Manage episode 302439548 series 2655527
In the highest point of the Imperium, the echoes of Skovlan's lost Queen Alayne still sound through the mountains and keen into the heavens. Ancient spirits of the mountainous Isle charge a grim task to an ordinary woman, which she undertakes for a homeland she will likely not return to alive. Some time later, the Pride of Duskwall prepares to leave for Mistport, with Mr. Walker on board for the trip. Pippin is unable to play the fool. Andrel learns that Mr. Walker is a lot. Drix is nervous around some new passengers.
For the full transcript, go to https://ghosts-on-a-train.captivate.fm/episode/ep-34-the-pull-of-destiny-feat-aurora-barksdale.
Ghost Lines by John Harper. Music by Sebastian Black. Art by Yoshiko Agresta.
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Radio Announcer Greg? 0:00
At the highest point of the highest mountain of upper Skovlan, a tower ascends further still, as if intent on tearing the sky. The structure of Blackvale Tower is ancient, stones wet with the blood of Skovic heroes predating the Cataclysm and halls echoing with spirits that saw Skovlan through to the formation of the Imperium. In the topmost chamber, two fingers face each other in battle, their speed bursting the clouds surrounding the gargantuan tower. One is a four-armed humanoid machine of tarnished bronze, wearing a crouwn and cape detailed with opulence more at home in the Imperial City than here in the frozen Northwest. The other is an unassuming woman whose simple clothes obscure her hearty physique and aggressive battle stance. At 55 years old, she is a mere babe in comparison to the millennia-old walls of Blackvale Tower. The machine and the woman salute one another, and begin the next of a countless number of engagements.
You do not have an entire gang of Line Bulls with you, but please, Aurora, if you would roll to face the supernatural for me. We'll, we won't even, we won't even go through the questions. It'll just be straight roll for you.
Alright, and now's the part where I ask, what am I rolling exactly? I don't know how to play this game.
It's all good. 2d6.
Just a straight roll.
That is going to be a four.
Okay, so you are not able to do any of the special options for facing off against the supernatural, but you will get to make the opening move against the hull. So you don't seize the initiative, so I'll say the hull, it gets to start off doing its thing. The hull begins to bear down on you, clicking around its four arms into some sort of attack formation, and out of one palm, the red of heat begins to collect. You get to make the opening move. You are the equivalent of a Spider, you are not dressed as a Line Bull. Not even in a pretend way. Honestly, do you, do you have a vision of what your battle garb, your training battle garb looks like?
Um, I mean, I think it's, like, a light tunic and pants. It's nothing, nothing, like, fancy, nothing ostentatious. Nothing of any interest at all. It's very normal.
It's something easily, like, disposable, easily worn by anybody of approximately your size. It's, like, gray.
Yeah, yeah. Hecla has, like, along with that, like, the accoutrement necessary for battle. Like, there's protection, there's, like, lightning oil canisters, your weapon, your mess of daggers and wires and things. So you can, if you'd like, use a lightning web, or in this case, your special little wire trap, to tether your opponent.
Yeah, I would like to quick throw a knife, one of my webbed knives, out into the, to tether this baby to, to tether the ghost to a spirit bottle.
Yes. In this case, it is a hull, so you would be tethering it but not necessarily to absorb it, just to keep it from moving. So in this case, you would roll finesse. That'd be 2d6, plus your finesse.
Okay. Okay. That's a five.
It's just a five.
Just a five. So you send out your, your web, your webbed knife, a dagger that probably can split into multiple daggers is the, is the notion, so multiple of these wires can sort of entangle.
It can do all sorts of crazy stuff.
You don't even, you don't even know.
Unfortunately your sparring partner here, the hull, is aware of this trick.
We did build this thing.
Mm hmm. It bats away, with one of its arms, the mess of wires, maybe a couple of them loosely but ineffectively clinging to it, and with that open palm that is getting ready with some heat, it shoots out a quick jet of fire. Go ahead and take the equivalent of a manifestation attack. Which would be two harm, but it's reduced to one because of your "tough" gift.
Tough as nails!
Tough as nails.
I'm a tough old bird.
You've, you've probably already got some long-healed over burns and scars from this.
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
It's like, you know, you know how chefs that have, like, just been burnt enough can just sort of, like, touch hot stuff?
I have the calluses.
Yeah, yeah. Like that, but for your, your body.
Yeah, but for my body and ghost, ghost trauma.
Alright, your move.
All right, um, it didn't take. I'm just going to go again.
And roll those sweet, sweet d6. That's going to be a seven.
Finally an, any number that could give me something!
Pick one from the list.
I avoid trouble, compromise, or cost.
Cool, would you like to describe it for me?
As we've established, my one knife can split into multiple knives. But I think I pull, like, a second knife out and I just, I just toss that one as well. I've got a second pocket.
You've got as many of these as you want, I think.
Yeah. I just, I'm not fazed by this. I just whip out another one and get that sucker.
Cool, yeah. This time it probably strikes a little truer, wraps around the chest area so this thing is sort of pulled a little bit towards you, but not in a significant enough way, as you were only able to just avoid the trouble for it. But now this thing is in your metaphorical power, as you could charge up some electricity through the wire. Seeing this, it snaps off the one remaining wire from the arm that was hacked and tangled by your first one. That arm, it holds out, and there is a screeching noise as a horrible sonic assault hits you, hurting your head and briefly leaving you seeing stars This is actually going to be the equivalent of some mild supernatural weirdness.
