ARCHIVE: suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Below%20(Quest)LAST: >>40756761 (Cross-thread)OP IMAGE CREDIT: iluvnippon on DAYou are a young Lamplit elf by the name of Ilafi.All your life you have lived in Ksana; a vast, busy subterranean city, made of the excavated caverns around you and the cheap imported wood bought from the Sunlit, a higher caste that lives on the surface. From the day you were born, it's been a struggle for you and Esjah, your loving mother. She did everything she could as a single mother, working unreasonable hours to support her moody little boy suffering from hallucinations.Only a few days ago, she was forced to murder a Sunlit elf in order to protect you. Afterwards, she arranged for you to be sent away to Ksatul, the city of the Dimlit, just beneath the city, in an environment where gaslamps cannot be used, and crystals light the way.Some of your questions have been answered by Earka, a hooded Greeter who says he suffered a similar fate years ago. From what he's told you, you can already tell that living here seems rough, and that trying to get back to Ksana will be no small feat. Recently, you discovered that he knew your father, and doesn't exactly have the fondest memories of him.Today, you started working out in the east caverns, gathering webbing left by giant spiders. Your partner is Teomo, a 16 year old human boy. While you got into a petty spat with him, you've managed to get a solid amount of work done on your own. Work ended early after a slight mishap, and you went off to see Earka, who asked you to explain a bit about your family history. When you told him about your father, he dismissed you in a fit of rage.[cont.]
>>40125349>I don't forget. I dream about it. It's terrible. I'm going to repay the favor, someway, somehow. Because his wife lived. Wanna know why? The bitch was pregnant, that's why!Reminder that this is the man who has sworn to "replay the favor, someway, somehow," pointledly mentioning this is possible because his best friend has surviving family.Telling him was surely the smartest move Ilafi has ever made in your entire life.
>>40860795Shocked by his outbursts, and tired from the day's work, as you sat down in your home and began eating, you began to hallucinate, believing that your grandmother was there with a wonderful meal cooked for you. She spoke to you- or rather, you spoke to yourself, and you cried for the first time since you arrived in Ksatul.Afterwards, you heard a knock on the door, wiped your eyes, and found Earka standing your the doormat. He apologized for his anger, and requested that you let him in and allow him to talk for a bit.You can't really see the look on his face, but his words do sound earnest. Maybe he really does mean what he says. You can't just let him stand there, though. Thinking back on what Grandmother(or at least your hallucination of her) said, you decide to...>allow him in.>ask him to make it quick.>refuse and close the door.>Write in.
>>40860966>Maybe he really does mean what he says.And maybe IT'S A TRAP>refuse and close the door.
>>40860966>ask him to make it quick.And just speak to him at the door.
>>40860795I-Is that a boy elf?
>>40860966>allow him in.
>>40861084It's like you want to be raped.
>>40860795https://twitter.com/belowquestYou should put a link to your twitter in the OP copypasta too.I didn't notice it existed for several threads.
>>40861190shitfucki knew i was forgetting something
>>40861222For 8 threads you mean.And I find that hyperlinks are more noticeable than typing @belowquest. Somehow my eyes glazed over that at the ends of the threads.
Ok fuck it. changing >>40861011to form a coalition of the willing with this guy >>40861027Don't let him in. Speak to him through the door. Do we have one of those latch things that keep the door from opening further?
