ARCHIVE: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Dungeon%20Life%20QuestPREVIOUS THREAD: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/46239252/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 Brianna la Croix, in a tiny room that smells faintly of shit, and you're about to fight flesh-eating draugs in what you're pretty sure is chain armor, because this is your life now. At least the door is steel. Which you should ask about later, but fuck it, it's helpful now.
>>46260459It archived while I was asleep, so....
>>46260459You pull a bone wand from your belt and gather a breath to yell. "Draugs!" you warn. "Diving Shadow, /door/!"The harpy lunges for the door and yanks it open, just ahead of the gloved hand that's reaching to bolt it from the far side. "Amy, Blame!" you snap, and your lover hurls her axe. In the flickering light of Blame's flaming explosion, you catch glimpses of cold-weather gear, worn over mail armor, and of faces gnawed apart by humanoid teeth. You level your wand and begin incanting. You feel the exhaustion creep into your bones as your spell meets the will of the draugs, but necromancy isn't about will - it's about sacrifice. Their hate has nothing on hard work. The undead are blown back into the passage from which they came, and your lovers surge through the door that Diving Shadow is holding open. "C'mon," you call to the harpy, following closely after them. "Nathan, they hate fire!""Do they feed to live?" the Hero asks. "Yes!"One of the undead creatures springs to its feet, only to take Banquet to the chin. The shield seethes eagerly, the runes around it eager and red. The draug screams with terror. "Don't let them run," Diving Shadow advises. "They'll be getting their allies."That's all you really needed to know. You mentally consign yourself to making a new wand and hurl the one in your hand like a dart. Amy and Nathan hit the deck, sensing your unspoken intent. The draug you hit erupts into needles of bone that pierce the others, pinning them to the walls. Amy rises, knife in hand, and makes short work of the remainder. "Fuck. Us," you breathe, lighting a new cigarette. > Investigate the bodies> Open the door at the far end of the passage
>>46260653>> Open the door at the far end of the passage
>>46260653>> Investigate the bodiesNever EVER leave a stone unturned before moving on.
>>46260653>Investigate the bodiesTake it slow, look for bells.....SPEAKING of bells, what did Nate do with his?
>>46260723It is currently with Harry, who is working with Slaughter on teasing apart its function and replicating it. Tapping into the Chain-Bearer's communications are a secondary concern, as it was felt - not without reason - that they'd move to a different channel of communication pretty rapidly if the bells were compromised.
Calling in seven minutes, mostly so I can make chai.
Votes called, writing. Mmm, chai.
>>46261153>Mmm, chai.mmmm, Peach Tea
>>46260653Nathan pants while he picks himself up. He looks at the pinned corpses, with burnt holes in their skulls from where Amy finished them, and then back at you. "Brianna," the Hero says slowly. "What's stopping you from doing that to a living person?""Takes more power," you answer, quietly. "And ethics. It's easier when the body's already dead. Doing that to a living person would be drain on the level of a revival."Nathan winces, sympathetically, and nods. He steps aside while you kneel next to the corpses. The bodies are remarkably well-preserved and clearly clad in cold-weather gear, with thick, fur-lined coats and hoods pulled up around their heads. You can feel chain armor beneath the warm clothes. The bulge in their pockets turns out to be cigarettes and matches. "...No," you murmur. You pull one glove off and touch the dead draug's shredded cheek. The flesh is colder than ice, and flakes beneath your gentle touch. "They froze. They're from the Broken Jaw.""The Diviner is a necromancer?" Diving Shadow asks. "These are natural draugs. Made ones don't have the cannibalistic marks or habits left over from death. Like smoking so they can feel warm. No, they died and rose on their own, but from the pain I'm still sensing on them...I doubt the Diviner was uninvolved."You let out a soft stream of curses before touching the bony spines that pin the draugs to the walls. They crumble to dust, and you - using your oaken cane as a focus - follow suit with the other bodies, leaving behind their possessions. "May the gods take these, their wayward children, into the Sunless Lands and show them the mercy in death that they were denied in life," you murmur. You stand slowly, leaning on your cane, and take a pull from your canteen of cold coffee. You have a problem, and you /refuse/ to address it. "Let's go," you murmur.
>>46261508>You have a problem, and you /refuse/ to address it.Technically she has two, but I'm not sure how much people know about lung-cancer in this world.
>>46261508Okay, so in conclusion, Draugs are fucking scary. Imagine if these had been men trained and armed by Natalia? Armored and using those Fratricide rifles? Or some of those machine-guns the Baron had? Fuck, zombies armies are wrong but /Sweet baby Jesus/ are they intimidating.
>>46261508You pile the equipment - five suits of chain, an equal number of winter suits, and an assortment of cigarettes, weapons, and personal effects - in the slave chamber, just next to the trapped chains. You ask Fetch to warn the others about the manacles, and then stack up to open the door at the far end of the hall. It opens up into a crossroads within a winding tunnel, but Diving Shadow points to the double doors on the other side. "I recognize those," she tells you. "Those lead into the tube. Back before the place was sealed, there would have been a straight path from them to where we found those slaves, so that the dwarves could haul materials in and through.""Seems as good a place to start as any. Shall we?"You and Nathan push the doors open. You're not sure what you'd been expecting, but it wasn't this. The wave of death hits you like a rising tide, dizzying in its intensity, and is joined by a stunning sense of /depth/. The Roost rises high above you and plunges far beneath you; the tube that is the main chamber is shockingly smooth on the outside and riddled with tunnels and protrusions that have clearly been carved by sapient hands. Loud, screeching calls and chirps echo through the place. Haphazardly placed torches and lanterns, many hanging from or bolted to wood and metal structures that cling to the rock, throw long shadows through the Roost that gutter and swim through the open spaces. You feel a death, far above you, and look up just in time to feel hot blood splatter your face. A harpy wings off, one of her own kind in her talons, and throws the corpse down a hole to an unseen fate. "...Home sweet home," Amy mutters. Her feathers shiver, chiming a fearful tone. You put a hand on her shoulder and squeeze gently. It's hard to see straight, and you're trying not to let your discomfort show. You're not sure /why/, since Nathan and Amy are going to see through you like cheap leggings, but -
>>46261804>The wave of death hits you like a rising tide, dizzying in its intensity, and is joined by a stunning sense of /depth/.....wow. That, uh, I can see why we get so many adventurers now.
>>46261804"It might be best if we move through the tunnels," Diving Shadow opines. "But there's a bit of a decision to be made."Thank the gods, a legitimate out from this charnal pit. "Lay it on me.""Height is power," Diving Shadow explains simply. "The higher harpy has the advantage of initiative, intelligence, and reach, so even though the Mine has fallen, the higher reaches are likely to be contested or, worse, controlled by Murders and maybe even dwarves loyal to the Chain-Bearers. I do not think it coincidence that we found the draugs here, on the second tier of the Roost. Going up likely means starting a fight.""But going down means being vulnerable to ambushes whenever we move in the open," Nathan hazards. "Exactly," Diving Shadow agrees. "The tunnels will be free of harpies but possibly full of more of those draugs, not to mention the native monsters that live in here. Cave snakes, elementals, that manner of thing. Any given dwarf clan is not necessarily an ally either, to say nothing of the minority human population.""How the fuck do humans survive this place?" you ask, aghast."Generally by being more vicious than the harpies," Amy murmurs, guiltily. She wraps her wings around herself and slips back into the tunnel, shaking quietly. "This was a mistake. I shouldn't have come back here.""...Ames, if -""I'll be fine," Amy snaps. Her angry gaze instantly collapses into regret. "I'm sorry, I...I just...""Old memories," you murmur, understandingly. You give her a brief hug, around her metallic wings, and ruffle her hair. She chirps into the gesture, closing her eyes in relief. "You're fine, Ames. You deserve the chance to close the book on this part of your life.""Yeah..."> Go down> Go up
>>46261887>Go upLET YOUR SONG ECHO AND YOUR TALONS RAKE THE WINDS....why aren't we entering the Roost from the Mines?
