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Character Sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lvqwQrtQ_YFvsVdcKJbSEAgpyZi9QrfJfnh_UDzvPKw/edit?usp=sharing

Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=StorytellerQM

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyteller_QM

> Part 7 will be starting up tomorrow, so don't worry. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have, as I'll be around for a bit more now.
>>
>>1818809
God dammit can't believe i lost a section.
>>
>>1818858

If you missed something, everything is archived.
>>
>>1818862
Reading everything at this exact moment Story-T
>>
fuck trains nigga
>>
>>1818871

Have fun man.

>>1818872

New Favored Enemy: Trains
>>
>>1818809
Dismantling caboose for parts to make our own transport/Metal Gear when?
>>
>>1818882

Unfortunately, John's last name isn't 'Macgyver'.
>>
>>1818872

... is it bad that I'm now giggling to myself over the fact that in a land forsaken by the gods and full of monstrosities and crime organizations that have their own territories I've managed to make my players hate trains out of everything?
>>
>>1818920
That just proves how good of a dm you are. Also man we went full snake on that train. That is until the last part. onder
>>
>>1818920
Qm by any chance could you do an omake/reaction from creeps mercenary group watching our escape from surveillance footage
>>
>>1818957
oooh, i second this
>>
>>1818941

And to think that I was originally just going to send you all straight to Shirahoro...

>>1818957

I can say it now that it's over: there were never any cameras. It was the guards keeping an eye on your party and relaying that information to them. Also, that would be spoilers on whether or not they actually ended up doing the job.

I could, however, do some bits on what might have happened had you decided to incap Creep and Bishop before the 9 am kidnapping attempt and the resulting extended boss fight between you versus Rider and Dozer. That was going to be such a clusterfuck; you all really dodged a tough fight.
>>
>>1818970
>you all really dodged a tough fight.

Still want to see Creep and Bishop's reaction to the aftermath from our group escaping the train.
>>
>>1818920
Poor Train, it's not its fault that it's being owned by mafia.
>>
I'm awake and I'm laughing.

so lets recap, we are an artificer who has been tainted by the blight, met two friends, is going to meet some old illegal friends, has voices in our heads asking for different mechanical marvels. and we hate trains.

storyteller: you sir are fucking amazing. if you can keep up the content. you will be the next quest drone, or the next grave. just without the civ management
>>
>>1819386
Hell be the next Soma. Except he won't abandon us.

Right, StoryT?
>>
>>1819084

Maybe I'll have that come up the next time you meet them. For now, again, that's spoilers.

>>1819386

You're forgetting the four separate factions that have set up in john's head but other than that that's pretty much it.
>>
>>1819502

I'll try not to abandon you all.

I've got a few ideas for other quests in the future, so we won't be stopping when Artificer Quest inevitably ends.
>>
Anyone alive right now? I've found myself with a two hour block of free time because one of my classes isn't meeting today and I could start up part 7.
>>
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>>1819706
at your leisure, OP

by the way, since we'll be avoiding trains in foreseeable future, what are airships like in this setting?

If there are any, can they traverse the blight afflicted terrain?
>>
>>1819717

I've been internally debating on whether or not to have airships in the setting.

...

Actually, now that I think about it, I've got an idea that'll help tie in something I haven't gotten around to really addressing.

Won't happen for a while (probably 2-3 story arcs from now) but it's something to look forwards to. Thanks Anon.
>>
>>1819718
How does blight spread?
With wind or something else?
>>
>>1819719

Blight, on it's own, is a kind of thick, syrupy ichor. You should be thanking your lucky stars that it can't travel in the air, because there wouldn't be a world for you guys to travel around in at this point.

It spreads by more or less building up enough biomass and then Zerg rushing the nearest bit of civilization. However, Blight has been known to act erratically in certain cases...
>>
>>1818809

[ARTIFICER QUEST PART 7 START]

Sierra looks at you like you're completely mad. Considering you just proclaimed your hatred of trains to her, you can't exactly blame her.

"Oh, c'mon. I just spent the last 13 hours preparing to have to fight my way through two separate teams of mercenaries to try to make sure we wouldn't all die horribly," Your slightly mad giggle her ruins the serious attitude you had running here, "I'm just glad the pressure is off me for a bit now".

"That's great and all John," At the very least, she's looking less worried about your sanity, "But you're gonna get sick if you just stand out in the rain all morning".

Despite the fact that your Cloak is keeping your entirely dry, you still return to the mostly dry interior of the Caboose. You note a few bullet holes here and there, but for the most part everything is intact.

Leaving your cloak hanging up to dry and taking off the helmet to let your head breath, you consider your options.

Now what?
> Take a nap here until sunrise
> Try to find some shelter elsewhere
> Try to contact Rider
> Other
>>
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>>1819721
So it tends to spread specifically towards settlements of sapient beings? Interesting...

It could be attracted to their souls/thought patterns/magic

or, if it's only spreading towards advanced settlements, towards magic or magical engineering.

or it's intelligent enough and has appropriate sensory capacities, to infer existence of a valid target through other means.
>>
>>1819724
How many hours to sunrise?
>>
>>1819724
> Take a nap here until sunrise
>>
>>1819724
>Look around
are there any features in the landscape that would hint at

Also how often are trains going on this line? We might want to put some effort into removing the caboose from tracks, even if it meant toppling it over.

I suppose we can take advantage of the car to rest up before we get on the way. The two "guards" we've disposed of should be far enough to not cause trouble, I think...
>>
>>1819729

It's just after 4 am at this point, so 2 hrs max.
>>
>>1819724
> Take a nap here until sunrise
>>
>>1819735
>that would hint at
potential existence of a suitable shelter or camping spot.

Like, I don't know... brook, copse, rock formation... smoke plume (inb4 bandits or marauders of some sort)...
>>
>>1819727

I guess you'll just have to find out.

>>1819733
>>1819737
>>1819739
>>1819735

Nap time everyone, We'll take first watch.

Writin'
>>
>>1819724

"You two can go back to sleep, I'll stay up and take a look around the area".

"Alright," Sierra looks like she wants to argue with you, but Goo Hwi is already settling down onto one of the benches, "When are you planning on sleeping?"

You grab your cloak and throw it over yourself once more, "I already slept enough for tonight; I've been up since 3"

"Don't wander too far," is the last bit of advice Sierra gives you before she turns in.

You jump back into the elements once more, and begin looking around this cold, dark night.

> Roll me three 1d100+5's please
>>
File: 1387058243237.gif (1.89 MB, 800x450)
1.89 MB
1.89 MB GIF
Rolled 7 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>1819744
>>
Rolled 8 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>1819744
>>
Rolled 82 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>1819744
>>
>>1819756

87, Good Success. Let's see what you see.

Writin'
>>
>>1819744

It's dark and raining out, so your vision is pretty far into the 'heavily obscured' territory. Even still, you manage to get a decent enough look around.

You're still in the low plains of the Badlands, maybe only a day and a half from Shirahoro at this point. There might be other towns you could visit, but you don't remember any and you don't see any obvious signs of one.

Eventually, the storm finally passes and, as the sun begins to come over the horizon, you find the train tracks again to easily make your way back to the Caboose.

There's still a chill in the air, a low mist hangs over the land, and it still smells like rain out, but the burning in your back slowly fades away. The storm has passed, taking the danger with it perhaps, but now you have new worries.

Mainly how you're going to deal with the potential shitstorm with the Genovese if you go to Shirahoro. You never used their name, so that's good. Maybe.

A much less complicated, and more current, problem is what you're going to do with the Caboose. As much as you don't care for the Gambinos, causing an entire train to crash because of your chosen escape route is just in bad taste. You did tell Naofumi about it and as incompetent with Magitech as he is you get the feeling that he'll probably send out a team to retrieve it before he leaves Shirahoro.

Making your way back to errant train car, you've got a decision to make. Checking your gauntlet, it's only 5:30 at this point. You were out for a while, but the sun isn't entirely up yet.

Now what?
> Grab some sleep while you can
> Shake Sierra and Goo Hwi awake, it's time to go
>>
>>1819773
>Grab some sleep while you can
in relative comfort
>>
>>1819773
>Grab some sleep while you can
Wake Goo Hwi up so he can keep watch though.
>>
>>1819773
> Grab some sleep while you can
>>
>>1819773
> Grab some sleep while you can
>>
>>1819776
>>1819780
>>1819781
>>1819783

Grab some shut eye, kick Goo Hwi awake.

Writin'
>>
>>1819773

Climbing back up, you find Sierra and Goo Hwi asleep, the latter better than the former.

Shaking at much of the water off it as you can, you drape your heavy cloak over Sierra. She needs it more than you do currently.

Walking over to Goo Hwi, you shake his shoulder hard. There's a moment where you almost have a heart attack when his hand grabs your outstretched wrist.

"Ah... John" His iron grip loosens, and you thank your lucky stars he didn't do anything more drastic, "You're back".

"Yeah, I am. I'm gonna sleep for a bit. Wake me up in a half hour or so and we'll get on our way".

After finding a comfortable way to sleep while wearing armor, you drift off into a brief, but blessedly empty sleep.

You wake up on your own, seemingly just before Goo Hwi was going to.

Sierra is groggily coming to as you push yourself to your feet.

The morning is here.
> Talk to Sierra
> Talk to Goo Hwi
> Talk to both of them
> Head out
> Other
>>
>>1819801
>Talk to both of them

Does either one of them know geography of the place?
Ask for general input.
Discuss possibility who to offer the evidence to. Maybe this would be the time to talk about our past connection with Genovese
>>
>>1819801
> Talk to Sierra

We have acted like a bit of a jerk. With fantastic reason, but still.
>>
>>1819801
> Talk to both of them
What are our options now?
>>
>>1819810
Yeah, apologise for all the rush. There was no good way of getting to them more neatly, but still.
>>
>>1819808
>>1819811

Perhaps now is a good time to figure how things are going from here on forwards.

Writin'
>>
>>1819801

"Good Morning you two," You let out a yawn and stretch, trying to get all the kinks out of your joints. Checking your Gauntlet, it's just after 6:30 am now.

You might have slept for just under an hour, but you're feeling a bit more human now. The nice morning sun doesn't hurt too.

Goo Hwi gives you quick response as he's collecting his belongings, while Sierra just groans out. She manages to make it upright and starts grabbing her things, absentmindedly clipping your cloak on.

Checking your things, you're on to looking over your Clockwork Rifle when she speaks up.

"Say," Meeting her gaze, she seems a bit more focused now, "I didn't really get the chance to ask before, but where exactly did you get all that stuff?"

Uhh...
> "I kinda 'stole' it, for a very loose definitely of 'stealing'"
> "Two kind gentlemen 'donated' it all to me"
> "Alright, alright, I beat the crap out of two guards when they tried to jump me"
> Other
>>
>>1819863
> "Two kind gentlemen 'donated' it all to me"

Then when she give us her usual annoyed stare say.

> "Alright, alright, I beat the crap out of two guards when they tried to jump me"

>Write in: " Then i went to the workshop and upgraded it a little bit. Passed througth two different check points knocking out two or four guard. Oh by the way thanks for the taser idea (show her our gaunlet by activating the taser) but then they got lucky and one of the guard saw me and the rest you already know.
>>
>>1819863
> "Alright, alright, I beat the crap out of two guards when they tried to jump me"

I mean, if you try to ice a guy then you automatically relinquish loot rights if he manages to beat you.
>>
>>1819877
supporting this
>>
>>1819863
>"Two kind gentlemen 'donated' it all to me"
>"Alright, alright, I beat the crap out of two guards when they tried to jump me"

>"Anyway, I can give you both long version of the story, but it boils down to finding that our job was a setup and we were sacrificial lambs hired to make it look credible... As soon as I knew for sure, I started looking for way to get us out. Especially when, ah... but listen to it yourself."

Play the recordings.
>>
>>1819863
supporting
>>1819899
>>
>>1819877
>>1819876
>>1819889
>>1819899
>>1819915

I suppose some explanation is in order...

Writin'
>>
>>1819863

"Well..." You look off to the side thinking of what you're going to say, before a thin grin comes across your face, "You see, I was just walking along when these two kind gentlemen 'donated' it all to me".

Goo Hwi snorts in amusement at your wording. Sierra just raises an eyebrow.

"Alright, alright, I beat the crap out of two guards when they tried to jump me. If you fail to ice a guy while you've got the drop on him and you're outnumbering him, you deserve to have your shit looted..." You trail off there muttering to yourself, "Anyways, I imagine that you both want an actual explanation for what happened this night. I could give you the long version of the story, but it boils down to finding out that our job was a setup and we were sacrificial lambs hired to make the whole thing look credible".

You definitely have their attention now, "As soon as I knew for sure, I started looking for a way to get us out. Especially after, ah... here, you can listen for yourself".

Pulling up the recordings, you have them play in order.

The first one is from the merc's revised deal with Gambino. As such neither Goo Hwi nor Sierra are particularly impressed by it.

The second and third ones, that both go over your party's role in the set up, do give them some pause.

They're both silent and thoughtful at the evidence of the conspiracy you uncovered.

Maybe now might be a good time.
> Mention your past work with the Genovese and your intent to bring this evidence to them
> Mention your past work with the Genovese
> Don't mention it
>>
>>1820010
>Mention your past work with the Genovese
"I came here to get away from exactly this kind of shit."
>>
>>1820010
time to come clean

"some past friends of mine who helped save my ass from the blight, well they were that fat fucks rivals. so I'm sorry about this but I will be handing over these tapes to my friend when we get to shiro or something to that effect"
>>
>>1820010
>>1820017

You know what? Changing my vote. This is better >>1820015 supporting it.
>>
>>1820010
>Mention your past work with the Genovese

>They could be interested in this, along with the nodes that bear their insignia (assuming we have them with us). I don't really want to enter into long term relationship with them but we could get something out of this mess at least.
>Any thoughts? Ideas?

Also we should be helping ourselves on the way. Take a look around the caboose too in case there's tools or supplies that could come in handy, although there's no need to strip it down of everything that isn't bolted down.
>>
>>1820012
>>1820015
>>1820022
>>1820024

Time to come clean.

Writin'
>>
>>1820024
I bet the Genovese HATE someone using their sigil to commit crimes.
>>
>>1820047

They are who they are, after all.

>>1820010

"I know, crazy right?" You can't help the humorless laugh that spills out of you, "And to think I wasted four months in the Badlands trying to get away from exactly this kind of shit only for it to come right back to haunt me".

Both of your companions give you curious looks.

"Yeah, right, never mentioned that before," Considering your words briefly, you turn back to them, "The family that saved my life after the Fall of Westmire, they were good friends with higher ups in the Genovese family. At the time, I was a nobody with not a copper to my name and barely the clothes on my back. I needed work, since I needed to eat and I needed to repay my saviors. My options were to be a drug runner, a manual laborer, or to put my technical skills to use. So, I worked for the Genovese Syndicate as a kind of freelance contractor. I repaired weapons and armor, gave technical advice, did goods inspections; anything that was made of metal or had two moving parts, I was their guy. I squared my debts, learned as much as I could, and made a fair amount of money during the three or so years I spent working with them. However, the money wasn't always worth it: there was constant double-crosses during good shipments, threats of retaliation from unhappy customers, other mob enforcers getting involved if your delivery went through their turf. After one last job gone bad, I made a deal with an old friend to get me out of the game. It worked out, and went out on my way without a scratch. I have no obligation to them, nor do I feel any real sense of loyalty. However..." You look down at your Gauntlet meaningfully, "I know that the higher ups in Shirahoro are going to want to have this evidence. And I know that they're going to reward us for it. So that's what I'm going to do; if I have to put up with this shit I might as well get ahead from it yeah?"

You give them both one final smile before slinging your things over your shoulder.

"C'mon, we've gotta get moving"

Head where?
> To Shirahoro
> Try to find somewhere else
> Other
>>
>>1820065

unless either of them has a better idea,
>Shirahoro
>>
>>1820065
to shirahoro. but make sure the others are okay with it.
>>
>>1820065
> To Shirahoro
>>
>>1820065
> To Shirahoro
>>
>>1820065
>>> To Shirahoro
>>
>>1820070
>>1820076
>>1820080
>>1820087
>>1820098

Pearl of the Orient here we come.

Writin'
>>
>>1820065

"Unless one of you objects," You state as you start walking alongside the train tracks, "I say we continue on wards to Shirahoro. It should only be another day and a half of travel to get there".

Looking back to the others, Goo Hwi just smiles at you. Guess he really doesn't care where you go. As for Sierra...

"It was originally my idea to go there, so I'm fine with it".

She catches up to you and starts walking alongside you, your cloak still clasped around her shoulders.

Glancing to the side, you note that the old man is trailing behind you two just taking in the view of the morning. Taking the opportunity, you gently grab Sierra' shoulder and lean over to whisper to her.

"Hey, sorry about how I was back on the train. I was serious when I said I owed you that favor".

She just laughs lightly, like you told a joke. At your confused expression, she just waves you away.

Guess you're all forgiven.

It is a nice day out, despite everything...
> Talk to Sierra as you walk
> Talk to Goo Hwi as you walk
> Just take in the sights
> Other
>>
>>1820168
> Just take in the sights

Can just appreciate things right now.
>>
>>1820168
>> Talk to Sierra as you walk
>>
>>1820168
>> Talk to Sierra as you walk
>>
>>1820168
take in sights but talk with the old man about his experiences. like what's with that room of weapons
>>
>>1820168
> Talk to Sierra as you walk
>>
>>1820168
>Talk to Sierra

What plans does she have when we reach civilization again? Find a stationary job and settle in for a time?
Or continue travelling, find jobs that involve journey further out? (presumably somewhere with no Gambino Transport Co. or Genovese Trade Co. in it?)


Repeat with Goo Hwi
>>
>>1820187
>>1820181
>>1820175
>>1820173

Talk to our resident combat mage it is.

Writin'
>>
>>1820168

"Well," You speak up a few minutes later, "Someone's in a good mood".

Sierra just smirks slightly, "It was getting a bit stuffy in that train anyways".

Huh, sounds like she had an 'interesting' time dealing with Gambino after all.

You probably shouldn't bring that up now; don't want to sour the mood, "So, have any plans for when we get to Shirahoro? You mentioned that you knew a few people out here right?"

"Yeah, I've actually got an older brother out here," Huh, would you look at that, "He runs a bar called "Eden Hall"" Sierra laughs again here, "You probably wouldn't like it there; it's got a strict 'no violence allowed' rule".

You laugh along with her, "I guess you're going to work alongside him there?"

"If he needs the help, he likes running his bar as a solo gig".

