After a few hours of rest (Quinn slowly walking off relative days of hog-tied imprisonment, Terra stirring fitfully on one of the workbenches,) you gather your equipment and your companions. The magma-heated forge room has dispersed the worst of the chill dwelling in your bones, and your time in the Grand Forge's surrounding chambers has been remarkably educational.A brief wander through the Hall of Reflection confirmed that each and every door in the hall corresponds to one of the Foci on your person. The locks are all sealed tight for the time being. You imagine Esheza Zahn could provide you with the keys, though you're not keen on finding out what each one would cost you. The First Totemist is a dour figure. You doubt you'll get anything here for free.Quinn takes Terra in his arms and together the two of you find Zahn in the antechamber. The Grand Archway on the far wall still spits spark fitfully as it cools down from your most recent trip beyond the veil. Zahn hovers beside it silently. Its head is tilted to regard one of the faded tapestries that line the entryway. As you step up to the dias the golden helm swivels around to face you, star-bright eyes burning in cold black sockets.“You are prepared to depart?” Zahn asks you.You nod. “Thank you for allowing us the chance to rest. I have much preparation to do if I'm to live up to... well, I suppose it is your legacy.”The feathers of Zahn's cloak ruffle slightly but it nods all the same. “I have prepared something for you. Reparations, perhaps, for my hasty conduct.”From the folds of its cloak emerges a small disk of black stone. A gem of scintillating color and light sits on one side of the dark stone surface, casting a hazy glow across the plane of the disc.
>>43987072“Your previous method of entry was unorthodox,” Zahn tells you. “This should provide a smoother transition, should you find the need to return. Take heed: it will only admit those properly initiated into the Totemist's Pact.”You accept the rock with a grateful bow.>>[[Artifact Obtained: Azeo Sicros Portal Stone.]]The Archway hums to life once more at Zahn's side. You can see the seams of reality beginning to unravel within its depths.> Depart. You should get back to Grisoch.> “About the pact...” (Write-in)> “Before I go, I have a question about Azeo Sicros.” (Write-in)> Write-in---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 returned home to Grisoch after a lengthy trip abroad. After stepping beyond the veil surrounding your workshop you have met and treated with Hesheza Zahn, the spirit of the first Totemist. Now you depart his sanctum for home.[[Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=totemPlot Summary: http://pastebin.com/dqBSNUTMThe Cast Thus Far / Binder's Log: http://pastebin.com/VsJpEUx3Ask: ask.fm/DiarcaEXEWiki in progess: http://totemistquest.pbworks.comQuest Twitter: @TotemistQuest]]
>>43987094> “Before I go, I have a question about Azeo Sicros.” (Write-in)"You said Ayren took one of the Forge's tools. What was it? It may turn out to be in one of the caches he left behind."
>>43987094>> Depart. You should get back to Grisoch.
>>43987094>ask how the hall of reflection works and if you can try it out
>>43987094>Depart. You should get back to Grisoch.You know what we should do? Look up something that regenerates then go kill it and make it into something that can let us go one fight without needing three days rest.
>>43987382Hey , Osyki's managed to cut that down a bit. Now it's just one day of rest per fight.
>>43987382Last thread Zahn told us he was pissed at us mainly because our feral binding are akin to slavery and the 1st thing you want to do is go out and make another slave?
>>43987094>> “About the pact...” (Write-in)We should really really really get the fine print on what the pact is and how it works and how to initiate people into it. Also more theory on it, so we can take it to better places than "I bind the essence of bees into my feet".Also I second hunting a regenerative foe because we are alarmingly mortal.
>>43987509No, not our Feral Bindings. Quinn's. Ours are supported by the Totemist's Pact, so they have no negative component. But Quinn's doing this without sanction, so his Feral Bindings damage the spirit and the Pact itself, in some nebulously defined way.
>>43987530We should go find some bees. And then bind them into little wooden carvings of bees.
>>43987553>>43987509Remember, spirits operate on legalese bullshit, its part of what they are. Neither act is any more or less reprehensible, however I strongly suspect arbitrary labellings and declarations like that are the only thing allowing the spirit world to retain any sense whatsoever, otherwise it and every inhabitant in it would be profoundly insane.
>>43987094>"I think it's worth mentioning, I have a (what seems to be) a terminal disease where my spirit is corrupted by the element of earth. Know anything that might help?"
>>43987745The impression I got from Zahn's talk of infrastructure was that the Totemist's Pact was more than just a binding oath. That it doesn't just enforce order on the spirit world, but also improves the quality of a binding somehow. Like it makes a Feral Binding less traumatic on the beast's spirit, or something like that, and that's why binding without being signatory to the Pact is a wrong thing and not just a transgressive thing. Quinn's only bound his spirits part way, and that's damaging them.
>>43987961This seems like the kind of thing that should've been written in bold letters in a how to book somewhere. Fucking Ayren.
As the Archway builds charge you can feel the enamel of your teeth vibrating. You clamp your jaw shut, focusing.First thing when you get home, you'll need to ensure the workshop is secure. You're hoping that if the rift has been sealed from one side it will apply to both, but you're not so incautiuous that you won't bother to check.Second, you'll need to tend to Terra. You're not sure whether returning her to the raising house or allowing her to convalesce in your workshop is the more responsible decision.You glance up at Zahn. The spirit has moved to hover directly before the Archway now. You can see the lines where the air is beginning to split open. You don't stare too long.You should probably shore up the village's defenses at some point.Quinn hefts Terra on his shoulder. He looks exhausted.You need to investigate his initiation as well. Terra's too. Speaking of which...“Zahn.” It glances over its shoulder at you. “What is required for the ritual to initiate a Totemist? Materially speaking.”Zahn's eyes burn a little brighter. It floats down to speak to you directly, leaving behind a shadowy replica of feathers and dust to tend the opening Archway.“Three components are required to induce the Visions of the Pact,” Zahn tells you. “First, blood of the master and the apprentice.”Simple enough.“Second, a tincture of herbs to induce the spiritual vision. Ragwort, bleeding cap, Sibilweed and thyme.”You have the majority of those ingredients. The rest you can gather from the swamp. Maybe this won't be so difficult after all.
>>43987509Nah, he doesn't give a fuck about our feral bindings.
