ARCHIVE: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Dungeon%20Life%20QuestPREVIOUS THREAD: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/44109941/CHARACTERS AND PLACES: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19gNVgtevar647l4ZumUaVH6GlJzvxLlDNKaH8DrQMWE/edit?usp=sharingYou are Brianna la Croix, journeyman necromancer, and this has been a very nice date.
>>44132300It's been awhile since you went on a real date at all, and you've missed it. Good conversation, good friend, a nice dinner...All things running through your mind in an effort to ignore that Nathan's getting closer. His hand squeezes yours, gently, and you squeeze back, a silent gesture of consent. The kiss is soft, almost shy, and you return it with one of your own. You rest your forehead against his, the heat high in your face, and grin like a schoolgirl. "For a guy who's never had one, you put on a pretty good date," you murmur. "Good enough for a second one?" the handsome Hero asks, boldly. "I think it just might be," you tease. "Depending on the offer. Thank you, Nathan. I...you know, I missed this.""Glad I could help," he agrees. "We should get back. We've got things to do in the morning.""Evening," you rejoin."Post-camp," he corrects, haughtily, and the two of you share a laugh. You take a single rose with you, on the way back out, to dry and preserve. * * * *It's been a little over a month since the fall of the Vintner. You've been busy, but you've also found time to attend to your own pursuits. You've worked on:> Improving your combat skills> Improving your medicinal skills> Dungeon survival trainingAs well as> Taken up an artistic hobby> Taken up a practical hobby> Started writing your own stories. Choose only one from each vote.
>>44132428> Improving your medicinal skillsAs long as we have a party, specialization is good. We have a warrior and a rogue. We need a bandaid.> Taken up a practical hobbyI'd suggest carving since it's useful for bones, but Amy already did that. So... Knitting? Must be easy to get cold feet in the dungeon, what with all the dampness and no sun. Or learn how to make condoms from sheep guts.
>>44132428>Dungeon survival trainingand> Started writing your own stories.It might not seem like the best choice, but I have a gut feeling that good things will come out of it...
> Improving your combat skills> Started writing your own stories. Let's see how deep we can make this rabbit hole go.
>>44132519Scrimshaw is artwork, not really...it's personal-scale, not structural scale. If you're thinking of like, whittling, woodworking/carpentry, etc, that's a different beast and would in fact be useful. Not trying to influence the vote, just wanna clarify my description.
>>44132428> Improving your medicinal skillsand> Taken up a practical hobby
>>44132428>Improving your combat skillsSomething focused more on self-defence though - maybe a sturdy staff, since you can use it for other stuff? Leave offense to Nate.>Taken up an artistic hobby
>>44132519>Or learn how to make condoms from sheep guts.Omg, and cute balloon animals!On a more serious note, something jewelry might work. Making talismans. And nice little friendship bracelets. That contain necromantic curses. Of friendship.
>>44132428>Improving your medicinal skillsand >Started writing your own stories.
>>44132428>Take up crafting armor out of bone with spooky necromantic powers. Start by making some bracers or something for yourself.
>>44132428> Improving our medicinal skillsWe're gonna get hurt sooner or later.> Taken up a practical hobbyMaybe something to do with ropework in general. Knots, that sort of thing.
>>44132815> Maybe something to do with ropework in general. Knots, that sort of thing.
> Improving your medicinal skillsSpecialisation would indeed be useful. And it's adjacent to what you already do.> Taken up a practical hobbyIt's nice to have a hobby that feels useful. Not something to do just for the sake of it.> Leave it to Sir Fetch to write the heroic stories. Seriously, teach him how to write if need be.
>>44132428Doc Meadows is all too happy to teach you medicine; it helps that you have a solid grounding and a deep familiarity in how people and things die. "The goal," the elf notes, "is to make them /not/ do that, however."Not even hitting him with your top hat changes that smooth, elegant expression. Fucking elves and their fucking trollfaces, those hilarious motherfuckers. As for your hobby, you've learned:> The creation of jewelry and talismans. You're no goldsmith (them burns), but you can make pretty trinkets and accessories that are receptive to enchantment. > The creation of armor and tools, primarily working in bone and wood, with Nathan's help. > Sewing & Tailoring, including patch jobs for leather and hide, with Amy's help. > The beginnings of alchemy and poison-making. * * * *FINAL WEEK OF INTERLUDE> Spend a day with Nathan> Spend a day with Amy> Write-in.
>>44133434> The creation of jewelry and talismans. You're no goldsmith (them burns), but you can make pretty trinkets and accessories that are receptive to enchantment. and> Spend a day with AmyNathan had his turn, Amy's time to shine.
>>44133434>Spend a day with Amy
>>44133434> The beginnings of alchemy and poison-making.> Spend a day with AmyWe dated Nathan, might as well give Amy a turn. Fair is fair, after all.
>>44133434>The creation of jewelry and talismans. You're no goldsmith (them burns), but you can make pretty trinkets and accessories that are receptive to enchantment.Sorry, forgot my other vote from here>>44133482
>>44133434> The beginnings of alchemy and poison-making. > Spend a day with AmyI'm also wondering how Kells is doing
>>44133434>Sewing & Tailoring, including patch jobs for leather and hide, with Amy's help. And> Spend a day with both Nathan and Amy. Group Picnic!
> The creation of jewelry and talismans. You're no goldsmith (them burns), but you can make pretty trinkets and accessories that are receptive to enchantment. On one hand we could get everyone kitted out in magic trinkets and such...> The creation of armor and tools, primarily working in bone and wood, with Nathan's help. ...on the other hand, this would be the first step to get Sir Fetch his own bone mech. (Or at least help in reinforcing him in practical manners.)Hm... no. Poultry jewelry is a thing too. They've got necks to hang bracelets around.---Going with this one:> The creation of jewelry and talismans. You're no goldsmith (them burns), but you can make pretty trinkets and accessories that are receptive to enchantment.
>>44133570> Spend a day with both Nathan and Amy. Group Picnic!I think I like this option.
>>44133434> Sewing & Tailoring, including patch jobs for leather and hide, with Amy's help. and > Spend a day with Amy
Votes called. This will be the final even of the interlude. After, I'm going to take a two-hour break to handle some stuff in real life before starting PART TWO: CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU.
>>44133434You like working with your hands and have an eye for fine details, and end up making small, beautiful objects of bone, wood, and other materials. One of your first projects is a small hair clip, with a little stylized skull, that helps Amy see in the dark without you having to repeatedly cast your death sight on her. It looks cute on her, as she notices - to considerable excitement - when she checks it in the mirror. Amy is rarely seen without your gift from then on. * * * * You decide that it might be nice to spend some time with Amy. Convince the girl to spend a day off and relax for a bit, maybe get to know her better. It doesn't help that you feel a bit guilty. You hadn't pushed Nate away the way you did Amy. It's been eating at your brain for days. And so, full up on caffeine, you go to find Amy, reasoning that at this time of day...night...fucking Dungeon...she'll be at the Mercy Hut, helping with the treatment of the Vintner's other victims. When you find her, she is sitting in a bed with one of them, an adolescent elf with three piercings in each ear, stroking the teen's hair and murmuring softly. The elf holds her tightly and sobs. "It's alright," the harpy girl coos softly. "It was a dream, little one. You're safe. You're never going in a cage again."You wait at the door, watching solemnly. Meadows, passing silently, presses a mug of tea into your hand - the Dungeon has Starfall's habit of drinking more tea than water and beer /combined/ - before attending on another one of his patients. Eventually, Amy has calmed the young elf, and encouraged her to join two of the other patients, where they are knitting and conversing in quiet, pleasant tones. She looks around the room, sees you, and lights up - her icy blue eyes widen, and she bounces just a little on the balls of her feet.You can see the wings that aren't there, fluttering happily.
>>44134273Amy crosses the room and ruffles your hair, that little smile of excitement all over her face. "Hey Bri," she murmurs, not wanting to disturb the peace. She looks around while you set down your tea and then follows you outside, where she gives you a tight, quick hug. You grin sideways. "It's nice to see you too. I...I knew you helped, but is that what you do every day?"Amy nods, her eager expression becoming softer, more compassionate. "I...I'm doing okay. Or. Not okay, but better. I'm...I don't want to say tougher because they're not weak. They're /not/. But I had a rough job and. And I'm used to rough shit, sometimes. From growing up down here. From, you know, from dungeonbreaking. Sometimes traps happen, or you get sick, or..." she sighs. "So I help. Because they were good people living good lives and something awful happened to them, and they weren't ready for it. And they shouldn't have had to be." You smile, in understanding. "What'cha need, though?" the bird girl says brightly. > Go shopping. See the town. Talk. > Ask if she wants to explore the Basement with you. > Ask her what she'd do with a whole day to herself, then see if she minds you tagging along. > Write-in.I haven't offered any options that are explicitly romantic; if anon wants to make that move, be clear that's what you're angling at.
>>44134388> Go shopping. See the town. Talk.
>>44134388>> Write-in.Picnic Date!
>>44134388>> Go shopping. See the town. Talk.
>>44134388>Ask her what she'd do with a whole day to herself, then see if she minds you tagging along.date! It's a date!