Ask her about something else?
> Ask her if she'd like to go out drinking when we get there
> Ask her if she'd like to come with you when you go to the Genovese
> Ask her when you can expect that favor to be cashed in
> Ask her something else
> Just enjoy the moment together
>>
>>1820232
I'm not a violent man, I just very much enjoy being alive.
>>
>>1820232
>> Just enjoy the moment together

Lets see if she wants to ask something.
>>
>>1820232
> Other:
"Well whatever happens i hope Gambino and his family aren't the kind to hold a grudge. If there is a thing i learned dealling with mobsters is that they can be quite the assholes."

Then talk to Goo Hwi. Ask what he's going to do.
>>
>>1820232
> Just enjoy the moment together
>>
>>1820232
Changing my vote here >>1820254
to:

> Just enjoy the moment together
>>
>>1820232
>You probably wouldn't like it there; it's got a strict 'no violence allowed' rule".
Come on now, it's not like we WANT things to get violent... well within reason.

Anyway
>just enjoy the moment

Before turning to Goo
>>
>>1820253
>>1820247
This
>>
>>1820253
>>1820258
>>1820263
>>1820268
>>1820247
>>1820270

A moment of indignity, then some nice quiet.

Writin'
>>
>>1820232

There's a moment of quiet, then a previous comment of hers fully hits you.

"Hey! I'm not a violent man! I just very much enjoy being alive! It's not my fault every other guy in the room seems to want my head on a platter..."

Sierra just giggles at your exclamations, enjoying her own private joke at your expense.

You huff, but you're still smiling.

Looking back ahead, you enjoy the warmth that the sun provides. Several birds fly overhead, chirping away. That's good; birds are the first to leave when Blight enters an area.

The two of you bask in the relative silence of the plains, surprisingly peaceful and beautiful for the Badlands. A few minutes later, and Sierra breaks it.

"Say, John" She looks over at you, "You never really mentioned what you're going to be doing in Shirahoro. I know you're going to be 'meeting' with the Genovese, but what after that?"

That's a good question, and you think on it for a bit.

You're going to...
> See if the Genovese need your skills, just like old times
> Keep moving, no reason to stick around after getting paid
> Set up a forge of sorts, establish a more permanent place to live
> Other
>>
>>1820294
>2
>>
>>1820294
>> Set up a forge of sorts, establish a more permanent place to live
>>
>>1820294
"If it turns out to be a nice place, and the family promise to leave me alone, I might set up shop there. I'm a wizard with technology you know?"
>>
>>1820294
>Haven't decided yet...
>One idea is to set up a forge, a shop, settle down for a time, make a living constructing things
>I suppose it also depends on climate in town. Gambinos might have a grudge, and Genovese might try to rope me in. It might be wiser to move on.
>>
>>1820321
Supporting this instrad
>>
>>1820304
>>1820316
>>1820321

Check on how things are, maybe set up shop.

Writin'
>>
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>>1820294

It takes you a bit to come up with an answer, but you think its a good one.

"I'll have to see how the Genovese are in Shirahoro; see how they respond to my presence there. If things go well... I've been thinking for a while of setting up shop. Maybe a Forge. I'm a wizard with technology you know?"

"A Forge?" Sierra looks very inquisitive.

"Yeah, a Forge. What about it?"

She just smirks at you, "You? A Smith? Really?"

"Ha Ha laugh it up Sierra," You give her a pointed look, "But, yeah, I've been thinking about getting into smithing. I've got a few projects I'd like to work on. I'll need a bit more than a pile of scrap metal and my wits to build them unfortunately".

The elf just hums thoughtfully while walking along. After a bit, she speaks up, "So, you'll be sticking around then?"

You just smile at her, "Maybe I will".

Anything else?
> Ask her about something else
> Talk to Goo Hwi
> Enjoy your walk
> Other
>>
>>1820394

(I didn't even notice the Eastern decorations in the background when I picked that out that photo is perfect)
>>
>>1820394
> Talk to Goo Hwi

Need to go my good friends try to not kill John while i'm out.
>>
>>1820394

>Talk to Goo Hwi

How about you, Goo Hwi? What plans do you have?
>>
>>1820394
>> Talk to Goo Hwi
>>
Gonna have to pause things here for now. I'll be back later this evening at the soonest and tomorrow morning at the latest.
>>
>>1820459

Writing will continue in ~ 30 mins
>>
>>1820402
>>1820416
>>1820426

See what the Old Man is up to.

Writin'
>>
>>1821870
Are we back in business? Great!
>>
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>>1820394

Turning behind you, you raise your voice, "And what of you, Goo Hwi? Got any plans for when we arrive?"

He just smiles after turning to you, "Perhaps. If I recall correctly, the pupil to an old friend of mine should be living in the city. I'll see if I can't catch up with him".

Sounds like the three of you are going to be splitting up for a bit.

Thinking about it, you really haven't gotten a chance to talk to the old man in a while.

This might be the time.
> Ask him if he could teach you a few of his skills in combat
> Ask him about his younger years
> Ask him about his plans for the future
> Ask him something else
> Say nothing, enjoy the quiet
>>
>>1821984
> Ask him about his younger years
>>
>>1821984
> Ask him about his younger years
>>
>>1821995
>>1822016

Even retired dogs were young once.

Writin'
>>
>>1821984

Slowing your steps enough that you end up right next to the man in question, you start talking.

"Say, we haven't really gotten a chance to talk, have we?"

"Hmm..." He scratches his chin, "I suppose you're right. I believe the last time we spoke at any length was when you woke up from collapsing..."

He frowns slightly at his own words, looking over at you for a moment before his face goes slightly more neutral, "At least you're looking better now. Regardless, you wanted to talk to me?"

His gaze is slightly unnerving, as his pale, colorless eyes travel over you. Still, you did want to talk to him, "Yeah, I was just a bit curious as to how you were when you were younger".

"When I was younger...? Ah," He smiles wistfully at your question, "That was quite some time ago, not too much worth talking about".

"Goo Hwi, I've seen you turn Corrupted into dark paste, there's no way you weren't of some renown when you were younger," You're not sure if he's just being modest, but you don't buy for a moment that he doesn't have a few good stories.

"Well..." He looks out ahead, "I suppose I was like you: ambitious, stubborn, some wanderlust. Struck out on my own for sometime, ran into a mercenary group that I stayed with for many a year. We were all a group of head-strong fools, but most of us managed to reach retirement so we must have done something right. There's not too many of us left now, but that's alright".

Goo Hwi looks... content with his past, something you're slightly envious of.

"Thanks, Goo Hwi, for telling me that," You nod at him.

Before you turn away, he pulls you back a bit further from Sierra. Apparently to talk privately.

"John, you're looking better now, but you really need to be careful. That wound on your back is not going to heal properly if you keep aggravating it".

W-what?
> "I don't know what you're talking about"
> "..."
> "... It's a old wound; it's not going to heal"
> Other
>>
>>1822149
> "..."
>>
>>1822149
> "..."
>>
>>1822149
>Other
>"Well, as long as no one is going to try and kill me in the next few days, I should be fine."
>>
>>1822149
> "..."
> "... It's a old wound; it's not going to heal"
>>
>>1822149

> "..."
> "... It's a old wound; it's not going to heal"
>>
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>>1822162
>>1822168
>>1822175
>>1822176
>>1822180

Young, but not fresh-faced.

Writin'
>>
>>1822149

His words completely catch you off guard, so it's all you can do to just stay quiet.

Without a word, you just turn to regard him. You have no idea what you look like right now, but you can see the bare edges of Goo Hwi's face tighten as your gaze meets his.

You turn forwards once more and move to walk faster when his grip tightens.

"John... I'm sorry, but I'm being serious here".

He definitely sounds genuine, and if he was talking to you about anything else in that tone of voice you'd appreciate it. But he's not talking about anything else.

"... It's an old wound," You quietly speak up, making sure to keep your voice low enough so Sierra won't hear as she wanders ahead, "It's not going to heal".

"Are you sure?"

You just nod, "I'll be fine. Well, assuming no one tries to kill me in the next few days I'll be fine. But I think you know a bit about my track record at this point..."

There's really not much else to be said there.

The conversation lapses for a bit there, though just when you think he's not going to bring it back up he does.

"You know you're a very lucky man, John. Any further down, and it would have severed your spine".

That's... disturbingly accurate, "... I know".

Well, maybe you can turn the conversation around here.
> Ask him if he could teach you a few of his skills in combat
> Ask him about his apparent 'blindness'
> Ask him about his plans for the future
> Ask him something else
> Say nothing, enjoy the quiet
>>
>>1822224
> Ask him about his apparent 'blindness'
for a blind man he can see quite a lot.
>>
>>1822224
> Ask him if he could teach you a few of his skills in combat
"I might as well learn how to use this broadsword properly, anyhow..."

> Ask him about his apparent 'blindness'
>>
>>1822224
>> Ask him if he could teach you a few of his skills in combat
>"I might as well learn how to use this broadsword properly, anyhow..."
>> Ask him about his apparent 'blindness'
>>
>>1822237
>>1822241
>>1822262

Alright, 'blind man', show me how this sword-thing works.

Writin'
>>
>>1822280
>inb4 you hit people you don't like with the sharp part and hold to it in the not sharp part.
>>
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>>1822224

"You know," You suddenly speak up, louder than before, "For a so-called 'blind man' you're disturbingly perceptive".

Goo Hwi starts laughing at you, the heaviness of the previous minutes no longer on his face. You're starting to feel like you're on the end of a very long punch line.

"... You're not actually blind, are you?" With a deadpan expression, you can't help yourself.

"Oh, no no. I'm blind as a bat," He laughs one last time before speaking up again, "I was born blind. However, my mother was quite practiced in the arcane arts during her time. Not skilled enough to restore my sight, but she was skilled enough to bestow upon me Manasight; a gift that has been quite invaluable to me in my life. It took some time to get used to, and it took some time to develop in some of its more useful applications but I wouldn't trade it for anything".

Huh, you suppose that explained somethings, "So, you can just see Mana in people and things is that right?"

"In it's most basic form," Seeing it now, you can see his eyes flash for but a moment, "It's a bit beyond the base now. I can see the mana moving through you, yes, though I can also see what people put err... how to phrase this... 'emphasis' on. Before you ask, to my sight your hair is a bright gold and your eyes are twin sapphires. Quite the interesting combination, I'd say".

Oh.
> "Y-you... knew?"
> "What else do you see?"
> Bury your face in your hands
> Other
>>
>>1822340
>> "Y-you... knew?"
>>
>>1822340
> "Y-you... knew?"
>>
>>1822340
>> Other
Bang head against nearest rock outcropping
> "So I presume that my back problems were pretty obvious from when we first met."
>>
>>1822340
>> "Y-you... knew?"
>>> Other
>Bang head against nearest rock outcropping
>> "So I presume that my back problems were pretty obvious from when we first met."
>>
>>1822350
>>1822352
>>1822360
>>1822366

It is on terminal embarrassment that I must unfortunately stop us for tonight. Tomorrow the gig being up will continue. I'll be around to answer any questions, as always, but goodnight to you all.
>>
>>1822371
Good nigth Story-T. I need to sleep now see you tomorrow.
>>
>>1822340
Y-you... knew?
What else do you see?
>>
>>1822340

"Y-you... knew?"

"Yes"

"...the entire time?"

"Yes"

Oh gods. There's a deep and burning desire welling up within you to find the nearest rock outcropping and smash your face against it. Unfortunately, you were currently in the middle of a plain.

Terminal embarrassment is slowly being trumped by curiosity now.

"...What else do you see? What else is 'pronounced'?"

"Well, I can see the scars and burns that run along your hands and arms, respectively. Aside from that..." He trails off here, his voice lowering and becoming less jovial, "That wound against your back is like a single, black brush of ink against canvas".

"So," You voice is equally quiet, "I presume that my back problems were pretty obvious from when we first met?"

"Somewhat. At first, it wasn't extremely prevalent. Faded. I thought that it was a old wound; important, but in the past. When we met again during the attack on Bo Shan, however, it was 'flared' I suppose is a way of putting it. It was a dark, ugly thing that looked as if it was eating away at your person. Since it returned to being dormant after you recovered from being dead on your feet, I thought little of it. However, during our escape from the train just this previous night, it was back to tearing into your visage. You had no other wounds, and had not been fighting long enough to be exhausted. This is why I am concerned. I will not press you on how you received such a grievous wound, but if you would like I could take a look at it in the future".

"Thanks, Goo Hwi," He's given you quite a bit to think on now, "I might actually take you up on that. Actually, if you don't mind, can you train me in how to use this Broadsword? I know the basics: pointy end away from me and all that. But I'd like to improve".

He seems to consider it for a bit, before smiling at you. Raising his voice, you can hear the humor in his voice, "A pupil? Haha, how long has it been since I was asked last? Ahh, yes, I can teach you a bit of what I know. We'll do it tonight".

You nod in thanks.

Sierra turns back to look at what he's laughing at. The two of you look at each other and smile.

Anything else?
> Ask him something else
> Ask Sierra something
> Say nothing, enjoy the walk
> Other
>>
>>1823537
>> Say nothing, enjoy the walk
>>
>>1823537
enjoy the walk.
>>
>>1823551
>>1823554

Enjoy the view.

Writin'
>>
>>1822340
I don't get it, what's the implication here?
>>
File: WhatalovelydayforaWalk.png (1.81 MB, 1000x1125)
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>>1823537

The conversation ends there. For the rest of the day, the three of you enjoy the simple pleasure of a lovely day of travel.

Towards the end of the day, you make it to the end of the plains and to the Highlands. You're briefly reminded of the fact that this was where the merc team was going to make their move this passed morning. Who knows if they actually went through with it?

Either way, you're making good time. You've got to stop to set up camp, picking an alcove that is out of the wind enough to get a fire going.

Setting down your gear, you finally get a chance to get out of your armor, noting the slight damage to the chestpiece where you were shot, but other than that it's still in Good condition.

It's nice to get all the weight off your back.

Now what?
> Check Inventory
> Talk to Sierra about something
> Talk to Goo Hwi about your training
> Talk to Goo Hwi about something else
> Other
>>
>>1823585

Way back in part 1, John was dealing with being the hot new Gaijin in town. So, he asked Sierra if Goo Hwi was going to be an asshole to him. Being told he was blind, John made no attempt to tell him that he is in fact a Westerner. The implication is that Goo Hwi knew from the beginning that John is a Westerner.
>>
>>1823587

>other: fix the chest plate. then offer to take a look at the old mans gauntlets, I'm curious about their anti blight powers.

and I found the anthem for the golem army/EXO army.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqo9NXkRaPk
>>
>>1823592
So he's embarrassed for being a tiny bit of a dick, I found it odd he'd blush like an anime girl over his back pains.

>>1823587
>Check for damage and polish the suit to a mirror sheen. Children and their toys

>>1823596
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEJP3y7QLPA
>>
>>1823596
>>1823605

Time to repair our armor.

> Roll me three 1d100+30's please
>>
Rolled 68 + 30 (1d100 + 30)

>>1823610
>>
Rolled 99 + 30 (1d100 + 30)

>>1823610
by the golems let us fix this armour that we may construct the true knights arsenal
>>
Rolled 58 + 30 (1d100 + 30)

>>1823610
>>
>>1823615

I see Part 7 is continuing the grand Artificer Quest tradition of being /qst/'s personal dice god heat sink.

That's a 129, Outstanding Success.

Writin'
>>
>>1823620
story teller, you underestimate our faith in the dice gods, and you under estimate their rewarding of the faithful. even the nat ones serve the potential of greater understanding. are not all /qst/ers merely acolytes of the dice gods? the bumbling children attempting to be master knights of their will?

tell me to tone down the autism and I will, but I enjoy the religion of the dice gods
>>
>>1823622

Add another faction to the collection, at this point. I personally find it amusing.

>>1823587

First things first, you should really get your armor back into new condition.

So, pulling out your Tool Set, Multitool, a bit of Scrap Metal, and the Chestpiece itself, you make yourself a little working space and get to it.

The three rounds caught you dead center, but thanks to your workmanship they did not penetrate beyond the outer armor layer. Pulling it apart, you manage to remove the bullets, placing the flattened rounds down on the rock. Removing the damaged layer, you remove the weakened metal, interpose a thin layer of scrap, and smooth it all out with liberal application of the Welding function of your Multitool.

It takes some time, as your making sure to conserve as much scrap as you can in the process.

At the end of it, your armor is fixed, the pile of scrap is slightly smaller but not as much as it could be.

> You have used 1 lb of Scrap Metal!

Looking back up, Goo Hwi is watching your work curiously, while Sierra looks on as she munches on a ration.

Now what?
> Check Inventory
> Talk to Sierra about something
> Talk to Goo Hwi about your training
> Talk to Goo Hwi about something else
> Other
>>
>>1823641
it is not a faction, it is the religion of /QST/ but anywho

>check inventory then talk about training.

"now if I can get as good at using my blade as my tools, I doubt even the bli- mercs could stop us" *devilish smile*
>>
>>1823641
>Goo Hwi, you said you enjoyed watching artificers at work, but what do you see?

>Idle hands are the devil's plaything- play with the multitool while talking and make a little bracelet, or a choker or a ring, just something to keep our hands busy
>>
>>1823641

Going to be back in class in a few minutes so here's an inventory check before I'm gone.

INVENTORY:
> 1 Heavy Cloak with Hood
> 1 Concealed Dagger
> 1 Change of Clothing
> 15 Silver Coins
> 39 Copper Coins
> 7 Ration Packs
> 10 bandages
> 2 canteens
> 1 Good Quality Broadsword
> 1 Artifact Tool Box
> 1 Ancient Grade Welder/Cutting Torch Multitool
> 6 Custom-made Datalinks
> Magitech Gauntlet, Integrated Datalink and Armor
> 1 Good Quality Modified Clockwork Automatic Rifle (Improved Action, Folding Stock)
> 8 Clockwork Rifle Magazines (7 Rounds per Mag)
> 1 Simple Quality Modified Pistol (Improved Sight)
> 6 Pistol Magazines (10 Rounds per Mag)
> (1) Good Quality Modified Medium Armor Full-Set
> (1) Good Quality Gauntlet Integrated Knuckle Taser (Left hand)
> 7 lbs of Scrap Metal
>>
>>1823650
have fun story teller, we shall wait for your return.

DEUS GOLEMS. or however it goes
>>
>>1823647
Most likely he sees our mana flow when we work on a device. To him it must look like a Tai chi exercise. Someone manipulating mana but not being a mana and doing so in a fluid and controlled well. At least that's what i think it must look when a real artificier works.
>>
>>1823641
>Talk to Goo Hwi about your training

Also, for future reference (and under optimistic assumption of making it to that point in one piece), what projects does John intend to realize in his workshop/forge?

