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/qst/ - Quests

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Clink… Clink…
Clink… Clink…

Clink… Clink…

All through the night, sounds ring up through the deep, a thousand miniscule hands never resting as they labor meticulously in the dark, molding stone and moving earth in places unseen. It’s faint enough from within the tower’s walls that the young ones can sleep peacefully, yet audible enough for anyone who bothers to listen close, like a slow, sharp rhythm endlessly repeating itself.

Naturally, Cassandra would be the one listening throughout, her tail twitching sharply in time with the rhythm as minutes tick by ever so slowly into hours. Even with Yesh watching over the mechanical digging crew outside, she couldn’t rest easy with so many unknowns right outside of her doorstep and her little ones so close to possible danger. And so, she waits and feigns sleep, eyes closed but mind sharp as she forms a barrier around the beholder girl that would alert her if the aberration awoke from her sleep earlier than expected.

Though she looked defenseless and harmless enough for now, with snores coming softly and regularly with her small hands wrapped tight around a section of the great gorgoness’ tail and arms hugging it close, she wasn’t going to take any chances. She couldn’t afford to.


Cici, for her part, does as children do, sleeping as sound as always, regardless of the circumstance. Seemingly without a care in the world, she clutches Vivi tight and vice versa until the peculiar call of the morning birds has them rubbing their eyes and yawning away the clutches of sleep. Seems Mama must have fallen asleep hugging their new visitor.


Peculiarly, however, the sound of rhythmic clinking has stopped. Strange.

[“Good morning, voices.”]

> Write-in
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For any new players:

Welcome to Gorgon Child Quest! Where-in you take up the role of a magical talking artifact being wielded by a young gorgon girl named Cici. Living out of the remains of a once great dungeon, the game will focus on exploration, character interaction, and learning as the voices of the players within the amulet help guide her along.

For news about quest updates, my twitter can be found here:

And the archive can presently be found here:
Good morning, Cici. Want to go check on Yesh's progress?
Morning, kiddo. How'd you sleep?

Iris sure does comfortable in there... Hope Rosie isn't the jealous type.

Anyway, wash up and eat your breakfast before you check on the Constructs and what they did.
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“I slept good,” Cici confirms with a stretch. “Did you sleep good, Vivi?”

“Not really,” she admits. “Plus, I’ve gotta go back to work today.”

“At least the robots stopped destroying the house,” Cici offers.

“All it cost us was everything downstairs below the baths.”

It really had been a strange sight when Mama finally went down to check on the damages only to find a good number of the various empty rooms just ‘gone’. In their place was simply a smooth dirt path with the magically reinforced door still firmly planted where Grampa Brad had raised it.

“Anyway, I’m sure today will be better!” Cici promises. “We should still check on Uncle Yesh first, though.”

With no objections forthcoming, the girls do just that, carefully navigating around the tower to find the small lizard leaning on a staff while watching the little robots work. To that end, things had definitely changed since yesterday, the huge stone now completely gone and a stone platform rising out of the earth by a couple of inches.

In the center of that, moving in a spiral, there seems to be a road of some sort leading down. However, as the miniature machines coordinate themselves, moving in a row like the hands of a clock, a wave of stone settles in their wake, sealing the passageway beneath an intricate design carved with runes and ornaments.

As one they then break formation and spiral out to the various peaks of the embossed shape, Cici feeling something like a chill as a wave of power ripples out with their movements. Something incredible was about to happen.

[“S-should we stop them…?”]

> Write-in
Wait and see, Cici, wait and see...
Tell Uncle Yesh. He should know what's going on

“I don’t know if it’s anything bad, Uncle Yesh…” Cici mentions as the mana swirls and the robots shudder, “but they’re bringing in lots of magic.”

“Maybe they’ll finally be done if we let them finish what they’re doing,” he suggests, preparing a little magic of his own just in case.

“I don’t know about this…” Vivi murmurs.

But by that point, it’s already too late to stop. As the robots pivot in place, they raise tiny mechanical arms and voices to the sky in chorus.


In that exact moment, one could be forgiven for thinking the world had simply shattered, sky and earth shaking violently as a swirling green spear of power erupts from the earth and launches toward the heavens above. The stars seem to come out for a moment, day warring with night. Shadows of things unknown flash in and out of existence in a deluge of color.

And finally, just as sudden as it had begun, it ends, the stunned trio left standing away from the softly glowing stone plate, Vivi and Cici clinging onto each other for dear life, as the golems look to each other curiously.

“Whirrrr- Gonk?” one questions the other hesitantly.

“Whoop-whoop zrrt?” the other responds, perplexed.

After a few more moments of stunned silence, they seem to come to a conclusion as a brace of alien cheers go up, little machines careening into each other and offering hugs of jubilation at whatever it is they just accomplished.

“That was really pretty…” Cici muses quietly, heart still beating fast in her chest as she tries to make sense of this situation.

> Write-in
Might as well head back in and wake up everyone to show them what the constructs accomplished.

Can you feel anything from the stone? Any remaining magic? What does Yesh think is going on?
Huh. Maybe it was some kind of signal or something? They all seem happy about being done in any case. Wonder if the came from outer space or something.
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“Do you know what happened, Uncle Yesh?” Cici asks, as she nervously disengages Vivi.

