Episode 13: Pixie Dust
Bera the Barbarian Priest soaked in the radiant sunlight while standing in the grassy meadow. Behind her loomed a dark forest with old, twisting trees. "The Team Competition is called Pixie Dust. Each Tribe gets four cups to use and must fill these two crystal buckets with pixie dust. The first team to fill their bucket to the line wins the game. The other team will sacrifice one of their own at the end of the week."
"And how are we to get this pixie dust?" Christina (vampire) asked.
"The forest behind me is full of pixies," Bera said. "You may begin."
"Oh no." Kailen (fairy) shook his head.
"What?" Haimes (scree) asked.
"Not pixies." Kailen groaned. "Theyíre nasty tricksters."
"But they arenít very big, right?" Nessa (elf) asked, picking up a cup.
Eadric (warrior) picked up one of the buckets and marched toward the tree line. "No bigger than Kailen."
"Some can be the size of Ranzkin," Dedrick (centaur) added. "Even bigger depending on the type."
"Iím with Kailen," Ranzkin (gnome) said. "I have a bad feeling about this."
Christina picked up the last bucket. "Just suck it up. This is an important competition. Unless you want to be the one on the altar."
DIARY CONFESSION Ė CHRISTINA THE VAMPIRE
"I canít believe Jewelís gone. If I had to pick between her and Paige, Iíd want her here with me. She was good at most competitions.
"Now with just me and Paige against Dedrick, Nessa and Ranzkin, I have no choice but to win competitions. If we loose, those three will make sure Paige and I go home. I just donít have the numbers on my side anymore."
BACK TO THE SHOW
The others grabbed a cup and followed Christina and Eadric into the woods. They fanned out and Nessa hit bushes with a long stick trying to find the evasive creatures. She hurried between trees until Haimes ran into her and they both fell.
"Why are you going the wrong way?" Haimes asked.
"Iím not." She looked around in a circle. "Although this forest is twisty."
"There," Haimes said, smiling. Nessa looked and saw four tiny green women flying above a shrub.
"I call them," Haimes said.
Nessaís eyes narrowed. "Not if I get to them first." They took off sprinting for the pixies, Haimes in the lead. Haimes leapt in the air, startling Nessa, but not as much as when she found herself pulled upside down beside him. They both hung from ropes attached to a foot. The pixies laughed below.
Haimes flailed around franticly until he realized his life wasnít in mortal peril. "This is all your fault."
"Oh really," Nessa said. "And how is that?"
"I donít know but I feel better saying it."
Kailen flew by underneath and Haimes called out to him. "What are you guys hanging around in trees for?" Kailen joked.
"Very funny," Haimes replied.
"Seems like the pixies are playing a game of their own," Nessa said. "Whereís your cup?"
Kailen shrugged. "It was too heavy to keep carrying." He flew up and inspected the knot in the rope. "Besides, Iím a little small to grab a pixie and shake her. Iíd need to buy her a drink first, or something, and where am I going to find a bar in this place?" He winked at Nessa.
Per Ranzkinís advice, Dedrick paced Eadric, collecting pixie dust at an even pace. When his cup was full, heíd have to find Christina, but meanwhile he could cut Eadricís take by half. That was the plan anyway. It turned out that pinching pixies wasnít as easy as picking flowers. They had wings and tended to fly away from grasping hands.
Eadric tripped on a fat root and fell forward, yanking Dedrick from his musings. Just ahead, a two-foot tall, beautiful naked pixie giggled. She sat on a fallen log and waved at Dedrick.
"Hi, ummÖ" Dedrick blushed. "I was wondering if I could get some of your dust?"
"Oh no you donít," Eadric said, climbing to his feet. He lunged toward the pixie. Dedrick raced to grab him and reach the green lady first when they both plunged into sticky goo, ending their momentum. Dedrick tried to lift a hoof out of the mud, but it clung fast. He felt his body sinking. "What is this stuff."
"Quicksand." Eadric sighed. "I lost my bucket."
The pixie disappeared behind a tree when Paige (zombie) crashed in on the scene. "Taking a swim?"
"Very funny," Eadric said. "Help us out of this mess."
"Wait!" Dedrick yelled. "Youíre not hungry, are you?"
Paige smiled. "Not in the least." She looked for something to throw into the mire. "Not that itís helped me with this task. I havenít seen a single pixie!"
"Youíve been lucky then," Eadric said.
Paige threw a narrow log across the gap. Eadric helped Dedrick get out and found his bucket behind a stump.
An Interview with Kivi about Kiviís Underworld!
Interviewer: What do you think of the game?
Kivi: Surprisingly, itís actually accurate about what we went through.
Interviewer: Have you played the game?
Kivi: Oh yes. Itís one of the most fun games Iíve played lately. After I beat all of the levels, I decided to make some of my own adventures. I canít believe how easy it is to do!"
Interviewer: You mean you can make and play levels you design?
Kivi: Not only that, but I can share them on the Internet. I canít wait for other players to post adventures theyíve made. The possibilities are endless.
Interviewer: Anything you want the viewers to know?
Kivi: Yes. Donít let the dark elves win!
BACK TO THE SHOW
Ranzkin tracked Gorm (mage) through the woods. She wanted to prove to Paige that she could be a dangerous creature but hurting Christina seemed counter productive. Christina was good at competitions, and with both teams tied at five players apiece, they needed to win more than ever.
