The further into the city you move, the taller the buildings grow. You never thought you'd see something standing taller than the windmill at the edge of town built by human hands, but these towers must stretch twice, even three times the height. The people walking around the inner city are garbed in silks and fine woven metal, garb that you would think reserved for an emperor. Wheeled carts ferry people from building to building. You don't see any of the Tusks here; only humans and automatons roam the inner streets.The strange, blocky language coats the awnings and streets. People here give you strange glances, a far cry from the amicable anonymity of the run-down outer city.Near the center of town, you can see a shining metal tower that stretches far above the others. A column of flame stretches from its peak, an unwavering pyre of pure elemental force.And you thought the market was overwhelming.The column of flame brings to mind what the Lord Restrained told you. His words echo in your mind like a dropped iron plate.>"The Iron Tyrant is a corrupt spirit, forged of chaos and quenched in the blood of a thousand thousand innocents. To stop it, you must utterly destroy it. Bury the Demon Pits, extinguish the Fellfire, and tear down its corrupt body, plate by plate. Should you accomplish these tasks, in the order I have given them to you, you will be capable. Whether you will be -successful- lies entirely on your wits. You must act, and act soon. The mountains hold little danger for its ilk now."You don't know how Fell that column of fire is, but it may be a good first step toward destroying the Tyrant once and for all.If, of course, you -want- to destroy him.>[ ]Investigate the column of flame. Let's see what's going on in that tower.>[ ]Head north toward the Grand Forge. Greijak said it was a sight to be seen.>[ ]Head back to the slums in the outer city.>[ ]You've scouted enough for now. Time to get out of the city.>[ ]Other
You are Osyki, journeyman Totemist and first line of defense for your village against the rabid Behemoths wandering the land. Your master, the previous Totemist, fell in a battle against a terrible Behemoth, leaving the duty of defending your settlement to you. You have brokered a pact with the Stone Emperor to become a Knight of his court. Now, your newfound role demands that you scale the Ikrin Peaks and destroy the Iron Tyrant who challenges your Emperor's claim to his domain. After traversing the spirit realm and meeting a mysterious girl in the Tyrant's employ, you've discovered an underground city below the wasteland on the far side of the mountains.---[[Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=totemThe Cast Thus Far / Binder's Log: http://pastebin.com/c5GFiw81Quest Twitter: @TotemistQuest]]
Lets investigate the pillar
>>2675304112:00 PST on the dot! Nice precision, Diarca.Anyway, let's get as close to the tower we can without drawing suspicion. After that, let's check out the Grand Forge. That has to be of interest to an Iron Spirit.
Tugging the hood of Nocturne's Embrace tighter over your head, you bustle your way inward to the city. People give you strange glances as you pass, but no gazes linger on you. Using your spear as a sort of walking stick, you stick to side-streets and slip from shadow to shadow as best you can.The people here live simultaneously less and more stressful lives than those on the outskirts of town. Their fine clothes and lavish transportation alleviate the aches and pains of daily life, and you think that likely those who live here are the merchants and wealthy of the city. Still, shouted disagreements in rough, blockish dialects are no less common here than they were in the open-air market, and you see figures in dark cloaks watching passers-by from the occasional alleyway. It's a totally different atmosphere than the outlying streets, the taste of shining metal and ozone filling your thoughts.You arrive at the base of the pyre-capped building. Two burly looking men with finely polished maces stand on either side of the door, staring straight ahead without any regard for those passing by.>[ ]Attempt to negotiate your way inside.>[ ]Take out the door guards.>[ ]Find an alternate way up.>[ ]Other
>>26753255Just walk in, hide in the crowd
>>26753255Finding an alternate way up is tempting. Are we not Osyki Cloudwalker, he with the feet of lightning? But we are also the Silver Tongue, so let us attempt negotiation first. After all, we are expected here.
>>26753292We can try that
>>26753292May as well.If it doesn't work then try the forge.This place isn't first on our list even if it is the Fellfire.
>>26753255Guys, what if we kind of, you know, go in as an ambassador, rather than an assassin? We are already in the city. Why not find some kind of official way of doing things.
>>26753255You hunch your shoulders and blend with the crowd while considering your next move. Traffic in and out of the pyre tower is next to non-existent. The locals seem to give it somewhat of a wide berth, and the guards on either side of the door don't look as though they're open to negotiation. You take a step toward the building, assessing the situation.One of the guards snaps his attention to you. A quick look over you, and he's drawing something from a pocket in his belt. You tense for a moment before he raises what seems to be a tiny bird whistle to his lips.The doors slide open.You look, confused, between the tower doors and the guard. Is he inviting you inside? You take another careful step forward when a figure appears from the darkened doorway, a figure you instantly recognize."Welcome to Pointsmar, Osyki," she says with an affectionate smile. She extends a hand to you, waiting expectantly. "The General is expecting you."
So I was looking through the archives yesterday, and I noticed some things. Namely, that there's no way the Tyrant has had enough time to get all this done. Everything we heard about him suggested his conquest was recent. Certainly Ayren never did anything about it, and he was close allies with the Stone Emperor. It only just got bad as we were leaving for our spirit travel. And yet here we have an entire civilization adapted to the wasteland the Tyrant has made. How does that work?I think we might be in the future. Time in the spirit realm flowing differently from the materials realm is a common idea in folklore. What if our journey took far longer than we thought it did? The Tyrant's messenger said she had wanted to see us for so long, and seemed genuinely hurt that we wouldn't trust her. Her appearance was commented on as seeming familiar, and the descriptions given for her (not to mention image file names) were very similar to those for Aurora in the flash forward. Maybe that's why she didn't give us her name, because she knew we wouldn't believe her if she just up and told us she was our little sister, glad to finally see us after all this time.I realize this is a pretty wild guess, but it does explain why this presentation of the Tyrant is so different from what we've heard. He's the same being, just with a few decades of growth. Perhaps becoming a Land Guardian caused some spiritual change to him, giving him some sense of responsibility for those living in his lands. He's recruited totemists to his side to aid in guarding against the Magus and the other threats of the greater world, Aurora included. And now we've come out of the mists of the Grey Skies, and he finds himself now considering where we fit into his plans.
