Known as the Mindbreaker or the Anomaly, sometimes uses the alias of Anna MalleTalents: Obfuscation+, Dementation, Tenebriety, Celerity-, Majesty-Powers: Delusion (Dementation), Extraordinarily Insane (Dementation), Unnoticed (Obfuscation), Hidden Party (Obfuscation), Blinding Darkness (Tenebriety), Shadow Form (Tenebriety), Shade (Tenebriety)You feel fine>Trickster Daemon Primer: http://pastebin.com/NXXFJGEHArchive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Trickster%20Daemon%20QuestYou've arrived in Shorefall City to find it is being run by a Duke in the absence of the King, who is busy pounding on Ommos Kingdom and probably also preparing for the inevitable fallout with Golgoth once Ommos capitulates. Meanwhile your Shade is back in Vin port, helping your daemon ally Lark fight the Caelum, who are on a diplomatic mission to get Vin and Arn to flip over to Golgoth's side when the inevitable breakdown between the alliance between Kestis and Golgoth comes. It hasn't gone too great yet, but Lark also hasn't really been coordinating with your Shade much, and you're hoping the Shade will be able to get him on the same page. This isn't going to be super easy since the Shade can't talk or shape itself into words, but basic communication should be possible.In Shorefall, meanwhile, the city is dirty, dry, and dusty, though it'll probably turn to mud once autumn hits. The poorer people are all perpetually sick with something or other, though it's usually nothing major and on the bright side they've got about a million immunities (Mari, on the other hand, is likely to come down with something, but there's no lethal plagues in town right now so she should be okay from a survival perspective). The city is also filled with people called "the Rats," who have been afflicted by some strange disease and ghettoed as a result. They have blotchy skin and far larger (and sharper) front teeth, they're shorter and typically have a hunched, furtive posture.>wat do
>>25359413Regarding Lark and the shade (needs to be officially named in thread, a few names have been thrown around on irc):We should have our shade indicate to Lark that it is available to assist with Blinding Darkness. Since it can't speak to him, I'm thinking it could attempt to communicate this to him by blinding and quickly unblinding him, and, if he doesn't get the message, pointing to a nearby animal and then doing the same to it. If he still doesn't get it, at least they should be able to establish some communication by Lark asking questions and the shade making some sign for either 'yes' or 'no'.Regarding Shorefall:We should infiltrate and spy on the duke for a while before deciding to contact him about the Arn-Vin situation. He might not be loyal at all. I guess Mari could do street-level intel, including finding Girdin if he's arrived. She carries a weapon, right? Sounds like that'd be a good idea.
>>25359616Agreed, sums up my thoughts pretty well too.
>>25359616It's fortunate that Lark can't actually harm your Shade, because his immediate reaction to being blinded without warning is fairly hostile. After blasting a few impotent bolts at the thing and successfully lighting some foliage on fire, he's basically uninterested in further communication and more concerned that there might be some kind of imminent ambush. After a while he decides the thing was just trolling him.There are plenty of shadows to jump in and no one's on guard against Tenebriety in the area, so you're able to sneak inside the large keep in atop a hill in the heart of the city fairly easily. From there, it's not too difficult to leap from shadow to shadow until you reach the throne room, where the duke holds audience. People come in asking him to resolve disputes between various minor nobles, none of which are significant, and afterwards a council of other powerful nobles discuss issues of the realm, primarily keeping the logistics train in one piece so that they can keep funding the war effort, and whether they can afford to commit more forces to the front (Duke says no, not that it's stopped the king from requesting reinforcements they are legally required to provide somehow or other). It would seem Ommos is rapidly collapsing under the invasions of Golgoth, Kestis, and Gigan. They don't discuss what will happen after its last strongholds are taken.Mari usually keeps them hidden under a cloak so as not to arouse suspicion, but she's actually pretty heavily armed. She has a Golgothan scout's bow, a Blood Guard's scimitar, and that dagger Grist gave her. She can poke around on the street level, but without any specific leads to follow she's probably not going to find much.>wat do?
