ARCHIVE: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Dungeon%20Life%20QuestPREVIOUS THREAD: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1221508/CHARACTERS AND PLACES: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19gNVgtevar647l4ZumUaVH6GlJzvxLlDNKaH8DrQMWE/edit?usp=sharingQUEST BLOG (I know...): https://qm-vox.tumblr.com/You are Cobalt, son of the late Librarian, and you have rebuffed your brother's kindness. "They need you more than me," you told Oak, cutting off his protests. "I will lead the frontal assault. The Bag will protect me from some of the worst of it."Your group contains eight of your brothers and sisters, scrambling between the tangled trees and leaping over the fetid waters of the Mire. The predators down here do not always feed solely on flesh, and there is no room for error in this plan. A deep rumbling voice that sends ripples through the dark water arrests your advance. "Treason then, is it?" the Wyrm intones. His vast bulk slithers through the press of tress, bending but not breaking them as he moves. Your group turns to watch his movements. "I must confess surprise. I had thought the Librarian would stay his course and leave me to do battle with the Heritor alone.""Do you really care who brings you down?" you ask. You pull the laces of the Six Demon Bag, opening it for use. "Oh no, Cobalt. Who grants me death is immaterial. How, on the other hand..."
>>1244845"Just accept it," you intone. "Don't throw the world away for your selfish desires, Wyrm. You were a noble beast, once.""Once," the dragon agrees, a trace of sorrow in his voice. His roar, sudden and violent, flattens the trees you are standing in; it blows the water away in a gargantuan spray, exposing mud and raw rock, and batters you and your brothers. You manage to clutch hold of an outcropping of stone, but most of your team isn't as lucky; wood cracks against stone, sending gears into jarring, arrhythmic patterns. "If you want your glory, come claim it," the Wyrm challenges, before the water comes crashing back, submerging you in muck. You leap on instinct, grabbing at a protruding branch, and pull yourself up. The dragon's tail passes beneath you, spraying water as it goes, and throws two of your siblings into the blind dark. Harsh cracks tell you how their flight was halted. > Stall for time. Oak is coming in on the flank> Attack head-onAnd> Order your team to retreat> Rally them to the fight
>>1244936> Stall for time. Oak is coming in on the flankGet some ice power or lava, get that ground situation taken care of, because a big fuck off lizard is the only one without a problem here.> Order your team to retreatTurn and burn, make some space(or land, solid preferably) and have the others get their gears put back in place.
>>1244936>> Stall for time. Oak is coming in on the flank> Order your team to retreat
>>1244936> Stall for time. Oak is coming in on the flank> Raly them to the fightCan't stall for time if we get squashed like a bug
>>1244936> Stall for time. Oak is coming in on the flank> Rally them to the fight
>>1244936>> Stall for time. Oak is coming in on the flank> Rally them to the fightHey vox, what happened to the hunting talon pastebin vote?
>>1245336I'll attend to that soonish.
>>1244936> Stall for time. Oak is coming in on the flankAND> Rally them to the fight
>>1244936>> Stall for time. Oak is coming in on the flank>And>> Rally them to the fightKeep team cohesion, but give ground.
I'm awake. Might be able to update before work, but if not I'll definitely handle it after work. In theory I'll be home at 7 PM EST or so; in practice we'll see if we get YET ANOTHER DUMP OF CALL-INS JESUS FUCK.
>>1246883You have my sympathy, oh kind and magnanimous Lich. Take my hugs. TAKE THEM.
>>1246883Good luck Solid Lich.>>1247134Lewd.
Four call-ins. This shit is getting absurd.I'll be home near 9. No promises on updates.
I would buy this if you expanded on it and turned it into a book series.
>>1247534>>1247553Here here, DLQ would make the best book series ever, and if I could afford a bookshelf and the space to put it up, I would be proud to put it on there.
>>1247534What kind of expanding are you thinking? I've been toying with giving it the graphic novel treatment, but artists are expensive (for good reason) and the print costs can get...fun.
>>1247672I'd love to continue with Jack and Cuckoo, either from where we left off or start from the beginning. Those two were fun and interesting, just like the rest of your very fun and interesting world.
>>1247672I was thinking that I would make a great series's of novels. You have the outline of the plot here, and with some work on fleshing out the story, particularly the secound half, you could make it into a series of books. I realize that you had to rush the latter half, but if you make it a book, you can work on it at a more comfortable and manageable pace.
