ARCHIVE: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Dungeon%20Life%20QuestPREVIOUS THREAD: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/45759526/CHARACTERS AND PLACES: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19gNVgtevar647l4ZumUaVH6GlJzvxLlDNKaH8DrQMWE/edit?usp=sharingWEBCOMIC 'CAUSE Y'ALL ASKED: http://wildwestscifi.net/gallows-humor/13683-gallows-humor-prologueYou are Nathan Bookchild, DEMON SLAYER, and your new shield is done. You strap it to your left arm and flex your hand to get a feel for how it rests and restricts your movements. It's surprisingly light, but solid. Exactly what you'd want out of a shield in these tight quarters. Travis does good work.
>>45866677"It should block well above what its weight and construction will suggest," Travis informs you. "Don't try to stop falling boulders with the thing, mind, but you may be able to swat aside war mauls and claymores if you've got the spine for it.""That won't be a problem," you assure him. "Spells?""If you can see it, you can probably block it, but you know the standard rule.""When in doubt, dodge," you tell him, with a nod. "Its name is Banquet," Travis tells you. "Regular use will help recharge the enchantments, though that's not a substitute for actual maintenance. Just longer time in the field, you hear?""Yessir," you agree. "And now for my end of the bargain."Travis nods. "There are three things in my forge in the Steel Market, which will bear my name set into the door in letters of brass. The first is my enchanted smithing hammer, in a rack near the anvil. The second is my demonhide apron, passed down from my great-great grandfather. Last, but not least, there is an urn on a shelf.""What's in the urn?" you ask, suspiciously. "My daughter's ashes," the smith answers in a soft voice; he looks away from you while he continues. "Bring those things to me and we're square."You feel a twisting sensation, in your heart, and you nod solemnly. "Consider it done."You step away to give the man his space, and you wait for Amy. She shows up after a little while, though her bright expression falls when she sees the quiet look on your face. "Everything okay?" she asks, while you walk back towards the entrance. "I'll be fine," you assure her. "Just processing someone else's tragedy." Amy chirps and gives you a soft hug when the two of you are let out of the Pit by the door guards - they nod when you inform them that you'll be back to fulfill your word to Travis. "What'd you learn?" you ask, while you walk.
>>45866902"They cut the deal with the Traitor awhile back, when Rustam decided it wasn't worth the suffering inflicted on the others who refused to give in. They've been manufacturing things for her and some of the other Chain-Bearers ever since, though they're not the only ones," Amy explains. "They've been making some kind of ship armor for a vessel called the /Predator/, cannon for the same, and made the big guns we saw in the Mine. Caught a couple of men talking about them producing large orders of spearheads and arrowheads for the Lush.""Why not guns?" you ask. "Natalia told them the Lush doesn't get to have guns," Amy answers, a curious tone to her voice. "He's really mad about it too. Evidently the Daughter got some but not many, and the Lush is trying to get them to disobey Natalia's orders so he can get what he wants. Every time he sends a messenger, though, Natalia's men are already there waiting for him, and they kill the shit out of the guy. Sometimes for days."You wince. "I didn't need that last part.""I'm sorry," Amy chirps, her wings drooping. "Anyway, Natalia's kept them in work and food, but they're not necessarily happy about her. They've just given up on her being ousted." "Fair enough."You nod at Lark on your way through the Black Anvil complex - the elf is sitting and discussing with Opal, and it seems as though they're hip-deep in some kind of trade deal from all the documentation spread on the table - and head towards the guard room at the end of the secret entrance, where River is waiting for you. With a /really/ handsome elf. "Nate, this is the associate I've summoned," River explains. "You may address him as Sultan, or else as 'sorcerer', as his true name will cause him some discomfort.""Charmed," the elf says, bowing formally to you. "I am given to understand that I will be providing you with my illusory services.""Aye, and now we need to plan," you note. "Here's what we do..."
>>45867122> Everyone goes> Send just two people (who?)> Send just Fetch and the minionsZachary can be used to call in backup if a smaller team gets in trouble. AND> Don't use the demon just yet> Make the infiltration team invisible> Ask the demon to create a distraction> Storm the place
>>45867170>> Everyone goes> Ask the demon to create a distraction
And now I must go be Gainfully Employed. I'll be available on my phone as usual, though expect responses to be clipped (again, as usual). I'll return to you a little after midnight EST, possibly with an update but I need to be up early in the morning again because WTF even is my schedule. Questions, comments, feedback, discussion, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>45867170>> Everyone goesI can see 2 teams of Nate+River, Amy+Fetch and company.also, does he have to be with us for us to be invisible? And what kind of 'distraction' is he gonna cause? I feel a little like he's not quite an ace in the sleeve but close and I'm not sure how to best use him.
Five hours and change to call
>>45867170>Everyone goes>Don't make use of the demon just yet.I assume this vote is for the Travis quest, so we should not tip our hand just yet.
Quiet night.Three and a half hours and change to call.
>>45867170> Everyone goes> Don't use the demon just yetNot sure we want to tip oir hand just yet with him.
By the by, since there's been an interest in their developing relationship, you can expect more lewds of Harry and Isoldt soon.Still can't quite believe I've made it to fifty threads.
>>45871373Hey Vox, is this vote for getting Travis's stuff or for fighting the Traitor?
>>45871373>fifty threads Good job senpai
>>45870801Well then maybe you could extrapolate a bit more on what precisely we are doing/going?My understanding is everyone (Nate, River, Amy, Fetch) are planning to charge into The Traitor controlled area. But I'm not sure of anything past that. Is this the equivalent of entering the Barons Mansion or the marketplace in the Mine?
>>45871580The Traitor's forces control the Steel Market but she herself is not there. It should be considered hostile turf.
Didn't the dwarves say something about the Market?
>>45867170>Everyone goesI want to say Use the demon but that may just be my reluctance to not utilize every resource/advantage we have but >>45871223 has a point in that it may prove detrimental to the overarching "plan" if we're found out early.As such, I'll not cast a vote for the demon stuff. Just finished catching up. I'm not so good at critique and this is only the second quest I've been part of or read, so I wouldn't much help in that department. Really enjoying the story though
>>45867170> Everyone goes> Don't use the demon just yetMake use of our whole team, but keep the illusions as a trump card for fighting the Traitor.
>Everyone goes>Ask the demon to make us invisible Ideally, we won't be noticed... and depending on how Natalia's Sight works, she won't catch the invisible team. Nathan isn't the type to let others do his work (and he's the most dangerous one there if caught). River should be there to control Darshan, and Amy's dungeonbreaker skills WILL be needed.
>>45872405Welcome to the quest, anon! Thoughts and feelings are always welcome; one does not need to be a great chef to know food.
One hour and change folks. I'll be working in the morning so the morning run will be a bit stilted, followed by a tired evening run after about six.
>>45873303Thanks for the welcome. As I said, story thus far has been bloody fun. Most thoughts and feelings I have, have been shared MANY times by other anons. Though, your depiction of harpies keeps throwing me for a bloody loop. I keep picturing Amy and her mum like some of those images you see in the old Greek stories. Only for a moment but that is enough to make some of the scenes a bit, eh... Disconcerting until I remember.
Home. Making some dinner and then I'ma call and write.
>>45874403U wouldn't eat out an old Greek story era harpy?
>>45875292Not really, no.The fact that they would slaughter me before I got the chance is only PART of the reason though. mostly chicken-looking body, some saggy fuckin' tits and a human-ish head. I can jack it to some fucked up shit but that... That just pushes all the wrong buttons somehow.
>>45875387Your loss buddy.
>>45875733Um. Was there meant to be a post here?Called, writing. Thank you for your patience, everyone.
>>45875977Vox! Are you telling me you didn't appreciate that anon's insightful commentary and critique? I thought it was brilliant.
>>45875977Looking for Word of God on whether or not Natalia can read our posts.
