In the bowels of the fortress that loomed over the city of Todesfelsen, Hilda Glennzsegler sat silently in a cell, her arms covered in thick, itchy bandages that had been wrapped from her fingers to her shoulders, and watched a little ghost float away after she had whispered all she had experienced to it. She had been put there after Cranick had been killed, though the sole other witness left standing had testified to her innocence; the killing had rapidly become political, and in truth Hilda had been put here as much to protect her as much as to imprison her. It satisfied those who were suspicious of conspiracy, while also keeping her out of their hands, for now.There was naught she could do but wait, and squeeze her fingers into her palms, a dull pain under the sensation of pins and needles at least telling her that she had not lost them yet. If she could do this, she could still pull a trigger. The flesh had blackened and flaked, but the doctor who had looked at her wounds denied that they were burns, at least, not ones that could have been caused by fire, and did naught but wrap them in sterile cloth, with muttered assurances that they would look at it after some time had passed.Hilda cared little about having received yet more scars, but testing these wounds made her uneasy, as her muscles felt like jelly that struggled to shift its own weight, a far cry from their former strength. When she touched her cheeks, skin fell away in ashen flakes and it stung like fire, and all in all it was an unpleasant thing to put herself through, but it distracted her from a thought that hounded her since the moment Cranick had dissolved into a pile of rubbery bones and putty.”Have I made a mistake?”Cranick, for all his flaws, had at least seemed to like her. Hilda would rather not have thought about why that was, either, and having focused her mind on death had helped distract her from Cranick’s attempts to woo her, but now that she remained alive while he had perished, she found herself forced to put another wall between her and all of that. For how brutish he had been the…first time, Hilda had shared Cranick’s bed since then more than a few times in their brief time together, and she had to admit to herself that she had found those times far from unpleasant. What a pain it would be, she then thought, if she were to become pregnant. Hilda had absolutely no idea what she would do with a child, let alone one without a father. She’d thought about having one of course, like anybody else would, but now that one was a distinct possibility..?Another thought that had to be consigned beyond the wall.
A pair of Blue Ribbons skipped down the stairs and flirted with the sole sleepy guard watching over Hilda, flashing her spiteful glares as they did. Hilda had never been popular with that group of women; the few female gangsters she had seen took no issue with her, but the pampered girls took offense to Hilda’s relationship with the late Cranick. The guard was soon dumbly following the Blue Ribbons up the stairs, after very little convincing that Hilda needed to be guarded, and that more motivating activities could be pursued elsewhere.That leaving Hilda alone was safe was a lie, of course; Hilda did not see herself as clever and even she recognized the foul play immediately, but it seemed that this guard either cared little or was slow in the head.On cue, a few minutes after, a half dozen more Blue Ribbons filed into the room, carrying a mix of edged weapons and bludgeons, most improvised.“Hey, cunt,” the leader of them snarled at Hilda, “Look at me when I’m talking to you, you hideous whore. You know why we’re here?”Hilda didn’t answer. She simply eyed the key that her enemy held in her hand.“I hear you did it without protection,” one of the girls mocked, “What a filthy slut. You ever think about why somebody might have a problem with that?”Hilda’s eyes flicked upwards as she realized what they were talking about. She hadn’t actually thought about the consequences a child of such an important person would have; it had been far from important to her all this time.“Would have kept him forever, huh, scrap face?” Another jeered, “Too bad that jig is up.”“Come on,” yet another whined impatiently, “Hurry up and open that so we can kill her already.”Hilda slowly rose to her feet as the key bearer moved forwards, her hand shaking as she approached the lock. As her hand came close, Hilda snatched out and pulled the woman forward, who shrieked in surprised as she was yanked into the iron bars.Hilda’s arms had been weakened, and she didn’t know if she could hold the Blue Ribbon’s struggling for long; if she hadn’t been wounded, she could have broken this girl like a twig, but for now…Hilda lifted the hand holding the key to her mouth, and bit down hard upon it. The woman shrieked again as Hilda’s teeth dug deep into her fingers, and appeals for help were answered by her comrades, who did their best to stab and poke through the bars, but their strikes were feeble compared to what Hilda had suffered in the past. Once Hilda heard the key fall with a jingle, she let the Blue Ribbon’s hand be tugged from her jaws and she scrambled backwards, picking up the key as she retreated to the back of her cell.The afflicted Blue Ribbon cried in agony and rage as she stumbled away from the bars, blood running down her arm as she gripped the wounded hand with her other, “B-bitch! Whore! Ffhgaah…”
“W-we don’t have another key…” one of the girls said fearfully, pulling at her hair, “What do we do?”“G…get a gun, or something, I don’t care!” the stricken leader still stared in disbelief at her bloody hand, “She’ll tell after we’ve done this! She has to die now!”“Alright,” the whiny one said, as she started to go up the stairs. A few minutes later, she rushed back down, “Somebody’s coming!”“Shit!”“Somebody ratted us out!”The Blue Ribbons all did their best to follow their watchwoman up the stairs, and most made it out, but a powerful guardsman waded his way through the mass and snaked his hand out towards the leader, grabbing her throat and dragging her to the center of the jail room while her comrades abandoned her in their haste to escape. The guard, a different one than the last, waited dramatically for the room to fall silent, before clicking his tongue and shaking his head.“Alli, Alli, you shouldn’t have blabbed as much as you did. Cranick’s girl isn’t supposed to be hurt, see?” He smiled, and the Blue Ribbon smiled uneasily back at him.“I…I can explain…” she choked out, “Or…I’ll do something to make up for it…”“I know you’ll do anything,” the guard said in an overly friendly way as he pushed her over the table at the edge of the room, “You know the drill.”“I…Alright,” she didn’t seem happy, but her expression was unmistakably rent with uncomfortable relief as she turned over and bent over the table, “But does she have to…watch?” she glared at Hilda even now.“Shut up,” the guard said as he tugged the girl’s dress up and over her back.“Uh…kay,” the girl grit her teeth and faced the wall.Hilda didn’t want to watch this, but cautious curiosity kept her attention for a brief second as the guard, instead of doing what Hilda expected, he drew his pistol from his side and shot the Blue Ribbon in the back of the head. She died instantly, her body seizing up and her head rolling onto its side, blood already spreading in streams through her hair. Hilda had barely had time to cover her ears, and she looked with fear at the guard who holstered his smoking gun once more, and glanced dourly at her.“I mean, if you want to watch, that’s fine,” he offered as he undid his trousers. Hilda looked away immediately, covering her ears, but a minute passed and she heard little. A curious look back revealed that, thankfully, the guard had thankfully been lying about what he was going to do…at least, as far as she knew.What was important though, was that he was gone…and Hilda carefully withdrew the key she had stolen from within her shirt…