>>25359856Fine, just give the shade a standing order of "blind anything that you deem to be a serious threat to Lark."This information on the Duke doesn't really tell us anything except that he seems to be doing his job. Which is nice and all, but if we can also manage to see what he's doing when he's not surrounded by nobles and other public people, that might reveal something interesting. If it doesn't, we should consider how to give him the information about Arn-Vin. Either trying to somehow sneak it in (delusions?) or the straight forward way.
>>25360012Yeah, we should keep spying on him during his personal hours and see if we glean any information that way. I'd support telling him in the straightforward manner.I would also tell our shade to keep an eye out for that Daemon it saw before in case it decides to go patrolling for Lark. Could become a problem.
>>25360012Well, for the one night you've been observing him he hasn't had any clandestine illuminati meetings. You could watch him longer and see if he does anything suspicious (if he's sending traitorous letters or meeting with representatives of Golgoth, he likely only does so once or twice a month). Of course, the war isn't just going to sit around and wait for you to finish investigating this guy, and it might be too late to use the information if you take too long gathering it (especially if it turns out he's totally loyal).
>>25360043Straight forward might be slightly easier to make him believe. Plus, seeing as we're actually telling the truth and being helpful, it might not be a bad thing to be noticed by him. I don't remember any daemon, but if there is one it should be labelled a serious threat easily.>>25360066No time for that! While it sucks to make a move without a lot of intel on the situation, helping prevent a weakening of Kestis and strengthening of Golgoth is PROBABLY not going to turn out to be a bad thing.
>>25360066Still thinking about our next course of action; maybe sit in for the next day's worth of intel and see if any situations are brought up. I don't think we should spend long deciding to spy on this guy and waiting to drop the news on him about Vin.
>>25360118A single day probably won't make a huge difference, so yea okay, let's watch him a little more.
>>25360163>>25360118>>25360112Right. You follow the Duke around for another day. From this, you do learn that he sleeps in a different room each night to foil assassination attempts, and that the castle has a few secret passages he occasionally slips through for reasons not immediately clear (maybe they're just a shortcut? You've been following the Duke around so you haven't had a chance to mentally map the place, and the layout is thus unfamiliar to you). Regardless, you're three feet away from him the entire day and all he does is hold audience, listen to some minor nobles bitch about property lines and how Jefeth killed one of Perrel's peasants or whatever, resolve the cases (it's definitely a better idea to catch him earlier in the morning, as the afternoon wears on you can definitely see he's getting more arbitrary in his decisions), and finally the Council comes about, where a few updates about how if they take any more men away from the fields and the workshops their post-war economy will implode, yet the King says he needs more men if he's going to be able to get ahead of Golgoth before the alliance breaks down. It's mentioned that the dream is that if they can gain a decisive enough territory advantage during Ommos' collapse and seize some of the bigger strongholds mostly intact, hopefully Golgoth will retire from the field and build up their forces before invading the rest of Margell. In any case, holding castles requires far less men than taking them. But the kingdom doesn't really have any more men to spare. It's a pickle. Someone brings up the possibility of convincing Sholta City to join Kestis or figuring out what the Hell happened with Whisper City, and there are groans across the table. This course of action never yields results, the others say, and apparently they've tried it several times in the past.After the day's business is concluded, the Duke simply eats dinner and takes a drink with some friends in broody near-silence.>wat do?
>>25360243>After the day's business is concluded, the Duke simply eats dinner and takes a drink with some friends in broody near-silence.What a cheerful guy. I don't really see any reason to not go ahead and contact him. Not sure yet what the best way to do so is, though...
>>25360243>Whisper CityAnd here we go again with the temptation. Let's just meet up with this guy in the morning when he's situated and suitably free to talk.