>>45867170"We're going to scout into the Steel Market as a group of four," you explain. "Leave Zachary with the sorcerer in case we need backup, but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that. I don't want to tip our hand to Natalia until we absolutely have to." "Natalia is the prophetess that is your enemy?" the demon asks. "Aye," you confirm. "Her forces control the Steel Market. We'll have you waiting nearby as backup, as we may need to leave in a hurry.""Miss River?" he asks, quirking an eyebrow. "Works for me," River agrees. "Nate's in charge of this expedition anyway."No fucking pressure though, right?"In, out, on with life," you say firmly. "I don't want to risk more than we absolutely need to. Let's go."The four of you - plus minions - move stealthily, an accomplishment considering your environment. There's many paths to the Steel Market, and the one you're on is not unwatched; two sentinels patrol it, with those same lever-action weapons the dwarves were using in hand. > Have Amy hypnotize them> Try to jump them> Call in the rakshasa for illusions> Take them out with crossbow boltsAND> Kill them> Attempt to capture them
Okay, I'm up way too late. I'm turning in and will update again tomorrow. Questions, comments, discussion, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>45876829Jesus Christ I hope not.>>45877009>Have Amy hypnotize them.Her singing really is crazy effective. I'll bow out of deciding whether or not they should live or die.
>>45877009>Have Amy hypnotize them>Attempt to capture them>>45877043Thanks for running bossman. Bosslich? Eh, whatever. I will never not spoiler stupid shit.
>>45877009>>Have Amy hypnotize them>>Attempt to capture themGetting more good information is never bad
>Have Amy hypnotize them>Attempt to capture themWorked before, so there's precedence. And we're not really in the habit of killing random people. At least we haven't so far.
>>45877009>Have Amy hypnotize themDo we have, like, a ton of sacks and cloth?hypnotize, gag'em and throw a sack over them. No time for dedicated knots, so the idea is just to prevent them from shouting long enough for us to be gone......this IS the run where we're rescuing the hostages right?
>>45877009>> Have Amy hypnotize them> Attempt to capture themHumans have shit will saves
>>45877692No dude, we're getting the shit for the smith.
>>45877009>> Take them out with crossbow boltsAmy's useful and all, but sound carries, and we want stealth. Which, admittedly, is not gonna work so well if those guns go off, but I'm hoping they don't get time to shoot them.
>>45878494> sound carriesI'd consider that an advantage. Keep singing and walk over sleeping bodies!
>>45877009So guys, what if we used the demon to disguise lark and himself as us, and we disguise ourselves as something mundane, so well our mother sees us negotiating, were really freeing prisoners and stabbing her in the back.I hereby dub this plan Operation Blackface
>>45879349Woah man, that dude with the flamboyant black gay hairdresser might get triggered by your blatant racism. Cool your jets there Adolf
Okay, so the bad news - I caught an extra hour and a half of sleep instead of getting up at 8 AM so I'm prolly not going to update until after work. The good news: I'm actually only working from 11 AM to about 3 PM (retaaaaiiiil), so update'll be sooner than I'd initially thought. Now's a good time for planning and discussion. >>45879349You'd need to know where the prisoners /are/ first - and then deal with the bit where even if she doesn't know it's YOU freeing her hostages, she's probably not going to just /let/ people do so.
>>45879508>I caught an extra hour and a half of sleepthat's good news, from the sound of coffee that exudes from your person through the screen.Yes, SOUND, not smell. That is how much coffee you're drinking.
>>45879508The point of the plan is mostly that we hope to god her clairvoyance is purely visual so she sees illusory us instead of real us and prepares wrong
Four and a half hours to call; I have dishes to do when I get home.
>>45877009>Have Amy hypnotize them>Attempt to capture them
Two hours and change to call, plus dishes time.
>>45879809There is some evidence of this, since the guns are by Word of Vox poorly-reverse-engineered from visuals
>>45879349Ooh, or how about depending on how powerful his illusions are, and how many people we can round up we pull a 3 Amigos skit and have everybody be us?That'd probably screw with her prophecy sight no?
Off work. Will call after dishes and breakfast.
Bumpin' before I leave. See you all tomorrow morning!I hate night shift.
Called, writing shortly.
>>45877009"Amy, can you put them under?" you ask. "I can try," the harpy says, worriedly. "Maybe my wings can help carry it without having to get louder..." You and River put in your earplugs, and Amy begins to sing softly. She spreads her wings, and you see her feathers moving in time with her song, floating it forward gently. The expression on her face lacks the confident serenity of her other songs; she's trying something new, and she knows it. The sentries, far from falling asleep, stop their patrol and stagger towards you in a daze. You share a glance with River and touch the manacles at your belt; the elf sees the gesture and nods her understanding. They snap out of it just an arm's reach away; Amy's song falters, and the sentries blink before reaching for their guns. River lunges with a knife. The soldier moves his hands to block the gut stab, only to get caught when she reverses her motion and smashes her pommel against the side of his head. You slap your silly with Banquet, stunning him for a moment and giving Amy the chance to lock his arms behind his back. You force his mouth closed so he can't scream. "This doesn't have to end in you two being dead," you murmur; River's caught hers before he could fall, and is checking to ensure that she didn't kill him on accident. "I want to know about the Steel Market. I'm going to let go now, but if you scream I swear I'm going to snap your neck."The man nods, and you let go of his mouth. "What happens to us?" he murmurs. > Quick death> We'll ask the Black Anvils to put you to work> We'll lock you up and decide that later> You'll be delivered to the Mine
>>45886397>> We'll lock you up and decide that later
>>45886397>You'll be delivered to the Mine, as the escorts of the first batch of ore to New Hell after we can get the deal to pull through. Sounds like a nice job, eh?
>>45886397>Depends on how well you work with us but most likely,>> We'll lock you up and decide that later
Vote slightly extended while I seek dinner.
>>45886917Seconding this>Depends on how well you work with us but most likely,>> We'll lock you up and decide that later
>>45886801this is good
Called, writing shortly
Sec, co-author is having a Twitch interview and it's sorta interrupting my process.
>We'll ask the Black Anvils to take you if you're cooperative and helpful
>>45886397You give the man a steady look. "Depends on how well you work with us, but chances are we're going to lock you up for a bit while we decide what to do with you long-term. We're a bit busy.""...Fair," the man says, with a sigh. "What is it you want to know?""Force composition in the Steel Market and the Traitor's objectives in controlling it would be nice," you tell him, mildly. "If I ask my lover to let you go, are you going to behave?""What'll happen if I don't?" he asks, cautiously. Amy folds her wings around him, putting the feathers into his view, and murmurs into his ear with her voice dripping sweet malice. "These are bladed.""I'll be a model citizen."Amy lets go of the man, and he gives a look to River and his companion. The elf looks up, her face hidden by her hood. "He's alive," she confirms. "For now. Head wounds can be tricky, and it's best if he gets a potion sometime soon.""You have supplies?" you ask the man, gently. "Not as such," he admits. "There's a medic in the Market but...""We'll treat him after our talk," you promise. "Quickly, sir.""I wanna be mad at you but we'd probably be torturing you by now if our situations were reversed," the sentry says tiredly. He slumps, his posture more exhausted than defeated, and he stares at your feet with a distance in his gaze. "The Steel Market is the choke point of New Hell. You can't get to Forge Regicide without crossing through it, and you can't get into the Cornucopia or the Roost either. Natalia also didn't want a black market forming in it out of her ability to suppress...and it's the only place that fits her guillotine.""Her what," you say flatly.