You are Richter Von Tracht, officer of panzers by the authority of the Archduchy of Strossvald.Or rather, right now, you are Rigder, and you are sharing an evening with an increasingly drunk Signy, who had taken to the bottle for now because of the stress of her newfound position.It was only fair that she was at the end of her rope. Most leaders were older than twenty years when they first tried to wrangle a country, let alone trying to form a new one out of a place such as Sosaldt, the anarchic land of bandit kings. Granted, she wasn’t doing it alone, as she had the aid of the enigmatic kingmaker Loch, but the pressure upon her was still enormous.It humored you that one of the things she had lamented about was how her father was concerned that she had no marriage prospects while he had been alive. If Signy followed your advice of swearing fealty to the Archduchy once her new Republic had been formed, the Archduke would likely crown her a Territorial Lord. Female territorial lords were not unheard of, such was the fortune of succession at times, but a female territorial lord, who was also unmarried? Signy would drown in suitors, you thought, smirking. “Whad are you smiling aboud?” Signy drolled, her head still leaning heavily on the table on top of her arms, “Ids embarrassing enuff ad is…”Signy had just misinterpreted a comment from you about a game to play as a lewd suggestion, assuming that the “Sechs” aspect of Vier-Sechs was something completely different.“No, it’s fine,” you said hurriedly; while you’d drunk some to be polite, you weren’t nearly intoxicated enough to not make your best attempt to be magnanimous, “Trying to play a game while drunk wouldn’t work out, I think, anyways. We can just talk about…whatever.”“Mmmh.” Signy grunted, “Yeh.” As you were thinking of something to say, she blurted out, “Am I cyu...uh…cud out for dis?”“Didn’t we already talk about that?”“Uh, yeah, heheHUCH,” Signy tried to laugh, but it came out all wrong and she ended up lapsing into a coughing fit. “Shid…” she moaned as it ended.“…How about you sit there for a bit, and I’ll tell you a story,” you offered.“I thing I’d lige dad,” Signy said glumly.
It hadn’t been a hunt that most would remember for the prey itself. It wasn’t a maned boar or some other beast where the contest was of might, nor was it a fowl hunt where the matter was of the quickness of shot, of timing and dexterity. On this hunt, it was a mere deer, and not even one with a great set of antlers, a particularly powerful form, or anything special about it beyond one thing.This deer had made you extremely frustrated.Mere chance had caused you to miss the killing shot on this creature twice. The first shot had wounded it, and it wouldn’t be in good sport to allow it to die slowly. Your second attempt had been disrupted as the deer of its own volition fled away from seemingly nothing. Any hunter would have called it a day there, but you felt driven to finish your work. This deer had humiliated you, you thought, and it would be worse still to leave it to die or be finished by something else. So, instead of going home that day, you disregarded the mental well-being of your parents and stayed out the night.Being a forest just outside of town rather than a game preserve, the trails were few, and you were young. The forest at night was a place you’d never lingered in, and for good reason. Solitary red wolves (really more large foxes than wolves, if you looked close enough, though doing such would be unwise) could wander through these areas, having flourished with the reduction of larger pack hunting grey wolves by civilization. Ironwood Bobcats, massive, fluffy furred felines whose intimidation factor changed drastically depending whether or not their mouths were open, were in kitting season as well, and despite humankind being just out of the realm of prey for them, they were plenty fierce when territorial as they were now. The night forest was no place for a fifteen year old boy.You persevered, though. Some would call it recklessness, but you called it pride. The pride of a young man whose ancestry shined far brighter than they ever thought they could. What sort of legend was afraid of the dark?You failed to find your quarry in the night, nor in the morning, as your eyes grew unbearably heavy and your mind lost whatever edge it had had, but you did not want to get up.-----“I wand a bobkiddy,” Signy smiled to herself, one eye half closed, so intoxicated that the appeal of the idea was much greater than normal. She looked back up at you, and grimaced when she noticed an impatient, expectant look. “Sorry. Did you kill id?”>Of course. (Lie)>No, you’d given up. At some point, it had become obvious you’d never catch it. (Less of a lie)>No. You’d also gotten lost, and had to be rescued the next evening as a search had been called. (Truth)>Make up something else.>Other?>past thread archives @ https://pastebin.com/UagT0hnh>Updates and announcements can be found on twitter @scheissfunker
>>2136721>>No. You’d also gotten lost, and had to be rescued the next evening as a search had been called. (Truth)
>>2136721>No. You’d also gotten lost, and had to be rescued the next evening as a search had been called.>Sometimes, in your nightmares, you imagine that the deer is still out there, walking around with that bloody unhealing wound in its side, mocking you, a living testament to your impotence>since that day, every time you aim a rifle, you think of that deer, and that misplaced bullet in its side. never again.
“No,” you admitted, “I got lost, and I had to be rescued that next evening. The scolding I received was…memorable.”“Jusd a sgolding?” Signy sounded perplexed, “I would’ve godden smagged.”“Perhaps I should have been beaten,” you reminisced. “Father was never a physical sort. He preferred to use words, and what he said may have hurt more than a belt.”You had been admonished fiercely for your actions, though at the time you had done little more than close your ears and affirm your agreement sullenly whenever prompted. You weren’t the sort of boy to argue with your father even if you defied his wishes, after all, but you thought at the time, who could blame you for your actions? What sort of man would you be if you had simply abandoned your quarry, you had thought insolently as your father reminded you that you were his only son, and about how selfish it was to forfeit your life for such silly things.You had taken away an important lesson from that, though. Your current marksmanship had not been easily earned, but it had stuck and held fast, nursed upon the milk of the pain of this past failure, instead of drinking the opium of complacency. Sometimes, even still, you dreamed of wandering lost through the forests because of that missed shot. That, you had decided long ago, would never happen again.You had been looking wistfully out the window while explaining this, and half expected Signy to be asleep when you turned back, like Maddalyn probably would have been, but she was perfectly awake and attentive, if extremely drunk.“You’re so cool…” Signy said.“Well,” your modesty was reflexive, but on further thought…you were rather cool, weren’t you? Not that you said that.“I wish I wendoud and did thad sord of thing, inssed of…well…agdually,” Signy’s face turned down in remembrance, “I guess I shoulda been gradeful, dad was so inderesded in me being safe, being smard, educaded…but now if I fuggup, id’s nod jusd me who geds hurd…”“I thought the alcohol was supposed to take your mind off that.”“I thod so tooooo…” Signy lamented with a dreary rolling of her head and a ruffling of her hair with a hand, “Maybe I shood sleeb afder all…”Signy tried to get up, but only succeeded in pushing herself onto the floor face first. “Oof, he he,” she giggled mournfully as she pushed herself up, cringing with pain as she pushed on her still healing fingers and hands the wrong way, “I jusd…guh,” she moaned as she forgot the state of her digits in her drunkenness and cringed with pain again as she unsuccessfully tried to push herself up, finally getting to her knees and standing up…only for her to lose her balance a second after and fall on her rear. “For fugssake,” Signy swore, “Jusd…leave me here, den. The floor’s nod so bad, I guess.”>Unacceptable. Pick her up.>If she says so, then, fine. Leave her and let Loch handle this.>Other?
