Blood on the Battlefield

GM: Gilead
Players: Slinger
Synopsis: Slinger seeks a confidence boost and a new spell in an astral quest.
Date: February 15th, 2070

Slinger finishes his last cigarette, feeling — well, like crap right now. He sets his jaw, however. He will do this. He will get through this. Coming home from that utter failure of a planning meeting — his own damned fault it went south — he stared at the formula for the Stabilize spell — one he figured would be easy.. Next time, he will do better.
He crushes out the cigarette and lies back on the bed, setting his jaw. He will do something this time, prove that he is capable of accomplishing something despite what others might think. He closes his eyes, detaches from his body with an almost angry movement, and sends himself to one of the metaplanes, basically at random.

«Plot» Gilead says, "state the purpose and rating of the astral quest?"
«Plot» Slinger says, "Rating 8 Astral Quest for Learn Spell benefit on Stabilize, Force 6."
The metaplanes are a dangerous place, especially for those whose confidence might be waning. The metaplanes are a place of uncertainty, where thought is both power and poison. The metaplanes are a place of power, of order and chaos…

The metaplanes are a place of an old man. An old man sitting on a rocking chair a glowing plane of light in the middle of space, beside an ancient-style doorglowing with its own effervessence.

The old man regards the avatar of the elf named slinger. "So. You're here. Again," he says. "Why do you even try, mister Ngorithan? Who do you think you are? So long in that city, and you can't even manage to plan a meeting. What makes you think I should let you in NOW?"
«OOC» Gilead says, "threshold test: negotiation."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Negotiation + Astral Pool: 5 vs TN 8 for "Quest test.":
1 1 1 3 3 4 7 9 10 16 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Gilead says, "Slinger has earned 1 extra kp for the purposes of this Quest."

For a moment, Slinger has no answer. The truth is, the old man is right. But he swallows, sets his jaw, the self-loathing he feels right now echoed in his thoughts. He has to take a breath. "Because I'm here to improve that part of me that failed. I don't give up. I don't back down. Even when I fail, I get up and I try again, and again, and again, until finally I will get it right," the elf growls, with intensity in his voice, passion. And clear anger.

«Auto-Judge[]» Gilead (#6581) rolls 1:
The door opens… but that, in itself, seems irrelevant, as everything around the young man shimmers and dissappears with a loud *pop*.

The silence of space is replaced by sudden chaos: an ancient battlefield, or the aftermath. Green hills, ancient old-growth forest, littered with countless bodies, groaning in pain and suffering. The stench of death fills the air, echoing among the trees, and small streams of blood are everywhere.

Slinger pauses for just an instant to take in his surroundings, to gain his bearings. A battlefield. Right now, he could stand some blood, death, and mayhem. Part of him is horrified at that thought, and part of him at the same time finds it enticing, as the young elf feels his own primal urges stirring. He turns around slowly, then glances down at his own attire for a hint as to the role he will play.

«Plot» Gilead says, "Place of knowledge. herbalism test, vs, tn 8. talismongering can be used for complimentary dice."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Herbalism + Astral Pool: 3 + Karma Pool: 2 vs TN 8 for "KP 3/39.":
2 3 3 5 5 5 7 7 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Herbalism + Astral Pool: 3 + Karma Pool: 2 vs TN 8 for "KP 4/39.":
2 2 2 3 4 4 4 9 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Herbalism + Astral Pool: 3 + Karma Pool: 2 - 1 (succs) vs TN 8 for "KP 6/39.":
1 2 4 4 5 5 7 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Herbalism + Astral Pool: 3 + Karma Pool: 2 - 1 (succs) vs TN 8 for "KP 9/39.":
1 3 3 4 4 5 9 = 1 Success
«OOC» Slinger says, "All right. L wound. In the physical world, my bioware (Damage Compensators) would take care of that and avoid any TN penalties. What about here?"
The attire slinger has been granted is simple and plain: dusty robes, pants covered in unique and strange stains… some of them blood, some others. You've clearly been wounded, already, but…

Ah-ha! It is the garb of an ancient apothecary!
«OOC» Gilead nods. no penalty.
«OOC» Gilead says, "because your body isn't actually acknowledging the damage."