>>44134388>Ask her what she'd do with a whole day to herself, then see if she minds you tagging along.
>>44134388Whatever way we go, I'm voting we do it as a date...no real preference on WHERE we go, though.
>>44134388>Going naked into the Labyrinth and attempting to hunt boars!It went well the first time!
>Going naked into the Labyrinth and attempting to hunt boars!
>>44134548>>44134733...No. I'm gonna call in the sanity veto on this one.
>>44134421Does it have to be a picnic? It seems kinda rude to Nate to do the /exact/ same thing.> Definitely a date though.
>>44134974Dropping the quest, way to fucking railroad us OP!Not really
Alright folks, calling the vote. Tallying. Writing.
For the votes who voted picnic, I'll note that it would both be kinda rude and a bit annoying on my end. I'll tally that as a lunch date to keep the essential spirit though.
>>44134981>>44135708I'll be honest, it just hadn't even occured to me that there'd be restaurants here, but yes, a lunch date is what I was thinking.
>>44135708So you make concessions for the picnic people but not us boar hunters!? How dare you!
>>44135813Just think of that poor confused boar, wandering around alone; it never really had a chance to figure out what happened.
>>44134388Aaand date and not-date tied. You punks. Here's hoping this works as a compromise."You doing anything else important today?" you ask. Amy looks thoughtful. "I was gonna see Kells, show him s'more of my work," she muses. "He wants me to decorate his bones eventually, since he can't. Says he used to have tattoos, y'know?""...Amy, that's fucking adorable," you say with a broad grin. She smiles happily and chirps. "Can you get ahold of him and let him know that you're spending the day with me? That is, if you'd like to." Amy's eyes light up. "Really?""Really," you confirm, trying so hard not to chuckle at her eagerness. "Meet you back at the house?""I'llberightthereyoudon'tevenknow." Amy jumps, alights on a pedestrian's head and kicks off of the surprised Lakehallow denizen. She floats down onto a roof and takes off running. "...Huh," you note mildly, and then you walk back to your house.
>>44136024Fuck I missed the vote.I would have voted date
>>44136024You pack your pipe's bowl and get it lit, but true to her word Amy's there in record time; you hear her hit the roof lightly, and then she's opening the front door. "What're we doing?" she asks, all bright attention. "Figured we'd hit the market. Talk, shop, maybe wander the town. Just spend some time together." "Sounds great! I need some material to practice with, and we could use more rose hips, and..."You let Amy chat happily, establishing the shopping list while you head back towards the market. When she laces her fingers with yours, you don't pull away from her hand. She has an infectious verve that it's hard not to get caught up in. "I've been wondering something," you mention, moving between one stall and another. "Where're you from? You've mentioned some things about your family, but...""Oh." Amy blinks those blue, blue eyes at you. "Well, I'm from here. The Dungeon. Specifically, I'm from a..." she frowns. "The terminology's not precise. I suppose you'd call it a subsection, called the Roost. It's this shaft, this massive shaft, that connects levels four through eight. It's almost a mile straight down, and almost all of the Dungeon's harpies live there, along with a lot of other things. The Roost's big, and kinda chaotic. Communities form in the tunnels that line it, and the levels it connects to have an interest in who comes and who goes." She shrugs. "Don't look up in the Roost; you'll get blood in your eyes. Old saying.""Wow," you murmur. "You grew up there?""Uh-huh. Dad was an adventurer, looking for fame and glory, but when he and his companions found this treasure they were after, they kicked Dad down the Roost. Mom saved him. Broke both his legs doing it too. Mom says the Lady of Ravens hates traitors."
>>44136461"I'm not a fan of them either," you murmur darkly. The conversation pauses while Amy haggles over the price of some small carving tools. The two of you stop to grab some food and lean in an alley, eating while it's still hot.Amy makes a little noise in her throat before she says, casually, "So, how'd the date with Nathan go?"> Choke on your food. You can't answer if you're dyiiiiiing.> You were watching?!?> You know, really well.
> Choke on your food. You can't answer if you're dyiiiiiing.
>>44136509>> Choke on your food. You can't answer if you're dyiiiiiing.
>>44136509> Choke on your food. You can't answer if you're dyiiiiiing.
>>44136509> You were watching?!?with maybe a hint of>Not bad, it was a sweet gesture.After all, I get the feeling that necromancers don't get much in the way of "little touches" in a romantic sense, probably just a choice of "Begone foul witch" or "Yer used to bones, ain'tcha?"
>>44136509It went alright
>>44136509> You know, really well.
> Choke on your food. You can't answer if you're dyiiiiiing.the only response cmon
>>44136509>You know, really well.crazy thought here but is there any reason we can't go harem route and get both? I mean they seem to get along with each other just fine
>>44137016Might have something to do with the fact that I don't do harems. I've been advised that there's difficulties in portraying poly relationships in quests; /if/ I am stupid enough to disregard that advice, I will be making every effort to depict it with accuracy and respect. I'm not trying to imply anything about my readership, just letting you know where I stand on the issue. Calling the vote, writing.
>>44136509You choke on the bite of food in your mouth, which is great because it saves you from having to immediately react. Amy pats your back with an amused expression on her face. "If it makes you feel better," she says gently, "it's because he told me.""When?" you ask, puzzled. Air. Air is nice. Is this what Nathan feels like all the time?"He asked if I'd mind, before he did it. Like. He wasn't asking my /permission/, but he...and anyone with eyes...knows I've got a thing for you, and he didn't want to hurt my feelings."You stand back up straight and give the harpy girl a curious look. "What'd you say?"She shrugs. "That everyone here's an adult, in theory. I don't own him or you. So how'd it go?" "It was fun," you admit. "Relaxing. He asked me to tell him a story. We...y'know.""He a good kisser?""WHY ARE YOU THE CALM ONE HERE?"Amy laughs prettily. "Because you're funny when you look all flustered like that, Bri." She offers her hand out. "C'mon, we've got the whole rest of the day to kill. I'm sorry I teased you."Your eyes flick to her hand. > Take it and continue to see the town. > Don't take it, but continue to see the town. > Ask for some time to yourself. > Write-in.
>>44137608> Take it and continue to see the town. There's only one option available to us. Counter Fluster!
>>44137608> Take it and continue to see the town. So.... a little birdy told her?
> Don't take it, but continue to see the town.
>break down in shame
>>44137608>Take it and continue to see the townTHE ONLY CHOICE
>>44137608> Take it and continue to see the town. >>44137670I don't even think that is possible. we need to find out
Calling in six minutes.
>>44137608> Take it and continue to see the town. Don't do harems, just give anons an actual choice and hold them to it, the long term will be worth the short term shitstorm. Also Everyone elses waifu is shit.
>>44137608>Take hand and continue to see town
Vote called, writing.
>>44137608You take Amy's hand. "Let's. Can you tell me more about your home?"Amy chats happily, which becomes increasingly more unnerving as you realize that there are prisons friendlier than the Roost; the tale of blood and power struggles she weaves, not to mention some of the scars she shows off, is disquieting at best. "Mom and Dad eventually moved, though," she notes, mildly. "We set up shop on the fourth floor - the Mine. Dad helps process the metals they find there. Mom's hired to sing to the miners, keeps morale up and puts them in a steady, working rhythm.""...That sounds both comforting and a little creepy," you admit. "It's sorta both?" Amy agrees. "But it eases their stress. Like, it doesn't make them do anything. But it takes away some of the grind of the day, eases some of their burning muscles and gritted teeth. People who work hard and break their back for a living feel better for what she does. That so bad?""...Y'know, I don't think it is," you agree. "...Not meaning any offense but I sorta understand how you took down that construct now.""Yeah, I've done some shit," Amy says softly. "But you can't let it put you down. Dad used to say...what'd he say..." Amy trails off, and then speaks up, quoting. "Should I curse the day, because I know night is coming?" "I'd like to meet your father," you admit. "Ooooh," the harpy teases; she turns to face you, still holding your hand. "And why would you have a call to be meetin' my parents, Ms. la Croix?"> Funny answer> Teasing answer> Kiss her> "I didn't mean it like that."
>Cause it would be awkward to meet after I got you prego.
> Funny answer
>>44138865>Cause it would be awkward to meet after I got you prego.Which I guess is a subset of> Teasing Answer
>>44138720> Teasing answerPerhaps with a bit of "I'd ask you to meet mine first, but seances are a bitch".
> "I totally mean it like that."
>>44138720>> Teasing answer
Vote extended, I need to go out and about to do some things.
>>44138720> Teasing answercounter-fluster, activate!
>>44138720>>44138865>Cause it would be awkward to meet after I got you prego.I'ma nut in yo butt, bird
>>44138720> Teasing AnswerDefinitely try and fluster her back as best we can. Because Amy is adorable and I enjoy flustering adorable people.Also, just got back from a bit of a break, and I must say Vox's opinions on harems is making me seriously consider trying for the threesome. Because like, screw harems, but egalitarian poly relationships are cool and don't get portrayed often enough.