>>2137371>>Unacceptable. Pick her up.No wonder they didn't want her to get drunk if she ends up like this.
>>2137371>>Unacceptable. Pick her up.No, no, no this isn't a proper place to bully her sense of self-worth.
>>2137371Pick her up
“Unacceptable,” you said resolutely, as you crouched down and hooked one arm under her and another behind her back.“Wah!” Signy yelped in surprise as you lifted her up, before slurring, “Liddle high on the leg, aren’d you, soldier?”“Sorry.” You adjusted your grip. “Better?”Signy curled into herself, “Well, I wudden blame you, I mean, how ofden do you ged to grobe the leader of a coundry? Imagine if…if the Arshduge, his budd was jusd dere, and you could give id a good squeeze, wouldn’d you?”The mental image of molesting the Archduke sprang into your mind for the slightest second, despite your desire otherwise. “…No.”“Whad aboud the Gaizer?”“I don’t think I want to grope the behinds of any rulers, thank you,” you said.“So…do I have the besd ass of any ruler?”“I wouldn’t know.”Signy pouted at you. “No fun.” She quieted down for a bit as you opened the door again and did your best to avoid banging her head on the frame, but when you were through, she rambled on. “You know, ids ogay to flird. I geep gcalling you cude and shid, I know you’re already tagen, you’re allowed to say things.”“By virtue of you being a…healthy, twenty year old woman and that Archduke Siegfried is a large fifty six year old man, I can presume that your rear end is more appealing than his.”“Jeez, godda do dad whole songan dance, huh,” Signy was unimpressed, “I hope you aren’d suj a tideass wid your fianshay…”“Where is your room?” you changed the subject, “You don’t sleep at the inn anymore, right?”“Somewhere in here,” Signy answered sleepily, “I dunno. So warm…” She curled into herself more tightly.Having to wander around looking for Signy’s room was somewhat of a pain, and it felt like you had checked every other room on the floor before finding it, your pace slow to avoid shaking Signy too much. It wasn’t much of a bedroom; besides the cot and thick, poofy pair of blankets, and the small dresser in the corner, there wasn’t much that distinguished it from the many other office spaces.You rolled her carefully onto the cot, wondering if you should take her boots off, but ultimately deciding against it. You checked to make sure she was in a good position, before looking down and checking your jacket. Thankfully, Signy didn’t drool in her sleep like Maddalyn did.
“Miss Vang is asleep in her quarters,” you told Loch as you came back.“Good,” he smiled, “Good. Will you be retiring for the night?”“Soon, perhaps. I wanted to finalize the plans for my role in the battle, though.”Loch raised an eyebrow. “Oh? Will you be going with Brucker’s plan, or mine? Either is acceptable, although I would say my method has less points of weakness, even if it is less refined.”The plans Loch was referring to concerned how exactly your platoon and its attached elements would fight in the battle to come. If Loch was correct in his assumptions, you would only have to fight one battle and defeat the enemy outside of the city, in prime tank ground, so the matter would likely only be relevant for a short period of time in any case.Brucker’s idea was for you to spread your platoon, and thus your communications capabilities and armor strength, throughout the 1st Republic Armor Battalion’s companies to help their coordination, since the vehicles lacked radios, while your vehicles each had one. Otherwise, the companies would have to coordinate via courier, an uncertain affair in a raging battlefield, or by flag, which was only effective at a certain distance and would thus necessitate close operating space.Loch’s idea on the other hand was to concentrate your strength by having your platoon operate as, well, a platoon attached to you. This way, your armor would be able to target and eliminate trouble spots if need be, and in the case of weak opposition, allow you to sweep it aside with such ease that it could cause a panic in the enemy ranks as penetrations appeared where they expected easy foes.Either was viable in a way, so it depended on which you preferred.>Go with Brucker’s plan of dispersing your assets>Go with Loch’s plan of concentrating your assets>Come up with another method>Other?
>>2137996>Go with Loch’s plan of concentrating your assetsConsidering how shit this army is going to be if we actually need to do any serious fighting it'd be better if we were all together to quickly breakthrough any tough spots.Although if we actually have to bust through Death Head bunkers and their castle then we're probably doomed regardless.
>>2137996>>Go with Loch’s plan of concentrating your assets
>>2137996>Go with Brucker’s plan of dispersing your assetsWho's the famous general here, Brucker or Loch?
>>2137996Follow Lochs plan.
>>2138493Brucker is the one who you're almost certain is former General Von Hohenholz. Loch is an enigma, though one who seems very strangely familiar, both in appearance and voice.There's also about a thirty to forty year age difference between them.
>>2138719Also I'll be updating again in a few hours time.
I would suggest doing something stupid like ripping the radios out of our tanks and giving them to Hohenholz's platoons and then keeping our platoon together and coordinating via signal flags, but it's probably not worth the trouble.
>>2138721tanq could we get a very rough approximation of what the Republic is going to be fielding against the Death Heads?I might be wrong but I thought it was mostly going to be a motley collection of very light tanks/cars, self-propelled guns and maybe some fixed artillery with mostly fairly Green infantry support.
>>2138742That would be roughly the case, with whatever armored assets that could be scrounged up organized into one battalion of four companies. There are more battalions than that, but those are near entirely of lightly armed foot troops with little in the way of indirect support arms such as mortars or even machine guns. While a good portion of the troops could be called decently experienced at fighting in general, their experience when it comes to coordinating with one another is very limited, with the usual style of combat locally being limited border skirmishes between less than a dozen people at a time. To put it bluntly, they'll fight, but they are severely lacking in coordination and discipline.They are doubtless a far inferior force to the Death Heads, who have experienced if potentially equally undisciplined mercenaries as their core force. They can't be compared to your own tankers and soldiers, of course, but compared to the local riff raff they are of a different level indeed. The way Loch has described the battle to come, at least, is not one that will require assaulting significant fortifications or the city. Rather, the idea is to draw out an enemy contingent into ideal fighting ground, and win a single decisive battle to collapse enemy morale while something he has yet to divulge the precise nature of causes chaos in the city itself.He is quite confident in any case that you will only need to win one good victory (ie; force a retreat of a significant portion of the enemy), and the rest will fall into place after that.