«Auto-Judge[]» Gilead (#6581) rolls 2:
1 4
A single cry of pain rings out over the rest… there's a man dying not three meters away from the mage…

Slinger takes in the sight of his clothing. An apothecary. Right now, he could stand to do some killing. He lets out a slow breath, then examines the herbs he has available to him — on his person, and in his surroundings. He needs to Heal, even if right now he would be happier to take life rather than give it.
He takes a slow breath, calming himself, and for the first time takes in the true horror of the battlefield. It strikes him to the core, bringing out the compassion that is his weakness, that part of him that cannot just let injured people die as he should.
That one cry, though — piercing, intense. He hurries his inventory even as he moves closer. Ally or enemy, it does not matter.

Lying on the ground is a boy, no more than sixteen himself. Pretty enough, of a roman type… and he's clearly dying, blood soaking the ground underneath him in a slowly-growing puddle, hand grasping the gladius behind him, eyes staring blankly into the sky as he tries to push his guts back in with the other.

Gone is the anger. Gone is the self-loathing. Right at this moment, Slinger would do whatever he could to save this boy's life. "I'm here. I'm going to help," Slinger says simply, in Latin — hoping that his accent will be good enough to be comprehensible. Right now, he would do a great deal for his spells to work, and he summons up the energies, prepared to sacrifice himself to drain if that is what it takes…

«OOC» Gilead will need to powerpose a little for this, but it's an astral quest. it's the nature of things.
«OOC» Slinger says, "Fair enough. :)"
The boy's reaction is suprising. Even as Slinger approaches him, he moves, recognizing the accent as not quite right….

After all, -all- the bodies on the ground are roman.

That aside, the boy, despite his injuries, the boy moves like a snake, grabbing Slinger's wrist, squeezing it, twisting it, sudden hate in his eyes…

«Plot» Gilead says, "Place of Charisma. Etiquette vs. tn 8 to get him to let you go, and let you help him."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 5 + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 8 for "KP 10/39.":
1 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 5 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 5 + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 8 for "KP 11/39.":
1 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 11 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 5 + Karma Pool: 1 - 1 (succs) vs TN 8 for "KP 13/39.":
1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 5 + Karma Pool: 1 - 1 (succs) vs TN 8 for "KP 16/39.":
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 21 = 1 Success
«Plot» Slinger says, "Another L stun. Puts me a 2 boxes."

The grip on his wrist is powerful, but Slinger gently reaches out to push the boy's chest backward. "You will die unless I help you. I have no part of your fight," Slinger assures him. "If you wish to live, let me help!" His voice is urgent, pleading, an intensity behind his words. "You are too young to litter this battlefield with your corpse."
Then, meeting those hate-filled eyes with his own, Slinger locks his gaze on that of the other boy. "You deserve another chance."

«Auto-Judge[]» Gilead (#6581) rolls 2:
3 5
The boy's eyes stay locked on Slingers, and his grip tightens… and then it releases. Not from lack of venom or hate, however… from lack of strength. His entire body slackens, the blood loss and sudden strain too great. He's at Slinger's mercy, now… this boy who, moments ago, was so willing to kill the other man…

At least the youth is resting. Slinger massages his wrist to get feeling back into his hand, then sets to work. His first instinct would be to use his magic to heal the other, to find some way to mend broken bodies through the power of magical energy. But failing that, he has his herbs, some of which might have the same level of potency here.
Closing his eyes, Slinger channels the spell through him, prepared for whatever drain might result. His will is going into the spell itself, channeled through his control of the mystical energies.

