Always one to appreciate a proper flair for the dramatic, I didn’t want to risk deflating such a grand exit by protesting, so I simply fell in alongside the elf as we turned our backs on the stunned silence of the banquet hall. Thankfully the rest of my friends followed along behind us, and had the good sense to keep silent until we got out of the banqueting hall. As soon as the door closed behind us though, we were unable to contain ourselves. I reach over and grabbed Sal’vir by both shoulders.“That was awesome!” I exclaim, shaking him back and forth.“It was a fairly straightforward illusion.” He says, not quite trying to shrug out of my grip.“And what I do is just simple storytelling.” I say, rolling my eyes. “It takes flair to pull it off right though. Changing your voice was brilliant, and the glowing eyes? The perfect icing on the cake.”“You thought so?” Sal’vir asks. “I thought I might have been overdoing it a bit.”“Nah, it was perfect. Oh the looks on their faces.” I smile, committing the sight to memory forever. “I’m telling you, you have stage presence. Why, the two of us could do a lot together, as far as bardic performances go.”“What do you mean?” Sal’vir asks, evidently curious.“Between my performing skills, and your magic, we could have a real act going.” I pull him close and wrap an arm around his shoulders, sweeping my other hand before us over an imaginary vista. “Think of it, me performing on the stage, with you providing special effects to enhance the show. Thunderbolts, illusions, roaring flame, the possibilities are limitless!”Then I hear Sloane clear his throat behind us.“If you’re done fantasizing, we still have issues in the here and now to deal with.”
>>26453749Old threads here.http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Solaron
>>26453749“Oh, right.” I say, letting the scene of myself on a large stage playing my guitar to a roaring crowd as Sal’vir conjures spouts of flame in the background fade from my mind. “What’s out next move?”“Well, I don’t think we’re going to be welcome here for the rest of the night, so we should probably get going.”That announcement sends up a collective groan from half our party.“Set out now?” I ask, “It’s dark outside, we won’t get but a few miles, and then we’ll have to pitch camp! Come on, let’s stay the night. I’m sure that Lady Rowena will let us stay here.”I stop talking, suddenly remembering.“Lady Rowena!” I exclaim. “I almost forgot!”“What is it? Is she in trouble?” Sloane asks, seeming concerned.“Oh, not that great of trouble I would suspect, but she might need some attention from Galen.”“What happened to her?” The cleric asks.“Oh, well she came to visit me in my room earlier this evening, but I was already entertaining Lady Constance at the same time. Things got a little physical between us, and they started going off on each other. Unfortunately, I had to leave before things had progressed very far. So they both might be a little sore and exhausted by this point, you might want to check up on them.”Everyone is dead silent for a few moments.“Can I come too?” Blake asks hopefully.“No.” Buri says simply.
>>26453972Well, thankfully it seemed that neither Constance nor Rowena were much the worse for wear after their duel in my room. A touch of healing magic courtesy of Pelor and they were each right as rain again. Sal’vir also conjured a spell to repair the damage their garments had suffered in their scuffle. After the damage was repaired, I decided that I should tell Rowena what had happened down in the ballroom.“So all this time, the staff was entirely useless?” She asks.“No powers at all.” Sal’vir confirms.“Unless you count making you look awesome when you hold it.” I chime in.I expected Rowena to be a little more put out by this revelation, but instead she seemed most amused, throwing her head back and letting out a long laugh that eventually petered out to nothing.“So all this time, my husband and Aquitaine have been fighting over nothing?”“I’m afraid so.” I confirm.“Oh, that’s just perfect, the perfect way to end this little feud of theirs. They wasted so much time and energy on pointless displays to try and impress and cow the other, spent untold sums on longshot schemes to get ahold of that staff, and all for nothing in the end. It fits my husband to a tee.”“Don’t be so hard on him.” I say, “The thing that really drove him over the edge was hearing how Aquitaine talked about you. When Aquitaine insulted you, your husband flew at him in a rage and demanded he take back what he said.”Rowena stills her mirth for a moment and turns contemplative.“He’s a good man, my husband. A very silly man, with poor judgment, no business sense, and self-control issues, but a good man. And I love him. Always have, always will.”She looks out into space for a moment, as though seeing something in the air I cannot comprehend.“Could you come out into the corridor for a moment? I want to talk to you alone.”