>>44138720> Teasing answer
>>44139540>Because like, screw harems, but egalitarian poly relationships are cool and don't get portrayed often enough.In my second-hand Because holy shit one woman is time consuming enough experience they end in catfights and bloodshed.
>>44139540Consider, and I say this with all the love in my heart, that they don't get portrayed in quests a lot because there's not a lot of faith that it'll be handled maturely.Back home. Votes called. Writing.
>>44139776Mine (firsthand) has differed. You need good people, though. Amy and Nathan... Might or might not fit that bill. Hard to say without testing it.
>>44139776>>44140674From what I've seen - a few different couples trying it - The main thing needs to be that everyone's into everyone else. If one person has two S.O.s, that's no bueno, but if those two people are ALSO into each other, it can work. So long as, as mentioned, everyone involved are pretty decent people. I think it COULD work here, Amy and Nathan seem to have good chemistry, but it's too early to tell for certain.
>>44138720"It'd be a bit awkward to meet them /after/ you're already bearing my child," you say casually, shrugging as if it's the most natural thing in the world. Amy turns bright, bright red, her expression caught between excitement, disbelief, joy, fear, and lust. She stares at you in confused hope. And then it hits her."You're a girl!" the bird says hotly. "You can't - we can't - dammit Bri!" You have to hold yourself up against the wall for the laughing. Amy crosses her arms over her chest and huffs. "You're mean," she sulks. You wipe a tear from your eye and give her a hug; when you start scritching her hair she melts pleasantly and coos. "I'm sorry I snapped at you the other day," you murmur. "Out by the river.""I forgave you weeks ago, dork," Amy says back, rubbing her head against your hand. "...You're warm." You look down at the snuggling bird girl, with her happy little noises and her little pleased shoulder twitches. Fuck it.You kiss her gently, on the lips; not a peck, but not the hesitant, exploring thing you'd shared with Nathan either. She stiffens and nestles into your arms, whimpering softly in dissapointment when you pull away. "What's that for?" the half-harpy says dreamily. "For reminding me that I'm allowed to just be happy sometimes," comes the quiet answer. "C'mon. Let's get home. Nate'll be back any minute." "...Cuddle pile?""Sure."
>>44140737Our interlude, BASEMENT DWELLERS, is now concluded. In approximately two hours, I will begin PART TWO: CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU. Thoughts? Feelings? Critique? Questions? Angry Russian assassins out for my blood?
>>44140771Thoughts: Nice minefield navigation skillsFeelings: Amusement and very mild arousalCritique: The only one I can think is "write faster", and you always have a reason when you get slowed down.Questions: What kind of scrimshaw is the ol' Cap'n planning to get on his new bones?Angry Russian assassins out for your blood: Two, but I'm sure you can handle them.
>>44140737>"...Cuddle pile?"Still no bunk beds?
>>44140891There's the bunk and Amy's nest. She's asking for cuddle pile.
>>44140715Mmmm. Not as such, but two S.O.s is a bit different from my experience, so close. The expectations need to be the same for everyone - it's fine for each partner to have partners that they don't share, or one partner to decide 'You're plenty', as long as they're all allowed to do the same things if they wish to. Accepting that people are 'yours' if at all only in fairly limited senses is important. (Mind that is important for most relationships, just. Even more so here.)
>>44140973Oh, I was specifically referring to a three person partnership, for lack of a better term, though for an "open" relationship you're completely correct.
>>44141013Ah, yeah. Fair enough. If we're going for a closed partnership then yes, that would be the way to do it. (Also I totally vote Triad for term. "You set up a crime family in your dungeon?" shenanigans and all that.)
>>44140771I am angry. Angry about crocodiles.You're a great QM and I have enjoyed everything thus far. Keep on doin' what you're doing. I hope there are plans for Kells in the future.
>>44141057You are a scholar and a gentleman, ser, and I approve of your term choice. That being said, it's moot, as I'm ACTUALLY hoping that we end up with Amy and Nathan ends up with the doctor lady in town. Highly unlikely? Sure. Perfect combination of sexy and adorable? Damn straight.
>>44141106Thank you, kind ser; 'tis a joy to meet someone else who appreciates wordplay. And Brooks up in Glen? I would support that, yes. Hopefully we can make it happen, though with him having chosen Dungeon and her up there... Tricky.
>>44141294Well, nothing worth having is ever easy. But it helps that Nathan appears to be functioning as a kind of sort of liaison to Glen for the goblins and the like.
>>44141330Good point. There's a fair chance given Lakehallow is basically 'home' now that he'll actually be away less than he would have been as a soldier.
>>44141330>>44141400Don't be so sure. The Dungeon runs deep and wide, and something is deeply wrong with it. Also, recall that Brooks has her eye on someone.
>>44141434Honestly, I thought she had her eye on him in a "fun for a fling" way...curses, my parade is all wet now, someone rained on it...
>>44141434She does, but that's dependent on it working out. Not saying that it won't, but from what she said, it seems like if Nathan got his head together enough to actually try taking her out on a few dates, she'd not be opposed to the idea. The fuckedupness of the Dungeon is a problem though. Not very nice to her to try and get with her before we clear that out, but also probably a bit late to do so after.
>>44141465Honestly, there was a pang of sad when she brought up there might be someone else. I wanted those two, also.You should marry your best friend that you want to bone, right /tg/?
>>44141465Well, it's not like someone can't be open to advances from more than one person. And Brooks did seem open to ours too.
>>44141567> You should marry your best friend that you want to bone, right /tg/?Can't say as I've gotten as far as marriage, but that general strategy has led me to some pretty awesome relationships so far, so I'm going with yes.
>>44141567>You should marry your best friend that you want to bone, right /tg/?Been happily married for a decade and a half off that strategy.
>>44141567Pretty sure that's how it works most of the time. Every functional relationship I've seen was that, at least. "True love" is a lie compared to a deep, close friendship that happens to include sex.
>>44140771Thoughts: This is a really awesome quest so far.Feelings: Amy's pretty cute.Critique: The updates are a little slow, votes deciding what to do shouldn't take more than 20 minutes.Questions: Amy and Nate would bang, right?Assassins: Nah, you're a pretty cool Qm.
>>44140771I tried sending assassins, but they ended up reading the thread, too.
>>44140887> Questions: What kind of scrimshaw is the ol' Cap'n planning to get on his new bones?Kells had tattoos to commemorate his great accomplishments in life. These were all nearly universally horrific. Now he wants to commemorate his new role in death. >>44142436> Questions: Amy and Nate would bang, right?If encouraged, perhaps. It's not like they find each other unattractive, but Amy glommed onto Bri pretty fast and Nate...has his own reasons.
>>44142581AKA 'Nate has his head up his ass about being an unholy abomination'?
>>44142626That'd be an odd reason to like Brianna.
>>44142651Regarding his reasons re: Amy. (Assassins: Upgraded to seven.)
Part two starts at midnight. Strap yourselves in, folks.
>>441426753... 2... 1... Midnight achieved!
DUNGEON LIFE QUEST PART TWO: CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOUYou feel like you've barely been asleep when your eyes snap open. Something is wrong, in the distance; a distortion in Lakehallow's death, a creeping sense of something filthy. You roll the feeling over your tongue. Necromancy. The blunt kind, that gets taught out of books bound in human skin by people who should have had a lot more love as children. As Grandmother la Croix would have called it, "wizard necromancy." You almost run into Slaughter on your way out of the house, pipe lit to kill that awful taste. You didn't wake Amy and Nathan; this isn't their concern. "What is it?" you ask immediately. "It's for you," she says in a low, shaky voice. "Follow me."You can feel your stomach churn as you get closer; there's pain mixed into the magic, an icy agony that saws at your guts and makes you wince with every step. You slip into Slaughter's house and see it. It used to be one of Lakehallow's diplomats. Now her naked body has been cut deep with wounds clearly inflicted while she was alive, wounds that crawl with maggots and ooze pus and tarnished silver dust. The extent of the torture is gut-churning, and at the look on your face, Slaughter offers you a pot, silently. You heave into it, smelling acrid bile as your vomit fills the small pot. You tremble, then spit, and wipe your lips. Mutely, the corpse extends an envelope towards you. Her eyes have silver nails driven through them, gone all black with the rot of the metal. You take the letter in a shaking hand. "Get some soldiers. Drag that thing outside and kill it. Hack it to pieces, burn it, and then burn anything that touched it."Slaughter opens her mouth to protest, closes it, and does as you asked.
>>44143068The envelope is thick parchment, sealed with wax; the seal depicts a coin, standing on edge a top a table. When you open it, the envelope spills a pile of rich golden coins onto the table, far more than it could ever hold. And each and every one of them reeks of death and sacrilege, of the outrage of ghosts and the sheer, unchecked arrogance of the living. You'd vomit again, if you had anything left. Who would commit such /blasphemy/?A letter floats onto the pile, in a neat, clipped script, like you have seen merchants write in."To the Heritor,Greetings from the Lichyard! It has been brought to my attention that you, as a concerned Dungeon citizen, have taken an interest in the affairs of the Lichyard. Rest assured that I have the matter well in hand, and you need not disturb yourself. I am afraid that my men were unable to rescue your diplomats before renegade forces executed them. We were, however, able to recover one body, which has been returned to you. Please accept this gold as wergild for your loss, and as a token of my appreciation for your interest. You will be contacted when the Lichyard is once again ready for trade. My regards,Lisa the SeekerOwner, Ventures in HistoryMoneychangerStepladders Repaired"You let the envelope go, consumed with disgust and fury. How dare she? How /dare/ she?You sweep the coins into your pack. You can dispose of them later. > Wake Nathan and Amy> Find Slaughter> Find somewhere to scream without disturbing others> Write-in.