>>46261976So as not to start a giant fight and mass exodus that would lead to chaos and death. Harpies, for understandable reasons, avoid New Hell like the plague and aren't as likely to make a beeline for it, killing anything between them and freedom.
>>46261887>> Go up
>>46261887>> Go upHave to say that you're doing a wonderful job showing just how /fucked/ the Roost is between the descriptions and Amy's reactions.
Alright folks, I've got work tomorrow. And the day after, because why should I have holidays off. Votes remain open. Questions, comments, discussion, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!Interesting to see that anon seems to be spoiling for a fight...
>>46261887>Go down.Time for a voice of reason. If we go UP, we are facing a huge uphill battle that is likely to get one of us killed. Remember; this is the Roost, and these are harpies. They have several advantages over half our party, and we are currently down one chivalrous cockerel.Going down means we can meet with a smaller, neutral Murder and trade for information. Tell them how the higher levels of the Dungeon have been freed, and ask about who's controlling where, and about Hunting Talon.If someone tries to ambush us on the way down, Amy actually has an advantage over other harpies in that her wings are a giant collection of fucking blades.>>46262476I like a good scrap as much as any other anon, But the Roost has the potential to be interesting, and I don't want to fuck things up straight out of the gate by picking a fight with the top dogs, who probably outnumber us by a /huge/ margin.
>>46262836>Go down.This anon brings up some good points. We need support. We've needed support, of some kind, on every level. This one's no different. But, to play Devil's advocate here, the lower levels might just be... rather empty. The Lush's been trading for mercenaries and slaves, and since the bottom is where the 'weaker' ones end up... Also, calling it now. Hunting Talon for vicious Chain-aligned Murder.
>>46261887>Go downDue to all of >>46262836
>>46261887> Go down
>>46261887> Go up
>>46262862It's probably going to come down to "It was either watch the whole of our people be destroyed by Death-Wind (bullshit harpy name for the Angel of Death) or ally with them." Which, for a harpy, isn't a very hard decision to make. Diving-Shadow said he wasn't evil, just not anywhere near as understanding or do-right as Brianna or Nathan. So he's just not a very nice guy by sheer dint of competing to be one of the baddest mothercluckers in a large flock. He also doesn't have Amy's winning charm and adorable smile.
>>46261542IIRC Vox saying at an early point that they have a rough idea, but Bri figured she'd be running out of lifespan and go lich long before that.
>>46261887>> Go down
After we get control we should start doing those death bottles in the Roost, if they work that way.
>>46264772That would be very useful, if it works.
Calling in an hour or so.
>>46264772Fuggin genius m8. We've finally solved the problem of how to get death energy and materials on a large scale without having to actually go and murder a shitload of people for it.Just use the murders that would happen anyway.
>>46264772>>46265482What if the whole level is a giant deathbottle that fuels energy for the dungeon.
>>46265517Or worse, for something Dick is planning.
>>46265517Could we tap into that some how?
>>46264772>>46265517These are valid concerns. Someone could have been tapping this place for weeks already.But at that sheer magnitude, you can't hide the zombie armies? So what else consumes large amount of death energy?Summoning from the Dead.
>>46265517I wouldn't be surprised if the chainbearers have set up something similar, simply because it's an easy way to fuel necromancy. But I really doubt it'd be anything near that scale, since if ALL the death were getting sucked up, Bri wouldn't have felt it so strongly.More likely they've just set up bottles (or vats) around hot spots, or execution locations. So far it seems that while several of the chainbearers use necromancy, none of them are actual necromancers. It's an asset among others, not a focus.
Bump because page 7
Alright folks. I got some extra sleep because this shift is about to be hell on wheels. That also means that I likely won't be able to phone post for the duration. I welcome questions and discussion during that time.Votes are called, will tally and write once I get caffeine. Thank you for your patience with my holiday weekend shifts.
>>46266336As someone whose working her 11th day in a row tonight I sympathise deeply.
>>46266336We will wait until you are good and ready.
There we go, morning stuff handled. Now to see how much I can write before Gainful Employment!
>>46261887That feel when "down" only won by one vote.You retreat back into the tunnel to think. The decision is surprisingly difficult. Instinct says to go up, start on cutting out the problem /now/, but you're not as familiar with this culture as you should be. It would pay to make some friends to help you smooth things over before you just go painting the walls with the blood of your enemies. And, yeah, maybe you're reluctant to pile more death onto this pounding feeling in your skull. This place is /defiled/ with it - deaths in agony, with no reverence for the fallen, to say nothing of the sick knots of undeath you can sense further out. You need some - some time, to come to grips with that, before you try to fight at full trim. "Let's head down. How's the Roost organized?" you ask, falling into formation. Nathan and Diving Shadow lead, with you and Amy behind. "Physically, that is.""The main idea is floors and half-floors," Amy tells you. "There's the Roof, which is just above the Mine, in the space between it and the Atheneum. Below the Roof is top Floor, sometimes called the Perch. The section between that and New Hell is half a Floor, which continues down until you get to the Bottom.""Simple, but it works," Nathan muses. "Dwarves popularized it," Amy admits. "Back in the day, the dwarves facilitated trade through the Roost, since the tunnels aren't always safe or reliable. No one wants their shipment of food to get hit by an elemental or something, you know? They built the structures that let people move things between Floors. The client pays the dwarf clan, and the dwarf clan pays harpies to protect and assist with the shipment. Some Murders would try to raid them and then sell off the supplies themselves, and the circle of backstabbing and murder continues ever on.""That's...a bit depressing," you admit. "Yeah, well," Amy mutters. "I left."
>>46267688The winding tunnels eventually lead you to another set of double doors, this one propped open with stone blocks. Cautiously, your group creeps out, staying near the shelter of the tunnels. Absently, you realize you forgot to wipe the blood from your face. You rub at your cheeks with your sleeve and try to focus. The loud sounds of the Roost echo louder down here, but a flash of motion catches your eye. A male harpy, with a patch over one eye and a struggling dwarf in one talon, alights on a perch and holds his cursing victim above the drop. "You can't make me talk!" the dwarf shrieks. "That'd be an unfortunate state of affairs," the harpy answers, shaking vigorously. "Talon," Amy whispers, her heart in her throat. "JUST KILL ME ALREADY, YE OVERGROWN PIGEON!" the dwarf bellows. Hunting Talon lets him go with a mild expression and wings away to a series of small niches, half a floor up, where you can see other harpies. "We can cross quickly and -" Amy begins, only to get stopped by her mother's wing. "I'm not so sure that I trust him," Diving Shadow warns, trying to keep her voice gentle. "/Mom/," Amy protests, hotly. "He's not like that! He'd never -""Take an offer that would give him the power he's been seeking?" Diving Shadow interrupts, pointedly. "Kill for profit without caring about the cause of his employers?""Talon's not /like that/!""Your memories of him are clouded by love, Amy.""I /left him/," your lover protests, her wings bristling. > Support Amy> Support Diving Shadow> Come clean about not wanting to cross into the main tube just yet> Write-in?
Alright folks, I must go be Gainfully Employed. I'm not staying late if they ask, not when I've gotta do this song and dance again tomorrow. Votes remain open. Questions, comments, discussion, and criticisms are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>46267914>Come clean about not wanting to cross into the main tube just yet.Too open, too soon.
>>46267914OK, I can see that this is definitely gonna be a problem. Still, we don't have enough information to deal with this right now.>"We still don't know anything about the current situation in the Roost. Diving Shadow, is there a way to get the scoop without making ourselves vulnerable? Listen in on the birdsong, as it were?Also, share a Look with Nathan. Because goddammit pretty bird.
>>46267914> Come clean about not wanting to cross into the main tube just yetThe first two options will just lead to arguments and headaches we do not need right now on top of walking through potential enemy territory.