Unfortunately, Gorm wasnít cooperating. Every step took them farther from the bear she sensed and farther from a troop of poop throwing monkeys. He was chasing down a pair of pixies who always seemed just out of reach.
She didnít try to get any pixies herself. Though some of them were small enough for Ranzkin to handle, they still had wings and flying wasnít in the gnomeís skill set. Ranzkin lost sight of Gorm and hurried to catch up. Two pixies dangling from a leafy tree branch laughed, startling Ranzkin. She looked up at the pair but in her rush she didnít stop jogging which is why she fell headlong into a deep narrow pit, landing on Gormís face. His sharp nose dug into a rib while her mouth filled with beard hair.
Gorm shook his head. Ranzkin flew from the mage, bounced off a wall and fell onto the soft, cool earth. "How could you not see the hole?" Gorm asked. "It must have been obvious after I fell through!"
"I was distracted," Ranzkin said, standing up and brushing herself off. "By pixies." She looked around for her red hat. "At least we can help each other out of here."
Gorm grabbed at a loose root on the side of a wall. "Speak for yourself. Youíre not in my tribe." He pressed his hands against one wall and his feet against the opposite and began to climb.
"Just great," Ranzkin said to herself as she watched Gorm disappear over the edge. "What is the deal with this island and all of these pits!"
Amber found another group of pixies lounging on a flower cluster. "Can I have some dust please?" The pixies flew around her head, running their hands through her champagne-colored hair and touching the horn-scar at her hairline. They gave a little shake over the almost full bucket Amber had traded Eadric when he realized the pixies were glad to help the unicorn-girl.
The fourth pixie was struck by a flying thorn and fell to the ground before giving Amber any dust. The rest looked into the trees, frightened, and then flew away in the other direction.
Amber frowned, confused, when Christina rounded a corner carrying a mini-blow gun. The vampire shook pixie dust into Depthsí bucket and then sucked the life from the little being. The pixie went from a healthy shade of green to bleak ash.
"You canít do that!" Amber said.
Christina rolled her eyes. "Whatever."
Amber eyed Christinaís nearly full bucket. "Seems like weíre both close to victory."
"You can save a life if you give me some of your dust?" Christina teased. "Whatís more important to you."
DIARY CONFESSION Ė AMBER THE UNICORN
"The gall of that vampire! I know she has to eat but she doesnít have to eat sentient beings. She treats life as casually as blowing out candles. Itís wrong and sheís despicable.
"I want to win no matter what, but being able to see Christinaís face when she knows sheís going up on the alter (I canít imagine she has any friends in her tribe), that will be priceless."
BACK TO THE SHOW
Amber frowned. She started to say something but was distracted by a very unpleasant smell.
"Over here, Paige," Christina called.
The zombie found them and handed Christina Dedrickís full cup. "Itís just enough. Weíve done it!"
"Not quite," Amber said, setting down her bucket. "You still have to make it back." She ran headlong at Christina. Paige stepped in the way and the two of them went sprawling to the ground. Christina disappeared into the trees, laughing.
When everyone returned to the grassy meadow, Bera announced Tribe Depths the winner of the Team Challenge. "Tribe Kivi, you will compete for immunity. One of you will be sacrificed and leave the island this week."
Writer for Soldak
Christina need to get staked or something. If its legal to kill the native population of a forest is it legal to kill the other contestants? Things could go all Lord of the Flies.
Paige seems very human. If she has freewill, can communate clearly, and doesn't eat people its a little boring. She also has regret for her actions when she does attack people. I can't imagine it will end up going well between her and Christina.
Ever play Planescape:Torment? It has a very well developed undead society. I can't imagine doing civilized undead better then that.
Vampires were good in Vampire the Masquerade:Bloodlines. Huge range of different characters in that game.
Have you ever tried writing bioware style dialog?
I have a love/hate relationship with Christina. And of course, reality shows often bring out the worst in people. Which really makes me wonder about Paige.
I have never played Planescape:Torment, although I do like thinking of traditional monsters as people instead of "the other." I've always had a soft spot for the outsider.
I think we might have Vampire the Masquerade:Bloodlines. I really should play it sometime! I am so bad about keeping up with things!
I'm not sure what bioware style dialog is. I tried googling it, but didn't find anything useful. Can you point me somewhere?
In the beginning of the show I tried to stay out of people's heads (point of view), but I find myself getting into POV more and more lately. I like really knowing who I'm writing. It worked staying out of it in the beginning with so many characters, but I think it's okay to do now (though I worry some won't like the style change).
I've finished Jewel's exit interview and will post it sometime after lunch (in about 4 hours). I'm working on tomorrow's episode (which I hope is shocking), and hopefully I'll get it posted before dark tomorrow. (I hate when it takes me all day to get the post up. Changing all of the name colors takes a lot of time!)
Writer for Soldak
Defining Dialogue Systems
Branching dialog is what I called bioware style dialog. I wondered if Steven's hardcore dungeon crawl might feature that? Its difficult learning to write in that style. Other indie rpgs use it. Like spiderwebsoftware's games.
Christina is a good character. In regular survivior I think she might get voted off really quick.