>>40861278>>40861027>>40861084>ask him to make it quickYou've got the door held ajar, just enough to where you can see each other, but not enough to allow him in."I'm a bit busy now, so you can't come in, but please, tell me what you need to quickly."You can't gauge his reaction. He stands there for a moment, and then relaxes his posture slightly. "Very well." Good that he can take no for an answer. You were starting to get worried."So, you're already aware of my problem with... him.""You might have made it clear.""I just have a lot to sort out regarding him. It's not your fault. We both know that. When you said his name, it just triggered some bad memories, is all." He lets out a heavy sigh, turning his head to the side, looking in the direction of the busy town. "I don't really expect you to understand. You haven't seen the people you love, facedown in the streets, covered in blood. I do hope that you can forgive me, though. I'm sorry that I directed it at you."You're really unsure of what to say. You're certainly not making any attempt to open the door, but he does have your attention."Let me tell you a bit about your father. I won't eat up your time, but I will tell you what I know." He rests his calloused hand against the wall before starting."Kudla was a good friend of mine. We did everything together. Used to work in that bakery before it got mechanized, then we started getting paid less. We both knew the pay wouldn't cut it, so we started stealing. Alone, we wouldn't have been able to do it, but together, we were unstoppable. Your father had a knack for tricking people. The greatest trick he ever pulled was probably getting your mother to marry him. The man was a mess." He chuckles a bit. "We had a few close calls, even had to get Moffa to bribe dirty cops every now and then, but we never got locked up for anything. But then things changed."
>>40862003"You see, Kudla wasn't just some silvertongued shitter trying to make a living, no, he had to have a heart of gold, or whatever the hell his wife said about him. You said her name was Esjah, right? I never remembered her name. Never really spoke with her. I'm sorry you two got separated, by the way."By the way, maybe you should mind your business. "Please continue.""Right, right. In any case, he started talking with some more rebellious members of the town's people. Started getting dangerous ideas in his head, like starting a war with the Sunlit. That's impossible, you know it, I know it, and even today with all Ksatul is, we would never stand a chance. We only survive as we do because they know they can't invade without sending a ridiculous amount of money down the drain. He knew that and still started talking nonsense about fighting back."He starts drumming the wall with his fingers."He came together with that rally in the middle of town, and started shouting, they even used stolen parts to make a shitty megaphone. You know what the official report was afterwards? Wasn't even treason mentioned. They wrote it up as grand theft. For the fucking megaphone parts. That's how secure they are with us below them. We aren't a threat. Remember that if you ever do manage to go back or you'll get a bullet in your back too.">"Thank you, now I've got things to do.">"Is there anything else you want to add?"
>>40862041>>"Thank you, now I've got things to do."
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>40862041>>"Thank you, now I've got things to do."Roll for fear and spaghetti.
Shouldn't you tweet that this thread is up now?
>>40862687just did actually
>>40862071>>40862374"Thank you." He sure had a lot to share. You'll have to think it over. "I, uh, have things to do now, okay?""Certainly. I'll see you tomorrow." He starts to turn around, but stops and faces you again. "I almost forgot! Before I go, take this." He holds out a small green glass bottle with a cork. The liquid seems to glow, in a way. "It's water from a very deep part of the caves. It's infused with rare crystal that keeps it cold. It's extremely refreshing."What's this about? "Uh... I...""No, I insist, it's yours, please, take it. It's the least I can do." He presses it into your hand, and while he doesn't make eye contact, his presence is a bit too much for you to just reject this. "S-sure. Thanks, Earka."Closing the door, you listen as he walks off, and you sit down in your room with the bottle in your hand. Shit, you don't even know if this is poison or not. Why would he hand this to you all of a sudden? Does he legitimately mean what he said, or is he trying to give you a bad time?Regardless of what the contents of the bottle do, you're tired, and you really don't want to waste any more time worrying about bottles. When you get to your room, you decide to...>drink the bottle's contents>leave it on your dresser>pour it out the window>write in...and then go to sleep.
>>40863523>leave it on your dresser
>>40863523>>leave it on your dresser...it's poison, isn't it?
