> Year of Jormund’s High Council: 008An unlikely child finding an unlikely caretaker on the darkest and coldest night within living memory, that’s how this story began. However, that in itself doesn’t tell the whole tale. After all, it hadn’t always just been her and Gil.“How’s mah wee Filly this mornin’?”No, Gil had once had a wife, a petite, gentle soul that had seen past the dirt and grime of the forge, seen past the callouses and the scars to the kindly heart that lay beneath. Catherine was her name and though their courtship had been short, there was never a doubt in anyone’s mind that their marriage would be long and prosperous. With her silver tongue and keen intellect, with his strength and masterful skill, they completed each other in a way seldom seen. And when illness eventually confined the young woman to her bed, it seemed a joke too cruel for even the gods to play. Still, bedridden or no, it had never stopped her from filling both Gil and her adoptive daughter’s lives with love, never taken that lovely, genuine smile from her face until the very end.--Felicity wakes in a sweat as the door to dreams slams shut behind her, mind spinning around in circles as the strange dreams of yesterday war with reality. Her breath quickens, her pulse running quick until she finally manages a sigh of relief.[“A dream. It was all just a dream.”]The war tax and the strange man selling cursed items. It had all just been a-Her expression sours as she spies the glimmering ring on her outstretched hand.> Write-in
>>1095260Yeah, sorry to burst your dream-bubble, kitty, but we've got work to do and bills to pay.Let's get going, we've got a long day ahead of us.
Finally! You're awake. And here I thought you were planning to sleep all day.
>>1095265Oops, posting from phone. Borked it up.Meant to quote >>1095260
>>1095260For those dropping in for the first time, welcome to Cat and Canary, a quest following the adventures of a blacksmith's apprentice named Felicity trying to survive the rough world of bills, resource acquisition, and sales in the shadow of a living dungeon to keep her item shop afloat. To aid her along in her quest, you the players have access to her ears through a magic ring, and thus the ability to council her on important business decisions.Archive can be found here:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=bananonAnd my twitter here:https://twitter.com/bananon_QM
>>1095260Hope you slept well enough! We've gotta hustle, though, so get through your morning prep and let's get to it!
>>1095311>>1095269>>1095264>>1095265>>1095260“Nnnn…” she groans, gently pulling on her finger once again to see if the ring will dislodge.However, the result is much the same as yesterday, and like it or not, the voices had a point. She needed to get a care package ready for Kate and Ben and figure out how she wanted to stock the shop. And, by the grumbling in her stomach, she needed something to eat.So, with a discontented grumble, Felicity makes her way down stairs, fishing around for the ingredients to make a simple porridge. Rice, vegetables, a little bit of dried fish and spices go in the pot with a sad plunk before a cook fire starts them boiling, and that just leaves Felicity to wait and dread the day to come.> Current Shop Notes> Liquid Capital: 6500 alm> Stock Options> 4500 weapons (-25% in current market)> 1000 armor (-25% in current market)> Upcoming Expenses at end of month:> -1500 alm Living expenses> -5000 alm Noble Decree“That means we have enough to pay off everything at the end of the month if we just do nothing, but that would also leave us flat broke if anything went wrong,” she muses unhappily. “Nnnn… When did things get so complicated…”> Write-in
>>1095369By the sounds of it, about when that decree got passed. At any rate, one of the most important parts of salesman/womanship is a confident attitude. Don't get so down so early! Just remember: Work smarter, not harder. And you got a lotta smarts to work with.I suspect first order of the day after breakfast is getting your friends set up. Maybe put aside gear for them or something, and then open for business for a bit? Anyone else in this thing got ideas?
>>1095369What about equipping your friends for going into the dungeon? Will you tag along and pick up stuff behind them?
>>1095369Then obviously you need to do something, girl.Getting your companions equipped would be wise. Either something from your existing stock or purchase it if you wish to take a gamble.If you intend to go with them, it would be best to equip yourself as well. And it /would/ be best if you went. You will know more than your friends whether or not the things they find in the dungeon are worth keeping or not, at least until they learn that skill themselves.As for exploring the dungeon itself, when do adventurers in this area usually go? Because if you want the best results, you'll want to go before them. Wait too long and pickings will be slim, I'd imagine.(breaking character for a bit, I'm >>1095265 , back home and on my computer)
>>1095395>>1095383>>1095380>>1095369“I don’t know how to fight,” Felicity reminds the voices. “At least, not really. I can throw a punch, throw other stuff too maybe, and run, but…”But against the dungeon, she didn’t know if that would be enough. She hadn’t ever really made a practice out of getting near things that could kill her or trying to kill them back. Besides, she’d need armor, weapons, a clue how to use them in a fight.“Why so glum, fluffy butt?” comes a voice from directly behind her, the shock of Kate’s sudden arrival causing her chair to go toppling to the floor with a thud.“Kate…” Felicity groans as the girl casually helps pick her back up. “How the hell did you get into my house?”“Oh, that’s easy,” she answers casually. “You never lock the latch on the coal exhaust for the forge. Also, what are you making? It smells good.”“Porridge,” Felicity answers, getting up and slapping the thief’s hand as she attempts to help herself to a spoonful. “Enough for one. Now where is Ben?”A knocking at the door answers that in short order, the cat girl’s furs still bristling as she goes to open the door.“I’m so sorry!” he says. “I tried to stop her, but-““But he couldn’t climb a tree, let alone your house,” Kate finishes, putting an arm around Felicity’s shoulder. “Anyway, it should be fine.”“That better not be rice on your cheek…”--A few minutes later, and Felicity’s belly is full, minus a spoonful or two. However, it’s a small enough thing between friends, and the two adventurers seem no less enthusiastic about the job than they did yesterday as Felicity begins pulling out assorted weapons for them to use.“The voices also seem to think that it would be good if I accompany you,” she admits eventually. “To help you figure out what’s valuable and what isn’t.”“Truth be told, we do kinda suck at that,” Kate laughs.“Also, it would save us a trip back with an angry cat if you simply asked your questions on the spot, I guess,” Ben adds. “But would it be safe?” Felicity presses.“Safe enough so long as you stick with us,” Kate insists. “We didn’t do all of that training for nothing.”“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Felicity asks the voices.> Write-in
>>1095539Well, we think it's a logical enough idea. You don't have any kind of magic shielding or anything you can put on or defensive potion you can drink or the like? If nothing else, take a good dagger along. You don't need to be a master swordswoman to know that pointy end goes in thing.