>>44143266> Find Slaughter
>>44143266> Wake Nathan and Amy> Find Slaughter
>>44143266> Find somewhere to scream without disturbing othersThen> Wake Nathan and Amy> Find SlaughterBecause this sounds like it's very much some "I need to howl at the uncaring sky" levels of blasphemy, but after that's done, we need a war council.
>>44143266> Find somewhere to scream without disturbing othersThe Seeker, or perhaps the moneychanger. Do we need to kill her?
>>44143430Is that a serious question, we need to kill her for her crimes against nature and common decency alone. Shes the puppy kicking wizard douchebag murderer that is responsible for those strict anti necromancy laws that got us thrown in here to begin with.
>>44143266> Find Slaughter and explain you need to > Meet Nathan and Amy for a war council involving the four of us. > While we're looking for her, have Fetch wake Nathan and Amy.
>>44143266> Wake Nathan and AmyThis may require some emotional support. Plus, who knows, they might need some stepladders repaired.
> Find somewhere to scream without disturbing others
>>44143470I meant is she one of our Angel chain targets.Also i checked and she is.>"The Traitor.">"The Pallbearer.">"The Moneychanger.">"The Poet.">"The Baron.">"The Librarian.">"The Diviner.">"The Debtor." >"The Lush.">"The Wyrm.">"The Daughter." >At last, her fingers go to the leash at her neck. "The Master."
>>44143430 Not at first. We capture her first. And then we summon up every fucking ghost she's chained to this realm with fear and pain and blood and we feed them her soul.
>>44143266We should probably keep those coins (and the envelope) separate. Probably burn the latter now, even. And point out that the coins were sent and we're not accepting them.
so, odds that the lichyard really isn't responsible for this?
>>44143552I like your style, but if the Vintner was any indication, Lora's got it covered.
>>44143539So we need to murder her with extreme prejudice.
Ahhh, new pot of coffee is done. Excuse me, fair readers. I'll be right back.
>>44143266>Find SlaughterOh boy. Time for more adventuring.
Votes called, writing. Sweet, sweet coffee.
>>44143266It's tempting, so tempting, to go someplace and scream until your lungs bleed and your vision blacks out. But you have work to do. And a la Croix does her job. You tap out what's left of your pipe into the fireplace, then step outside and pack a new bowl. You need something to focus on. Something to do with your hands. Puffing in checked fury, you go to find Slaughter. She is, as you might have guessed, supervising the disposal of that poor, dead /thing/. Bits of its body are thrown onto a roaring bonfire, which is increasingly attracting citizens to it. "We need to talk," you say in a low voice, and she follows you away from them, down the stone beach. You puff your pipe quietly, looking for a place to begin. "You take someone," you murmur. "And you drive silver nails in their eyes. And then you kill them, slowly. You kill them for hours, seeding the wounds with maggots and silver, and you make sure they suffer. Some necromancers skin them. Others, like this one, torture them. If you do it right, their ghost rises from the corpse, horrified at the state of its death. And you grab the ghost, with sorcery or with a rope that killed a man, and cram it back in its own corpse. It feels everything. The pain never stops.""Gods," Slaughter whispers. "All of that gets you a servant. Powerful, intelligent, capable. It obeys orders to the best of its ability. And it never feels anything but pain. Not fear. Not sorrow. Not guilt. Just pain. Pain and rage." You glare, hatefully, at the fires. "She just wasted one to send us a /message/."
>>44144297"Worse," you snarl, gripped by rage. "She tried to /buy me off/. With gold! Gold, of all things! She ought to fucking know better. The la Croix are not for SALE!"The last word echoes across the water and back towards you; you are distantly aware that Slaughter has shrunk back from you. "What are the odds that she'll come after Lakehallow?""This was a show of force. I'd say pretty high.""...What do you want me to do?"> Prepare the defenses.> See to our allies. Warn them, now. > Ask Glen to get reinforcements from Starfall, if they can. Choose only one.
>>44144376> See to our allies. Warn them, now.
>>44144376>> See to our allies. Warn them, now.Seems like our best bet. If they know of the problem, they can all band together in defense, which would be better than the defenses of just one town.
>>44144376> See to our allies. Warn them, now. which group is closest to the lichyard gets warned first.
>>44144376>See to our allies. Warn them, now.Pretty sure we aren't needed to prepare the defenses. Better off making sure all the allies know whats happening.
>>44144376> See to our allies. Warn them, now. They're probably in slightly more danger too, if they're closer to the lichyard. We need to make sure everyone in our sphere of influence knows what's coming and gets ready for war. Someone get our monster crododile mayor prepared as well.
>>44144376>See to our allies. Warn them, now.the worst part of evil necromancers is the fact that they get stronger the more you lose.
Called. Writing final update of the night. I need sleep to sustain my hate.
>>44144297> "And you grab the ghost, with sorcery or with a rope that killed a man..." So rope that killed a man can bind ghosts. This seems like it could be useful at some point - does Amy know how to use a garotte? >>44144376 > See to our allies. Warn them, now. That's the most important thing. We should be setting up our own defenses too, of course, but we are not going to abandon them.
"Get messengers to our allies. And warn Kells," you add. "Let them know what's coming. I'm going down there.""Brianna, no one is asking -"Ms. Slaughter stops talking when she sees the look in your eyes."I have a job to do," you murmur. "I'm going down there."You turn and walk away, feet pounding on the stone. After a moment, you hear Slaughter start giving orders. The house isn't too far, and you eat up the distance in long, energized strides. You're awake now, godsdamnit. Gold. Gold /stolen from the dead/. How fucking /dare/ she!You open the door back into your new home and pause. Up in her nest in the rafters, Amy is crying in her sleep. "Let me out," the harpy girl moans. "Please let me out. I'll be good. I'll be a good girl..."You take in a deep breath and let it out slowly. > Wake Nathan and Amy briskly. You want to get started /now/. > Let them sleep. They'll need it, and you need time to prepare. > Wake just one of them (choose one).> Go up into the rafters and cuddle up to the bird. She doesn't have nightmares when someone sleeps with her. > Write-in.
>>44144805> Wake Nathan and Amy briskly. You want to get started /now/.
>>44144805> Wake Nathan and Amy briskly. You want to get started /now/. No time to be gentle. We'll make it up to her later.
> Wake just one of them (choose one).Wake up Amy first. Console her. Then get on with business.
>>44144805> Go up into the rafters and cuddle up to the bird. She doesn't have nightmares when someone sleeps with her. Wake her if we need to, though. Besides which... Quite honestly, we could use someone to hold right now ourselves. And running off without preparation doesn't get us anything.
>>44144805> Wake Nathan and Amy briskly. You want to get started /now/. They would do the same to us, and we need to get mobilized. Regardless of our proclivities, all three of us are big damn Heroes.
>>44144805>Wake Nathan and Amy briskly. You want to get started /now/.I want to go with this, but waking Amy gently if possible.
Vote will be left open overnight while I sleep.Thanks again for participating folks! As always, open to questions, comments, feedback. Archiving thread now.
>>44144875Wake up Amy first and console for a short while waking up the others.Also, start figuring out a game plan. Brainstorming 'what' to do is probably the most important thing right now.
>>44144956It helps a lot with Vox's voting if you can greentext votes, please.
>>44144968...Tallying. Damnit. You get the point.
> Wake Nathan and Amy briskly. You want to get started /now/.
>>44144805> Wake Nathan and Amy briskly. You want to get started /now/. This is too important for them to sleep in.
>>44144805Wow. I just got back from work and...holy shit. If Brianna wasn't on the warpath before, she sure as hell is now.>Cuddle up to the poor bird for a little while, try to calm yourself down before you wake your companions up and call a war council with Lakehallow, the Labyrinth tribe, and the East Side.
>>44144805>> Wake Nathan and Amy briskly. You want to get started /now/.
So... Something that I don't think has been considered. We are, unlike when we sent Nate and Amy and Fetch off to deal with the Vintner, dealing with someone who's a dedicated minion-creator. I know that on the face of it, that sounds silly - Vintner had constructs, shrouded in illusions; he was making more. He had Miles. However, from an objective point of view, he had - at an optimistic guess - five and a half actual minions and a pet animal. Miles was doing everything he could to not help him, so he barely counts, at most. Now. Let's look at the disposition of said minions/pet: The crocodile was alone in the river. Technically speaking, we could have killed it on our own, by calling on Mark, though Nathan's distraction was certainly helpful. Still, we could have cleared it out. Two abominations against nature were wasted sending them into Lakehallow to try and assassinate us. This was... Not the best plan, honestly. There were very high odds that we could get rid of them; they hit hard, yes, but quite frankly he should have realized that we'd be able to detect them. And he ought to have tried to scout out first; if he had, he'd have realized that the people of Lakehallow would have guards to handle them, invisible or not, and that we had companions. Then we hit the Labyrinth Clan. Who were very tenuous allies, not minions, and didn't even want him around. Through careful planning and a willingness to negotiate we proceeded to bypass every single trap he had set for us, culminating in our being able to get into his inner sanctum. Where the last remaining constructs, under shitty invisibility, not the good stuff, that he knew Amy could break, were. We dispatched those as easily as the last and Miles didn't even do put up a fight. (Cont.)