>>40863578>>40863624>>40863630You place it on the dresser, momentarily forget that there aren't any candles to put out, and flop onto your bed to get a good night's sleep. You don't have any dreams that night.The rest of the week, things go by without any sign of trouble. You don't speak much to Earka, but the times that you do, he's generally friendly, or busy with something. Work goes absolutely swimmingly, with no sign of spiders, for the most part. Your wallet swells up, and you decide to spend some money on those lovely green flowers, which you have planted outside your house. You've even got a vase of them on the dining table.A month passes, and you're friends with Teomo. He comes over from time to time, and you share stories about your lives, you sharing about the vast city of Ksana, and your favorite stories about Detective Kohme, and he talks all about his life in Ksatul, and his brother Teolo, who died in a mining accident years ago. It's why he doesn't want to be a miner, even though he'd "probably be good at it". You learn a lot from him.Life is decent. You eat well, you've got enough money to buy the things you need, and the Sunlit don't come down to bother anyone. Even your hallucinations have been fairly mild. Sometimes you think the flowers talk, and sometimes you respond, sometimes you see spider legs creep around when you're working, and instead of panicking, you simply tell yourself that it's nothing. And it is.You refuse to forget your ultimate mission, however. Eventually you'll find some way to return home. You've no clue if Mother is still there, but you have to see for yourself. You'll manage.One morning, you wake up to someone beating on your door."Ilafi, get up, you've got to see this!" It's Teomo, unsurprisingly.Honestly, you don't need to see anything other than your eyelids for a few more hours.He doesn't seem to let up with the unwanted percussion, though.You'll just have to tell him off when you get up.[cont.]
>>40864997You stand up, pull clothes out of your dresser, and momentarily glance at that bottle, which now has dust coating its sides. It looks lonely just sitting there. Not that you really care."Quit with the banging, I'm coming!" He doesn't stop. When you open the door, you can see he's panting, and a little sweaty. "I ran all the way... mushroom... big...""Slow down."He stops for a moment, catching his breath. "They have this big mushroom in town, almost as big as a house, the miners opened up a new cavern and it's loaded with massive, edible mushrooms just like it! We can finally cut down on imported food, which means more money can go to things like spider work or even construction!"Huh. "That's great!" News like that would put the bakery out of business up on Ksana. Of course, the Sunlit would probably burn the mushrooms and cover it up as "poison" or "threat of dangerous spores" or something to that effect. Such is life."Let's go down there and see!" Teomo sure sounds interested.>"Sure.">"Let me go do something first." [Write in.]
>>40865225>>"Sure."Can't think of anything.How do we know there aren't things bigger than spiders down there though that'll eat you?
>>40865415>>40865456"Sure.""Awesome, let's go!"You shut the door and run out with him. No need to change or do anything, Teomo's excited, and you've just got to see this mushroom. You don't have work today, and Earka doesn't need anything done, so you're a free man."It's fucking massive, Ilafi! I've never seen one so big in my life. We'll never have to worry about food again, I tell you.""Is there any kind of danger, opening up new caves like that?""Not really. Apparently it took a long time just getting one mushroom out of there with all the ropes and devices they use. If it's spiders or something living down there, we can always install barricades, just like we always do." You suppose that's reassuring."If there are spiders, I certainly wouldn't want to be a part of the barricade construction crew. What if something happened while I was working?"Teomo laughs. "You'd be the one on the front line, pissing your pants as your barricade splinters, and I'd be in the back laughing at you.""That's not funny!""No, it's not, but that doesn't stop me from laughing!"He takes a solid punch to the shoulder, and makes a bit of a yelp before rolling up his sleeves. There's your cue to pick up the pace."You're not going to catch me, Teomo, I'm older than you!""Why not stop for a second so I can tell you why that's bullshit?"A few minutes of banter later, you two collapse by the entrance to the mine, where a large crowd is gathered. "I'll beat your ass later, Ilafi. Alright? I'm just stopping now because we're here." He's on his hands and knees, and you've got to take a knee. This idiot made runs from and to the mines back to back. Humans are weird."Suuuure."Before either of you can continue, you hear a man start talking. Helping Teomo to his feet, you two are able to see the massive, reddish-purple fungus, and a few people standing around it, including Awemin.Teomo whistles. "I didn't see Awemin earlier. If he's here, this must be big."[cont.]
>>40867451ah shit i mistyped his name, it's Awendi, not Awemin. Fuck me.