>>1095539Oh it's a terrible idea, in terms of your safety. But you are not spoiled for choices if you don't want that noble decree to render you bankrupt. Stay close to your comrades, and you should be fine. Who knows, you might make good bait to lure the monsters into an ambush, if nothing else.
>>1095539You have invested a whole lot into this, we can't have those two dimwits throwing away all the valuables.
>>1095700>>1095568>>1095559>>1095539“You guys…” She just sighs. “I guess we’re going then. The stock I have in the shop won’t be worth selling until the fire sales die down.”“It’ll be fine,” Kate assures her. “Ben will take point and I’ll take up the rear.”“I’m telling you, Kate, it’ll work better the other way around. You’ll be able to scout more effectively than I can.”“That’s if I take a far scouting point,” she objects. “For a first sweep, it’s better we cluster tightly.”“Fair enough,” he sighs. “Jus-“It appears his brain cells freeze as he catches Felicity’s hands working at the top buttons of her pajama top.“What?” the hybrid demands, putting on a face as she stops to regard the pair and gesturing to the nearby measuring tape. “I need to figure out if one of these undershirts will fit!”And it wasn’t like she didn’t have anything on underneath.“Ah, it’s nothing,” Kate says with a wry grin. “Just don’t mind if we stop to enjoy the show.”A few moments later, the duo is left to contemplate their actions on the outside of the shop, and Felicity is back to work, carefully scratching down measurements as she goes to figure out what will make for a tight fit. After all, you couldn’t have loose fitting armor on the battlefield. At best, it would be hard to move in. At worst, it would get you killed.In any case, a few minutes measuring and quite a few more spent torqueing a set of medium armor into place, and she at least has something that would pass for “good enough”. A sword, dagger, and light hammer, plus a shield complete the set before she’s once again out into the sunshine, light glimmering off of her breastplate.“Ready?” Kate asks.“Let’s just get going before I change my mind… Though there’s also a question of whether we should start with chasing cats or just entering the dungeon proper.”> Write-in
>>1095812As long as you don't waste too much time on the cats. It sounded like it would be of little use. Cats are not the most reliable informants. Don't forget to bring a sizable pack to keep all your findings in. Maybe make the meatshield- I mean what's-his-name carry it on his back. If you have reservations about fighting, see about learning a bit of magic you can use at a distance when the opportunity arises. Or a bow or crossbow.
>>1095841Pretty much this. Going along with them, I see little reason to worry about the cats immediately.
>>1095812>>1095841Pretty much this.But remember, you don't have to kill something to end a fight. Just make sure it can't fight back. So you know, break legs and cause large amounts of pain. Or charm them with your cat like attractiveness if you don't want to hurt them. Whatever works.
>>1095918Actually, inb4 Deathclaws or Dragon Priests or Xivilai on the first quest.
>>1095947If that happens, there's a good chance adventurer senpais will show up to help and Felicity can make some new acquaintances.
>>1095959>>1095947>>1095918>>1095896>>1095841>>1095812“Wait, what’s a death claw?”“A death what?” Kate asks, but Felicity just shakes her head. “Ah, right. Voices. So long as they don’t start asking you to sacrifice goats and virgins, or whatever.”“In any case, assuming you still want to follow the lead from yesterday, we’ll need to find ourselves a cat or two around the dungeon grounds. If they have a way further down, it could be very valuable to us.”“Also, it would help us get around some of the wards into the deeper levels.”“Wait, wards?” Felicity asks, mildly concerned.“Yeah,” Kate confirms. “Some of the guild mages decided to bar off some of the lower levels going down to prevent rookies from getting in over their heads.”“They can’t exactly cover every way down, of course,” Ben adds, “but it at least lowers the chances that someone will extend their expedition further than the point where they are likely to be able to travel back.”“Shouldn’t we not skip those, then?” Felicity questions.“Well, if it’s a shortcut, we can take the way back,” Kate explains. “First things first though, we need to find a cat.”And so, the impromptu party makes their way up the great hill upon which the dungeon tower stands, a truly imposing structure of ancient brick with its entry station manned by a dozen or so official looking personages. Some offer easy offloading stations for loot, others mercenary services, and still others healing for those who wind up in bad shape. However, rather than move up to where they are, the group takes some time to look around, carefully scanning the outside of the tower for any signs of activity. Naturally, with the grass growing high in the surrounding area, creatures abound from large lizards and tiny rabbits, to birds swooping down for a morning lunch. Unfortunately, there are no cats, that is until a rather pitiful one comes into focus.Shaking and shivering in the sun, it appears to have been doused from head to toe. Still, it doesn’t seem to mind as much as a cat normally would, perhaps owing to the prize clamped tight in its jaws, what appears to be a small, fleshy tubule with tentacle limbs still weakly flailing.“A baby roper,” Felicity confirms excitedly, slowly moving closer to the wary feline. “Umm, excuse me, but could you-“ “Get your own,’ it spits angrily, a growl building in its throat as it turns to chart a new path around her. ”Filthy half-breed.”> Write-in
>>1096083How rude. I suggest putting this mongrel beast in its place. Take its prize. Make it beg for it back.
>>1096083Imagine a crocodile or alligator standing on its hind legs with foot long claws that can cut through steel. There's no feeling quite like beating them with only brass knuckles or switchblades.Also, that cat's rude as hell. Shame him for not being as fluffy as you.
>>1096083"Hm. Shame you're so rude. And here I was about to make you a deal so you wouldn't have to get that wet again for food. Oh well, ta."If he doesn't bite, then I dunno. Just move on. We don't have time to be messing with a cat for too long.
>>1096099Oops, they're also 10 to 20 feet tall. Forgot that.