So take two trauma as you're, like, starting to see the world getting fucked up as your brain is getting affected by the sound. It's your move once again.
All right, I take the trauma. All right. So I've got it, I've got it anchored. I've got my, my knife in. I'm trying to get the ghost out of the hull until - I'm, remind me of what exactly my objective is? I do listen to this game every week and then I immediately forget all facts about it except for the characters.
No, it's all good. Your, yours, yours is a specifically weird one because this is training for your task.
Yes, for my task.
So I think your goal is definitely the destruction of this hull.
Okay. That's wonderful.
If you do that by pulling the spirit out of it, if you do that by just smashing it up, I think your knives could work either way.
Ooh, ooh. Oh yeah, um -
Like, you could just charge electricity through him.
Yeah, I'm just gonna charge electricity and either chase it out or, like, shatter the hull, as we know will certainly happen if you put electricity into metal.
This, yeah, I think this is the equivalent of you using a lightning hook, so go ahead and roll force for me, 2d6 plus your force.
Oh my god, that's a five. Okay. Maybe there's a reason I've been assigned to this task. Or, or maybe I should get physical dice instead of using my dice roller. This feels cursed.
You know, you know, there are certain people that would swear that that's what's happening to you. They've returned with the physical dice.
Right, I've got those sweet, sweet dice sounds.
But in regards to that, that, that miss, you go to start charging with electricity, that's, this is, this is how your weapon works. This is how you, you face off against supernatural foes. It begins to charge. Where many creatures would struggle against it, I think this hull pushes forward, and as it, as it pushes forward to try to close the distance to you, it just flexes that one arm with fire into a fist and gives you a big old punch. Go ahead, take another two harm reduced to one.
Love that for me.
But I still, I still got to punish the miss a little bit. So I'm going to make things a little bit worse for you.
All right. Please do so. It's how you learn.
It gets you into a punch. And then with its other arm, it clamps it over your mouth. It is a, it is a third arm that has yet to do anything special. That's the situation you're in.
Okay, so the way I want to respond to this. I want to use, like, the wires that I have, like, attached to it or that are available to me to, like, pull, like, pull it up and off of me. Like, don't use, like, my own hand but, like, leverage what I, like, the hold I already have.
Okay, what do you think that would be?
Okay, so pick one that you, from the list that you don't want to do.
What I don't want to do is panic, disengage, or flee. Well, I guess I can't do that. This has not been going super well for me, so I am concentrating, I think, on keeping my cool.
Cool, cool, so you will not panic disengage or flee. All right.
All right. All right, so that, oh, oh, these dice are much better already. Oh, that's gonna be an eight.
All right, you do one that you did not pick. You wanted to, what, flip this thing up and over you?
Cool. Describe that for me a little bit, and then I'll say the thing, the other thing that I'm gonna do.
Suffering more trauma or harm is always fun for me.
Oh, well, I pick that, and I -
Oh, right. Okay, okay, okay.
So on a seven to nine you do one that you did not pick, but I pick it.
But I was actually going to pick that one. But I'd like, I'd like to hear what your, what your action is before I decide how that works.
So the knife that I already have, like, I get it up. But I think it's a thin wire and it's meant to attach and, like, recoil, and, like, be, you know, quick, but it's not really meant to, like, haul things. It's not really meant to move, move objects.
And yet you are able to succeed in doing this. It just, I don't know if that's affects your...
Unknown Speaker 10:18
If you're, if you're going with trauma and harm, I think it's a bit of a struggle. I'm, like, maybe I'm trying to preserve the wires, I'm trying to preserve my tools, and then may value the wire not snapping over...
Over properly getting, like, a lot of hoisting distance. You, you hoist it off of you, getting that one arm off of your mouth. But unfortunately, if you had given it more force, you might have knocked it off balance, but as it is it takes its fourth and final arm and shoots a couple of wax bullets into your back. Go ahead and take three harm reduced to two.
Yeah, the wax bullets, still very painful, especially at this range, breaking apart on your back.
Don't love that.
Then it sort of lands with, like, a hard clang. Yeah, yeah. One more move, one more move.
All right, I'm going to try and get a second knife into this thing. Do some damage. So is that finesse again?
If you want to get a knife into it for, like, restraining purposes, then it'd be finesse, yeah.
I would like to stab this thing.
Force. Force, then.
I'm always calm. I'm always very cool and always very collected. But I do need this thing to die.
Oh my god. Okay, that's four. My dice have betrayed me.
You throw your knife at it. For a second it might purchase, and you're like, fuck yeah, this rules. With the inhuman strength and speed of a hull, it moves forward, and there's a tear sound as its cape, which is the only thing your knife actually found purchase in, rips off of its body. It gets that third arm back over your mouth, and the world sort of spins and goes dark for a minute. Or at least you think it's a minute.
Potentially hours later, you do reawaken, seeing your own breath in this cold mountain air, and out from the hull slips a spirit. The spirit is called the Ancestor of Skovlan, and they say, and he says it himself, that he is a spirit from before the Cataclysm. He was a spirit before it was what you needed to do, which grants him certain power.
And as Skovlanders, Skovlanders have the belief that when you die will go to the halls of your ancestors, the fact that you can't do that anymore, because there's no way to go beyond the Gates of Death, seeing the ancestor of Scotland is kind of the only way of doing that and he's sort of taken this mantle on. I would like to give you the opportunity to describe what the Ancestor of Skovlan looks like to you.
Yeah, thank you, wonderful. Um, so, recalling our, our establishing of Skovlan culture, I do remember that we established powerful mustaches.