>>40867451Ha. What do we need the surface dwellers for now huh....Well aside from the appeasing them to not kill us.
>>40867451"Yeah."Aside from Awendi the one-eyed wonder, there's a few miners and a rather imposing-looking woman standing next to him with a pick over her shoulder. She's pale as death, with red hair- which is strange for an elf. You've never seen an elf with red hair. On that note, she's a bit short for an elf as well. However, from the look of her, she's probably got more muscle on her than Awemin, and her thick red eyebrows and piercing gaze suggest that she could break your wrist by shaking your hand hard enough."Listen up!" Oh fuck, she's loud. "This is the mark of a new day! We're never going to go hungry again! No more bothering with rations, we'll be able to afford to throw food away if we want! Just like those fucking daisies sitting cozy in Ksalfiri!" People give a short cheer before she continues. The way she talks is weird. It's fluently spoken elven language, but it has this oddness to it... "Some of you here have said that the deep tunnels were a mistake! That we would be wasting time, food, and even lives exploring the waters of that cave! Some of you- and I won't waste time with names, but some of you believed that my theory about the mushrooms was mistaken." She outstretches her arms, pickaxe held firmly in her right hand. "What about now, assholes? I was right!""She seems to be enjoying herself." Teomo, always with something to say. Under his breath, of course. She's fucking terrifying."Some of you have had more reasonable things to bring to my attention, however. Spiders are a possibility. Soon, we can see about constructing detection systems along the tunnels, and even basic barricades that can buy us enough time to respond if there are any. As for the miners, most of them will continue to work as they have, but some of you will be assigned to mushroom extraction. It won't be very different from mining, but instead of minerals, you get to dig to clear pathways for mushrooms."[cont.]
>>40868580She stops talking for a moment, then lifts the pickaxe high into the air. "From here on out, we're going to live the good life! Fuck taking it up the ass from the Sunlit, we'll slowly be able to fund our defense and someday even be able to break off and declare autonomy- and they won't even be able to fuck with us! Who's ready for that day to come?" She reels back, and hurls her pick into the ground in front of her, driving the business end straight into a rock before grabbing a stool and sitting down. Understandably, the crowd goes wild.Awendi takes the center as soon as they wind down. "Thank you, Jul'alu. Your charisma is something that keeps us all moving forward. In the coming days, there's a lot we have to do, but I feel we can make it work."Teomo groans. "Oh god, he's going to go on a long rant about the long struggle and the history of Ksatul and what not. We're going to die before we ever get to touch the mushroom. What do you say we go into the mine and see if they pulled anything else out?">"Sure, why not?">"But I want to hear what he's talking about.">"Honestly, I just want to go home, I saw the mushroom, it's cool, but...">"Didn't your brother die in those mines? Why would you want to go in there?"
>>40868606>"Sure, why not?"Vive le revolution!
>>40868606>>"Didn't your brother die in those mines? Why would you want to go in there?"To get high?Well, we haven't actually checked if the giant mushrooms AREN'T psychedelic...
>>40868606>>"Sure, why not?"