Obviously there's
>EXO suit
which may well become essential if our blighted back ends up crippling us
>Golem forge
that's still a lot of classified info and licensing issues away

What is legal status of smaller autonomous machines? And what about remotely controlled machines, like spy drones?

I submit that we should strive to build an ornithopter or another aerodyne and have it ready as an escape route.
>>
>>1823657
Exo suit is just a few steps away we just need another arm. For now it looks more like a Fallout armor.
>>
>>1823764
when did we get this?
>>
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>>1823761
>ornithopter

Are we going to become a Master of metal?
>>
>>1823764
it's not, all we have is magitech gauntlet (more a not!pipboy than a power fist) and some modded armor
>>
>>1823774
In the train we knocked out two guards and worked on it. We had enough time to work in the chest, legs, boots and the helmet. I believe the only reinforced part are the chest since it's the bigger part of a human body so we decided to rei force it. We also grabbed a pistol with a adjusted sigth and upgraded the rifle. We look more like a soldier or a merc rigth now.
>>
>>1823760
Yeah, but it's John asking
>>
>>1823789
Dude do you know what an exo suit is? It's not a suit of train security armor. All we have is a magitech gauntlet and extra thicc riot gear or something.
>>
Also we should check the gauntlet's datalink. Can we get tracked by that link when it's not active, or when it's connected? What is its range for connection?

Could mercs have left message for us on it? Would accessing mercs' systems again reveal our location?

Better not activate the link if it could be used to trace us for now, I think.
>>
>>1823789
That's not an exoskeleton. It's a magitech gauntlet and a set of regular, if high quality, armour
>>
>>1823789
no we didn't, we got medium armour. shitty mall cop armour we made good. if you don't belive me then look here>>1823650
>>
>>1823781
I know what i meant to say is. To develop a REAL EXO-suit we will work on the armor a little bit more. Since we will need to improve in our knowledge on how to build the outer layer for the suit. Now we need to find a powersource. Because i doubt that just a normal human mana will be enough to feed the suit.
>>
>>1823781
>>1823791
>>1823805
>>1823806
You guys are right i just worded in a really bad way.
>>
>>1823818
its fine, but if we cant get any REAL exos to practice on, we might just need to find shit like pumps and other things with hydraulics. this will let us make the joints if we can minimise the knowledge
>>
Once we get a workshop we could probably build a power armor frame like in Fallout 4. That might be the best way to start.
>>
>>1823764
>>1823774
>>1823781
>>1823805

For visualization purposes, think of the medium armor you have as 40k IG or XCOM1 Carapace Armor. Segmented armor pieces over fatigues, or in John's case normal clothing.
>>
>>1823641

"Goo Hwi, what exactly does it look like when I'm working? You said you've always found Artificer's at work to be fascinating, so now I'm curious".

He gives you question some serious thought, "It's a bit difficult to explain exactly; the simplest explanation would be that you're interacting with the mana in the object you're working with. But that's something that anyone does while interacting with anything, doesn't quite do what you do justice".

Scratching his chin, he takes a moment to collect his thoughts. While you wait, you put your gear away aside from the Multitool, which you start fiddling with idly, "Maybe two decades ago, I worked with an Artificer and a Scholar. The three of us worked out that the Artificer would subconsciously ingrain geometric shapes, equations, sequences, and various laws of arithmetic and engineering depending on what he was working on. There were only three to four of these phenomena on each piece he constructed, but they still there despite his lack of skill in Mana Sculpting. Every Artificer I've met, yourself included, creates this exact same subconscious phenomena. Given that I've found various artifacts with extremely sophisticated inscriptions done in mana, I suspect that it was perhaps once a well practiced technique that we have simply lost over time. What you just did is potentially the root of that lost practice".

Huh... That was actually quite interesting.

"What about this?" You hold up your Multitool, "What's this look like?"

Goo Hwi doesn't respond, simply staring intently at the artifact for a moment before blinking, "I... don't believe I could decipher this".

"Why's that?"

"Because that tool has a single inscription on it. I have no idea what it is or what it does, but that single equation governs the entirety of its function".

"Well..." You knew this was a sophisticated artifact, but it sounds like it's leagues above your skill level.

"Moving on from that," Putting the Multitool away, you push yourself to you feet and grab your broadsword, "Would you mind training me now?"

He just smiles at you, grabbing his gauntlets, then motions you over to a wider area.

Sierra, still slowly eating her meal, sits down nearby to watch.

"So, how exactly are we going to do this?"

"Hmm... How indeed," He taps his chin, "Well, I suppose I should figure out where to start out with you..."

"And how is that goi-"

> Roll me three 1d100+2's please
>>
Rolled 50 + 2 (1d100 + 2)

>>1823961
nice old man, lets not disappoint
>>
Rolled 59 + 2 (1d100 + 2)

>>1823961
>>
Rolled 70 + 2 (1d100 + 2)

>>1823961
>>
Rolled 31 + 2 (1d100 + 2)

>>1823961
all aboard the pain train
>>
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Rolled 60, 67, 66 + 15 = 208 (3d100 + 15)

>>1823961

...
>>
>>1823980

That's a 72 for you and 82 for Goo Hwi. Let's see how you do.
>>
>>1823986
>>1823986
Ouch. Well not like i expected for us topping a master but dam Goo Hiw.
>>
>>1823992
>>1823986
can we pull the, "we are a nerd" argument or the "hes a kungfu master who has spent decades training" argument. we did good, but shit hes a master
>>
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>>1823993
I enjoy how his highest roll was lower than this guys'>>1823980 but ended up ahead thanks to modifier
>>
>>1823993
>>1823997

Funnily enough, he's got an 'Expert' rating for his Unarmed Strike skill. Guess his skills have deteriorated a bit with age

>>1823961

"Ow".

It's been maybe an hour since your 'training session' with Goo Hwi. You're not in as much pain as you thought you'd be, as he spent as much time actually teaching you proper form and correcting the minor issues with your attacks as he spent nearly smashing you into paste with his bare hands.

Through sheer instinct and reflexes, you managed to get through the entire experience without losing any limbs. You had to call it quits after he managed to get a open palm strike right on top of the bruises you got from getting shot in the chest.

After making sure that you hadn't broken anything, Goo Hwi and Sierra split off to their own areas to relax in the rather nice night air.

Now what?
> Tell them you'll take the last watch and turn in for the night now
> Talk to Sierra about something
> Talk to Goo Hwi about something
> Other
>>
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>>1824008
Can't think of any topics that needed immediate address, and after the tinkering and workout we should probably get to recuperating, there's still travel ahead of us.
>>
>>1824024

I think I'm going to steal that photo if you guys ever end up visiting a Western Haven City.
>>
>>1824008
let's get a move on

sleep and get to walking
>>
>>1824008
take last watch, and tinker with our pistol. maybe even get some practice in or make a silencer. something before we sleep
>>
>>1824008
>Other: Tell then we will take the second watch.

Not like we sleep much thanks to the nigth terrors.
>>
>>1824024
>>1824030
>>1824038

Time for bed. We'll take an early morning.

Writin'

>>1824039

The night terrors only happen under certain conditions. You're fine at the moment.
>>
>>1824008

"I'll take last watch," You yell over to them. Getting two affirmatives in response, you find a comfortable enough place to lie down.

It's really only hitting you now just how exhausted you are. From the 3 am wake up, to the entire fight against the train's security team, to the day-long hike, and then the training session with Goo Hwi, you're out cold right as you reach horizontal.

...

...

...

Some time later, you're awoken by the visage of Goo Hwi.

"Everything's been quiet".

Nodding to him, you get up and stretch as he walks over to sleep.

You feel... good. Despite the sleeping accommodations, you're feeling better than you have in sometime. If only slightly sore.

> Congratulations! Your sharp eye for details has further refined! Your Perception Skill is now at the Seasoned Rank!
> Congratulations! Your instinct for danger has further refined! Your Danger Sense Skill is now at the Seasoned Rank!
> Congratulations! Your ability for repair and upkeep has further refined! Your Maintenance Skill is now at Seasoned Rank!
> Congratulations! Your ability to manipulate existing items has further refined! Your Modify Skill is now at Seasoned Rank!
> Congratulations! Your ability to discern and absorb the knowledge and techniques that go into manufacturing has further refined! Your Dismantle Skill is now at Seasoned Rank!
> Congratulations! Your swordsmanship has further refined! Your Sword Fighting Skill is now at Adept Rank!
> Congratulations! Your ability to attack with any piece of your body has further refined! Your Unarmed Fighting Skill is now at Adept Rank!

You can feel a new clarity to your thoughts, a new smoothness to your movements.

What now?
> Find a good place to set up on watch
> Work on something from your inventory (what?)
> Other
>>
>>1824070
walk
>>
>>1824070
find a place to set up watch.

all those upgrades......
>flash back to Skyrim speed levelling
at what point do we reach level 2?
>>
>>1824076

No player level, only skill levels.

As for why the skill levels all increased like that: You have to complete a long rest to gain the effects of skill increases. I'm doing it like this so you guys don't just find out how to magically negate the need for sleep and then just skill grind 24/7. Poor John is just a human.
>>
>>1824082
I was making a reference, but you know we will hop him up on caffeine work 9 weeks straight then go into a "long" rest right?
>>
>>1824070
>Find a good place to set up on watch
>>
>>1824090

> Assigns a Fatigue Level to be "Automatically Falls Unconscious"

Well, you can try to do that.
>>
>>1824076
>>1824099

Time for our watch.

> Roll me three 1d100+15's please
>>
Rolled 13 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

>>1824111
>>
Rolled 34 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

>>1824111
may our faith keep us vigilant, may our minds be sharp, may our abilitys stay until we can not anymore. dice gods bless us
>>
Rolled 76 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

>>1824111
>>
>>1824123

That's a 91. Let's see what you see.

Writin'
>>
>>1824125
Tell us Story-T what does our artificier eyes see?
>>
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>>1824070

You might as well do what you're supposed to do here. Grabbing some of your gear, your Rifle in particular, you walk towards the outer area. On your way out, you note Sierra fast asleep with your Heavy Cloak covering most of her.

It takes a bit of climbing, but you manage to work your way up to a ridge not too far away that affords you an excellent view of the surrounding Highlands. You've also got sight of the nearby train tracks.

The darkness of the early morning surrounds you, despite this you keep a close watch on where your two companions are. You don't see anything.

Sunrise breaks, lighting up the night sky with a spectrum of colors. You enjoy the view for a bit, before turning back.

Maybe ten minutes later, you catch movement coming down the railway. In the next minute, you can see a 4-man team on a handcart traveling back the way you came.

Huh, seems like Naofumi really does know his stuff. That's good. It also means that he most likely got to Shirahoro safely.

The end of your watch comes, and you return to the overhang.

Sierra and Goo Hwi are up and packing their things. You follow suit, and get ready for the last leg of your journey.

As you're walking...
> Talk to Sierra about something
> Talk to Goo Hwi about something
> Enjoy the walk (fast travel to Shirahoro)
> Other
>>
>>1824147
fast travel but inform them about the movement on the lines
>>
>>1824147
> Other

Flip through the comm channels and see if you can hear how the whole situation on the train went down from either the train mercs or Rider's team. DON'T FORGET TO DISABLE YOUR MICROPHONE.
>>
>>1824147
>Enjoy the walk
while making smalltalk with both of them.
>>
>>1824147
> Enjoy the walk (fast travel to Shirahoro)
>>
>>1824163
we don't have a mic I think, although our access might not go unnoticed

I wonder if we can be tracked by those datalinks? Are they even in range?

Also make a mental note to get some sort of communicators for ourselves and Sierra and Goo Hwi when/if we get the chance
>>
>>1824163
>>1824169
>>1824147

As you walk, you absentmindedly open up your Gauntlet and access the Datalink you jury-rigged into it.

Tapping your way onto where you had access the merc's comm line and part of Rider's central computer, you find that you no longer have connection to either of those things. Seems like Rider either cut the connection to your Datalink, or more likely just shut down all communications with any of them since you've got all 6 of them in your bag.

Grabbing the guard earpiece you snatched off of one of the guys you assaulted, you try that as well. There's nothing but static; guess you're out of range. Making sure to turn it off before anything else, you put it back away and continue with your hike.
>>
>>1824151
>>1824165
>>1824166

Get us right into the action it is.

Writin'
>>
>>1824186

The three of you continue to make good time to Shirahoro. Along the way, you take a moment to tell Sierra and Goo Hwi about the recovery team going for the Caboose. Maybe you'll get a chance to meet up with Naofumi again.

Time passes rather quickly, and after a short break for food and water, the three of you manage to make it to Shirahoro.

Well, the outermost defensive lines of Shirahoro, that is.

The Eastern city isn't quite a Safe Haven, but maybe in a few decades and with a few really good Ruin finds it might get there. Still, the place is extremely well defended.

Coming down from the Highlands, you can see where teams of workers burned down the surrounding forests to clear a certifiable killzone outside of the first defensive line. It takes you almost 15 minutes of walking before you get to the first gate, where a line of travelers like yourselves are waiting to be allowed past. Looking up, you can see the expert masonry that went into creating this solid, stone wall. It's easily two stories high, a looming grey barrier that was clearly built for protection not aesthetics. Along it are various towers and entrenchments that soldiers patrol, every once in a while you note that there are pillboxes for heavy, long-range weapons are to be mounted.

The entire line is a neat, orderly affair with several soldiers walking up and down it just giving everyone a look over. One of which stops to look at you, but just nods at you when you give him a questioning look and he continues on his way.

Maybe an hour after you got on the line, it's finally your turn.

"Papers and ID please," The guard, who looks and sounds like he never wants to work this position again in his life motions the three of you forwards.

Being a smart and frequent wanderer, you never kept your ID or papers in your bag. Reaching into a hidden pocket in your leg, you pull out...
> Perfectly normal ID and papers, just your average guy here
> The ID and papers you used back when you worked for the Gambinos, they claim that you're a technical adviser for their trading guild
> No ID or papers, you lost those back in Westmire
> Other
>>
>>1824244
>the ID we had for our former contractor/patron after all it might even alert them to our presence and make finding them easier
>>
>>1824244
>Perfectly normal ID and papers, just your average guy here
We were kind of semi-respectable professionals after Westmire, were we not?
>>
>>1824256

You were pretty well respected among the Genovese.

>>1824244

Also, I'm an idiot. It's not papers from the Gambinos, it's papers from the Genovese when you worked with them back in Airgrid.
>>
>>1824262
Pull out the normal ID and papers, but consider pulling out the Genovese ones.
>>
>>1824262
I'd rather not use any documents specifically from the mafia, considering how we formally quit their employment.
>>
>>1824271

Also, I really didn't make this very apparent, but this is less of a choice of what you have and more choosing what you have had all along. You only have one of these options.
>>
>>1824271
>>1824256

Average Joe papers it is.

Writin'
>>
>>1824244

You pull out the paperwork that you got when you first arrived in Airgrid. At the time, they just gave you basic ID and papers as they had to deal with with the rest of the survivors as well.

Regardless, you had them over to the guard after he looks over Sierra's and asks her a few questions.

"So," He just skims over the papers, "Airgrid, huh? You're pretty far from home, Gaijin. Any particular reason you traveled across the entire Badlands to get here?"

> Travel
> Work
> Other
>>
>One of which stops to look at you, but just nods at you when you give him a questioning look

Someone just got jelly of our gear.
>>
>>1824307
> Other
"Ask ya momma"
>>
>>1824307

>Work and Travel adventure package

It's not exactly what the pamphlet promised, but there is no lack of excitement

We came by foot because we heard horrible things about the transit company.
>>
>>1824307
>Travel and work

This is true we are a wonderer seeing were we can use or find a place to do our job as a artificier. Maybe twll him of what happen in the town we were before?
>>
>>1824318
Don't be a smart ass with the person that can accept or deny your entrance to the town.

>>1824321
Can't we just say we are comming from the town that was recently taken by the bligth?
>>
>>1824307
>> Travel
>> Work
>> Other
"More so the Blight."
>>
>>1824307
"Not much of a life left in the town after the Blight hit."
>>
>>1824307

"Travel and Work. I'm a bit of a wanderer, and now I'm here to see what money I can make here".

"Oh really," He looks up at you and raises an eyebrow, "And just what trade are you in?"

"I'm an Artificer".

There's a hint of disbelief still in his gaze, so you simply raise up your Magitech Gauntlet. He looks it over, noting your clear modifications to it.

"Well," After a rather long silence, he speaks up, "If you really are an Artificer looking for work, and you're skilled enough, you might want to head over to the Fire District. Find the Main Bastion there and tell the men working the front that you're there to take the Trade Competency Test. You take that, you pass in whichever field you apply for and you'll receive the relevant Proof of Merit. With that, you'll be able to take contracting work for the Shirahoro Daimyo. Many other Guilds in the city look upon these Proofs in rather high regard, as well".

The guard hands you back your papers and nods you through. You walk over to where Sierra now is and wait with her for Goo Hwi to be cleared through. Going through the gate, you noted that the Outer wall was easily 15 feet thick. Rather impressive.

He's passed through without issue, only a few calm words between the two, and you all make your way.

Walking along, you pass by two additional defensive lines, both as imposing as the Outer, though not as heavily manned.

Twenty minutes later, you arrive at the beginnings of the Earth District. It's nice enough, though it's quite clear that this is the lower-class district. Right nearby is the Fire District, where you can see multitudes of soldiers entering or leaving, most of which seem to be walking to or from homes in the Earth District. On the other side of the city is the Wind District, which looms about you. You get the feeling that you'll find any government-types and any upper-class individuals there. Lastly is the Water District, which is almost entirely compromised by Shirahoro's port and the steam-powered industrial centers that are so vital to this city's economy. Maybe you could find the local Genovese there.

Goo Hwi mentions a halfway decent inn here in the Earth District before he walks off, stating that it'd be a good place to meet up with again tonight. Looks like he's going further into the bowels of this District.

Sierra heads off to the Water District, probably going to see if she can't find her brother.

What now?
> Catch up with Goo Hwi
> Catch up with Sierra
> Head over to the Fire District to take a Competency Test
> Try to find your 'friends'
> Other
>>
>>1824373
> Head over to the Fire District to take a Competency Test

Let's try to get set up before we diddle the mafia. Don't want to owe them any favors because they rigged the tests or something without our knowledge that they'll dangle before us later.
>>
>>1824373
>> Head over to the Fire District to take a Competency Test

Might as well get it out of the way.
>>
>>1824373
Was tempted to find "friends" and offload the intel as it's growing cold but >>1824384 makes a good point.