>>26753538I just figured it was best if less people had us on their mind, besides, what would we be an ambassador of?
Rolled 43>>26753606Rolling to avoid staring at her chest
>>26753606In retrospect, we should have seen this coming."It would be an honor. I hope I haven't kept him waiting."
>>26753767If she's wearing what's in the picture and is that big, I think we just failed.
>>26753606"My apologies if I'm tardy. Somehow, despite there being time for dueling and dancing, our conversation was cut short before we could discuss where to meet. My apologies if my brusqueness drove you off, my lady. All I shall say in my defense is that my time as of late has been spent in the company of those who tolerate a decline to their requests, and I assumed you would be the same. Please, do forgive me."
>>26753611Perhaps it's recent from the perspective of Earth? It is a rather slow moving element after all.I certainly agree that something strange is going on, but I think time travel is a little too large of a leap to make at this point.
>>26753869Shit, typo. Forgot a word. Meant to say "poorly tolerate", not "tolerate".
>>26753869*Who do not tolerate a decline to their requests
>>26753606"Out of curiosity, what description did you give the guards?Simply be on the lookout for anyone almost comically suspicious?"
>>26753883Yeah, but Boa thought it was recent, too, and she's water. Though she could have gotten her information from earth spirits, I suppose. And I'm not considering time travel so much as suspended animation, though I admit that when it's forwards-travel they're practically identical.
>>26753611mrmmm, I didn't want to say that though, I had my suspicions as well.....I just hope we didn't lose time.....
I'm assuming this was all here before and the iron tyrant is just the spirit that controls this land who decided to seize this opportunity and start advancing. Might even be human(ish).
>>26753869Change that beginning to "I didn't realize I was tardy". Too much apologizing, though polite, implies weakness. Otherwise, that looks good.
>>26754022Nobody implied we were tardy though.
>>26754016In that case we'd need a reason for it to be a post-apocalyptic wasteland that doesn't involve the Tyrant. I guess it would be kind of interesting if all the Tyrant's reputation was hype and he's not actually that powerful, just letting people draw their own conclusions from the state of his domain.
>>26754058Maybe he always ruled, but waited for an opportunity to advance. I doubt he gave two fucks about the environment, seeing as his people live underground.
>>26753767[[Noted.]]>>26753869>>26753820"It would be an honor," you say stepping toward the doorway. "My apologies if I'm late. Somehow, despite there being time for dueling and dancing, our conversation was cut short before we could discuss where to meet."She grins, her smile dazzling, and shrugs. "Well, I suppose I did put a rather rapid end to things. Still, you never know what could happen in the mists. Time is a funny thing."You shrug, running a hand through your hair as you accompany her over the threshold of the Pyre Tower. "My apologies if my brusqueness drove you off, my lady. All I shall say in my defense is that my time as of late has been spent in the company of those who tolerate a decline to their requests, and I assumed you would be the same. Please, do forgive me."She turns, and for a moment you can see a spark of interest, and of compassion, twinkle in her eyes. She regains her composure rapidly and gives you a small bow."No," she says, "It's my apology that's necessary. I was unnecessarily eager, not considering the ultimate implications of the request I offered you. It was poorly considered, and I'm glad you refuted me as graciously as you did. Please forgive me for my rude departure. I'm glad you've decided to come."The interior of the building has been polished to a mirror shine. Automatons bustle across the wide ground floor, carrying stacks of parchment and heavy metal sheets. The girl leads you to a set of stairs in the back of the tower, gesturing for you to ascend."The General is waiting for you.">[ ]"Before I go..." (write in)>[ ]"Thank you, ...?">[ ]"And now you DIE!">[ ]Other
>>26754107Ask her for a name. Don't Ask for HER name, just A name, asnthat might be rude, considering true names are a thing.
>>26754151Yes, I like that. Emphasize that we need SOMETHING to call her by, even if it's just a title. It would be terrible rude to refer to her in conversation with others as "that blonde woman with the sword".
>>26754107Before I go in... Could you please tell me what the fuck is going on?
>>26754107"Before I go in, do you have something I can call you by other than 'the cute blonde with the sword'?"
>>26754107Before I go in, could you lend me 400 zeni?
>>26754107You head toward the stairwell, but pause before you take your first step."Before I go.." you say, turning to look this mysterious girl in the eye, "Is there something I can call you? You know my name, and I believe I'm still at somewhat of a disadvantage here."She watches you carefully for a moment, her sapphire gaze cutting through the folds of Nocturne's Embrace and into the core of your spirit. The noise of the first floor seems to fade around you for a moment, and a chill creeps down your spine.>Roll 1d100
Rolled 59>>26754328Rolling on the edge of my seat.
The world around you slows to a crawl, then stops altogether. You can feel your gaze forcibly fixated on the girl's eyes, a swirling vortex of blue and white that thrums and glows with pent-up energy. The temperature rapidly decreases, and you can almost feel the tendrils of frost as they creep their way up your arms and legs, spiraling in intricate curves and loops."I can't tell you my name," she says. Rather, her voice echoes in your mind. "Not yet. It's too soon. I can't risk spoiling this, no matter how much I want to."Your can feel yourself being pulled forward, deeper and deeper into those swirling vortexes. Behind them, a sparkling image appears, a hazy, half-real image. A castle over the sea. A hurricane. Waterfalls, pouring into an infinite abyss."When you meet me here, I can tell you," her voice says, echoing. "In that, place, they won't be able to hear us. We can talk safely there."You can feel the water slowly creeping up over your chin now, the ice binding you in delicate manacles as the liquid rises. You struggle for breath, still locked into that sapphire gaze."I'm sorry."You blink.The room around you has leapt back into rapid motion. The girl smiles at you as though nothing had changed."Call me Saeri," she says after a moment's consideration. "That's what they call me, here."
>>26754813A sanctuary that can't be spied on, with waterfalls over an infinite abyss? Has Boa got up to some major renovations?"Of course, Saeri. Oh, one more question before we meet the General, if you don't mind. What should I do with my bindings? I unbound the more dramatic of them, but I still have a fair amount of power at my fingertips. Would bringing them into the chamber be seen as a sign of aggression?"