>>45893339The man takes a deep breath. "It's a heavy blade set in a tall wooden frame. You hold the blade up with a rope and set someone condemned to die in the frame. Then you let go, and it severs their head clean. She uses it for sacrifices. Their blood flows over her altar and she sees the future in their deaths. Some kind of bell transmits the energy from the altar to her."The leather in your gloves creak when your hands clench into fists. You hear the ice cracking behind your eyes. "How does she sustain the flow of sacrifices?" you ask quietly. "Easily," the sentry mutters, his eyes on your hands. "Prisoners from the Roost. Rejected slaves from the Cornucopia or the Mine. Sometimes people just show up from lower down as payment for goods or services. Every now and again one of us fucks up, or she foresees us fucking up, and we get thrown on the block."You turn away and take a deep breath. "Nathan?" Amy asks, softly. > "Nothing's changed. In and out."> "I didn't tell him to stop talking."> "Where do they keep those prisoners?"AND> Unshackle your shadow> Try to keep it contained
>>45893485> "Where do they keep those prisoners?"It'll fuck with her even if she doesn't /need/ them for predictions.> Unshackle your shadow
>>45893485>"I didn't tell him to stop talking.">Try to keep it contained
>>45893485>> "Where do they keep those prisoners?">AND>> Unshackle your shadowBut try to keep it in check. Like let Nate vent but not explode. Can we do that?
>>45893485>> "Where do they keep those prisoners?"> Try to keep it contained
>>45893943> But try to keep it in check. Like let Nate vent but not explode. Can we do that?Do you think Nathan can express his negative emotions without losing control?Is that question Nathan's ongoing problem in life?
>>45893485>> "Where do they keep those prisoners?"> Unshackle your shadow
>>45894084>Do you think Nathan can express his negative emotions without losing control?It's entirely possible, it just needs a great deal of willpower. Or assistance from friends. Or both.I just don't like how much pent up hate Nate is acquiring and I know it could blow up horribly at a bad time if he doesn't 'vent' now and again.
>>45893485>> "Where do they keep those prisoners?"But we will explicitly NOT go there. Secure the caretaker's people first.>> Unshackle your shadowBut it wouldn't hurt to seem like we are stupid mad instead of purposefully mad.
Gonna call in a bit, something came up.
>>45893485>> "Where do they keep those prisoners?">> Try to keep it contained
Just about done. Thank you for your patience.
>>45893485> "Where do they keep those prisoners?"> Unshackle your shadow
>>45894203Strangely enough, "Venting" can actually become habit forming to the point of having somewhat explosive uncontrolled anger in some people. For many it's best to practice methods of processing the emotion quickly and calming themselves down.
>>45896685...true. I agree with what you say however I believe that to be a more 'slow and steady' (?) type buildup and release while the current events are tending to be 'My mother is the Traitor>My mother killed tons of people>The Traitor is being consciously cruel>She is routinely using a guillotine on prisoners>...' in a very short order and very large amounts.I would definitely go along that route if it weren't for (my take on) current happenings.
>>45896803>The Traitor is being consciously cruel>She is routinely using a guillotine on prisonersJust FYI: Execution by guillotine is generally considered to be one of the more humane methods.Which makes sense, considering a doctor actually designed it for the most painless execution possible.
> "Nothing's changed. In and out."> Try to keep it containedIf we deal with Natalia, the prisoners will go free by default in the aftermath. They can wait another day or two. Stick to the plan, people. Focus.
>>45896847It turned out to be very usefull for the doctor, as he was the first to be executed on it for stealing.
Called, writing. Thank you for your patience.
>>45893485You can feel your shadow flicker and shake, and you let it go. You're tired. Tired of being so /fucking wound up/ all the time. Tired of pretending to be something you're not. Your mother can deal with the thing she fucking created. "You're like her," the sentry whispers, in terror. You whirl on him, feeling the icy shards of your eyes shift. The world looks so different like this; you can see the bands of pain that float from him, staining the air with the little deaths that leak from his body. The misery, the terror, it's /energizing/. "I'm her /son/," you hiss, through clenched teeth. "Where do they keep those prisoners?""No, it ain't worth that. She'll find me and - hrrk!" You lift the man off the ground in one hand, squeezing his throat to cut off his protestations. After a moment, you drop him back to his feet. "We're gonna play a game," you murmur. "It's called, 'Is the woundseeker in front of me at the absolute end of his patience and mercy'. I'll give you a hint: I'm gods-damned close." "Nathan," Amy murmurs. You spare her a glance, and her icy eyes meet yours. She doesn't say anything else, but her gaze is steady. Calming. "...Force composition. Prisoner location. You'll be kept safe from Natalia," your promise, softly. "I am not my mother. I /won't/ be that." You kneel, while the man rubs at his throat, and set your pack on the ground. You dig out the materials for a potion and pour it down his friend's throat; the unconscious sentry groans in faint pain, but breathes steadily.There is a long silence, and then the man begins to speak. He describes the Steel Market as a large, circular chamber with many passages that lead in and out of it. The one you're at is near Travis's former residence; many smiths and merchants dwell within the Steel Market, the former primarily servicing the latter or else negotiating temporary contracts with the various Forges.
I'm curious, will we be having a brief perspective switch back to Brianna? I just figure she's up in the Mine, quietly freaking out over some of the things being shared with her via Sir Fetch. She could probably spend the time practicing her talisman-crafting or alchemy and medicinal skills while she waits. Maybe get an important dream update from Lora that she relays to Nathan and Amy through her faithful black cockerel.
>>45897081Natalia has avoided the big guns in the Steel Market, for the main part, because they could damage the cooling systems and endanger her own holdings. Instead, her men shelter in the open buildings - kept free to the air so that they don't need to be individually cooled - and patrol the streets. "There's an engine of sorts, along the river, that's a vital part of the cooling system," the sentry explains. "Crank it one way, and it cools down the chamber of air attached to it. If it were cranked the other way, it'd heat that air up. Thankfully, that'll never happen.""Why not?" you ask, out of honest curiosity. "You'd have to reverse the flow of the river. Or else crank it yourself, somehow." A quick strike in and out, dodging patrols, could probably get you Travis's request - but the prisoners are kept near the guillotine, in a wrought iron cage guarded by Natalia's men."No way you get in and out of there quiet, though," the sentry tells you firmly. "Maybe, /maybe/ you get all the way to the cage, but then you've got a fight on your hands. And there's the Bull too.""That's a rude name," Amy chides. "He calls /himself/ that," the sentry protests. "He's this big-ass minotaur chief who runs the guillotine, makes everyone call him the Bull!""What's the sacrifice schedule?""Accelerated," the man admits. "One, two people a day now. Those people aren't long for this world."> Go after the prisoners> Only fulfill Travis's request> Pull out
>>45897153>Ride the Bull
>>45897153>> Only fulfill Travis's requestI'd go against the prisoners because basically what >>45896856 said. I feel in order to save em we need to take her out very soon.
>>45897153> Go after the prisonersIf the sacrifices boost her prophetic powers, stopping them could give us an edge.> OtherWe were saving the illusionist as a trump card, but this seems important enough to call him in for. He can make a distraction to draw guards away so hopefully the rest of the party can just deal with whoever's left by the guillotine.
>>45897153>Go after the prisoners.We're playing as the Hero right now. Is this supposed to be a choice? But really, we can't let this continue. Not if Nate truly wants to prove that he /won't/ become his mother. I'm not saying to charge in recklessly; we certainly have options, from Sir Fetch and his undead compatriots to Amy's /very/ effective shriek to Darshan's illusions.Let's turn this fucking Bull into burger meat.
>>45897223We aren't limited to just /one/ use of his powers though; he is sworn to River's service for one whole month.Let's see what some of the staple illusion technique can do for us (y'know, ghost voices and appearing/disappearing images) before whipping out the big guns.
Called, writing. Final update of the night.
>>45897153>go after the prisonerseh, it's in character I suppose.But I feel that for this one, we DONT pull out the illusion card, so it's not expected when when an illusion demon comes for the hostages.
>>45896867Incorrect. He died from an infection. But some other guy with the same name died there.
