Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzKzmYCaO40“You aren’t going to let me go, are you.”“Mm.”You’ve been waking hours before morning, recently. Today was in a store filled with strange smells, in a room where you found a certain half-fae woman sleeping in a wooden chair next to your bed.You poked at Claritia a bunch to tell her you were leaving and got vague murmuring in reply. With Ashtia as a bigger wolf carrying a not-awake Lulette on her back, and with Bob accompanying the halves of your sadly broken shovel in your bucket, you left the building to find Elena.The red-haired girl was standing by one of her totems just outside the city’s walls, and you’re next to her tugging on her robes.Silver’s Claw is sheathed in its scabbard, strung onto her waist. She still looks like she hasn’t slept in very a long time.“I guess that’s fine.”The witch tips the contents of a ceramic vial into her mouth, then hands you an identical one. It tastes like bubbles.The walk back to her swamp is long, and that lets Elena tell you her story.---Previous threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=GFQ
>>1216571The Talon Marshes were always corrupted, as far as we were concerned, and it’s been around nine years since we had settled there. My mother and I, I mean.Stopping only for a moment to set up shelter, my mother only had to walk in the direction of the weird to find the source of the corruption deep in the swamp. It was something you might call a portal, though that makes it sound more deliberate or ordered. More of a rip in the border of our reality, and it was leaking something horrible into the land.My mother was a shrewd witch and a master alchemist, and in her years she had hoarded all sorts of things. One of them was Silver’s Claw, an indestructible weapon that exists physically here and in the Veil.That rift was something that felt alien. My instinct was to leave and never come back. My mother figured she should stab it with the sword. She was always fearless.It worked, one way or another. Closed the rift much like stuffing a plug into a hole. That dealt with, she decided the swamp was to become home.My mother’s motivation was knowledge. She’d go off and withdraw the sword just to see how the land changed. She’d take ingredients with her, and come back to test whether corrupted substances had useful properties. Typical for an alchemist to care about little else, really.
>>1216589Years later, we met a young woman.The nearby city was at the border of a war, and that woman was being forced into it. She wanted a way to help her survive, and into the swamp she chased tales about ebonwood staves stabbed into the mud and marked with red ink, about watchful crows that perched overhead, and about the powerful witch that commanded them.The rumours were about my mother, of course.At this point she was still documenting her findings, and had succeeded in finding a mix of substances that could suppress the corruption. She had more complicated experiments in mind though, and needed materials and items that weren’t easily accessible so far from the capital.So when that girl arrived, the witch thought she’d found a novel solution.A blood pact was made. My mother would lend the woman Silver’s Claw for five years, after which the sword was to be returned and the young woman would become the witch’s servant. Small favours and errands, nothing dangerous, my mother told her. I don’t think the assurances were needed; from what I saw, Aletta Ephon was a girl with a desperate fear of death. Which is why she accepted so easily, and why the blood pact should have worked; the offender’s life is the punishment for breaking it.But when the Witch Of Crows departed to fulfill the pact and retrieve the sword, she came back with a fatal wound across her chest.The baroness didn’t know she had killed my mother, and through fending off her patrols into the swamp the name of the Witch Of Crows fell to me. But I never had my mother’s skill in potion-making, and our stock of ingredients were finite either way.What was initially for revenge became necessity. To keep the corruption from growing, I needed to take the sword back.
>>1216594“I don’t know how Ephon ended up the way she did. The magician with her didn’t have a powerful necromancer’s mark, and lichdom is not a simple ritual.If anything, it probably happened during the war. She died in combat, enchanted sword or no, and some madman gave her a ‘second chance’. The rest,” Elena sighs, “were her death throes.”There’s quiet for a while, other than the footsteps of your sedate pace on the road. Lulette wakes, mumbling in some language you think she just made up, fluttering towards the potted plant in your bucket.“It’s a good thing you did what you did,” the red-haired girl says. “I don’t know if I could have restored it like this from being used as a phylactery.”Whatever was done to Silver’s Claw changed it in some way Elena couldn’t understand; she’s glad to say that kind of magic isn’t her strong suit. But that also means she doesn’t know how to handle what happened to you.The hole in your chest wasn’t a hole when you woke up, but it didn’t heal perfectly. The corrupted sword left a strange purple scarring. Your clothes are still ripped, their enchantment slowly knitting the fabric back together, and at the moment you can still look down and see the wound.It doesn’t look good. The colours there are broken. You wonder how you should fix it. Should you smack yourself with a shovel?... Maybe.The red-haired girl looks at the blackened scar, and the hole in your mark. She apologises, for getting you mixed up in her tale. You reply with a shake of your head.>[ ] Stay close to the witch. Help her.[ ] You're here just to support the witch. The story is hers to close.