>>26754813God Damnt we ARE in the future.
>>26754983>>26754985I really don't think we're in the future. Maybe the city came before the wasteland?Have we considered that the General and the Iron Tyrant might be separate entities? Either way, I don't feel right with destroying the Tyrant if it risks harming this city.
>>26755067The thing is, look at the land above the city.There's no life left.If the Tyrant isn't stopped, could that be the fate of our village as immigrants to his city, as the forest and swamp burn to fuel his machines?We need to learn, and learn fast.
Don't jump to conclusions without hard evidence. All we have right now are assumptions and speculation. Remember that.
>>26755115True.Right now we know jack shit.It's possible that for whatever reason even the Lord Restrained can't be trusted to give an honest answer.
>>26754983It would be cool if this was Boa.
>>26755184The Lord Restrained might have told us the truth. It never said "a thousand thousand HUMAN lives" or anything like that. What if this spirit just killed the overworld to build this city? What if the spirit broke of from the normal spirit community because its morals clashed with those of the spirit realm and now counts as evil in the eyes of spirits?
>>26755225He said "innocents" why the fuck would it matter if they are human, orc, or spirit?
>>26754983Or, to offer an alternate explanation, perhaps its her equivalent to Osyki's 'islands over an infinite sky' thing?
>>26755274One million innocent ants died in the building of this city.
>>26755283I thought it was obvious that's what it was. It's her inner world.
>>26755283Well, she said to go there, and the only person we've encountered in our inner world was Ayren's ghost, so I don't think those can be easily accessed. Well, Cordia and the Lord Restrained might count, but I think we had moved to his domain by the point we encountered them. Vision quests are weird. Anyway, it's probably the domain of a spirit. Not necessarily Boand, but some spirit of fresh water.
"You humble me, Saeri. In more ways than one."
>>26754983You nod, struggling to keep a straight face as you recover from the flood of images. "Of course, Saeri."You turn to go, but stop as a thought strikes you."Oh, one more question before we meet the General, if you don't mind. What should I do with my bindings? I unbound the more dramatic of them, but I still have a fair amount of power at my fingertips. Would bringing them into the chamber be seen as a sign of aggression?"She smiles, brushing a lock of golden hair from her face. "I wouldn't worry about it. The General's a pretty tough nut to crack, but I don't think that he'd begrudge you a few articles of defense. Just try not to swing your spear at him, and I believe you'll get along alright."You nod, your gaze lingering on her for a moment before you head up the stairs. The trip seems shorter than it should be, as if the stairs below you were actively speeding your journey. Finally, you arrive at a wrought-iron door, a foreboding portal of black metal and silver. You take a deep breath, and knock twice on the door."Enter.">roll 1d100
Rolled 74>>26755442Dice gods help us.
Rolled 52>>26755442Oh no.
>>26755356Didn't we see her before in our vision quest?Like she was speaking to the Lord Restrained before we were?
>>26755977We did indeed.
>>26756003We should probably talk to her about that?I mean... did she think we -wouldn't- ask him about the Iron Tyrant?
The room is dark as you swing the noiseless hinges open. A single, long-wicked candle illuminates the room as you step inside. A chair faces away from you, bearing a singularly massive figure. A monster wreathed in armor, a massive metal man sits with his back turned to you. As you step over the threshold the chair turns, and you look on the face of the one you were sent here to destroy.Six points of red light beam through the darkness, regarding you silently. A chair moves of its own will, the metal screeching across the floor as the General beckons you to sit. You oblige him, spear resting against your lap.As he leans in to face you across the metal desktop, you can see threads of articulated metal muscle flex beneath the plate armor he wears. There is a momentary vibration, as if the creature draws breath, and then it speaks in a low, dignified voice."So," it says, regarding you carefully. You can see its eyes shift from red to green briefly as it studies your face. "This is the Totemist I have been told you much about. You are somewhat smaller than I expected."It reaches beneath the desk, placing a silver goblet on the tabletop. Saeri appears from behind you, filling the goblet with burgundy wine. The General passes the glass across the table to you, nodding."Welcome to Pointsmar, the jewel of my domain."
>>26755977I don't think that was her. All we know is that the person speaking to the Lord Restrained was a young girl. She could be anyone. Besides, like I said, I think we had left our inner world by the time we met the Lord Restrained.
>>26756062I thought we recognized her laugh?
>>26756053"Thank you for the invitation, and for broadening my perceptions. I didn't think there could be a city this vast even in my dreams."
>>26756053Maybe it's my paranoia talking, but I wouldn't drink it. Then again, if he wanted to attack us he already would of.
>>26756168If what we heard is right, we don't stand a chance of beating this guy without taking care of the demon pits and the fellfire.So it's probably safe.
>>26756053Take the glass. We don't have to drink it, but it's still polite to accept a host's hospitality."A man's stature always grows in the telling. Why, according to the rumors you're the size of a mountain, yet here you stand. Still, I suppose if you've been basing your opinion of me on what Saeri has told you I should be flattered. I hope I don't disappoint."Your city is impressive, sir. I wasn't expecting this land to be completely lifeless, but this is far grander than I had been lead to believe existed this side of the Ikrins. Of course, that in itself raises so very many questions. I have trustworthy sources that believe the north to be nothing but devastation. So... a deliberate deception on your part?"
>>26756281More or less what I was about to write, except better.
>>26756281Maybe"this side of the Ikrins, or anywhere else for that matter."I mean this is the first city we've ever visited, and it's gigantic.Also lower the trustworthy sources to "rumors", maybe?
>>26756281Uh, maybe don't mention her name after the trouble she went through to tell it to us secretly?
>>26756461That's just the name she has in this place, not her true name.