>>45897153https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAKQ13m452oYou can See it, cast all across the lands; a garden of death, with misery as its harvest. Barbed wire lines the trenches, and in the no-man's-land, men and women die by the scores, charging into the teeth of machine gun fire. Their blood feeds the dead earth, for nothing grows in this blasted hell. You know that they call the dug-in vehicles you're seeing, with treads and vast, booming guns, "tanks". You have seen the blast of the mortar and the indifferent murder of the falling bomb, borne aloft on wings of steel. You are Natalia, known as the Traitor, and you weep like a child at what you See. A jangling, silvery sound draws you from your vision, and you stand with a snarled curse, scattering the books and papers on your desk to the floor. The strains of death and desolation chase themselves through your mind, echoing like screams, and the sweet, silvery ring is an unwelcome intruder on them. You grip the little bell and feel the metal flex beneath your hand. "What, /Master/?" you snarl. "Why are you disturbing my reverie?""The Diviner reports a foreign element moving in New Hell," the Master's voice issues politely from the bell. "You do not appear to be marshalling your -""Shut up," you spit. "I know what I'm doing. I always know what I'm doing. I see and See and you know it.""Natalia, need I remind you -""I SAID SHUT UP!" you roar, hurling the bell against the wall. "YOU CANNOT KEEP ME FROM MY FATE!" "How do you propose to meet it without being slain by the chain?" Richard asks, coldly. "In the name of our agreement, I hereby fulfill the title granted to me and bound up between myself and the angel," you snap. Your veins pound with fevered fury and the triumph of your deception. "I break my pact with you, Richard, by holding to its letter. You have no power over me."Silence, from the bell.
>>45897344"The scythe will swing for you too. Swing and slash and care not, /Master/," you spit. "Do what you must. I've already won." You cast your gaze around the room, the bell already forgotten. Books and plans and sketches of things only you have Seen. A mural of death, fated to come about by your hands, if only you could figure out how to create it. What is this maddening future, whose horrors elude you so? There's no point now. It's all beginning, and Nathan will be here soon enough. There is - there is no need to burden him with all of this. No need for him to even have the chance to become what you've become. One by one, you begin pitching the books and papers into the brazier you keep in your work room. You startle when you hear voices coming from the bell. Not Richard's, someone else - someone from the local network. "How's that lock coming?" a male voice, young and clear. "About as fast as you can expect," a bright, musical voice - female - answers. "If I do this wrong we'll have to file through the bars and absolutely no one wants that, Nate."Nate.Your son. > Say something> Remain silent
>>45897379>Say somethingI don't even need Divination to detect you, please try harder.>press the button that kills all the prisoners
>>45897393Wasn't seeking suggestions on what to say, my friend. Though I could have been more clear about that.
>>45897400this vote was only 70% serious
Alright folks, I need to crawl into bed. Votes remain open. Questions, commends, discussion, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating.
>>45897379>> Say somethingnate's going to /absolutely/ fucking lose it if she speaks isn't he.
>>45897379> Say something
> Remain silentYou See. You Listen. None of this has ever required your input. Why start now?
>>45897379> Say somethingAlso is it weird that your choice in music makes Natalia suddenly far more understandable to me?
>>45897379>> Say somethingthat song reminds me of https://youtu.be/owFulRTR1Sc
>>45898677They're both covers of songs usually done by Vocaloids.
>>45899189the themes as well fit nicely
>>45897379>> Say somethingSing the nursery rhyme that you used to put him to sleep with, softly, as the books burn.
>>45899429You are a sick, sick anon. I like your style
>It's another "We play the villain and make metagamey choices to save the protagonists' lives" episode
>>45897379>> Say something"You should have named your wings Crescendo!"(I feel like this would be in-character for Natalia since she's a diviner)
>>45901046Oh my lord yes>say something Seconding
>>45901046Maybe read Vox' post? >>45897400Aside from that, I vote against saying that particular thing, should that matter.
>>45901158I refuse to read anything that essentially says CHOO CHOO motherfuckerAlso I'm voting against you voting against my vote.
>>45901180...This made me realise something.When we play the vilan of the day, we create the chalenges for ourselves. The GM has tricked us into railroading ourselves.
>>45901180>I refuse to read anything that essentially says CHOO CHOOAnd you say that of a vote regarding our opponent's action. Yes, railroading. Obviously.
>>45901216why are we playing our opponent if we don't get to decide their actions? Why are we voting if we don't get to decide their actions?I'm voting against your breathing privileges.
>>45901237We do get to decide their actions. However, not too specific, but rather in a more broad way. Which, if you think about it, makes sense, because we know like three things about our enemies character, and those are mostly in game speculation, and thus not necessarily precise. Wheres the person who actually wrote the character and is the actual QM know the character quite well, obviously.
>>45901281>QM forces us to play a character we are not familiar with>This is an excuse to give us less freedom of choice>Somehow this isn't railroading I'm voting against your typing privileges.
>>45901308>This is an excuse to give us less freedom of choiceHow many more possible answers do you want to what is basically a yes/no question?One should also note: Nox said that he did not ask for opinions on what to say. This does not necessarily mean that such opinions will not be taken in consideration.
>>45901355>NoxFuck off you maniac-supporting fuckwit.>>45901327I appreciate your support, son.
>>45901355>Backpedaling as fuckIts time to stop posting.
>>45901373You know, there is a diference between railroading and refusing to toss the plot out of the window, right?
I'm awake.Morning shit, then will call and write.
>>45901393>Tossing the plot out the windowHow? How does Natalia simply making the in-character critique "Should have named your wings Crescendo" upset the plot?
>>45901410Thank you ma'am. I appreciate your support.
>>45897379>Say somethingWell wishes and good health, dear Vox
>>45901467>Brownnosing>Literally namefags as ButtTicklerIt's like pottery. It rhymes.
>>45901402It doesn't, I was adressing the complaints about railroading.
>>45901481And it's egregious railroading to not let us vote for something Natalia would naturally do given the situation, especially since it's not like I'm saying she should kill herself or something crazy like that.
>>45901502Amazing, how do you know more about the character than the author does?
>>45901520Because she's our PC as long as we're playing her. That's how traditional games work. If the author has control over her, then this is just a fucking story. And it doesn't belong on this board.
>>45897379> Say somethingHo-ly shit.I haven't been able to post for awhile, but damn. A guillotine, human sacrifice, and now this. Given what's happened, what with the Lush not getting any guns and the fact that Natalia apparently /planned/ this, I'm actually really excited to see how this plays out. The chain's not broken yet, but I don't think Natalia can use it anymore. Which simplifies things a bit, leaves the problem of she still more or less rules New Hell. Also, I'm really curious as to what she's going to say.... And also how a bell ended up so close to the guillotine. Or are we close enough to the thing now where it conducts the magic directly?Anyway, glad to see my guess on why the Arc was named Traitor's Roar is panning out.
Sweet zombie fuck. This'll teach me to comment on shit at five in the morning. >>45901549This choice in itself is more significant than it looks. On a basic level, it's the choice to tip her hand or avoid doing so, since it'll tell Nathan how she can hear him. On a more significant level, it's maybe Natalia's first ever chance to try and be a mother. Votes called. Writing.
>>45902193SORRY VOX! I'M TRYING TO LISTEN TO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING!BUT THIS TRAIN GOING BY ME IS REALLY LOUD!
>>45902482>QM gives players options>Players pick one>ERMAHGERD RAILRUHDINYou're one of those people who demands a writein option on every vote, aren't you?
>>45902557>You're one of those people who demands a writein option on every vote, aren't you?Nah, just this one. I don't see how it wouldn't be easy for Vox to incorporate.
>>45897379Your throat seems so tight all of a sudden. Why was it easy to talk to the Heritor and not your own son?"Reinforcements, O my leader," a spectral voice calls. "Fuck," Nathan curses, and it makes you smile past the tears. "Nathan?" you murmur. You kneel next to the damaged little bell and scoop it up in your hands. "Nathan," you repeat, louder. "Someone's talking to me," Nathan says, presumably to his companions. "Check the minotaur's hand," you tell him, gently. "There should be a little silver bell."You hear the bell's clapper on the other end, ringing sweetly. "...Natalia," your son hazards, his voice cold. "Yes." You almost choke on the word, and the surge of anger at your own weakness comes with the too-familiar feeling of your eyes cracking and your shivering shadow. "Th-the bells. They're a communication system. He activated his so I would know that you've brought down the Bull.""Thank you for the information," Nathan replies, coldly. "But I'm a little busy with your men, and I don't have time for you.""STAND DOWN," you scream into the bell, in desperate fear. * * * *You are Nathan Bookchild, and all of a sudden those men that were coming to stop you from freeing the prisoners are lowering their weapons about as fast as they can be lowered. A few of them throw theirs on the ground, quaking in absolute terror. "Now can we talk?" Natalia pleads, from the bell in your hands. > "You had my whole life to talk to me. No."> "...Why?"> "If you let me get the prisoners out first."