“Not entirely,” he admits, moving over to the seal. “The magic in the stone is clear, though. Maybe it’s a seal of some sort.”

“D-doesn’t that mean there’s something scary on the other side?” Vivi objects, pulling Cici back from it a bit.

“Possibly,” Yesh says calmly, “but there’s equal chance it’s meant to simply keep us out.”

“I’m gonna go wake up, Mama,” Cici offers.

However, before she can even make to start running in that direction, she can already see the slithering form of her mother bolting right toward her.

“Oh gods! Yesh! What’s going on? Are you girls alright? W-“

“Calm yourself, Cassandra,” Uncle Yesh coaxes quietly. “Everyone is safe, the girls, myself, you, and the passenger you have in your arms.”

Mama seems to only then notice that she’s carrying the beholder-kin, the aberration’s eyes lazily opening to survey the scene.

“What’d I miss?”

“Lots,” Cici tells her, “but for right now, let’s grab breakfast.”


With pandemonium seemingly contained for the moment, the family manages to settle down for a midmorning meal, the tone almost ponderous as the group works away with cutlery at their bread, meat, and veggies while their strange guest seems content simply staring at them in the act.


> Write-in
Describe what happened to the beholder.
Oh, and ask if she has any idea what she's going to do now that the golems seemed to have completed their mission.
So... Welcome to the home of our leige, Baroness Cassandra! I'm an ethereal mass of souls, memories, and beings, this little one here is Cici, and the one gobbling down her berries is Vivi. Your friend Iris is currently snuggled up in Baroness Cassandra loving embrace, and I see you've met our neighbors Yesh, as well as the Royal Pixiebee Colony yesterday. Sorry about them zapping you, but we were worried that you might have been burglars or kidnappers, and we went to them for help.


Cici, don't be rude. Say hello to our guests.
Ask your guest if the food isnt to her liking. Maybe we could get her something shed find more comfortable

“Umm… Are you not hungry?” Cici asks, getting a little nervous as the entire mass of eyes turns to look at her.

“Oh, I’m sure it’s lovely, but I’m afraid I filled up on cave spiders a week ago.”

“…” Vivi visibly shudders, but Cici just smiles.

“Fried spiders taste good!”

“Oh my, but you lose so much of the moisture that way!” Iris objects. “Then again, it’s not like I’ve had much access to oil down below… well, not of the non-crude variety at any rate.”

“What’s rude oil?” Cici asks.

“Oh, just nasty stuff! You’ll spend weeks trying to get it out of your tentacles.”

“That sounds bad…”

“Dreadful, honestly, but you were saying about my little friends down below?”

“Oh! They, uh… They finished their building,” Cici says. “And then there was lots of light.”

“Hmm… Guess it wasn’t a tower to the heavens after all…”she says, possibly disappointed.

“But wait, does that mean you haven’t eaten for a week?” Cici asks.

“More like six days,” Iris corrects, counting on her fingers. “Then again, hard to keep track of time when you’re underground.”

“Then how come you aren’t hungry?”

“It was a lot of spiders,” she emphasizes.

At that point, it’s the voices turn to chime in, the ball of light emerging from Cici’s bracer to explain the lay of the land to the new arrival.

“Hmm… Is a baron like a queen then?” she asks, but before anyone can answer she perks up as though hearing a response. “Ah, I see! So a little down the ladder!”

“Um, pardon me, Ms. … Iris,” Mama interjects.

“I suppose that will do, yes.”

“Well, with your friends having completed their mission, what were your plans going forward?”

“Hmm?” she questions. “Well, truth be told, the jury’s still out on that one. I suppose I’m open to suggestions though.”

> Write-in
Get a dress!
See the sights!
Taste new and interesting flavors!
Well, would you like to visit the nearby town? It would be a shame if you came all this way for all this and just headed back down again.

Also, you've mentioned trying your hand at farming, would you like to visit a farm to see how it works? We're good friends with the one a mile or so down the road.
I say stick around for a week or so, maybe read some, get used to above ground, then decide what you want to do. The world has almost literally opened up for you

“Clothes, food… Last I checked those weren’t exactly things people give out for free. Maybe things have changed since then, though.” With a thoughtful hum and legs still folded, she quietly drifts into the air, giving a confused stare at the generally shocked expressions. “What?”

“Y-you can fly!” Cici exclaims.

“It would make sense for a beholder-kin, I suppose,” Mama muses to herself.

“I can also see rather well,” she comments, turning upside down before completing a full circle. “Hmm. I suppose I could go hunting for buried treasure, though we’re hardly near the coast…. Farming doesn’t sound terrible, but then again, I’m positively dreadful with animals.”

“You could try baking!” Cici suggests. “That’s lots of fun.”

“Doesn’t that involve lots of dust though?” she questions. “I’m bound to get some in one eye or another.”

Seems finding a place for this one might be a bit of trouble.

> Write-in
Well...What are your interests? We're more than happy to help you settle down, but, we dont really know anything about you, like what you like to do, or what kind of things you like, or what things you know about, or how to do?
Well, how would you like to work with the people who come up from the Underdark? That path your friends made is going to have people on it eventually, so it might be nice to have someone meet and greet them. I have a feeling that there might be a chance to get a trade route started here.
How good is she at magic? Beholders have different rays from their eyestalks; maybe she can use magic as a service?