>>44147665Going into the Lichyard, we are going to be taking on someone who is in fact dedicated to making things to fight for them and/or overwhelm us with numbers. We've seen how nasty even an undead chicken can be; she has access to better materials in staggering quantities. And not only that, but from what Vox said about necromancy earlier she isn't even having to burn her life to do it, just use the level's connection to death. Plus, on top of that, she's had before we ever came in and the time we've been here to prepare, she knows the sorts of things we can likely do and how to guard against them, and has probably been upgrading the undead she started with for months now. On top of which? She has MONEY. Money that she can use to pay mercenaries and get equipment for both them and her skeletal/rotting army. We do not want to go into this without both a strong force from our allies and a solid plan.
>>44147702One other consideration, and one I think we should "remind" Bri of as we go take on this lady--She's either mercilessly detached, or this was all very expertly calculated to piss Bri off and get her off her game. My money is on the latter. This isn't just the taboo of killing the messenger, it's the insult of flagrant misuse of necromancy--basically an insult tailored specifically to Bri and her respect for the sanctity of death. The Moneychanger wants us storming in with fury instead of thinking it through. We need to be cold and clinical in dismantling her shit.
>>44148326well....yeah.But I think there's more to the money than that. If this Moneychanger is fully aware of spiritual value of currency JUST to piss Bri off, I think she can use other methods to pay for something more than just mercenaries. Probably magical, but more than just that.I don't think fae go for money, but what creatures do? Greed Demons? Yojimbo-like ghosts? Or maybe even royal intervention?
44148326 "The Moneychanger wants us storming in with fury instead of thinking it through. We need to be cold and clinical in dismantling her shit."> This. Start by waking up and calming down Amy, and maybe it'll help calm Bri down some, as well.
>>44149079> Start by waking up and calming down Amy, and maybe it'll help calm Bri down some, as well.Seconded. Anger is plenty warranted right now, but we need cold wrath, not blind rage. We need to be a professional about this, because our enemy isn't. And if anyone can help us with that, it's Amy.
I live once more. I need to get some things around and take care of morning chores; you have thirty minutes to conclude voting, discuss, and/or change any votes you want changed.
That took longer than I wanted it to. Looks like 'wake them up' won, with a strong showing for 'wake Amy first', so we're gonna roll with that. Writing.
>>44144805You put out your pipe and set it on the table, then climb the ladder up into the rafters. Amy's curled in on herself, shivering in fear as the nightmare holds her in its grip. "Ames," you murmur. Her eyes snap open, her pupils terrified pinpricks hiding in the midst of the ice, but she relaxes when she sees you. She holds back a sob, at least until you hug her close. "I know," you murmur. "It's okay, Ames. You're home."Amy wipes her eyes and sniffs. She nuzzles her head against your chest, only to freeze up. Her gaze tilts up to your face."You're shaking," the bird girl says quietly. "Something's wrong.""Yeah," you agree. "We've got a job to do." Amy nods and extracts herself from the hug; she drops from the rafters, landing lightly, and shakes Nathan awake while you climb down the ladder. You explain, standing in a corner of the house with your pipe in hand. You know you're being standoffish. You're not sure you care. Nathan listens with growing concern; Amy shakes quietly while she packs things for the journey below. "Might be worth it to ask Kells what he knows about the Lichyard," Nathan suggests, flicking his eyes towards the bird girl. "...Maybe even waiting a bit before we go down.""I'm not -""Thinking straight," Nathan interjects, firmly but not harshly. "Look at yourself, Brianna. You're...""Scary," Amy finishes quietly. ...Oh. > No. We still need to get moving, faster the better.> Maybe you're right. I'll go find Kells and...and calm down. > I'm sorry. This hit really close to home. > Write-in.
>>44150261> Maybe you're right. I'll go find Kells and...and calm down. Its assholes like that one in the lichyard that is the reason we're down here to begin with.
>>44150261>> I'm sorry. This hit really close to home.> Write-in. Regardless, we need to get going. The threat was clear. We have a responsibility to help these people and put this cunt down, hard.
>>44150261>> Maybe you're right. I'll go find Kells and...and calm down.Never a good plan to be going into a war overcome by emotion. A battle, maybe, if it's something we can channel, but we're not going to be going into battle for a while yet, and we need to be thinking clearly.
>>44150261You sigh. "I. You're right. I'm not thinking straight and that's not a great place to be. Quite aside from..you know, rushing in, that's how you end up with armies of shambling zombies and shit.""You have the /best/ occupational hazards," Amy jokes, with a weak smile. You chuckle around the pipe. "You know, I kinda do. Still, I'd like to move soon. I'm going to go consult with Kells and see if he can tell me anything of the Lichyard. Nathan, we'll need iron. You'll both want hammers too.""Skeletons?" Nathan says with a sigh."You fuckin' know it." <Fetch?><Are you feeling better, O my queen?> the bird asks, his formal tone tinged with concern. <...No, but I got some good advice. Go with Nathan and Amy. Let me know when they're ready.>Everyone goes their separate ways; Amy puts Fetch on her head, and he settles in with his usual air of great dignity. You go walking along the shore of the lake until you find a quiet enough spot, and then you whistle sharply over the water. Kells emerges, silently, and settles in on the stone. "Been awhile," the pirate notes. "Been busy," you answer with a shrug. "You've the air of someone with something on their soul, girl. This business, or be ye seekin' a friendly ear?"> I...honestly, it might be nice to have someone listen. Someone not lusting after my pants. > I appreciate it Kells, but we need to talk business. > Business. And don't presume, bone boy.
>>44150659>> I appreciate it Kells, but we need to talk business.
>>44150659> I appreciate it Kells, but we need to talk business.
>>44150659>> I appreciate it Kells, but we need to talk business.> ...Well, maybe a little of both, actually.
>>44150659Amy is becoming Fetch's faithful steed, isn't she?> I appreciate it Kells, but we need to talk business.
>>44150757>> I appreciate it Kells, but we need to talk business.> ...Well, maybe a little of both, actually.What he said
>>44150659"...I appreciate the thought, Kells, but I've got business to attend to. What can you tell me about the Lichyard?"Kells raises his head in what you're pretty sure is curiosity. "Can't say as I've spent much time there. The Lichyard is...special. It's more than just an ordinary bone orchard; the dead that are buried there have their rest. Their graves are shielded, free from disturbance. Never have I been in more sacred a place. Kings and emperors are buried there, and horrors so foul that only the Lichyard was entrusted to prevent their return. Sometimes, residents of the Dungeon have that privilege. It is the place no grave robber can ever touch. They say the gods themselves protect it."You swear, in a dozen languages, spitting the worst curses you can think of and rapidly descend into making more. It's only after you've flung your hat onto the ground that you realize maybe you should calm down. "I won't ask for your secrets, girl," Kells says frankly. "I've a job of my own, and I'll do it. If the Lichyard's been disturbed, if that compact be broken, then I suspect you've a job to do as well.""I have family down there," you whisper, your voice tight. "Why didn't they prevent it?""They're probably still fighting the good fight, Brianna. Don't let your enemy get in your head before you've even met them. That's a fast trip to a shallow grave, girl. I should know - it was one of m'favorite tricks, in the bad old days."You take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Then you stoop to pick up your hat. "That girl o' yers," Kells continues conversationally. "She tells me you had a date. Told me at length, in fact. Fer hours. An' hours."You look up at the undead pirate-crocodile in faint disbelief.
>>44151369"She had the courage to be a good person in a bad place, necromancer," Kells continues, pointedly ignoring you. "Maybe keep that in mind. When you descend into the Lichyard, look ye for the Keepers of Arcadia. They'll be fighting whoever's desecrated the place.""How will I know them?" you ask politely. "They'll probably try to kill ye for being a necromancer.""...Well that feels fucking familiar," you mutter. "Hopefully the family name carries some weight. Thanks, Kells. And for being a friend to Amy.""Live well, die better," the pirate says, before the turns away and slips into the water. You feel...not better, exactly. But calmer. The sideswipe into other affairs helped jolt you out of the cycle of building fury.But this still needs solving. And soon. > You're ready (gather your party before venturing forth)> One last thing...(write-in)
>>44151406Quick question, before voting. Is there anything special we, as a necromancer, have in our arsenal for fighting undead? It'd be useful to know what we can do here, especially if it'll take further preparation.
>>44151461If you can get your oaken cane to the actual body, you can disrupt the energies holding them together. You can also spoil bodies for reanimation, bind incorporeal undead like ghosts and shades, and protect yourselves and others from necromantic diseases and toxins (newly acquired talismans skill could help here).