>>26454221I of course follow her out into the corridor, slithering along behind her until we find a quiet corner to talk in without being disturbed by some random passerby.“How can I help you milady?” I ask, wondering just what she’s on about this time.“You can start by explaining a few things to me. Start by telling me your true intentions for calling myself and Constance to your room.”I fight to maintain eye contact, her staring gaze can be a little intimidating.“I told you the truth before. I wanted to entertain you both for the night. A little wine, a little song and dance, I like to make people happy. And, also, I kind of hoped that you might have some more information my friends could use regarding the staff.”“Yes, my second question. All this time you’ve been talking to me, you were manipulating me. You tricked and goaded me into telling you what you wanted to hear, or to doing what you wanted. Explain yourself.”I lose the fight and hang my head. “For that I am truly sorry milady. My friends needed to know what the real story behind the staff and your husband was, and in order to get the fullest picture possible I decided to talk to you and see what I could learn from you. I assure you milady that I have nothing but respect for you. Lady Constance is another matter, but I care for you a great deal.”She pauses for a few moments as she considers my words, leaving me hanging in limbo as to whether I’ve done the right thing.
>>26454534Bumping with the promise of more content shortly.Here, have an Operator Kobold.
>>26454534Eventually she nods. “I understand. I wish it did not have to be that way, but I understand.”I quietly let out the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding.“I’m glad you understand milady, very glad. I did not enjoy deceiving you at all, but we had to be sure who was at fault before we made any move.”“And Mrs. Aquitaine? Did you enjoy deceiving her?”“Well.” I let on a sly grin. “Only a little.”Rowena grins in response.“I mean, honestly.” I say, “How anyone can expect to get through life with an attitude like that I have no idea. Cold and cutting as a deep winter, and cruel and vindictive to boot.”“I suppose she thinks her good looks and her husband’s money can get her through just fine.” Rowena says, “The sad thing is that she’s probably right.”I mull that over in my mind. “Is she attractive by human standards?” I ask, honestly not understanding. “I can’t really tell.”Rowena looks at me, wondering. “You can’t? Really? Well, Constance is considered attractive by a great many, and she has used it to good effect over the years. Why, what do you think of me?”I look really hard at her, trying to figure out what kind of features humans find pleasing. Well, I have no real experience with a human face, and the rest of the human body is just weird, so I really have no idea.“Honestly, I don’t know. I like you, that’s all that matters.”“And what do you find attractive?” She asks, that teasing smile still on her face.Now this I give some serious thought. Nobody has ever asked me this before, so I should give her a good answer. Finally I come up with something that I think covers all the major points.“Kind eyes, a warm laugh, and the willingness to give hugs.” I say.Rowena beams.
>>26455202“I mean, I know that’s not really a physical trait, it’s more a physical manifestation of various psychological traits and actions, but WOAH!”I can’t say anything after that, as Rowena suddenly pulls me into a rather big hug. I don’t struggle, and simply sink into it, returning the hug as well as I can. Eventually she releases me, still smiling widely.“I was right in what I said before. Constance Aquitaine does not deserve you.” She adopts a more curious expression then. “Though that did get me thinking. On the subject of Yuan Ti marriage, do you allow one man to marry multiple wives?”I nod. “And a wife to have multiple husbands. There really aren’t many laws governing it. It’s not really ‘marriage’ as you understand it, though that is the closest concept I know of in human society.”She nods, considering. “Well, as I said we do things differently here in the human world. Though I admit the idea does have some interest. And you really don’t have anyone other than family waiting for you back home?”I shake my head. “I didn’t have that many friends in my youth.”“I find that hard to believe.” Rowena says. “Well Solaron, you have my thanks for helping to deal with this whole situation, and for being a friend to me.”I bow dramatically. “It was my honor milady, however I could help.”I feel a hand under my chin, pulling me up. I rise in time to see Lady Rowena leaning in to plant a kiss on my cheek.“I wish I met you twenty years ago, before I was married.” She gives a contemplative smile, “Then things could have been very interesting. But as it stands, I am glad to call you my friend.”“As am I, milady.” I say, trying to conceal my awkwardness.