>>1096105>>1096103>>1096099>>1096098>>1096083“You rude little-“ Felicity’s hand darts down and grabs a hand full of scruff before she pulls the cat back up to eye level, far enough away to wear it can do no damage.”You… Let go, FAT ONE!” He begins flailing his claws in the air like a blender, fighting to get free before Felicity lands a square flick of her finger on his nose. ”Release me! Get your own!”“I will,” she assures him, yanking the roper from his mouth. “As soon as you tell me where you found this one.””Mine!” he yowls. ”Mine! Not for filthy half-breeds that can’t hunt!” She flicks him again on the nose, after dropping the roper. ”Hiss! You couldn’t fit anyway! The hole in the fountain is too small! ”“What hole? What fountain?” Felicity demands, but at this point, the cat manages to sink his fangs into her thumb, the girl involuntarily releasing the enraged feline who goes bolting off at a breakneck pace with his catch once again in hand.“Well that was… a thing…” Kate comments.“Do either of you know anything about a fountain?” Felicity demands.“A fountain… Hmm…” Ben thinks for a moment. “Well, there’s an area called the courtyard that isn’t part of the dungeon proper. That had a fountain.”“Guess that’s as good a place to start as any.”> Write-in> Roll 1d100
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>1096223I suppose it's worth checking out, though if what the cat says is true, we really would have to rely on the cats themselves. Unless you have some means of shapeshifting you haven't shared with us. Otherwise, it seems this is going to be a dead end. If that mongrel is anything to go by, the dungeon cats aren't going to like you.
Rolled 17 (1d100)>>1096223I guess just going to the depths of the dungeon messes with a cat's mind. May as well look at the fountain. There may be something useful there.
>>1096229>>1096232These rolls do not bode well for our chances this session.
Rolled 61 (1d100)>>1096223Cats will be cats I suppose. Might as well see if that Fountain is worth anything at all.
>>1096223>Tell the guild for reward?"So how much finding a hole right to the dungeon is worth? I mean it might be small but something like an acid slime could get out. Slimes can enter anywhere using holes right? And even if is just regular slimes they could end running away of the dungeon due to something scary and attack the town. Do they give rewards for information like that? Because making the hole bigger seems like a stupid idea."
>>1096269That might be a good idea if we can't make use of it. Tell the guild and see if they'll pay us for the info. The cats will hate us even more once they plug it up, but I really don't care what those mongrels think at this point.
>>1096275Not all monsters are big and if there are holes then we should tell the guild before something nasty makes the hole bigger or infects the animals that go to hunt in the dungeon.Not to mention the war is gonna take away the best fighters and knowing how things go, that's when something nasty will get out the dungeon!
>>1096302Inb4 some kind of parasitic monster finds its way out of the dungeon and starts infecting people.
>>1096378>>1096302>>1096275>>1096269>>1096243>>1096236>>1096232>>1096229>>1096223“Cats are always like that,” Felicity assures the voices. “They’re a bunch of spiteful, hateful little-“She stops herself as she looks at her friends, cheeks reddening as she takes a renewed interest in her feet. Fortunately, they don’t press the matter as they clear the remaining distance to the courtyard, an overgrown, circular protrusion of stone in the center of which a fountain is still circulating clear water.“So, what do you guys think?” Felicity asks, stopping at the lip of the pool to observe the architecture. Surprisingly, though the stone artwork put into the dragon heads is beautiful, their mouths still pouring crystal clear water, and the fountain is otherwise not as chipped or as weathered as you would expect for its age, the place where the centerpiece should be is completely bare.“Well, way back when, some noble found this place and sawed off the centerpiece before anyone got wise to it,” Kate explains, noting where Felicity is staring. “After that, with no magic and no loot, people just used it as a watering hole for their horses.”“But if the cats have been getting in here, it must connect to something,” Ben points out. “That means the fountain must have a drain.”And so, the group begins their search, tracing the underside of the fountain with their eyes where it is clear, and with their fingers where watery plants have sprouted. For good or for ill, it doesn’t take long to find it from there, a hole just big enough for a cat to squeeze through if it were to have the mind. What’s more, the voices can detect a hint of something else as they brush across the smooth marble, a faint but distinctive hint of some greater secret hiding just out of sight.“A hole small enough for a cat, but not for us,” Kate notes.“And the group bound to the ring are worried it might be big enough for other things to get out,” Felicity sighs. “Maybe we should just report it and earn a bit of cash that way.”“Not as good as a super-secret entrance,” Kate sighs. “You sure there’s no way we can get in?”> Write-in
>>1096433Sure there is. Tell Kate she can break every bone in her body and she could slither her way in like a snake. It'll totally work. Trust me, I'm a fairy.Just tell the Guild. You get money, save the town from a potential slime invasion, and spite the cats. Everyone important wins.
>>1096433... something ain't right here. Can feel it.Dunno if it's out and out WRONG, but it ain't right. We might be able to widen the hole at some point, but now......now I'm starting to think we leave it alone until we're better on than we are now.
>>1096433Wait could we check for a secret entrance after all it doesn't make sense for a hole to lead directly to the dungeon unless it's intentional. Could we use the appraise thing to check?
>>1096433If the hole doesn't look that worn in, it could mean that it was intended to open up.
>>1096495Yup not to mention that underground structures made by mortals usually have a second entrance in case of a cave in.
>>1096507>>1096495>>1096457>>1096449>>1096448>>1096433> Analyzing…”THAR BE A BOUNTY A SECRETS ‘ERE!”> At the surface it appears that this fountain is completely mundane. However, the stone exterior belies the carefully inlaid circuitry running throughout. With one of the dragon’s heads acting like a switch once hammered down, it was likely meant to perform some sort of geomancy. However, with the main statue gone, it appears that the entire apparatus has become inert, likely due to the absence of a power source.How do you want to relay this to Felicity?> Write-in
>>1096545Don't panic, but the entire fountain was made to open into the dungeon. But it can't because the statue is gone.I wonder how it could open though? I'll put my money on those fancy spiral staircases like in Skyrim.
>>1096545We got a secret entrance here. All we need is a power source were the main statue was, likely geomancy, and pull down one of the dragon heads and it will open.
>>1096545So there IS one.....but you need that statue that was taken. We ask some of our engineering friends to jury-rig a power source and plug it in, potentially causing something to blow up.LET'S DO IT
>>1096592Either it blows up, or Felicity and Co get TPK'd by some horrible monster. Soo... tell the Guild about it to get paid a shitload since this is a time bomb waiting to go off. Then be there when they open it to be a part of the fat loots.
>>1096598Why tell the guild right now? We need lots of loot and is just about our best option to. Not to mention our ability let's makes a cakewalk out of any dungeon short of dealing with a monster.
>>1096629Because it's in the middle of town and there might be a monster Felicity can't deal with? What about all the regular people living in the town then?