“Third, the vital spark of a great beast. It is traditional for a master Totemist to hunt and slay one of the remnants of Uruhal Olihim .”You choke out a strangled laugh. “You don't mean--?”Zahn nods. “What your master called Behemoths. Their flesh connects a fledgling to this place, and in doing so brings them into the pact.”Behind Zahn the world splits open like overripe fruit. Through the peeling air you can see the north gate of Grisoch. The sun hovers behind the Ikrin peaks stretching the first rays of dawn down toward the rooftops.“You must go,” it tells you. “Prepare. I will be here when you return to provide you with the tools you will require.”> Thank you, Hesheza. I'll return as soon as I can.> Hunt a Behemoth. No problem. I'll swing by next week.> I'm not doing that. Ayren died fighting those monsters.We can discuss other options when I return.> Write-in
>>43988123> Write-in"Is that vital spark reusable, or will I need a separate one for each initiation?"
>>43988123> Thank you, Hesheza. I'll return as soon as I can.FuckHow many maguses is a behemoth worth?
>>43988123Well no fucking wonder there are no totemists left if that's the requirement to join the order.
>>43988041In fairness Ayren isnt the one who made the thing.
>>43988181Have to get him to lower the reqs
>>43988123Wait does that mean we did that?>>43988250Bit late for that now.
>>43988123>> Thank you, Hesheza. I'll return as soon as I canWe are so fucked.
>>43988123So, Ayren died potentially bringing us into to fold. That makes his fatal hunt less stupid at least. Also, "Vital Spark"?> Thank you, Hesheza. I'll return as soon as I can.> Hunt a Behemoth. No problem. I'll swing by next week. (muttered)
>>43988123>> Thank you, Hesheza. I'll return as soon as I can.
>>43988367No, we were already initiated. The Basilisk Wyrm was just to get rid of a threat. My guess is that the vital spark of a Behemoth he used was the "god's heart" he pulled from the corpse of the lava monster he killed in his interlude.
>>43988123>Thank You, Hesheza. I'll return as soon as I can.Rule one of dealing with ancient intelligences. Nod your head and smile.Rule Two, the paperwork takes forever. Side note, missed the last couple threads: Does this issue only extend to the binding of spirits? To the point, can our apprentices keep making protective wards and so on without disrupting the order?
>>43988367No he died on his own.
>>43988401Dont know but we should probably take out one of those two things that were waking up anyway.
With the kind of adroit skill only a thousand hours of merciless training under Ayren's watchful eye could produce you swallow the screams and bile rising in the back of your throat and bow to Zahn to cover the horrified, incredulous expression on your face. One little behemoth. Sure.When you straighten you wear a placid mask of perfect calm.“Thank you, Hesheza,” you tell the spirit. “I will return as soon as I am able. Is this vital spark re-usable, or is it consumed in the ritual?”Zahn shakes its head (mask?). “That would depend on the strength of the creature. We did not make a habit of throwing our trained and trainees into certain death. Most Heart of Uruhal last for decades before the spark is extinguished. Perhaps the tool your master used to initiate you into the fold is still available.”You damn well hope so.“Osyki!” Quinn waves you on from the dias before the Archway. “Our ride's here. Come on!”You move to join him when Zahn moves to intercept you again.“I had nearly forgotten,” it tells you. “I believe these are yours.” Amal's amber charm and Tryd's charcoal rune join the portal stone in your hand. “You ought to teach that ember some respect.”You stifle the urge to snort. “I'll see what I can do, Zahn.”You can feel Zahn's cold gaze on your back as you depart. The transition is, as before, an electrifying experience. Still, it beats your trip in.You and Quinn stumble out of a dense bank of mist before the village gates. The guards on the wall relax visibly as you make eye contact with them, slowly releasing the tension from their longbow strings.“All's well, Totemist?” one calls.“Fine!” you respond. “Good morning to you!”
>>43988643Quinn lets out a nervous chuckle beside you. The mists quickly disperse on the morning breeze.Home again.You stumble into the workshop. Quinn deposits Terra on the bed as you force your senses to expand, raking the room with your third eye.Sealed again. Thank the land for small miracles.“I'm going to get some sleep,” Quinn tells you. “I'll be at the bunkhouse if you need me.” He strides past you, clapping you on the shoulder as he goes. “Thanks again for the rescue.”“Sleep well,” you mumble absentmindedly. The door swings shut behind you.> Time for some research. Ayren can't have left all this out. It must be written somewhere.> You need to consult with one of your spirits.> You have a promise to keep to Elana. Time to look into that seal.> Some totemcraft may take your mind off of... whatever it is that just happened. And the village could use it too.> Write-in
>>43988665> Time for some research. Ayren can't have left all this out. It must be written somewhere.
>>43988665>> Time for some research. Ayren can't have left all this out. It must be written somewhere.We need to find out exactly how in the dark we are.
>>43988665>> Time for some research. Ayren can't have left all this out. It must be written somewhere.Look for a book labelled "How to not destroy the World as we Know it", that should do it.
>>43988695In fairness part of the reason we are in the dark is because we hardly ever read all these books.
>>43988665>Time for some research. Ayren can't have left all this out. It must be written somewhere.
>>43988714We read these books all the time. There's just so many, and they're so poorly indexed, that we could read for days and not find what we're looking for.
>>43988749We only read them when we want to learn something specific.
>>43988758Because we don't have the time to read them when we're not looking for something specific.
>>43988665>> Time for some research. Ayren can't have left all this out. It must be written somewhere.>> You need to consult with one of your spirits.We need to get a grip on the scale of this craziness. We should check and see if we can figure out anymore of the drawer seals. Maybe he left something there. Also need to needle Tyrd about the "respect" thing.
>>43988770Still though we cant exactly keep calling the man out for not writing shit down when for all we know he has, in fact, written it down.
>>43988822Oh, yeah, I'll grant you that. We can give him shit for not indexing things properly, though. He could have easily told us "Osyki, if I die before finishing your training, open the chest under my bed" and left a list of things of vital importance there.
>>43988862Well I mean no one thinks they are going to die. And indexing is for secretaries.