Let's go
>Head over to the Fire District to take a Competency Test
>>
>>1824384
>>1824386
>>1824398

Let's get the shinny.

Writin'
>>
>>1824373

That Competency Test sounds like something you should get out of the way immediately.

You'll meet up with your companions tonight, you guess. For now, it's off to the Fire District for you.

As you walk, you take a look around. The Earth District isn't all dirt and heartbreak, several shops, restaurants, and even a few bars are around; they're teaming with people, both civilians and soldiers.

Making your way into the Fire District is an interesting experience, as it's much more built up. Cobblestone now paves the streets, you spot several forges nearby with men inside hard at work.

Now, to find the Main Bastion...
> Roll me three 1d100+10's

> I'll be having one more class, though it should be a short one. I'll be stopping here, writing should resume in like 2 hrs at most I think.
>>
Rolled 30 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1824448
For Science!
>>
Rolled 96 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1824448
>>
Rolled 20 + 30 (1d100 + 30)

>>1824448
>>
>>1824474
Glad to see that the dice gods still love John.
>>
Yeah this is going to take a while. I'll update when I'm free.
>>
>>1824662
No worries Story-T. We will be here
>>
We've been pretty self centered with our crafting. I don't imagine Ol' Goo will want us meddling with his gauntlets, but maybe we could come up with some suitable gifts for him and Sierra since they've been such good pals.
>>
>>1824753
Assuming of course we pass the test and are capable of doing that.
>>
>>1824474

106, Outstanding Success.

Writin'
>>
>>1824474
Thanks for saving the day, namefag anon.
>>
>>1824448

Looking around, you notice that you're beginning to enter a part of the Fire District that's more militant. The number of soldiers around is about the same, but you can spy what are obviously barracks by the soldiers sitting around playing cards, drinking, and generally trying to avoid as much work as possible.

A few of them notice you, some doing double takes at your appearance. It's a good thing you opted to bag the armor, aside from your magitech gauntlet, pistol, and rifle while going through customs. Simply walking around as yourself with your Broadsword strapped to your side is attracting enough attention.

Still, none of them try anything. Which is good, because the ones that are on-duty are absolutely armed and armored to the teeth. Most of them have the usual spear and shield set up, the ones that are seemingly the superiors are outfitted with those single-edged curved swords that some Easterners (and a few Westerners) absolutely obsessed over. Aside from different colors and insignias, each of the guards are wearing Eastern Medium Armor, with the telltale layers of strapped on flat armor over heavy leather. Supposedly, it was an absolute bitch to get a clean hit off on, but other than that you haven't heard much about it.

Eventually, you get to a building that just absolutely teams with people. A few guards are outside this massive stone-brick structure, but they appear to just be calmly scanning the crowds rather than on alert.

Now, to figure out where to take that Competency Test...
> Head on inside and try to find it yourself
> Ask the guards for directions
> Flag down a passerby for directions
> Other
>>
>>1825129
>> Ask the guards for directions
>>
>>1824753
Can we do explosives? Those always go down well and we don't have any right now. Glue grenades to fuck with clockwork weapons, EMP to deal with magitech. Explosive to deal with squishy bodies, that sort of thing.
>>
>>1825129
> Head on inside and try to find it yourself
>>
>>1825129
> Head on inside and try to find it yourself
>>
>>1825137
We can't. OP said we need to learn a skill before we start making grenades.
>>
>>1825153
>>1825143

How hard could this be?

> Roll me three 1d100+10's please
>>
Rolled 22 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1825189
>>
Rolled 46 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1825189

Bureaucracy, ho
>>
Rolled 5 + 10 (1d10 + 10)

>>1825189
>>
>>1825212
>>1825222
>>1825316
As hard as it sounds apparently
>>
>>1825189
>>
>>1825355
My bad
>>
>>1825222

56, eh not your best.

Writin'
>>
Rolled 77 (1d100)

>>1825368
Here's my roll
>>
>>1825372
It's only best of three anon.
>>
>>1825370
But is it enough?
>>
>>1825129

Walking into the Main Bastion is quite the experience. The reception area is clearly not the largest room in this building, as your practically up to your ears in people. It takes a bit for you to find the proper line, and unfortunately it is the longest.

From the sounds of several people talking around you, this 'Competency Test' is a way for the military to set standards for various fields of craft outside of the artisan guilds themselves. Surprisingly enough, you can also be tested for combat skills. Sounds like these 'Proof of Merit' badges carry some serious weight around here.

At some point in the line, you're given a piece of paper with a rather long list on it and an ink quill to write with.

Quickly jotting down the name on your ID, "John Hoelscher", into the information section you get to the actual sign up for the tests. From the looks of things, you can apply for multiple tests during a single visit. That's good, if you're lucky you won't have to wait in line again.

Your choices are... (Pick any of these):
> Magitech
> General Engineering
> Smithing
> Electric and Wiring
> Swordsmanship
> Unarmed Combat
> Other
>>
>>1825421
Sorry I'm having difficulty posting due to connection problems so it actually took a while to post that
>>
>>1825477
>> Magitech
>> General Engineering
>> Smithing
>> Electric and Wiring
>>
>>1825477
> Magitech
> General Engineering
> Smithing
>>
>>1825477
>magitech
>General Engineering
>smithing
>Electric and Wiring
>>
>>1825489
>>1825510

Technical skills are our forte after all.

Writin'
>>
>>1825477
>Magitech
>General Engineering
>Smithing
>Electric and Wiring
>>
>>1825477

You're really not sure how people do this normal, but your technical skills are quite literally the only reason that you're alive right now.

So, going down the list, you mark yourself off for the Magitech, General Engineering, Smithing, and Electric and Wiring examinations.

Continuing on your way, you exchange out your Broadsword for your Toolbox as you wait for your turn, making sure that all your equipment is in order.

It suddenly comes to you that you're now in the middle of a crowded city with something that could possibly incredibly valuable. Your Multitool has served you faithfully thus far, but you're worried that using it here might just draw an unhealthy amount of attention to yourself.

So...
> Use the Multitool
> Don't use the Multitool
>>
>>1825546
> Don't use the Multitool
>>
>>1825546
>> Don't use the Multitool
>>
>>1825546
>> Don't use the Multitool
>>
>>1825556
>>1825577
>>1825585

Common Sense?? In a Fantasy Setting?? No. Fucking. Way.

Writin'
>>
>>1825591
It's happening!!
>>
>>1825546

As tempting as it would be, you can't afford to reveal that you're walking around with an Ancient-Grade Magitech Marvel. So, unfortunately, you'll have to suck it up and deal with whatever you're going to be doing without it.

Finally arriving at the front of the line, you hand your papers and ID over as the man behind the counter looks things over.

"...John, correct?"

"Yep"

"You're here to take the Competency Test for..." He just trails off here, looking down at the paper in slight disbelief, "Magitech, General Engineering, Smithing, and Electric and Wiring...?"

He looks at you, slightly incredulous at your intentions, "Yes... That is correct. Err, can I not do that or something..."

You can't help but doubt yourself for a moment; you were never really good with the whole paperwork and bureaucracy deal.

"No... No, you can. Almost no one does, but..." He just looks around for a moment, before flagging down a seemingly random worker, "Here, Brian, take this young man over to the waiting room for me. I... I need to go get things set up. We should be with your shortly".

Just nodding at the guy, you follow this 'Brian' out of the reception area into a more quiet hallway. Walking down, you enter a small room empty of all furniture aside from a floor-low table and a few bloody paper walls.

"Normally, we send folk straight to the Testing Room. But, we'll need to figure out how we're going to handle your... tests..." Even he sounds like he can't believe the words coming out of his mouth.

"Got it," You just wave him off, "I'll be right here".

He looks relieved that you're not flat out pissed off, bowing to you before running off to do whatever it is he does here.

Sitting down on the floor next to the low table, opening up your pack and squirreling away your Multitool under your spare change of clothes. For a moment, you're suddenly concerned with the fact that you're missing a change of clothes and your cloak.

Then, you remember that Sierra hasn't actually given you your stuff back after she 'borrowed' them. Well, she borrowed a change of clothes; you did let her use your cloak...

Oh well.

[1/2]
>>
>>1825665

[2/2]

About twenty minutes later, another man enters the room and asks you to follow him to your first test.

Another short walk later, and you enter what looks to be large, open room with a few crates of supplies scattered about an a rather bare bones workbench off in one corner.

Sitting atop one of the crates is... something. You can tell that it is Magitech in nature, but you really can't see much more of that.

"To pass this test," The man suddenly speaks up, "You must restore this piece of technology to working order with only the supplies in this room".

That... was it?

"Do I have a time limit?"

"The Main Bastion closes at sundown"

Well then. You crack your knuckles, grab the tech, carry it and your gear over to the workbench, and get ready to do this.

What first?
> Observe the piece to try to figure out its function
> Get right to attempting to repair it
> Other
>>
>>1825668
> Observe the piece to try to figure out its function
>>
>>1825668
>> Observe the piece to try to figure out its function
>>
>>1825676
>>1825682

Watch and learn, random officer worker.

> Roll me three 1d100+15's
>>
Rolled 29 (1d100)

>>1825690
Derrrrrrrp
>>
File: I'm a genius.jpg (146 KB, 640x720)
146 KB
146 KB JPG
>>1825694
Someone help
>>
>>1825696

John can do literally anything.

Except prove his own competence.

Ooops.
>>
Rolled 24 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

>>1825690
>>
>>1825702
Shall I roll the other two times since the thread is slow?
>>
>>1825705
Might as well roll the last one. Shame I got worse then your first.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d100)

>>1825690
C'monnnnnnnn
>>
File: Wake me up.png (623 KB, 1024x576)
623 KB
623 KB PNG
>>1825716
>>
File: All is lost.gif (456 KB, 480x361)
456 KB
456 KB GIF
>>1825716
>>
>>1825694

Well, that's a 44. This'll be interesting.

Tomorrow morning when I continue. I'll be around for questions, but I gotta hit the hay soon.

Goodnight Anons.
>>
Rolled 38 (1d100)

>>1825668
do i need to link the vote?
>>
>>1825716
I'm new, what does this mean?
>>1825718
>>1825723
>>
Rolled 21 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

...This doesn't make any sense. How could we fail something we're supposed to be an expert at?

Rolling just for what if.
>>
>>1825733

It means that, for once, we didn't quite have the Devil's Luck when it comes to rolls.

Anyways, welcome Anon. If you're just joining us for the first time, you can find the previous four threads archived in the link in the first post.
>>
File: Yay.jpg (90 KB, 960x720)
90 KB
90 KB JPG
>>1825733
It means we dun goofed.
>>
>>1825738

High skill levels do give you bonuses outside of just stay increases such as being able to avoid rolls in certain situations.

Perhaps John will, despite the poor rolling, still be able to understand the basic function of this device along with baseline repairs. However, he will not know what the device is actually a part of, won't be receiving the nice bonus to the repair roll he would be getting if he succeeded, and won't gain experience towards the next skill level.
>>
>>1825743
Thank you OP. I'm trying to expand to new board and this looks great.
>>
I mean, we could expend a fate point. this is what they are there for
>>
>>1825857
Can we please do this?
Captcha: cube view
>>
>>1825781
Those jokers are taking advantage of us to fix their shit and call it a "test". Oh well, serve us right for being a baka gaijin. Maybe they'll end up offering us a job if we don't fuck up the actual repairs?

>>1825857
don't panic, and it was not a critfail
>>
>>1825781
> expend fate point

We have 4
>>
>>1826180
U mean 3
>>
>>1825857
>>1825981

FP is only for negating crit fails.
>>
>>1826323
could have sworn otherwise, but so be it
>>
>>1826325

From the Build a Quest thread:
"
> Best of three d100s for basic rolling
> Aptitude and skill relevance will either add a bonus or penalty to the roll
> Rolls must meet or exceed the DC to be considered a success
> Natural 1 rolls are crit failures and overwrite the other two rolls.
> Natural 100 rolls are crit successes that will provide some additional positive outcome to the given situation if relevant.
>Natural 100 rolls can be banked, turning them into normally successes, allowing the players to negate a natural 1 roll further down the line. You can bank three of these.
> DC's will be adjusted to fit the situation. If the players have a viable/creative plan, specifically exploit a weakness, perform well on optional prerequisite rolls, etc. the DC will be lowered.
"
>>
>>1825668

Poking around, you really can't make heads or tails of this piece. There's redundant wiring everywhere, what looked to be two additional mana conduits just taped onto one side, and what are clearly signs of damage all over the place. Perhaps they did this on purpose.

Best you can tell, the entire piece short-circuited and fried. Thankfully, the really important bits are intact.

Well, let's see what you can do to fix this thing.

Grabbing your tool set, you begin.

> Roll me three 1d100+12's please
>>
Rolled 2 + 12 (1d100 + 12)

>>1826467
I stand corrected

>>1826472
lets get our tech on
>>
Rolled 8 + 12 (1d100 + 12)

>>1826472
>>
>>1826473
>>1826474
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

that's not my tech
>>
>>1826474
>>1826473
I think we spend all our luck gettung out of the train.
>>
The dice gods giveth

>>1826473
>>1826474

The dice gods taketh away
>>
>inb4 this isn't a piece of something but a cluster of magic tech and they want to see what we can build using such scraps cluster.
>>
Rolled 38 + 12 (1d100 + 12)

>>1826472
For Science! redux
>>
>>1826478
truly we have been deviant some how. hmph we must renew our prayers

>>1826478
do you want one of us to same fag? or wait a bit
>>
>>1826480
>50

Well average is better then nothing.
>>
>>1826480

That's a 50. Right on the DC; Barest Success.

Writin'
>>
>>1826478
So will this establishment allow us to take the test again or have we proven ourselves incapable of even using a spoon in their presence?
>>
>>1826485
<3
>>
File: 1458178941231.png (363 KB, 400x300)
363 KB
363 KB PNG
We call it a "General's effect". It comes into play when you're trying to demonstrate something that should by all rights work in presence of someone important among the audience and results in failure of the experiment and presumably a healthy dose of embarrassment.
>>
>>1826472

As you pull the device apart, your suspicion that the entire thing was specifically modified to be as screwed up as possible. The wiring is a tangled mess, some of the circuits are hooked up wrong, and it looks like someone just put electrical tape wherever the hell they felt like.

So, you take a step back, retrieve several spools of wiring, replacement circuits for the fried ones,and get to work on sorting out this abomination of technology.

It takes you a much longer time than you care to admit, as you have to slowly break the device down into it's components while trying to figure out what everything is supposed to do. Stripping away most of the 'fat' really helps, and soon you've got a relatively large pile of waste next to you. You make sure to keep it far away from your pile of actual, workable materials.

Soon enough, you're finished with the... thing. Wiping the sweat from your brow, you had the device over, which now weighs a bit more than half of the original, to the man who is apparently your elevator.

He looks a bit stunned at your work, mostly at how you've vastly simplified the thing, but he nods his head in affirmative as he turns on the mana conduit and several lights along various circuits all light up and nothing explodes.

"This test was our combined Magitech and Electric and Wiring Test; you have passed".

Well, that's good.

He motions for you to follow him out of the room. You do so, and after a short walk, you're led outside of the Main Bastion to some kind of court yard with some kind of ridiculous contraption set up.

"This is the General Engineering Test, and as such requires some explanation. This device," He motions to it, "Will be acting as a pseudo aquaduct".

"We have a single gallon bucket here," He lifts an already full bucket that's on the ground, "And on the other side is another bucket that is marked at 9/10ths of a Gallon. You must repair the aquaduct to the point where at least 9/10ths of the water put into the system makes it to the other side. You have one chance at this, begin".

At least they keep things interesting. The question is how to tackle this now.
> Try observation again, try to figure out the layout of this bloody thing.
> Get to it, just repair everything and hope that the water makes it through.
> Other
>>
>>1826500
> Try observation again, try to figure out the layout of this bloody thing.
Especially given their emphasis on "one chance"...

also
>elevator
>>
>>1826500
>1
>>
>>1826500
>Try observation again, try to figure out the layout of this bloody thing.
>>
>>1826506
>>1826510
>>1826513

Perception it is.

> Roll me three 1d100+10's please
>>
>>1826500
> Try observation again, try to figure out the layout of this bloody thing.

So a aqueduct does that mean that this city doesn't have anyone that work on this things? I guess pluming must be a no at this place.
>>
Rolled 89 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1826514
>>
Rolled 29 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1826514
>>
Rolled 52 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1826514
>>
>>1826517

And that's a 99, Outstanding Success.

I'll be having class for the next hour, be back after that.
>>
>>1826498
Every time something like this happens I'm reminded of that time in Commander Quest where Justinian is trying to convince the generals that magic is a totally cool thing and reliable weapon. They aren't buying it, so we roll dice to impress them with some sweet, sweet earth magic and we just narrowly avoid turning them into rock skewers
>>
>>1826515

It was a bit hard to explain IC, so I'll do it now. The Competency Tests and Proofs of Merit are opportunities for individuals to have their skills officially recognized outside of a guild. Shirahoro has practically modern plumbing, and several artisan and trade guilds who do the bulk of the full-time work. Proofs of Merit are used by either freelancers or self-made individuals who studied on their own.

>>1826562

That's hilarious.

>>1826500

You decide to start with a walk around this contraption. The guy said it was an aquaduct, but it was really more of a mess of wooden piping.

Starting off from the funnel that the bucket will be dumped into, you envision how the water will flow throughout the entire structure section by section. Immediately, you identify a pipe that's been pushed out of alignment just enough to dump most of its water out onto the floor. Another section would need to be re-positioned so that it doesn't flow down and then attempt to flow back up, rather you'll try to get it so it has one shallow descent.

Your walk around also found several cleverly disguised holes that had been drilled into the piping, a part that was entirely shunted off, and the very last piece wasn't even connected to the output.

Time to get into the thick of things.

> Roll me three 1d100+22's
>>
Rolled 82 + 22 (1d100 + 22)

>>1826619
>>
Rolled 51 + 22 (1d100 + 22)

>>1826619
Ez Pz
>>
File: 111111111.gif (1.33 MB, 200x200)
1.33 MB
1.33 MB GIF
>>1826623
>>
>>1826623

Better hope the next roll isn't a 1
>>
Rolled 14 + 22 (1d100 + 22)

>>1826628
We have enough fate points to be immune to humiliating failure
>>
>>1826623

That's a 104. Outstanding Success.

Writin'

>>1826632

Apparently so.
>>
>>1826619

The time you spent observing definitely paid off as you now have a clear checklist of what repairs need to be made.