You could work as a bodyguard for the Baroness.

“I never really ran into people down there,” Iris mentions, continuing her casual aerial acrobatics that break the laws of physics, “but if memory serves, the ones who are down there aren’t the sort for casual conversations. Drow, duergar, and far worse, you know. Might be able to hold a conversation if one happens to stumble along, though.”

“Do you know magic?” Cici asks.

“A bit. Though maybe not the kind that you would find useful. I can lift things with my mind, blow them up, see through materials, and if I want, I can be very, very persuasive.”

“Almost sounds like you’d be a fit for guard duty,” Mama murmurs.

“Well, I suppose that criminals would get quite the fright from someone like me,” she laughs, “but I don’t know. After struggling everyday through the underdark and killing just to stay alive, to effectively become hired muscle would be a bit… Also, unless you want them brought back in dust jars or little sacks, I’m not sure I’d be much help there.”

“Hmm,” Uncle Yesh thinks to himself. “You know, if you can see what’s inside of things, can you see what’s inside of people?”

“What, do you mean like beneath their clothes or the squirrel stew, you seem to have eaten for breakfast?”

“The latter,” he says. “As a follow up, how would you feel about learning medicine?”

“Me? A doctor?” she questions, confused enough to slow her rolling through space.

“You said you were tired of taking lives,” he points out. “So why not try saving them instead? A doctor who can see to the heart of injuries without need of a scalpel, or pull ash from open wounds rather than barbed arrows. Sounds useful, don’t you think?”

“Heh. Heheheh!” she chuckles. “And who’s going to let me near them?”

“At first? The poor and the desperate, those with no other choice, but in time, their faith will grow. Until that time, I can teach you what I know.”

“And what about my little friends?” she asks.

“Humph, from the looks of things, they’ll follow you whatever you decide.”

As the beholder shifts her gaze to look in the direction of the lizard man’s nodding chin, it seems the drones have already made their way toward the top of the tower, a legion of tiny mechanical golems all staring back with a single eye to their many-eyed leader. As one, they then offer a salute, little bodies clanking as they stand at attention.

“I… I guess you’re right,” she says, obviously a little caught off-guard by this.

Cici watches quietly, offering the rest of her plate to Din-Din with some head pats in the meantime.

[“What did you guys wanna do today?”]

> Write-in

Play with your pets?
>> Write-in
Bring her to town so she can get a cute sunhat and summer dress get used to town life, as well as get a nice "Welcome to Town" pastry from Guyus.

Actually, I'm not sure Rosie and her brother got a chance to get delicious pie. Might as well invite them too.
Ask how Rosie and her brother did in meeting the town. Then perhaps work on magic again.
Run, play with Din-din, Jasmine, and Okku, to build up your body for the magical training you'll later do.
If only we had some monks around here to get you to carry water buckets.
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“So, a little guard duty for the baroness and a lot of medicine seems to be the deal we’re striking,” Iris nods. “I suppose we could do that. I’m not supposing you have a spare room I could borrow in the meantime, though.”

“Frrzzt! Gonk!” one of the little robots objects, waving a stick above his head and pointing to his brethren.

“Well, I suppose just a plot of land would do then,” the gazer translates. “Could you point one out for us?”

“I’ll have a look at the territory maps,” Mama sighs. “First though, wouldn’t you like some-“ She pauses as the sound of heavy footsteps echoes in the distance. “Clothes?”

“What the hell’s going on?!” comes the irascible shout moments later as the oni and Mishael both break out from the tree line. “Oi! Cass!”

“Everything is fine!” Mama shouts back. “There was just a little magical disturbance!”

“Little, my ass!” she shouts back. “That thing was-“

She pauses as Mama holds Cici up for her to see.

“Hi Aunt Rosie!” Cici calls.

“Point taken! Also, hey squirt!”

A few moments later, the large and very out of breath red woman is at the top of the stairs, looking around confused at the gathering of mechanical men in her way.

“Gonk?” one of the golems inquires to break the silence.

“So, these things finished up, I take it?” she questions, casually picking one up between two fingers.


She hisses loudly, dropping the robot as a spark of electricity jumps into her fingers.

“Why you little!”

“Rosalind, please calm down,” Mama tuts. “They’re apparently going to be new residents once they find a place to live.”

“Ain’t any skin off of my nose, so long as they keep the racket down,” the oni grunts, stomping down on the stairs for emphasis and smiling as the small robots go running for cover. “But seriously, what just happened?”
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Once again, the group goes through a recounting of the morning’s events, Mishael lumbering next to the tower to listen as they go.

“And so now I’m thinking of taking her into town to get her some clothes,” Mama finishes.

“Didn’t take me shopping…” the oni points out, but before she can follow up with whatever sarcastic quip she had in mind, Cici speaks up.

“You could come with us this time!”

In response, the red woman just laughs, and puts on a grin.

“Heh. Well, reckon we didn’t get off to a bad start with folks, all things considered,” she admits. “Still, Mishael and me are better off in the forest if we can help it. Less problems that way, you know.”

“Did you want some pie, at least?” she asks.

“Maybe you could teach me how to make one sometime, instead,” she offers. “Gonna take a lot of work to get even a snack for the big guy.”

“Pree-serves taste good…” Mishael offers, suckling his finger as if to remember the taste.