>>45902599He never said he necessarily wouldn't incorporate ones that were offered, just that he wasn't asking for them because he had something in mind already (hence why there wasn't a (what?) at the end of the option). You're throwing a lot of salt over something that isn't that huge a thing.
>>45902705> "If you let me get the prisoners out first."She wants to talk to us, she has to prove she cares more about us and what we can do than any potential predictions she might have later on.
>>45902705CHOO CHOO! CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHOO CHOO!
>>45902705> "If you let me get the prisoners out first."Save the inocent.
>>45902705>If you let me get the prisoners out first
>>45902705Can we go for a combination? It feels appropriate for Nathan.>"You had my whole life to talk to me. To be a real mother. Why wait until now?"
>>45902705> "If you let me get the prisoners out first."
>>45902831Could be interesting.
>>45902705>> "You had my whole life to talk to me. No."
Hmm, let me get this Natalia is a Seer, who saw herself as the bringer of a great calamity.My guess is she saw the futureand knew of the master's plan and the only way she saw to avoid such future to happen was one were she helped with the master's plan.Natalia basicaly sacrificed her on son and her happy times with him as well as her sanity so the grim dark future the master and his helpers will create using the dungeon power.
Or real life has briefly swallowed me. There will be pizza at the end of this though.Writing slightly delayed.
>>45902705> "If you let me get the prisoners out first."Also...>>45902913I guessed at something like this earlier, but I'd sort of hoped she'd avoid needless cruelty or shit like the Guillotine if that were true.
>>45902705You look from the Traitor's men to the bell in your hands, unsure of what to do with the roil of emotions in your chest. "...If you let me get these prisoners to safety first, we can talk," you say at last, trying to keep your voice from shaking."Let them go," Natalia calls out, immediately. "Back to your posts!""But -" a man begins. "Kill him," Natalia orders, sharply. Your protest dies before it can even start; the two men next to the objector turn and fire their weapons at point-blank range. He crumples to the ground like paper. "...That wasn't necessary," you mutter. "Take your prisoners and go," Natalia sobs. "R-ring the bell when you're ready to talk." The prisoners shake and sob in relief - there's some eighteen of them in all - but they move out under their own power, cringing away from Natalia's men. The mercenaries - traitor smiths? - watch you as you leave, waiting to hear something else from the silver bell in your hands. In the end, you leave the Steel Market, and the corpse of the Bull, behind you. The march to the Black Anvils is hurried. River sends Zachary ahead to warn them, and everyone is tense, waiting for an ambush or a trap to go off. To your immense relief, though, nothing untoward happens, leaving you to hang back as the group files into Black Anvil territory. "Call if you need me," Amy murmurs, before leaving you to your privacy. You take a deep breath and ring the small silver bell. "Nathan," Natalia breathes, in relief. "I thought - I didn't...""Some of us know how to keep our word, Traitor," you murmur. "I didn't mean for any of this to happen," she whispers. > "Bullshit."> "Tell me how you got this way. I want to hear it from you."> "Then what /did/ you mean to happen, Natalia?"
>>45904388>> "Then what /did/ you mean to happen, Natalia?"a) Directly refusing to acknowledge her as "mother" in any form.b) *Really* want to know what she Saw that she wanted to either achieve or prevent—or felt that she was Fated to do, like it or not. (And which of those it was!)
>>45904388> "Then what /did/ you mean to happen, Natalia?"
>>45904388>"Then what /did/ you mean to happen, Natalia?"
>>45904388>> "Then what /did/ you mean to happen, Natalia?"
>>45904388> "Then what /did/ you mean to happen, Natalia?"Tempted to ask how she ended up this way, but we kind of know that already. Dick is a Dick, like he was with everyone, and pushed her just right when she was at her most vulnerable. So, I want to know what she actually wanted. What she tried to accomplish. And maybe, to try and give her a way out. There's always a choice, after all.
>>45904388>> "Then what /did/ you mean to happen, Natalia?"I almost feel bad for her... almost...
Called, writing. Likely final update before work.
>>45904388>"Then what /did/ you mean to happen, Natalia?"I'm a little bit more sure now after listening to that song.NOPE, DON'T FEEL TERRIBLY BAD FOR HER.
>>45905351she's certainly pitiable, but she's spilled enofgh blood that the only thing for her is to put her down. hell its probably more merciful than sparing her given just how far up self hating crazy creek she's gone.
>>45905523nah, killing her wouldn't be for her. Just an over-elaborate suicide by cop. It's just that she doesn't necessarily deserve the hoop-jumping necessary to get some actual brain healing.
>>45904388"Then what /did/ you mean to happen, Natalia?" you demand. "Tell me how this makes any sense. Tell me about the shining fucking utopia that all this terror was supposed to be.""You don't know me!" her voice snaps, edged and brittle. "You can't judge me!""Whose fault is that?" you snarl. You can see your shadow on the wall, lashing out in mute fury. "I wanted to /help/ people," Natalia protests. "I went to war to make a /difference/. To protect the people who protect /us/. I could see their deaths coming, could...could change them sometimes, when their fates were weak...""You know there's no such thing as fate," you murmur. "THEN WHY DOES DEATH MAKE THE VISIONS STRONGER?" Natalia's anger is like broken glass pointed at you, jagged and fragile. "Why am I so much better at using it to kill and hurt and /ravage/? Why do I see the unplowed fields where only misery grows? Don't tell me it's not my fate, Nathan. Don't you /dare/.""Why should I let you hide from what you did to both of us?" you murmur. "Your choices, Natalia. I've had to live with /your sins/ my entire life.""I tried to give you a good life," she sobs. "I did. I left you with good people, in...in a good place. I did everything I could, I -""You could have /stayed/. You could have been /my mother/. You could have done /anything but this/.""You want the chance to prove me wrong?" Natalia cuts in, her voice suddenly cold, controlled. "You talk a big game, /boy/. But fate is easily tested, isn't it?"> ...What are you proposing?> I'm not buying into your game.
>>45905706> I'm not buying into your game.
>>45905706>> I'm not buying into your game."The only winning move is not to play."
Alright folks, I need to head into work. Votes will remain open. Questions, comments, discussion, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>45905706>...What are you proposing?let River/illusion demon go for the hostages
> ...What are you proposing?Morbidly curious here.
>>45905706>> ...What are you proposing?We don't need to play along, but we do need to know what game we're actually playing, you can't cheat without knowing that.
>>45905706>>> ...What are you proposing?Not agreeing to play, just want to know what the game is
See you just after midnight, folks. I'll talk as I can.
>>45905706>I'm not buying into your game.Even as pitiable as she's become, there's no giving her any slack. What's done is done, there's no changing the past.If she wants to die by Nathan's hand, than let's have it somewhere /we/ decide. Neutral territory. Like under the watching gaze of a seraphim.
>>45905706>...What are you proposing?
I'm really against listening to her as she is the one proposing a test of fate. She, The Traitor, who has abandoned and forsaken literally everything in her life because of how she views fate.This is not likely a test that will prove our best interests.
>>45907572To add to this, wouldn't the fact that we refuse to have our fate tested entirely prove our point?
>>45905706>> I'm not buying into your game.
>>45905706>> ...What are you proposing?
>>45905706>I'm not buying into your game.
>>45907572It's not a trap if we know it's a trap going in.
>>45909142...Yes. Yes, it is.We may be able to avoid it, but it's still a trap.
