May 21, 2022 1:55 PM
someone should just STAB chris parker
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Early the next morning, there's snow on the ground and more in the air as they set out along the road to Jennings Farm. Soon they can see the hill off to the right sticking up in the flat landscape, darkly regular against the sky.

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Well, that's not foreboding.

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It's hardly the sweetly pastoral farmland you get on sentimental postcards. Oscar has a sinking feeling in his stomach.

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Is that the mound? Should they peel off in that direction before getting a close look at the land of a trigger-happy farmer, or is the empty acre closer?

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The empty acre's closer. 

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Well then. They will just have to keep an eye out for Jennings.

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As they head acre-wards, Jing Yi tries to put himself at the front of the group. He would really rather not be the first one in the line of fire... But he's probably the best at handling it and talking down/disarming farmers, as applicable.

But hey, if Jennings thinks it's unlucky, maybe he won't bother.

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We can hope! Let's take a look at this weird land.

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The footpath goes straight on for about half a mile, a hedge bordering it close on the right, after which distance it comes to a copse of elms. The copse stands above a bramble-covered depression between two turnip fields. The farmhouse is just visible beyond the trees, it sits on the up slope that reaches its peak in Springer Mound.

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Jing Yi is PRETTY sure that the unworked field lies over here to the left opposite the copse. Trust him, he's an agricultureologist.

Oscar, Jing Yi, Inaaya, and Terrence can see that something is wheeling endlessly, tirelessly in the sky, so high up as to appear birdlike.

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Terrence knows all about the natural world. He can see colors.

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Oscar read a poem about a bird once and found it kinda affecting.

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The things are not easily identifiable but they would appear to be very high; and they wheel in a curious tight pattern. The best guess would be bats.

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Terrence squints upwards. "Are those bats? In the daytime?"

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"Cooould be?" They sure are flying things of some kind.

"Do we want to check out the copse for... I don't know--" He waves his hands "--an unnatural aura?"

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"Bats... kind of Gothic," says Oscar in a tone suggesting he isn't delighted about it (and in fact finds the experience of delight a bit alien).

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Sal stares up at the sky, looking for bats.

"Seems like that brings us closer to the farmhouse. But if we're not long about it."

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Terrence glances at Inaaya.

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Why is she being looked at, she has no idea what bats mean.

...Jing Yi's thing was winged and ominous but even given the ominousness of this farm that's so much less likely than bats.

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"That would be handy," Terrence says to Jing Yi pointedly.

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Ah, he is being volunteered. He has no compunctions about dropping into an awkward crouch and going towards the copse.

"We can stay close to the ground. That'll help."

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Terrence messed that up. Oh well. Maybe this'll help!

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In the copse, there's a monolith.

It's nine feet tall, smooth-sided with a pyramidal top, expertly constructed from granite. Looks like it weighs about a ton.

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Great. Just great.

He should maybe having a more dramatic reaction right now, but all he has is a resigned "goddamnit, not a standing stone." At least it's more productive than having a dramatic reaction.

And back to the rest of the group. "There's a giant stone thingamyjig."

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At least it's not dead bodies yet.

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