>>43988665>Time for some research. Ayren can't have left all this out.>You have a promise to keep to Elana. Time to look into that Seal.I mean, if we're going to be hitting the books, may as well hit them full on. Also>Spend one hour forming a rudimentary system for organizing the tomes, scrolls, and general information we have.Pre-planning, while a trait we tend to forget, can often mean the difference between success and failure. No reason to make Quinn and Terra face the same challenges we did.
>>43989013>Spend one hour forming a rudimentary system for organizing the tomes, scrolls, and general information we have.Cant we tell Amal to do that?
>>43988665> Time for some research. Ayren can't have left all this out. It must be written somewhere.Okay, it's study timeRead everything. I want to know exactly how badly Ayren jackassed us here.
>>43988875In this line of work it's a though they'd better not assume that it can't happen to them.
>>43989057Conceivably. (I honestly just couldn't remember Amal's name, so I didn't want to write "And get our Knowledge spirit to help us".) We should have some input and control in the process, however. Just so we can explain it with complete certainty.I figured we'd have Amal with us through the whole process.
>>43989123I also forgot his name
The door closes behind you, leaving you in a moment of perfect silence. You close your eyes, confronted by the enormity of what you learned from Hesheza Zahn all at once.The Pact isn't just an ideology, but a true accord.Grisoch is built atop what is quite possibly the source of all monsters.Your abilities stem from an ancient contract between the first men and spirits of the world.How much did Ayren leave out of your training? You settle onto a bench beside one of your workshop tables heavily, tipping your head back to stare at the stretch of ceiling that previously held the cracked pathway. These things are not minutiae or meaningless theory. How could he have forgotten to tell you?Did he truly forget?Your eyes are drawn inexorably to the door of the library. You never knew Ayren to neglect to write anything down, but your doubts as to the importance of what he chose to write down—and more importantly, what he did not—are growing by the day.You need to learn what you can.You leave your cloak and armor behind. You'll need to be comfortable for this. After all, you may be at this for a while.> Choose one research avenue for yourself and one for Amal.> Research the Totemist's Pact. Origins, history, and the process of initiation.> Research Uruhal Olihim. You need to know Grisoch's history.> Spend some time decoding the next set of seals on the chest of drawers. (Osyki only.)> Research Behemoths of the land and their known whereabouts.> Write-in
>>43989233> Research the Totemist's Pact. Origins, history, and the process of initiation.Osyki> Research Behemoths of the land and their known whereabouts.Amal
>>43989233> Research the Totemist's Pact. Origins, history, and the process of initiation.>> Spend some time decoding the next set of seals on the chest of drawers.
>>43989233> Research the Totemist's Pact. Origins, history, and the process of initiation.> Spend some time decoding the next set of seals on the chest of drawers. (Osyki only.)If only because I suspect that Ayren's keikaku goes deep enough that the next drawer will be relevant to EXACTLY this scenario.
>>43989233>Spend some time decoding the next set of seals on the chest of drawers. (Osyki only.)
>>43989280That'd be such a dick move, to have the things preventing a mini Happening unlock after a mini Happening.That's Ayren MO awwright
>>43989280One of the seals literally opens with>Anger the douchebag original totemist sealed beneath the town>Damage the link between worlds.>Accidentally everything everSon of a bitch, they literally are achievement rewards.
>>43989233>Research Uruhal Olihim. You need to know Grisoch's history.Osyki> Research the Totemist's Pact. Origins, history, and the process of initiation.Amal
>>43989280Ayren is just enough of a jackass to do that, yep.God fucking damnit why is every totemist except Osyki and co a complete asshole
>>43989233> Research the Totemist's Pact. Origins, history, and the process of initiation.> Research Behemoths of the land and their known whereabouts.
>>43989330You take that back.Sylvia's pretty okay.
Rolled 16 (1d100)>>43989330The universe needs to balance itself out somehow! We're a cordial and good negotiator, and everyone else is a hapless asshole to make up for us stealing all the Charisma. For example, Rolling for convincing our Co-temist and Terra that was all according to plan.
>>43989348Sylvia's not a totemist
>>43989233>> Research the Totemist's Pact. Origins, history, and the process of initiation.>> Spend some time decoding the next set of seals on the chest of drawers. (Osyki only.)
>>43989330Thats a grand total of one guy. And one spirit guy, but they were more hardcore back in the day so you cant really blame him.
>>43989360>YFW Old Osy is Mr Rogers
>>43989233>> Research the Totemist's Pact. Origins, history, and the process of initiation.lay the groundwork for later, more in-depth research> Spend some time decoding the next set of seals on the chest of drawers. (Osyki only.)They've been there since the beginning and we've only decoded a few of them.
> Pact: 7> Uruhal Olihim: 1> Drawers: 5> Behemoths: 2> Roll 1d100 for research.
>>43989233>> Spend some time decoding the next set of seals on the chest of drawers. (Osyki only.)
Rolled 66 (1d100)>>43989615
Rolled 3 (1d100)>>43989615
Rolled 81 (1d100)>>43989615
Rolled 62 (1d100)>>43989615
Rolled 42 (1d100)>>43989615
Rolled 30 (1d100)>>43989615dice
>>43989633>>43989641>>4398965081. Not bad.
>>43989615>nat 1>workshop burns down
>>43988367To be fair, the Basilisk was figuratively down the street from Grisoch, lair being within the swamp. Considering the might of the behemoths, that was far too close to home.