>>1248370Maybe. God knows I'll probably end up needing to cycle off of the next quest at times. >>1248460You're not wrong. Okay, so, here's the deal: I'm gonna try to update tomorrow morning. I have to get up early, get into work early, and then work my eight and a half. This shit is not happening tonight. Saturday's gonna be more fun to the tune of a 9 AM shift, presumably to train on mornings. I swear I had no idea how bad the new position was going to fuck with my sleep schedule or I woulda put this on hold long enough to get through the shit. I'll see folks at like, 7 AM tomorrow or so. In the meantime, votes remain open. Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>1248693See you later, you sexy undead thang.
>>1248769Why are you like this
>>1248833Oh Lich-Senpai! Ever since I started following your quest I've been drawn in by your (slightly worrying) caffeine addiction, whimsical tales of assault and extraordinary undead charms. I would do all kinds of things to your boney booty.
>>1248914MOOOODDS! THERES HAND HOLDING!
Called, tallying, writing.
>>1244936You pull yourself up onto the branch and direct the open mouth of the Bag in the direction of your opponent. "|Storm|" you order, and the artifact answers with a surge of crackling lightning the lights up the Wyrm's body, sending the dragon into involuntary spasms that churn the water and shake the roof of the Mire. "Close in!" you order your brothers. "Look for gaps in his scales, watch the wings."Your siblings leap from fallen tree to fallen tree, weathering the spray of the water while the Wyrm grapples with the power of the Six Demon Bag. The first, Cogs - your elder, and always impetuous - leaps with his spear in two hands. The Wyrm rolls to his feet in a flash, cracked teeth snapping out to snatch your brother from the air. He comes apart like a child's toy, splinters of wood and steel flying from between the dragon's jaws. "Unimaginative," the Wyrm spits, sending what's left of your brother into the water. He flicks his wings, shaking off the last of the Bag's power. "Do you think your sharpened sticks will save you, hollow men?"You and your brothers scatter, forcing the dragon to choose his targets. You duck beneath a gob of spit and mucus bigger than your body, reaching for the Bag as you do. The dragon surges forward, throwing up twin walls of water, and swats down another geargrinder with his massive paw. On the beast's flank, a spear finds its home, unleashing a gout of thin, pale blood into the water. The Wyrm roars its fury and twitches, snapping the weapon off in the middle and forcing your brother to give ground. "The wings!" you order. "Leave him to bleed out."The Wyrm answers with another earth-shaking roar. You seize an anchor on reflex, weathering the wall of sound and the flood of water that follows. A chunk of stone calves from the ceiling, plunging to the floor and leaving a crater where it lands. You hold on like grim death. Your father is relying on you. You run for the new jut of stone as the roar begins to die down and leap atop it. The Wyrm's head rears back, sucking in massive, wheezing lungfuls of air, and you point the Six Demon Bag at it. "|Fire|" you order, and the Bag answers, unleashing a gout of flame that is pulled down the Wyrm''s throat. The dragon hacks, smoke pouring from his eyes and nostrils, and slams his paw down in agony while the water comes crashing back, sweeping what's left of your assault team under. Oak's team, swinging grapples on chains, hooks onto the dragon and pulls themselves onto his back, massive axes in their hands to hack and cleave. > Press the attack> You've done enough
>>1250662>> Press the attack
>>1250662>Press the Attack"On death ground....fight."
>>1250662> Press the attack"Come to me dragon, and let us embrace Death!"
>>1250020Just saw this, fucking kek.
>>1250662>Press the attackFinish the job, this is a deathmarch, survivors are secondary, and that dragon needs to die.
Home internet is currently massively fucked. Trying to fix it.
>>1252855CURSE THEE COMCAST!!!