>>44150757> I appreciate it Kells, but we need to talk business.> ...Well, maybe a little of both, actually.This. Exactly this.
>>44151493Great, thanks. In that case, my vote is for> Whip up some protective talismans for the party and then head out.
> You're ready (gather your party before venturing forth)
> Whip up some protective talismans for the party and then head out.I'm in favour of this one as well. Protection Against Undead seems especially valuable where we're about to go, so we should gear up a little more in that regard....plus, it gives Bri a little more time to cool off and gather her thoughts.
>>44151572> Whip up some protective talismans for the party and then head out.This, and also discuss division of labor: sounds like there's some very distinct differences in who will be how effective in handling which aspects of the situation. Any of the allies who manages to get their weapon to the undead's actual body can do some disrupting, they should do so and free up the necromancer's attentions for the incorporeals and for those which reconstitute. Also, if there's any insignias or the like that Bri can wear to announce her lineage and intentions at a glance, do so.
>>44151406>Whip up some protective talismans for the party, and maybe add some charms to their weapons.I'm curious, could Nathan use his shadow to interfere with the bindings on the Money-changer's minions?
>>44151406It won't pay to go in unprepared. And...and some time to yourself, just you and your work, sounds good. Doing something useful. Doing something the right way. Every form of talisman has potential weaknesses. Something like this needs to be kept near the heart to protect your allies. A necklace is too vulnerable, so you start carving medals, of bone backed in wood, depicting the serpent-and-rod with eyes of onyx. The tiny flecks of black gemstone seem understanding, somehow. Comforting. "I am not long for this world," your Aunt Carol had told you, in her one-room house in the Blind Marsh. You were thirteen. "I put myself on a path there ain't no turning back from, and there are things that have to be said, 'tween you and I, before I walk it." If you'd been a teenager in another family, you might have begged her to stay. You might have cried. But you had been raised amongst the la Croix, and instead you held your Aunt's hat in your hands, and you listened. "Your mother was dearer to me than my own heart, Bri," Aunt Carol explained; she stirred sugar into a pot of coffee, and poured you a cup. "When she died, I lost something precious to me. She was my sister, you know. My first and best friend. Even if she did marry some city boy, he turned out charming enough. I spent my whole life keeping to the laws the family set for ourselves. I'm a powerful necromancer. But I'm a bad la Croix.""That doesn't make sense," you'd whispered, and your Aunt smiled at you. "Didn't to me for the longest time too. Listen. Power's not good or evil. Power /is/. Your mother, she always kept the faith. Me, though, I was always in love with power. For her, I held myself back. For her love and her loyalty, I did what I was told. But them as stolen from us, desecrated her grave and took what's ours? That's an insult too far.""If Mom wouldn't like it, don't do it," you chided, with all the pride of thirteen years.
>>44152150"Girl, I spent my whole life listening to my sister's advice. This time, I'm doing it my way.""You're just going off to die!" you snap. "You won't get anything you want out of revenge! You're being...you're being /stupid/!""That's a good girl," your Aunt had said, with haunted eyes. "You remember that, down the road. Mine's an old, bitter soul, Brianna la Croix. You go back to my mother now. You tell her that Carol la Croix has left the family.""...They'll hunt you.""Let them."You wipe a tear from your eye and let yourself cry as you finish the work out, carving the small details with shaking hands. The hat had fit like it was made for you. When you meet up with Nathan and Amy, you have your medal pinned to the inside of your coat. You feel more tired than usual - to be expected, considering you got shit sleep and then did a bunch of necromancy - but it was good work. Work you can be proud of. "Pin them to your shirt or coat, near your heart. Preferably hidden, so people don't target them," you explain. "They'll keep necromantic toxins or infections from taking root. They won't do anything to wounds like Fetch inflicts, which are meant to impede healing, but you can't win 'em all. Fetch, you don't need one."The bird deflates, until you put a tiny, bone helmet over his head. "So I made you this.""My /lady/," your tiny knight whispers. "Nate, Amy," you say seriously. "This...you don't have a stake in this. You don't have to come if you don't want to.""Are you actually trying to tell us not to go or are you just making sure we know we have a choice?" Amy asks, one eyebrow cocked."Better not be the first one," Nathan notes. "I like to think of you as intelligent.""I'ma slap you both with undead fish," you say, grinning under your hat. "Alright. Let's go."
>>44152286>dat picdelicious Abhorsen
>>44152286>The bird deflates, until you put a tiny, bone helmet over his head.>Fetch in a helmetVox why you gotta do this to my heart
>>44152286The Staircase is a long climb, nearly straight down, with handrails and landings to catch your breath. It feels less like descending a level in a basement and more like dropping down the face of a mountain. You need frequent breaks, and soon realize that Nathan won't voluntarily say anything until he's already blue in the face. You assign Fetch to watch him, after that. There is an abandoned guard post at the bottom of the Stairwell, its supplies stripped in what was clearly a hasty retreat. You see marks from the scouting party, denoting their observations - it had been like this when they got here - as well as a small satchel of emergency supplies, completely untouched. "You two have hammers, right?" you ask. Nathan pats a maul at his belt; Amy grins sheepishly and instead shows you a two-handed axe. "...Y'know, the axe works," you admit. "Check the door, Ames."Pronouncing it safe, Amy pushes the door open, and the four of you (plus two undead chickens of decidedly less sapience) emerge into the Lichyard. You catch your first sight of it, and gasp in surprise.
> Amy grins sheepishly and instead shows you a two-handed axeAnd we didn't notice until now? Where was she hiding that?
>>44152514You know where anon...
>>44152423You stand at the top of a cliff-face. You had expected tombs, mausoleums, something close-in and defended like a fortress. The Lichyard stretches below you, a massive, rolling forrest lit by multicolored witchlights. This entire level of the Dungeon is one massive cavern, with hills and structures that break up the trees and flora. You see headstones and shrines, statues, crypts, mausoleums, interspersed with houses. Where the river cuts through the level you see a small town built up around it, on either side of the bank. And the trenches. Ugly scars on the land that slice through the graves and the trees, lined with barbed wire and jutting spears. You hear the sounds of battle echoing from the distance, war-spells booming, and you can taste /desecration/ on the air. Someone has defiled this place. Your vantage gives you a view of a group of humanoids moving through some of the trenches at the bottom of the path that leads down from the cliff. They march warily, eyes watching the trench walls.Then a hand shoots up from beneath, dragging their leader under with a drawn-out scream. The ground collapses in the midst of the column, swallowing a dozen of the marching soldiers. At the top of the trenches, eight people flick out of invisibility, shooting crossbow bolts into the trench. "For the Reaper!" one cries, and the others return, "FOR ARCADIA!" > Watch it happen. This might not be your fight > Help the ambushers> Help the men in the trench> Move down stealthily; you need more information.
>>44152514Insufficient attentiveness, mostly. Bri's tired and strung out and in the sort of mood that makes people look for the car keys they're holding in their hands already.
>>44152545The reaper is not a name on the list, its likely either referring to the actual grim reaper or whoevers in charge. Still, we dont know nearly enough.> Move down stealthily; you need more information.
>>44152545The ambushers are the ones shouting "for Arcadia" yes? Then my vote is for> Help the ambushersbecause Fell said we should look for the Keepers of Arcadia.
>>44152671Your understanding of events is correct.
>>44152545> Help the ambushers>>44152671Good point, changed my vote.
>>44152545"Those seem like our guys. We should go back them up.""On it," Amy says brightly. She grabs Fetch and the other two chickens and leaps off of the cliff face. You have a minor heart attack before you remember that she literally cannot be hurt by falling. "Let's go," you say quickly to Nathan. You and he sprint down the path, hearing the sounds of battle. You feel deaths flicker through your awareness, deaths done in violence and pain, each like a knife of sorrow in your gut. "We're grim people for a reason," Grandmother la Croix had said, and you'd told her that you wouldn't be. Heh. The past seems to want your attention today. You and Nathan arrive at the bottom of the path - to four bristling crossbows. Behind them, Amy waves sheepishly with two pointed at her. "Which o' ye is the necromancer?," a dwarven woman asks quietly, one hand holding a hand crossbow, the other holding a large, thick cigar.> I AM SPARTACUS LA CROIX!> We're here to help> Get that shit out of my face> Run
> We're here to help, immediately followed by 'so get that shit out of my face'
>>44153125>> I AM SPARTACUS LA CROIX!> We're here to helpOr at least, we're here to try!
>>44153125> Get that shit out of my face> We're here to help
>>44153125Well, we definitely found the right people.> We're here to help, and I am not that kind of necromancer thanks-very-much
Vote called, writing update, then gotta go get some food. Some.FOOOOOD.