>>26756153You smile, accepting the cup graciously, though you refrain from drinking out of it just yet. You look over the Tyrant's face. Human-esque, with moving metal plates and scales in place of skin. The lack of mouth is a little disturbing, but you've dealt with less humanoid spirits before."A man's stature always grows in the telling," you say, looking briefly around the room. Utilitarian is a polite way to put it. The chambers are stark and featureless. "Why, according to the rumors you're the size of a mountain, yet here you stand. Still, I suppose if you've been basing your opinion of me on what Saeri has told you I should be flattered. I hope I don't disappoint."The Tyrant's face shifts. You think it's something resembling a smile."First appearances can be deceiving, Totemist. I am larger than I appear at first glance, in stature and in the reach of my grasp. I imagine that your ability outstrips your appearances as well, considering the weapon you've got splayed across your legs."You smile, pressing onward. "Your city is impressive, sir. I wasn't expecting this land to be completely lifeless, but this is far grander than I had been lead to believe existed this side of the Ikrins. Of course, that in itself raises so very many questions. I have trustworthy sources that believe the north to be nothing but devastation. So... a deliberate deception on your part?"The Tyrant nods. "In part. All effort takes fuel, Totemist, and all fuel must come from somewhere. Initially, I took it from the threes, the animals. I fueled my works with wood, charcoal and ash. When those things ceased to suffice, I turned to the earth. I stripped coal and oil from the ground. Now,, finally, I've found a fuel to properly sustain my empire. Now that it is sustainable, I seek to expand."It leans in, and you can feel its eyes boring through you."Which, I expect, is why you've come to find me."
>>26756536"You aren't wrong. Your taking of the trees and animals has not gone unnoticed, and it has not been well received by some.When I set out, my mission was clear enough, but seeing this city... Well, it's given me pause for thought at the very least."
>>26756536"I'm afraid my information is a bit out of date. I hadn't heard that you've found a lasting source of power, which, my pardons for any offense, caused some alarm on my part."
>>26756536"When you hear word of an expanding empire over the mountain it's only natural to investigate further. Especially with the somewhat tarnished reputation you have acquired. If one believed every rumor about you they might think you used orphans to fuel your forges. And what, pray tell, is this new fuel that you have found?"
>>26756536"You are quite right. There are forces that do not look favorable upon your expansion, you are upsetting some balances. But this reality is quite different from the one i have been shown by others, and i find myself in need to reevaluate the situation. I would like to hear your side of the story and what this new fuel is. And last but not least i would like to hear of your future plans, how far and how are you going to expand?"Maybe we could regrow the forest and possibly insert this iron tyrant into the natural balance of things?
>>26756536"Seeing this city, it's hard for me to say that that effort was futile. However, there's one question that I haven't been able to answer.You are correct when you say that all effort takes fuel, it's as true as it is for an empire as it is for a person. And you have quite a lot of people, both human and... I've actually never met any people who weren't either human or spirit before now, but I imagine that they require sustenance just as a human does.Which is why I was wondering how this city is able to receive adequate food and water to sustain such a vast population. My apologies, but what I've seen of the surface doesn't seem conductive to farmland."
>>26756697Never say pray tell unless you're trying to piss someone off.
>>26756536"Well, you know how it is with politics. I desire to expand my domain, too. But to do that I need to secure assistance from my neighbors, and I'm certain you know how much you've riled up the Stone Emperor. So now I find myself tasked to deal with threats to his rule, if I am to accomplish my own goals. Of course, my actions all depend on how much of a threat you actually are. Clearly you have the power to be so if you wished, but from what I've seen here your goals are more complex than simple conquest.Though I will say that the cloud of corpse ash you left on my hillside was not a good way to introduce yourself if battle was not your intention."
>>26756853Maybe wait a bit to bring that subject up?Both our being a stone knight and that pyre cloud.To be honest I'm a bit leery about bringing it up with him and not Saeri.
>>26756654Like I was under the assumption that he was just going to burn down everything to fuel his crazed war machine.Which he could still very well do.The Lord Restrained did say that only our wits would see as through this encounter.
>>26756632"You're not wrong," you say, moving the cup to the side and leaning in to match the Tyrant's stance. "When word reached me of an expanding empire over the mountain, it's only natural to investigate further. Especially with the somewhat tarnished reputation you have acquired. If one believed every rumor about you they might think you used orphans to fuel your forges."The Tyrant smiles, tight-lipped."I'm afraid my information is a bit out of date. I hadn't heard that you've found a lasting source of power, which, my pardons for any offense, caused some alarm on my part."The Tyrant nods. "I had assumed as much. Allow me to reassure you that I have no intentions of burning down the mountains and laying waste to the world beyond. The state of the world above, as it stands, is a regrettable circumstance. It's nothing I have any intentions of repeating."It stands, the chair beneath it scooting out rapidly."Come. Walk with me. I think the Grand Forge will alleviate a number of your concerns."
>>26756954I think his new fuel source might be geothermal. It explains the lava pits. In theory he could turn out to be a perfectly benign spirit, now that he no longer needs to burn in order to smith. Really, I think his main problem is that he's an elemental and not an avatar. It kinds of seems like that's what he's trying to do, become the abstract spirit of industry rather than just a spirit of iron. But dominating the spirit courts is the only way he knows to remake himself, so he's causing a lot of trouble along the way.
>>26757012...No reason why not.
>>26757012>The Tyrant smiles, tight-lipped.Smiling without a mouth?Disturbing.
>>26757012Nod, then follow.
>>26757012Stand up, follow him, keep our head on a swivel, keep watching our surroundings, make sure nothing surprises us.
>>26757012While following,"Well it's quite obvious that you've built just as much as you've destroyed. And already, I believe I can ease the concerns of a great many individuals on my end of things."
>>26757012Well, it's not like we're following him to a trap. For all intents and purposes we're INSIDE him for as long as we're here in Pointsmar. So let's go along to the Grand Forge."Of course, General. Your new fuel source wouldn't happen to be magma, would it? I saw some of your mining operations on the way in, and the smelters seemed to be drawing heat directly from the pits. Or have you found something even more powerful than the blood of the world to drive your engines?"
Not destroying the surface and taking all the resources is fine and all but using the fires of hell to fuel your empire? Thats going to piss off alot of important people
>>26757137I suppose we would be taught about magma and volcanoes and whatever.Still, might not be a good idea to let on that we saw his mines.Could be stuff that he doesn't want seen.