>>1250662>>Press the attackI'M NOT TO LATE TO VOTE FUCK YES
>>1250662You take advantage of the Wyrm's choking and distraction to aim the Bag upwards. "|Earth|" you demand, and there is a rumbling from the artifact before it launches thick spears of stone. While the Wyrm rolls, flinging the lucky geargrinders on its back and crushing the unfortunate beneath the water, the thick stone protrusions stick into the water, forming platforms above the muck for you to traverse. "Cut his wings," Oak orders, as more of his men seize the chains hooked onto the dragon and pull themselves up onto his body. The dragon bucks, hacking gobs of smoke and mucus, throwing some while others cling resolutely to the chains. The Wyrm immediately moves the limbs in question, blowing out a wave of water with a downstroke that lifts him into the air. You leap over it, landing safely on one of your platforms, and advance steadily on your enemy over the water. "Cobalt, we can't get any leverage," Oak calls. "Tell me you have an idea!""I have an idea," you confirm. "Do not let him splash again!"On thoughtless reflex, the Wyrm does exactly that, slamming his bulk straight down into the water. Perfect."|Air|"Jack the Debtor's obsession crippled his use of the Bag. He never really wanted victory, just survival, and the Bag gave it to him. What Jack failed to grasp is that the Bag is a tool, like a hatchet - good for almost anything, if you put your mind to it. The howling gale that erupts from it at your command freezes the water in its place, sealing the Wyrm's legs in thick mud, crusting his scales in rime and making him bellow in rage and pain. The ice cracks beneath his thundering voice, but there's no liquid water left beneath it, nothing to help him slip free. Oak's axe cracks into the bone of the dragon's wing joint, shattering as much as cutting. The thin blood that sprays from the wound steams and sizzles against the ice. Oak swings again, severing the wing from the dragon's body. He wisely lunges for a chain, grabbing on before the dragon slams its bulk into the imprisoning ice, sending up a spray of razor-sharp shards. They hang in the air, caught by the dragon's will, and turn towards your brothers on his back. You order metal from the Six Demon Bag, leaping as fast as your legs will take you, and it provides you with a heavy, one-headed axe, like an executioner might use. You drop the Bag at your feet, hefting the grim weapon. You aren't going to make it. You don't. The shards of ice pepper the Wyrm's back, sticking in his scales and shredding your brothers like rotten wood. Gears grind and stop as ice slices their mechanisms, breaks through glass eyes and pierces the hearts carefully concealed inside their chests. The dragon holds himself still, both to avoid throwing off his aim and to prevent himself from accidentally being harmed by his own attack, and that means his attention isn't on you.
>>1254389You make one final leap, axe held high, muffled voice screaming from your chest to force the beast to look at you. "Glory to the Thirdborn!"The Wyrm turns his head just in time for the axe to catch him between the eyes; it slices through his rotting scales, cracks his aged bones, and buries itself in his brain. His head slams to the ice below, leaving a spiderweb of cracks, and you hit it heavily a mere moment later. The tick-tick-tick of your gears cycles irregularly, the sound of internal damage the only thing to break the silence. "Who has survived?" you call, as you stand. You pull the axe from the Wyrm's skull and deliver a second blow for good measure. "Call out your names if you have survived!""None of them survived," the angel murmurs, stepping from the steam and fog of the Wyrm's cooling corpse. You let the axe drop, your gaze on her. "Oak?" you ask. She shakes her head and waves her blade over the dragon; its ghost blows away from its corpse, carried on an unseen breeze out of the realms of the living. "I'm sorry, Cobalt.""My task is not yet done," you tell her. "...I must escort the Heritor through the Mire. I am injured. I may not be able to make the repairs needed on my own. One of them -""I can't bring them back, Cobalt.""Then what good are you?" you demand. For a moment you think she is going to destroy you. The angel crosses the ice, her blade dragging behind her, and sets her hand on your shoulder. Her grip, weary and worn, is still far more firm than it has any right to be.|<[Heal]>| the angel commands, and you feel your gears realign as the wear, damage, and erosion of years is undone in a moment. "You owe me, for this," you tell her. "My father. My brothers. Our dreams. All of it, sacrificed for you.""I know," she tells you, and then she is gone.You heft the axe over your shoulder and stop to retrieve the Six Demon Bag before you begin your walk to the entrance of the Mire. Your task is not yet done. END INTERLUDE IX: THE WHOLE OF THE LAW
>>1254436BEGIN PART X: You are Brianna la Croix, necromancer, and you and your compatriots are in Port Egress. The town on the far side of the Sunless Sea has been nearly emptied, either from death or evacuation, and its citizens have yet to return. The old innkeep had stayed, resolutely, and now you and your friends form his best and, in a related story, only customers. Brigette plays a lute in the corner of the room, the sad song she's singing at odds with the joy of freedom on her face. Nothing else, not her fear, her regrets, not even leaving Victoria behind on the surface, compares to the sheer bliss being able to leave the Atheneum has granted her. Hatchet checks his equipment on the table, sharpening a blade here, touching up runes there, while Flitter and Yew are holding a conversation with Cooke. Catherine eats alone, her hood up so that only her red eyes are visible. > Talk with someone (who, and about what?)> It's time to move out
Hittin' work. Votes, obviously, remain open. Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>1254611this is a tough one.