You summon Amal with a flex of mental effort. He flies in ecstatic orbit around you as you free him from his charm, peppering you with incessant questions. Are you alright? What happened? He felt you cross the veil, where did you go? Who trapped him within the focus?“Amal! Amal.” You grab the rotating prism in both hands, slowing his erratic elliptical. “Calm down. We're fine. I'll tell you everything that happened, but first I need your help.”The prism pulses a deep, satisfied blue for a moment. “Oh?”You direct him to gather all the information he can on the Totemist's Pact and Ayren's research into it. Anything about Zahn, Azero Sicros, the Pact itself. You want everything he has.While you relate the story of your meeting with Esheza Zahn to him you pull up a cushion in front of the chest of drawers. The rotating seals dance elusively before your third eye. With the Bracelet of Binding threads in one hand and the Book in the other, you set to work translating and decoding.> 81With a few hours to burn, you manage to decode a number of the seals. Unfortunately, you only have any idea what one of them is talking about. True to form for Ayren, it sits somewhere between suicidal and completely impossible.> Drawer 12: Bind Five Spirits [Unlocked](Reward: Grisoch Area Map)>Drawer 11: Bind an Avatar(Reward: Totem of Quick Recall Recipe)> Drawer 10: Perform a Celestial Binding.(Reward: Bracelet of Binding Threads)> Drawer 9: Bind Ten Spirits(Reward: The Link to the World Without, Resonance Bracelet)>Drawer 8: Hone a minor spirit.> Drawer 7: Enshrine a Guardian Spirit.> Drawer 6: Bind a Land Guardian> Drawer 5: Breach the Five Gates of Mu
>>43990274You glance away from the fiendishly complex circles of sigils. You can feel the metaphorical eyestrain building in a thick knot at the base of your skull. You wipe the tears from the corners of your eyes, rising to inspect Amal's findings.The portfolio awaiting you on Ayren's desk is... depressingly small. You flip through the journals and notes assembled.Ayren was certainly aware that the pact was a true agreement between man and spirit. A few of his older notes reference a figure that is clearly Hesheza Zahn, though none name the First Totemist specifically. The late Overwake seemed to treat the First as more of an irritating busybody than a mentor.Ayren's notes on the Pact itself are almost disturbingly scientific. He has very little noted of the history of the pact, nor any mention of the figures involved in its making save the previously mentioned oblique asides. Your mentor's primary avenue of interest concerning the pact was angled at a more practical bent. In essence, Ayren was interested in the mechanics of the Totemist's Pact. How it worked, where the codes and laws resided in metaphysical space, how they enforced themselves onto the world.The portfolio paints a disturbingly utilitarian picture of a man hell-bent on dissecting and examining an ancient and holy rite at a base component level. His focus seemed to be wringing every last scrap of freedom and power he could from the ancient texts and ethereal laws. At every turn he probed at the boundaries of what was sacred and what was forbidden, seeking every inch of wiggle room he could find in the pact to further grow his panoply.You're not sure whether to be impressed or disappointed. He was always astoundingly thorough.
>>43990284Amal hovers above you. Every so often he delivers another page or copied booklet to the expanding reference material, but it's clear if you want anything resembling a history lesson you'll need to consult with Hesheza Zahn directly. Still, Ayren's work is informative, even if you don't understand some of the more complex metaphysical concepts underlying the work.> [Your knowledge of binding spirits has increased. Osyki can now use the Sixteen Runes of Binding to temporarily slow or disable a beast at the cost of being able to bind that being's spirit.]> Pack it in. You need to get ready to return to Hesheza.> You've been away from Grisoch for too long. Spend some time in the village.> Consult with one of your spirits. You need a fresh pair of eyes here. (Who?)> Put together a to-do list. You've always worked better with a written plan.> Write-in
>>43990284That is both very useful and horrifying. He was fucking around with the very thing that kept humanity from being extincted by spirits so he could figure out just how much he could fuck with it for power.
>>43990343> You've been away from Grisoch for too long. Spend some time in the village.Huh. That's a weird use of totemistry. Can we use it with the standard rune circle that the Luminous Links totem we've crafted can generate, or would we need to make a new one?
>>43990343> Put together a to-do list. You've always worked better with a written plan.*Wave your fist at the heavens and curse your former master.*Find That vital essence **Hone a minor spirit???*Failing that kill a behemoth*Fix fallout from quinns binding*Induct Quinn*Induct Terra*Research that eye seal thing.*Curse out Ayren again for keeping this shit secret*Deal with fallout that has certainly occurred during the process of the above. *Avoid hostile takeover by large empire*avoid evil wizard killing everything ever*Open that spirit door*Get on the floor*everybody does the dinosaur.
>>43990343>> Consult with one of your spirits. You need a fresh pair of eyes here. Boand.>> Put together a to-do list. You've always worked better with a written plan.
>>43990343>Pack it in. You need to get ready to return to Hesheza
>>43990344Ayren Overwake, no sense of right and wrong
>>43990415See? He totally did write all this down.
>>43990439Yeah, but it's clear that these were his personal experiment notes, not something he left as a warning for us. It's quite likely that we would have never discovered these had we not known to look for them. So bonus points for thoroughness, but we have to subtract some for narrow-mindedness.
>>43990438>>43990439>>43990465You know, we're going to need to write up some sort of book on totemist ethics. Hell I sincerely am starting to wonder just what he did with his time. If he was this meticulus with this what other ethics boundries did he flagrantly violate.
>>43990343>> You've been away from Grisoch for too long. Spend some time in the village.
>>43990465Well shit maybe we should have made time to research our super important job once in a while. Every time we go in there we find out something cool.>>43990529Probably which ever ones he felt like since they weren't bound by magic.
>>43990284>> You've been away from Grisoch for too long. Spend some time in the village.
>>43990343>> Put together a to-do list. You've always worked better with a written plan.then> You've been away from Grisoch for too long. Spend some time in the village.
>>43990343> You've been away from Grisoch for too long. Spend some time in the village.See if they need anything, shoot the shit a little, express frustration about Ayren to the elders maybe.
You push your chair away from the desk abruptly. You can't read this for much longer. Ayren was a fixed point in your life. His death left a void you didn't know how to fill.You're fairly certain you didn't want it filled with this, though. Even if “this” is the truth.You need to get some air.You leave Amal to his work. Terra is slumbering peacefully in the bed as you throw your cloak over your shoulders. You leave her a cup of water and a snack on the bedside table.The autumn chill has not yet fled from the morning air as you make your way into town. Temperatures have already dropped enough for your breath to fog the air as you take long strides down the main thoroughfare, though with the sun climbing in the sky overhead that won't remain for long. For a time, you need to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of the village. Ayren clearly neglected to anchor himself with the common folk it was his duty and mission to protect, and you won't make the same mistake.Your friends are here. Your life is here. Even with all of the fantastic things happening to you, you'd do well to remember that.The village swallows you up gladly.– – –
The numbing Mist of between spaces is a soothing balm to your fraying patience. Another setback. Another delay. You hover unmolested by the lurking cthonian things that dwell in this space. They've learned to leave well enough alone. Even simple things understand examples writ large in blood.Motes of pyre light dance at the edges of your consciousness. Your emissaries, doing what they do best. A thousand threads of gossamer light wind their way through the aether, tied off at a single point. You dwell within that nexus, now.The joining approaches. Your time to execute plans years in the making grows short.Reverberations echo down the lines of light. Subtle impulses of light and energy. Encoded messages for your eyes only.Progress in the flame-kissed lands. Movements stirring beneath the blighted tundra. A congress of unknown quantities and loathsome qualities atop obsidian-capped waves.So many little motes to focus on. But which deserves attention?> Crystal and blue. A little bird has flown from its nest.> Gold and ivory. A coronation in progress.> Silver and iron. Another setback.> Quicksilver and black. An eye on your true foe.