>>26757186It would explain why the Lord Restrained doesn't like him. That name makes me think the Lord Restrained is the spirit of the deep earth, the terrible tectonic fury held in check only by its own crushing weight and the thin shell of the surface world. If the Iron Tyrant/ Iron General is using lava pits for power, he's literally bleeding the Lord, as well as potentially un-Restraining him. I'm pretty sure the Lord's bonds are by his own choice, not an outward imposition. Bad things could result if this destabilizes the volcanic activity in the region. Then again, that also means this problem could potentially be solved just through careful management of borehole placement. Gentlemen, I fear we may have to use math.
>>26757311If it were that mundane, wouldn't the Lord just call the Iron Tyrant an arrogant fool or whatever?Instead his language was... quite harsh and pretty unambiguous.
>>26757335True. It's probably not something that can be solved so casually. Shame. I like geothermal power. Oh well. The Southerners have apparently contacted the moon spirit. Maybe we can ask the sun for solar power?
>>26757411Sun wouldn't care.At least the moon is in the planet's gravity well....Assuming the cosmology of this world is anything like ours.
>>26757335Because it would mean it's a personal insult to the Lord Restrained. If not causing him out and out pain.
>>26757012Huh, not levelling the Ikrins and the world beyond is nice enough. Still doesn't excuse him for committing spirit genocide on the forest and animals above his domain.
>>26757624Eh, we're not an avenger.
>>26757628Plus now we get to rebuild the north's ecology. It will take a long time, but imagine how much clout we can get with Sylvianis and the Swamp Mother if we give them new lands to expand in.Hmm. Sylviannis is the only Great Spirit we know of that commonly uses its proper name. Everyone else uses titles. Even Modi Magni is just Old Norse for "Angry Strong". I wonder why her name is public. Of course, it's probably just a psuedonym, not her true name, but that's still odd that everyone else is using titles but her.
You tag along behind the General as the three of you wander down the stairs behind him. He makes a resounding clang with each step, and the depth of the noise is indicative of just how much weight is packed into that metallic frame. It's a wonder that he doesn't punch through the floor with every step.Saeri walks beside you as the two of you follow behind the Tyrant, stealing the occasional glance out of the corner of her at toward you. In truth, the girl does nothing but confuse you. She appears, sweet-talks you, threatens you, then disappears. She's obviously powerful, though what manner of power she wields is unknown to you. It -feels- like Totemistry, but there's obviously something deeper lurking beneath that. She's an enigma, for all that she seems excited to be in your presence.The Tyrant, too, is a strange connundrum. He walks and talks like a man, and a reasonable, well-read man at that. He reminds you of Elder Mayhew. Taciturn, efficient, and utterly commited to his goals. The three of you are given a wide berth as you walk north, out of the tower and down the main street that divides the city. The people on the street bow respectfully to the Tyrant as he passes, and some of the younger citizens of the city let out a cheer as he passes. The three of you come to the northern border of Pointsmar after a long walk, and you step onto a metal platform which ferries you straight down, deep into the earth."I take it that you saw one of the tributaries to the Forge on the way in," the Tyrant comments. "Allow me to reveal to you what my enemies have called the Demon Pits. This is the Grand Forge."(cont.)
>>26757767An interesting prospect.The Stone King has claim to the mountains, but what of the caverns below them? If the Iron Tyrant agrees to leave the surface alone, and commits some of his resources to repairing the catastrophic ecological damage he has caused, then maybe we can get all the spirits to work with each other?
>>26757768...Just straight up showing us his weaknesses.Now part of me is wondering if we should have just said how best to deal with the Iron Tyrant, instead of specifically stopping him.
>>26757768The expanse below you boggles the mind. A cavern seemingly the size of the city below yawns up beneath you, filled to its half-way point with the most complex machinery you've ever laid eyes on. Rivers of liquid rock cast the land in a hellish red glow, and sparks of star-white light arc from critical points in the architecture.It's like the mouth of the underworld, gaping up to meet you with teeth of steel and blood of fire.You descend on the metal platform toward a series of walkways. You can see the tusked creatures working with automatons to haul pots of liquid metal from machine to machine. Occasionally, a covered bundle is brought in from a service tunnel and used to feed one of the machines on the far end of the cavern."The Grand Forge. A machine capable of fueling the needs of a city of thousands." The Tyrant comments, looking over the rails. "A machine of my own design. I invested every fiber of my being into creating Pointsmar, you see. It is not simply a city, though in that right it is beautiful. The Grand Forge is capable of mass production on a grand scale, fueled by the blood of the earth and the ambient spiritual energy that suffuses the very rock around us. A power source, a factory, and if need be, a weapon. It is the pinnacle of my research."Beside you. Saeri looks up to the General with admiration. The red glow plays across her blond hair in waves of fire."Look below you, Totemist, and see Industry made manifest in the world."
>>26757986"I must say that it is rather impressive, though I wouldn't call it beautiful, magnificent, grand, and awe inspiring, but not beautiful in my eyes. And this explains why you are not as large as the stories said. What is next for Industry made manifest? Industry by its nature seeks to expand. Where have you set your eye on? For what purpose and goal have you made this place?"
>>26757986"Pardon my curiosity, but how does it fuel the need for food and water? Have you found a way to make iron and stone edible?"
>>26758277Probably not a good time to start talking shit.Like... at all.Also we're not anti-technology.
>>26758331Like I'd say it's beautiful in a certain way, and not something to be dismissive towards.Diplomacy is important.
>>26757986"And it is this which has drawn the ire of those not of your land?"
>>26757986"It's fascinating. Here I was so proud of the improvements I've made to my own village's infrastructure, and here I discover that this exists just over the mountains. Well, you have had considerably more time to build it though, so perhaps I shouldn't feel too bad yet. Still, magnificent. How reproducible is it? Leaving aside the investment in materials and your essence, I imagine you couldn't build these too close together without losing the sustainability."
>>26758306Or maybe >>26756775If that's a better way of phrasing things.
>>26757986>Occasionally, a covered bundle is brought in from a service tunnel and used to feed one of the machines on the far end of the cavern....I'm concerned.That detail is concerning.
>>26759198Well I mean we're not going to just flat out say that.But maybe check back later.