“I can try!” Cici promises. “Uncle Guyus says I’m getting better every time.”

“Heh. It’s a deal, then.” She nods before turning to Cassandra. “Anyway, looks like nothing’s on fire here. Just wanted to make sure.”

“I appreciate it.”

“Just make sure it stays that way. Best of luck introducing the new arrival to the locals.”

With that Rosie and Mishael are back to the forest at a much more leisurely pace, leaving Cici, Iris, Yesh, and Cassandra to plan the rest of the day. Meanwhile, Vivi seems to be readying to take off.

[“Hmm… There’s lots we can show her in town…”]

> Write-in
We should focus on clothes first, but after that, we should have her visit the bakery to make some treats, then pass by the bookstore to double check if that dwarf isn't going back to smuggling animals again.

Might as well ask if the Constructs would like to come. They might like to check the carpenter's place and the blacksmith to see their craftmanship abilities.

Clothes then the bakery. Then maybe get her a medicine book as a welcome gift?
Clothes, then the bakery, and maybe finding out if there's any medical textbooks?
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“Sorry you’ll be late,” Cici says, hugging Vivi tight before she goes.

“Eh? It’ll be fine,” she assures the tiny gorgon. “I mean, our backyard kind of exploded, so…”

“Just be safe, and come home soon. ‘Kay?”

“Alright, alright,” she sighs, giving Cici a hug back. “But I really gotta go now.”

With that, Vivi takes off into the sky at her usual break neck pace, quickly disappearing into the distance.

“Hmm. So that’s what having a sister is like?” Iris questions, looking at Cici as she turns back around.

“Uh-huh! It’s great!” she confirms happily. “Did you not have any back home?”

“None that didn’t want to eat me, at least,” the beholder clarifies. “Then again, gender gets tricky with aberrations, doesn’t it?”

“I don’t know,” Cici admits, but she doesn’t let the momentary hiccup distract her from having a good time with Iris on the way to town.

As the gazer squints against the sun, Cici points to everything and everyone she can spy, excitedly chattering about the farms and the people Hannah had told her owned them as they walk those peaceful dirt roads. She also motions to cows, chickens, bunny coops, and oxen as they pass, waving at any workers they happen to see. The men and women, for their part, don’t even seem to shy away too much from the baroness followed by a swarm of eyeballs. Seems they’ve come to expect her to just keep odd company.

Still, even if neither Mama nor Cici mind, Iris eventually begs for a cloak to cover herself up, wearing the garment like a shawl and carefully storing her errant eyes out of sight.

“You’ll get used to it,” Cici assures her, offering a hand. “People around here are nice.”

Words can only do so much, of course, but the road into town is mercifully uneventful. Ms. Aran the tailor is, as always, professional and courteous, quick with the tape and a smile before the trio once more emerge into the light of day.

“Hats are nice,” Iris comments idly, no longer squinting beneath the shade of a wide-brimmed cap. “And this dress is so floaty.”

“I’m glad you enjoy it,” Mama says. “Just be sure to take care of it.”

“Always,” she promises quietly.
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Anyway, it's getting late. So I think I'll end it here for today. I might even be able to pick it up tomorrow, depending on people's availability. Let me know. Otherwise, I'll just shoot for Thursday instead.
Should be available tomorrow
I don't know anything about this quest but your OP image is adorable.
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Well, thank you, anon. And, if you do happen to have the interest in giving the quest a try, link to the archives is in the second post.
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I'll give it a couple hours. If anyone's knocking about, let me know. Otherwise, I'll pick back up tomorrow.
1 guy here.
I'm going to be on a bus, so responses may be delayed. And the IP will change.
I'm here, when would you like to get moving?

Give me an hour and a half, if you would. Just finished some running around and need to settle.
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Sweets would be the next stop on their whirlwind journey through the town, Cici doing her best to act as tour guide by pointing out all of the humble sights as they pass stalls and shops of every shape and size. However, before they can reach the titular bakery wrapped in its ever-present cloud of sweet perfume, something catches everyone’s ears: the sound of hooves falling heavily against the dirt road behind them.

A pair of cloaked figures astride a pair of sturdy mounts seem to be heading their way at concerning speeds, one built like an ogre, almost comically large for the horse that’s bearing his weight. However, before the threat of them plowing straight through the company becomes too real, a snap of the reigns has their beasts of burden pulling neatly aside with a whinny.

“Well, ain’t that a sight for sore eyes?” the leading, smaller man laughs as he pulls away his dust guard and lowers his hood to let his bleached hair shine in the sun. “The lady and her wee one out for a day on the town. No mobs this time, neither.”

“Welcome back, Michael,” Mama greets. “I take it things went-“

“Uncle Gal!” Cici calls excitedly, running past the man in front to the giant presently dismounting his own horse.

“How ye been, runt?” the man grunts happily in response, scooping up his approaching niece in clawed hands before spinning her around like a doll. “Ye been good while we’ve been gone?”

“Uh-huh! I’ve been practicing reading an’ learning magic an’ making friends an’-“

“Hahaha! Ye’ll have to tell me all about it later!” he says, pulling off his own cloak to reveal the blue-scaled, reptilian head beneath. “For right now, maybe you could tell me something about the new little one, hiding behind yer Mama.”

“Hm? Oh! This is Iris, Uncle Gal! An’ Iris, this is Uncle Gal. She recently came up from underground with some of her friends.”