>>44153125"Look, we're here to help. We don't want a fight with the Keepers.""Really?" the dwarf notes. "And that's why ye threw yer sins against nature inta my nice clean battle? The one with the helmet talks, if y'hadn't noticed. Or did y'hire him in a tavern of ill repute?""You will not speak ill of my creator!" Fetch cries angrily, from the grip of one of the Keepers. "Fetch, stop helping," you tell the bird firmly. Your eyes go back to the dwarf. "Look, I'm from Lakehallow. We're here to help put this right. Lisa -"The Keepers spit, as one, into the dirt."- sent us a threat," you continue. "And tried to buy us off with this." You set your pack down and open it, revealing the small fortune of heavy gold coins. "...An' what're ye plannin' to do wit' that, d'ya think?" the dwarf asks, mildly. "Return it to the dead," you answer in perfect seriousness. "This is not for the living. It doesn't matter if the dead can't spend it; it was our gift to them, our remembrance, and it is not for the living to take.""...Y'remind me of someone I know," the dwarf woman admits. "Let 'em go." Crossbows are placed at ease; the evident leader puffs her cigar and rubs a graze on her cheek. "Name's Miranda, o' the Hallow Clan. We been gravekeepers here in the Lichyard since there been a Lichyard. I'm here with the Keepers of Arcadia. An', yeah, somethin' ain't right. Y'are?""Brianna la Croix," you answer.Every jaw amongst the Keepers drops. > What?> Did I stutter?> Why do I get the feeling that's a bad look?> Okay, people, it's a big family. We're not /that/ rare.
>>44153461> Okay, people, it's a big family. We're not /that/ rare.
>>44153461>> Okay, people, it's a big family. We're not /that/ rare.
> Okay, people, it's a big family. We're not /that/ rare.Either we have a relative with the keepers, or a relative named /Lisa/...
>>44153461> Why do I get the feeling that's a bad look?>Oh gods, you've met Mark.
>>44153461>Okay, people, it's a big family. We're not /that/ rare.
>>44153461> Okay, people, it's a big family. We're not /that/ rare.Not sure if this is good or bad, but either way I'm kind of glad we persuaded them to lower their crossbows before we said it. If it's good, hey, bonus points. If it's bad, we're that many more seconds away from being shot.
That was good food. Real-life interruptions should be minimal from this point forward. Votes called, writing.
>>44154739Can you even eat solid food properly right now or do the painkillers take care of that?
>>44153461"Okay, I realize we have a shrine down here but it's a big family, guys. We're not that rare.""Let me get this straight in m'head," Miranda says slowly. "Ye, a necromancer, are a la Croix?""...Yessss," you answer, hesitantly. "We're all necromancers.""Girl, the la Croixs I know are crusaders agains' necromantic magics and their practitioners."You pause. You groan. You pinch the bridge of your nose and sigh deeply. "Rose cultists?""Th'same.""Of course. Of. Fucking. Why? Why should nice things happen to me? Of course it's the fucking prick branch of the family, it can't be the reasonable people, THAT MIGHT BE HELPFUL!"Miranda raises both of her eyebrows. "Y'understand my total lack of sympathy fer ye in this moment, aye?""I do. I still sorta want to hit you, but I do.""We need to get to shelter an' decide what's to be done," Miranda says. "Yer family's holdin' ain't too far from here. Or y'can come back to our camp. Or y'can fuck off, honestly. What's it gonna be?"> la Croix shrine> Miranda's camp> Fuck off> Ask your companions.
>>44154922> Miranda's camp
>>44154922>> Miranda's campWe are not dealing with the black sheep of the family. No sir. Nuh uh.
>>44154922>la Croix shrinePay your respects because even if they're idiots they're still family
>>44154922> la Croix shrineYou can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family
>>44155034Vox runs a quest half-insensate better than most QM's do in their prime
> Miranda's CampBut we should discuss the situation with our companions, they probably should know 'which' branch of the family it is.
>> Miranda's camp
Votes called, writing.
>>44154922You sigh. "I...I do not have the energy or the emotional stability, right now, to deal with goddamn Rose cultists. So if you're offering your hospitality I'll take it gladly, and with my thanks.""Aye, I am," Miranda agrees. "Regardless o' my opinions on them, yer little abominations saved one o' me men, an' I ain't one to forget that." "Unhand me," Fetch says indignantly. His captor places him on the ground, and the fluffs his feathers indignantly. "Follow me," Miranda instructs, and the group falls into line. "...Rose cultists?" Amy asks, while you march. "Life worshippers," Nathan explains. "Which sounds a bit weird when I say it, actually...""They're idiots," you growl under your breath. "Fucking children beating their morality boner and lusting after immortality. They follow the teachings of some brain-damaged prophet from a bajillion fucking years ago that said if they could purge evil from the world they'd be blessed by the gods.""...Let me guess, at least one god likes them?""Oh yeah. The /fucking pricks/."You grumble under your breath for the rest of the walk.
>>44155729Just because this just popped into my headWhat does Fetch sound like? Stereotypical knighty-knight, or is there some particular voice you have in might for him?My brain tells me he should sound like a Mr. Handy for some reason.
>>44155729Miranda has made camp in a shallow cave cut into the side of a hill, its entrance facing vaguely towards the Staircase. In all, she has about twenty Keepers under her command, most of whom reach immediately for weapons when they see you, only to get shouted down by the dwarf. Eventually, you and your group are settled around a fire in the war-camp, with Miranda sitting on a chair and whittling the point of a wooden stake to sharpness. "It was about five months ago that she arrived, near as we can tell," Miranda explains. "We didn't notice anythin' until recently. The Lichyard's always full of would-be graverobbers, but its protections keep shovels from breaking the soil if they're used with foul intent. The dead, they keep to themselves down here. When we found the first desecrated tomb, we didn't know what to think. Then Keepers started going missing. By the time we realized a war was on, she'd moved her mercenaries in already. Now they're pressing through the Lichyard, stealing all they can take and hunting for...something. I ain't properly sure what.""I'm going to kill her all the way past death," you growl under your breath. "Good t'hear. If ye wanna help, that's great. But I'm layin' down some ground rules. No makin' undead from the people what're buried in this place. No stealing from the dead. An' no enterin' any tomb that ain't already open. Yer family's plots are one matter, but y've no claim to the rest.""I can get behind that," you muse. "...What about making undead from these mercs?""Knock yerself out, sinner."> Tell me more about my family down here.> Okay. I came, I saw, I need to actually /rest/. > What can you tell me about these mercs? > How many more Keepers do you have?
>>44155870Imagine a tall, strapping young man loudly proclaiming "YIELD, INFIDEL!" Now put the ghost filter over his voice. Fetch sounds like that /all the time/.
>>44155870I've been hearing him as Sir Orrin from Flight of Dragons
>>44155892>> What can you tell me about these mercs? >> How many more Keepers do you have?What are we workin with and what are we up against, always good things to know.
>>44155921 This is so wonderful I cannot even begin to describe it.Anyway…> Tell me more about my family down here.They're going to be a factor, no matter what we do. Best to know some about them. Unlike info on the mercs, which will mostly just come back as thoughtless beatsticks.Rest is important, but we can wait another 5-10 minutes to discuss sh*t. I'd strongly recommend (presuming we have time) resting before we do any actual casting or work beyond planning phase.
>>44155892> Tell me more about my family down here.B A C K S T O R Y
>>44155892> What can you tell me about these mercs? > Tell me more about my family down here.
>>44155892>> Tell me more about my family down here.
>>44155892> Okay. I came, I saw, I need to actually /rest/.
>>44155892>> What can you tell me about these mercs?
Calling the vote. Writing.
I'd been hearing Fetch's voice as the voice of the Hat from Labyrinth.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtC7s-Sil98Mostly because he's a bird, and because of his penchant for riding on Amy's head.
>>44155940> I've been hearing him as Sir Orrin from Flight of DragonsBeak with whom I have died,Beak with whom I now live,Serve queen of darkness one last time,Seek one last heart of evil,Still one last life of pain,Cut well, old friend, and then farewell.The last three lines work pretty well unchanged.
>>44155892"Can you tell me more about my family?""They're firecrackers," Miranda admits. "They've got this thing where anyone who marries in takes the la Croix name, which...""Standard," you confirm."Then I'll say they've been enthusiastic about becomin' part o' the Dungeon. Their skin's a bit lighter than yers, but I'm bettin' good coin it has to do with how pale everyone on the surface near here is.""Probably," you agree. "Sorcerers?""Nah. An' they ain't had one o' the Chosen in ages, so they're mostly warriors an' sometimes clergymen. Every man Jack of 'em can fight, though.""Good to hear, at least. What've they been doing?""Defendin' their holdings for all their lives are worth. They've been hard-pressed. They got somethin' that Lisa wants with a powerful will, an' she's bringin' up the hammer to drop on them.""Fuck. What about these mercs?"
>>44156773Miranda scowls. "Dwarves, humans, mages. Not many mages but the ones that're there are scary. They raid the tombs in packs and chop down the trees for spears and traps and firewood. They're destroyin' the Lichyard.""I like how mages are their own species," Nathan notes dryly. You snort back a laugh. "Live it up, surfacer," Miranda huffs. If ye'll excuse me, I've business to attend ta." She gets up and walks away, leaving you with your companions. > Rest> Get their ideas on your family> Get their ideas on the problem at hand> Vent a bit
>>44157022>> Vent a bit
>>44157022>> Get their ideas on the problem at hand
> Get their ideas on the problem at hand
>>44157022>Get their ideas on the problem at handWhat the hell are the kings doing about this? This is their business, too.