>>45905706>> I'm not buying into your game.> I'm here to stop you, not to "test fate", or prove you right, or wrong, or anything.We need to shut her down hard, I think. Make 100% clear to her that we did *not* come here to validate her worldview in any way.
Hour and a half and change to call.
>I'm not buying into your gameNever mind that this is probably what she expected. Did she think her kids would be any less hard headed than her?
>>45905706> ...What are you proposing?
My samefag radar is pinging.
>>45905706>> I'm not buying into your game.>> I'm here to stop you, not to "test fate", or prove you right, or wrong, or anything.>>45910038>>45907572>>45905748I think these anons have the right idea. Call it Fate, call it Destiny. But you always, /always/ have a choice.
>>45912605mine too. I mean, I voted to listen, but this sudden surge of people voting with no explanation is shady as fuck.
.....Vox, this all isn't just the Traitor's power affecting the voices in Nate's head, is it?
>>45912605I'm with you, there's usually never this many votes. I'm pretty surprised too, since this vote is basically just whether Nate will let the Traitor talk or not; wouldn't have thought people would care so much.
>>45905706> I'm not buying into your game.Plus >> I'm here to stop you, not to "test fate", or prove you right, or wrong, or anything.
>>45913992I'm a bit less surprised. It was in a timeframe for a good amount of votes, with people still online when I left and people coming online while I was gone. And lookin' at the reasonings given on both sides, there's some nice arguments and rationales. In any event, home, called, writing.
>>45914021Not to sound upset but I think we might need to do a revote here. There is some serious samefagging here and either way it turns out I just don't like leaving it like this.
>>45914231I'd agree with you but we can't conclusively prove it's samefagging (because the total votes are fewer than the total posters) and given it's been on both sides it could be argued that the fucktards balanced each other out.
>>45914272Plus it'd just be another set of Crescendo bitching all over again.
>>45914231You sound super upset.
I'm having flashbacks to DBZ human quest...
> ...What are you proposing?Listening is free. Not committing to anything just yet.That being said however... this conversation was not productive. They basically just snapped at each other to vent some repressed feelings.Not much actual talking going on. Which... is understandable, I suppose. Both of them seem kinda bitter about the situation as it stands. >_>I doubt that they're gonna get much acomplished here either. Neither Nate nor ...Nat? have the verbal skills and calm of mind that our dark necromancer possesses.How do you disprove fate anyway? Especially to someone who sees the future? You could declare either reaction to be part of it. That's the difficult part of fate. ANYTHING can be attributed to it.There are a couple reasons for why death in particular fuels her power, too. Could be related to why death fuels necromancy, too.Like, we know that they don't even have to suffer or be in agony. Just the act of dying makes it go. Maybe the ghost departing temporarily opens a tunnel for her to peek through?
>>45915132Mind you, this is not immediately useful to either of them, but I am curious about the "mechanics" behind this, as it were. It gives insight into how the world works.Another option is that her vision is somehow tied to the Angel of Death (Lora), and death related things fuel her as well. Which means that the chain is her main connection to that effect. But that probably isn't the case if she already had these visions and death enhancement bonus before she even went into the dungeon.
>>45915132... That one anon some threads back was right. No matter how long the vote time is people will still be late.
>>45915132I like this vein of speculation. Being able to perceive parts of the past and the future is probably one of the big secrets held by the dead. Same could be said for the Secondborn.Was the ritual Natalia performed necromancy, demonology, or a mix of practices? Her improved powers could be the result of something similar to Brianna's Death Sense applied to her own visions. It would explain why everything she sees ends in death and decay.
>>45915227That would be tragic. Enhancing her powers with death, so now she can see all the death better. :/It does make sense, though.
>>45915132>>45915425I've got a few theories>The execution is painless, but the emotions of those watching are plenty darkened.And that change to the "atmosphere" is what pushes things ever closer to tank wars.>The divination is fueled purely by blood.and she has gotten so very efficient at spilling a lot of it.>She's (mis)using the Caretaker's Scepter and maybe other foci for some death-powered rituals.>this is all some foreign version of the lich ritual, the DnD kind where you need to do unspeakable evil.only super divination is one of the powers that comes with the package
>>45902803>>45902482>oracle>sees the future>railroading>rest of the quest is just fineYou're a moron.
>>45916201you're not just retarded, you also lack reading comprehension
>>45905706You take a deep breath and let it out slowly, and look over at your shadow. It kneels on the ground, holding the shadow of the bell to its ear. "I'm listening," you say quietly. "Which is not to say that I'm agreeing to anything.""Of course. You are here to stop me, for whatever reason. Revenge, probably.""No, Natalia," you murmur. You feel tired, all of a sudden - tired in your heart. "Not revenge. I came to stop you because it's the right thing to do. Because you're doing something that will cause needless death and destruction. And because you took something good and turned it into...into this. This place where people kill for fear and mourn the death of their way of life."Natalia is silent for long enough that you're not sure if she's still there. You're about to ask if she's going to keep talking when her voice floats from the bell, soft and pained. "I'm proud of you, son," she murmurs. "Proud of the man you've become. I'm. I'm sorry that I wasn't there to help you become that man." You open your mouth to say something back, and slowly close it. There's something hot brimming in your broken eyes, but it can't be tears. This...this /wretch/ can't make you cry. You don't /care/.Your faithless shadow weeps silently on the wall, hunched over the little bell. "You want to stop me, but my fate is to succeed," Natalia murmurs. "I have Seen it. My hand will reshape the face of death and grind the land with war such as has never been seen. You say there is no fate? Stop me. Two shipments will be leaving Forge Regicide in six hours. One contains the Caretaker's staff. The other has my weapons, plans, and men to teach my client. They will leave at the same time, each under guard, and make for the surface.""How?" you croak. "Teleportation into hidden passages that connect to the Basement. Too far away for you to marshal your forces up there. Do as you must, my son."
I think Vox might have fallen asleep. Do liches even need rest? Somebody must have forgotten his double coffee. SOMEONE GET AN IV! STAT!
>>45916358>>45916351HE LIVES! Disregard everything I just said; these bones will never stop being spooky.
>>45916351Oh screaming hells. I think I might have just filled my pants.
>>45916351hold up guys.Which place is the basement again? Is that under Lora's control?
>>45916351What's the range limit of the Sultan's illusions?>Amy rockets up in a sonic boom up the Roost and into the Basement/Glenthat would be such a perfect time to balance out the MC screentime.
>>45916351"You don't have any right to call me that," you snarl, past the tightness in your throat. "...Nathan, then," Natalia whispers. "You deserved better."The bell chimes once, and is silent. You stare at it, holding yourself back from crushing it to scrap. This might be your first chance to study the Chain-Bearer's communication network and maybe, with Harry's help, make one of your own. She had /no right/ to call you that. To say that about you, to - to -You sink to your knees and try not to sob. The door into the Black Anvils' turf opens, and you look up to see Amy carefully shutting it behind herself. On reflex you try to restrain your shadow; it flickers, for a moment, and resumes its whole-body sobs. Amy kneels beside you without a word and pulls you into a warm hug. Her wings fold around you, protectively, and she hums softly. > Let it happen> Try to explain> Push her away
>>45916451>Have River go on aheadFrom Nate's perspective, DOESN'T MATTER WHAT RIVER DOES/CHOOSES, GO>Let it Happenbut it would be absolutely wrong to have Amy do that.
>>45916383...? /Do/ tell, my friend. >>45916396Yes, but, again, Lora's perception is far from perfect. Assuming you can let her know what's happening - which, admittedly, Amy could - she may not be able to pick out her targets before they're gone from the Basement. She may not be able to reshape the Dungeon's layout without being present to speak the Divine Tongue either. >>45916417This may actually work, though. She'd need something to maintain the illusion cloaking her from the denizens of the Roost, which means a crystal or taking the Sultan with her, and there's also the problem of getting through the barrier blocking the Roost off from the Mine, which has been left intact for reasons of caution on the part of the Miners. Any plan hinging on this will have to make some decisions based on those factors. I am up far too fucking late. Votes will remain open until the morning. Questions, comments, discusison, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>45916470I...am confused as to the River write-in on this vote? Right now she's in the Black Anvils' turf with the rescued prisoners, waiting for Nathan to be done talking to Natalia (or, more accurately, waiting for Amy to come back and tell her everything is alright). Can you expand on what you were after here?