“Heh. That’ll be a sight to see. Reckon they’d be downright mean in a staring contest.”

“Oh no, they don’t all look like her,” Cici clarifies. “They’re little robots.”

“Gonk!” confirms one of the golems, popping out of the backpack on Iris’ back and onto her shoulder to make an introduction.

“Well, pleased ta meet ya!” the lizard chuckles, offering a finger for the machine to shake with both hands. “And welcome to the neighborhood.”

“An’ this is Michael!” Cici says, gesturing to the priest still on horseback.

“Aye, that’d be the name,” he confirms. “Figured I’d see the big lug here back to town and make sure there weren’t any problems what needed correctin’ before I’m back on the road for muh next pilgrimage. Also reckon if I don’t hurry, there won’t be any pirates left at all!”

“Ugh…” Mama groans, clutching her head.

[“Oh right, voices. This is Uncle Gal, an’ this is Mr. Michael. They went with Uncle Lee to talk to the baron for Mama.”]

> Write-in
(Manifests form, attempts to bow)
"Ah, a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Gal and Mr. Michael. We're the ethereal form of Cici's magic bracelet. I trust the journey wasn't too demanding for pilgrims such as yourselves?"
A pleasure to make your acquaintance.
Are you a pilgrim, Mr. Michael? Of which faith?
Hey guys! Didja see the big magic beacon earlier?
"To be honest, sir, it doesn't seem much of a problem at this point. After that initial discharge, it has been quiecent. "
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In a swirl of magic, the voices very casually manifest themselves.

“What in the bloody-“

“These are the voices,” Cici says, cupping a hand protectively around the ball of light before someone tries to zap them again. “They live in the bracer and help me learn stuff.”

“Sounds like a cursed item, ta me,” the priest condemns. “Cassandra, ye want me to-“

“I’ve already had an archmage look into it,” Mama says disarmingly. “They’re safe or, safe enough, at least.”

“Well, guess I’ll trust the egg head on that one…” Michael murmurs.

“I guess then that greetin’s are in order. Name’s Father Michael, of the Church of Orrin. I’m what ye’d call an inquisitor what deals with messes when they come up, whether that takin’ out a clan of werewolves or topplin’ a corrupt government. All things considered, I’d say I’m about done with the latter at this point. The rest is just clean up.”

“Also, yeah, part of the reason we were in such a rush was because there was this big arse-“


“Err, big beam of light shooting up in the sky. Didn’t hardly seem natural. Would ye happen to know what that was all about? I’m guessin’ by the lack of missing limbs, fire, and general panic, it wasn’t too bad.”

“The robots finished building something,” Cici explains. “Apparently they were building stairs from underground.”

“Ah, bloody hell! A dungeon poppin’ up in yer back yard…? And, yes, Cassandra, I know ye don’t like folks swearin’ in front of the little one, but it’s kinda hard when every time I pop in, the news hits you like a hot iron in the gut!

“Anyway, are ye wantin’ somebody to take a look at the problem?”

> Write-in
Well, yes, that would be nice. Our guests so far have been completely lovely, but it's a bit disconcerting to have a path leading to the realms below open up without warning. Although, it might be useful for establishing trade with one of the settlements down there... Hopefully a deep gnome colony or dwarven settlement rather then one of the drow or duergar cities. Still, we should at least fortify the basement a bit...
Taking a look should be fine, if only to make sure there's no leakage from wherever the other end of the thing goes.
We'll likely have an Archmage take a look at it when Cici's grandfather drops by.

Oh! By toppling the corrupt government, you mean the Baroness' predecessor?
She's been a one-woman redemption mission, putting a sibling pair of oni and troll to work for the barony, helping this beholderkin on the path to becoming a doctor, and has opened diplomatic relations with a hive kingdom of magic bees.

Not a good idea. The golems called home and we don't need exitable folks that hit first and ask questions later when they come looking for the small ones.

Too many wars have been started by misunderstandings.
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“Aye, Baron Fatty had been abusin’ his post fer years, but trickin’ the church into attacking a law abidin’ citizen was the last straw. After the silk debacle got exposed, the townsfolk seemed to agree with our sentiment. He hasn’t lost his head, but he’s sure as- Well, sure as somethin’ lost his post. Still, people need a figure head, so on our way out, we left a small council to start sortin’ out the mess. Margy’s got a good head on her shoulders and enough raw power to knock the block off anyone who gets too big for their pants.

“Anyway, out of one pan, into another fire. If ye’d hand over one of the wee ones, I’ll be makin’ my way down. Chances are if they built the bloody thing, they’ll know what’s what and alleviate any misunderstandin’s.”

With a prompt from his hand, one of the little machines responds, running up Gal’s arm and across his shoulder before hopping down onto Michael’s.

“Take care of yerselves, and I’ll be back fer supper,” he promises.

“And I’ll go with him, to make sure he doesn’t wreck anything along the way.”

With that, the duo seems prepared to be off into the distance, leaving the trio to resume the rest of their visit in town.

[“Hmm… Should we go with them?”]

> Write-in

Nah, it should be okay. Let's finish showing Iris around town, then you've got those baking lessons.
They'll be fine, so long as they stick to reconnaissance. As for us, let's continue with our day. You've still got baking lessons, young lady!
Yeah, no need to crowd in on things
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“Be careful,” Cici calls after them, deciding that in the end, they’ll probably be fine. “An’ don’t bully anybody!”