>>25360368So out in public, basically? It might be better to do so when he's alone, info's kinda sensitive. And should we be going "I'm an ancient spirit so you have to respect me!" or just pretending to be an incredibly well informed mortal?
>>25360423Sorry had to step away. I did mean when he was alone, should've clarified. I think we should appear and let on that we are a spirit looking out for his best interests, and just try and be formal about it.
>>25360423 againI'm thinking if we reveal this information in public, people in power will catch word and start pressuring him into actions that may not be the most suitable. Better to leave that to his discretion, and if his response is not to our liking, at least we only have to change his mind, not everyone else's. Probably the only time when he's alone is when he heads to bed, even early morning at court would be crowded. Obviously that might result in attempts at stabbing, seeing as he seems to be somewhat paranoid, but I'm not sure when else we could catch him alone.
On a completely unrelated note, I've been wondering about pic related. What is up with that?
>>25360817Incredibly thick, overgrown forest which was, until a few centuries ago, also chock full of hostile daemons. Give them another century or two and they'll have it cleared out and developed, but for now it's one of those supposedly haunted places no one ever likes to go because of all the wolves and bears. And possibly actual ghosts, since a Night daemon could've left his minions behind even if Dominion capped him.>>25360619You wait until night falls and emerge from the shadows. "Don't be scared," is the first thing you say, and he whips around, drawing a shortsword he keeps belted to him during court when you do so. He's more cautious than actively hostile, though. "I'm here to help."The point of the Duke's sword lowers a bit. "Who are you?" he asks."A spirit of the shadows," you say, "come to help you win your war. Golgoth seeks to sway the ports of Arn and Vin to their side in the coming war between you. They've promised their fleets will protect the ports from retaliation.""How do you know?" the Duke asks, pulling up a chair and laying his sword across knees. One hand grips the hilt still, but he doesn't seem to consider you an immediate threat."Shadows hear many things," you say, "Caelum ambassadors arrived in Vin and convinced them to betray you. They tried to leave for Arn, but I've cursed them with misfortune. They cannot leave Vin. For now.""Why are you helping us, spirit?" the Duke asks. "I have never heard of you before, let alone made sacrifice. What is it you owe us? Or rather more likely, what is it you expect in return?">wat do?
>>25360995Tell him we're simply interested in seeing Golgoth evicted from the lands and taught a lesson in humility. They have angered several of our kind, and so they must learn the hard way.
>>25360995"No debt of yours. I do owe Golgoth and their "gods" some vengeance, though. Good enough for you?"
>>25361086"Hm," the Duke says, considering for a moment. "If what you say is true, spirit, you have my thanks," he says, rising from his chair. "Have you anything else to discuss with me? If not, I should send someone to investigate Arn and Vin immediately.">anything else?
>>25361296I'm not sure we do. Certainly there's info I'd like to acquire from this guy, like whether they're considering an alliance with Gigan or genuinely think they can stand up to Golgoth alone, but something tells me we aren't getting any answers on matters like that. He has no reason to trust us with it. Perhaps ask him what he knows about Whisper City, but other than that we're probably getting nothing. And chances are he doesn't know anything about Whisper we don't already.
>>25361389>Doing anything but asking for whisper city is heresy of the highest order.Ask him about fucking Whisper City and offer to investigate for him if he likes since we know he brought it up earlier.
>>25361389>>25361435Well we COULD use delusion to try to make him trust us (you can trust me completely?), but if he reveals info he otherwise wouldn't and knows we're a spirit, he might be able to conclude that we did something to make him do that. And then he sure as hell won't want anything to do with this friendly spirit anymore.
>>25361472Probably shouldn't risk it.
>>25361389All he can tell you about Whisper City is that it used to answer to Ommos before suddenly going silent several years ago. Rumor among the peasants is that the ghosts and monsters of the forest have claimed the city entirely. The Duke has never seen any ghosts or monsters in that forest, but then, he's never gone very far inside.>wat do?