>>46267914> Come clean about not wanting to cross into the main tube just yetAlso, to Amy>"Talon might not be 'like that'. But is he the kind of person who'd do whatever it takes to keep his people safe?"And to Shadow, >>46268223
If at all possible, we should find a suitable candidate for leading the harpies against the Chain-Holders (and before anyone says it, Amy is going to be away from the Roost, and Diving-Shadow left with Lawrence for the Mine for a reason). If Hunting-Talon is only acting in the best interests of his murder and is trying to /save/ lives, then he might be our best option.However, if he's willingly serving the interests of our enemies to gain power in the Roost...He goes down. Hard.
>>46270374Probably a little late for that. And if Amy went out into the main tube, she'd be immediately spotted. Wraithsteel wings tend to stand out.OH! There's something! If the Chain-Holders are forcing Hunting-Talon into working for them (that's still up in the air right now anyways), Amy could tell him about how the Vintner imprisoned and tortured her, and how she lost her original wings.
>>46267914>>Come clean about not wanting to cross into the main tube just yet.Yeah there are harpies there, don't really wanna risk moving around
Three hours and change to call.
>>46270634True, but if possible it would be an easy source of information. Although probably wouldn't help the Talon issue. Still, can't be pretty for them to just let the poor guy fall to his death.
I won't be able to post again until just after eight; discussion remains welcome.
>>46271046I'm pretty sure the only reason they're not trying is because it's literally impossible for them to reach him in time.That and Amy&Shadow seem to have backslid into "Roost survival mode" wherein people dying like that is par for the course and classified under Shit You Have To Accept Happening.
The only good thing we've seen that came from the Roost is Amy.
>>46272181What about Diving Shadow?
>>46272181Hey, Diving Shadow is pretty cool too.
>>46272502>>46272516Murderbird Mom is okay. She's probably a fucking saint compared to other harpies.
Off work. I need to handle some things before I head home to update. Now's a good time for final votes and questions.
How'd the Roost get this fucked to begin with?
I'm home! Called, writing. Also Gallows Humor updates.
Jeez the board is moving fast today.
Ay look at me I'm bumping the thread.
>>46267914Amy and Diving Shadow bristle at one another. From the looks of things, a fight is imminent. You do /not/ need that in your life right now. "We're not going out there, Ames," you tell her, a little more curtly than you meant to. "...In fact, I'm gonna go back into the tunnel and sob a bit now.""What's wrong?" Amy asks, fury turning to concern in an instant. Nate's got quiet eyes for you too, but they give you the chance to head back into the tunnel and lean against the wall first. It's not much distance from the open air of the tube, but even that little bit helps /so much/. It's like the air was thickened with blood. "I can't handle it out there," you tell them. "The death, it's..."Diving Shadow gives you a curious look. "I would have thought that you would prosper in the Roost, given its nature.""Not any more than you'd prosper in a hurricane," you tell her. You rub at your temples, your cigarette kept between your lips. "It /hurts/. It's not just the death, it's the misery, the pain, the rage. If you hadn't told me already that the people that live here live short, violent lives and die in agony, I would've guessed pretty fuckin' quickly."You take a deep drag and shiver. "Honestly? Tactics aside, trust aside, I can't go out there yet. I...I need time to acclimate. And insulate myself, some. And yell at Lora for letting this...this fucking /sacrilege/ exist."Amy droops visibly. She gives you a forlorn chirp, but you don't have it in you to comfort her, nor to walk her through the idea that it's okay to have fond memories of an awful place. "We need more information," you murmur. "And I need a good, defensible position in which to prepare myself. Okay?""Yes," Amy whispers. "But what about the draugs?""I'm not sure," you admit. "I feel like I'm moving in more blind than usual."
>>46279460"I can help there," Diving Shadow suggests. "There's a shrine nearby. Sacred ground, blessed of the Lady of Ravens. It dates back to the earliest days of the Roost, when legends say that a servant of the Lady brought harpies here to live. An angel, with black wings."You choke on your cigarette. "It's sacred ground. No one would dare attack you there.""Even if I were defiling it with necromancy?" you ask, pointedly. "...Maybe the priest can be persuaded," Diving Shadow offers, hopefully. "Bri," Amy pleads. "He's /right there/. We can go around, I just don't want to lose track of him. I've made him wait for three years...""Wait for what, precisely?" Nathan asks, quietly. Amy stiffens. > Too far, Nate> You wanna expand on that, Hero?> He's got a point> Write-in?
>>46279871>Are YOU ready, Ames? If you are, if you understand where you stand now and where you WANT to stand relative to him, we'll go.
Quiet night. Vote extended while I make coffee.
>>46280658I'm pretty much dead, so I've been refraining from voting so I don't vote for something dumb.I should probably just go to sleep already so I don't doze off in the service tomorrow, but Pokemon and Hyperdimention are running.
>>46279871>>46280658Well I'm going to second >>46280027 in intent>>Are YOU ready, Ames? If you are, if you understand where you stand now and where you WANT to stand relative to him, we'll go.maybe adding something like>Look, we know he's alive and doing fine. No you can and should think over what you want.
>>46280658Well you gave us three options that are all terrifying>>46279871>>46280027I'll support that too
>>46280866> Well you gave us three options that are all terrifying...S'wha?
>>46280884> Too far, Nate> You wanna expand on that, Hero?Active and passive versions of THE FUCK DID YOU SAY, the latter coming across as especially hostile, which is not what we need right now> He's got a pointIs ganging up on Amy, which isn't a good idea ever and especially not right nowYou made us paranoid about relationship shit the last time Talon came up, damn straight we're going to be dancing on eggshells this time around
>>46281150True enough, I suppose. I guess it depends on if you trust that Nate's honestly over his issues like he said he is. Mind you, the write-in is also essentially /ignoring/ what Nate said. You sure that's okay?
>>46279871>> You wanna expand on that, Hero?
>>46279871>>>Are YOU ready, Ames? If you are, if you understand where you stand now and where you WANT to stand relative to him, we'll go.
>>46279871>>46281537Fair point. I'll add > You wanna expand on that, Hero?To >>46280866, so long as we can do it as a legitimate question and not a veiled threat.
>>46279871>>>>Are YOU ready, Ames? If you are, if you understand where you stand now and where you WANT to stand relative to him, we'll go.This is a pretty good one.
>>46279871>> You wanna expand on that, Hero?This could lead to a fight, but not addressing it is gonna be way worse.
Alright, votes called. I'ma take and emphasize the write-in but include the secondary vote option. There doesn't seem to be any dissent on the matter. This'll likely be last update of the night since lol working on Easter.
>>46279871You make eye contact with Nathan and see that his shadow is loose; your Hero's eyes are broken like glass, and his expression is unreadable. "What are you trying to ask?" you murmur. You take a quiet step towards Amy, more to let her know you're there than anything else. "You've been acting strange since we got here, Ames," Nathan explains, his voice soft. "This isn't like you. What is it you're scared of? What are you so desperate to say to Hunting Talon?""He deserves to know where I stand," Amy whispers. "He deserves better than my silence. I need...I need to look him in the eye and tell him why I left, and why I'm not coming back. And it's going to break his fucking heart.""You still love him," Nathan says. It's not a question. "Of course I do," Amy mutters, bitterly. "But love's not enough. He's not the future I want. This place isn't my home, and I'm not happy with the idea of sitting on its throne. I don't want to rule Hell, Nate. I don't...I don't want to spend the rest of my life looking for knives in my /back/. I want /you/." There is a long moment of silence. Amy trembles in place, trying to blink back hot tears. Slowly, Nathan nestles into her from behind, and gives the harpy a hug. Her chirp of relief is more of a sob than anything else. "Are you sure you're ready for this, Ames?" you ask. "Are you sure you understand where you stand with him? I'm not -" you add, seeing the hurt in her eyes - "I'm not saying this to imply that I doubt you. I'm saying this because this /will/ hurt him, and if you're not absolutely sure on what you feel, and what you want to say, that might be worse than not saying anything at all."The half-harpy sways gently in Nathan's arms, and nuzzles into your hand when you start to ruffle her hair. "You've just had a big shock," you tell her. "Maybe take some time to get your head straight?""Yeah..." Amy agrees.