>>2138781Which is why we should concentrate all of our superior armor, instead of dividing them like brucker suggests which would leave them isolated and capable of being picked off one at a time.
There's not much we can do either way than to trust in his mysterious plan. Whatever we choose, it all hinges on that. I don't see how either choice is going to have a significant impact but sticking our boys together is likely to keep them alive. Dividing our force isn't likely to keep morale high or command any significant authority or obedience from the army if things go to shit.>Go with Loch’s plan of concentrating your assets
Writing soon, after having a bite.
“I think I prefer your approach,” you said to Loch, “Considering the nature of our…troops.”“Your lack of faith is understandable,” Loch agreed, albeit sharing none of your concern, “But they will be sufficient for the task. This battle would be much simpler with a Strossvald battle line, naturally, but if war were so simple, anybody could be great at it, hm?”“I suppose. I will be returning to my camp, then.”“Have a good night then, Von Tracht.”-----Your dreams were disturbingly empty that night, though you at least were not disturbed by a loud voice in your head, nor by a trip to the roiling dreamland that you now knew to be inhabited by horrors unable to be comprehended by human senses. Compared to those, blissful darkness was a paradise of sorts.You awoke to a tickling sensation in your chest, the morning sky still dark; it couldn’t have been later than six o’clock, and was in all likelihood earlier. You stretched on your bedroll, and looked down at yourself to discover the tickling sensation was Emma, drinking your presence.You cleared your throat at her. “Oh,” Emma stopped pecking at you, “Morning.”“Do you have something to tell me?” you asked groggily, Emma’s brightness hurting your poor, still waking eyes when you looked at her.“Well, Hilda’s not dead. Cranick is.”“Good to hear,” you weren’t completely able to process that information yet, in your still half slumbering mind, but it was at least obviously a good thing. “You don’t sound that enthusiastic.”“Well, no, I’m not,” Emma said, sounding as though she’d be more exasperated if she wasn’t somehow too tired for that sort of emotion, “Your wizard cooked Hilda really bad. She’s alive, but…well, she said she’d had worse, though that’s not saying much. She’s also in jail, but they don’t think she actually did it, as far as I’ve figured out from snooping.”“Snooping, huh,” you heaved yourself up into a sitting position, leaning forwards and letting your hands dangle between your legs as they crossed over one another, “I presume that without Cranick…”“It’s a mess. Yeah.”>Well, don’t leave me hanging. What sort of mess?>Can you tell me anything specific? (Write in)>Thank you for coming back to tell me that, but you didn’t come back with anybody, did you? I can’t have you risking fading away by flying back and forth from here and there, you know, no matter what the news is.>Other?
>>2138945>>Thank you for coming back to tell me that, but you didn’t come back with anybody, did you? I can’t have you risking fading away by flying back and forth from here and there, you know, no matter what the news is.>Well, don’t leave me hanging. What sort of mess?
>>2138945>Thank you for coming back to tell me that, but you didn’t come back with anybody, did you? I can’t have you risking fading away by flying back and forth from here and there, you know, no matter what the news is.>Can you tell me anything specific? (Write in)What do you mean he cooked her?
>>2138945>... Wait. Cooked?>And Maddy? Did they get out?
“Thank you for coming back to tell me this,” you rubbed your eyes, “but you didn’t come back with anybody, did you?”“…No.”“That isn’t pleasant for you, is it,” you murmured, “I can’t have you risking fading away by flying back and forth from here and there, you know, no matter what the news is.”“No, there was a really big reason too, but…it’s slipping from my head right now…” Emma sounded strained; whatever she had forgotten must have been something she would rather not have, in particular.“Well, don’t leave me handing, then. What sort of mess?”“That guy looks like he was the one who’d been binding everyone else together,” Emma explained, “As soon as word that he bit it got out, the mines stopped, and an awful lot of people started moving around them. I heard this from some of your people that’ve been hanging around, so I went over there, and it sounds like this guy you had knocked off was the only big guy the miners and whoever else went over trusted. All the other leaders are people who’re gone a lot; they don’t trust them.”Internal divisiveness, likely spurned on by Loch. How many troops would it take from Todesfelsen’s front lines, though? “Also, you said Hilda was…cooked? What do you mean by that?” you asked next.“When your wizard killed Cranick, Hilda was close enough to him to get hit by whatever the wizard did. It put these weird burn things on her arms and legs, and it got into some other parts, too. I’m calling them burns, but they’re also just….not. It’s like somebody charred her black, but instead of being charcoal or something, it’s like, this black slime stuff. It moves, and…I just can’t describe it, but to me, it looks so much stranger than it looks to anybody else. She’s alright other than that, I guess, her arms and legs still work fine besides that, I think, but…”“I see,” perhaps you could ask either soulbinder about that next time you saw them; most importantly, how they would fix it. “And Maddy? Did she get out?”“Maddy?” Emma repeated, “Oh, yeah. Her. No, the timing was wrong. That, and the wizard skipped town.”“…Why?”“Because…” Emma thought, “Because…oh! There was another wizard, and…your wizard told me to leave, and it seemed like a really good idea at the time, because this other guy, he was…it’s weird, it didn’t happen that long ago, but it’s like when I think about him, everything gets all blurry. It was like...I think I can remember a bit now, it was like, you know how your soul or whatever looks like it does, your wizard’s looks like something else, and this other guy, it looked horrible, like he was a monster and I could tell just by looking.”
Another soulbinder? Already? He sounded so foreboding as well.“Did he say if he was with some sort of order or anything?” You asked, to be sure.“I don’t remember. He said something that I’m…just forgetting, and your guy told me to leave, so I did. I looked back while I was leaving, and your guy and him looked one was chasing the other.”“Damn it all,” you were still plenty drowsy but you knew this could be bad news, “Is he still there?”“No. He chased your guy out of the city and followed him out. I stayed a bit longer since they left.”“Damn.” You said again. If the Riverman couldn’t pull Maddalyn out, that really threw a wrench in things. Hopefully, he wouldn’t be gone for long, but if another soulbinder was chasing him, and if said soulbinder was one of the Oblitares that Poltergeist spoke a warning about…>Anything else?>Alright, that’s all I need. If Cranick’s dead, a courier should be back soon to tell Loch that, so you can go back with him.>Thank you for telling me all that. You should stay around me from now on, you don’t need to hang around that city anymore, it’s gotten too dangerous for you.>Other?