>>25361526Didn't expect much more. I can't think of anything else this guy might trust us with yet, so take our leave with a "Don't hesitate to respond about Vin and Arn, time is already running out."Then find Mari, see if anything interesting happened.
>>25361621Going with this, then we can figure out how to go run off the Whisper City and maybe figure out if there's a Decay Daemon hanging around in Kestis.
>>25361621The Duke leaves immediately to send some knights to investigate Arn and Vin. On a similar note, your Shade has been following Lark as he plays cat-and-mouse with the Caelum and that four-winged serpent that's been hanging about the sky lately. At one point the Shade manages to blind the Caelum while Lark is able to ambush them, lighting one on fire while the others try to dive for cover as best they can whilst unable to see. As Lark hunts down the clumsy, fleeing Caelum, their panicked shouts to one another drown out the approach of the serpent from the sky. The Shade blinds the creature, but its eyes glow with Clarity and it dives straight into Lark. The two wrestle on the ground for a moment, gouts of flame shooting out intermittently. The serpent has a bit of Celerity as well, but not enough to save it from being badly burned by Lark. Shrieking, the serpent retreats back into the sky, leaving behind Lark, who is himself somewhat chewed up. He begins stalking the Caelum again, but a few arrows drive him off. Even blinded, they might strike true, and Lark is already near collapse. Still, that's two or three of them crippled, at least unless that flying daemon has also got some Fleshshaping to patch them up with (and if it bothers to do so).When you track down Mari, she's turning over a pair of Rat heads to an innkeeper in exchange for a bit of coin, so now she's officially an adventurer. When you inquire as to her grisly business, she says "the Rats sneak out of their ghettos a lot, and then usually start stealing food. They're short, weak, cowardly, untrained, and poorly armed, so anyone who knows how to swing a sword around can bag a few of them, no problem, and plenty of people will pay for their heads. If they don't keep the population down, their food stores get robbed and then they're in for a nasty winter." Mari blanches momentarily and leans against the wall for a minute before returning to normal.>cont.
>>25361956"You alright?" you ask."Fine," Mari says, "stomach's been uneasy since I got here. Think I'm coming down with...Whatever it is all these people have. There's more, though.""Listening," you say."There's some other bounty hunters who I've been talking to. Tell them I'm just the middleman for someone bigger. Middlegirl? Whatever. I hear stories from them. In one of the ghettos, or in the sewers below it, or somewhere...Location varies from story to story. But the Rats have some big shrine to a Golgothan god. Mortil or something. God of the underworld, ancestors, and death. A lot of them say they should burn the Rat ghettos down now, before the war with Golgoth starts and they eat the city alive from inside.">wat do?
>>25362003Do we have any memories at all of this "god"?
>>25362003>>25362141Any information we know?
>>25362141>>25362153You don't remember anyone along those lines being in the Red Queen's club back in the day. This guy must be new.
>>25362180Well, clarification: He must be new in the sense of being newly important. Probably he existed back in the day as some Golgothan hedge. Or maybe his origin is actually in Destos or somewhere and these Margellian peasants just don't know the difference between Golgoth and Destos. Point is: This guy is probably at least a thousand years old, but he wasn't a big deal when last you were out and about.
>>25362003"Can't do nothing about diseases, but all of those people are still alive so you should get over it. Eventually. Did you catch which ghetto specifically was supposed to contain this shrine?"Just because there's a shrine doesn't mean the daemon is even here, but if it is it'd definitely be worth checking out.
>>25362431Mari shakes her head no. "Well, actually yes," she says, "but it changes with every story. Come to think of it, there's no particular reason there'd have to be just one. They say they're made out of, like, junk and stuff. Probably they could put one together anywhere.">wat do?