>>43991069>> Silver and iron. Another setback.
>>43991069>Quicksilver and black. An eye on your true foe.
>>43991069> Crystal and blue. A little bird has flown from its nest.Without knowing whose perspective this is, it's essentially a random choice. But "crystal and blue" makes me think of Saeri, and given her insinuations that she's part of some bigger plot going on it might be her. So that should be interesting.
>>43991069>> Crystal and blue. A little bird has flown from its nest.Please god no don't be who I think it is. T̩̩̣̫͇͚̏ͦͦ͘Ȟ̟̘̰̯̹͍͈ͪ̃͟͞E̞̪̪̘͕̯͛̊͊͊̄̆Y̶̢͙͕̬͐̌ͭ͘ ̷̴͊ͮͮ̋ͬ̑̑͏͈̬̲̳̰͖S̥̰̰͈̜̦̪̺̞̑̌͛̍̓̐ͨͩĘ̝̟̜̩̍ͤ̋ͯͯ͑ͬͅȨ͛ͣͪͧ̈́̿̒͋͏̢̙̱̖̤̭̘̗̙ ̶͍͔̤̲͎̫͇̖̣͐͌̏́͞À͇̝͉͔̟̺̲̺̀̓̉ͨ͗́̊͟͡L̶̴̪͇͗ͯͩ̅ͫ͒͆͟L̢͔̗̽ͧ̑ ̭̬̣̦̻͚ͮͣ̐̋̊͛͑̽͡K͎̹͌͊͛̓͐̀̎̐̽N̷̨̙͙ͪ͛̿̐ͮǪ͔̹̜͕̯̱̲̳́͢W̯͎̫̖͚̘̪̼ͭ́̐͌̓̅̉̂ ̡̮̞̙̮̖͙͒ͮͮ̈́͢A̶̛̝̼̖̯̖̪̱ͩͬ̓͐L͎̝̱̱͈̝̊̀̓Lͣ͡҉̘̠̣͍̻̥̝̦͇́ ̷͎͙͎͈̥͓͗̉̏̂̕Ḧ̠̲̞̼̻͖̫͇̍̏̅ͦͤ͟A̠͙̱̜̪̠̭̰̔̂͒ͥ̇ͥ͘T̩͈̙͍͎̦̒ͨ͟Ę̷̯͙̟̻̊̔͛̋͌͐̓͋ ̵̵̖̥͋ͤ͋̉ͮ͆͘A̲͓̻̟ͨ̈́ͤ̍͋̅͢L̀ͤͭͫͨ҉̸̬̠͖͟Ḷ̢͈̟̮̰̍̋ͯ͊̀͐̽ͥ͞ ̺͖̝͖̝̩̤ͯ̅̏̊Ć̡̯͇͕̬̥̱̽͑ͥO̶̪̫͎͒̉̽͐͝N͕̭ͩͥ͋͛̓̅ͮ́̚S̺͙͎̳̰͎̣͂̃̉͌ͦ̏̅ͭ̈U̙͚̼͇ͦͯ͛͂̓͑̌̑̕͜M̷̲̩͙̎͒́Ę̺̞̪̅̓͋̆ͫ̏ ̴̦͓͓̥̺͋ͥ͞Ā̩̟ͮ̀ͨ̂ͅL̾̒̀̚͏̢̼̦͓͕L͆ͨ̎͂͒ͨͮ̀҉̻̭̞ ̼̫̙͎̺ͬ̊̎͐̄̽͡Ḟ͙̠͐E̢ͩ̅͏̷̹̠̝͎̰Ā̫̗̯̓͒͒ͯ̀͠R̛̹͓͈̤͈̳̺̮͖ͬͣͮ̾̆͛̅͗ ̺͈͍̥̮ͥ̾͊̀̄͋̌̂͛͞Ṯ̴̠͍͈̠̲̜͐ͫ̕͞H͍̥͓̲̙̰̘ͦ̓͊͒̉͘Ẻ̢̬̩̱̖͉̪̺͈̈́̌ͣͭ̆Mͪ̈́͐͛̒҉͔̦͉̦̦̥̟
>>43991069>> Quicksilver and black. An eye on your true foe.
>>43991069>> Crystal and blue. A little bird has flown from its nest.
>>43991069>> Silver and iron. Another setback.>>43991139I think it is.
>>43991069> Gold and ivory. A coronation in progress.Who's getting crowned?
The planes of whorling gray around your blend and blur together. You stretch across an infinite cosmos in the blink of an eye, hurling yourself along pulsing lines of concentrated spiritual pressure and light. The air around you grows laden with salt and ozone.You open your eyes. Crouched atop a squalling Manta you skim from cloud to cloud. Reins of barbed iron clenched tight in one hand you circle the floating fortress on the horizon. Just far enough to avoid tripping the wards. You're unavoidably fuzzy on the details, but you're not in a state to challenge whatever defenses such a manse can bring to bear. Not in this body.Waterfalls pour into the hungry maelstrom in the sea below, runoff from the massive generators powering the edifice's flight. You can taste the shaping magics on the air. What a waste of power.You can feel the jewel's magic pulsing outward like the world's own heartbeat. She's here. A lifetime away you sink your fingers into the edges of the artifact, pulling just a little more from its depleted wells. Your vision jumps.Blond hair hangs in messy tresses around her shoulders in a palatial bedroom. Perched at the edge of a dusty bed she clutches a small locket to her chest. The gem glimmers and fizzes clouds of neon light as she lives the memory again and again.Typical. What is a junkie without her fix?She's no threat. Not yet. Not like this.The spark is missing from this particular powderkeg.And speaking of sparks...