>>44157022> RestEverything else is important too, but it'd be really nice to have Bri actually awake for this.
>>44157022I want to know more about this defiled tomb or whatever that was turned up that precipitated all this
Calling in six. In other news, Unexpected Life Shit. Wee.
Urgh. Back. Vote called. Writing. Curse you real life >.<Update may be mildly delayed by my need to make more coffee.
>>44157022"So...what're your thoughts?" you ask. "Seems like a good spot for an assassination," Amy says thoughtfully. When you and Nathan give her the same Look she scowls. "We're going to kill her /anyway/. But what I was /going/ to say is that since it seems so ripe for it, but it hasn't happened, chances are she's protected.""...Yeah," you muse. "...I was sort of expecting shambling hordes of the undead. I wonder if the protections on this place are keeping her from using the ambient death to do her work with. That'd be a hell of a relief." "What'll it take for you to find out?" Nathan asks. "A decent night's sleep and some time with my equipment," you say with a shrug. "We need more information. We need allies. And chances are we're going to have to brave those trenches." Nathan scowls as he says the last sentence. "I am beginning to hate these people." "Aww," Amy says fondly, leaning over to kiss his cheek. Nathan stiffens and turns red in the cheeks. "Cutie's growing up.""Wake me for my watch," you mutter. That was...oddly cute. Should you be feeling jealous? You've sorta had a date with each one...and your inner child is saying it's only fair. But fuck your inner child anyway. You drift off to sleep and 'awaken' in the familiar waiting room. Lora walks a shining golden coin over her knuckles with a savage expression. > What say?
>>44158790> "So, are you the Reaper the Arcadians were talking about, or is that a subcontractor?"
>>44158790Is there anything supernatural she could have bought with that gold? Something that LOVES disrespecting the dead?
>>44158912If this is a vote, please greentext it.
>>44158967>Is there anything supernatural she could have bought with that gold? Something that LOVES disrespecting the dead?there
>>44158790> Is there anything or anyone she could have bought with that gold? Someone that LOVES disrespecting the dead?
>>44158912Demons? There's probably quite a few that love to mess with the established order of things. And since Lora more than likely won't be able to answer our questions because of her restraints, we could try asking Miles.By the way, did we ever get around to actually releasing him from the shackles? Or is he just kinda hibernating in them until we perform the ritual?
>>44159344The latter. He could theoretically be released from them but no one in your group knows how...and it'd be disrespecting his wishes.
>>44159403What if someone else puts on the shackles?
>>44158790>So, how badly are we fucked right now?>Do you have any means of resisting the Money-Changer, now that one of your chains has been broken?>Can you possibly contact any of your fellows in the other Choirs? Maybe we can convince the Rose Cult to join forces with us?>Just what the hell is it that Lisa is after anyway, and is it what the Cult is protecting?
>>44159435How badly do you want to know, anon?
Calling in nine minutes. I know we wanted shorter voting times but life's a little busy at the moment. Like, beyond the drugs and tooth pain and employment etc, I just have SHIT TO DO all the time.Hence the long votes. I am sorry anons. I will take your advice to heart the moment I can.
Called. Writing. Fucking internet is choking out goddamn Comcast.
>>44158790"You look eager.""Oh, but I am," Lora says with that broad, toothy smile. "How are you liking the Lichyard? Much improved, is it?""When she goes to face the Ancestors, they're gonna have words for her.""She'll never make it that far," Lora says sweetly. The sword across her lap sobs in misery. You shiver. "The Arcadians were calling out to the Reaper. They with you?""In a manner of speaking," Lora says with a shrug. "They revere the sacredness of death and attend to the needs of the dead. You could say that they revere the Death Choir as a whole. It is true that I built the Lichyard, however."You /stare/. Lora's smile widens. "I see you begin to appreciate the scope of the appointment I've made," the angel coos. "Squirm a little more, heritor. I haven't had good entertainment in ages." "Look, can you at least give me an idea of what else she might have hired out, aside from those mercs? I mean, that can't be /all/. She has the endless wealth of the dead to call on.""I'm sure the affairs of oni are none of mine," Lora says mildly. "Are you ever going to just answer a question?""No." > I am really sick of your shit, Lora. > I want to help, but I don't like this mocking-me stuff. Work with me here> Write-in.
>>44160373> I want to help, but I don't like this mocking-me stuff. Work with me here
>>44160373> I am really sick of your shit, Lora. > I want to help, but I don't like this mocking-me stuff. Work with me here
>>44160373>Look, if being glib about being necessarily roundabout is your only entertainment knuckle deep in fucktown, I'm sorry and I'll be a big girl about it, but expect the occasional reciprocation, or at least bloody well help me out a little more.
>>44160373> Okay. Then what can you tell me about oni?
>>44160373>Can you tell me the rules of what you're allowed to answer?
>>44160373>>44160505This is pretty good
>>44160373>>44160505I'll support that
>>44160533>Can you tell me the rules of what you're allowed to answer?This
>>44160505I approve of this. Very in character and likely to get a laugh from the angel. Seconding.>>44160373Also, if Oni are involved, it's possible that we can pay them to turn against Lisa if there is money hidden in the La Croix shrine (that is to say, a stockpile of magic stuff or material wealth available for any La Croix's use in emergencies).
>>44160505>thisYeah, this is very bri.
Aaand internet imploded. I'm gonna call the vote, update, and see if stay stable. If I don't I may just have to hold off until my internet is reliable again. My apologies for the delays.
>>44161147Of course it's comcast. It's always fucking comcast.
>>44160373You sigh and take out your pipe. You pack the bowl, patiently, light it, and take a puff. "Look," you say, in quiet seriousness, "if being glib about being necessarily roundabout is your only entertainment knuckle-deep in fucktown, I'm sorry. And I can be a big girl about it. But you can either start expecting me to give it back to you, or help me out more."Lora leans forward and sets her sheathed sword, tip-down, against the floor; she rests her folded arms against the pommel. "If it makes you feel better," the angel murmurs, "I wouldn't have chosen you if I didn't like you.""...Oddly, that does." "Still want help?""I do," you answer. This really is good tobacco. You hold the pipe out, and Lora takes it. The angel smokes experimentally and looks pleasantly surprised. She hands you the pipe back with something that threatens to be a smile on her face. "Does the Swain still have my feather?""Sw - Amy? Yeah. She does." You furrow your brow. "It is the toll that will purchase the Rose Cult's allegience. They will argue, and some will resist, but ultimately their laws are very clear on the matter. An angel's feather, freely offered, will bind them to aid you in one cause that you name.""...Wow, who thought of that?""Their prophet had some very interesting ideas." Your eyes open to the dull coals of the campfire. Nathan is still awake, though from the feeling of it it seems like those two let you sleep the night through and just split the watches, the fuckers. He sits back to back with a sleeping Amy; the bird girl makes soft, happy chirps in her sleep. He's holding her hand. > What do you do?
>>44161553> What do you do?>Cuddle with our own bird. Our bird is clearly better than his, because ours is a knight.
>>44161553> tickle your butthole, a littleHolding hands is lewd
>>44161553>>44161625I can get behind this>Cuddle with Sir Fetch, for he is the best bird we know.
Gonna leave this open while I investigate my connection and, hopefully, start a new thread. >>44161653Jesus fuck anon.
>>44161721Thats a meme, I think??? I have no fucking idea anymore.
>>44161553>Ruffle both of their heads, then see to Fetch
>>44161553>Let them rest for now. Brianna can go chat with Miranda about her resources; we need to know more about who we're working with and what they have at their disposal. We can wake up Mr. Hero and Best Bird after.
>>44161553>tell Nate to get some sleep.>talk to Miranda about her resources > Preen the Knightbird
>>44161912>I second all of this post.
Alright folks, calling for a combination of 'leave those two alone' and 'cuddle Fetch'. I mean, you won't get out of this with /no/ comment from Nate, 'cause he awake, but gonna move forward from there. Thread will remain open for questions, comments, feedback, etc. Will post link when new thread is up.
>>44161553See, you say you'd rather avoid writing poly relationships, but then you go and have the three main characters all be attracted to one another and mature enough to not get super jealous about it. You're killing me, Vox.
>>44162195You'll note how none of those votes above were 'get jelly'. I seeded potential jealousy earlier, noting Brianna's vaguely confused feelings seeing Amy being all affectionate with Nathan. I realize these characters are somewhat more defined than quest MCs tend to be (...I think?) but I do lean on anon to characterize their reactions and opinions - especially Brianna's. More to the point, it gives me the chance to observe how you're handling the possibility so I can see if my quest will go down in waifu-scented flames instead of following the story *if* I pursue the poly route. Which I'm still not sold on.
>>44162254the comfiest of romances
>>44162310...Okay I might be high but is this a meme or...?Like. I apologize here, but can I get you to expand on WTF it is you mean?
>>44162441When they all get to chill out and relax and just be friends, everything gets comfy. I dunno, man, I'm studying for a Jap Civ final and voting in three quests at the same time, what do you want from me!?