>>2139478>>Thank you for telling me all that. You should stay around me from now on, you don’t need to hang around that city anymore, it’s gotten too dangerous for you.Im all for going back in there and making sure Maddy gets out, let Metzeler command our guys. We should also one up Loch by informing him that Cranick's dead.
>>2139478>>Thank you for telling me all that. You should stay around me from now on, you don’t need to hang around that city anymore, it’s gotten too dangerous for you.Unless we need her for anything else in particular but we may as well keep her with us until we need her to run a message for any reason, such as coordinating a new escape plan for Maddy.
>>2139478>>Thank you for telling me all that. You should stay around me from now on, you don’t need to hang around that city anymore, it’s gotten too dangerous for you.Well fuck.
>>2139478>>Thank you for telling me all that. You should stay around me from now on, you don’t need to hang around that city anymore, it’s gotten too dangerous for you.>Tell me if you keep forgetting things even if you're not close to that monster guy, who knows what's happening to you
>>2139478>Thank you for telling me all that. You should stay around me from now on, you don’t need to hang around that city anymore, it’s gotten too dangerous for you.
Hey, sorry that I've taken a while, but I just haven't been in a good frame of mind for writing. So sorry about that, we'll be back on track tomorrow. The rickety moldy track but a track nonetheless.In the meantime, that thing I said I'd do a month ago. One and a half.>why are you drawing this crap instead of writing your storyI know I know but it's way easier to do this than write, honestly. This really doesn't take long to do but it's been on the backburner for a while so it's been on and off.>>2139519Please, you have to command panzers at some point. Though since I've shifted around t completely different character perspectives it wouldn't be impossible to do both...
>>2140000Maddy is so cute here!
>>2140000that pic is much too wholesome.centerfold spread of her mother when?
>>2140016Can't do that in a Judgian quest!
P I G T A I L S
>>2140000>frilly lace on the tightsAdorable.
“Thank you for telling me all of that,” you said to Emma, “but, you should stay around me from now on. There’s no need for you to be in that godforsaken city anymore; it’s too dangerous, now.”“What?” Emma asked. She seemed almost as sleepy as you were, somehow, though it was a different sort of exhaustion. “Oh, yeah. Kay.”“Tell me if you keep forgetting things, even if you’re not close to whoever that was,” you asked Emma, your mind pulling priorities together as the engines of thought warmed up, “Who knows what could be happening to you, considering that you’re…well.”“Yeah,” Emma let out another dismissive affirmation, “…Can I go back in the can?”That surprised you to hear. “You want to be in the can?”“It’s the closest thing I can get to sleeping. I just want to…not think about things for a little bit.”It wasn’t a request that was reasonable to turn down. After digging out the designated mess tin from your things, Emma curled inside of it and you shut the lid on her. Easy as that was for her, you were still up early, and much as you would have liked to return to sleep for an hour or so more, the new information weighed too heavily on your mind for it to be at proper peace. Unwilling to rouse the rest of the city to accommodate your new wakefulness, you took a walk, instead. Though you would have once hid inside your camp to not unnecessarily endanger yourself in this wild land, you now walked about with nary a thought about any potential dangers. Staying this long among allies in Sosaldt had tempered the wildness of the land in your imagination, which was as relieving as it was oddly disappointing. The relative discipline of the Guillotines had worked out in the favor of actually training them, though now that the time of Rostig revolved around readying for war, where the city would have once not slept, the mornings were now eerily quiet, with not a soul but yourself in the streets, watching the sky turn from black to grey. Clouds had rolled over in the night, and though they were dark enough to have looked like they would drip upon you at a moment’s notice, they never did such, instead rolling past, marching to some place far away to a storm elsewhere. Even the homeless and vagrants had been rolled up by the mobilization effort, and the pits of detritus where their former homes had been were still visible in the alleys, now populated solely by alley cats and their junk devouring prey.
You also passed by a temporary motor pool that had been formed when migrants began showing up with vehicles. These were, of course, confiscated for the war effort if they were suitable, and though there was never a shortage of complaints the alternative would have been to go into the coming battle with a motley collection of vehicles in varying states of mechanical distress. Cannibalizing the incoming stock of machines had admittedly greatly increased the health of the vehicular fleet of the Republican Army, though the pieces your m/32s required were tragically not so easy to come by. Your next sightseeing stop was one of the several training grounds, now torn up by relentless drilling that had been conducted to put the recent recruits through enough of a wringer for them to match the more experienced fighters at least on a physical level; a week’s training was far from enough, but it would at least harden their psyches even if their bodies were still soft. The state of equipment had gotten better, at least; every man at least had a weapon, though there were still unavoidable shortages of support weaponry. Almost every man also had some sort of uniform as well, and dissenting voices had calmed significantly once the armament disparity between units was no longer as pronounced, a great relief to you and your officers and advisors. Deep grayish brown tunics, caps, and roughly finished rifles were the norm, and though you knew that was only the case with the Guillotines and whomever had come here to bolster the ranks of the first official units of the Republic, it was good for the core of a new fighting force to have some level of standardization. Though, they were still a far cry from a modern force, as you and Honnrieg had discussed the other day while observing exercises.“To be frank,” Honnrieg had said with lacking confidence that caused your own to shrivel, “These men are undertrained and don’t have nearly the amount of equipment they need. There’s few machine guns and practically no mortars, the closest thing to those is rifle grenade launchers, and even those don’t have much in the way of grenades to launch. A Type I Infantry Platoon’s got more firepower than a full company of these guys.”