>>43991631Your mother for the queen of slut mountain.
You jump again. The sea below bleeds streamers of black and gold as you pass through the Mists once more. Roiling waves turn to rolling hills in the blink of an eye. Your link here is tenuous—disrupted. Another body wasted.The city recovers from your visit. The waning silver orb in the sky above bespeaks of a certain displeasure. The light on the city below is fitful and dim.You recall a cresting wave of the earth's blood. Black needles laden with a foul spiritual virus.A fool garbed in silver. A key wreathed in argent light.His eyes were cold, then. You hadn't expected so much of him so soon. Whispers of the Pact rippled from obsidian gauntlets in palpable waves.A spark fit to light to world aflame.You hear the glass in your hands whine dangerously as your fingers sink into its surface. Best not to linger on the failures of the past.The hours grow shorter by the day, and the world finds itself to concerned with scant seconds to mind.To work, then.
>>43991720Oh shit, this is the Magus's viewpoint, isn't it?
The sun dips dangerously toward the horizon as you bid your friends farewell. It was a little awkward at first, but years of friendship are a difficult bond to corrode.“Tomorrow, Osyki!” Sazen reminds you with a whooping holler. “You and me!”Reid shakes his head, counting out his winnings in one hand. Sazen never did know when he was beaten. “Take care, Totemist.” It sounds like a nickname coming from his mouth, not a title of rank and import. “If you get brutalized out there I can't keep fleecing you like this.”“One lucky draw,” you counter. “We'll see if your hot streak holds.”Reid shrugs, pocketing the gems you wagered. “Hasn't failed me yet.”A burden has lifted from your shoulders. An afternoon among young men of your own age. You had almost forgotten the difference between friends and apprentices. No longer.The dusty smell of crisp harvest winds ripples through the alleyways between houses. You run your fingers through your hair, drinking in the sounds of the village in motion.Just the break you needed.> You should head back to Azero Sicros. Hesheza is waiting.> Terra should be awake by now.> Let's see how Quinn is doing.> You owe Boand a visit.> Write-in
>>43991837> Terra should be awake by now.
>>43991837>> You should head back to Azero Sicros. Hesheza is waiting.>> Terra should be awake by now.
>>43991837>You should head back to Azero Sicros. Hesheza is waiting.
>>43991837> You owe Boand a visit.If we would like to not be Ayren, let's not just disappear on her like he did, yeah.
>>43991837>> Terra should be awake by now.>> Let's see how Quinn is doing.then> You owe Boand a visit.Don't we have a lot of prep work we need to do before we can do anything useful with Azero?
>>43991740That's who I would guess.
>>43991837> You owe Boand a visit.Azero Sicros immediately afterwards.
>>43992068Wrong thread, friendo.
>>43991837>You owe Boand a visit.Perhaps a whole evening, even!
>>43992068>liking lolis>pedophilia Wrong thread, and you're retarded.
>>43992076Hes probably not far off though.>>43992078Keep your dick in your pants we have shit to do.
>>43992076He tries to post it in every thread on the board.
>>43992101Listen, Osyki needs to get some eventually. I say we go with slutty mermaid waifu.
>>43992078>wanting stdsNo thank you
>>43992078If onlyBoand a best
>>43992132He can get some when we dont have important shit to do. Never ever
>>43992169If we bind Boand to our underwear we could do multitask, surely.
>>43992208That would probably turn our legs into a fish tail or something.
>>43992132Elana won but I like Boand a lot.
>>43992132Nah, it's gotta be Elana. At least the first time, anyway
With the Whirlpool Pearl clutched in hand you wander out of the south gate. The leaves of the Brush paint a canvas of rippling flame across the skies in bold tones of crimson and yellow. Your footsteps echo with the crunch of toppled branches and dried plant matter underfoot as you wander the familiar pathways to Boand's spring.There are never any leaves floating on the surface of her waters. Small wonder you didn't notice her presence sooner.The water ripples for a moment before it disgorges her. You're still adjusting to the waves of power that roll off of her with every moment now, subtle trails of aquatic tones following the movements of her limbs. She smiles wide at you, swimming to the bank to meet you with broad strokes of her tail.“Welcome back,” she says. “Everything alright?” If you didn't have the pearl in your hand you might have missed the subtle undercurrent of relief underlying her question. She was worried.“For the time being,” you tell her. “I have some very powerful figures making fairly unreasonable demands of me, but I guess that's par for the course by this point. How's your river?”“Extensive,” she says with a sly grin. “I've been making peace with the lake spirit at the boundaries of it. Drawing up territory lines. She's pretty sharp.”You quirk an eyebrow. “Oh?”Boand nods, sending a cascade of azure sparkles into the water around her. “I'll introduce you when you're in the area. You can never have too many water spirits on friendly terms, after all.”
>>43992762“I've already got the most important one in my corner,” you say with a shrug. “But I suppose an introduction can't hurt.”She nods sagely in agreement, though you can see the subtle tinge to her cheeks as she does. “True. Are you coming in for a swim, or did you need something?” She pushes away from the bank, drifting toward the center of the pond. Her hand comes up, and she crooks a finger at you invitingly.> A swim would be nice.> No, not today.> I wanted to ask you about Zahn's task.> Has anything been going on in the area I should know about?> I wanted to ask you about Ayren.> Tell me more about your new domain.> I just wanted to see you.> Write-in
>>43992782> A swim would be nice.> I wanted to ask you about Zahn's task.
>>43992782> I wanted to ask you about Zahn's task.What do her little birds (which now that I think about, probably include some literal little birds) say about the local Behemoths? Unless we can find the vital essence Ayren used to initiate us we're going to have to kill one of them, so advance warning would be nice.
>>43992782>No, not today>I wanted to ask you about Zahn's task.>Tell me more about your new domain.
>>43992782>> A swim would be nice.>> I wanted to ask you about Zahn's task.
>>43992782> A swim would be nice.> I wanted to ask you about Zahn's task.> I wanted to ask you about Ayren.on theat second one: implications, unsettling
>>43992782> A swim would be nice.> Has anything been going on in the area I should know about?