>>46283486"Back to business, then?" Diving Shadow suggests. You meet her eyes and see gratitude there. "Probably best, yes," you agree. Nathan lets go of Amy, only for her to turn around and give him a fierce kiss. You're in the middle of chuckling about it when you get your own; an entire Amy hitting you with the full force of her grateful affection has quite the impact. "I'm okay," Amy murmurs. "Good," you tell her, grinning wryly. "Let's go."> Explore the tunnels; might as well see who lives here and maybe clean house> Seek the shrine; you need those protections up, and you can take time there to take stock of the situation> Circle around to Hunting Talon; Amy knows what she wants, she just needs the walk to compose it in her head> Write-in?AND> Get a torch going; the light will sustain and empower Kat> Keep to the ambient light; no need to give away your position
>>46283538>> Seek the shrine; you need those protections up, and you can take time there to take stock of the situation> Keep to the ambient light
>>46283538>> Circle around to Hunting Talon; Amy knows what she wants, she just needs the walk to compose it in her head>> Write-in?But like, make sure she actually does have a composed idea of what to say.> Keep to the ambient light; no need to give away your position
>>46283538>> Circle around to Hunting Talon; Amy knows what she wants, she just needs the walk to compose it in her head> Keep to the ambient light; no need to give away your positionTime to get this over with. We either stab him now, or stab him later.
>>46283538> Seek the shrine; you need those protections up, and you can take time there to take stock of the situationGives us a base, time for Amy to think of what she wants to say and Nate some thing to defend and save.Win-win-win
>>46283651>>>46283538And > Keep to the ambient light; no need to give away your position
>>46283538> Seek the shrine; you need those protections up, and you can take time there to take stock of the situation> Keep to the ambient light; no need to give away your position
And now, I go to bed. Votes remain open until the morning when I get up. I've also archived the thread; seemed like a good spot to write a description. Questions, comments, discussion, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>46283538>Seek the shrine; you need those protections up, and you can take time there to take stock of the situation.Since it's sacred ground, its also the perfect place for meeting with Hunting-Talon and any other local leaders we want to parlay with. Also, we'll probably get on very well with the priest there (the Lady of Ravens is apparently, in this magical realm, the more reasonable and maternal of the gods).>Get a torch going; the light will sustain and empower Kat.The only one's I can see ignoring the temple's laws are the forces belonging to the Lush and the other Chain-Holders. We might need the advantage, and if they /do/ attack, that might set many of the harpies against them.I'm still curious about who the next party member will be. I mean, Diving-Shadow is here, but there's gotta be some interesting people in the Roost we can win over to our cause. Especially with us being Big Damn Heroes.
>>46284181I mean, she is kinda the goddess of wisdom?
>>46283538>> Seek the shrine; you need those protections up, and you can take time there to take stock of the situation>AND>> Get a torch going; the light will sustain and empower Kat
>>46283538>> Seek the shrine; you need those protections up, and you can take time there to take stock of the situation>> Keep to the ambient light; no need to give away your position
>>46284392I gotta tell ya, as the story moves forward and we learn more, I grow even fonder of Vox's little world. If I ever run a fantasy campaign, I'm adopting some of his creations. Wrathsteel, for example.
I'm awake. I need to handle my morning stuff and make coffee and then I'll call. This is your one hour warning.
Wonder how useful the boar will be here.
>>46288763This is not a great place for it. The Cornucopia and the Broken Jaw are ideal, on the other hand.
>>46283538You fall into a familiar rhythm; Amy leads, and the rest of the group stays close but behind, letting her keep a weather eye out for traps. You and Nathan have gotten good at staying silent - ginger steps keep the subtle flex of Nate's prosthetic quiet - but the clacking of Diving Shadow's talons might end up giving you away. It has the odd quality that small, sharp sounds do, where they float through loud background noise. Handy, when you're trying not to die, but not so much if you're sneaking around. Amy holds her fist up, and everyone freezes. You hear something, like a soft scrape or slide across the stone. Silently, Amy pulls a knife and whips around the corner with blinding speed. There's a hiss, the thrash of something heavy and fleshy against stone, and then quiet. Amy drags a snake the size of a small cow into the hall. "Dinner," your lover announces, simply. "...Holy fuck," you mutter, following behind. "There's good eating on those," Diving Shadow opines. "You'll find them in the Cornucopia, primarily, but there's always a small population of them in the Roost. They're a menace.""What do they do?" Nathan asks. "I imagine they try to avoid sapients. Most predators do.""Of course," Diving Shadow agrees. "Which is why they sneak into nurseries and nests to devour eggs and attack infants in their cribs.""...I'll kill every one I see," Nathan promises. "It's appreciated. Amy might have had an older brother or sister if not for them." The admission is frank. You look at Diving Shadow, but her expression is just - just /there/. "I'm sorry to hear it," you murmur.
>>46289047>Amy might have had an older brother or sister if not for them.GRIMDARK
>>46289047"It took me a long time to understand that it hurt," the harpy woman says quietly. "For long years, I told myself that was how it is. That things break, people die, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. That is the way of the Roost, Brianna. The puppet king of the Perch has never ruled. Death and sorrow reign here, in this place where mercy is a memory and grief is a weakness. I took Amy from this place for a reason. I am starting to think I should have done so far sooner.""You did the best you could, Diving Shadow," you tell her. "It's not hard to see that you love her and want what's best for her. No one could ever say you were a bad mother.""Perhaps," Diving Shadow agrees. "But the responsibility is still mine. We turn here."At the end of the tunnel you turn down is a wooden door, with ravens and rooks lovingly carved into it. A small sign hanging from the knob reads 'Knock and enter in peace' in a variety of languages, including dwarven, elven, harrowcant, and even goblin. Amy knocks firmly on the door, and is welcomed inside by a clear, male voice. The shrine itself is circular, with an altar at the center and mats of woven straw upon which to kneel and pray. Niches carved into the walls contain cots and perches - presumably for guests - and you can spot two more doors, presumably leading off to a kitchen of some kind and/or wherever the priest sleeps. The priest himself is a harpy male - around Diving Shadow's age, if you're any guess - with dark brown feathers and sharp, interested eyes. He nods to Amy and Diving Shadow, who nod back and kneel quietly before the altar - a simple affair, of black stone, which depicts a perched raven watching over a small globe. The priest looks Nathan over, his gaze lingering on the demonic runes on the Hero's prosthetic and shield. Nathan stays steady, meeting the priest's sharp gaze with his broken eyes.
>>46289047Whelp who else is up for a snake genocide interlude once the Roost is secured?We can bring the whole family, let Fetch and his brother go to town with JUSTICE quills from a hanging perch, Vim&Vigour can jump down some throats and tear their way out, Kat can hold the fuckers down by their shadows and/or block exits, hell the boar can stomp some heads and serve as bait for the larger ones and a herder for the smaller ones.
>>46289279"You have much courage, to come here with your shadow free and your eyes undimmed, woundseeker," the priest says, at last. "Be welcome in peace."Nathan nods, gratefully. "My thanks, Reverend." He and the priest shake hands, briefly, before your lover goes to one of the niches and sits heavily, lost in thought. Those sharp eyes meet yours. "A necromancer," he says frankly. "How do you find the Roost, Ms...?""La Croix," you answer. "Brianna la Croix, and -"> "Something has gone horribly wrong here."> "I don't know the Roost well enough to judge."> "Are you trying to imply something?"> "I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend."> Write-in?You may choose UP TO TWO, which will be combined for conversation/action flow.
>>46289333> "I don't know the Roost well enough to judge.">> "I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend."Well, we /can/ judge that it's objectively bad. But 'gone wrong' implies that that's not normal or possibly necessary. We have to talk to Lora to see why the fuck she allowed this shit to happen (and I'm not liking the implications that the answer'll be 'because it'd be worse otherwise').
>>46289333>"It isn't my place to judge, but....">"It makes me physically ill to be here.">"And yet the dead must be respected. However much of them there are."
>>46289333> Let's just say I'll talk to you about it after discussing things a bit more with the person who set it up. The maybe we can talk about who made it.I get the feeling Lora is going to pull one of those "I just gave them the ability to choose, and sometimes mortals choose evil".