>>1096636Clearly you need a better sense of ADVENTURE! also I kind of doubt we'll come across a monster that powerful that quickly. Remember the cat got through safely.
>>1096655Uh, Felicity's a catgirl smith with a phobia of fire and her two friends are the definition of newbies. A monster that powerful would probably be a particularly large goblin.
>>1096672Wait, she can hear us. No offense.
>>1096672>>1096679Why not have her ask her friends first?
>>1096545>>1096555>>1096575>>1096592>>1096598>>1096629>>1096636>>1096655>>1096672>>1096691“So… They’re saying that the statue is magic. It’s just broken,” Felicity explains. “Whoever took the centerpiece took the power source with them.”“Geeze,” Kate sighs. “Leave it to some rich jackass to haul off something valuable.”“Though I suppose if we informed the guild, they might be willing to pay us for the information, as well as fix it,” Ben muses.“And knowing them, they’ll immediately barricade the passage off after the fact and run the place dry before letting anyone else have a go,” Kate fumes.“Bear in mind, we have the information,” Felicity notes. “That means that we have leverage to bargain.”“I’m telling you, Felicity, if we aren’t the first ones in there, we’ll be last. I’d rather pay a mage to crack this thing open for us than have a veteran sweep the halls out from underneath us. There’s your finances to consider as well.”“There’s also our lives,” Ben reminds her. “We don’t know what could be down there.”“The cats have been fucking fine!” Kate objects.[“I could ask Lilly for help, or I could pocket some quick cash and let other people do the work.”]Felicity can’t make up her mind, risk versus reward having a dangerous dance over her conscience.>>1096679“No offense taken. You aren’t wrong,” she whispers as the other two continue arguing. “But what should we do?”> Write-in
>>1096698Have Lilly do it. Nurture connections, because she's a source for......UNIQUE.....goods.
>>1096698Why not go to the guild with information about a secret passage into the dungeon, with the stipulation that you (and a couple of experienced adventurers) are the only one that get to use it for 2 weeks? Don't tell them it's the fountain, and they'll never know. So they have to give it to you no matter what. Bonus, you get to dictate the price to a large extent.Of course if they refuse or Felicity negotiates poorly, Felicity'll be sitting on the information that a hole into the dungeon is sitting in the middle of town. Which may be a bad thing.
>>1096698>“And knowing them, they’ll immediately barricade the passage off after the fact and run the place dry before letting anyone else have a go,” Kate fumes.>“I’m telling you, Felicity, if we aren’t the first ones in there, we’ll be last. I’d rather pay a mage to crack this thing open for us than have a veteran sweep the halls out from underneath us. There’s your finances to consider as well.”What if we brought somebody else in on this? Our ability is so damn good that any vet would want us on their side since the ability to analyze any object is too good to pass up.
>>1096726We'd have to prove them to them first, but I'd bet anyone that knew we were telling the truth would never refuse. We may even be able to see hidden traps or mechanisms, which any adventurer would love to have in a dungeon.
>>1096734Actually, Felicity could use that for income, couldn't she? She's a smith, so she could offer to analyze the quality and such of any equipment from an adventurer. I'm sure they'd all love to know if their sword was going to snap in half soon.
>>1096734Not too mention being able to sort the treasure from the junk and hell dungeon are a thing we can do too.
>>1096743Yeah, I'd bet they'd love to know they don't have to drag around some heavy thing that's worth nothing.
>>1096750Now that I think about it, we're teaching a teenage girl how best to exploit people for money, aren't we? Are WE the baddies?
>>1096752I prefer to call it offering a marketable service and making loyal customers.
>>1096698I'd say bring in Lilly. She might have a particularly vivacious personality, but that's good.
>>1096761Sure, let's go with that. I'm sure it's better a fluffy catgirl cheats them out of their money anyway.
>>1096698>>1096705>>1096721>>1096726>>1096734>>1096741>>1096762“Not going to lie, you guys have been proving pretty useful,” Felicity admits, but on the subject of whether to go with Lilly or the guild, there doesn’t seem to be a definite conclusion. “I guess we could go for a mix of both. An open passage is worth more than one that’s closed. It would probably make it easier to negotiate a higher price, as well.”With that settled, Felicity and the gang make their way out of the woods and back into town, strolling down familiar streets on their way to the awkward mage’s shop. At the very least, the shop wasn’t smoking today. However, any hopes that that would mean an uneventful visit are decidedly undercut as a burst of arctic wind comes hurling out of the door the moment it’s open.“W-w-w-welcome t-to m-my s-s-shop!” greets the shivering mage behind the counter, the thick scarf around her neck seeming to do nothing to abate the chill in the air all around her. “P-please w-watch your-““Wagh!”“Oh god!”*Thump*A chorus of unhappy noises go up as the trio’s feet hit frosted floor, their summer boots slipping out from under them in an instant as though coated in butter before their bodies go crashing into the ground.“S-step…”“What the f-frick were you trying to pull today?” Kate groans, pulling herself up off the floor. “And h-how the h-hell is it so cold in here?”“I-it’s g-great r-right?” Lilly question. “N-n-nice and c-cold in the middle of summer.”“If you want to die from hypothermia,” Ben complains, bracing himself on a coat rack as he helps Felicity back to her feet.“I was t-t-trying t-to-““I’m going to stop your thought right there,” Felicity interjects. “Let’s have the rest of this meeting outside.”With minimal mishaps, the cadre of people is soon back out in the warm sun, their extremities quickly regaining feeling as the horned magelet carefully folds her scarf, and uses it as a cushion for a nearby bench.“So I take it you were wanting to buy something?” Lilly asks.> Write-in
>>1096929Just to open a passage into the dungeon in the middle of a town of defenseless peasants. Sure is a great idea!
>>1096933The town guard are a thing you know.>>1096929We intend to open a passage into the dungeon also know any vets we could bring with us.
>>1096945You mean the people not trained to fight monsters?
>>1096929Go on, get to it, chop chop.....hmm, I wonder how popular a shop would be if it had an obstacle course? Themed training for particular hazards, and at the end you can purchase stuff related to those dangers.
>>1096951Any monster small enough to go through the passage could easily be killed by the town guard.Stop being so fucking paranoid.
>>1096965The passage's enchantment could make it as big as it wants to since it makes it by using geomancy though. We've no idea how big it could end up being.