>>43992782> A swim would be nice> Has anything been going on in the area I should know about?> I wanted to ask you about Ayren.
You sit down at the poolside, stripping your boots from your feet in now practiced motions. “A swim would be nice,” you tell her. The remnants of the sly smile on her lips grows again into an almost girlish grin. “I warn you, though—I haven't had the chance to take a bath since I got back from Eluneia.”She wrinkles her nose and laughs as you slip into the water. “Don't worry,” she says as she circles around you. “I'll wash your back for you.”The natural heat of the spring does wonders to soothe the battle-aches built up from your encounter with the Eidolons. You lounge for a short while with Boand. Floating on your backs side by side and watching the leaves fall is... placid. You could do with a little more placid. You tell her what she missed in Azeo Sicros as the two of you drift around the pond.Eventually you right yourself in the water, turning to face her. “I wanted to see if you had any advice about Zahn's task. I... don't know if I have anything that would let me beat down a behemoth. I barely won against a baby Basilisk Wyrm. Considering the size of the real thing's remains...”You shiver despite the heat of the water around you.Boand shakes her head. “No way, Osyki. Ayren didn't survive a run-in with a Behemoth. You'll just have to track down whatever he used to initiate you. Do you remember what it was?”You furrow your brow, thinking back. You were young when Ayren fed you the potent mix of herbs and bitter alcoholic tea. You remember seeing a something wrapped in molten chain as you slipped into the trance, but the details are hazy.Boand sighs. “He probably locked it up in one of those infernal drawers. I doubt he thought you'd be keen to take apprentices so soon.”
>>43993508“If I had known how dangerous that was, I might have thought twice,” you grumble. “Another lesson left by the wayside in pursuit of enlightenment.”Boand shrugs. “That's just how Ayren was. He had a goal and a plan, and everything that didn't stop him from reaching that point was flotsam and seafoam.”You tip your head back into the water. The moisture wells through your hair into your scalp. “The more I learn about him, the more I hesitate. It sounds less like research and more like obsession.”“If he were that obsessed he wouldn't have bothered taking an apprentice,” Boand points out quietly.The statement is loaded enough to capsize a ship. You let it float alongside you without touching it.“Tell me more about your new domain,” you say. Anything to steer the conversation away from this.She shakes her head, swimming over to poke you hard in the chest. One manicured nail leaves a crescent in your skin. “No. You need a plan, Osyki. How are you going to get around this?”A good question.> I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monster.> I'll search for Ayren's vital spark. No need to do all that hard work again.> I'll recruit some help in tracking and hunting a Behemoth. No need to do the hard work myself. > I don't know. I just... I really don't know.> Write-in
>>43993524>I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monster.>I'll search for Ayren's vital spark. No need to do all that hard work again.Might need the former to get the latter, anyway.
>>43993524>> I'll search for Ayren's vital spark. No need to do all that hard work again.Ayren has fucked enough ecosystems for all of us. No need to aggravate more populations than we need to. If we can make something of we already have, it will be much better than going out and slaying willy nilly when we STILL don't truly understand the pact and the rules.
>>43993524> I'll search for Ayren's vital spark. No need to do all that hard work again.Though if that fails, then> I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monster.
>>43993524>I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monster.
>>43993524> I'll search for Ayren's vital spark. No need to do all that hard work again.But failing that, if enough time passes with no results> I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monster.> I'll recruit some help in tracking and hunting a Behemoth. No need to do the hard work myself. Ayren died against the Basilisk Wyrm because he thought he had to fight it alone. We won't make that mistake.
>>43993524Ask her if she knows how to Hone a Minor Spirit and/or Enshrine a Guardian Spirit since it might be in one of those drawers.Also can she believe that Ayren wanted us to Bind a Land Guardian? Because we can't.
>>43993588Hey, Im pretty sure its implied that taking out Behemoths is actually one of the intended roles of totemists and that behemoths upset the ecosystem more then help it. Not that I dont agree we should try to find Ayren's spark.
>>43993588I think the Totemist's Pact is actively in favor of hunting Behemoths, though. Zahn referred to them as remnants of the great foe that totemistry was invented to fight, and he seemed supporting of the tradition of using them as part of the initiation ritual (which raises the question of whether a sufficiently powerful non-Behemoth beast could also be used). So I don't think the Pact would have any problems with that. It might mess with the local ecosystem and piss off the spirits around its lair if they've gotten into a symbiosis with it, though.
>>43993524>> I'll search for Ayren's vital spark. No need to do all that hard work again.failing that though,> I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monster.
>>43993524> I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monster
>>43993524> I'll search for Ayren's vital spark. No need to do all that hard work again.It's less that we're not gonna slay a Behemoth, because we're gonna have to slay several. it's more that we're not sure we're ready for that just yet.
>>43993524>> I'll search for Ayren's vital spark. No need to do all that hard work again.FUCKING AYREN!
>>43993524>I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monster
>>43993524> I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monster.>>43993637echoing this.
>>43993524> I'll search for Ayren's vital spark. No need to do all that hard work again.But while we seek it, > I'll take Zahn's help and forge something worthy of killing a primordial monsterBecause if I remember right, Behemoths are more like unnatural disasters than parts of ecosystems. That means we'll need something powerful enough to give us a chance at some point along our path anyway.