>>26757986whats in the bundles?
>>26759282Theoretically something innocuous.
>>26758473>>26758277"It's fascinating," you say. "Here I was so proud of the improvements I've made to my own village's infrastructure, and here I discover that this exists just over the mountains. Well, you have had considerably more time to build it though, so perhaps I shouldn't feel too bad yet. Still, magnificent. How reproducible is it? Leaving aside the investment in materials and your essence, I imagine you couldn't build these too close together without losing the sustainability."The Tyrant nods. "Very astute, yes. The area that the core reactor draws spiritual residue in from makes it inconvenient to reproduce in any sort of proximity. As it is Pointsmar must stay constantly mobile to avoid further depleting the atmosphere of the land above. If I'm ever to rectify the mistakes of my past, and I intend to do just that, an ample supply of spiritual power is prerequisite.""And it is this which has drawn the ire of those not of your land?"He nods, the gears and sinew in his neck clanking. "Some envy it. Some think it a spiritual black hole. Still others believe it my war machine. I cannot speak to the opinions of those I do not know, but I imagine your Lord of Stone feels some combination of the above.""Pardon my curiosity," you ask, "but how does it fuel the need for food and water? Have you found a way to make iron and stone edible?""The spirits of the land above have found refuge in Pointsmar and cities like it," the Tyrant informs you. "Beneath the earth they inhabit gardens and pools, and there they grant their boons to the people of the city in exchange for sanctuary. Underground fauna and spirit-blessed mushrooms make excellent substitutes for the grains and dairies of fertile surface life, and some rough beasts yet wander the wasteland for our hunters to slaughter and cook."
>>26759328Less theoretically, this whole society probably relies upon gratuitous human sacrifice.Because we can't have nice things.
>>26759354"I should have figured as much, life is nothing if not adaptive."
>>26759354"A nomadic industrial city, in all my life I did not expect to see such a thing.Where is the next destination on Pointsmar's path?"
>>26759354"Let me be exceedingly blunt, here. I mean no offense by any of this, I am simply trying to fill the gaps in my knowledge.There is one who has taken a grave slight towards your work here. So grave, in fact, that he told me to destroy you. Told me that your domain has been built on the blood of a thousand thousand innocents, that sort of thing - And I have little reason to believe that this particular informant would have reason to lie.However, it has become clear to me that I have not been given enough information to make an informed decision regarding my course of action here, so I have a few questions which will hopefully provide me with some insight. First, I assume you refer to the wasteland above us when you say you wish to fix your mistakes, but how exactly do you plan to go about that? And second, what of those in the path of your city? Will you sweep them aside by force, or...?"
>>26759566No saying what the Lord Restrained said.
>>26759579Fine, I guess.Second part is still relevant though.
>>26759566I think that is entirely too candid for what could possibly be a spirit of bloodshed and chaos.I mean you do get that he's like a lot stronger than us right?
>>26759354"Why are you expanding over land, then, if Pointsmar is mobile? Please excuse me if you've already considered this idea and rejected it, but wouldn't the seabed work just as well? You wouldn't be subject to significantly greater pressures than you faced just digging this cavern, and you clearly have the means to create sealed tunnels and refresh the air. And since the ecology of the ocean is three dimensional, you'd cause much less disruption to the environment."
>>26759680But I am beginning to suspect that we have been misinformed by the Lord Restrained, though.
>>26759672Eh.He's obviously not just going to -say- he's been sweeping people aside by force, regardless of if its true or not so what's the point of bringing it up?Just seems clumsy.
>>26759794Possible.But let's keep that card close to the chest until "possible" becomes "definite".
>>26759854At the very least wait until we see what's with the bundles.
>>26759800Get a read on what kind of person he is, mainly.
>>26759354"So I take it the ambient spiritual power can regenerate over time, hence the need to keep Pointsmar mobile?Would I be correct in assuming that Pointsmar's next destination would be beyond the Ikrin Mountains?"
"Tell me, have you ever considered using the light and heat the sun gives us freely to augment the power requirements of your city? It seems like there's a lot of potential for figuring out just how to collect the sun's gift for you here."
>>26760135Nah, we're a long way from discovering solar power.I don't think we even have electricity yet.
>>26760224Oh come on. Anyone can notice how a metal plate gets hot as fuck if left out during the day in the summer.
>>26760224Besides, sunlight requires large arrays to harness, it's not feasible unless you build them in space. And I don't even want to begin to think of what we'd need to do to get into orbit, or what terrifying spirits we might encounter there.
>>26760269Well yes, and I'd say we could do something with nature spirits, like have them absorb sunlight and use it to provide power, but I'd say he's almost certainly considered solar power in the past.
>>26760317That which is not dead may eternal lie, and in stranger aeons death may die
>>26760317Yeah that too.And the idea of space spirits unnerve me tremendously.
>>26760349>>26760341Though really, deep sea spirits probably aren't any better.
>>26760341>>26760349Exactly. As cool as it would be to have a byakhee totem, I don't want to risk it.
>>26759566>>26759708"Why are you expanding over land, then, if Pointsmar is mobile? Please excuse me if you've already considered this idea and rejected it, but wouldn't the seabed work just as well? You wouldn't be subject to significantly greater pressures than you faced just digging this cavern, and you clearly have the means to create sealed tunnels and refresh the air. And since the ecology of the ocean is three dimensional, you'd cause much less disruption to the environment."The Tyrant nods as the platform reaches the catwalk. "I have considered these things," he says, "But I am not a spirit of water. The logistics alone of waterproofing a city are too extensive to currently consider, and even if I could the spirits of the oceans are old, and very powerful. Even I do not dare to challenge them. They would not grant entrance to a simple spirit as I, not in any large capacity."You sigh. He's obviously a reasonable spirit, if not particularly personable, and you feel justified in taking a risk."General, let me be exceedingly blunt, here," you say. "I mean no offense by any of this, I am simply trying to fill the gaps in my knowledge."He waves you on as you follow him down the catwalk.(cont.)