>>46289047Fuck. Nature, you scary.>>46289294I..don't agree. I mean, shit, this /sucks/, but can you blame the snakes for following their instincts? They're animals, predators, and they'll take whatever they can get, but they're not evil. Blame it on the way the Roost in run, harpies being too busy trying to stab each other in the back to protect and shelter the kids.
>>46289333>"I don't know the Roost well enough to judge.">"I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend.">>46289382Lora probably left the Roost to the harpies rule. She's the creator of the Dungeon, sure. But she's not there to dictate their lives, or tell them how to live. The harpies made the Roost the way it is, not Lora.>>46289501Exactly.
>>46289333> "I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend."> "It isn't my place to judge, but I believe that something's gone horribly wrong here."Yeah, I know I'm combining two of the prompts, but I think that it's a better way to phrase it. It shows that we know that we're outsiders and may not understand their culture enough to pass judgment, but also that this place is, from our viewpoint, a bad thing.
>>46289333>> "I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend.">> "Something has gone horribly wrong here."
>>46289333>> "I don't know the Roost well enough to judge.">>46289333>> "I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend."
>>46289102>>46289126>>46289294>>46289520Fun fact, the snakes are inspired by the problems some nations - notably India - are having with tigers attacking human children, as well as with actual - though typically venemous - snakes entering human dwellings and then ending up in a position where they attack humans. With the weather finally warming the hell back up, I'm going to be walking to work today. This means that there won't be another update before 8:30 PM EST or so, possibly longer depending on if today is stupid busy instead of stupid slow, though I'm expecting the latter. Votes do, of course, remain open. Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms are welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating, especially given the holiday and all!
Finally get to see some of how religion works in this world.
>>46289520They're also an invasive species, if the comment about the Cornucopia is anything to go by.I can't blame them for following their instincts, but they're animals and they're killing sapients - in the real world, that's grounds for extermination if the whole population in the area is shown to have a propensity towards doing so.
>>46290480Species have been exterminated over less
>>46289333> "I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend."but > "Something has gone horribly wrong here."
>>46289994The harpies aren't destroying the snakes natural habitat, though I get the idea.We might not be kids anymore, but try and enjoy your holiday Vox. Maybe pelt your coworkers with Jelly-Belly's?>>46290480Well, I figure that the Dungeon's ecosystem is largely circular, and things that are found the Cornucopia, like those snakes, can also be found in the Basement or the Mire.Actually, this is a prime opportunity to create another minion, if we so desire. These snakes are prolific and dangerous, so we'd be doing the harpies of the Roost a solid favor by eliminating them. Just reanimate a big, particularly nasty specimen to eat its own kin like an undead King snake.
>>46291018... And with that in reopening my campaign for an undead snake minion
>>46291018>>46291287All for undead snakes, but let's wait till after dinner to reanimate them. We're a necromancy's not a savage.
>>46291656Of course. We're obviously eating this one, but the next one we come across gets slain and reanimated.......Would it be possible to get two different snakes and combine them? Like a giant two-header, or an amphisbaena (that Greek/Egyptian snake with another head at the end of its tail).
>>46292016...how 'bout we combine three, and throw them? Like a Boomerang?
>>46292016>>46292043Or a double/triple headed Snake Bola.
>>46292043If they're big enough for one to be a meal for four, I don't think this would be terribly practical. Entertaining, sure, but not terribly practical.> "I don't know the Roost well enough to judge."> "I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend."
Roughly four hours to call.
>>46292043>Best Bird: "Hey Bri, what's with the new pet?">Heritor: "I call him /Boomslang/, because he explodes with sick rhymes.">Hero: "This our life now."First a chivalrous cock, then frisky fingers, then a brazen boar, now a dangerously sly snake. Quite the menagerie we're building.
>>46289333overwhelming, the sheer magnitude of the death and sorrow ground into the roost over the centuries is like nothing i've ever seen or even heard of. they probably know how the roost feels to necromancers, so we might as well be honest.
>>46293415Green text your votes please.
Two and a half hours and change to call
So folks; thoughts on doing interlude-like asides to other characters during this section?
>>46295144I don't mind extra screen time for other characters, might end up making the Roost arc pretty long though.
>>46295144/During/ the Roost section? Eeeeeh. Maybe if they're important to get out of the way before the Roost ends, or if there's a necessary lull in the section (such that the players and characters need time to think on shit before continuing), or if you get stuck on a certain part and need to write something else to unjam the gears.
>>46295144A bit odd, unless it involves MORE fighting, the kind where killing everyone is the wrong answer.Like the minotaurs and goblins having to contend with some outside force.Or, I suppose, that Chosen getting a stern talking to from her god, as a way to delve further into the lore of divine beings.
>>46289333> "I don't know the Roost well enough to judge."> "I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend."
I'd had one in mind for Jewel.
>>46296488I'm always up for more girl&ghost, so long as it's not just a sudden jank to them.
Good news - I'm home. Bad news is it's storming something fierce. I'll call after I get some food.
>>46296488Seems too early to me, she just got started right?
>>46297728....goddamnit, did Cherry possess her mid-surgery?
>>46297748Nope. Called, writing.
>>46289333You meet the priest's insightful gaze, take a deep breath, and steady yourself. "I would like to pay my respects before having a difficult conversation with a stranger, Reverend," you tell him softly. "If you would prefer that I leave, tell me now. This wouldn't be the first or last temple to feel better off without me.""You are welcome at my shrine, Brianna la Croix," the priest says, a little grin across his lips. "It is nice for us to be able to welcome your family here once more. The Rose Cult rarely pays its respects.""Thank you, Reverend," you tell him, and you mean it. You find a mat to kneel on and face the altar, removing your hat as you do.It's been a long time since you've really sat down to pray. You've sort of lost the knack for it. A thought strikes you. Why bother? The gods can't see into the Dungeon. Pray all you want, she won't -<There is always an exception that proves the rule, Brianna la Croix> an amused voice murmurs into your mind. <My mournful daughter gave this ground to me, long ago.><My Lady> you whisper, awed.<We'll speak later, Brianna la Croix. You deserve that chance, after all you've been through. Be welcome in my shrine, and rest easy.>You have to blink away grateful tears. You take a shuddering breath to compose yourself and raise your head to the altar. "Thank you," you murmur, before you stand. Amy and Diving Shadow are still lost in prayer or, perhaps, meditation, but that's okay. You have a priest to talk to. The reverend waits patiently for you. He smiles, knowingly. "I don't know the Roost to judge it," you tell him, knowing that he's waiting for his answer. "But I know why my lover and her family left. And I know that I cannot dare it as I am. There's so much death, so much misery, that I feel physically ill the closer I get to its heart."
>>46300518Sounds like the roost is an undead army waiting to happen.
>>46300518The priest nods. "Well spoken, Brianna. I would advise that you, perhaps, spend some time here. You have seen much and gained perspective from what you have seen. Your companions have weights on their souls that I can see on their faces.""We've barely gotten here," you protest. "We haven't /done/ anything.""Truly? And the Smokers have fled their den in a rage, howling for blood, for no reason?""...Fuck me.""Knowledge without action is pointless. Action without knowledge is suicidal. Acquire knowledge, Brianna la Croix."> Take his advice; talk to someone (who?)> Take his advice; meditate> Take his advice; ask to go butcher and prepare the snake for a mealAND> Leave an offering on the altar> Do not
>>46300583Aaand I forgot an option.> Disregard his advice; acclimate yourself to the region
>>46300583> Take his advice; ask to go butcher and prepare the snake for a meal>Leave an offering
>>46300583>> Take his advice; ask to go butcher and prepare the snake for a meal> Leave an offering on the altar
>>46300583> Take his advice; ask to go butcher and prepare the snake for a meal> Leave an offering on the altar
>>46300583>> Take his advice; talk to someone (Amy)>> Leave an offering on the altar
>>46300583>> Take his advice; meditate>AND>> Leave an offering on the altar
>>46300583who did we pray to there?> Take his advice; meditate> Leave an offering on the altar
>>46301517The Lady of Ravens.
