilde?" he says. Tears spring to his eyes. The creature hesitates at the mention of this name, perhaps its own once upon a time, then it calmly removes the dagger stuck in its chest and proceeds with its fell business, undeterred.

>Choose all that apply
[ ] Protect Elfric
[ ] Use fire
[ ] Flee the campsite
[ ] Grab your knapsack
[ ] Attack it
[ ] Write-in
>>
>>5412316
>[ ] Protect Elfric
>[ ] Use fire
>>
>>5412316
>>5412336
Support.
>>
>>5412316
>[ ] Protect Elfric
>[ ] Use fire
>[ ] Attack it
>>
Got chewed out by my boss today and feeling too depressed to post right now. Sorry friends. Will try to continue over the weekend.
>>
>>5413049
Bosses suck, don't worry about it, I understand.



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