Friday, 12 September 2008

'Till my head falls off

Eldrich beasts and AI

The tile where my head fell had a crack in it, and my mind, hazy and indistinct as it was, snatched a piece of nursery-school lore from the fog. I remembered lining up for lunch, and the poor student who landed on the one crack in the sidewalk would have “step on the crack, break your back” whispered to them. Well, that was soon to be true enough for me. I shook my head to clear it, and looked indistinctly towards where I knew my opponent to be. Her hooded face sneered at me from behind crackling walls of arcane power. About halfway between us, features fading into the shadows of the warehouse floor, hovered the horrible tentacled THING she had summoned, blood dripping from its mouth where it had bitten my own creature, a flying imp, squarely in two. She had torn right through my defenses, waving them aside with a gesture as my green elder sign of protection faded away. She shrugged off my imp’s blasts, summoned the dread beast of Tindalos. The charge of that nightmare beast had almost killed me, and my sanity had suffered as I cast healing spell after spell. I had attempted to cast a bolt of pure mental energy at her, but such were her shields that it had evaporated before it touched her, and her fell beast swatted me down, where I laid now. Lips cracked, health and sanity on the brink of the abyss, I waited for her next move.

“Now, fool. Now is the time for your destruction!” She cackled. For this! Is the dawn…. OF A NEW DAY! Bright light flooded the chamber, instantly evaporating her creature and shield. I struggled to my feet, incredulous, feeling my mind bolstered. Had she miscast her spell? That didn’t make sense, because the incantation were so specific. Hesitantly, expecting a trap, I cast another mind blast. This connected, and she fell to her knees, gasping. She staggered to her feet, eyes blazing with anger. “That was your last mistake, you… you… PEASANT!” she spat. “Thy creatures turn on thee! AUIDIANA BRETHRLORM!”. Again, a slight pause as I processed the information. The spell she had cast at me was one designed to make my summoned creatures attack me, but… I hadn’t summoned a creature! My mind raced, attempting to pick out her strategy, but found no sound reason for casting the spell she cast. My hands crackled with power and my voice rang as I call forth a Dark Young charge, throwing her against the back wall. She lay bleeding, and rummaged desperately around in her traveling sack, until she brought out an ancient, yellowed manuscript. I stared in amazement as she turned the pages, reading at a superhuman speed. Surely this was just a copy of the Pnakotic manuscript. It would enhance her power, true but… Shrugging my shoulders, I reached into my own carrying sack and pulled forth an automatic shotgun. One ear-shattering blast and a few minutes later, and I staggered out of the warehouse and into the newly sunlit harbor. Truly, this world would be doomed if eldritch doomsday cults would learn the art of timing.

This post references The Necronomicon, a great game where your character is frequently at a disadvantage, and would surely be doomed if the computer didn't just play random cards.

2 comments:

Payton_Hayes said...

A nice story; I liked it. This part: "She lay bleeding, and rummaged desperately around in her traveling sack, until she brought out an ancient, yellowed manuscript. I stared in amazement as she turned the pages, reading at a superhuman speed." made me think of a comedian I watched recently. He said he took a speed-reading course and after it was able to read 47 pages a minute, but unfortunately his comprehension plummeted.

bobo said...

Hilarious, your stories just keep getting better and better!