>>45916483>This may actually work, though.what? Oh /no/, I don't mean them together.Sultan's illusions are mainly for communication, getting the word out as fast as possible. If Amy needs to carry him to do that, well I suppose that also works.But the main thing, though.>illusion cloaking>not just busting through because a sonic boom is the opposite of stealthyHAHA, DON'T FUCKING CAREAlthough it might be the actually intelligent thing to do.
>>45916522...oh. My mistake. That's not good.changing >>45916470 to>hold it in long enough to get somewhere safe and tell River, then let it happen with Amy to support
> Let it happenYou got the time. Decompress, mate. Then thing with a clear mind about what to do.Hrm... I am unsure indeed of what to do here. It's pretty clear that we want to do the heroic thing and get both boats. But how? Get them at the fort before they can leave? Send Kells out to intercept in the Basement?
>>45916451Try to explain.Fail.Let it happen.
>>45916451>Let it happen.He needs to just let it go. I'll see myself out.
>>45916451>> Let it happen
>>45916451>> Try to explainThat can be as important a part of purging the emotional wounds as the crying.
I'm alive. Must do Morning Shit and also Prevent Homelessness.
Why is it bad if the Caretaker's staff reach the surface?Slavery or something?Can't we call Bri through Fetch, too?
>>45919792That shipment being a thing is bad for two primary reasons. 1. Their fate would be uncertain and out of your ability to affect if they made the surface2. It increases your chance of missing the guns
>>45919898But there are only two ways out of the Basement, yes? The Oubliette and the Elevator.Can we not temporarily restrict access to them?
>>45919927Those are the two primary entrances but they're not the only ones; the Basement is riddled with hidden ways in and out, many of them naturally formed. It may be best to worry about the theorizing after Nate gets the chance to explain to his friends, mind. Which will be Soon(tm).
>>45919898So she's not saying defy fate by choosing the one with the guns, thereby leaving a number of innocents to whateverthefuck may happen to them.She's saying defy fate by figuring out which of the ships has guns at all? With the idea that if we pick the ones with the Caretaker's people the guns were 'fated' to reach the surface?Fuck, by that logic she could have taught the staff how to make the guns and just be shipping them off to her 'client' too, so either way gun knowledge gets out and she gets to crow on about being right.She just lost a shitton of sympathy from me.
>>45920001Did you miss the part where she's actually insane at this point?You sound like you're expecting some kind of highly-sophisticated logic here >_>;
>>45920037I expected insanity, not childishness.I don't think she actually /did/ teach them, given that she probably wouldn't be thinking logically like that, but the possibility that she did worries me.
>>45920090Most insane people are childish. They can't conceive of reality not conforming to their wishes.
So guys, shes giving us the usual "you can only save one" ultamatum, forgetting we can split the party, river and the demon tackle the caretakers staff (necromancy bullshit and all that), and we tackle the weapons, chances are shes tunnelvisioned on us and doesn't give a damn what the rest of the party does (other than amy maybe?)
>>45920001She's betting that the guns reach the surface, yeah. The staff may just be a distraction, or they could be a followup gambit.>>45920234Indeed. But splitting the party also means half as many folks to deal with problems. Home, called, writing.
>>45920230You say that like you think most insane people have desire-based delusions.That is seriously fucking incorrect.
>>45920317No, it applies to non-desire based insanity as well. They're so distracted by the voices in their head-world the real world is a pale shadow in comparison. Same result, different reason.
>>45920234Yes, but that means she no longer has the captives to kill either, meaning Brianna doesn't have her hands tied any longer.
>>45920495>>45920479>Most insane people are childish. They can't conceive of reality not conforming to their wishes>not conforming to their wishes>their wishes>MostYou aren't wrong in what you say, but the anon I was talking to most fucking certainly is.
>>45920604And shouldn't have linked to >>45920495, meant to link to >>45920230
>>45916451>>> Try to explain
I hate seers so much right now.
>>45921136Now you know how basically all of New Hell feels.
>>45916451Your first thought is to pull away, but you don't. You need this. And Amy needs this too, the little voice in your head that never knows how to stop analyzing shit adds. You spend too much time keeping space between you and the people you love. You hug Amy back and let the tears flow. You're - you're a lot of things, right now. Sad, angry, frustrated, betrayed. Even hopeful, some, though for what you're not sure, and the roil in your heart comes out as quiet sobs and the desperate, grateful squeeze of your hug. Amy lets you cry yourself out, humming softly while her wings shelter you. "Did you need to talk?" your lover murmurs, after you've been quiet for a long moment. "I can't right now," you tell her. "Not - not because I don't want to. We're on a clock now.""...How bad a clock?" Amy asks. "After the gorger and the Steel Market -""Less than six hours.""Let's get you inside," Amy agrees. She helps you stand, and wipes the tears from your cheeks with a faint smile. "I hate to say it, but Natalia certainly knows how attrition works.""Heh."You head into the Black Anvils' territory just behind Amy and motion Opal over to the area where River, the Sultan, and Fetch already are. You take in a deep breath, gathering your thoughts, and start to talk. "In a little less than six hours, the Traitor is going to attempt to run two shipments - likely guarded caravans of carts - to teleportation areas. One contains her hostages; the other, weapons bound for the surface.""/Fuck/," River mutters. "Yeah," you agree, bitterly. "We need a plan.""Let's start simple," Opal offers. "You goin' after both?""There may not be a way to avoid that," you sigh. "I don't know which is which or where either is heading.""We can try to find that out. Or just split to cover both to begin with. Or any number of other things," the dwarf points out. > Go after both> Go after just one (which?)
>>45921848>Go after bothIf we win both we win the game. Were going to want to focus on caretaker for obvious reasons, but we need to at least take a passing shot at the supplies. In fact, there isn't anything stopping us from laying down explosives and letting nature take its course on the weapon shipment
>>45921848>Go after bothI desperately want to contribute a plan but I just plain suck at it.
>>45921848OK, feedback here.we have six hours.Is that enough time to say 'fuck splitting forces' and smash our way into the fort, get both shipments, and leave?
>>45921969I'll contribute for you.They're using mineshafts to move these, and we know quite a few people good at manipulating stone, or at least causing a cave in. If we block them in we buy time to take out one and then the other, or random the shipment for not flat out crushing all of thrn
Tried to give my pre-work sendoff but 4chan was kill. I'll see you in either four or six hours depending on other stuff.
>>45921848> Go after both
>>45921848>> Go after bothAt this point we can pull in Bri can't we? The Caretakers staff are now in a box on her gamble and if she were to kill them to keep her promise we would immediately know which box is the guns. She either keeps to her promised threat and is denied her fate, or doesn't and we get an extra MC to help.
>>45922486I like this idea, but Natalia can probably still order the soldiers to kill the staff if Bri comes down, since she may have Seen it. I think our best plan of attack is to use the Sultan to mess with her using illusions. That's what we got him for, right?
>>45922797Well part of that is the point. If she does that, (and as grim as it sounds) we no longer have to worry about their shipment and can rush straight towards the gun box. She would be stopping her own fate with her own actions which by her very character she is never going to do. Right?
>>45922897That's some sound logic you have there.However, Natalia is quite mad.Besides, she can send out a shipment of corpses and we'd never know.
>>45921848>>> Go after bothYeah if she gets one, we get fucked
>>45922952Well then how about we issue an ultimatum directly to Natalia via the silver bells? She set up this gamble to test our fate so why don't we send it right back in her face to test /her/ fate?"We're bringin in Bri.""BUT I'LL KILL EM""Then are you saying your fate isn't gonna happen?""NO IT WILL HAPPEN""Then don't do anything and prove it. Or your life is a lie."Or somesuch. Her entire being at this point revolves around her absolute faith in her fate. If there's a chance it would be proven wrong it is 'technically' impossible for her and she can't accept that. I'm just trying to play to that flaw of hers to our advantage.