>>25362625With all this rampant disease it's likely theres a Decay Daemon somewhere that's getting his territory stepped on by this Mortil guy. If he hasn't been oublietted, it might be worth finding him (or her) to strike up an alliance of sorts. More Daemon friends always helps.Problem is, finding a Daemon in a city is a chore, so I think a good lead for us to follow is to visit a doctor and see where the latest plague/disease/explosive wommblosis cropped up initially and investigate there.
>>25362625"Fun times. I should probably check it out, an attempt to turn the city the against itself does sound like something they'd do. Don't suppose you've heard anything about a big stone oaf wandering the streets?"
>>25362831Mari smiles at the mention of Girdin. "Nah, not yet. Been keeping my ear to the ground, figure that word'll probably get out about something that weird even in a place this big, but nothing so far. Hope he shows up soon, felt nice having a one-daemon army around."--->>25362817We going to go investigate apothecaries now?
>>25362910"Just be careful trying to start a conversation, I'm not sure any mortals live long enough for that."Yea, let's try to track this hypothetical Decay daemon first. Even if they're unpleasant, more friends is always nice.
>>25362910Yep, nothing ventured nothing gained after all.
>>25363077>>25363015The city doesn't have much in the way of medicine. People fumbling around with leeches and humours, mostly. They're also something of a dead end. Some of them are downright superstitious, a half-crazed man in a blood-spattered smock talking about the rats spreading plague and the wrath of an angry god. Some of them are more level-headed: Diseases pass through this town, shipped in from others through the healthy trade and breeding of their own accord in the filthy tenements of an overcrowded city that wants more than anything to avoid expanding past its walls, where there's no protection from bandit attacks or hostile armies. The humours simply slip out of balance, one of the more sensible ones claims. Miasma seeps out from places where filth gathers, claims another.Relatively sensible though they may be, this is just your run-of-the-mill superstitious bullshit. These guys don't have a damn clue how diseases work or where they come from, and the arrival of diseases is so steady and frequent that they don't keep track. If it isn't killing healthy adults, it's not worth writing it down. Just treat the symptoms and be happy you'll never be out of work.That said, they CAN tell you that the poor living conditions and lack of medical care in the ghettos means that they are bubbling cauldrons of disease. Some claim the Rats are immune to all manner of disease, though they are still carriers. The Talent Pestilence from the Court of Decay can make creatures immune to all diseases while still carrying them, but it could also just be a rumor. Plus, the Rats are supposed to be all deformed because of a disease, so clearly they weren't immune to that one.>wat do?
>>25363601Guess there's no getting around it. Let's investigate the ghettos and see what we can find of interest.
>>25363601Hm. Maybe it's a case of a decay daemon working for Dominion. We should try to track down one of these shrines, might learn more that way. Mari is obviously NOT coming.
>>25363601Head down into the ghetto looking for any signs of another daemon. Stay in shadow form (like we don't do that all the time anyway) since we're not exactly immune to disease ourselves, but if we find a large and impressive enough shrine we might consider kicking up a fuss there (trash the statues or something) to get some attention.
>>25363644>>25363690A strong wooden wall reaches twenty feet into the air, hammered together from scrapwood but quite sturdy nonetheless, cutting off the Rat ghetto from the rest of the city. Sharp-eyed sentries with longbows scan the wall, looking for any sign of a Rat attempting to leave the quarantine. When the shadows grow long, it's easy to climb up the loose wall in shadow form, unnoticed by the sentries below.Inside, the Rats mull about doing nothing much except dying. There's no workshops in here, not really. A sad excuse for a blacksmith lies in one corner, and an abandoned carpenter's stall in another, but it's obvious that these aren't the trades these people need. A deep pit lies at the far end of the ghetto, before an ominous junk statue of a skeletal figure holding a collection of junk vaguely shaped like an hourglass. Mortil, presumably. Inside of the pit are at least a hundred Rat corpses. Fresh ones are shoveled in by a pair of relatively burly Rats. Some of the corpses are skeletal from starvation, others pockmarked with disease. So much for immunity.A pack of a half-dozen or so Rats emerge from below with satchels and packs, opening them up to reveal various crusts, half-eaten fruits and the like. One drags the beheaded corpse of one of their own (one of Mari's kills, perhaps?). This corpse, with meat on its bones and no outward signs of disease, is quickly devoured by the other Rats, along with the food retrieved from outside.>wat do?