>>26455463I must eat dinner now. I shall return shortly.Discussion time!Today's topic: Yuan Ti family dynamics and mating/interpersonal rituals!What with Solaron discussing mating habits last thread, and again this time, I want to hear your input on what kinds of habits and rituals might develop between Yuan Ti, romantically involved or otherwise.I will respond to questions and give feedback whenever I can offer something.
>>26455463Daaaaaw I like hugs.
>>26455879Hugs are wonderful.
>>26455801I guess this place is pretty dead today.Nonetheless, I shall endeavor to soldier on with some new content.
>>26456342I AM ALIVESorry, had toBeen following since the ideas thread, loved most of it by the way.
>>26456362Thank you, I'm glad you like it. I should have more in a minute or two.
>>26455801We head back to the room after that. Just in time to get bumped into by Lady Aquitaine.“Constance.” I say diplomatically.“Talking to the shrew were you?” She asks, glaring at me.“I was.” I say, trying to restrain my temper.“Oh, and what were you talking about? Perhaps she wanted you to liven up her private life a bit.”“Which is no different from what you wanted you backstabbing little…”“I’m sorry.” I say simply, stopping the argument before it can gain any headway.“What?” They both ask at once.I slither over and stare deep into Constance’s eyes, maintaining a hard, unblinking stare.“I’m sorry. I came here to try and make you happy and I failed, and for that I am sorry. I knew the kind of person you were within ten minutes of having first seen you, and you failed to surprise me when I spoke to you at length. You are cold, conniving, manipulative, and convinced of your own superiority over all others. I thought that for one night I might offer you a retreat from a lifetime of manipulation and subterfuge with a few hours of simple, straightforward fun, but I failed. You strike me as a person of great hubris, but little joy. I tried to change that for a little while and failed. I’m sorry Constance, but you are simply hopeless, there is nothing I can do for you.”Constance blinks at me a few times, and for a moment I think she’s going to cry. She simply nods quietly and walks away. She does not look back.“That seemed a bit harsh.” Sal’vir says from where he stands nearby.“You don’t know her like I do.” Rowena says, “Perhaps getting shaken up a bit will do her some good.”I nod, not feeling very much like speaking at the moment.
>>26456477Okay, I have to walk the dog.Discussion topic from above still stands, if anyone feels like commenting.
>>26456486Announcement time.Well, I tried the new writing style, writing over the week and then dumping it. I believe that this method has not worked for me, at least not this time.Thread archive scores have never been lower, comments are at an all time low, and I feel as if I have lost most of my audience because of how silent they are, compared to how boisterous they used to be. On top of that, I did not get nearly as much writing done.So I shall return to my previous post-as-I-go method, until I can think of some other method that will work for me.
>>26456477Well, there really wasn’t anything else to do that night, I said my goodnights to Lady Rowena and the rest of the party and retire to my bedroom. I spend a little while getting the bed back in order from the evidently rather spirited bout between Ladies Rowena and Constance, but I eventually cudgel it back into some semblance of order before sinking down and going to sleep.I slither out of bed the next morning, pushing past the sense of unease I still feel. The feeling is fading, but I still feel it, a sense of vulnerability, as though something is simply not right. I don’t bother looking for the cause, I know from recent experience that there is no way I will be able to figure it out, so I simply let it be and head out to breakfast. The rest of the party is there, and the mood seems fairly light considering everything that happened last night.“Long term, I have no real jurisdiction here.” Sloane says, trying to talk around the mouthful of hot bun he just bit off. “So my only recourse here is to turn the matter over to local law enforcement and inform the temple of Pelor of what has been going on here, I hardly have the time to be bogged down here for however long a formal investigation will take.”“Could have its perks.” Blake says, “We would get to stay here for longer, live a life of idle finery, for a little while at least.”“Why do I think most of that finery will end up in your pockets?” Sal’vir wonders aloud, to the amusement of the table. Well, everyone except Sloane.
>>26456965I suppress my grin and throw my two bits in. “I wouldn’t really mind spending more time with Lady Rowena, but I agree with Sloane, we really must be moving on. I mean we are hardly going to run into any more adventures just sitting here! We have to get out there and see the world, find out what it has to offer, and hopefully get paid along the way. Besides, me and Sal’vir have a few new ideas for a stage performance to try out.” I grin and nod to the elf, who seems somewhat taken in by the prospect.