>>1096977It's meant for people not fucking giants,
>>1096984I'm not saying it is? If it was made for people, then it could be a couple feet larger than a person needs. Which means a larger monster could fit through it. Will you calm down?
>>1096929We're looking to purchase your services right now. Failing that, some kind of stone eating acid or the sort
>>1096929>>1096933>>1096945>>1096951>>1096960>>1096991“Well, you see, we found this gate,” Felicity elaborates. “And we need someone who knows magic to help us open it.”“Hm? I have plenty of acid. Wouldn’t that work just as well?”“I… don’t believe so… You see, it’s in a fountain-““Wait. You said it was a gate.”“It’s a gate in a fountain.”“Oh. Is it some sort of gate for fish then?”“Mostly a gate for cats at the moment, but if you could help us-““A gate for cats? Now that sounds silly.”“Could you please just come out there with us?” Kate interjects. “It’ll be a gate for people once we get the damn thing open.”“But someone carved out the power source,” Ben explains.“Oh, well that’s maybe, possibly, easy to fix.”“Maybe, possibly?” Kate inquires.“Well, it’s sort of like reanimating a horse, right? If someone tells you there are pieces missing, but not which pieces, it could get very messy.”--Setting aside those strange visuals, Lilly gathers her things and is soon on the way with the rest of the group, the now-quartet returning to find the site much as they had left it. Thereafter, Lilly immediately gets to work sketching chalk lines across the empty platform in the center, paying no mind to her half-soaked dress as she begins scribbling circles and theorems on the stone.“Oh, so it was just the power source,” she finally confirms. “Kind of a stupid place to keep it… but if I draw a line here and here, connect this circle to that and put a crystal right here. There! Done!”“So, wait, it’ll open now?” Felicity asks.“Either that or it will explode,” she answers cheerily.> Write-in
>>1097033Scan it. Let's check if it'll actually work before activating it.
>>1097033I still say we should go see what we can get from the Guild before we open it. There's no point not to.And also, y'know, make sure it won't blow up. That would probably be a nice thing to do.
>>1097045We can do after we loot the dungeon for maximum profit and we could just scan it to make sure it functions.
>>1097050My plan was to be the only people able to use the dungeon for weeks with a group of experienced adventurers. It's safer and Felicity still gets a lot of loot.I mean, just jumping without looking is how new guys get killed, and that's what you're having them do. Why not at least try?
>>1097056It's unlikely to actually work out as you expect since as soon as they get the information they can fuck us over as much as they want.
>>1097066You know legal contracts are a thing right? Maybe even magical ones for all we know.
>>1097079You know magic is a thing in general why do think they need help to find it once we tell them it exists.
>>1097097Wait wait wait, did you actually read what I said earlier? I said to not tell them it was a fountain, just that we knew of an entrance. If this town has been here for who knows how long, why would nobody have found it with magic before? Or people using magic while going through the dungeon?
>>1097103>I said to not tell them it was a fountain, just that we knew of an entrance.And why do you imply it matters if we tell where exactly. Geomancy is a thing and earth sensory tend to be low leveled in most settings and that's not even getting into magic items.>why would nobody have found it with magic before? We're the only one that bothered looking. Everybody else in our group just gave up before we checked because it wasn't worth the time and effort.
>>1097145>There is a secret entrance to the dungeon anywhere 3 random people could go to for miles aroundGreat hint there. I'm sure they'll find it real fast. Plus your own logic goes against you. Nobody's looked in town before. Why would they look now? One march through the woods and suddenly nobody knows where it could be.
>>1097182And your logic isn't any less flawed. You're assuming thatThey won't try to fuck us overThey won't try to screw us out of the expedition and that it will be in time to save our shopThe team won't team won't fuck us over for being dead weightAnd they won't fuck us out of our money
>>1097252>won't try to fuck us overWhy would they when we let adventurers go in with us? They're getting first pick along with us>They won't try to screw us out of the expedition and that it will be in time to save our shopWe can go into the dungeon at any time. We're not planning on going like 30 levels down.>The team won't team won't fuck us over for being dead weightDo you have friends?>And they won't fuck us out of our moneyYes, the guild will literally rob Felicity of the items her group finds. Excuse me for forgetting that they'll do that. I'll just stop arguing.
>>1097252>>1097270It'll be okay folks. Don't worry.
>>1097270>Why would they when we let adventurers go in with us? They're getting first pick along with usThe art of business might as well be called the art of war. You don't get to the top without making enemies.>We can go into the dungeon at any time. We're not planning on going like 30 levels down.I rather not wait for an expedition and get bankrupt while waiting,>Do you have friends?You were asking for Vets from the guild, when we haven't even made a name for ourself, and when we'd be dead weight in a fight.>Yes, the guild will literally rob Felicity of the items her group finds.Have you ever met a lawyer? They don't have to literally rob just metaphorically.The big problem I'm having is we're a small fish in big pond.>>1097314Fine.
>>1097033>>1097041>>1097045> Analyzing”Yar! That oughta do!”> It seems that with the insignias completing various circuits, the device is once again operational. The control circuit to handle feedback is incomplete, however, leading to a small chance of feedback detonation. Chances of exploding, minimal.“So, it should work now,” Felicity reflects, “but to be safe, we really should inform the authorities of this new entrance.”“Really?” Kate demands.“Really,” Felicity sighs. “For all we know, this entrance could lead to a different place than where the cats are coming out. Instead of ropers, we might find things that are very dangerous, and if that’s the case, we have to make sure the entrance gets closed before any harm is done.”“Hmm. I guess I’ll wait here then,” Lilly sighs, producing a sandwich from her spell component pouch. “No sense erasing my work while you settle things with them.”And having no sound argument against that, the group leaves Lilly about her business, making their way not toward the main dungeon entrance, but toward the guild headquarters back in town.“So, explain it to me one more time,” Felicity begs of her comrades as they walk.“Well, the key here is that basically everyone who’s from around here goes through the Dungeon Regulatory Committee,” Kate explains.“Way back when, there were plenty of rivals in the area,” Ben continues, “but with no standard of training, safety, or medical care, lots of people got hurt.”“And guilds getting at each other’s throats over territory didn’t help.”“So eventually, the regulatory committee took over, basically an adventurer’s union to make sure everyone was taken care of.”“But in practice, not everybody’s equal. More experienced adventurers are encouraged to take first pick of new areas. They also have an easier time netting rich sponsors.”“Still, it’s not the worst place in the world,” Ben concludes. “The guild can be trusted to hold up their end of bargains once they’ve been struck.”But the real question is, what kind of bargain is Felicity going to be trying to strike?> Write-in
>>1097455A limited amount of time to explore exclusively at least. Some money for finding it. Whatever would be considered a reasonable amount.Some help, maybe. We can figure out how to distribute loot later.Hair/fur care products to make Felicity's fluffy fur even more luxurious and grand than it already is.