This dungeon level boss hurts my head.
>>45923907... In a good way?Hour and a half or so to call. Loving the planning so far.
>>45924514Not complaining, all my planning just falls apart when the target has a kind of 'future vision'. Makes me feel unable to meaningfully add to the plotting.Might be the migraine talking...
>>45924664Well, she did kinda just relinquish her entire pool of Seer boosting sacrificial prisoners. She kinda gave up one of her biggest 'tools' to foresee our tricks.
I wonder how many secret exits there are in the Basement, to think, we could have just up and left without anyone knowing.
Could we force them onto certain paths by using the heating/cooling system to render all but a few chosen shafts leathal?
>>45926393We only just eliminated the guys controlling the Steel Market, and the only 'New Hellions' we've buddied up with are the Black Anvils.Not saying that's a bad idea, but we just don't control enough of New Hell to make that work. I wonder if the Sultan could create illusions of fire or cold to do the same thing? It all depends on how perceptive the caravan guards are.
Off work, heading home shortly. Hopefully we can kill this thread so I can drive out of town and run my Pathfinder game tomorrow.In related news, slow run planned tomorrow due to Pathfinder game.
>>45921848>Go after both.We're a Hero. This isn't exactly a choice.Let's get the Rakshasa involved. We've been hesitant to use his abilities for worry of what he could do, but this could be exactly the moment to surprise Natalia.
>>45926655 And Vox is going to be playing an epic Lich Bard with a big black cock for a familiar.
>>45926734I'm the GM.
>>45926644If we use illusions we might be able to make them do it themselves. Didn't that dwarf say we'd have to turn the river around or turn the valve ourselves? What if we have Sultan illusion the river to run the wrong way, or all the valves we want turned pointing the wrong way? The people maintaining the machinery are no doubt trained to watch that stuff and keep it in 'the safe zone' but if we change where that appears to be we wouldn't even have to overtake anybody to do it.
>>45926760While you certainly seem to have a talent for storytelling, I would had thought that you dealt with enough cheeky nonsence in retail.
>>45926760That is not a contradictory statement.
Alright folks, here's the deal - I'm home and starting to write the next update, but in addition to the potentially slow run tonight/tomorrow this will require some consideration and debate, so I don't wanna stick it in this thread and cut it off. So: votes are called, but we need to kill this thread. To that end, I'm going to answer some questions! >>45922486See this: >>45922797. Bring Bri in too early and she'll just kill 'em and stuff their corpses in the cart, and you've lost the hostages for nothing. Mind you, if the timing is right, this: >>45923140 is quite possible, presuming she sticks to her ideological guns. >>45924798Or disrupted her own design process long-term, ensuring that if she's stopped here she'll have a bitch of a time starting back up. >>45926393Not really feasible. Nothing's truly disconnected; the failure of one part might fuck a specific section /first/, but without much way to escape on its own, the heat'll spill out and strain the rest. If you compromise it enough to make one section lethal you'd be looking at a rapid, cascading failure of cooling leading directly to everyone dying. Eventually the forges would run out of fuel and/or sorcery and cool down, making it safe to enter the level again, but in the meantime it'd likely heat up the Roost and certainly fuck up the Mine. >>45926848That may certainly inspire the forces left in the Steel Market to abandon it. Questions? Comments? Theories? Thread-slaying?
>>45927708About how much longer will this act be (not that I'm complaining about it)?
>>45927889Depends somewhat on you. Natalia is, as you can see, making a run on exhausting her enemies here by forcing you to react to unknowns and thus not get any rest. If/when you resolve this, you face the choice of attempting to gun for her directly, or of trying to deal with the people who betrayed New Hell to serve or or to gain safety from her first. Don't forget that the Pit, among other Forges, are making things for other Chain-Bearers, and if those things aren't attended to they may hurt you long-term.
http://i.imgur.com/GNmtQfQ.jpgIn other news, while we're waiting on the thread to die, final update before the 12th on the Mourners: Scum of Shatterdown KS ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/197021008/mourners-scum-of-shatterdown )!We hit our first stretch goal last night at an even $2,000 and are $385 from the second one. None of this would have been possible without your incredible support, and I cannot express my gratitude enough. You've made a lifelong dream come true for me.
>>45928209I just hope you can get more publisher support. You're a great writer.
>>45928261As do I! The bossmen are pleased by this turn of events, though.
>>45928548Great to hear, Vox, hoping to get the dwarves as well....that said, I do have a question regarding the world of this quest. How common is magic? I mean, we know there's a necromancer ban (or was) and one of the other characters was a caster, but do average peasants know what they're seeing if people start chucking fireballs? How about recognizing an enchanted item? This may become important during interludes in the Overworld.
So, this world has a Hell, but, if I'm understanding correctly, it's explicitly known *not* to be part of any afterlife. And it has demons, many of whom are generally(?) known to be fairly decent folks.The afterlife itself is pretty vague—it's known that there *is* existence after death, at least for some people, but everyone who knows anything about it is keeping mum, either by choice or by some kind of massive geas or similar.First question: Is all this broadly correct?Further questions: So...does "hell" in this world have remotely the same connotations that it does in ours? A place to which to damn people, a word suitable for cursing, that sort of thing?
>>45929295Fairly common? Magic's a profession that's commonly embraced, though you see more healers and alchemists than almost anyone else - their services are always in demand. Generally, folks recognize the runic patterns used to bind spells to objects or people, even if they don't necessarily know the difference between demonic runes, smithing glyphs, or fey knots.
>>45929516Mostly correct. Hell is "known" to be a place of punishment for heinous sinners. This is completely wrong, but demons encourage the idea. As a result, it has much the same connotations as it does on Earth, aside from its deep connections to forge-fire and the art of creation.
>>45929801So the common folk believe it to be a place of punishment, but scholars, demonologists and the like know better? Or even most of those are taken in, because the demons are like, "Yeah, totally! We use souls for currency and everything!"
>>45929920Hell being an okay place is one of its big secrets. The Secondborn have a thoroughly vested interest in their older siblings seeing them as primeval malice, because the alternative has absolutely no fucking dignity whatsoever. There are scholars amongst the Firstborn who /suspect/ that Hell is more complicated than the legends suggest, but there's vanishingly little in the way of hard data.
>>45929920Yes, because the demons like to be considered edgy over the fact that they're simply inferior to regular folks. Chances are hell is like Nebraska, a perfectly fine place to live if you don't mind the fact that its an absolute shithole with nothing to do in it. Also demonologists who get onto the secret tend to get violently killed because demons don't want to lose the one advantage they have going for them
>>45929969...Is there a way for a mortal to enter Hell? Some kind of "reverse summoning" or something? (Leaving aside the question of whether he or she could get back safely, of course...)
>>45929969what is the alternative?
>>45930007I'm sure there is, but going to hell is like going to Nebraska, you just don't do it.
>>45930032I thought it'd be more like Michigan, being as that's where it is.
New thread soon Vox?
>>45930007There's rumors, but nothing concrete. Some believers in the tale of how the Firstborn learned fire and forge believe that the passage to Hell taken by the first two demons still exists, and that great honor would be accorded to a mortal brave enough to make that journey.Some demons believe the same thing. >>45930031https://docs.google.com/document/d/116YbA7nVxJAqs8uBdRDA1o6UrovTTbJEOZJjHr2BeKc/edit?usp=sharing>>45930130I laughed>>45930619Yes
>>45930130Are you insane, everyone knows hell is in New Jersey!
>>45931050I was making a futurama joke but forgot how douche fox is with takedowns on youtube and how you can't get any of those clips online.
New thread, writing initial update now>>45931189>>45931189>>45931189>>45931189Also thread archived