>>46301529i thought lora was the lady of ravens
>>46301614Lora is the Angel of Death, or known as the death choir to most.
>>46301614Nope. Different entity entirely. The Lady of Ravens is one of the big gods of the setting. Lora is more like an archangel. She's the agent/mechanism the gods put in place to make death work.
>>46301614I clearly need to do a divine worldbuilding doc then. The five Gods of Creation - and the group generally meant when people say 'the gods', though their children are also technically gods - are:> The Lady of Ravens, Goddess of Wisdom> The Forgemaster, God of Shaping> Red Troth, God of Strife> The Quell, God of Law and Contract> Wren the Rhymer, Goddess of LanguageThe general titles are what they're known by/as but each has a broad sphere of influence. Their numerous children (and Accidentally A Cult Leader angels) are prayed to and venerated but the overall form the faith tends to take is Greek in shape. Your average person venerates all the gods, but a particular person or place may have a special relationship with one, as seen here with the Lady's shrine.
>>46302021this is why having a god focused interlude might be good.
>>46302021>is Greek in shape.incest is wincest?
>>46302256Methinks he meant the methods of worship as opposed to the actual activities of the gods.
>>46302286Aye. Calling shortly, life has disturbed me.
Called, writing shortly. Likely final update of the night.
>>46302256It resembles the basic Greek pantheon, but lacks the general insanity, belligerence and sexual deviance.So basically, they're Greek Lite.The vibes I've gotten from the Lady of Ravens is rather maternal and compassionate, guiding her children (demigods, angels and mortals alike) while still respecting their decisions.Definitely looking forward to that divine doc.
>>46300583You take a deep, steadying breath, and nod. "I will. My companions and I have gotten into the habit of talking things over around food.""A habit common to adventurers, killers, and wanderers," the priest observes. You grin, a little wryly. "Exactly. If you don't mind, I'd like to take some time to butcher the snake there and prepare it. Amy there'll probably cook it, and you're welcome to join us.""You will find my acolyte in the kitchen. Please permit her to assist."You bow. "Thank you, Reverend." You approach the altar, slowly. You've been welcomed here where you expected to be rejected, and you want to express your gratitude. Reverence is - well, the la Croix have never quite had the same relationship with religion as other families. It comes from having a hard job, and also from having chatty ghosts around all the damn time. You respect the gods, but you are keenly aware of the various tales and fables that can be summarized, 'they done fucked up'. Parents don't always know best. Fuck, that's a weird line of thought to get to from step 'I'd like to say thanks'. <Isn't intelligence wonderful?><No. Comment.> you say firmly. Your hand hovers over your belt, where your grandfather's knife sits sheathed. The last remnants you have of him - and of your grandmother, for that matter. You steel yourself and unbuckle it, before setting it on the altar. <Most mortals leave gold> the Lady opines. <Most temples can spend gold to do good works. Gold has no power here. An offering without sacrifice is pointless.><Spoken like a true necromancer. I look forward to our conversation, Brianna la Croix, and I thank you for the gift.>There is a fluttering of dark wings, more impression than reality, and the knife is gone. When you turn around to get the snake, Amy is staring at you with slack-jawed astonishment. "...That's a thing, that happens," you protest quietly. "That happens often enough."
>>46303918Amy continues to stare while you pick up the corpse beneath its head. You take an awkward step back, towards the door indicated to you as being the kitchen. "I'm. Going to go prep this and get my head together for a bit. So. Y'know, I'll get you when the snake's ready for you?" you offer, a little awkardly. Your voice rises at the end, trying to sound cheerful and ending somewhere just south of the idea. Amy nods, silently. "That /happens sometimes, okay/," you protest one last time, before slipping into the kitchen with the snake. "Gods, it's not like they never accept offerings or never talk to anyone.""You're hardly Chosen," a quiet voice says, from behind you. The Reverend's acolyte turns out to be an olive-skinned young woman, maybe your age, maybe a little younger, with round glasses and a bored expression. She sits in a chair at the back of the kitchen, with her feet on the back of another chair, and puts a bookmark in her book. "They don't tend to be /quite/ as chatty with lay members.""..'m a la Croix.""You're just winnin' prizes all over this contest, ain'tcha?" the acolyte drawls. "I'm Briony.""Isn't that a poisonous bramble?""I definitely hadn't heard /that/ before," Briony drawls. "In no sense have I ever been informed that my mother's taste in names skews towards the pointlessly cruel."You wince. "I'm Brianna. Look, we got off to a bad -""No we didn't, I'm just a bitch. Need a hand?"> Yes please.> If you're offering> Actually, no thanks
>>46304032>> If you're offering
>>46303901I'd meant more in the form of worship. For understandable reasons, a lot of Western folks are a little bad at comprehending polytheism. RPG players are not helped in this by the competing-monotheism setup used in a lot of popular settings - such as Forgotten Realms - where there are many gods but you are encouraged or forced to devote yourself to just one. The basic form of religion in DLQ's world is reverence and respect for all of the gods, who created and maintain the world and gave rise to the two breeds of mortalkind, the First and Second Born. Reverence or affinity for one god in /particular/ tends to happen because a person feels a special connection or calling, because that god is special to their race or nation, or because of some event for which they wish to express gratitude or, sometimes, fear. Harpies, for instance, favor the Lady of Ravens because she lays claim to their race.
>>46304032>"If you're offering, sure."I can also see this tacked on at the end.>"Also, a bad attitude is a welcome relief from the torches and pitchforks. Most men and women of the cloth I meet who want to burn me at the stake just for /doing my job/, let alone talk."
>>46304086Makes sense. I must admit that I'm rusty on my mythology, and I've never been the religious type.
>>46304086Did Amy hatch out of an egg? Would any kids she have hatch out of eggs?
>>46304142Yes, and Maybe. Amy's birth was, as has been mentioned before, somewhat shaped by magic. Her father wanted his daughter to have the best chances she could growing up and traded quite a bit of favors to ensure that she came out the way she did. Half-harpies, like many crossbreeds with the more monstrous examples of the Firstborn, do not always shake out in a predictable fashion and many are quite pitiable in their deformation. Amy is likely to seek similar advice and, possibly, intervention when it comes to her own children. She's likely to need it too.
>>46304173>She's likely to need it too.That's mildly unfortunate. Oh well, the things you do for love.
>>46304032>>> If you're offering
THE ANVIL OATH: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cjST4H_II4z013CsWR1KoK0n3O0UELL0shhY66uNciw/edit?usp=sharingVotes remain open until the morning. Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>46304598Catching up on the archives now, just got to the invisible "Murdercroc" showdown, and the way you QM reminds me of how I GM local games. Weird as hell, but also kinda cool.Excited to get fully caught up and abandon thread before I spoil myself
>>46304598Wow that was neat.
>>46304684That feel when I had to wake up to handle a blown fuse.Welcome to the quest, anon! I look forward to seeing you again when you're caught up.Now I'm going back to sleep. See y'all at noon or so.
>>46304173Would quarter-harpies kids inherit the natural magic of their mother? Because even without wings, that's a hell of a trick.>>46304598Well, that explains A LOT. Love the fact that these aren't the typical deities of other stories, like the god of smiths not being all dwarfy and the god of war not being a raging lunatic.
>>46304598T-that was beautiful.>>46304032>Yes please.take all the help you can get. That's how hospitality works.
>>46304598Excellent. Are there any relevant or world-famous demigods to know about? Or maybe a Chosen who ascended to become one of the divine.
>>46304598I wonder if it is possible to become a Chosen of Death.
>>46307704Inasmuch as it's possible, I think we already are.
'm awake. Just need to make coffee.
And writing, at last. Thank you for your patience.
>>46310279Just glad to have our lich back.