>>25363907Try scoping out that statue to see how sturdy it is, maybe we can pull a piece out and send the whole thing crashing down into the death pit.
>>25363907Nice neighborhood to be sure. Did the pit contain anything else, more rooms or just a pile of corpses? Dumping corpses doesn't seem like the most flattering form of worship, you'd think they're doing more than just that if they worship this guy.
While I understand that keeping discussions in the chat is fine, but it really seems to kill the excitement or tempo of the thread.
>>25363986Sounds fun. Plus the panic it might cause may reveal something interesting about their "worship".
>>25364188I prefer my players to discuss the thread in the thread when it's running. Unfortunately there's not a ton I can do to enforce this.>>25363986It's made out of junk. A quick examination reveals that there's a couple of wooden supports propping it up from behind. Knocking even one of them loose should send it toppling, but away from the pit, not into it. The front of the statue also has a few weakspots, but the front is directly over the pit and also a bit sturdier, so it'd take more effort to knock it loose.>>25364063Just the corpses. For whatever reason, they decided to spend their spare time erecting a giant statue of an enemy god over a mass grave.>topple statue quick and easy from behind, or the hard way so it falls in the pit?
>>25364276The quick way of course! It's no fun if everybody sees us!
>>25364306You slip behind the statue and knock out a few of the supports from behind, then return to shadow form and scamper as the massive wooden structure begins to groan and tilt. The Rats look up in fear towards the statue as it collapses backward, part of it smashing into the far wall of the ghetto. The wall shudders, but holds, while the Rats enter into a panic, scurrying into the shadows, beady eyes staring out from the darkness towards the remains of the statue. A few whisper back and forth: "It just collapsed," "what does it mean?" "maybe we just didn't build it right," "what if it's a sign?" "what do we do if it is?" and so on.>wat do?
>>25364519Stick around for a few more minutes, see if someone tries to calm things. They might have a leader or something around here, and identifying leaders is always nice.
>>25364579>>25364608Eventually, a few of the Rats crawl out and begin examining the wreckage. They piece their way through the rubble, courage slowly coming to them as nothing leaps out to devour their souls. The other Rats cautiously enter the light of day again."What is it? What's happened?" one of them asks the Rats digging through the wreckage."Dunno," the other says, "could've just collapsed on its own. We don't exactly have premium materials.""We should ask Verin what it means," another offers immediately."Yeah, says the person who doesn't have to go find him," one of the bolder Rats shoots back, "the city is dangerous, we can't cross it unless there's food to be had.""So go get some food and see him on the way back," the other Rat says."He's not on the way to anyplace good," the bolder Rat says."You met him once, the place was good enough for you then," the other Rat says."He happened to be scavenging the same area," the bold Rat responds, "look, we've already lost one good scavenger today, we go out again we'll lose another!"The other Rat twitches his nose slightly, then looks away, silently admitting defeat.>wat do?
>>25364902Verin, huh? Guessing that's a rat in another ghetto who actually convinced them that this daemon was just the guy they needed. We need them to lead us to him. Try to catch Boldrat alone or at least some place with a decent chance of dropping a delusion unnoticed, then feed him "If you don't find Verin, all of you will die painfully." I think that should do the trick.
>>25365111Was just in the middle of typing another delusion along the same lines, so I'll save myself the trouble and go with this.
>>25365111>>25365137I actually need to go now. Trickster Daemon Quest should now be back on its regular schedule, though. Stay tuned for more wacky hijinx tomorrow.