To aid you, you grab you screwdriver, knife, and both rolls of duct tape.

Pipes are pushed back into the proper position, you realign an entire section so that'll flow properly, apply liberal use of duct tape to seal up the holes, use your knife to remove the shunt, and make sure that the last piece connected to the output.

In no time at all, you're done with your repairs and, after a quick once over to make sure that you've got everything in order and that you haven't missed something, You grab the full bucket and begin slowly pouring it into the input.

It takes a few seconds for the water to slowly filter through the entire system. The examiner is standing next to the output now, watching as the bucket on that end is being filled.

The water level approaches, reaches, and then exceeds the 9/10ths line.

You guess that aside from the small percentage of water that was absorbed into the wood, and a few drops that got stuck somewhere, you've managed to get almost all of the water through the system.

The examiner just pauses for a moment, before speaking up, "... You pass".

With another few marks on a paper, the man motions for you to follow him once more. As you're on your way to the last test, he flags down a runner and passes him a note. With a few whispered words, the runner takes off in another direction.

The room you enter is clearly meant to be a modified forge. There's several tools you'll need to use on a rack, the hearth of the forge itself, a pile of already refined metal ingots of various metals, an anvil to shape those ingots, and another workbench.

"The Smithing Test requires you to forge a single item using the supplies in this room. A fully-fledged Smith will judge your workmanship when you are done. You may begin".

This is going to be interesting. First, you should decide on what to make.
> A Sword
> A Rifle Barrel
> A piece of Medium Armor
> Other
>>
>>1826666
>Sword
Maybe a short sword for Sierra if we can keep it.
>>
>>1826666
Which one do we feel most confidently about? I'm guessing given our recent "training" exercise it would be the
>Medium Armor
>>
>>1826666
Is this just hammering something out? These things are cool and all but let's make a corkscrew from scratch.
>>
>>1826688
I'm down for this too. Maybe Goo Hwi might like it.
>>
>>1826688
>>1826697
>>1826681

Just for reference, Forging is totaled up as:

Build skill + Relevant Smithing skill(s) + Relevant Dismantle bonus(es) + Tool bonuses
>>
>>1826666
> A piece of Medium Armor

A set of guantlets.
>>
I'm just thinking that if this is a test of competence and aptitude, we should use the supplies to make tools and daily necessities with some extra precision work thrown into the mix. Is John up to the task of making a cheese grater?
Arms smithing is probably locked down hard by the guilds, don't step on any toes here. If we do set up a workshop I'd rather have customers coming in for repairs or spare parts and tools.
>>
>>1826732
We could make a hammer? One used for smithing.
>>
>>1826666
> A piece of Medium Armor
I like the Gauntlets suggestion
>>
>>1826738

You can certainly try
>>
>>1826746
Let's do it. Think outside of the box. Plus it will be useful when we open our forge. And make our golems.
>>
>>1826688
>>1826715
>>1826741
>>1826755
>>1826697

Currently at 3 for some gauntlets, and two for tools.

Place your votes Anons
>>
>>1826797
>Tools
Hammer
>>
>>1826797

tools, we need to get to work on this and it will help if we are allowed to keep it
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>1826810
>>1826801
>>1826741
>>1826732
>>1826697
>>1826688

Just going to roll for tie-breaker
1. Gauntlets
2. Tools
>>
>>1826666

Your options are really limited here. You don't actually have any experience when it comes to forging, so you need to think quickly.

Since the man is still in the room watching you, you walk over to where the Forging Hammer is and pick it up. The tool is heavy, but well balanced, and you give it an experimental twirl in your hands.

Still, nothing that you could actually make comes to mind. As tempting as it is to simply reach into your bag and pull out your Clockwork Rifle or one of your Gauntlets, you have a feeling that being a smartass and stating that your belongings are 'inside this room' won't earn you any points with the Smith coming in.

You make a show of rummaging through the ingots to buy a few more seconds.

And then it hits you. You have something you could make right in your hands. With the Forging Hammer as a reference, you might be able to replicate it. Or, rather, the metal head and shaft. You can't form the grip, but that's alright. The test wasn't for leather working anyways.

Grabbing some material and taking a deep breath to brace yourself, you prepare to make a spirited attempt at forging.

> Roll me three 1d100+7's

( (Build) 10 + (Missing Blacksmithing Skill) -10 + (Reference Item) + 5 + (Forge Tools) +2)
>>
Rolled 49 + 7 (1d100 + 7)

>>1826870
>>
Rolled 55 + 7 (1d100 + 7)

>>1826870
>>
Rolled 19 (1d100)

>>1826870
>inb4 we forge Mjölnir
>>
>>1826877

That's a 62, Success.

>>1826878

Not with rolls like that Anon
>>
>>1826870

It's start and stop for a few minutes as you get yourself orientated with the forge and rather unique experience of smithing for the first time. However, you eventually manage to find your rhythm as you move the metal from the fire to the anvil back to the fire.

You have to fold and hammer the ingots you're using to forge the head of the hammer multiple times; by the time you've got it into the proper shape and size you're sweating like a dog.

Grabbing a few more of the forging tools, you managed to core out the part of the head that will have the shaft running through it. Handling it extremely carefully, you treat the core and leave it out to cool while you put the finishing touches on the head. Once that's done, you grab two more ingots and start working on the handle. Flattening and pulling the metal out into the proper size and shape takes some time, but with the help of the core, you manage to make it so that it will fit into the head at the top, and that it will be unable to go further down once you slide the head into place.

A few more adjustments are required before you manage to get the two pieces to smoothly fit together. After that, you take the two conjoined parts and put them back into the fire. You wait until they're red hot, hammer down the leftover metal on the top so that it doesn't stick out, heat it to red hot once again, and then plunge the entire piece into the oil bath to quench it.

Pulling it out, you leave it out to dry and cool. Your clothes are practically soaked at this point, and both you and them are in desperate need of a bath now.

Turning around, you notice that the examiner is gone; you imagine that he's run off to get the Smith.

After another minute, your work is done.

> You have created 1 Simple Quality Forge Hammer!

You've got a fair amount of scrap leftover from the process. Seems like you've got some time before the guy's going to get here.

Maybe you could make something small in the time you have left?
> Try you hand at forging again (make what?)
> Just sit down and rest until the Smith gets here
>>
>>1826920

dont forge anything, but take a little bit of scrap that no one would miss. then wait
>>
>>1826920
>> Try you hand at forging again (make what?)

If there's already two rods of metal, maybe make some tongs? It would match well with the hammer.
>>
>>1826920

That should be a Simple Quality Forge Hammer (Missing Grip)
>>
>>1826920

this >>1826933
>>
>>1826933
>>1826937

Forge some tongs it is.

> Roll me three 1d100+7's please
>>
Rolled 28 + 7 (1d100 + 7)

>>1826944
>>
Rolled 5 + 7 (1d100 + 7)

>>1826944
BIG Money
>>
Rolled 10 + 7 (1d100 + 7)

>>1826944
please dice gods
>>
Rolled 56 + 7 (1d100 + 7)

>>1826944
Don't let me down now
>>
>>1826946

That's a 35, Failure on that one.

>>1826957

Almost there Anon.
>>
>>1826946
>>1826951
>>1826956
welp, hope we get time to forge at least one thing. Two out of three shouldn't be bad, right?
>>
Rolled 36 + 7 (1d100 + 7)

>>1826944
>>
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>>1826920

Sitting for a moment to think about it, you might just be able to forge something else. Who knows, they might not accept multiple items, but perhaps it'll help with presenting your 'skill' and get some extra practice in on the side.

You go to stand up, when you're suddenly hit with a wave of nausea. You... really must have lost a lot more strength than you thought while forging that hammer.

Ugh...

You sit back down, hoping to ride out the dizzy spell. It calms down a bit, but doesn't entirely subside.

Maybe... just waiting will be the better option. Yeah, just wait here now...

A few minutes pass before someone enters and begins talking.

"I swear, if you're another brat here to waste good metal on a failed attempt at a katana I'm going to put you in my forge!"

The man, no the dwarf enters the room in what's clearly an irritated mood. Sounds like he was in the middle of working when he got called out to come judge you.

> Pic related

Your response?
> "Got it right here" Hand him the Forging Hammer
> Just point to the Forging Hammer
> Other
>>
>>1826973
> "Got it right here" Hand him the Forging Hammer
>>
>>1826973
>here sir I hope you..... find it to your standards..... ohh gods *sickness*
>>
>>1826973
>Just point to the Forging Hammer
>>
>>1826973
> "Got it right here" Hand him the Forging Hammer
Joke with him a bit
"But like a katana, it was folded a thousand times and can smash through a golem"
>>
"Sorry boss I'm a bit woozy"
>>
>>1826973
> Just point to the Forging Hammer

talking will just give him things to yell at us for.
>>
Rolled 16, 49, 38 + 5 = 108 (3d100 + 5)

>>1826983
>>1826993

Good point, here's a quick CON check.

Let's see how John's feeling...
>>
>>1827003
would it take a regular failure or a critical one to puke on the dwarf?
>>
>>1827008

Crit fail, John's not exactly a light-weight.
>>
>>1826973
> "Got it right here" Hand him the Forging Hammer
>>
>>1827022
>>1826990
>>1826980

We ain't afraid of no dwarf.

Writin'
>>
>>1827030
I think John is the kind of guy that let's his work speak for him.
>>
>>1826973

You're still feeling out of it, but you feel good enough to stand and talk. So, you do so.

"Got it right here," Walking over to where you left it, you grab your creation and, after flipping the handle around, you hold it out for him to take, "I hope the lack of folded metal and curved edges doesn't disappoint you".

The dwarf just snorts in vague amusement, snatching the hammer out of your hand and walking over to the forge.

Rather than test it, he simply holds it to the light of the fire and quietly examines your work. Giving him some space, you do walk over to watch as he looks it over. For almost a minute, the dwarf just silently stands there, occasionally turning it around or swinging it from side to side.

Eventually, though, he speaks, "Soddy craftsmanship," Ouch, "The handle wasn't shaped properly to accommodate the grip that would be added later in the process, the shaft is slightly crooked, the balance is off, and the head should be narrower".

Well, that was brutal.

"And yet..."

You barely catch that last bit, as he just muttered under his breath.

You only just manage to get out of his way as he suddenly turns, grabs the tongs, grabs an ingot in them, and plunges it into the fire. With a smoothness and confidence that you can't help but envy, he brings out the metal and begins hammering away with your creation.

The dwarf takes maybe a fourth of the time you did to hammer the ingot flat before folding it and continuing. He then suddenly stops, looking at your hammer once again.

You imagine he's probably surprised that the thing actually works to a degree. On the other hand, you're just impressed that the dwarf managed to do that without a grip on the hammer.

Suddenly, the door opens and your examiner pokes his head in, "Godo, what's your judgement?".

The dwarf just silently looks up and the man, then to you, and then back to him. He seems to take his sweet time coming to a decision, but he eventually opens his mouth.

"He passed"

And then he's gone without another word.

You're still a bit stunned by the experience when you're brought to a quiet office to fill out more paperwork. Turns out that there was a cost to taking the tests. The cost is negated if you pass, but then you have to pay for the Proofs. It is what it is, but really you can't back out now that'd just be stupid.

> You have lost 4 Silver Coins!

You really haven't spent any money in a while, not since Bo Shan as a matter of fact, but it's still a bit painful to hand over that much change in one sitting. The feeling of those Proofs of Merit in your hands, the weight of them, causes you to feel a sense of satisfaction that you really can't describe.

> Congratulations! You have obtained the Proof of Merit for Magitech!
> Congratulations! You have obtained the Proof of Merit for General Engineering!
> Congratulations! You have obtained the Proof of Merit for Smithing!
> Congratulations! You have obtained the Proof of Merit for Electric and Wiring!

[1/2]
>>
>>1827078
>Got a merit in smithing in john's literal first time smithing

Golem crafting, here we come!
>>
>>1827078

It feels really, really good now that you think about it.

"Just so you know," The man you've been doing paperwork with for perhaps the last 45 mins speaks up, "These Proofs also act as ID when you are dealing with the Daimyo, as we have your name and Proof Number in our database now. Please do not lose these, if you do you will be charged 5 silver coins for the first replacement and 10 silver coins for each after that".

"I'll try to do that".

Thanking him for his time, you turn to leave.

"Hey!" The man who was your examiner walks up to you as you enter the hall, "John right? You're free to leave. However, if you're able to stay, the Head of the Bastion would like to speak to you".

Your response?
> "Alright, I'll stay"
> "I have to go, my apologies"

>>1827096

I already have an idea for how to get you guys along that path. However, you're going to need a bit more than smithy skill to build a golem.
>>
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>>1827078
Excellent.

We certified professional now.
>>
>>1827103
>> "Alright, I'll stay"
>>
>>1827103
> "Alright, I'll stay"

Also ask for a glass of water or two.
>>
>>1827103
>"Alright, I'll stay"

We still have time before the time we're presumably supposed to meet in the tavern Goo Hwi pointed out, right?
>>
>>1827112
>>1827113
>>1827115

Sure, I'll meet... Him... Uh...

Writin'
>>
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>>1827103

"Alright," You just nod, "I'll stay and meet him. Actually, do you happen to have some water to drink?"

He agrees and leads you back to that waiting room you were in before. You're seated for a minute before he comes back with a glass of water. You thank him as he walks out, slowly sipping on the drink.

As you wait, you eventually hear someone walk down the hall and approach the door. After a moment, it opens.

Huh, guess this'll probably be the Hea- oh shit it's the dwarf.

He just stares at you for a moment, before walking up and sitting down across from you.

There's a very pregnant, awkward silence between the two of you before he speaks.

"That was your first time working a forge, wasn't it?"

His tone is even, though not accusatory more so factual. His forwardness is extremely off-putting however.

"Uh..."

"Save your breath, boy. I've been holding a hammer before your father way born. So just shut up and give your hand"

He holds an arm out expectantly. In any other situation, you'd imagine that he was going to shake your hand.

Now what?
> Hold you hand out
> Shake his hand
> Refuse to give him your hand
>>
>>1827160
> Hold you hand out
"I'd like it back when you're done with it"
>>
>>1827160
> Hold you hand out
Probably gonna check them
>>
>>1827160
>> Hold you hand out
>>
>>1827160
>Hold you hand out
>>
>>1827160
> Shake his hand

Show him our callous.
>>
>>1827160
> Shake his hand

But just awkwardly hold it.
>>
>>1827160
> Hold you hand out
>>
>>1827166
>>1827167
>>1827173
>>1827175
>>1827202

Offer him your hand. If you're lucky, you'll get it back at the end of this.

Writin'
>>
>>1827160

This situation really is strange. However, you're not certain that this 'Godo' isn't actually the Head of the Bastion, so you don't say anything and simply offer your hand to him.

His hand wraps around your wrist and he pulls your entire arm straight. It's not quite at Goo Hwi's level of terrifying, but it's a rather close thing.

As you suspected, he looks over your hands intently, examining the callouses and nicks. He's done in a few seconds, and the he pulls your shirt's sleeve up to your bicep. The burns and scars are rather obvious, and it's barely a moment before he's done.

"Well, you're no smooth-skinned bitch, that's for sure," He more or less throws your arm back to you, which is a rather strange experience since it's still attached to you, "Good. You're a fake at the moment, but you've got potential. Say, the papers claim you're 19, what've you been doing with your life so far to get to this point?"

Your response?
> "Being an Artificer"
> Say nothing, pull out one of your customized pieces of gear.
> Say nothing, pull out everything you've customized
> Say nothing, do nothing
> Other
>>
>>1827381
>> "Being an Artificer"
>>
>>1827381
I'm an artificer by trade, trouble magnet by hobby. and of course a charming rouge by personality. and I also have a minor degree in running from world ending diseases to strange lands, coupled with ambitions of golems and or EXO suit making. how does that sound?
>>
>>1827381
>"Being an Artificer"
>tap the magitek glove if we have it on
>>
>>1827402

You're just in your traveling clothes currently. All your gear is in your bag.
>>
>>1827381
> Pull out everything you've customized

> Mostly learning by making mistakes.
>>
>>1827381
> "Being an Artificer"
>>
>>1827411
Oh well, pull it out if he asks for demonstration. For now the answer will do, I think.

>John was literally a "fixer" for the mafia... in the way one of the seamstresses actually did mend clothing
>>
>>1827423
that was just a remark, we do not want to bring up the mafia here of course.
>>
>>1827381
>"Being an Artificer. I build things that need building and I fix things that need fixing and invent things that need inventing."
>>
>>1827386
>>1827389
>>1827402
>>1827421
>>1827434

"I fix things. The rest is just extra"

Writin'
>>
> Sorry about the delay

>>1827381

"I'm an Artificer by trade; trouble magnet by hobby," Once again you get a snort of amusement out of Godo, "In all seriousness, I build what needs to be built, I fix what needs to be fixed, and I invent what needs to be invented. If its made of metal, or has two moving parts, I can work with it".

He's just looking at you with a level gaze, as if trying to see if you're being serious. To prove your point, you spread the other three Proofs that you've acquired today. He doesn't look surprised at the sight of them, but he still does not say anything. Seems like he comes to some kind of conclusion as he speaks up.

"Tell you what, I'll make a deal with you. You give me the Smithing Proof of Merit, and in exchange, I'll teach you how to work a forge. You learn the craft, and once I'm satisfied I'll give you back the Proof".

... This just got interesting, "What's it to you?"

Godo frowns, "You might have gotten that Proof, but you don't actually have the skill to back it up. If you go out working with that Proof as witness to your 'abilities', and you fuck up to the point where someone realizes you have no idea what you're doing, that's going to damage the reputation of the Bastion. AND, since it's mine name on the paperwork stating that you passed the test, it's going to be MY ass on the line and MY judgement being called into question. So, John, do you accept my deal or not?"

Your decision?
> "I accept" Hand over the Proof
> "I have to decline"
>>
>>1827632
>> "I accept" Hand over the Proof
>>
>>1827632
> "I accept" Hand over the Proof

>I have to ask, why did you allow me to get it in first place?
>>
>>1827632
> "I accept" Hand over the Proof

Can I get the silver I paid for it back? Wallet's kinda looking slim...
>>
>>1827646
Oh, wait, forget the "get my silver back" bit, I thought we'd have to take the test over again.
>>
>>1827635
>>1827641
>>1827646

Good sir you have a deal!

Writin'
>>
>>1827160
>> Hold you hand out

He doesn't want to shake hands, he literally said "give your hand".

Also new to this quest. It was hilarious reading John doing a Solid Snake impression on the train with one crit after the other.
>>
>>1827662
And that happens when you leave all threads open for hours without updating everyone!
>>
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>>1827662

Welcome to the party.