>>1216602>[ ] Stay close to the witch. Help her.
>>1216602> Stay close to the witch. Help her.I hope that corruption doesn't affect Baphy now...
It took most of the day when you walked to Silvercrest. Now, you’ve arrived at the Talon Marshes in a few hours. You are confused.“Magic,” the witch shrugs.She leads you unerringly, through mist and past trees with increasingly spiny branches. Ashtia gives up, taking position as bucket-weasel when the earth becomes muddier, marsh waters rising past your ankles. You can hear the silence. The absence of the sounds of life, and the failing tune underneath it all. The plants and trees around you seem to grow darker with the rising scent of decay. Your group presses on through it all, and eventually you reach the source.Deep in the heart of the swamp, where the morning light almost completely fails to reach, you see the rift.
>>1216892Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-ehPFKcVmYIt’s a hole in the air, hanging and existing in disregard of physical laws. A place where the world’s boundary has been torn open, like what you saw in the baroness’ mark but much bigger. Big enough for you to fit through. You find yourself repulsed by the thought. Beyond the threshold is nothing but oblivion.Everything in the area is sapped of colour. Withered husks of plant-life are scattered around, looking like they would disappear at a touch.The clawing, terrible ringing in your ears. And the painful throbbing in your chest.Elena keeps going and you follow, the formless earth drawing you down with each step.Closer to the rift lie those corrupted horrors. Things that writhe too chaotically to call a solid mass. Nightmares still deciding on shape.They’re in the way. You hand Elena your bucket and take out one half of your broken shovel.Your shovel has served you really well. You’ll miss it. You wonder if you should dig a hole for it.That’s for later. Now: one last bonk.
>>1216898Flames dance, giving off a cool sensation that dulls your stinging wound. You approach, having to drag your feet out of the muk, and the corruption seems to quiver and squirm away from your torch.You get closer than you’d ever want to the things, then hit it with your shovel.A flash blaze lights up the scene. The path clears so very quickly, and the witch passes you your bucket as she trudges past to the rift.When Elena reaches it, she draws the enchanted sword at her waist, a length of pure, gleaming metal that shines without light, and stuffs it into the rift.You clamp your palms on your ears when the contact makes a earsplitting screech. What follows is a shaky, ominous creaking, then the space seems to close up around the blade.And then the darkness seems to lift. The wrongness that haunts the swamp stops, and quiet reigns.A faltering melody starts up. The land is still damaged and weak, and needs time to find its voice, but now you’re confident that it can.The red-haired girl releases the weapon’s hilt and it hangs embedded into nowhere. Her hands drop to her sides. She looks up at nothing in particular, and lets out a relieved breath.“I’m going to go home. I’m going to take a bath. Then, I’m going to sleep for a very damn long time.”You approve of her plans.> Random Bonus 1: Albert’s Alchemy and Medicines[ ] Apothecary / Healing and Treatments: Plants and stuff![ ] Alchemist / Potions and Magical Things: Science!
>>1216916> plants and stuff!I can't really see us into science.
>>1216916>[ ] Alchemist / Potions and Magical Things: Science!
>>1216916>[ ] Apothecary / Healing and Treatments: Plants and stuff!Baphy is definitely more of a healer than a scholar.
>>1216916>[ ] Alchemist / Potions and Magical Things: Science!Maybe we'll be able to better understand what we can do?
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>1216943>>1217023>>1216984>>1217026(Hm.I'm probably waiting too long. Let's use some dice.1: Apothecary, 2: Alchemist)
“Ookriper. It keeps people awake. I’ll boil it after I’m done with the pestle, and it’ll leave behind a sort of powder that doesn’t spoil as quickly.”“Lots of things here have different uses. The book’s a bit old, but it should tell you them.”“That’s Dragon’s Tongue- No, please don’t eat it. I think it’ll hurt-”“Clari! Clari what’s this?”“Uh- an alembic and a manastone cap. Mac and Albertus can explain better when they return.”“Why is she giggling?”“No, Baphy, I don’t think it’ll be tasty. Don’t eat that either.”“Oh gods. Please, Mac, please get here soon.”“Why is the water multicoloured- umm, rather, why is the shop flooding in the first place?”“...”“Lulette?”“Lulette! Lulette, what did you do?!”>Gained a Herbalist’s Guidebook, a Mortar And Pestle, and a Crucible.Gained one Metal Bucket (Shiny).> Random Bonus 2: Witchcraft and Lazy Days[ ] (Mark Tracing) Veil stuff![ ] (Keeper / ??) Experiments!