>>26456972After I finish gulping down a few pieces of meat and cheese, we decide to up and head out, getting on our journey back to town whilst the day is young. We find Lady Rowena waiting for us at the front door, and to our collective surprise, Sir Barkley is waiting as well.“Sir Barkley.” Sloane says tersely, “I had not expected to see you here, or that you would wish us anything but a swift farewell from your hall.”Barkley bows his head. “I have nothing but remorse in my heart sir paladin, nothing left but the regrets built up from this pointless feud.”Sloane gives him a hard gaze, the light of the noonday sun flaring in his eyes.“There is no evil in your heart Sir Barkley, you are a good man inside. Simply a very foolish man, and one with many, many issues to work out. Just listen to your wife more in the future and you should be better off the next time you have to make a serious decision.”“Thank you.” Barkley says, evidently relieved, “Thank you, I know this is likely more than I deserve after all that I have done. I used you, and it was wrong for me to have done so, especially for so pointless and greedy a cause.”“Your apology is noted, but unneeded.” Sloane says, “Your fate is not in my hands, it is in your own. Someone from town will likely be along in a few days or so to check in and investigate this matter a little better, but I don’t think you have very much to worry about. Simply be truthful with them, especially in your sincere desire to make up for what has happened over the years.”Sloane seems to have run out of things to say, so he simply nods his head and heads off out the door to where our wagon waits down on the trail.Slightly annoyed by his manor, I slither over to offer my own goodbyes.
>>26457279“You must forgive Sloane for his rudeness, while he may not look in on the outside, or from his manners, he is quite a good man, and I am lucky to call him friend. Before I left, I wished to thank Lady Rowena again for her help, and you Sir Barkley for your hospitality.”I reach out a hand and shake each of theirs in turn.“I hope that everything works out for both of you in the end. You have a fine wife here Sir Barkley, I hope that you listen to her in the future, it can save you an awful lot of trouble.”“Believe me, I will.” Barkley says, squeezing his wife’s hand.“You won’t have a choice.” Rowena says, though her smile does not waver.I give them both another smile and a little bow, before I head on out to the wagon myself.We get started with our journey back to our town and the waiting in without any further ceremony, no point in spending any more time with dawdling, so we simply clatter off down the elegant path through the Barkley estate, which eventually transitions to the rough wooded trail leading back up the way we came. Despite my hopes that something interesting might happen along the way, nothing does, so I simply pass the time by reading my book from where I coil in the corner. Eventually, after three days of rather boring travel, we finally clatter and bounce back through the gates of the city we know so well.
>>26457337“Well, look who finally dragged themselves back into my little inn.” Said Lyda the innkeeper. “I was starting to think that my star act had up and slithered off for good.”I hung my head, trying to avoid too much attention.“Relax mam, I’m back, for a little while at least. Who knows when I might be heading off again. I’m sure you can handle things perfectly well without me.”“Oh don’t kid yourself, I was doing just fine before you came along.” She says, the light tones of a jest in her voice, “But the simple fact is that business has been better than it has been in a long time since you came along. My customers are happier, there’s more of them, why some people come to the bar just to see you perform.”I nod, scratching the back of my neck awkwardly.“I actually have some new ideas on the front, my friend Sal’vir here is thinking about ways to use his magic to improve my stage presence.”“That’s wonderful! Excellent, I’ll start thinking about a show tomorrow night. I tell you Solaron, everything here has been better since you came. Even the rat problem as gone away.”I cough loudly when she says that.“I have no idea how I could be responsible for that.” I say hurriedly as I vacate the room.
>>26457474I quickly slither up the staircase to my room, smiling as I throw open the door and let the familiar smells hit me. I hang my coat on the peg by the door, and go about unpacking my traveling gear, sliding the various bits of camping gear into their places. With that done I strum my guitar for a few minutes, trying to work out a tricky combination of notes, when I feel footsteps outside, Sloane coming in a moment later.“You’re improving.” He says as he starts to stash his own gear and clothes.“Really?” I ask, fumbling through a few more notes.“Really, considering how you sounded when you first started, definite improvement.”I nod, accepting the compliment for what it is, probably the best I can really expect from the paladin after everything he has been through in the past few days. Other than that’ we don’t really speak that night, too tired out by our long ordeal and the days of travel, so Sloane simply clambers into bed, me slithering after a few minutes later.Something keeps nagging at the back of my mind, and I try to figure out what it is. Something seems different tonight, something I cannot really explain. Sleeping here is different than sleeping in the manor hall of the Barkley family felt, something is missing. Actually, I realize, something was missing from the Barkley house. Finally, I figure out what was causing me to feel so uneasy each morning and night when I slept there.