>>1827632

"I accept" You palm the Proof in your hand. When Godo reaches out to take it, you give it to him via handshake, "I have to ask, why did you allow me to get it in the first place?"

"Pah," He locks your hand in his grip for a moment, before separating with the Proof now in his possession, "You walked into a forge for the first time and was able to build something that's actually functional; you've either got talent for the craft, or you're some stupidly lucky son of a bitch. Either way, that's why".

You imagine that you're probably not going to get much more out of him on this.

It's at this point that the door opens once again, and a surprisingly regal Eastern man walks in.

"Godo..." His smile conveys warmth and genuine humor, "Aren't you supposed to be at your forge?"

"Ah," Godo, for the first time, seems to be caught flatfooted, "I was just talkin' to a fellow man of the craft. Uh, I'll be on my way, Sun"

The dwarf moves that's not a run, but it's definitely a hurried pace.

Either way, you're now face to face with the apparent Head of the Bastion. He's... strange to you. Your experience with nobles and higher born isn't the best, so it's really strange to be encountering one that just exudes light-hearted humor.

"Now, John," He casually sits down where Godo was before, in that Eastern form that involves sitting on your knees. You were never able to understand how people were comfortable like that, "It's not everyday that we an Artificer of your... caliber... take our tests. For the most part, they tend to be involved with the Guilds. Regardless, I wanted to speak to you to congratulate you on the achievement of passing not one but four Competency Tests on your first try".

You're still guarded, but he really does seem genuine. The whole experience is bewildering...

Your response?
> "Uh... T-thanks?"
> "Is it really so strange?"
> Don't say anything, wait for him to continue
> Other
>>
>>1827771
>"Thank you, I am honored to hear that."
>"Is it really so rare? I imagined city this size would see its share of traffic in unaffiliated craftsmen."
>>
>>1827771
>"Thank you, I am honored to hear that."
>"Is it really so rare? I imagined city this size would see its share of traffic in unaffiliated craftsmen."
>>
>>1827771
>>"Thank you, I am honored to hear that."
>>"Is it really so rare? I imagined city this size would see its share of traffic in unaffiliated craftsmen."
>>
>>1827771
>Wait you said four test? But i only did Three. The one in fixing that arm, tgen i did the water thing then i went to the forge.
>>
>>1827811
One was a mix between the wiring and magitech.
>>
>>1827827
Ooooh! Dam i'm a idiot.
>>
>>1827811
>>1827827

Part of that is my fault; I realized as I was thinking up the Tests that Magitech and Electric and Wiring would have multitudes of overlap. Originally, John would have had to sort out that device, and then properly wire a lamp. I then realized that it would seem incredibly stupid to have him wire a bloody lamp properly to prove his competency after he just turned a literal clump of wires into a working device so I scraped the second test entirely.

>>1827781
>>1827795
>>1827801

John has a silver tongue. How fitting.

Writin'
>>
>>1827894
How do you think we managed to snake our way out of the train?
>>
>>1827894
Also noble birth and all that.
>>
>>1827771

Just like when you met Goo Hwi, you decide to fall back on politeness.

"Thank you, I am honored to hear that," You really do feel honored, as genuine complements are rather hard to come by, "I have to ask: is it really so rare? I imagine a city this size would see its share of traffic in unaffiliated craftsmen".

Sun smiles at you, "You're very welcome, John. Ah, where are my manners, my name is Sun-woo; I am the Head of the Main Bastion here in Shirahoro, but I am also apart of the advising council to our Beloved Mikado," Some more humor comes into his voice at the title of who you guess is the ruler of Shirahoro, almost as if he was enjoying his own joke, "As for the volume of craftsmen, you are correct in that our port and forges attract many a wandering smiths. However, I am more interested in your skills as an Artificer; we do not get many of those".

"I see..." You suppose that made sense.

"As for passing multiple Competency Tests on the first try, you are not the first to do so. However, you are the first, I believe, to simply appear out of no where and do so. The individuals that display such high levels of competency are almost always the children of well known nobles, merchants, and artisans. My own son has obtained a variety of Proofs along his path to becoming a Scholar, but he has been working towards those since he was but a child".

"You can see," He smiles at you, "Why you actions are so unique".

"Thanks... again," You just drift off awkwardly.

"If you don't mind me asking, John, where are you from? I know you are Westerner, but consider me curious"

Your response?
> Westmire
> Airgrid
> The Badlands
> Other
>>
>>1827945

shh
>>
>>1827960
What was the plave we went before was it Airgrid.
>>
>>1827969
Yeah.
>>1827960
>Airgrid
>>
>>1827969

Westmire is the city John grew up in. It was also the one that was completely overrun by the Blight.
>>
>>1827969

From there, he worked for the Genovese in Airgrid. After 'quiting' he move onto the Badlands where the quest began about 4 months later.

(misread your post)
>>
>>1827960
> Airgrid
>>
>>1827960
> Airgrid

I mean, we don't know if we want to attract attention yet, and a talented artificer appearing out of nowhere, nuking the standardised merit testing system, and then claiming he comes from a place that doesn't exist anymore would probably put him beyond 'interesting'.
>>
>>1827974
>>1827981
>>1828004

You can't claim to be from a place that's not on the map, that's just rude.

Writin'
>>
>inb4 he starts to think we are Genovese mafia.
>>
Also Story-T i never asked but. Do is it common knowledge about the criminal organization or is everything like the itallian mafia it's something that "doesn't exist".
>>
>>1828041

All of the 'mafias' have legitimate business acting as their 'public faces'. General knowledge does know about them, as they are rather wide-spread, however the legitimacy of certain rumors swirling about of their more illicit dealings are not as common. Essentially, everyone knows about the major families; very few outside of those directly involved actually know that they are criminal organizations. At least, for the common public.

>>1827960

"I'm from Airgrid," Not a lie, but not really the truth either. Then again, you really can't claim to be from Westmire.

"I see, the City of Rain and Fog, hmm? I've heard somethings about that city, most talk of it paints as a rather dreary, unsavory place," You'd guess he'd hear about many places across the continent.

You nod in response, "That's about how it is. It rains often, you get a lot of fog coming off the ocean, and a rather substantial portion of the population would stab you in the back to get a leg up; there's a reason why I left".

Sun laughs again at you comments, "I believe there's more than one reason why you left, from the sounds of it".

The two of you enjoy an easy quiet for a few moments, before he begins to rummage around in his pockets, "Unfortunately, I'm not here entirely for the joy of meeting you. I have a few jobs you could potentially do here and now, three of them to be exact," At this point, he pulls out three scrolls, "Here, read over them. Each of the jobs would be contracts between you and the Shirahoro Daimyo, to last for the duration of the job until either one side nulls the contract or you complete the work described on it".

Taking in his words and accepting the scrolls from him, you begin to read over the contracts. They boil down to.

> Repair a Heavy Clockwork Siege Defense Weapon on the Outer Wall. Payment of 75 silver coins upon completion.
> Repair the Signal System that is used to communicate from the Defensive Lines back to the Bastion. Payment of 25 silver coins upon completion.
> Work with several artifacts in the Bastion's possession, discern their use, and if applicable train users in their function. Payment of 5 silver per artifact discerned.

"Do you have any questions?" Sun is still smiling at you.

Do you?
> "When can I start?"
> "I'd like to know more about (insert contract here)"
> "What exactly is it that you do in the Bastion?"
> "I'm sorry, but I must refuse"
> Other
>>
>>1828064
> "When can I start?"
> Work with several artifacts in the Bastion's possession, discern their use, and if applicable train users in their function. Payment of 5 silver per artifact discerned.

Time to acquire new gear and dismantle abd get to know new techs?
>>
>>1828064
> "What exactly is it that you do in the Bastion?"
> "I'd like to know more about (insert contract here)"

Siege weapon! Dosh and the opportunity to tinker with large scale clockwork weaponry.

> "When can I start?"
>>
>>1828064
> "I'd like to know more about (insert contract here)"
> Repair a Heavy Clockwork Siege Defense Weapon on the Outer Wall. Payment of 75 silver coins upon completion.
> "When can I start?"
>>
>>1828106
>>1828080

We would like to know more.

Writin'
>>
>>1828064

"I do have one: can you tell me what exactly is the repair needed to that Clockwork Siege weapon out on the Outer Wall? I actually have a fair amount of experience work with Clockwork weapons".

"Good, that repair requires someone extremely experienced with Clockwork Machinery. From what I know, there was an accident while storing the weapon that resulted in extreme damage being done to the delicate mechanism that made up the action. However, you might be able to figure it out".

The prospect of being able to work on Siege weaponry... Oh that is tempting. You just hope that you work on those rifles gave you enough insight to understand larger scale Clockwork machinery.

At the moment, there is something that you'd like to ask.

"Sun-woo, don't take any offense to this, but what is it exactly that you do here at the Bastion?"

He thinks it over for a moment, before speaking, "I am the Head, though I suppose that I don't exactly lord over my subordinates. What I spend most of my time doing is managing the logistics of the Shirahoro Daimyo, in terms of material, gear, and manpower. It is quite the mountain of paperwork and bureaucracy at times, but I have extremely skilled individuals under my command that help me in my work immensely".

"I see," There's really nothing else you can say.

He takes your short response in stride, "Are there any other questions you'd like to ask?"

> "When can I start?"
> "I'd like to know more about (insert contract here)"
> "I'm sorry, but I must refuse"
> Other
>>
>>1828193
> "When can I start?"

Let me at that goddamn siege engine you beautiful man
>>
>>1828193
>> "When can I start?"
>>
>>1828193
> "When can I start?"
>>
>>1828211
>>1828216
>>1828225

Where's the dotted line please?

Writin'
>>
>>1828193

"When can I start?" You give him your own smile.

Your enthusiasm apparently caught him off guard, "Well, you can start now I suppose. Although, I should really ask you which contracts you are going to accept? I can assume you'll be going to work on the Clockwork Weapon first, but..."

That is a good question.
> Take just the Clockwork contract. For now
> Take all the contracts
> Take the Clockwork and one of the others (which one?)
>>
>>1828294
>Take just the Clockwork contract. For now
"I'd like to get to all 3 if possible, but I need to see if I can handle the one before tackling the others."
>>
>>1828294
Wait, isn't it the evening? If it isn't, we should at least find someplace to stay at where we can keep our stuff in first. Especially since we're carrying around an ancient magical welding tool, two firearms, an entire set of medium armor and a broadsword.
>>
>>1828312

It was just before midday when you arrived at Shirahoro. At this point, it's probably close to 4-5 pm
>>
>>1828319
>>1828294
In that case...

> Take just the Clockwork contract. For now

Start on the siege weapon tomorrow. Starting a job this big in the evening isn't a good plan. We have no idea how much needs to be repaired or how bad the damage is, we'd need a bunch of lights to work on it in the dark, and I'd like to get John a full night's sleep before we take this on. Plus, we've got to meet up with Goo Hwi and Sierra later tonight, and there's a chance we might be late if we started on this now.
>>
>>1828340
>>1828302

Just take the Clockwork for now, then head in for the evening.

Writin'
>>
>>1828294

"Considering how late it is, I'll take the Clockwork Contract for now, and I'll head over in the morning to complete it".

Sun-woo smiles at you, "That is good to hear. Having one of our city's primary defensive weapons out of action for longer than necessary is not something that sits well with me".

Standing up at this point, he motions to the door, "As much as I enjoyed our talk, I am afraid that I have duties to attend to. I wish you luck with your work, John the Artificer".

"Thank you for your time, Sun-woo," You give him a bow as he leaves.

Collecting your belongings, you eventually navigate your way out of the Main Bastion.

Stepping outside, it is just now coming to sundown.

Thinking about it, you really need to find a good place to stay tonight. One that preferably has a hot bath included.

... Didn't Goo Hwi mention meeting up for dinner? You should probably go do that.

[ARTIFICER QUEST PART 7 END]
>>
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>>1828373

> And that is where I am going to end things tonight. Thank you all for playing. As usual, I'll be around to answer any questions you may have. I hope you all enjoyed Shirahoro so far. Just because I'm not a complete tease, pic related is what you're going to be working on tomorrow is based off of. Goodnight to those Anons who are heading off.

> As for the rest of you, at the beginning of this thread Anons expressed an interest in see the merc team's reactions to the aftermath of the Gambino Train Fight. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you guys that yet as that is spoilers technically. However, I can write you guys the main part of the showdown that would of occurred had you decided to fight the mercenaries during their attack instead of leaving before it was supposed to happen. Would anyone be interested in that?
>>
>>1828377
Sure, I've got some time to spare.
>>
>>1828451

Alright, I'll get to that.
>>
[CUTSCENE]

Rider grit her teeth, shifting gears to keep her beloved vehicle from losing traction on the loose gravel path she was flying down.

The mission... or rather, what was left of their little mission was going rather horribly. At some time during the night, both Creep and Bishop had gone silent. It was hard to imagine someone getting the drop on the two of them, but it was always a possibility in this line of work. As if that wasn't bad enough, someone had gone through an systematically stripped away her backdoor access to the train's emergency braking system, which meant that this op was now going to be performed alongside a moving train in the Highlands.

A breakneck turn that she only managed to pull off later, and Rider finally had eyes on the train in question. According to the last transmission she received from the security team, the hires who were supposed to die had no idea of the upcoming attack. Judging by the screams and gunfire filtering over their general comms, that clearly wasn't the case.

Pushing away those errant thoughts, she focused solely on the task at hand as she pushed her ride up onto the thin path running alongside the tracks and began to catch up to the train.

In seconds, Rider passed the Caboose and approached the first-class carriage that was supposed to be the initial evac point.

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a rifle barrel poking over the roof of the train. Rider had no way of reacting to the first shot as it exploded against her windshield, but the second and third rounds missed as she slammed on the breaks and downshifted for all she was worth.

"DOZER! WE'VE GOT A GUNSLINGER ON THE ROOF!"

From his position as backup in the back seat, Dozer the Orc stood up.

"I'll take care of it"

[1/2]
>>
>>1828495

[2/2]

The entire vehicle shifted as Dozer launched himself into the air, managing to make the jump with only a small usage of his suit's small thrusters.

Flying through the air, the orc crashed into the roof of the nearest train car, nearly causing the entire thing. Through some miracle, the structure held, and he began to walk towards where he could see a single, hooded figure standing. The rifle that had nearly hit Rider was already aimed in his direction, his cloak whipping around him in the wind making it hard for Dozer to properly identify his target.

Still, that was no matter.

Reaching around to his back, the orc released the magnet and swung around the battleaxe that was his weapon of choice for so long.

"I have eyes on the target, moving to engage," Were his final words into the comm before he cut his mic.

[CUTSCENE END]
>>
>>1828516
>>1828495
Well.

Glad we decided to negotiate.

Night bossman. Same time tomorrow, I presume?
>>
>>1828535

Yeah, it was going to be a boss fight after all.

Yep, Part 8 will begin tomorrow.
>>
>>1828495
>>1828516
We totally could have taken them.
>>
>>1828557

All things considered, you probably could have. However, it would have been one hell of an extended fight. There was going to be a brief Goo Hwi vs Dozer scene which would have been cool. Either way, things were going to get bloody.

all things considered, you guys got one of the best possible outcomes to the situation. you'll just have to continue along the Genovese quest line to realize the full fruits of your labors
>>
>>1828516
>small usage of his suits thrusters

my tech.......we missed some tech. now I'm like a thousand son who has lost a beautiful book.


WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

but seriously thought I'm glad we got the fuck out of dodge I doubt our rifle would puncture his armour rand we are shit at aiming so no idea of shooting the throat and other weak points
>>
Part 8 will be starting up in a bit.

>>1829028

You wouldn't have been able to get your hands on Dozer's suit anyways. The fight was more so going to show off what EXO suits can actually do in this setting.
>>
>>1829125
reinforcing my point of thank god, we ran for it.

and after our talk with gun hoo, we should head for the water district. and lets pass on rider and his crews name for reference "good guys, they wount disappoint you"
>>
>>1829134
well we don't really know how good they are IC

I think we should just tell the genovese that they "seemed professional enough" and "can be talked to"
>>
>>1829138
well we did say we would compensate the group for their troubles. and they were very careful on how they did shit. back doors everywhere, tailing their targets. not fucking up until we caught onto them. I think that constitutes, professionally inclined
>>
>>1828373

[ARTIFICER QUEST PART 8 START]

There's a nice breeze blowing throughout the streets, following you as you walk through the Fire District towards the Earth District.

You've already tucked the Clockwork Contract into your rutsack, along with your three remaining Proofs.

As much as you'd like to get to work now, it's getting late and you really, really need a bath. Remembering Goo Hwi's mention of one 'Dragon's Lair Inn', you start heading in that direction.

> Roll me three 1d100+10's
>>
>>1829214
Testing from a mobile app
>>
Rolled 17 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1829214

>>1829216
I use clover for this. What do you use?
>>
Rolled 5 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1829214
lets go
>>
Rolled 15 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1829214
>>
>>1829221
>>1829224
>>1829225

Lost? I'm not lost.

That's a 27, Failure.
>>
>>1829225
>>1829224
>>1829221

These rolls..man.
>>
>>1829214

The sun's gone down, with the nightlife of Shirahoro coming out to play as it does. Paper Lanterns, not unlike the ones you fixed back when you met Goo Hwi, hanging from the sides of buildings light up. Steady crowds of people, laughing and enjoying the sights and sounds, are everywhere.

And you? You find yourself in the middle of all of this, completely lost.

Well, crap.

Now what?
> Keep wandering, maybe you'll get lucky.
> Try to see if anyone might know where it is.
> Other
>>
>>1829230
>Other
Get something good to eat, might as well celebrate passing all the tests while we're lost. We can ask the seller where exactly the inn is too, just buy extra food to make them more agreeable.

Roll for food quality
>>
>>1829230
stop still, and listen to for the sound of the sea or the smell of salt. if we find the sea we have a point of reference and from there we can find out way to the earth district, where goo hwi said to meet him.

if we want we can also talk to our friends
>>
>>1829234

You're in the Earth District currently.
>>
>>1829230
Grab some snack and head towards the walls, maybe we notice a landmark.
>>
>>1829235
shit.

well yeah do this guys idea>>1829232
>>
Rolled 70 (1d100)

>>1829232
>>1829238
>>1829242

Time for a snack, let's see how your luck takes you.
>>
>>1829245

Alright, that works, let me find the right photo and I'll start writin'
>>
>>1829245
Did we manage to find a good ramen shop?
>>
Rolled 11 (1d100)

>>1829230

Thinking on your feet, you take a look around to see if you can't find any food. Your luck holds, as there's a street cook working one at a rather furious pace.