«Plot» Gilead says, "place of destiny. magic vs. tn 8, soaking serious stun."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Magic + Astral Pool: 11 vs TN 8 for "Soaking S stun.":
1 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 7 7 8 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Magic + Astral Pool: 11 - 2 (succs) vs TN 8 for "Soaking S stun. KP 17/39":
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 9 10 10 11 = 4 Successes
«OOC» Slinger says, "There. Finally a good set of rolls :)"
«OOC» Gilead laughs.
«Auto-Judge[]» Gilead (#6581) rolls 2:
3 3
There's a scream of rage from nearby, even as Slinger's working on applying the spell, and another roman soldier comes running at him, wielding a germanic battleaxe. He swings it in a wide arc, spinning around to add power as the massive, blood-soaked weapon comes down to hack the 'apothecary' to bits…

«Plot» Gilead says, "place of battle. aikido, tn 8!"
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Aikido + Astral Pool: 5 + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 8 for "KP 18/39.":
1 1 2 3 3 3 3 5 7 8 17 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Aikido + Astral Pool: 5 + Karma Pool: 1 - 2 (succs) vs TN 8 for "KP 19/39.":
1 1 3 3 3 3 4 5 7 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Aikido + Astral Pool: 5 + Karma Pool: 1 - 2 (succs) vs TN 8 for "KP 21/39.":
1 3 4 5 5 5 9 13 13 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Aikido + Astral Pool: 5 + Karma Pool: 1 - 5 (succs) vs TN 8 for "KP 24/39.":
1 1 1 2 3 10 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Gilead (#6581) rolls 2:
3 5

Slinger growls low in his throat as the other warrior charges at him, and swiftly ducks out of the way. "I am trying to save his life. Maybe you could wait until after he awakens and /then/ kill me?" he demands, in Latin, despite the fear that courses through him. He is sustaining the spell, still, holding onto it despite the attack coming at him, even as the spell takes effect and the wounds are slowly healing.

The warrior goes over in a miss, completely unfamiliar with the japanese martial art. But the boy is getting worse.

The old man's voice is again in slinger's head. "Failure. You can't even save a -boy-. They all want you dead. Why even try to save them? All they'll do is kill eachother. No matter waht you do, it's pointless. Why fight? Just die here, and have it over with."

«Plot» Gilead says, "place of fear. will vs. d stun."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 10 vs TN 8:
1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 7 8 10 14 17 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 10 - 4 (succs) vs TN 8 for "KP 25/39":
1 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 9 10 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Slinger says, "Trauma Damper will eat the L stun."
«Auto-Judge[]» Gilead (#6581) rolls 2:
1 3

Slinger growls once again. This boy is going to die if he does not take action, both he and the boy will die. He /will/ do this — if not for himself, for the one life that is depending on his own. He rises up, through sheer force of will, and makes a snarling grab for that battle axe as the other warrior brings it down on him, rage in his eyes. "I /will/ save him!" he screams in Latin. "You cannot stop me!"

And then the knowledge comes. Not healing magic, no: or nothing as grand. But suddenly, as Slinger pushes the spell forward, willing the boy to live… he does. Stable. Hurt, badly, but… stable.

The old man's voice returns. "Good. There's some skill in you, yet: and some will. Remember that. All are worthy of saving, but few have the courage to save them."

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#69) rolls 8 for "Quest Duration is (Force) D6 hours.":
2 2 3 3 4 4 7 7
«Plot» Slinger says, "30 hours."

In that instant, Slinger suddenly understands. Understands the difference between stability and healing. It is a more subtle form of the magic, and yet at the same time, having its own fierce power. Slinger slowly stands, finally, with the boy stable beneath him, and lets out a fierce growl, as he thunks the battleaxe into the ground with a hint of disgust — and perhaps sending the attacker with the battleaxe running. Then, he turns to find the next one worthy of saving —
And suddenly, the elf is back in his own bed, suddenly, intensely, back in his body. Slowly, he feels better. The self-loathing that had been part of him is evaporating. He has a purpose. Not his own self-aggrandizement. It doesn't matter whether anyone follows him. All that matters is the objective. All the matters is getting it done, by whatever means are necessary.
Leader, follower, none of it makes a difference. As long as one life can be saved, it is worth it.

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