>>26760543"There is one who has taken a grave slight towards your work here. So grave, in fact, that he told me to destroy you. Told me that your domain has been built on the blood of a thousand thousand innocents, that sort of thing - And I have little reason to believe that this particular informant would have reason to lie.""Your informant is behind the times, but not entirely incorrect." The Tyrant says, his back muscles tense. "There was a time when my experiments took me to dark places in hopes of finding a better solution than the wanton destruction of the land above. I experimented with using the souls of sapients as fuel for my cities, even going so far as to slaughter hundreds. Thousands, if you include the spirits and fauna that I displaced above, drove to extinction."He turns, and his face is drawn tight."I am not proud of the past I bear, Totemist, but I can only move forward from it. I would expand out of this blighted land to give it time to recover from the sins of my past."
>>26760562"And what would happen to the land you expand into? Because I have a vested interest in the well being of the lands you are encroaching on."
>>26760562"A noble goal if I ever heard one. Though I'm curious to hear what you mean by expand, and what my village can provide."
>>26760562"That's quite noble of you. But what would happen to the lands you expand to? And what lands do you have your eye on for expansion?"
>>26760562"If the weight of that sin is as heavy as you make it appear, then is it safe to assume that you wish to avoid any further sacrifice for the sake of your ambition?The spirits around my home are not unreasonable, but they will not easily forgive what you have done to the land. No, I fear it will take more than an apology to placate them, if it is your intention to expand peacefully and without stepping on any toes.In light of this new information, I feel that I should be taking some initiative. This mission is not as black and white as I was led to believe, and I think violence is not an answer here - Is it not, after all, a totemist's job to negotiate between spirits?I assume you have probably given significant thought to the issue, and I would be extremely grateful if you could share your feelings on the matter."
>>26760867Seconding this response
...Yeah suspicions of involuntary timeskip are increasing.
>>26760922Or the Lord Restrained is legitimately misinformed. Or he has a grudge and used that to provoke us into action.
>>26760973Or our spirit quests aren't as legit as we thought?Or we're being rused hard.We should probably at least attempt some more independent investigation.
>>26760562"Alright. I have no particular reason to trust you, but neither do I have reason to suspect you. For the time being I'll continue to give you the benefit of the doubt. So, let's talk particulars: I take it that Pointsmar's migration is not an immediately pressing matter. If you would delay your crossing of the Ikrins for as long as is feasible, I may be able to open negotiations during that time. Now, as it currently stands none of the spirits of the south would trust your intentions, your reputation as a warlord is too strongly built. So let's bring some openness in these discussions. I would need Saeri's aid in this, as an emissary of your people. I also would likely need to go prying about your domain, to document that your Great Forge is as innocuous as you say. If that is agreeable to you, I can send message back and start immediately."
>>26761027Though it seems pretty brazen if he is still doing the human sacrifice thing and just said he stopped"
>>26760562"I've noticed covered bundles being brought in. Would you mind showing me what they are?"
>>26761274Practical. Though I'd modify that statement a bit since really he's given us pretty good incentive to trust him.Like his apparent honesty admitting to doing terrible things, and the whole "not killing us" thing.He's due some props for that.
>>26761318Eh, he might have time to get an excuse.I think that's the one thing we should investigate on our own.Though in the most harmless fashion possible, like no intimidating guards or whatever.
Guys we totally should have had that bracelet that records things.Seems like it could really come in handy in a situation like this.
>>26761387Like maybe just "I have no reason not to continue to give you the benefit of the doubt."
>>26761387True. Okay, let me modify what I said:"I suppose that your willingness to talk with me at all, when I was coming into this prepared for a fight, lends credence to your claim. I'll continue to give you the benefit of the doubt. The problem will be convincing the land spirits of the south to extend the same. So, let's talk particulars: I take it that Pointsmar's migration is not an immediately pressing matter. If you would delay your crossing of the Ikrins for as long as is feasible, I may be able to open negotiations during that time. Now, as it currently stands none of the spirits of the south would trust your intentions, your reputation as a warlord is too strongly built. So let's bring some openness in these discussions. I would need Saeri's aid in this, as an emissary of your people. I also would likely need to go prying about your domain, to document that your Great Forge is as innocuous as you say. If that is agreeable to you, I can send message back and start immediately."
>>26761478We should bring up that the spirits of the forest and swamp are in all likelihood very much opposed to relocating underground.The people of our village likely feel the same.And would it be a good idea that we've been talking to that Moon Empire or whatever?Like if they're at war with the Iron General, now would be a good time to find out.
>>26760867You frown. Reasonable, filled with regret... this is not the bloodthirsty monster you were sent to find. Either the Lord and the Emperor are mistaken, or you've been misled by someone.""If the weight of that sin is as heavy as you make it appear, then is it safe to assume that you wish to avoid any further sacrifice for the sake of your ambition. The spirits around my home are not unreasonable, but they will not easily forgive what you have done to the land. No, I fear it will take more than an apology to placate them, if it is your intention to expand peacefully and without stepping on any toes."The Tyrant nods. "I thought as much. I sent my emissary to intercept you when I heard you were coming, hoping that I might recruit you to broker such a treaty."You sigh. This is much more complicated than murdering a monster. "Alright."I suppose that your willingness to talk with me at all, when I was coming into this prepared for a fight, lends credence to your claim. I'll continue to give you the benefit of the doubt.""Hey!" You turn, and Saeri looks at you fiercely. "The General's worthy of more than just the benefit of the doubt!"The Tyrant holds up his hand, stemming Saeri's tirade before it takes off."I understand, Totemist. Please continue."You nod. "Let's talk particulars: I take it that Pointsmar's migration is not an immediately pressing matter. If you would delay your crossing of the Ikrins for as long as is feasible, I may be able to open negotiations during that time. Now, as it currently stands none of the spirits of the south would trust your intentions, your reputation as a warlord is too strongly built. So let's bring some openness in these discussions. I would need Saeri's aid in this, as an emissary of your people. I also would likely need to go prying about your domain, to document that your Great Forge is as innocuous as you say. If that is agreeable to you, I can send message back and start immediately."(cont.)
>>26761560Of course this is all a moot point until we see those bundles.