>>1217160>[ ] (Keeper / ??) Experiments!Tempted to go for veil stuff but the allure of the mystery box is to strong!
>>1217160>[ ] (Keeper / ??) Experiments!What could go wrong?
>>1217160>[ ] (Keeper / ??) Experiments!
>>1217160>[ ] (Keeper / ??) Experiments!Mystery box is just too compelling.
I like that we get to enjoy a nice, comfy SoL denouement for the arc!
>>1217178>>1217212>>1217283>>1217286(That was very unanimous, huh.)>>1217307(Glad you're liking it!)
“Veil or spirit magic are separate from the arcane. Well, there are overlaps. Magicians can have marks and can learn to see the way we do, but we don’t really have an equivalent to enchanting, or otherwise making something mundane magical. The closest is a druid’s infusions, I think.So, uh, no, the shovel is not magic.”“It’s still very cool.”“Anyway! You can use that for today’s experiment. Come on.”“Uh, frankly I have no idea. The contracts I have are a little more structured, and whatever you do seems more instinctual.”“Just stand there and remember the stuff you’ve done before. It’ll be fine! Probably. For research.”“Hey, there’s more totems this time. Every problem can be solved by putting down more totems.”“Right, chop chop, make with the exploding! Just, you know, don’t actually explode. I need to write, we aren’t testing how flammable my parchment is.”...“Huh. Okay.”“Where did the frog come from?”>Learned (?) Imprison / Release. Baphy only kind of knows how to use it.Gained one Ebonwood Shovel (Super Cool). It’s really hard.Gained one Small Satchel of Stasis. An old hand-me-down from Elena.
Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH3BpmtywJUThe calm of passing days is something you’ll always enjoy.The city of Silvercrest was in a nervous state after the death of the baroness. You aren’t sure what they’re doing for leadership and stuff like that, but when you walk through its streets and watch the labourers carrying bags of cotton or barrels of wheat and hear the citizens haggle vigorously at the market's stalls, you find yourself thinking they'll be fine.Elena doesn’t have to continue her sleepless vigil. She’s a bright person when she’s not so weighed down, and works with the rafflesia village and its druid towards their swamp’s gradual recovery.With their assurances that all is well, it’s time for you to go.You could probably stay longer, but the clouds, the trees, the mountains call. So on a day where the air is crisp and the breeze is gentle, you find yourself on the road heading out north of the city.A warm orange-streaked sky stretches out into gentle blue. From here you decide that the horizon is today’s destination, and with your new shovel and shinier bucket, with a wolf by your side and a fairy on your shoulders, you take the first steps to your next journey.
GFQ's first arc officially ends!That was something.I'm taking a break for a while, but GFQ should return in two or three weeks. As always, announcements end up on twitter.I've been thinking about some of the earlier threads lately, so I'll probably pop in later today and post something about how things could've gone. If there's interest in that kind of behind-the-scenes stuff I'll see if I can write more.And of course, you can always throw questions or comments at me and I'll answer. For now though, thanks for reading this far!
>>1217486Oh, That's a very cute goat!I'm definitely interested in a any behind the scenes stuff you might have to share.
>>1217486Thank you for the gotes
||--Waking up is always hell.You push yourself up and detach your face from the cursedly comfortable pillows of your exceedingly large bed, scratching the base of your horns. Outside your window the city is in motion, enjoying the kind of bright sunny day that grows increasingly rare in the late autumn.It makes you want to pull your curtains closed. Screw the sun.Right, focus. The reason you woke. You heard something: echoes of power from somewhere far to the south of your fair city.You expected to be woken earlier. Preferably before or as she did. Did you forget to refresh your alarms?You totally did. Oops.Regardless, this means there’s work for you to do, things to prepare. And, from your extended nap, likely more problems to iron out of your city.... Eh. Maybe they can wait.She’ll be fine, you reason. Nothing’s heartless enough to harm her, anyway. Not someone as cute as your little sister.You bring forth the arcane, pulling your fingers through the air and weaving together a ‘five-more minutes-(or-years-whatever)’ alarm spell, before face-planting straight back into bed.
