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Join date : 2009-07-07
Age : 31
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PostSubject: Tales of NetHack   Tales of NetHack EmptyThu Nov 11, 2010 9:28 pm

There is a place that few men know
Where only the bravest choose to go.
Are they heroes, or are they fools
To go the that place where madness rules?
Thirteen descend in search of glory
For each attempt there is a story...

This is going to be a series of fanfics/ let's plays of the game Nethack. I'm going to tell thirteen stories, one for each character class. This won't be a straight LP, as I think the repetitive combat would get annoying. So some things will be glossed over or left out entirely, while others will be embellished for entertainment's sake. I'm also planning to do a bit of experimentation with each story, trying out different writing styles and such. Should be fun.

So now that the boring explain-y stuff is out of the way, let's get this started:

The Tale of the Archeologist

Ruby adjusted her fedora as she stepped into the cavern. Her dwarven eyes could see as well in the dim light as they could on the surface, and she scanned her surroundings. The cavern was a near-perfect square, with an open door leading to a hallway. Curios. Ruby wasn't sure who would have cut such a geometrically-perfect room or installed a door, but she intended to find out. She checked her gear--a pack full with supplies, a bullwhip on one hip, a comfortable leather jacket, and a pickaxe hefted over one shoulder. It was time for some exploring.

She stepped forward, and nearly tripped over something small and furry. A black kitten stared up at her from the floor. Ruby bent to scratch the animal behind it's ear, eliciting a happy purr. She stood and continued on her way, the kitten happily trailing after her.

In the hall sat a brightly colored beetle. Ruby leaned down to examine the creature. She was no entomologist, but nonetheless Ruby had seen her share of beetles while crawling around dig sites. This bug was new to her. It had vibrant shades of red, green, and yellow covering its back, doubtless a warning to predators that the bug was toxic. It's head was strangely shaped, with the mandibles positioned at an odd angle to--ZAP!

Ruby jumped back with a start. Her hand burned from the electric shock. Had the beetled done that? It was certainly possible. After all, several species of wyvern were known to stun prey using static--ZAP!

She pulled back again, shaking her stinging hand. Yes, definitely the beetle. The kitten brushed past her leg to pounce on the beetle. There was a sickening crunch and the beetle was gone. The kitten mewled, happily licking its lips.

Ruby continued down the corridor to another room, similar to the first. A pile of coins lay on the floor. That was certainly strange. Closer inspection revealed that this was not a currency she had ever encountered in her years of archeological study. They belonged to no civilization she knew, modern or ancient. Could there be some private society living in these caves, apart from the rest of the world? She placed the coins in her pack for later study. A stairway delved deeper into the cave system. Ruby climbed down, the kitten only a step behind.

At the base of the stairs Ruby was greeted by a tall, stone statue resembling the beetle she had encountered before. Was this perhaps evidence of some primitive, beetle-centric religion? The insect's electric offensive strike would no doubt be seen as divine power by some less knowledgeable individuals. She pondered the stonework (not nearly as good as a dwarf could do, though perhaps better than a human), before setting off down another corridor. Her exploration of the cave led her to several more rooms of varying sizes, connected by more meandering halls. Occasionally a beetle or rodent would cross her path, and the kitten would gleefully run ahead, making short work of them.

Eventually Ruby found herself down on the third level of the cavernous maze. Large rats accosted her from the steps, snapping at her arms and legs. The kitten charged one of the creatures and the room erupted in a chaotic mess of growls and hisses and flying bits of fur. Two other rats were biting at Ruby's legss, and as the kitten was currently occupied Ruby took it upon herself to deal with the problem. Her pickaxe, while not specifically designed for this task, nonetheless proved quite suitable.

Ruby continued her exploration, pausing to handle the occasional aggressive animal or to investigate small piles of items. Several times she found piles of those strange coins, and on one occasion she came across a book with instructions in casting a "drain life" spell. Ruby found it odd that the book should be written in the Common tongue, though admittedly a somewhat dated dialect. She wasn't sure what to make of the 'spell'--perhaps this tome was related to the beetle religion? She spied a small newt creature a few paces away and decided to try out the "spell", just to verify that it was in fact mere superstition. She spoke the words from the page, watching the creature for any signs of life-draining. It bit her ankle. Ruby was fairly certain that didn't qualify. The kitten tackled the newt and the two rolled off down the hall. Ruby placed the book in her pack. A religion involving deified beetles and 'magic' spells. Yes, there was certainly an interesting civilization down here.

AS she thought that, a large shape loomed in the hall ahead. It was an orc of some kind, though somewhat smaller than the average specimen. Orcs, of course, had been known to form small societies with nature-based religions and animal worship. Perhaps it was an orc clan that had been living down here for generations? Ruby slowly moved forward, hands up in a non-threatening manner. The book was in Common, so perhaps communication was possible?


The orc grunted. Was that, perhaps, some altered form of Orcish? Ruby wasn't fluent in Orcish, though she did understand some basic conversational phrases. Did that grunt sound more like "greetings" or "die horribly"? The intonation for both was very similar. Perhaps if she tried the Orcish word for "friend"--she was fairly certain she knew that one--they could begin a basic conversation and--

Oh no. The kitten had leapt forward and was now engaging all of its pointy bits in the task of latching onto the orcs' face. There was some flailing from the orc, some mauling from the kitten, and a fair amount of screeching from both.

The kitten eventually won (Ruby made a note to always keep on the creatures good side, handing it a bite of a food ration just to be safe) and the pair continued on their way. It wasn't long before another humanoid appeared, this time a lizard-like kobold. Once again Ruby held up her hands peacefully and spoke slowly to the creature.


The kobold grunted. Yes, this was good. Ruby made sure to place herself between the kobold and the kitten. She didn't want this attempt at communication foiled by the little animal--

The kobold swiped at her with its claws. Blood dripped down Ruby's arm. No matter, no matter, it just wasn't understanding her.

"No fight! Peace!"

The kobold grunted again, before taking another swipe at Ruby's arm. She staggered back and the kitten once again charged forward. The fight was as violent as it was short, and soon the kitten was lazily munching on...ew.

Ruby decided to continue a short ways on her own, away from the grisly sight. The next room was thankfully devoid of any large aggressive creatures. A single bat hung from the ceiling, an entirely ordinary cavern denizen. Ruby stopped to catch her breath. This dungeon was indeed a strange place, with much to explore and learn. The Archeological Society would be fascinated to learn what was down here. They'd have to conduct quite a few research expeditions, to be sure. There was no shortage of strange and unique--

Ruby fell back as a pair of leathery wings beat against her face, teeth coming down on her head. She staggered, swinging her axe wildly at the bat. It backed away for a moment before diving again. In the back of her mind Ruby pondered the strangeness of a normally docile creature attacking so fiercely. And so strongly. Really, that was hurting quite a lot. And it was strangely resilient for a bat, standing up to her pickaxe like it was nothing. Indeed, this was something of a one-sided fight, and where was that kitten? Say, what was the floor doing on Ruby's face...


292 Au
killed by a
giant bat


And thus ends our first story. That bit at the end was supposed to be the ASCII art tombstone that appears after every game, but I couldn't get it to format properly. Anybody have a fix for this? I like having the "death text" at the end, but it seems rather bare all by itself. If I can't find a way to get the art on here I may have to come up with another way of closing out each entry.

That's all for now folks. Expect the Tale of the Barbarian sometime soon.

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