>>46304032You give Briony an appraising look, but her offer seems genuine. There's not so much /apology/ as /self-awareness/ in her expression."If you're offering, I'd be glad to have help," you agree."You doing the cooking?" Briony asks. She sets her book down and stands; the two of you move to wash your hands off. "Nah, my lover's gonna handle that part. She's a dungeonbreaker.""Not bad," Briony notes. "I kinda ended up with a taste for rare or raw stuff after living with Reverend Crashes Often."You frown disapprovingly at her. "...Brianna, that's his /name/," Briony insists."Wow. What is it with people in the Dungeon and hating their children?""Cynicism is a self-perpetuating cycle.""I fucking guess!"You and Briony work quietly for awhile, preparing the snake. You set the entrails aside - Diving Shadow will like those raw - and also save aside the bones. Those might be useful in enhancing your boar, if you're clever. "How'd you get into religion?" you ask, trying to keep the conversation going. "I came down with a bad case of faith.""Well fuck you too," you grumble. Briony sighs. "You really wanna know? When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being Chosen. As an adult, I decided that was fucking stupid and set it aside, but I still love my Lady and want to do right by her and her children. Laugh it up, necromancer.""...Why would I laugh?" you ask softly. "That sounds like a pretty good reason.""Yeah, well...thanks." "You know...I don't think it's necessarily a great blessing, to be Chosen. It's hard work.""I serve a shrine in the Roost, Brianna. It's hard work anyway." Briony sighs. "...I know what you mean, though. I'm not necessarily upset that I didn't get Chosen. I just...wish I knew why. That's what's never stopped bothering me, you know? What is it that makes Her think I'm not good enough? What can I fix?""That's an easy way to drive yourself insane," you point out.
>>46311349"Please, tell me something I don't know," the acolyte says with an exasperated sigh. "...I haven't been crazy enough to /ask/ Her. Because then She might answer, and if there's one thing I've learned in reading all the texts, it's not to ask for answers you might regret.""...Wouldn't...nevermind.""No, you don't get to do that," Briony tells you, pointing at you with one bloody finger. "Don't you 'nevermind' me.""I spoke out of turn," you protest. "You're the priestess here.""First, that's stupid. Second, I'm still a student."> Elaborate> Don't
>>46311555>Elaborate.This IS part of our duty, to help others with crises. Of course, it will suck, because no good deed goes unpunished, but that's also part of our job.
>>46311555>> Don'tIt's not always better to know.
>>46311555We don't need to tell her the /whole/ truth, right? I mean, telling her we got to talk with her goddess, and will again in the future, might not end well.Let's just tell her about Lora/Azrael, and what our job is now.
>>46311555>Elaborate.Also, how are snake bones going to make the boar stronger? ARE WE MAKING A CHIMERA?!
>>46312016All manner of potential uses, really. Quill launching, f'rinstance.
>>46311555>> ElaborateWe've already refused once, and she's insisted. Unless it's something so deeply rude that saying it is going to shock and offend her (which seems doubtful), it's by far the more polite thing to apologetically explain what we were going to say, even if it's not the most appropriate thing.
>>46312016>>46312045>be enemy>see undead boar charging at you>DOOOODGE>get shot in the back by boar's skelesnake tail
I might be a moment. I'm wrapping up final edits on Mourners so we can get that published Soon(tm).
>>46312016It's official, our bone boar buddy is going to be a fuckawesome chimera.
>>46312582Stoked for this>>46311555>elaborate
Brianna la Croix >Necromancer >Battlefield Nurse >Coffee Addict >Chain Smoker >Relationship Counselor >Religious Consultant How many more things can we add to this list?
>>46313026> A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
>>46313134...Except that Heinlein was being an idiot when he wrote that.Specialization is for /civilization/. That's why I don't need to be able to build everything I own from scratch, and can buy it, while learning to do the things /I/ do very well.
>>46313026Well, she's either Death-In-Training, or Mini-Goddess-In-Training: Lora hasn't been entirely clear on just how broad the "Heritor" position is, and I can think of some other godly figures whose ultimate goal was just to be able to lay their damn burden down. (Said list being topped by, in yet another possible-parallel, the Architect of the House in the Keys to the Kingdom series)She's also definitely a Big Damn Hero, even if she doesn't get given the capital letter in-character the way Nate does.I'd say it's apt to call her some species of Necro-Paladin, actually.
>>46313293She could be argued to be a Death Knight.A chivalrous warrior fighting crude and evil forces, holding the favour and patronage of a lady of high birth (who happens to literally be Death, in this case).
>>46313432They call those paladins, sir.
>>46313222While that's completely true, I'm not sure Bri's skill set is all that unreasonable? Plus, I mean, it's not like she's quoting scripture at the girl. I think.
>>46313595I thought Paladins (in the RPG/fantasy context as opposed to the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne) were specifically religious warriors dedicated to a god, though. We aren't fighting for Lora as our deity, even if she effectively is one.
>>46313840Wasn't using the TTRPG version of the term.
>>46313710Hm? Oh, no, not at all.There's an enormous difference between the skillset that should be expected of a regular person attempting to live a real life in the modern world and the skillset that should be expected of an adventurer. Especially an adventurer of Bri's mold.Heinlein's problem was that he thought every person should have /at the same time/ a frontier mindset (butcher a hog, pitch manure, build a wall, set a bone), a military mindset at /every/ level of the hierarchy (plan an invasion, give/take orders, conn a ship, fight, die), /and/ a modern, civilized mindset (program a computer, write a sonnet, balance accounts).There are people who /can/ do all the things listed, though I'd wager there are precious few who have been called upon to do all of them in the real world. It is a /victory/ of civilization that the vast majority of people do not even need to think about being that widely skilled.
>>46313915Plus, being that kind of rare person means you've probably never had the time to master any particular skill. Meanwhile, that guy next door who spends all his time in the workshop is a licensed mechanic and engineer who still has time for a life.>Being a Jack-of-all-Trades isn't really a good thing.
>>46314130Not any more it's not. But then again, when shit hits the fan, a jack-of-all-trades is vbery handy to have around. A specialized skillset, not as much.
>>46314429I guess it's a situation thing.
>>46314732a generalist is someone who specializes in being able to do any job there isn't a specialist on hand for. When things are going well there is almost always a specialist available, when society starts having issues then that stops being the case.
Okay I'm still bashing my head against these godforsaken edits and now I've got to get ready for work. I'll be back just after midnight EST, and you have my apologies but I really, REALLY, need to get this section finished so I can get the book published and off of my plate. Questions, comments, discussion, and critcisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
Bump before bed.
Good news is the edits are finally done. Now I'm at work though; six hours or so to call.
>>46315923Cool, looking forward to reading the full novel.
Four hours and change to call.
So folks; would you prefer the divine worldbuilding to be IC or OOC?
>>46318821IC so long as there's an IC reason for the exposition.
>>46319007By IC I meant in the vein of the current snippets; written as if from an in world book.
>>46319257Oh, well then fucking yes IC.
Roughly two hours to call.Should note that I have an appointment in the morning that may delay the start of Tuesday's run.
>>46318821I'd like OOC, since judging by the second-born worldbuilding an IC explanation wouldn't be very accurate.
One hour and change to call. Now's still a good time for questions and feedback.
>>46321365Wasn't there a smith that wanted his tools and daughter's ashes back? Was that just "off-camera"?
Off work. Just need food and to get home. Not in that order.
>>46321493I figured that. Honestly, that scene earlier in the chapter felt kinda forced, just introducing a character and dumping a sob-story in almost the same paragraph. However, it does look like he was included more to show how Nate reacts to the situation than for a cheap mini-plot, I just hoped that it had more of a point, if that makes sense.I might just be jaded though, since I've read stories that do a terrible job of introducing main characters and assuming you'll care about them before killing them off or something, just because of some "my parents are dead"-tier background.
>>46322838I disagree with you entirely. It just felt like there was some dude with a dead daughter and we were doing a quest for him.
Well that was refreshing. Called, writing.