From your experience, these kinds of places are hit or miss. You're a bit uncertain, despite the small line of people ordering food, but then you notice that the guy has his Proof (you hope it's for Cooking) hanging right on the stall.

Seeing no other real options, you walk on over. You order one meat skewer, managing to also get decent enough directions to the Dragon's Lair.

> You have lost 2 Copper Coins!

Munching on it as you go, you decide that the 'meat' is probably pork. That, or the guy was an extremely good scam artist.

Either way, you finish your snack and continue on your way.

> Roll me three 1d100's please
>>
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>>1829267

Don't know why the picture didn't go up.
>>
Rolled 62 (1d100)

>>1829267
>>
Rolled 67 (1d100)

>>1829267
>>
Rolled 30 (1d100)

>>1829267
>>
>>1829272

That's a 67 versus 11, Success.

Writin'
>>
>>1829269
>filename

Gave me a chuckle. Next time we should ask Godo if he knows about a good food cart.
>>
>>1829277
>versus
Did some kind of eastern mugger treid to mug us?
>>
>>1829221
I was using Clover on the Android, moved over to the iPhone. Using some app called the Chan
>>
>>1829279

It was more of a John's Luck vs Random Encounter roll.
>>
>>1829278

I couldn't resist.

>>1829267

You're not exactly in the best of neighborhoods at the moment, but you have plenty of experience in this kind of thing. You definitely got a few curious looks, your rutsack is backed to near bursting and your general appearance sticks out like a sore thumb.

Still, you get through without an issue; guess you're just lucky like that.

A few minutes later, and you've finally arrived at the Dragon's Lair. The place is... a lot nicer than you expected if you're being serious. There's a simple garden around the entire place, making it seem like it was cut it out of another place and transplanted straight into the city.

The smell coming from the entrance is heavenly, and you can hear the sounds of conversation spilling out. Might as well just head on in.

> Roll me three 1d100+10's
>>
Rolled 99 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1829309
lady luck please don't desert us.
>>
Rolled 70 (1d100)

>>1829309
Random no paying costumer being "guided" out of the establishment in a very kung-fu like movie?
>>
Rolled 13 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1829309
Straight into fun eh
>>
>>1829322

And we're back to our regularly scheduled luck rolls for Artificer Quest.

That's a 109, Outstanding Success.
>>
>>1829322
Uh...would you look at that.
>>
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>>1829309

You take a look around as you enter. You were expecting a reception area of some kind, but from the looks of things you just entered a kind of restaurant. People are chatting and laughing, enjoying their meals.

You can see Sierra and Goo Hwi sitting down with another young man, the three of them having a light-hearted conversation.

Remembering past experience, you make sure to look over everyone here. Through some act of one of the gods, you can't see anyone who looks shifty, looks like an asshole, or looks like he'd start a fight.

At this point, Sierra spots you and waves you over.

Walking over to the table, you slide onto the bench next to the elf. It's an absolute relief to take your pack off.

You say?
> "Well, I wonder if your day was as productive as mine"
> "Don't know you, what's your name?"
> Wait for someone to talk to you
> See about ordering some food
> Other
>>
>>1829354
Greet them, wait for Sierra to introduce the guy, check the menu, exchange stories of how our days went.
>>
>>1829354
> Other: Greet everyone at the table
Then:
> See about ordering some food
> "Well, I wonder if your day was as productive as mine"
>>
>>1829358
Or Goo Hwi actually, maybe it's that student he mentioned
>>
>>1829362
Can't wait to meet Sierra's brother. Imagine your sister went away then she sunddely appear at your bar followed by a human.
>>
>>1829374

I can't wait either

>>1829358
>>1829359

Time for a meet and greet. And some grub.

Writin'
>>
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>>1829354

"Good Evening to you all," You start with, nodding at the young man, he looks to be your age, that you don't recognize, "I hope you all enjoyed your day".

Sierra looks happy at how things went, as she's munching on her food with a smile on her face as you speak up.

"Looks like things went well for you," Goo Hwi also is in a good mood, "Oh, speaking of which, this here is my old friend's pupil".

The pupil is a, well there's really no other way to put it, slightly pudgy man who looks like he doesn't stop smiling, "John, right? Goo Hwi mentioned that he was traveling with an Artificer, so that must be you. I'm Gang Ryong".

He offers his hand to shake, and you return it. Despite his outer appearance, you get the same feeling from him as when you shook Goo Hwi's hand: carefully controlled tension.

"Yeah, I'm John. It's good to meet you," You return his smile, though you notice that he's now frowning slightly. You give him a questioning look, and he just laughs it off.

"Good to meet you as well," For the barest moment, you catch him glancing in the old man's direction, but then it passes.

Because you have something else to focus on now, "So, how exactly do you order around here?"

"Oh," Gang Ryong suddenly jumps up, "I'm actually the server here. I'll grab you our best dish: steam fried dumplings!"

And just like that, he's off, energetically moving towards the kitchen.

Well, that was that.

Now what?
> Ask Sierra about her visiting her brother
> Ask Goo Hwi about Gang Ryong
> Just wait until your food gets here
>>
>>1829398
>> Ask Goo Hwi about Gang Ryong
>>
>>1829398
>He has manasight as well, Doesn't he?
>Also, how did it go? I got some certifications and a job.
>>
>>1829335
>>1829329
our sins have been cleansed, praise the dice gods and let us proceed.

I'm applying for a spot in the dice gods priesthood

>>1829398

>ask about gang, then ask about her brother
>>
>>1829398
>"I earned a bunch of proofs and the Head showed up and handed me a couple of jobs right then and there. I've had worse days."
>>
>>1829400
>>1829402
>>1829404
>>1829409

This day's been interesting so far, and apparently it's not over.

Writin'
>>
>>1829398
>Tell Sierra and Goo about the test. Don't mention anythimg about the smith test since we don't have the proof.
> Ask Goo Hwi about Gang Ryong
>>
>>1829398

"Goo Hwi, what's the deal with Gang?" You lower your voice slightly, leaning forwards, "He has manasight as well, doesn't he?"

Goo Hwi gives you his best comforting smile. The scars along his face don't exactly help him, "His master, my friend, was always a stickler on having every advantage one could have. I assume that, yes, he did in fact train him to learn manasight, though I know not to what degree. I don't think you should be worried, however".

You nod to him, trying to take his words to heart. In an attempt to move the conversation along, you turn to Sierra.

"So, did you end up meeting up with your brother?"

The elf swallows her food before speaking up, "I did. His place is over in the Water District. Ryu's still the same stuck up asshole as I remember..." She trails off there, but there's still humor in her voice. Guess there's no real issue between the two of them.

"Any luck on getting a job with him?"

"No!" You're a bit surprised at her outburst, "That ungrateful brat, 'Another person behind the counter will just get in my way'. I swear, that troublesome brother of mine doesn't have a lick of tact in him!"

Sounds like they get along just fine.

"Well, guess you're going to have to find a job at another place for now".

"Apparently," Sierra just grumbles, before brightening up, "Hey, did you end up going to the Main Bastion?"

"I did," You nod, reaching into your pact to retrieve the three Proofs and place them on the table, "I have to say, I did pretty good for myself".

Goo Hwi and Sierra stare down at the metal Merits in silence, as if trying to figure out if you're joking or not.

"You passed three separate Competency Tests at the same time?" She just sounds incredulous at this point.

You can't help but scratch the back of your head, "Yeah. I also had a lovely chat with the Head for a bit, and I've got some work for tomorrow".

Sierra just looks at you in disbelief, while Goo Hwi starts laughing.

"Has anyone ever told you, John," He manages to make out between laughs, "That you are an extremely strange man".

"Hey," You do your best to look insulted, "That's just rude".

Gang Ryong sets down a platter of dumplings at this point, returning to his spot by Goo Hwi to continue his talk with him.

Digging in, you're surprised at how much you're enjoying the distinctly Eastern Dish.

While you're eating...
> Ask Gang Ryong about his martial arts skills
> Ask Sierra about joining you for that 'meeting' you're going to be going to soon
> Ask something else
> Stay silent, enjoy your meal
>>
>>1829427
> Ask Gang Ryong about his martial arts skills
> Ask how heavily armed the city is, and why. The siege defense cannon isn't a toy gun
>>
>>1829427

>ask about gangs training and his master.

>mention if either of our companions would like to go to the meeting with our friends, or would they rather stay out of it. hint we would prefer for them to stay out of it

and ask about the city
>>
>>1829427
Are we going to try the meeting tonight? I'm not sure how safe it should be in the night out.

And we kinda promised Sun that we'd head to the job location in the morning.

I guess that leaves sometime afternoon for mafia meeting.

>Talk with Sierra & Goo Hwi, discuss whether or not they want to accompany you
>they would not feel excluded if they came with us, and will give us better chance if meeting goes pear shaped for whatever reason; also they'll be able to influence negotiations with their counsel
>however if they don't come, they will be less entangled with mafia (only indirectly through our dealings) and safer from trouble should the meeting take place in ladder factory or something.
I mean they should decide for themselves if they want to be there.
>>
>>1829434
The reason why the city is so armed must likely be to protect it from raiders and the bligth

>>1829427
>mention if either of our companions would like to go to the meeting with our friends, or would they rather stay out of it. hint we would prefer for them to stay out of it
>>
>>1829434

For the sake of exposition, since really isn't a spoiler, the reason why Shirahoro is so heavily armed is because it has stood as a city along the border of an area infamous for Blight incursions for so long. It hasn't survived the test of time because of a lack of attacks on it, but by smart defensive positions and overwhelming firepower.
>>
>>1829439
I would rather avoid the mafia for now. Since we already handled with the People at the Bastion. I don't want to give Sun any suspicion of us working with the mafia.

We should do the jobs first then we meet the Genovese people. We also need to know if we can deal with these guys since some members of the Genovese didn't liked us for leaving
>>
>>1829434
>>1829437
>>1829439
>>1829443

Some light conversation, followed by some heavier conversation.

Writin' will resume in about 1 1/2 hrs.
>>
>>1829452
>said hour and a half

>its been 3 hours.

it seems the dice gods have a price for their favour, they have inflicted upon story teller. the QM's curse. DUM DUM DUM.

it is said those whom are afflicted are distracted or taken from QMing by tragedy or misfortune. and there is no-known cure.

the only way to carry on, is for the QM to have built a quest of such greatness, that it can not be stopped by mere time delays. I hold my belief that this is one such quest.

I'm done being autistic now, but are people still here?
>>
>>1829885
Here but not for long. I have class now so i will just lurk.
>>
>>1829885
QM is ded, long live the QM
>>
>>1829427

"Gang Ryong," You speak up after finishing what's in your mouth, "Just how much experience do you have in martial arts?"

Your bluntness apparently caught the rest of the table off guard, as Sierra stops eating and Goo Hwi raises an eyebrow.

"W-well," Ryong, on the other hand, looks slightly flustered, "I'm not all that good if I'm being honest".

He awkwardly trails off while laughing. There's a very brief, awkward air around the table.

You know that he's lying, he's so bad at it. Why he'd lie is beyond you.

Before you can press him on it, there's a commotion.

"RYONG!" An older lady yells out from the kitchen area, "I DON'T PAY YOU TO SIT AROUND SOCIALIZING; BACK TO WORK!"

"Coming!" Ryong happily runs off, leaving you without an answer to your internal questions.

However, the three of you are alone now, which means that you can talk about something you've been thinking over.

"Sierra, Goo Hwi," Your quiet, tight tone catches both of their attentions, "Either tonight or tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to visit... you know who... I'm not sure how you two feel about getting repaid for nearly being killed in that clusterfuck the other day, but I'm going to go talk to them regardless".

"You can count me out," Goo Hwi is the first to respond after a few seconds of silence, "I have no interest in monetary reprisal, even against those who would kill me. I could spend the rest of my life running after everyone who's ever put a sword to my throat and still not be done before I die of old age".

"Don't worry about it, Goo Hwi?"

Sierra is still quiet, so you give her a concerned glance, "Do you think I should? I'd rather not wrapped up in Shirahoro's underground, but do you think that that might not matter?"

You don't have to give your answer much thought, "If you're asking whether or not I want you to get involved with the Genovese, the answer is: no, I don't. However, the choice is still yours which is why I am asking you".

[1/2]
>>
>>1829981

[2/2]

"Yeah," Sierra quietly speaks up, "I'd rather not get involved. Sorry, John".

"Eh, it's alright. Don't worry too much about it".

You give the elf a pat on the shoulder to try to relieve her worry, before returning to your meal.

There's a slightly uneasy silence as the three of you finish your food.
> Ask Goo Hwi about something
> Ask Sierra about something
> Grab your belongings, buy a room for the night, then decide whether or not to retire for the evening.
>>
>>1829986

>So, same place tomorrow?
>Would you like me to keep an eye out for anything particular while I'm out?
>>
>>1829986
>thank both of them for the honesty and have a nic emeal, then get a room

I say we meet them tonight
>>
>>1829995
also this. and thank you QM for not succumbing to the curse
>>
>>1829986
>So, same place tomorrow?
>Would you like me to keep an eye out for anything particular while I'm out?

The curse will return, there is no escape.
>>
>>1829995
>>1829997
>>1830002

Time to get to work.

Writin'
>>
>>1830002
>>1830041

Why not exactly a good thing in some regards, I have a definite end in sight for Artificer Quest. About, eh, make it 3-4 major story arcs after the Shirahoro Arc is done will compose the entirety of John's place as MC. If he survives it, that will be the end of John's story.

I do have ideas for other Quests, though not in this setting, so don't worry about not getting a conclusion to Artificer Quest.
>>
>>1830060
........... johns journey might not end in his death. his death is not the only condition of end.

I don't know how to feel about this. but he better at least hold back the blight slightly. he had better, if not turn it back caus that's clichéd to hell. he better hold it in place long enough for other to escape
>>
>>1830086

Who knows what the future holds? Oh wait, I do.

>>1829986

"Well, that's going to be it for me," You push your plate into the center of the table and stand up, "Would you two like to meet up again tomorrow night?"

"Unless I'm busy, I'll be around," Sierra shrugs.

"I don't have any plans, so I will be yes," Sounds like Goo Hwi isn't going to be tied up either.

"Good night to you both, then," Grabbing your belongings, you make your way to the inn section of the Dragon's Lair.

Walking around, it's a lot quieter in the halls than back in the restaurant.

Arriving at what's most likely the reception area, you find the lady behind the counter talking with one of the cleaners.

"-aying the Genovese were behind it! Pulled him right out of his own train!"

Oh, for fucks sake. You really don't have time to screw around now; you need to get the evidence to the local Don or there's going to be some serious shit going down.

Interrupting the gossip, you quickly purchase a room for the night.

> You have lost two silver coins!

After being shown to your residence and the facilities, receptionist runs off. Alone in your room, you put down your things. Checking the mirror, you look like, well, like you just went out and worked in a forge for the first time.

Now what?
> Go take a bath
> Go out to find the Genovese now
> Go somewhere else
> Do something with the gear you have
> Other
>>
>>1830099
>Go take a bath
Haven't had one of those in a while.
>>
>>1830099
> Go take a bath

Need more elfbully
>>
>>1830099
>> Go take a bath
Then go find the Genovese.
>>
>>1830099
Did we get our cloak back from Sierra? Let's bathe with haste, put on our armor and smuggle whatever weaponry we can under our cloak to go meet with our friends.
>>
>>1830111
>>1830113
>>1830115

Probably shouldn't visit the Don smelling like a worker.

Writin'
>>
>>1830099

Yeah, no way you're meeting up with them as you are. Grabbing your one last change of clothes, you head down the hall to where the washroom is. You make a mental note to remember to get you belongings back from Sierra at some point.

Washing up is a rather nice affair, all things considered. The place is extremely clean, especially for an inn, and while you don't have time to take a bath you make due with a hot shower.

When was the last time you had a hot shower? You don't even remember.

About 15 minutes later you're back in your room. You need to go find the Genovese; tonight. You're going to need the evidence, so you grab your Magitech Gauntlet to bring with you. The question is, what else are you going to bring? There's no way in hell they're going to let you bring weapons in, if they even let you see the Don in the first place, so going unarmed and unarmored would be likely seen as a sign of faith on your part. However, you're used to being in a city at night; going around with nothing will not be a smart idea.

What are you going to bring with you? Pick any:
> Wear your armor (all, or just certain pieces?)
> Bring your weapons (all, or just certain ones?)
> Wear your cloak (You're going to need to get it back from Sierra)
> Go in just your clothes
>>
>>1830160
> Go in just your clothes
No sense in going one man army when we're going there to do them a favor
>>
>>1830160
>Bring your weapons
Just bring the shock gauntlet. Just incase a wild bum attacks us.
>>
>>1830160

Go in civvy clothes, take your dagger in case we run into trouble on the way - but leave it with guards before the meeting.

The cloak is to hide our features from random encounters, right? Maybe stop by Sierra and grab it too
>>
>>1830193

You don't know what effect your gear will have. You just have to make the choice and see how it plays out.
>>
>>1830160
Shock gauntlet and sword. The sword on our hip to show mugger that we're armed and do give the Genovese when we meet them, and the gauntlet as a surprise back up.
>>
>>1830185
>>1830188
>>1830193
>>1830218

Alright, so we're definitely going in civvy clothing.

Take taser gauntlet?
> Y
> N

Take sword?
> Y
> N

Wear cloak?
> Y
> N
>>
>>1830231
>Take taser gauntlet?
>> Y

>Take sword?
>> Y

>Wear cloak?
>> Y
>>
>>1830231
nnn
>>
>>1830231
Y

Y

Y
>>
>>1830205
well presumably we'll make that choice with some goal in mind

the cloak has a hood, right? so we should not stand out as an obvious gaijin to random passers-by
>>
File: yesyesyes.gif (1.93 MB, 500x281)
1.93 MB
1.93 MB GIF
>>1830231
Yes to all.
>>
>>1830247
>>1830235
>>1830232

Time to load up.

Writin'
>>
>>1830160

You're tempted to just go there without any gear whatsoever, but...

No, you really can't risk walking through the street without any protection. Besides, worst come to worst, you can simply take it all off during the meeting.

Before anything else, you manage to catch Sierra in the hall, grabbing your cloak back from her for now. You can worry about the clothing later.

Grabbing your sword and strapping it to your side, sliding your taser gauntlet into place, and pulling your heavy cloak over everything, you're ready to go.

Your hood will keep your face mostly hidden, and the cloth of the cloak covers most of your body. It doesn't really hide your sword, but that's alright.