Type III Infantry was meant to be the baseline of Strossvald infantry. In addition to their rifles, platoons were equipped with four light machine guns, one per rifle squad, as well as a light platoon mortar whose minders carried both explosive and smoke shells, and each company had an antitank rifle section as well. This structure was based off of Reich post-Emrean War theory, where each formation had its own integrated support, but despite being the standard of the Archduchy’s army, it was only represented roughly sixty to seventy percent of all infantry formations. The other forty to thirty percent were made up of Type IIs, who lacked antitank assets, and Type Is, who were not equipped with platoon level mortars or a heavy company of heavy machine gun (Von Muse guns modified for belt feed instead of magazine feed) platoons and medium mortars, and were thus not meant for frontline duty, and were more often used for security.In short, according to Honnrieg’s measure, a platoon of what was nominally meant to be reserve infantry was stronger than a company of Republic troops. It wasn’t as if you could stay forever and train and equip a force you would ever be satisfied with, anyways. The more you waited, the more likely the Death Heads were to reorganize and regain strength, the longer you were away from your comrades in Strossvald, and the worse there was a chance of Maddalyn getting hurt even more. You would simply have to bite the bullet in a few days and fight.Speaking of biting things, you debated whether to tell Loch about Cranick’s death before any of his own men could inform him of it. You could easily excuse your knowledge of it; Loch knew you had your own men, they had been even working together since you had delivered Loch’s operatives to the city. You wouldn’t have to explain how a literal ghost floated down and told you everything.>It would be a decent way to one-up him, and perhaps earn some respect. It would also give him more time to plan now that the prime obstacle to his original plot was gone, and wouldn’t that be good for all of you?>It wouldn’t be necessary. A courier would likely be on the way soon enough, and it would breed suspicion for somebody to answer to you rather than him, and also for said person to have theoretically come before his own had.>Other?>>2140016The original design of Mathilda's costume didn't have pants
>>2141455>It wouldn’t be necessary. A courier would likely be on the way soon enough, and it would breed suspicion for somebody to answer to you rather than him, and also for said person to have theoretically come before his own had.Today's ally is tomorrows enemy, we STILL don't know his ultimate plans or who he works for, guessing aside. I'd rather not reveal one of the few advantages we have.Part of me wants Emma to have spied on Loch a week prior but given that Mask can see her it wouldn't have been a good idea.Also even hinting about our capacity toward wizardry bullshit might bring down the wrath of Inspector Magic and his wind-up golem doggo.>mfw when spoiler
>>2141455>>It wouldn’t be necessary.Loch can go fuck himself we are not friends and it's fine if he doesn't have a very high opinion of is or our abilities
>>2141455>>It wouldn’t be necessary. A courier would likely be on the way soon enough, and it would breed suspicion for somebody to answer to you rather than him, and also for said person to have theoretically come before his own had.
>>2141455>It wouldn’t be necessary. A courier would likely be on the way soon enough, and it would breed suspicion for somebody to answer to you rather than him, and also for said person to have theoretically come before his own had.
No, you thought, it wouldn’t be necessary to say anything. With little idea of what grand game Loch was playing, it would be wise to keep whatever cards you had close to your chest, even if those cards did little as of now other than give the slightest of comforts that your hand might have been better than the rest of the table’s. A courier would likely come along anyways and tell Loch the important bits anyways, and what would half a day or a day’s time really matter with regards to Loch’s plan? As far as you could tell, he assumed his plans always worked, or would take steps to force the world into going along with his plan.It displeased you to have to think about such things; whose game piece you were, what who was doing and why, though not just because of the experience of being forced to confront how little you could do about that, but also because thinking about such things took an extraordinary amount of effort. When you had barely started, your mind would slip down smoother streams of idealism and rhetoric. It was so much easier to try and fit the pieces within the mold of the ideology of your people, and really, was that a bad thing? It worked plenty well enough at home, but here in Sosaldt, there was no Archduchy whose interests were that of its subjects, no elite administration whose prosperity depended on their care of the people. The closest thing there was, were shadowy puppet masters of various stripes, whose varied backgrounds made you wonder if they were not parallel to yourself.Battle was so much simpler. There were no mysteries as to who was friend or foe, or any debate in how one dealt with the problems an enemy on the battlefield caused. Philosophers took a dim view of war, but you had been educated by the history of warfare and by those who had been tempered in its flames. The reasons why it was done and if it was just mattered little to those who had to fight or survive; when the question was not whether it was right or wrong, but rather whether one would emerge the victor or not, the scattered pieces of what made up the world fell into place much more easily. Whether this was a good thing in itself was not something you’d ever been made to question; merely that, when events arrived to such, an odd relief was only natural as what was once difficult to process became clear as glass crystal.You could hardly wait for the inevitable battle to come, despite all of the woes preparing for it had brought about.Wasn’t that unusual?A strange question that sprang into your mind, but one that ultimately was not worth answering, not now.
With the city around you asleep and few preparations you could make alone, you wasted away for lack of literature. Sosaldt was not a bastion of learning, as one could expect, and even though the literacy programs of the Reich many score ago had made it so that there were few communities that could not read and write, what was read and written here was not to your tastes. There was no library with tomes on war theory and speculating upon what great generals of the past had thought as they went to fight, merely well-thumbed old magazines of many varieties that served as grim reminders of the places the inhabitants of this country of junk had once lived in, mementos of pasts they had abandoned.Were you too young to write your own memoirs, you suddenly thought. The more you thought, the more appealing the idea seemed; there was no shortage of note taking equipment in your supplies, so why not?When your men began to rise, it did not take long for your new pastime to be noticed.“That’s a lot of notes you’re taking there, commander,” Stein said.“I’ve decided to write down what has happened to us so far.”“That, er,” Stein seemed skeptical of the worth of such an activity, “That wouldn’t be much to write down, would it?”“You would be surprised.”Now that your platoon was up, however, no more work could be done on your frivolous writings. The routine that had become typical was begun; cleaning of equipment in a desperate bid to slow their deterioration, testing of said equipment, discovering new symptoms of problems, and scratching out problems that had mysteriously disappeared of their own volition, all to ensure that when the day of battle came, you would be able to say with confidence that you had done your best to prevent any of your vehicles from becoming an immobile heap of what may as well have been scrap if it was without a conflict to partake in.Beyond the midpoint of daylight, more troops had arrived from the rest of the Republic.The three battalions that Glockenblume had promised, as well as the one that the White Eyes had. Though it was hardly your business to inspect them, you felt a need to, regardless. Honnrieg and Brucker were, to put it frankly, better at putting men through their paces than you could hope to be, and most of their instructional sessions ended up educating you as much as it did the Republic’s soldiers, so you took the opportunity to see who would be making up the forces at your flanks.