>>40868732>>40868991>>40869199"Sure, why not?"You follow Teomo away from the crowd, and the sound of Awendi's voice grows fainter and fainter."Keep going, nobody's paying attention, they're all here. There's a secondary entrance over this way.""How do you know about-""I have friends that work here. There are only so many humans down here, we tend to stay in touch.""Huh."Eventually you reach a rough stone wall, with a slightly ajar, thick wooden door leading into the mine. "MINERS ONLY" is carved into it. "That's just there to keep nosy people like us out. Don't worry about it."He pulls it open just enough for you two to pass through, and puts it back where he found it. Crystals light the way just as they do in your home. These tunnels are very different from the spider tunnels. Much less spacious, and a bit less rugged in spaces. Clearly they were carved out by miners."This is where the mine originally started. They opened up that main entryway, and use this as more of an emergency exit or an alternate entrance now. Apparently it only really gets used by lazy miners who want to leave early, or horny teenagers." He chuckles. "You don't have a girlfriend yet, do you? I never thought to ask. Nobody you like?" You don't have time to make a life down here. Sure, you enjoy this place, but you know it's not really your home. No time for that at all. "Not really what I'm looking for.""Ah, I see. I wasn't certain, but I suspected you were like that." He giggles."Huh?""No need to explain, I don't judge. It's perfectly cool with me, you're a frie-"You reacquaint Teomo with the dirt before he can finish."Now, that was rude." He brushes himself off, snickering."Of you, maybe.""Who can really say?" Another laugh.Before you start off on a rant about elven masculinity and how he should really keep the jokes to himself, you hear footsteps in the distance. "Shh... You heard that?""Yeah. Let's keep going, it's probably just people fucking in there."[cont]
>>40870457>Teomo route cockblocked
>>40870457Damn are we gonna discover mole people elves coming up from the deep now or something.The Unlit.
>>40870457You're not really sure you want to see that, but Teomo hasn't led you into danger yet.The tunnel winds and bends sharply, eventually expanding to feel a tad less hostile to claustrophobes."Did you bring anything to eat, Ilafi?""No. I didn't even take the time to shower, you beat on my door until I woke-"The footsteps start again, a tad louder this time."Hey. Let's surprise whoever this is. Maybe they'll come with us looking for the mushroom.""I dunno, may-""Come on, live a little!"Groaning, you agree. You don't want to be the buzzkill when Teomo's around. "Okay, on my mark, we run around the corner and howl like fucking lunatics. Ready?""Ready."You approach the corner, and he holds out a hand, counting down from five. On zero, you leap out, and like you planned, scream like you've lost your damned minds. It almost seems like you're having a good time with it until you realize that a figure in green robes the one standing there."Earka?""Hello, Ilafi." He doesn't even turn around when he addresses you."You know this guy?""Yeah.""Well then."Earka turns around, almost unperturbed by the yelling. "I'm not that easy to scare, you know. I could hear you from all the way back there, I knew what you've been planning. If you want to find the mushrooms, come along with me. A friend told me where we can locate them."Teomo grins. "You'd do that for us? Thanks, uh, Earka!""Only if that's something you both really want to do. I suspect you roped Ilafi into this, didn't you?""What, me? No, that's not me at all.">"It's totally you.">"No, I want to see them up close for myself.">"Why do you care about the mushrooms, Earka?">Write in.
>>40871011>"Why do you care about the mushrooms, Earka?"
>>40871011>>"Why do you care about the mushrooms, Earka?"
>>40871065>>40871165"Why do you care about the mushrooms?""I don't know if Jul'alu is right about the mushrooms. I think a majority of them are actually poisonous, and she got lucky with the one they grabbed.""What do you mean?" Teomo steps forward, attention piqued."It's likely that there are multiple types of mushroom in there that look the same. Last night, one of my friends cut bits of mushroom for me when she was down there, knowing I'd get excited, and I compared them. A few samples were poisonous.""Really? Huh. Why didn't you tell Jul'alu?""Because I'm the one who told her she wouldn't even find mushrooms down there. Now she's too busy being a bitch about it to hear about how she might just be poisoning everybody. If I can just run some more tests with more samples I'm sure I can get an estimate of how much really is deadly."Teomo shrugs. "Good enough for me.""You still haven't answered me, Ilafi. What do you say, are you coming along?""Don't be a stick in the mud, man, let's go. It'll be fun." Teomo's been awfully pushy today. Good thing he taught you how to swear. Then again, if Earka can lead you to the mushrooms, you'll be in and out, and you can go back to relaxing again.>"Sure, whatever.">"Hey, fuck off for a second."-Thread ends here for now. Thank you all for participating, new thread will be announced on Twitter, be sure to follow https://twitter.com/belowquest for updates.
>>40872302Tell me about Earka. Why does he wear the hood?