“Sure thing, lass, but if it takes a bite outta me, I’m bitin’ back!”

With that bold declaration, the duo is fully committed to the road and soon, out of sight, leaving the three standing just a few yards from the bakery. Iris, for her part, spends the few steps as they walk between carefully dusting off the hem of her skirt to knock away whatever the horses may have inadvertently kicked up onto it.

“Uncle Guyus!” Cici calls as the bell clatters to welcome them.

“No need to shout, ye adorable little banshee,” the old man laughs, coming out from the back of the kitchen with a smile as he towels off his hands. “Now, what can I do for you and yer Mama today, ah, and the girl peepin’ from behind her back?”

“Umm, could you teach me how to make pie again?” Cici asks. “Rosie wanted me to teach her.”

“Hehehe,” the old man chuckles. “Talk like that’ll put me out of business, you know.”

Cici frowns as she considers that.

“But I reckon the two of them got special needs and big bellies to fill,” he continues. “I’ll write ye down a recipe.”

“Thanks, Uncle Guyus!”

“Ha! The cost of the flour’s still on them, though. Now, let’s see where I left that pen and paper…”

A few minutes later, Guyus is scribbling notes on a piece of paper, walking Cici through each step and making sure she remembers.

“Ye gotta be careful, rolling the dough,” he reminds her. “Not too thin, not too thick, to where you can just barely feel your finger on the other side. Then you’ll need to put it in the pan and leave it to set for a couple of hours. From there, you’ve got about a dozen ways to make filling, but this one’ll get you apple, and this one’ll get you a nice meat pie. Remember to poke holes in the crust and watch for bubbles.”

Cici makes sure to say thanks again and offers a tight hug before accepting the paper.

“Bah! Get goin’ ye little rascal! Show your friend something more interesting on her first trip in town. And here.” He produces a bag with a few sweet rolls in it and hands them to Mama. “I’ll see you work those off the next time you’re around.”

With the sweet taste of butter and cinnamon, the group once again are on their way, the town streets calm in the middle of the afternoon as they make their way toward the book store.

[“Did we need anything other than a medicine book while we’re here?”]

> Write-in
You could use a book on math.
As for Iris, you can ask if she can read, and if she wants anything more than just a medical textbook.

You could get a book about the basics of magic for yourself. Never a bad idea to remember the basics.

Or get a cooking recipe book so you can cook tasty things at home.
Maybe a cooking book, to learn more delicious recipes?
Say, Iris? Could you just take a quick look with your all seeing eye and tell us what Mr. Bridgestone is doing in the back of his shop? The man spends so much time concocting get rich quick schemes instead of earning an honest living...

To Cassandra: I'd like to recommend that we offer him the chance to give up any legally dubious schemes by offering amnesty if he just gives up when we ask the first time. Like leave a barrel outside his store when we come into town for supplies.

No Iris, don't do that. Is more thing if we catch him in the act, but don't be a spy.

Curiously, as the door swings wide and the bell rings, the face behind the counter is not who they would expect. It’s not, Oscar or even Martin, but a young and decidedly human boy Cici had met around Hallow’s Eve.

“Hi Davey!” she greets warmly as they enter. “How come you’re behind the counter?”

“I’m workin’,” he answers back with a smile of his own. “Mr. Bridgestone said he needed somebody holdin’ down the fort while he’s wranglin’ those griffins, and a little pocket money ain’t a bad thing.”

“Neat! Do you have any books on medicine, then?” Cici asks, oblivious to her mother behind her murmuring angrily about child labor.

“I reckon we might, and- oh!” he freezes as he catches sight of the gazer on the other side of the doorway.

“That’s Iris!” Cici explains. “She just moved here, and she wants to be a doctor!”

“W-well, I reckon we could u-use one around this neck of the woods. Pardon, the stutter, ma’am.”

“I-it’s fine,” she stammers back, pulling down a bit on her hat to disguise her single eye and tucking her tentacles in. “I’m a little… That is… I’m…”

One of the tiny, mechanical men gives her a gentle pat on the back and a reassuring beep as she hovers there awkwardly. And it’s no wonder that she breathes a sigh of relief when the voices give her something else to focus on.

“Umm, I mean, the shop looks relatively clean. There’s no odd things beneath the floorboard or dangerous looking things in the back, but… Well, there is something…”

With careful steps, Iris walks over to a book shelf and begins tracing a finger down the row of volume. Stopping on a book almost too weathered to read the binding of, she then casually opens it, revealing a glimmering gem hidden in a pocket carved in the center.

“Terrible waste of a book…” she murmurs.

> Write-in

Buy it!

Eh selling gems is not against the law right? Why would someone hide one inside a book?

Plus let's face it, even Mr Bridgestone is not stupid enough to leave thar kind of book at the front of the shop where anyone could get it.

Or is he?

And we don't actually have laws against children working, do we?

But thinking about it you could stablish a public school system so kids can learn to write, to read and basic math. It would be paid with taxes and be open to everyone.

Something to think for the future.
Yeah, buy it!
We should just leave him a note about this in the book with the gem. While I don't doubt that he got this through some back channels, we don't have proof, nor who gave it to him, so we can't take it as evidence.