>>1254611It seems that the dragon was sent to the sunless lands, not into the sword? Probably because he didn't hurt her.
>>1254458>> Talk with someone (who, and about what?)confide with Bridgette, you may have damaged your relationship irreparably. This isn't a criticism, I voted to leave them behind too, I just think it's an interesting way to develop characters at the end.
>>1254665She sent him on, yes..
>>1254685Hmm, Bridgette sent her lover away when (presumably) death came to collect tax, so I guess she has some perspective she could share with us. On the other hand, Victoria was mostly really sad and not a pissed of giant metal murder-bird.
Three hours and change to call. What fucking eldritch god writes retail schedules? I swapped shifts with a guy and it straight-up improved the night shift because I'm trained to cover fuel and self-check, he can do neither, and there's no one the fuck else.
>>1254685Seconding this guy
>>1256428Even a system based to fuck up can work by accident at some point.
>>1254685This.Also, that was actually a neat twist with Cobalt. Not a huge one, but I was ready to go in and die with him going all out, seeking solace in the void that he did all he could for his brethren. Instead, he's the lone survivor. It's also kind of neat how where before he was stone-cold, he's getting legit mad now. He has to know that Lora's got zero responsibility for it, but she's also right there, and maybe /maybe/ Dick wouldn't have betrayed them and there could have been a grand future for the Thirdborn. I think that later he's going to regret that comment a bit, but right now he isn't really thinking straight.
Okay, I gotta cancel the plan to update tonight; work kicked my shit in. That said, I'll have plenty of time to update tomorrow before my shift. I've got Weds/Thurs off coming up as well. Votes, of course, remain open.
>>1257432Sweeeeet. Wish you well Vox.
>>1257432Take care, Vox.
>>1254458You take a seat at the corner table that Brigette is occupying (the old innkeep hadn't had the heart to say anything about her boots being on it aside from a request that she not kick his tea kettle) and clean out your pipe while she plays and sings. You're not really in the good mood you usually associate with your pipe, but Amy made it, and right now that feels a lot more important. Brigette finishes up her last song at around the time you're lighting the newly-packed pipe and sets her lute down on the floor, leaning against the wall. "Penny for your thoughts?" the Poet offers. She takes her feet down and sits up a little straighter. "...I think Amy might honestly hate me for this," you admit, in a small voice. "I doubt it," Brigette answers. "She's angry though, sure as shit. You talk to her before you came down?""...Sort of," you admit. "I talked with Nathan. She was glaring at me from a tree. They...ah. They sorta...""Asked you to leave us to die if it came down to it?" You give Brigette a long look. "They know you, Bri. What'd you tell them?""I told them I'd come back home," you murmur. You take a puff on your pipe and let it out slowly. "...I really fucked it up this time, didn't I?""I don't know about that," the Poet muses, thoughtfully. "People have fights, in relationships. You knew that one already.""I did," you agree. "Your grandparents, what'd they argue about?""...Me, mostly. Whether or not I was ready for things, or places where they disagreed about...Grandmother as a lot stricter than Grandfather was.""Mmhm." Brigette turns her head to look at you. "I guess the question on the table is, what made this time different?""Richard -""Don't even start there. The Lush was just as bad a threat for that and you brought them with you without a second thought."> What do you say?
>>1259116"Because the Wyrm could kill them for good. No resurrection, no ghosts, no Sunless Lands. I would never see them again so long as time stood. And with the Lush, they weren't as important to me at that time, now they're my world."
>>1259116>"The lush was so invested in classic war doctrine, he would never resort to traps meant to hurt specific loved ones.">"I needed capable people to stay and secure the levels we've worked so hard to save...">"I... was scared, Brigette, scared to lose the two people who have made this shipwreck I call my life worth living, right before the end... I'm not strong enough.">>1259200>"they weren't as important to me at that time, now they're my world."This is just wrong.
>>1259116Casting my vote for >>1259261>"I was scaredThis bit only.
Gonna call and write near 10 PM EST; I am currently at work.
>>1259116> Part... failsafe. I know that if something comes up, they can handle themsleves and probably it. Which is honestly post justification, but that's part of it. But mostly... fear. fate. I know I'm meant to be there and have protections from Lora, they don't. They're in far more danger in this final bit that they've been before, and them being in that much danger is hitting me harder than it would of three floors ago.