||-So! Stuff! Not sure what prompted me to ponder this, but maybe it’ll interest some of you.GFQ was started with a vague premise and the genre of ‘fantasy adventure’, and that was pretty much it. Might’ve mentioned before, but that was because I was forcing myself to improvise. Also because I really dislike ‘worldbuilding’ and ‘lore’ when that has a funny tendency to mean a QM spending five opening paragraphs describing their setting in incredibly impressive and equally incredibly boring detail.Exaggeration, yes. Well, except when it isn’t.I decided early in the first thread to introduce a companion though, and put together ideas for two scenarios for whether people chose to head into the wilds or towards a village.The former was chosen, so I wrote about a druid’s animal companion without the druid. For some reason I wasn’t expecting to write mournful stuff, but there isn’t really another tone to that kind of scene.Well, either way, Ashtia joined the party.Initially the wolf was not supposed to have different forms. She always had her infusions and spirits, but I thought it’d be a bit indulgent if she could turn half-human.Then someone rolled 100 and I added Lulette to the party. A whimsical goat-girl and a comparatively-well-behaved-but-still-a fairy... desperately needed a voice of reason to balance things out, is one way to put it. So here we are.Random note - Lulette in her side-story says “The Fae Lord Of The West graces you with her presence!” This is completely unexplained and will remain so because there are no fairy lords. She’s lying. Probably.
Damn I missed it, that chest wound sounds ominous.Lets get rid of it by bonking ourself APPLY SHOVEL DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
>>1217522Baphy has a big sister? That's awesome! I hope we get to meet her eventually. I'm betting its this girl, considering you often close threads/sessions with her. She also has pajamas on, to go with whole sleep thing.>>1218375> Lulette in her side-story says “The Fae Lord Of The West graces you with her presence!” This is completely unexplained and will remain so because there are no fairy lords. She’s lying. Probably.Of course Lulette was lying! There are no fairy lords, only fairy ladies.
>>1218375That’s a tangent. I said I’d ‘post something about how things could’ve gone’ and thought I’d write about that other scenario - what would’ve happened if Baphy went to that village instead. Thinking about it makes me hesitant because I could still use it. But anyway. The other scenario was ‘what happens when an alchemist does something really stupid and produces excessive levels of !!fun!!?’The village gets covered in living goop. That’s what happens. The other companion was pic related. He (it) would’ve probably been called Pudding.I don’t know if that would’ve changed the overall plot much. There would’ve been more interaction with people rather than weird animals, but the quest for shoes was established early and Baphy ended up in town anyway.The rebellion, the witch, and the baroness were all details that were initially randomly generated, then at this point slowly being fleshed out and set into stone. Originally I thought the witch wouldn’t play a significant part and that the story would be more on the rebellion’s side, but then I realised how weird it would be for a character that important to the plot to just pop up at the very end. Hence her rather heavy-handed introduction.I’m pretty satisfied with how the witch’s path turned out, though.
>>1218433>Satisfied with witch's pathhow dare you, our favorite gote ended up with a hole in her chest
>>1218407Baphy is now an apothecary (of sorts). This is a professional opinion.>>1218426I... actually missed the connection with that image. Somehow. Ha ha ha.That post is in the perspective of her brother, actually. I'm sorry to disappoint. Not to say the goat doesn't have a big sister.
>>1218451>I... actually missed the connection with that image. Somehow. Ha ha ha.>That post is in the perspective of her brother, actually. I'm sorry to disappoint. >Not to say the goat doesn't have a big sister.Aww... so, no plans for a cute, sleepy Onee-chan then ;_; Well, in any case, having a sibling out there for us to maybe run in to is definitely cool.I am curious that they seem to have retained there memory wheras Baphy was amnesiac. What could've happened to her? It also seems like he's the guardian or something of a city. I take it that Baphy was too, although when she woke up that city or whatever it was was already in ruins.
>>1218433The Owl is getting tired of watching the stupid goat. At least the talking crow is gone, she went to nag the witch with the sword... after she wakes up.The Owl has no name, she doesn't need such a thing. She is simply an owl. She exists to serve the Lady Of Owls.Sometimes the Owl dreams that she is the Lady, other times the Lady dreams that she is the Owl.Anyway someone has to look over the stupid goat. Power is something many want and the goat already got wounded. That left an opening. And if you leave an opening then bad things can enter. She remembers a child, a cute an innocent child. Then she went to sleep, when she woke up the child was a monster. She still feels guilty about that. But the monster is gone.Now, is goat watching. She can't do much, she is just an owl after all.If she was the Lady then she could call her knights but why do that?That goat wound is not only bad, it can also be good.After all, the Lady was wounded once too and that made her stronger than before.So she will just watch. And catch a squirrel, she is hungry. That's what owls do and she is just an owl.
Yay!New bucket and shovel!Baphy is a happy goat!