At least, not yet, because I have no doubt that he'll hang himself soon enough.

Anyway, what's he paying you, Davey? Pocket change is one thing, fair wages is another.
Look, despite what the other voices say, bankrupting the dwarf by taking away his last reserves of money is not a good idea.
It means that he won't be able to effectively catch the griffin and it'll put Davey here out of a job.
Just buy the book on medicine.

We don't exactly have regulations about that.

Looks like certain adult Gorgon will have to expend a lot of weeks with lawyers helpers and people ahe trusts creating new laws.

Sorry Miss, heavy is the head that carries the crown.

So he saves his money inside a book at the front of the shop? Wow... he really is not very bright is he?

How about we get the gem apreciated and if is not something illegal we give it back?

I mean I wouldn't put past him to deal with cursed items...

“I, um… I still don’t have any money,” she reminds the voices, or even pockets, now that she thinks of it.

And so, not wanting to start her surface life as a thief, she brings the book to the attention of Cici’s mother.

“Hm? What’s this?” Cassandra questions as Iris holds up the book and opens it for her, the gorgoness’ breath catching when she spies what’s inside. “Somehow I doubt this is supposed to be here…”

“What’s that, ma’am?” asks Davey, stepping out from behind the desk to look into the source of the commotion.

“Could you fetch Mr. Martin for us?” Mama asks the boy. “I’m certain he’d like to see this.”


A few moments later, the boy is running back with the finely dressed dwarf in tow, the latter grumbling with his stiff-legged walk as he tries to keep pace.

“So, what’s all this, then?” he asks. “Davey told me he’s been working the desk. That’s strange enough on its own, but now yer sayin’ ye found somethin’ in one of my books?”

“Yes, an amulet of some sort,” Mama reveals, turning over the glittering item in her palm as the previously hidden chain hangs down. “I couldn’t tell you what it does, if I’m honest, but the stone alone must have tremendous value.”

“Aye, a pretty penny, to be sure,” the dwarf wagers. “And if I’m not mistaken, I got that book off an auction near on a decade ago. Shame’s on me not for thumbing past the first few pages.”

“I’d imagine you wouldn’t have so readily put it up for sale.”

“Not on yer life,” he snorts. “Not for ten-pence and a handshake, that’s for sure. But, well, I’m a businessman, first and foremost. For the right price, ye can still walk out of here with it.”

“I’m afraid my finances aren’t very extravagant…” Mama sighs.

“Aye, that’s cuz ye aren’t robbin’ we poor folks blind with yer newfound authority. Don’t think people around here are turnin’ a blind eye to yer generosity, either.”

“All the more reason that you should treat me like an earnest customer,” Mama insists.

“Aye, can’t let ye have it for nothin’. Wouldn’t make good business sense, that. All the same, we’ve got schools to build and a brother o’ mine running around like a damn fool chasin’ birds. Maybe we could call this my contribution toward one or the other, if ye take my meanin’.”

[“What would I even do with this?”,] Cassandra sighs internally.

[“And, yes, we’ve had plenty of talks by now about schools for the local areas. It’s just a matter of gathering the teachers and bringing them to us. Not to mention, funding the schools, paying the workers, gathering materials… Ugh… And now there’s this…”]

> Write-in
Well, if we have the amulet identified and appraised, the price of it could be considered a donation by Mr. Martin towards the school, and therefore be balanced by a tax credit.
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“I can’t lighten the law based on anonymous donations,” Mama sighs, feeling the weight of her words uncomfortably. “I hope you can understand why I couldn’t accept it on behalf of your brother.”

“Aye,” he concedes, nodding grimly. “Just worried the little squabs will prove smarter’n him come the end of the day. If ye’d take it easy on him come around the deadline, I swear, there’s some good in him worth sharin’.”

“I plan on being fair,” Mama concedes. “We’ll just have to see what kind of progress he makes over the next year.”

“Aye, and as for the schools?”

“Cici’s godfather and a friend to the family will be by in the next couple of weeks. If he can identify it, maybe we can find a buyer. Any proceeds from that will be credited to you in assembling local schools. I know, you’re one of our greatest supporters in that regard.”

“Oh, aye,” he sighs thoughtfully. “Ain’t much good ownin’ a bookstore in a town full o’ folks who can’t read. Anyhow, have the books with my compliments, but let’s get the latter part in writin’. Just a formality, ye know.”

“Here, Cici, if you would hold onto this,” Mama says, offering her daughter the book before carefully slithering toward the back.

[“Neat, and really pretty!”]

She smiles a bit at the glittering gemstone before pulling down a book on confectionaries squirreled away on a low-bound shelf. Medical books seem to be proving a little scarcer than that, unfortunately, as the voices steer her away from titles like “The Humors of the Body” and the “Panacea of Cranial Medicine”.

> Write-in
> Also, roll 1d10
Rolled 7 (1d10)

Let's see if there's any books on magic.
Rolled 6 (1d10)

Rolled 9 (1d10)

Any books on baking or magic? Those are the big two things you're trying to learn right now.
>> Write-in
Perhaps find a tome made up of vivisections of humans. They call the best tome of the sort in my realm "Gray's Anatomy". See if your mom knows of such a thing.
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“I don’t think they have lots of books on magic…” Cici murmurs as she searches along book shelves. “Grampa said they usually keep those in special schools.”