Finding a rear entrance, you slip out of the Dragon's Lair Inn and onto the streets of Shirahoro.

Following the smell of salt water, you begin making your way to the Water District.

Let's see if you can't find your friends.

> Roll me three 1d100+10's please
>>
Rolled 5 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1830306
TIME TO FUCK UP EVERYTHING WOOO
>>
Rolled 14 (1d100)

>>1830306

Random Encounter roll...
>>
Rolled 78 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1830306
>>
>>1830312
>>1830322
>Rolled a 5+10
>Still beat QM's roll

...wow.
>>
>>1830344

Ain't rolling against me this time boys.
>>
Rolled 16 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1830306
>>
>>1830324

That's an 88, Good Success.

Writin'
>>
>>1830306

It takes some time to get out of the Earth District and into the Water District, but you manage to make pretty good time. Along the way, you can see several people who look interested in you.

Your posture and the sword at your side seem to do a good job of keeping them to their alleys and dark corners, thankfully.

Making your way through the far more industrial Water District, you feel a bit more at home now. Looking around, you really don't see anyone who you can tell works for the Genovese, and you can't exactly see any obvious meeting spots.

That is, until you hear a commotion from down the street.

Walking down and around the corner, you find a crowd of people in front of a relatively tall building with several very uncomfortable looking security guards out front trying to keep them off the steps.

Listening in, you hear exactly what you expect: shouted accusations of their supposed attack against the Gambinos, whispers about what exactly they're doing to that egg in a suit as they keep him hostage, and people proclaiming that they 'knew all along' and that this was 'just the beginning of the Genovese takeover of Shirahoro'.

That last guy looked a bit more unhinged than the rest, so you don't exactly take much stock in his words. Either way, it looks like whatever Gambino has planned its well on its way.

Its high time you threw a wrench in his plans.

How do you want to do this?
> Try to get in through the front
> Try to find a side or service entrance that might be a bit quieter
> This isn't worth it, leave
>>
>>1830388
> Try to find a side or service entrance that might be a bit quieter
>>
>>1830388
>> Try to find a side or service entrance that might be a bit quieter
>>
>>1830388
side entrance works for me

try to look casual while getting in though, and knock. We don't want to seem like we're trying to sneak in.
>>
>>1830396
>>1830401
>>1830441

We'll see what kind of side alleyway we can duck into later.

I have to go run off to do some errands, and then I'll have dinner. So, I'll see you all in 2-3 hrs.
>>
>>1830455
Meaning in 5 hours :^).

I will be sleeping then, so cya later!
>>
>>1830455
>So, I'll see you all in 2-3 hrs.

And that was the last /qst/ ever saw of Storyteller...
>>
>>1830476

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy9_lfjQopU
>>
>>1830388

Walking up to the front just sounds like a very, very stupid idea.

So, making sure to back off the street and take the back alleys, you start looking around for a side entrance to the building.

It takes a few minutes, mostly spent reorienting yourself in the unfamiliar side streets, but you eventually come to something rather promising.

There are three guys who just scream 'dumb muscle' sitting around smoking outside of a doorway leading into the Genovese building.

They haven't noticed you quite yet, so you can choose how you want to do this:
> Approach normally, introduce yourself
> Approach normally, lead with the 'unofficial' Genovese 'motto'
> Approach normally, wait until they ask you what you're doing to talk
> Just leave, this was a bad idea
>>
>>1830922
May we hear the motto first?
>>
>>1830932

"Within chaos, there is opportunity"
>>
>>1830922
>> Approach normally, lead with the 'unofficial' Genovese 'motto'

Hail them first, though, no need to spook them into giving you some free bullets.
>>
>>1830937
>Approach normally, ask for a smoke.
Than lead with the motto?
>>
>>1830954
I like this casual approach. Maybe shoot the shit with them for a sec and just pepper that in there.
>>
>>1830922
Supporting this
>>1830954
>>
File: Mura_Observe.png (122 KB, 638x148)
122 KB
122 KB PNG
>>1830953
>>1830954
>>1830958
>>1830963

Can I get a smoke?

> Roll me three 1d100+2's please
>>
Rolled 42 + 2 (1d100 + 2)

>>1830981
>>
Rolled 82 + 2 (1d100 + 2)

>>1830981
>>
One more roll Anons
>>
Rolled 10 (1d100)

>>
>>1830993

That's a 84, Success DC:80

Writin'
>>
>>1831060
John is one smooth criminal.
>>
>>1830922

There's a few ways you could do this, the one really sticking out at you is to drop the phrase you used back in Airgrid to convey that you worked for the Genovese.

It's really your best bet, though you should probably make sure that they're actually working for the Syndicate and not just a couple of random dock workers hanging around after their shift finished up.

Flipping your hood up and pushing the cloth of your cloak off of your shoulder, you walk right up to the group.

"Good evening, gents," You speak in a calm, level tone, "May I join you for a smoke?"

Their response is immediate and surprisingly professional as the two closest to you draw swords while the third pulls a pistol. At least you know that they're not dock workers.

"Easy now," You hold you hands out in a placating gesture. When that doesn't work, you reach down, detach your sword, and throw it at their feet.

The three of them look among one another for a moment, and you see your chance, "Look, I'm not here to start anything or kill anyone".

"Apparently you're not," The one with the gun speaks up, with a snort, "It's a bit past your bedtime, boy".

You just sigh at his remark; guess now's the time to play your cards, "I worked for the Genovese back in Airgrid".

"You did?" On of the sword users, the one of the right, says that; disbelief filling his tone.

The gun user just laughs at you, "Bullshit you did. If you worked for the Genovese, than I'm the Mikado's personal whore!"

This... is going to get awkward...

"Fair enough, probably should have just led with this..." You pretend to think it over, "'Within chaos, there is opportunity'. Quite the fitting phrase for a bunch of merchants, is it Mikado's whore?"

Just as you imagined, there's a rather pregnant pause as the three men lower their weapons slightly.

"Shit... He's serious..."

"Yeah, I am," You interrupt the beginning of their hushed conversation, "May we sit down and talk now?"

The three of them stash away their weapons, and make no move against you when you grab your own sword.

They're all looking at you expectantly; guess you'll have to start this off:
> "I was out walking, and I noticed you've got a bit of a noise problem out front..."
> "You guys mind letting me inside? I've got something the Don's gonna want to see..."
> "So, tell me, are you the top or the bottom Mikado's Whore?"
> Other
>>
>>1831208
>"I was out walking, and I noticed you've got a bit of a noise problem out front..."

no insults, not too direct.
>>
>>1831208
>> "I was out walking, and I noticed you've got a bit of a noise problem out front..."
>> "You guys mind letting me inside? I've got something the Don's gonna want to see..."
>>
>>1831208
> Other
How can i get a meeting with the Don? I may have something that migth interest him. More precisely a information, related to a train...
>>
>>1831225
>>1831227
>>1831228

Make some casual conversation, then get to business.

Writin'
>>
>>1831264
I don't know about you guys, but I'm not too wild about the idea of getting too entangled with the mafia. When we display our evidence, would everyone else be willing to say something to the effect of "the only reason I'm doing this is because you left me alone well enough when I wanted to drop out, and this dick bag tried to kill my friends and I"?
>>
>>1831294
Me neither. I want to be independent. I also don't want this to be the "Sopranos Quest"
>>
>>1831208

"I couldn't help but notice," You start, "That you've got quite the commotion outside your front door".

"Yeah, it's a really pain in the ass," The man with the gun speaks first, spitting off to the side, "These fucks come out of no where this mornin', start yellin' n' hollerin' about how we kidnapped Gambino from the noon train".

"I see," Well, that confirms things, "Sounds like they've got you in a tight spot..."

"No kidding," One of the sword users this time, "The worst part is that the fat fuck is missing, and they made sure to toot around their train to the Daimyo. Part of it was shot to hell and back, so that didn't help. Hell, the Don ordered a report in for every last one of us to see if we actually did do it. Turns out no one actually did a damn thing! Not like the fuckin' Daimyo are gonna believe us..."

All three of them look irritated at the whole event, and you really can't blame them. Maybe, now's your chance, "Say, would you guys mind letting me inside? Or at least pass along a message for me? I've got something the Don's gonna want to see..."

Now they're just staring at you. "What the hell are you sayin' kid?" The third guy, who hasn't spoken up yet, slowly says.

"You're right in that the Genovese didn't order a kidnapping on Gambino," You look them all right in the eye, "I believe you all. Better yet, I have proof; I imagine that the Don's going to be extremely interested in it".

The guy with the gun stands up, "What the actual fuck... I... You know what? Fuck it, I'll be back in a bit".

And then he's through the door.

Now what?
> Ask the two remaining guys something (what?)
> Just wait silently
> Other
>>
>>1831322
> Just wait silently

>>1831316
>>1831294
Me too i just want to have our forge and create a exosuit and golems.
>>
>>1831322
"About that smoke..."
>>
>>1831322
"Seriously, though, got a smoke?"
>>
"About that smoke..."
>>
>>1831334
>>1831361
>>1831383

"I did ask nicely..."

Writin'
>>
>>1831322

"Seriously, though, one of you mind giving me a smoke? I have a feeling my night isn't over yet".

The two of them, as they had throw away their cigarettes when you approached initially, reach into their pockets and collectively pull out a pack and a lighter.

As one's about to give you a smoke, the door practically flies off its hinges and a fourth man steps out.

"You're the informant? Come with me. Now," His words are harsh, but straight forward.

You note, as you stand and follow him, that he's not even winded despite apparently sprinting here. He leads you inside and down a dim hallway.

As you walk, do you say anything?
> Ask him who he is
> Ask him how they've been doing dealing with this new pressure
> Ask him something else (what?)
> Say nothing

Also:
> Roll me three 1d100+10's please
>>
Rolled 52 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1831421
>> Ask him how they've been doing dealing with this new pressure
>>
Rolled 96 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1831421
> Ask him how they've been doing dealing with this new pressure
>>
Rolled 16 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1831421

> Ask him how they've been doing dealing with this new pressure
>>
>>1831294
>Tell him he owes you a smoke.
>>
>>1831435

That's a 106, Great Success.

Also, let's hear what he has to say about how things have been going.

Writin'
>>
>>1831421

"So," You lower your voice, just in case anyone is around, "I hear you all are in a spot of trouble. How have you all been handling it?"

He glances over at you, his cold, dark eyes staring at you for a moment before he faces forwards again.

"Well enough," Is his gruff response. You're not sure why you expected him to tell you anything substantial.

Before long, you're led right into a small, bare room with a single table in it.

"Disarm," Is his curt command.

You've been expecting this, so you unclip your cloak and fold it hastily, placing your sword and, at his insistence, your taser gauntlet on top of it.

"Your belongings will not be touched during the meeting," To prove a point, he pulls out a key and locks the door behind the two of you.

As you begin to head to where you assume you'll be meeting the Don, you catch the sight of something potentially interesting. This man's got a knife holster, occupied, across his chest. What really catches your attention is the two letters carved into the blade's handle, "R.G.".

Either way, you're led to a corner where an easily missed door is. He opens it and sends you in first. A few flights of stairs later and you enter a much larger room

> Roll me three 1d100+10's please
>>
Rolled 100 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1831519
>>
Rolled 36 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1831519

>>1831526
WELP.

LET'S TRY TO RUIN THAT.
>>
>>1831526

Is anyone in any other threads on qst right now? Are they rolling nothing but nat 1's tonight?
>>
>>1831537
Hey, can we point out that the evidence is on the gauntlet, and that if they wish to hear and see it, we need to have it?
>>
>>1831537
story I vote we use the 100 this time
>>
>>1831550

You kept the Magitech on you. You just had to leave your left hand gauntlet.

>>1831553

You guys are currently maxed out on FP, which means that you kinda have to take the crit.

I do need someone to roll once more, just in case of a crit fail being the last roll.
>>
Rolled 62 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1831568
>>
Rolled 51 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>1831519
>>
>>1831526

That settles it, lets see how things play out.

Writin'
>>
>>1831519

You enter into what's clearly the Don's office, as it's posh enough while being entirely functional.

What catches you notice, however, is not the large desk piled with paperwork, or the large man straight ahead.

Instead, you see a blur in the corner of your vision and your eyes immediately snap to a corner of the room where you can just barely make out what looks to be some kind of haze.

"You're kidding me," You can't stop your mouth from moving as you turn to the man whose been escorting you this entire time, "I'm completely unarmed, you've more or less got a knife to my back, and on top of that you've got an Invisible Mage sitting in the corner ready to do gods know what".

For a moment, there's silence. Then, you see humor spread across the your escort's face.

"Hey, 'Archmage'," He nearly snickers, "Some runt just saw right through you. How about you come join us?"

The haze disperses, and out comes a middle-aged man with glasses. His visage is twisted in a scowl at the moment, likely due to the fact that he got called out.

"Now, now, gentlemen," The dark figure across the room speaks up, a rather portly man walking forwards with a cigar in hand, "Let's sit down and get right to business. I believe you have something I'd like to see?"

You smile as you walk over to the sitting area.

"I, in fact, do".

> And that's where I'm going to leave things for tonight. Thank you all to playing, that crit at the end really made this a bit more interesting than it already was. Regardless, we'll be continuing tomorrow. I believe we have enough room in this thread to finish up Part 8 which I'll call after this 'meeting' of yours finishes up. Regardless, Goodnight to all you Anons heading off. I'll be around to answer any questions you might have before I go to sleep as well.
>>
>>1831651
Well that is interesting. Thank for the run Story-T
>>
>>1831651
I was expecting to see our old mafia friend here.
>>
>>1831874

You're very welcome.

>>1832192

That would have just made things too easy.
>>
>>1832423
>That would have just made things too easy.

True and making things easy takes out the fun of it.
>>
I hope we get a few weeks of rest to work on our projects after this.
>>
>>1832514
Gotta fix that siege weapon

Then we need to actually do some market scouring for more things to dismantle so that we can absorb the knowledge within.
>>
>>1832526
By rest I meant "not getting involved in dangerous shit"
>>
>>1832531
If it was that easy everybody would do it
>>
>>1832548
We can try. I'm sure we will fail though
>>
>>1832531
>artificer by trade, trouble magnet by nature

we don't lie to dwarfs anon.

>>1832548
you mean if it was not fun so many adventurers wouldn't do it
>>
>>1832531
we are already involved by that ticking blight plot bomb in our back though

we better hurry up researching exoskeletons, mind-magitek interface, golems and blight
>>
>>1832642
also I'd like to petition whoever it is who's archiving these threads to put some effort into the descriptions because damn
>>
>>1832644
yeah..........its kinda in informative
>>
>>1832439

If John had an easy life ahead of him, he wouldn't be the MC of a Quest now would he?

>>1832514
>>1832526
>>1832642

I've been thinking about it, and I just might have a time skip after you start training with Godo. I'll let you guys decide what skills to focus on leveling up during that time, and roll for extra bits, but it's probably going to take you about 4 months to learn how to be a proper smith (which is ridiculous compared to IRL as most apprentices started at age 13 and didn't graduate until 18-20 I believe) and this quest would take forever and a half if I had to exposition that all out.

However, there is one more 'major' event I want to happen before the time skip, to give you guys some extra to work with.

>>1832556

John's a low level prophet didn't you know?

>>1832644
>>1832745

Someone else did the first thread archive, and I've been doing the rest. I apologize for the lack of description in them, but I found it a bit hard to condense ~700-750 post threads into 140 words. If I was doing this weekly, with each thread being it's own Part, it'd be a bit different. As it stands, I'll start adding which story Arc we're apart of.
>>
>>1832780
You can just do a general overview of one important event, or do something like German Hollow or Shinigami Savant where it is a few cryptic words that make sense after the thread is done.
>>
>>1832793

That's the plan.
>>
>>1832793
What the hell is German Hollow?
Also Shinigami is the bleach one right?
Is it any good,like for someone who's not into bleach?
>>
>>1833128
It's a vaguely interesting take on the concept that has a lot of creative liberties regarding all the shit Kubo left unfinished or unexplained.

A nazi soldier dies, but doesn't, and then spends several hundred years gitting gud and throws down with a bunch of people along the way while somehow turning into a decent person.

Best not to shill too hard, though. It's rude to do such things in other quests. It's worth a read in my eyes, though.
>>
>>1833128

Another quest running here about the Bleach universe. >>1832635

Don't ask me about the plot, I just pass by it when I see it.
>>
>>1833164
why?
>>
>>1833158
So essentially the opposite of Banished quest.
Might give it a try after this quest.
Thanks for the tip anon.
>>
>>1833158

I don't mind if you guys talk about other topics or other Quests than Artificer when I'm not around/when the quest isn't running. I'm not stupid enough to try to dictate what you guys discuss during off hours.
>>
>>1833167
I tried reading the manga as a teen, but I tuned out when it got to the Soul Society stuff and never really went back. Same thing happened with Naruto and One Piece.

I guess my disinterest just expanded to quests that included those settings for their stories.
>>
>>1833182
>So essentially the opposite of Banished quest.
It's shit then
>>
>>1833942
Nah just that the MC in Banished Quest was a decent guy in the beginning and than turned into a straight ass hat towards the end.
>>
>>1833971
Mik was having fun with magic
>>
>>1833971
Power corrupts
>>
>>1834253
Mik ended up becoming a wise messiah before Soma dropped
>>
>>1833231
Story T, are we questing tonight? I'm not on the twitter and therefore out of the loop.
>>
>>1835156
who needs twitter, as someone who puts a lot of stock in luck, I just pop onto the quest at random time to see if it is running. that is how I stay up to date
>>
Sorry for the absence yesterday. I was off and on for a bit, but I'd rather not make you all suffer through 4 hr delays while we're at such an important point plotwise.

Anyways, I'll be starting things up again now.
>>
>>1831651

The four of you sit down around a small coffee table. Looking around, you try your best to get a handle on the mood in the room before you speak up.

The man who escorted you in just looks bored now that his part of the job is done with. He's just picking at his finger nails while he waits for you to start things.

The mage, 'Archmage' rather, looks pissed off and just general angry at the world at large. Then again, that could just be his neutral expression; you knew of few people like that.

As for the Don, he just looks amused at the entire situation; perhaps at the antics of his subordinates though you suspect it might also be at you. A break from the mundane, perhaps.

They're all waiting for you to make the first move, so perhaps you should get to that.

What first?
> Introduce yourself
> Ask them what they know about the Gambino Train Incident
> Screw it, play the evidence without preamble
> Other
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>>1836062
>Screw it, play the evidence without preamble
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>>1836062
> Screw it, play the evidence without preamble
They are busy men and I'd rather not waste their time.
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