>>1259116>Because when it came between them and my job last time, I chose them. I don't trust myself to choose my job, but I have to this time.
Belated, but called, writing.
>>1259116"I was scared," you tell Brigette, and she raises an orange eyebrow at you. "You weren't scared before?""I - I was, but -""Did you care about them less before?""No!" you protest, sharply. "Why would you -"Brigette leans in, her eyes on yours. "Do you not want their help?""They're /vulnerable/ here. Lora can kill them but she can't kill me.""That's always been true too. Give me your real reason, Brianna.""I /am/ -" you stop and take a deep breath. You close your eyes and drag Brigette's teacup over to your grip; the Poet lets you take it, giving you something warm to hold on to while you think. "I can't bury another family," you say at last, your voice soft. "...I just can't. The last time it came down to them or my job, I picked them. Everyone has a breaking point, Brigette. I...finally...let myself get attached to people again. Love people again. Have real friendships, real romances, hell I've created one kid and adopted another." Kat touches your knee in worry. "I can't go through that again, Brigette. I can't survive losing another home."Without a word, Brigette moves her chair closer to yours and puts an arm around your shoulders. You lean against her, feeling empty and lost. Part of you wants to cry but the tears just aren't there. "Sometimes I forget that the people you cared about before all left you behind," the Poet murmurs gently. "I still think of you as the person who turned me down at that festival."You grin, ruefully. "Bri, do yourself a favor. When you go back home, after this is said and done? You tell them what you told me. Don't evade it, don't try to be a teacher. Just...tell them. Okay?""I will," you promise, softly. There is a knock on the inn door, followed by a dripping geargrinder entering the room. The machine man's frame hangs with weeds and muck. "My brothers and sisters are loaded aboard the ship, heritor," he tells you. "Cobalt awaits you at the bottom of the Drowned Stairs.""Then we'd best get moving," you decide. Brigette lets you go. You set out within the hour.
>>1263074The Drowned Stairs live up to their name. Carved from stone, steeply inclined, and washed with a constant, violent flow of more than four inches of water draining from the Sunless Sea, the Stairs are peppered with the corpses of those who were less prepared to brave them. Between Hatchet and Catherine, however, you manage the descent using a combination of chains, pitons, and a certain amount of cursing, snapping, and ill-tempered frustration. Kat helps to keep you steady, fussing over you with worry in her expression and posture. True to his word, Cobalt awaits you at the bottom. Just Cobalt. The geargrinder drags a massive executioner's axe behind him, the head nicked and dulled from the ill treatment, and the Six Demon Bag is tied to the belt at his waist. He stirs when you approach, treading towards you. "Oak is dead," he intones, his muffled voice flat and dull. "The officers who lead the attacks on the Roost and the Warehouse are dead. My father is dead. Is your vengeance complete?""My - for -""For Silence. For Jack the Debtor. For the harpies. Are you revenged, Brianna la Croix?"> What do you say?I promise we'll be moving through soon, work's been throwing me off so I'm exploring these small on-the-way scenes.
>>1263078It's not about revenge. It's about stopping the end of the world. We don't like loss of life.
>>1263078Fuck me, but this is a hard one.>I don't think I'm the one you should be asking.
>>1263078>> What do you say?"The Weregild I collected was not for me but for the people of the Warehouse and Roost. You have paid, the debt is settled."
>>1263078I actually like the little scenes like this. You do them very well.
>>1263078>It's not about revenge. It's about stopping the end of the world. We don't like loss of life. But yes, our weregild has been paid.
>>1263078> My vengeance will not be complete until Lora is free and the world is safe from Richard. But the Librarians has satisfied his part of all this. You are yours are safe from me.
>>1263109>It was never my revenge to take, but you and yours have paid the weregild for the lives and livelihood you took from the harpies, the mines, and the war you made upon them.>And we have both lost family, so I know your pain, don't think it was heartlessness that made this choice.>I hope you will be able to join your brothers and sisters when we have done for the Dick.
Alright. I'm working four to nine, can't really get an update going before I go in. I'll update tonight after work.
>>1263554It's fine, hang in there Skeleton lord!
HOKAY so - work until 7 PM EST or so, should be home near eight, and then I've got a couple of days off plus or minus getting my taxes done. Thank you all for your patience. We are still open for questions, comments, discussion, etc.
Update: I've managed to remain connected to the internet for thirty minutes at a time. Working on the update but if this doesn't stabilize it won't get posted tonight.
Writing at fucking last.
>>12705276 hours later....?