Still, there was no harm looking, and with Iris’ help they even find a couple more books on baking.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think I could teach you my sort of magic,” the gazer apologizes. “Though you certainly have enough appendages, I fear they just aren’t the right type.”

“It’s okay,” Cici assures her. “The bees and Grampa will teach me lots of stuff when they can.”

“Cici, look out!”

But, before she can react, she feels the books in her arms hit a sharp corner of a shelf and press hard against her chest, the sets clatter to the floor and the special book spilling its amulet before Cici can get a hand on it.

“Are you, alright?” Iris asks, helping her up.

“Yeah… I’m fine…” she groans, “but I hope I didn’t break anything.”

Fortunately, magical amulets seem to be made of sterner stuff than that. What she originally fears is a scuff on its surface upon closer examination turns out to just be a little bit of dirt that she can wipe away with her thumb. She breathes a sigh of relief as she holds it up to the light, then catches her breath as she notices something else reflecting through its depths.

Scattered across the bookshelves, she can spy them, glowing letters on the spines of an assortment of books that otherwise share the same weathered appearance as the one that had held the amulet.


> Write-in
Grab them books! Treasure hunt!
We should probably tell your mother about this development...
treasure hunt !
Haha books, sweet!

There wouldn't be anything dangerous out in the open like that, even hidden. Probably just really cool stuff.
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Cici looks worriedly at the door behind which her mother and Martin are still meeting, briefly wondering whether she should inform her right away. This might be bad or dangerous or...

She sighs.

“Something troubling you, then?” Iris asks, looking between Cici and the book case.

“Um, I think the books are magic,” Cici explains. “An’ that means they might be dangerous.”

“Hmm. Spooky…” the gazer grumbles. “But there’s nothing to stop us from figuring out what’s what on our own, is there?”

Cici thinks about it for a second.

“I guess not…”

“Then let’s get to work.”

And so, with quick hands, the group searches high and low for every book with a special mark, piling up a stack of modest height before finally seeming to have grabbed everything. And sure enough, as Cici cracks open the first and looks inside, there are even more shining characters within, an entire page filled with diagrams and incomprehensible gibberish.

That is, it’s nothing more than gibberish to her mind. As the voices filter what she’s seeing, they seem to get another impression entirely.

{“Volume III”} reads the header on the very first page, words and letters seeming to shift around inside of their mind as they consider the text. And with that sort of cataloguing in mind, they then begin looking for another volume closer to the start. Eventually, fortunately, {“Volume I”} makes itself known, the very book in which the medallion had been stored etched with a relatively straightforward message in the first couple of pages.

{“I know not who reads this message, in what time or in what place, but long are the hours that have been spent in the construction of this, my final and lasting word upon the arts that that have defined my ultimately fleeting existence. It is a legacy I leave to you and a trust of sorts as its founder, the hope that you will use these tools forged in and through my limited time on earth for the betterment of your fellow men.

{“After all, we are all but grains of sand in an hour glass, mutually caught up in the flow of things we cannot understand. Yet, if we cannot fully master destiny, we can at least shape some of the currents that guide us, harness them to drive us to a brighter tomorrow.”

{“May the hour glass ever tilt in your favor,
“Barnabas P. Loxly,
“High Chronomancer and Temporal Magus Supreme”}

Time magic... useful yet dangerous.
A really nice nerd made this stuff and wants you to be nice to people with it... whatever it does.
Yeah you gotta get these.
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And I think that might be a good stopping point for this week, as Cici hovers over new discoveries, the voices counseling her on the best use of it. Feel free to offer inputs/suggestions for what she should do with it/etc.
Yeah, We gotta pick this up. At the very least your Grampa will probably be super excited about it.
Congratulations, you guys found the recorded knowledge of a Master Time Mage! With this, not only can we build a school for the local kids, we might be able to set up a small wizarding college here eventually.

Also, we really should talk to your mother about why it seems our house is the epicenter of so many unusual magical events... We might be on some sort of magical leyline or something, might need to look into the history of our home...

Also, as usual, I encourage you guys to offer your thoughts, feedback, and suggestions on how you'd like the story to go from here. Is the day-to-day sufficiently gratifying, or would you like to take a more intermittent view of her adventures? I'll keep it in mind while charting out the adventures ahead.
I'm good with how we are now, but I would like to eventually have a time skip to when Cici's a teenager.

No thank you. Get you teen drama in another quest.
The quest is as enjoyable as ever, which means, very much so.
If I had to voice a preference, I'd say I'd like to keep the current tone, but maybe get a little bit more momentum, maybe some kind of goal for Cici, even if its a more long term one, like,a school or something. Other then that, I'd like to see the extended cast around more regularly. it contributes to the slice of life atmosphere.
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Ah, teenage years, the time for young love, bad decisions, and probably Din-Din running off to join a biker gang. I think Cici will always be cute, though.


Also, thanks anon. Hopefully as things continue to develop, Cici will have the chance to settle into something of a standard routine. School life would certainly offer interesting possibilities for her social life.
I think a small time skip would be nice, just so she can lean a few skills like baking and some magic and similar just so she has more independence and options. Right now I think there's a few too many situations where she just should sit and wait for an adult.

That's part of the fun of this quest.

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