>>1097455Be part of the first expedition into it, and get a share of the loot that's recovered.
>>1097497>>1097489>>1097455I think I'll pick up here tomorrow, give some other folks a chance to chime in and myself a chance to sleep. Take care folks.
>>1097519Alright, thanks for running.Don't forget the hair products though. They're absolutely essential.
>>1097538You're too good for this world.
>>1097455Temporary exclusive rights to set up a stall outside the fountain/just inside.We'll sell consumables and map/trap info for this particular entrance. The novelty will die off quick, but it's a good opportunity to get to know some mid-tier adventurers looking for something fresh but not too deep.
>>1097690We could also offer that gear analysis service on the stall, even offer lifetime free analysis to who ever gives us a good fireproofing charm so this pussycat can get over her fear of fire.
>>1097455I think th deal should go something like this. We want exclusive rights to the new dungeon for a week and a prepaid contract with a mid teir adventurer. Also we should demand money up front and stipend let's say 5% gold from any finds or selling it directly to our shop. We could also try to set up our rookie friends with better dungeons get privlages. I think this may be asking for too much, since we don't even know what down there. But hey this is the best case senerio.
>>1097519Thanks for running! Was late to the party but this is shaping up to be an interesting quest.>>1098030We probably should learn how to fight ourselves at some point, too. A spear would be good at first - both to keep targets away from us and friends and do the stabby thing behind people's backs.
>>1098206A club or a hammer eorks bedt dince our loved cat-girl seems quite strong. And a hammer does also eork for the forge so she must have a few decent ones.
>>1097519Give me an hour, and I'll be back to writing.
>>1097455>>1097690>>1098030>>1098206>>1097497>>1097489“And how may I help you today?” asks a kind-faced woman behind the front desk, her hair done up in a neat bun that compliments the glasses on her face perfectly.“Um… I’m Felicity,” the cat girl begins nervously.“Ah, yes, Gil’s apprentice,” she confirms.“And I had something that I wanted to discuss with the guild: a new entrance into the dungeon.”“Oh?” The surprise is clear on her face. “Well, that certainly is interesting. That said: I imagine that you would be looking for a reward then before passing on that information. Tell me first, though, what can you tell me about this entrance?”“Not much,” Felicity admits. “We haven’t unsealed it yet for fear there may be dangerous things inside.”“A wise decision,” the woman compliments, “but I’m afraid it would be difficult to ascertain an appropriate reward without first confirming that the entrance goes anywhere of merit. It could just be a sepulcher or an empty, hidden room.”“Well, that’s why I came to you, to acquire at least a mid-tier guild member’s services to help with exploration.”“However, I imagine that that isn’t all. As you know, guild members can be independently hired without going directly through us.”“It’s because we need some prevention against things coming out of the entrance once its open or something to stop other adventurers capitalizing on our discovery before we even have a chance at it ourselves.”“Honestly,” the secretary sighs. “Adventurers will do what they want to do for the most part. In general, I’ve been instructed to refer any more complicated requests besides the purchase of raw information to Guild Master Corven. I’m Melony, by the way, and if you’d kindly have a seat, I’ll see if I can’t wrangle him out of his office for you.”With a polite bow, the secretary is then on her way, graceful, measured steps carrying her across the atrium and gathering looks from quite a few idle guild members as she passes.“She seems nice,” Felicity comments, tail twisting through a hole in the back of her chair and curling nervously as they wait.“Yeah, Melony is great,” Kate confirms. “She keeps this madhouse running.”“But do you guys know about any higher-level guild members you would trust to come with us down below?”“You could always post a job listing,” Ben points out. “I’m sure you wouldn’t be lacking for takers.”“But Ben and I know a couple of people who’ve been at this longer than us. There’s Sara, who’s a mage.”“Dave is a druid, but he’s been a bit busy with his farm lately.”“And Karn’s an expert on deep dives, provided you can dig him out of his hole long enough to give him a new assignment.”
>>1099561“Keep in mind though,” Ben points out. “We have no idea what’s down there, and the more people we bring in on this, the more ways we have to split whatever we take.”Before they have time to consider much more, Melony’s footsteps can be heard once again, a stocky, red-haired dwarf following in her wake, rubbing his cheek and with an air of annoyance.“So, what’s this then?” he demands. “Ye found yerselves an entrance and want it all to yerselves, is that it? Faa! No deal! I’m not gonna go pryin’ open holes in the earth so a bunch of green horns can get themselves killed. Not while there’s a war on.”Seems he’ll need some convincing.> Write-in
>>1099569If he won't help us open it, then we can still open it ourselves. All he's doing is making sure that the Guild has no say in the operation of this second opening.
>>1099569Meh. Personally, I knew it wasn't going to be easy. Should have just opened it ourselves.If we found something that could be of worth to the war, he'd change his mind right quick.
>>1099569It seems he misunderstands. Inform him we only ask for exclusive access during the first few days (preferably up to a week), after which it's open season. Or the guild can seal it, however they wish to proceed from that point forward. >>1099667 Also makes a good point. We're giving the guild an opportunity to take part so that we can mitigate risks. Not because we necessarily absolutely need them.If he isn't open to the idea, perhaps we should probe the new opening ourselves a bit, ascertain how dangerous it is.
>>1099680I had rather liked the idea of our own entrance. Shame we squealed on it right after finding it.>>1099680
>>1099703Eh, we haven't told them where or what it is yet, so they can't exactly do anything about it if we don't give them anymore information.Although if we aren't stealthy about it, it would be simple enough for them to have someone tail us. And while ninja girl can do that easily enough, I have doubts about the rookie shining knight. Plus Felicity's armor is pretty shiny right now too.
>>1099569Maybe he's right, though. We are a party of two rookies and one essentially non-combatant.