“Ideally?” you pick up a handful of water, watching it trickling over your palm and between your fingers. “I'll find whatever spark Ayren used to initiate me. If I can avoid risking life and limb for work that's already been done, I'd love to. I'm not really eager to fight a monster from the birth of the world.”Boand nods. “That's what I'd suggest as well. Besides, tracking down a Behemoth could involve weeks of travel through dangerous territory. The Wyrm was the closest by a long way. Everything else is pretty far afield.”“Closer than I'd like, though.” You grimace. “Failing finding Ayren's spark—“Boand shakes her head. “No. Not an option.”You hold a hand up to forestall further protest. Boand lapses into moody silence, waiting impatiently.“Failing that, I'll do everything in my power to prepare. Use Azeo Sicros to forge myself a proper god-killing weapon. And I certainly won't do it alone. I'm not quite that cocky.”She nods, her arms folded over her chest. “Fine. But find that spark.”You can't help but heave a sigh. “If I can. I haven't been quite that lucky recently.”“I don't know about that,” she counters. “You got me a lovely summer home and yourself a new binding in one night. You're not dead yet. I think, all things considered, your luck's been okay.”“Ever the optimist.”“Someone around here's gotta be.”You chuckle. “I guess so.”– – –
>>43994358As you are drying yourself by the poolside in preparation to depart Boand hauls herself entirely out of the water. She seats herself on the pool's edge, scintillating tail stirring the waves in the pond distractedly.“I'll see what I can do about gathering intel on the nearby Behemoths,” she tells you. “My little birds only fly so far, but I've been developing some contacts in the swamp. Failing that, we could always look around Eluneia.”That's an option that hadn't occurred to you. “We'll explore our options. Whatever gives us the best chance of success.”“Agreed.” She winds a strand of her hair around one finger, glancing up at you with sparkling blue eyes half-lidded. “Thanks for coming to visit me. I know we can talk whenever now, but I do still like spending time with you face to face.”You nod. “I do too. We get all of our best thinking done when we can actually put our heads together.”“That'd be true if I didn't do most of the thinking for you.” She's back to her old self in the blink of an eye, throwing her hair over one shoulder and flashing you with a cheeky grin.You roll your eyes. Some things never change.[[ We'll call things here for the evening, folks. My connection is spotty and I need to catch some sleep. Feel free to discuss a plan of action for the next thread here—I'll skim things in the archive later for next thread. Thank you again for joining me to play this evening. Have a wonderful week!]]
>>43994374So I figure we should work on opening the next two drawers with Honing a Minor Spirit and Enshrining a Guardian (isn't that what we wanted to do with Cordia?)Also I guess talk to Sylvia and the Mother of the Swamp to know about the neighboring Land Guardians, see if there's any they... don't like?
>>43994374Thanks for running.
>>43994374Thanks for running, Diarca.
>>43994374Thanks for running, Diarca. See you next time.As for planning, I'm not sure what we really can do. There are still a lot of unknowns. So I guess we can just plan to research and explore. Read through Ayren's notes on the Tyrant Wyrm and Allmother Mud, see if either of them are something we can prepare for. That will have to go in breaks during downtime, though, since we still have a lot of things to do around the village, too. We made a list a few threads back, I'll have to find it. We also should investigate the drawers, see if the spark is in there. Look up "honing" and how to enshrine spirits. Binding a Land Guardian is going to have to wait a while, I think, and I don't even know how we'd go about doing something as mystic-sounding as "Breach the Five Gates of Mu", so if the spark is in one of those drawers we're out of luck.
>>43994428>Honing a Minor SpiritWe should do some research on that. I assume it'd let us upgrade Amal/Tryd, and the latter was feeling useless a few threads back.
>>43994428No, that wouldn't work. Feral Binding a spirit that hasn't broken the Pact would just piss of Zahn. We might be able to form a Celestial Binding, though. Sylvia might be amenable to it, if we make a good enough deal. Which reminds me, we still need to plant those trees for her.
>>43994374My plan next time is definitely bone Boand.
>>43994533Hm. How far do you think Board has to climb to end up a land guardian? Ideally we try and make a celestial binding with Sylvia since we do good work together since Board will probably not get there soon, but it is simply a thought.
What if Saeri is Osyki and Boand's daughter
>>43994647Well, I think the problem there is that the land she guards is non-contiguous. And given that the waters adjacent to her new river are already occupied, any new territory we get her is also likely to be unconnected to what she already holds. So I don't think she can get the critical density of territory needed to be a Land Guardian unless she finds somewhere she can expand unchecked. It might work, she's a pretty good social climber so she might be able to negotiate for enough territory. But for now I think it's not a viable solution.
>>43994802Best idea I have for that is us making an artificial sea with her help. Although that might just mean we accidentally make a baby spirit with Boand.
>>43994968Maybe we can fill in some of the space in the northern wastes with water. I mean, rain shadow should give plenty of water there already, assuming the wind spirits don't mess with that. Though without them we'd probably be a desert instead of a temperate rainforest, so maybe I shouldn't complain about them messing with the weather.
>>43995041Wait a second, doesn't the City have to cross towards us to reach the sea? The rain shadow should be on our side, then, shouldn't it?On that note, think the main issue there is just that the area's so barren, it might do more harm than good to try and move a spirit in there, by the land then trying to drink their power to heal faster.
>>43995147There's a sea somewhere to the west of us, but the area on the other side of the mountains is apparently a peninsula. Just one that's gotten really worn out.
Who's your main girl, senpaitachi?I'm on that mermaid train.
>people wanting Ayren's leftoversEw
>>43994505I really wanna try that one first; I'm pretty sure it's what Zahn said the Hall of Reflections was for. >a way to strengthen one's spiritual allies without resorting to base cannibalism. That sounds like something you'd call Honing to me. Hall of Reflections, here we come.Also, given how we fucked up the practice field testing out Four & Cordia, the Workship Cathedral might be great for future dangerous binding enterprises. But I worry that it'll lead to us spending a ton of time meditating, which will make us seem distant to the town.I also assume Honing may lead us closer to the Vital spark, because it's something that, to our knowledge, requires the use of the Azeo Sicros. Meaning that, to pull it off, we'd have to have found it, and presumably spoken with Zahn, and potentially learned about the importance of the pact and how Totemists must be initiated. Ayren is very much a "Give you the tool once you've earned it" kind of guy. Not giving you the thing you need for initiating until you learn how important that ritual is.All of this ignores a potential issue. If the ritual requires said vital spark, who says it survives it? There may not BE a spark to find. Personally, I want to Hone Amal, because he feels weak and useless, and because more knowledge is NEVER A BAD THING, RIGHT? Further, I wonder about the results of two potential ways to pursue the "Enshrine a Guardian" drawer. I don't think it's going to lead us to the Spark, but I think it might be interesting.The First is, have we ever tried binding something to the earth? Or the walls of the Village? The Gate? Something not portable. I feel like the immobility of the object, and the idea of the unified scale, might be what it's talking about. The other case is a more literal interpretation, and it would entail building a relatively rudimentary shrine, where perhaps the spirit can deal with non-Totemists, expending power for offerings.
>>43996538>Binding something to the walls or a gateThat sounds badass