>>26457582Put simply, I missed Sloane. I have, after all, been sharing a room, bed, and most of my waking hours with him for over a month now, so suffice to say I’ve grown accustomed to him being here. But that’s not quite doing it justice. I can feel the beat of his pulse from where he lays, hear the tiniest hitches in his breathing, smell the scent that follows him in a more detailed way than any human ever could. Quite simply, I got used to him being there, a constant part of my sensory world. Sloane was now one of those things in life I associated with being home.I let a slow grin creep over my face, as I settle down into my first truly restful night of sleep in days.
>>26457593Well, that's it for tonight if you were wondering, seems like a good place to end it.Thanks for reading, I'll be hanging around for a little while.I hope you enjoyed the latest installment.
>>26457619seriously, where did all the other readers go? last few threads have been way to quiet.
i missed a lot of the other threads but have been reading the archive. Overall, I love the story and the idea. You are putting a lot of hard work in. Solaron is growing as a character while staying true to the concept you started with. I feel like we need to learn a lot more about the rest of the party. We got to see a bit more of Blake recently, but still don't know much about him besides that he is a thief. It would be nice to know more about the other characters and their personalities as well - that would add a lot of depth to the story. This is just a minor nitpick, but I don't enjoy the D&D terms in a story, like detect evil and cure wounds. You did a great job describing what Sal'vir's magic did in the previous part of the story, I'd love to see the same thing for Sloane detecting evil or Blake picking a lock or Galen casting healing magic.
>>26458412I agree I'd love to see these characters more, I want to 'get to know them' more, like Buri and Galen.
For Yuan Ti mating/ marriage rituals, I'd be interested to know a few things. Are there any typical 'gifts' one gets a lover or a spouse, or that a family gives at a wedding? What would a snake person find useful/ fun/ enjoyable that a human might not?In general, do Yuan Ti care for many personal possessions? At least from what I've seen from Solaron, it seems like the answer is no, unless they are for displaying wealth and power - you would probably never find a Yuan Ti hoarder.
>>26457619I am back, and ready to answer all comments, sorry but I was detained, I will start answering now as possible.
>>26458412I don't remember when I used specific D&D terms, and I try to avoid them. Specific spells with rigidly defined effects are a gameplay tool, but true magic should be much more freeform in my opinion for many things, as Sa'vir's abilities lately showed.>>26458443I plan to focus on different characters through different story arcs, as each will have their own secrets and personality quirks which come into play.
>>26458832Yuan Ti can be very materialistic, just like humans can. Solaron is just a simple soul, he doesn't need much to be happy as he has shown and said before.Apart from a formal dowry, little is exchanged at a marriage, Yuan Ti marriages being sexless and without romance. Nothing says you can't love your spouse, but nobody is expecting that you do.Exchanging gifts is something you do with someone you love. Someone you really want to spend time with would likely receive a bracelet, necklace, or some other piece of jewelry, and they each wear part of a matching set with a unique emblem on it, to signify their bond. This is something you do with someone you LOVE, not just like, or have a protracted relationship with.
>>26458832As for what they find fun that we do not. Yuan Ti are not THAT much different from humans psychologically.They have a taste for the finer things in life, plays, orchestra music, and outdoor performances. They LOVE the sun, and warmth, and anything that can give off a feeling of warm contentment.Some Yuan Ti parties feature a main course of very large slabs of meat which the guests swallow whole, and then spend the next day or three lazing around being fat and happy.I imagine that they would enjoy foreign art and artifacts very much, since Yuan Ti usually do not travel beyond their native lands just to see the sights. They would probably be very interested in the art works of foreign lands sent back to the homeland by their various traders.Except foreign fashion of course, Yuan Ti find nudity infinitely preferable to all that pointless frippery thank you very much.That answer your question.
>>26459201Thank you, kind sir or madam. I find your comments and editorial quite intriguing and shall continue to subscribe to your newsletter.
>>26459306Sir.And your continued interest is noted and appreciated.Here, have a lizardman.
>>26459359Thank you, he is rather dashing