You first looked at the collected White Eyes, who despite lacking proper uniforms, could not be mistaken as a mere armed mob, either. The usual wear was a bleached cowl or hood, with many having coats long enough for a group of them to look like classical ghosts at a distance. Even the ones less thickly dressed wore enough pale regalia for it to be clear who they were affiliated with at a glance. They were not assembled in any sort of parade or formation, and were presumably waiting for somebody more official than a curious observer, but they were almost to a man silent, cautious, and steely eyed. The few voices who attempted conversation seldom received more than hushed responses; were you to guess, these were new recruits who had bolstered the numbers of this warband.They had no heavy weaponry from what you could see, and what vehicles there were clearly were only used as supply carriers and not troop ferries; the weapons they had, at a glance, were not standard and must have been personally maintained armament, but most of the fighters had a look about them that told you that they had indeed seen battle before; they were even already organized into constituent units, with the leadership not clearly uniformed but undoubtedly recognizable amongst themselves simply by how some of them carried themselves and how they were regarded by their men.You didn’t bother sticking around the find out more just yet. You were still conducting a brief reconnaissance, so you hurried on to the Blue Barbed Band contingent.The “troops” Glockenblume and its subjects had sent forth were more numerous, to the tune of roughly three to one odds to the White Eyes contribution, with each separate group being larger than the White Eyes group even still, but there was little good to say about them otherwise.There were some hard faced veterans at a glance, to be sure, but they were few and far between, and usually in leadership over many more times their number of scraggly, unkempt men in varying states of dress who could all be described as hopeless, their own eyes dead rather than steely. Their mix of guns was even less uniform than the White Eyes, and many couldn’t be described as proper primary weapons at all, some even now having firearms at all and rather having bludgeons or knives. The only thing unifying them was a small blue satchel attached to each of their waists, something the NCOs, for lack of a better term, lacked.>Take a closer look at the White Eyes>Take a closer look at the Blue Barbed Band troops>None of this has anything to do with you, head on back and let whomever is planned to greet these people handle this.>Other?You can do either in any order, this is more to handle what come first.
>>2142128>Take a closer look at the Blue Barbed Band troopsTry to find out what's in the satchels. My guess is drugs, and if I'm right we need to know how they affect combat performance and discipline.Also take notes for the future when we or Signy has to fight them.>Take a closer look at the White EyesTalk with the commanders, take stock of their capabilities. Maybe we can use them as kind of a spec-ops unit?
>>2142135This works well.
Sorry for the delay!------You were driven to further investigate your allies; primarily the Blue Barbs. Aside from your just suspicion concerning anything to do with Glockenblume, you wanted to see if these fighters were as sloppy as they looked at first glance, since in the future it was quite possible either you or Signy would have to do battle with them. Of particular interest were the small blue bags on the common soldiery, that was absent from the leadership. Drugs, perhaps? Combat enhancing drugs were not something unheard of, though from your experience most were energy boosters or wakefulness inducing chemicals to ameliorate the effects of fatigue over long periods of battle. If Loch was correct about the main battle itself being short, there would be no need for such drugs.As you drew closer, the upper echelon quickly took notice of you and sent an envoy ahead to meet you halfway. The pair of fighters were both of the NCO equivalent class, neither of them having the blue waist bags. Reason would dictate that their identifying color would be blue like the White Eyes were appropriately uniformed, but the only piece of blue on their otherwise black and grey apparel were kerchiefs and armbands.“Hold up there,” one said loudly to you, voice belaying caution even though his weapon remained slung across his front, unloaded. Since you were close enough to get a better look at it now, you could now tell that the officers’ weapons were several grades above that of their charges. They were new submachineguns, and not new in the Sosaldtian sense where they were only gently used or were roughly manufactured, but guns so new that their bluing was untouched by the elements, whose edges were so fine the parts may as well have been freshly stamped. “I am a representative of Cyclops, an official in the Army of the Republic,” you used your new cover identity to the fullest extent, “I simply wish to meet with your superiors and have a look at your contributions.”The two NCOs glanced at one another. “Heard tell that somebody we knew better was gonna handle that,” the other one who hadn’t spoken yet said in a defiant tone, “This innit some circus freak show, this is flesh an’ blood for Cyclops. She don’t like it, we can go right back, hear?”>[Try to throw your weight around] You pretend like that’s an option. Let me by, that “flesh and blood” is the Republic’s, not the property of Assclown and pals.>[Make empty promises] Maybe I can have a tour if I promise something in return? I can make good on a favor if your superiors like.>[Be accommodating] That’s fine then, I’ll be back with this person you know then, whoever they are. Perhaps even Cyclops herself.>Other?
>>2143188If we're actually going to keep our head down and make sure someone else takes the *blame* for commanding this scrappy band of shitbirds then we shouldn't rock the boat.>[Make empty promises] Maybe I can have a tour if I promise something in return? I can make good on a favor if your superiors like.Look you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, there's going to be prime loot coming out of Todesfelsen and a quick word might grow your pile a little larger than it would otherwise.
>>2143188>>[Be accommodating] That’s fine then, I’ll be back with this person you know then, whoever they are. Perhaps even Cyclops herself.Go see the White Eyes then find whoever's their point of contact.
>>2143188>[Be vaguely threatening] That’s fine then, I’ll go tell Cyclops that you demand she does talk with you herself.
So a three way, unless I guess two can be mixed? I dunno.I'll roll for it when I start in a couple hours, if that's all right.
Rolled 2 (1d3)Here's hoping the bones don't bone it up. I feel it in my bones. It gives me a boner. Actually it just makes me want to die.See it's like a dice joke instead of a bone jokePlease don't lynch me
>>2143188>Other?>"Turning away a government official and a representative of the head of state is a serious matter and not something you should take lightly. I'll give you a second chance to reconsider your answer"
>>2144140Where did you come from
Uh.Well shit, I didn't think anybody else was around.If there's any dissent against using the dice roll choice then I'll reconsider for a choice with more than one vote, but otherwise I'll be planning to update in about an hour or so.
>>2144148Well I didn't break the tie and not a big fan of either of the options.. just go with your roll I don't mind.
“That’s fine then,” your acceptance seemed to somewhat surprise the Blue Barbs who had come out to stop you, “I’ll be back with this person you know, then, whoever they are. Maybe I’ll even bring Cyclops.”They looked dumbly at each other, and said nothing as you turned on your heel and departed. If they wanted to be so secretive, you thought, you’d hit up the more amicable people first. No need to try and worm your way into the ranks of the Blue Barbs with any attempts at trickery, not by yourself, at least.You wondered briefly if it was hypocritical that you so misliked being manipulated, despite you doing plenty of the same when it benefited you. The way you reasoned it, your intents were rarely nefarious, that and the people who jerked you around always were much more forceful or had impenetrable schemes; perhaps it was irritation at not knowing the true stakes that left you indignant. In a book of history, there were few mysteries that could not be speculated on with a great degree of accuracy. If only current events were so graceful.When you approached the White Eyes again, this time more closely, some regarded you with caution, but some murmurs bubbled about, leading to the glances to you becoming significantly less suspicious. You hadn’t considered yourself famous enough for that, though in hindsight, you had seen some White Eye parties coming to and from Rostig, usually ferrying supplies. Perhaps some of those couriers were in this group and had spread word of who you were. An eager volunteer soon stumbled forward and raised a heavily gloved and wrapped hand in greeting, the repurposed lower half of a gas mask adorning his face; without the rest of it, it was useless against any chemical attack, though it doubtless served as a satisfactory shield against Sosaldt’s persistent dust…in theory. The concept of wearing a gas mask without being under threat of chemical attack wasn’t one that appealed to you.