>>26761560Well, he seems to be implying that they only had to move underground because of the mistakes he made in the beginning. Presumably he knows how to do it better, this time. Anyway, that's something to bring up during the investigations and negotiations, not now.
The more I read, the more I figure the Lord Restrained really doesn't like this guy because he acts, as the Lord would say, without RESTRAINT. Or did so in the past, anyway.It's becoming more and more clear that this guy is a spirit of Industry. Which is a bit concerning when you consider the fact that he's a corrupt spirit, but that's beside the point. As we can see, his Industry won't stop while he's alive, and that's exactly what the Lord Restrained told us. "To stop it, you must utterly destroy it. Bury the Demon Pits, extinguish the Fellfire, and tear down its corrupt body, plate by plate." What seems to be the problem is that, while reasonable and practical, he is likely INCAPABLE of stopping without being killed. Which means that our conversation with the Lord Restrained was perfectly accurate, if a bit skewed in the tellingSo our options seem to boil down to: do we try to redirect this guy somewhere else or do we throw down? Because these seem to be the only two courses of action currently available to us.
>>26761578manit's like we're a united nations WMD inspector or something
>>26761618Yeah the Iron Tyrant isn't just the General we see before us, he's the whole fucking system.Though even though the Lord Restrained seems to really dislike hastiness, he told us we need to act fast.
>>26761578The General nods. "I will allow you free run of my domain, provided that you accept Saeri as an escort to keep you out of trouble with the locals. The Forge is delicate, and I will ask you not to dismantle it unnecessarily. Considering those conditions met, I will ask only one thing more: That you bind the sigil on your palm until your time here is done. While I am willing to negotiate with your spirits, I do not wish them learning all the secrets of my domain. Is this amenable to you?"
>>26761700"It is amenable, with one caveat, how is the binding of said sigil to be accomplished?"
>>26761618Seperco is a corrupt spirit, too, and he seems perfectly sane and reasonable. I think corrupt spirits are like the magath from Werewolf: The Forsaken. They're not necessarily evil things, they're just spirits that have had some radical change of their nature, incorporating foreign concepts and becoming something strange in the process. Maybe they grow unstable as a result, but there's nothing that says they can't eventually settle down into a new form that is a coherent whole.
>>26761700"...I can do that? But I'm open to such a thing, provided it wouldn't be a violation of my contract."
>>26761700"Most fair terms, thank you."
>>26761739Oh right, he was referred to as a corrupt water spirit, wasn't he?...We've really got to ask Amal or Tryd what "corrupt" means in the context of spirits.
>>26761618We take the third path: Negotiation.While it is true that Industry cannot be stopped without killing it entirely, it shares this trait with Nature. Both will expand and expand and attempt to devour everything if they can. Does this mean we should kill Nature as well?No, both have their place, and we must negotiate a compromise between them. Regardless of what the Iron Tyrant did in the past, he seems to genuinely wish to reach this compromise, and it's our job as a Totemist to find a path that satisfies all parties involved.
Still doesn't solve the mystery of that corpse-cloud.That shit was fresh.
>>26761700"That is quite agreeable, General. Give me a moment to send word, and then I shall proceed to seal it. I'd ask Saeri's aid for that, though, if she's willing. I've never had cause to actually do so, as of yet, so assistance would be appreciated."
>>26761893Actually, that is a point.Before he leaves, we should ask about that.
>>26761958What no.Don't expose the contradiction just yet.We need to sneak our way to assuage our suspicions.
>>26761998Like I'm just saying for future reference, there is some minor room for doubt.We should also probably talk to some of the former Land Guardians that now work for him.
>>26761877Yeah, The Swamp Mother is also planning on expanding without limit, and we're on good terms with her. It's Hobbes' state of nature, to pardon the obvious pun. All these entities are trying to expand and extend their powers as far as possible, and we have to serve the role of the Sovereign to keep them from devouring each other. Yay us. Good thing we're incorruptible, right? Right?>>26761618That is a very good point. We asked how to stop the Iron Tyrant, not how to prevent him from doing harm. We assumed he was a villain based on what we've heard, and we never bothered to get the Lord Restrained's response clarified because we had limited questions and were worried about our elemental corruption.>>26761893That is true. Then again, there's nothing that said that the Iron General was the one who did that. Honestly, it doesn't really make sense for him to have done it, in retrospect. If he could get to our side of the mountains and start incinerating things, why would he stop at so small a cloud when Grisoch was right next door? Maybe it's some other spirit that is going to surprise us and make us totally miserable as we try to deal with it.
>>26762018I just assumed the wind carried it over the mountains, but yeah you have a point....Grisoch is the name of our village?
>>26762087Yeah, it got mentioned in one of the Q&A threads. Nobody uses it, though, for the same reason that no one uses it in-character: What other village would we be talking about? But now that we're expanding our borders and seeing new places, I thought we should start using its proper name.
>>26761700"One last thing I forgot to mention.I'm not sure how closely Saeri has been following me, but I've found another culture far south from here, beyond the Swamp.They appear to wish to restore the empire that once ruled this land, and they seem to worship the Moon Spirit.Have you met these people in the past, and, if so, how would you describe your diplomatic relationship with them?"
>>26762206I forget, did we learn the name of that faction?Feels like it's been a while.
So I think the lesson seems to be that instead of asking how to -stop- the Iron Tyrant, we should have said something more nuanced, like how to achieve the most favorable outcome for our village and the local land spirits, regarding the Iron Tyrant situation.
[[ Alright folks. It's been nine hours, so I think I'm locking it up for the night. Next quest: Investigation, Totemist Style.See you next week. ]]
>>26762600Okay. Night, Diarca. This was a fun thread.
>>26762600I am excited.
I wonder if we'll be given a room of some kind?Because it might be a good idea to talk with our spirits.Tryd could be very useful, given his kinship to fire. If the Iron Tyrant is still burning people, I think Tryd would be able to know.Plus him and Amal could explain what exactly a corrupt spirit is, because it doesn't seem to be what we initially thought.Also I feel like we should check in with the Drake to make sure it didn't somehow take us ten years to cross the mountains.
>>26762789And that reminds me, people say we have seven spirits, when in reality we have nine.Amal and Tryd need more credit.