>>1099845We don't necessarily have to fight yet. We can go in, scout the place out, and if it's too dangerous, we retreat and have our witchy friend close the gap again.And THEN we can tell the guild if necessary, and actually give some details they'd be interested in hearing.
>>1099569>>1099667>>1099674>>1099680>>1099845“Listen,” Felicity says.“Oh no! Don’t you ‘listen’ at me,” the dwarf lectures, hissing loudly as Melody bats him over the head with her clipboard.“Continue,” she prompts.“What I mean to say is that we may be green, but chances are high that if we could find this entrance on our own, other people with more experience would have no trouble doing the same. Even if you just collapse the entrance we found without exploring it first, you run the risk that it’s part of a network someone could just stumble into later and not inform the guild.“We came to you first not because we had to, but because we respect your role in keeping the town and its inhabitants safe. This is an economically trying period for Aldheim. New, easier, and possibly safer access routes to major resources is not something we should simply turn our nose up at, especially in the shadow of a looming military conflict.“If it is dangerous, it can and should be sealed, but it would be irresponsible to do so before we determine if there’s a need. Give me two or three weeks to conduct that investigation on our own, to bear the major burden of early exploration between us and whatever, more experienced experts we can find. I’ll accept full responsibility for any incidence.”The dwarf gives a long, stern stare at the felinid in front of him, cold eyes turning her knees to jelly before he finally seems to start breathing again with a snort.“I’ll give ye a month,” he finally concludes. “If it’s a major entrance, we’ll throw up a barrier to cover our arses, but ye’ll still have the run of the place until ye make me question my judgement. We clear?”Felicity gives a nervous nod.“Then that’s all the damn time, I’m gonna waste on this. Carry on.”With that, the dwarf turns back to his office, booted feet falling heavy as he murmurs to himself.“I think that went quite well,” Melody confides, seating herself back at her desk while the cat-girl just stands there still a bit stunned.[“Oh gods. What now?”]> Write-in
>>1099998Obviously you should talk to the other guild members. Find someone who looks like he has some experience, but won't be averse to working with newbies.That last part alone should filter out a lot of undesirables. Hm, I wonder if there's a way /we/ could pick one out...?Regardless, just one would be best. Perhaps not the safest, but it would mean less treasure splitting. We are here to make a profit after all.
>>1099998We should probably find the people that Ben and Kate know, Sara and Karn.
>>1100085Ah, yes, them. I still feel that just one should suffice, but if our host wishes to proceed with caution, one more shouldn't hurt too much I suppose.
>>1100085>>1100035>>1100015>>1099998“So, I guess we can explore now,” Felicity murmurs, as much to get herself back going as anything else. “And should you find anything useful to the guild, please inform us, and we’ll gladly compensate you whatever the find is worth. Though, if I might be so bold, with no offense intended to Ben and Kate, you may want to seek council from one or two of our more senior members.”“Um… Right… You guys mentioned you knew people?”“Dave, Karn, and Sarah are all people that Kate and I would trust,” Ben confirms.“And they are all reasonably talented in their occupations,” Melody adds.“Basically, Daves’ a braniac and a bestiary,” Kate explains. “Sarah’s got a bit of a stick up her butt, but she’s good with a wand. And Karn’s as much a part of the dungeon as anybody still around. He can stay down there for weeks at a time.” “He’s actually come back in town for a few days,” Melody notes. “The Two Penny Tabernacle tends to be his go-to.”“It’s just a question of what we can offer them, and what our needs right now are,” Ben muses. “They’d probably want a reasonable pay raise above Kate or I, given their experience.”“Probably twice as much would be a reasonable estimate,” Melody agrees. “That is, depending on the plunder vs payment percentages you negotiated with young Felicity when signing on.”The three of them all mutually look to each other, faces slowly reddening as comprehension dawns.“Well, I’m sure you’ll figure it out!” the secretary says happily. “At your mutual experience levels, thirds seems fair, but just come to me if you need any papers signed.” “So, how many ways can we slice this? How much even is there to slice? You guys, any help?”> Write-in
>>1100229Dave may be the best for a first foray, then, if he can identify things and come up with plans.
>>1100229Thirds is fine. Anyone more experienced you pick up that wants a double share will bump it up to 1/5th though.Also, Melody doesn't know you have voices in your head. You should probably stop talking to yourself.
>>1100229Just invite Dave along for initial exploration. Or Karn, though based on your companions' descriptions, it's hard to tell which would demand the lowest amount. Sarah sounds like she'd be annoying to deal with, though magic would be nice to have along for the party.I think perhaps taking a hit from the higher wage would be best in the long-term, rather than give up potentially valuable loot. But given your limited funds at the moment, offering a better treasure split would be safest this time. Just make the contract short-term, we can always seek them out again for another one.And I suppose working up a separate contract for your two newbie friends would be a good idea while you're here. Something more long-term.
>>1100229We'll, if it was just the three of you, 30/30/40 or even a 25/25/50 at best, with you getting the 40/50 since you're supplying them and paid their guild fees.
>>1100334This. If later on, we want to reconsider the split, it would be simple enough to write up a new contract. Though I'd say go for the 30/30/40. We want to make money, but these /are/ also your friends and most likely long-term allies. It wouldn't wise to take too much.
>>1100229"30% for the experienced adventurer that comes with ya, plus first pick on stuff. Anything more and you will be in the red. And if something is too valuable then they will regociate again.Oh and catgirl get a club or a hammer for self defence."
>>1100453Yes girl you need a weapon. If you can't use a hammer a club works.
>>1100498She does have a hammer though. A light one, but it's still a hammer.
>>1100509But does it work well as a weapon? Otherwise a club is gine because anyone can use one of those.
>>1100517She probably wouldn't have brought it to go into the dungeon if it wasn't. Well, she could be stupid so it would be a poor weapon. We'll have to see.
>>1100517Anything is a weapon if used right. Her weapon shouldn't be anything much, since she's not a fighter. Just needs something or other just as a last resort. Plus, too heavy or big will make it harder to bring back more loot.