>>46311555You look at Briony's accusing finger and sigh. Fine then. You whistle softly, and Kat stands up with a languid stretch. You can feel the shadow's grim amusement as it ruffles its ears and regards the priestess. "This is a shadow," you tell her. "It is a necromantic servant, formed from my own natural shadow and infused with the miserable, unmourned death of a half-demon. It is cunning, vicious, murderous, and cruel, and among the most useful of necromantic servants. Do you know of them?""Not until just now," Briony says, hesitantly. "Now imagine how I felt when I learned to make my first one, before I was truly a woman. If you thirst to be a Chosen of Ravens, you would, I think, be expected to know terrible things. To seek out that knowledge, even, and hold it against the day it might need to be used. If you'd rather not know, why should the Lady burden you with such a task?"Briony opens her mouth, shuts it, and turns thoughtfully back to her work. Eventually, you scrub down and call for Amy. Briony excuses herself, demurely, and slips into the other room. "Nate's brooding," Amy notes. "He does that," you agree peaceably. "Your turn for private time?""I think so," Amy says with a small nod. "I don't take a lot of time to myself. I don't often feel like I need it, but...""I understand, love." You scratch Amy's head, and she melts into a soft, warm chirp. You grin at the blissful expression on her face before you finally release her from the scritches. "I'll go tend to the Hero.""Good plan."Nathan sits in the niche he claimed for himself, with his elbows on his knees and his eyes cracked and broken. The Hero's shadow sulks on the opposite wall, looking petulant. Kat slips towards it and gives it a hug; Nathan's returns the expression and takes a seat with her. You mirror the action. Might as well be comfy. "Penny for your thoughts?" you ask, hopefully.
>>46324494"I don't get her. And it bothers me, a little, that you seem to," Nathan admits. "Because a lot of this stuff that I don't understand...it worries me.""Okay," you say patiently. "Got some examples to lay on me, Hero?""That, for one," Nathan says pointedly. "You both call me that. You use a word that bad people use to describe the ones that come to stop them, and you both used it to describe /me/ without a second thought.""...There's...nuances," you protest, lamely. "And you've both got this pragmatic streak that...it unnerves me, Brianna," Nathan admits. "I can't imagine killing someone because it's /practical/. For justice? Sure. For rage or honor or vengeance, sure. But because it seems like the best solution at the time, to clip someone's life like an errant fingernail? You'd do that. You've /done/ that."You sigh and nod, hunching your shoulders. "Yeah," you admit. "Ames too.""...If it were me, in love, I'd tear my way to Hell to be with my beloved again," Nathan murmurs. "She tells me to my face that she still loves him and then says she's not going back to him with her next breath. And you seem to understand it.""I do," you murmur. "So tell me."> That's not my place> Love is not enough> What is it you want to hear, Nate?> Write-in?
>>46324718>Love is not enough.>What do you ~really~ want to hear from me, Nate?I kind of understand his issue, but it seems fairly obvious....there's a life she can have with Bri and Nate beyond dungeonbreaking and fighting and warfare. She can move on to raising children, raising Bri's children, teaching, exploring, all without the inherent violence of survival among psychotic birdpeople. You love who you love, but the people who love you are what make the world worth living in.
>>46324718>> Love is not enough>> What is it you want to hear, Nate?
>>46324764> That .pngLewd, anon. I need to hit bed. Votes remain open. Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Y'all have helped me improve and I'm deeply grateful. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>46324718>> Love is not enoughLike Shadow said: You can love someone more than anything else in the world, and it alone still won't be enough to keep you together. A relationship requires flexibility, understanding, the ability and willingness to change, none of which Amy has with Talon and all of which she has with us.Their gears might fit perfectly together, but that doesn't mean shit if they're made to turn in opposite directions.
>>46324764>>Love is not enough.This anon has the right of it. She still loves him, but also realizes that he's a harpy in the traditional sense of the word. So, she's looking for that clean break.Also...>If you thirst to be a Chosen of Ravens, you would, I think, be expected to know terrible things. To seek out that knowledge, even, and hold it against the day it might need to be used. If you'd rather not know, why should the Lady burden you with such a task?Bri keeps knocking it out of the park. Thinking about it, I'm not surprised that the Lady likes her.
>>46324718>You remember I asked Ames if she was ready? "Where she stands and where she wants to stand">Being with someone defines who you are in no small part. She doesn't want to be the kind of person who would rule the Roost.>When you live.....pragmatically....like this, you learn to be a little selfish. You can lose your food, your safety, and maybe even your life in a blink of an eye, but the one thing that can never be taken away is what kind of person you choose to be. And Amy doesn't want to be that person.
Bumpin' in praise of the Coffee Lich!
I'm up, but I have to get some things done. It may be an hour or two before I can update.
>>46324718> Love is not enough
Aight, I'm bouncing out. Hypothetically, I'll see y'all in an hour or so. I'll try to let you know if this'll take longer but no promises.
Bump for the lich.
Alright, got that taken care of. Called, writing shortly. Gonna get some breakfast first.
Just waitin' for that sweeeeet update...
VOX DON'T BE DEAD
>>46324718Your eyes search Nathan's face. The Hero isn't looking for reassurance, you think; he's not asking you to comfort him. He's confused, and maybe guilty. Idiot probably doesn't realize that's one of the things the two of you share that confuses the hell out of Amy. "You grew up with a lot of songs and stories, didn't you?" you ask. You take Nathan's hand - he's peeled his gloves off - and lace your fingers in his. "A lot of sweeping tales of knights defeating evil and getting the girl, or soldiers going to war to defend hearth and home?""Maybe," Nate grants, a little defensively. "You liked those stories too.""Sure," you agree. "But they're simplifications, Nathan. Love isn't enough, and I think you already know that, even if you don't realize it. Passion's a wonderful thing, but it can't sustain a relationship. You saw the Roost out there. You've heard her talk about it."Nathan nods, quietly, his broken eyes holding your gaze. "Do you think Amy, who left the Roost and decided that she didn't want to live there any more, wants to raise children with someone who wants to /rule/ it? What kind of man do you think that is? Take a minute. Envision that ambition, the drive, the violence and ruthlessness it would take.""Amy has some of that," Nathan says softly. "So do I. So do you. A bit of steel isn't a bad thing for the soul, but I don't think it's what Amy wants. Do you?"
>>46332519Nathan sighs, and shakes his head. "I don't. She's...she's gentle at heart.""She's complicated at heart, Nate. People tend to be, it's why we're so gods-damned annoying." You flash the Hero a little grin. "Ames doesn't need blood and fury. She's got lots of that on her own. She needs someone like you.""And you," Nate says sternly. "...I see you and Ames have been talking.""Bri.""And me," you concede, with an exaggerated sigh. Nathan laughs in spite of himself, and you ruffle the Hero's hair. "You feel better?""Yeah. I just - it's complicated, you know? I never expected complicated.""I can tell," you tease. "Hey!"> Do the dinner scene> Skip to your appointment with the Lady
>>46332629>> Do the dinner scenemore homely fluff needed
>>46332629>> Do the dinner sceneNeed those warm fuzzy feels.
Aaaand I gotta go pick someone up. I'll be back in like...two hours. Relatives.
Might be more than two hours. My grandfather just died and I need to help my mother pack to go to West Virginia.I'll update you on the status of the run later. Thank you for your patience.
>>46333037Sorry to hear that, you have my condolences.
>>46333037Sorry for your loss, Vox. Remember, real life comes first!
>>46333037If you need to take a day or three, do it. Losing family is rough (especially if they're really close), and you shouldn't try to work or write with this stuff on your mind.
>>46333037Take your time with that.Grieving isn't something to hurry along. Neither yours, nor that of people close to you, if they take it harder.
>>46332629> Do the dinner sceneCondolences on your loss, Vox.
>>46332629>> Do the dinner sceneAlthough we may never have known him, I'm sure your grandfather was a good man. Condolences
Alright. We're getting ready to leave fairly immediately. I won't have access to my computer or a reliable connection until maybe Saturday, more likely Sunday. Consider the quest to be on hiatus for now, and I'll try to keep you updated.. My apologies for the interruption. Thank you all for reading and participating thus far.
>>46335448My condolences, Vox.
>>46335176My condolences and best of luck, sir.
>>46333037I want to make a joke about the grandfather of a linch passing away but i will contain myself.Sorry for your loss Vox.