>>1100229>>1100268>>1100286>>1100326>>1100334>>1100435>>1100453“Alright,” Felicity sighs. “First things first, can we agree that 30/30/40 is fair when it’s just the three of us?”“Sounds fine to me,” Kate agrees.“But only after we pay you back our dues,” Ben insists.“We’ll get it in writing later,” Felicity notes, “but next thing on the list is figuring out who we want in the group and how we want to redistribute things. Right now, with no telling as to what we’ll find, I’d recommend offering up 30% in plunder to just one person, that being Dave. He knows the monsters in the dungeon well, and the foliage. Karn might be in the same group, but the first forays won’t be long missions that would favor his skills. The new, recommended split would be 30/21/21/28 under those conditions.”It seems that Melody is already writing some of this down on some parchment.“But first, we’ll have to see if he agrees. Or would it be wiser to see if there’s even anything to be found first?”> Write-in
>>1100851Ask first, see if we can't convince him to do it as his way of "giving back" to newbies.
>>1100851Ask Melody if she knows anyone that can do what Dave does and would accept less.>>1100865This too.
>>1100851Perhaps it would be wise to ask Melody if there's any newbie-friendly experienced adventurers we could also consider asking. She obviously knows a lot of people here.Otherwise, sure, let's ask Dave.
>>1100910We are heading to the unknown so is better to have someone strong on our side.
>>1101010>>1100910>>1100872>>1100865>>1100851“I’m sorry to ask, Melody, but do you know of anyone else of a similar level of experience who might help us for less?” Felicity asks.“Well,” she hums, putting a finger to her lips. “Adventurers tend to think rather highly of themselves, enough to where I would have asked you to reconsider your asking price had it been anyone else. So far as similar skill sets, not many would be an exact match for Dave.”“He likes to cultivate dungeon plants,” Kate explains. “That and talk to his birds in his free time.”Finally, someone else who would know her pain.“Anyway, I guess if he’s our best lead, we should go with that,” Felicity sighs. “Thank you very much, ma’am.”“Of course, Felicity. It’s been my pleasure.”With that, the group is once more back out into the warm sunshine and making their way toward the outskirts of town. Fortunately, though the dungeon had plenty of beasts, the roads around here were clear. Turned out that having a town full of people trained to kill monsters made a poor proposition for would-be thieves. And so, through woodland and down winding paths they wander, until finally coming upon a quaint cottage not too far from a well-tilled and watered field. It isn’t often you see mulch that fresh, or stalks so healthy on the rows that are filled. What’s more, at the end of one empty row, a curious man seems to be busy already planting another rotation, though hardly dressed for the part.In something like a brown cloth robe, the black-haired man hardly seems to notice the visitors as he adjusts his glasses and strains the soil through his fingers. Meanwhile, an entire flock of birds seems to be swooping up and down the row, pecking the soil here and there before fluttering off again. “Hey Dave!” Ben calls, waving from the fence before stepping through. “How’s it going?”“Ah, Benjamin,” the man acknowledges, standing up to his full height. “It’s been quite some time, hasn’t it?”“Well, you haven’t exactly been around town, now have you?” Ben asks with a smile. “Kate and I miss your three root chili.”“Speak for yourself, Ben!” Kate objects. “That stuff is like lava with extra rocks!”“Hmm,” the tall man just starts laughing softly to himself. “And who would this be?”“Ah, right,” Ben says. “Felicity, this is Dave. Dave, this is Felicity.”“A pleasure,” he confirms, bending to kiss the back of her hand.“I… Um, right… I needed to talk to you about possible work,” Felicity manages. “You see, we found a new entrance into the dungeon, and we were hoping you could help.”
>>1101466“A new entrance? My, my, you two certainly have been busy in your first few weeks, now haven’t you?” he asks the others. “That’s by no means a common find.”“So, would you help us for thirty percent of the take on our first expeditions?”“Well, that’s certainly a generous offer,” he notes, his tone kind and warm, “but I’m afraid that I’ll have to decline.”“Come on, Dave! Why?” Kate demands.“Well, you see,” he says. “I’ve recently come into some seedlings for a rare herb that only grows on the high mountains. However, if they aren’t exposed to adequate cold right before sewing, they simply won’t take root. I fear that my time table is running rather short as of right now. Otherwise, I’d be glad to help you.”[“Great. What now?”]> Write-in
>>1101494we know a cold place.Be careful, Felicity! Coincidences are lining too much in your favor, something MUST be afoot. Be suspicious, doubt everything you see, and take revenge on those manipulating your fate WITH FIRE AND BL-cough cough, I mean, just.....go take the seeds to Lilly.
>>1101494What >>1101530 said. Take them to Lilly's place, assuming she hasn't thawed it out by now.And if she has, we can always ask her to use her magic on them. I'm sure she must be getting bored sitting on that fountain all this time.
>>1101494Wait, a minute. Lilly has that cold spell. Tell Dave about it, and if it works, maybe he could be convinced to knock off 5 percent from the take we initially offered?
>>1101614>>1101545>>1101530>>1101494“Well, Lilly’s shop is really cold. Maybe you could just leave them there.”“I seriously doubt that would-““There’s ice on the floor, Dave,” Kate explains.“That… That’s not natural,” Dave notes.“But it is for her…” Felicity finishes. “Anyway, her shop would probably work great if you needed to store your seeds for a couple of days, and we’d really value your services.”“Wait, you’re saying that she has the ability to make this happen for days at a time?”“Probably until she gets bored or something explodes,” Felicity guesses.“Hmm… You know, I might ask her if she could make me a box with those properties, something I could store my experiments in. They could last days longer with that. Anyway, I’m a man of my word. If she’ll store my specimens for me, I’ll accompany you for that rate.”[“Hmm… Maybe I should have you guys take a look at that box…”]Thus, with druid in tow, the roster of four makes their way once again through town and out the other side. Only, as they round on the clearing where the fountain was, there’s no site of the mage to be seen. Instead, there’s now an open staircase spiraling down into the earth, the drip of water sending a long echo down into the dark.
>>1101923Anyway, that's where I'll end it for now folks. Hope you had fun, and I'll see you next time.
>>1101932Thanks for running! Figures Lilly would get tired of waiting for us.
>>1101932Thanks for running.
>>1101923whelp. Time to split the party!
>>1101942Her sandwich was delicious, yet finite, anon, but all will be well.
>>1102031Clearly one of her next projects needs to be creating an infinite or self-repairing sandwich.
>>1102043don't....don't actually do this
>>1102079She'll probably do it on accident eventually.
>>1101923Low Wisdom score mage! That moron!