“Hoy!” the man called out, “You’re that Cyclops’s boyfriend, aren’t you?”You’d have to beat whoever started spreading that rumor, if you found out who it was. “We are not a couple.”The White Eye shrugged as a few of his compatriots chuckled, apparently having been skeptical of such a claim themselves. “Sure. Here, I’ll take you to our boss. You, uh, probably didn’t come here to meet with me, yeah? Heh.”You followed the jolly man wordlessly as he threw random queries at you, most of which were thankfully able to be answered without much thought as your faculties dissected the wear of these unusual soldiers. Most had cloaks or similar concealing body wear, and underneath was simple belts and webbings that had little mounted on them besides perhaps a knife or a tin of sorts. The primary method of carrying supplies looked to be slings, some of them modified to hang off the front of their belts. You saw very few automatic weapons; the most common firearm were rifles of varying age, ranging from modern carbines to lever actuated antiques, but none of them were rusty or otherwise abused. Some carried odd looking bolas-looking weapons consisting of either a single block on a cord or two connected by a thick, bundled wire.“What are those?” you pointed them out to your guide as you advanced through the dispersed platoons.“The slingbombs?” the White Eye guessed what you were referring to, “They’re not fancy, but if you toss them into wheels or tracks they do some ugly work. Most of the time we just rip stuff out of ‘em for cookfires, tho. Getting close enough to throw em isn't a great idea a lot of the time, but we have 'em anyways since they burn good and it's better'n trying to find fuel for fire on long patrols.”“You make explosives?” you asked.“We don’t, nah. Trade for ‘em. Some places up north are the guys who churn the stuff out. Turns out stuff that blows up is in common demand here, who’d have thought?”“You burn it,” you said, thinking about the sort of explosive that could be. Likely a relatively new sort, that was much more stable. “So it’s not dynamite?”“Nah. We don’t like using that for fighting. Worth more selling to mines, like the one in the city there, yeah?”“I see.”“Well, hey, we’re almost there,” the White Eye said excitedly, “They’re not much to look at, just to warn you, but they’re in charge for a damn good reason.”
The person presented to you as the leader of the White Eyes warriors was hardly what you imagined they’d be. Denizens of Sosaldt, you’d come to learn, were more often on the slight side, partially because of the typical diet but also because of the relatively meager quantity of it, and the White Eyes despite their loose and flowing garb were thinner still than that, but the person before you was something else. With no signs of their position besides the stature of their aides, the commander was the smallest and slightest of the whole band that you’d laid eyes on, and among a battalion sized element that was truly saying something.Flanked by taller men that made them even more diminutive by comparison, the commander wore a covering over their lower face, the bandanna precariously balanced on a small, stubby nose despite how tightly it had been tied. A loop of white-blond hair fell out from under another head covering underneath their white cowl that was draped over their head and shoulders, the looseness of clothing combined with feminine features making it difficult to say for certain whether this was a small man or a woman. Their eyes were conspicuously large and round, and a bright shade of enchanting green. They would have been the prime part of a fair face indeed, once, were it not for the thin, pale records of violence running up and down said visage from below its mask. They were straight and clean; the work of a sharp knife and a deft hand.
“Mate,” the man guiding you throws his hand forward, directing your attention to where it had already been placed prior to being distracted, “This is our commandant, Viska.”Viska said nothing, instead letting one of their aides speak. “We’ve come to help Cyclops kick the easterner’s teeth in, and we pack light, so we’re ready whenever. If you want to ask anything, go right ahead. We’ve nothing to hide anymore. Cyclops helped us, and we ain’t the sort to not return a favor, ‘specially when there’s something innit for us anyhow.”You were uncertain of why Viska wouldn’t say anything themselves. Was it to disguise a part of their identity from you? Was that something you should be wary of, if so? Did it really matter?“You’re not who I thought we’d be meeting with,” the speaker went on, “but from the look of you, you seem like one of those fellows who’s close to Cyclops anyways, so it don’t matter too much, so long as we can come in and talk with the head.”>May I know why your leader isn’t asking this instead? Surely I cannot be blamed for thinking such a thing is odd.>[Cautious] I have no authority to decide whether or not you may enter, so I’d rather not overstep my position. You will have to wait. A large force coming in with only my approval would be disruptive, but your leader can come with me.>[Negotiate] You may trust Cyclops, but I don’t trust you. I chatted with the Blue Barbs and they were awfully cagey, while you bunch are incredibly trusting. Surely it wouldn’t be a problem to help me in some way? (Suggest)>[Passive] I see no problem with that. I will go ahead and tell everybody you’re coming in.>Other?That took way longer than I expected. I guess I'm feeling funny right now and that's messing with my ability to string things together.
>>21443691 & 4I don't remember Signy voicing any concerns about the White Eyes
>>2144369>May I know why your leader isn’t asking this instead? Surely I cannot be blamed for thinking such a thing is odd.
>>2144369>>May I know why your leader isn’t asking this instead? Surely I cannot be blamed for thinking such a thing is odd.We are not here on official business yeah? just bored and walking around. Can we actually make these promises or decisions? Nothing is stopping us but I wonder if it's a good idea.>[Cautious] I have no authority to decide whether or not you may enter, so I’d rather not overstep my position.>I only came to look at your troops and equipment. Have you waited long? I can go and secure authority to let you enter if you'd like me to expedite the process. I can relay any messages you have as well, of course.
>>2144369>>May I know why your leader isn’t asking this instead? Surely I cannot be blamed for thinking such a thing is odd.
>>2144522Also seconding >>2144520
“May I know why your leader isn’t asking this instead?” you inquired innocently. “Surely I cannot be blamed for thinking such a thing is odd.” In higher class circles, refusing to speak to somebody directly was oft seen as an intentional affront. While you doubted that this was the case here, it bothered you enough to pursue the reasons behind it.“Ah, huh,” the speaker froze and grimaced, “That’s because, well,”The sound of Viska’s voice was light, and airy, a whisper on a breeze, as she pulled her facial covering down, showing the full extent of her cherubic fairness, as well as the cuts that marred it. “It is alright. It is a fair concern.” It was birdsong in warm sunlight, and hearing her speak willed you to relax, as though the sound had crept into your mind like a blanket and lain itself upon you in the midst of a cold night you hadn’t felt before. Questions such as why her accent and speech were so cultured, and why such a voice would come out of the head of a band of armed rogues, seemed suddenly unimportant. It was a mercy that the men around were so quiet, elsewise you would have been unable to hear her.“Come closer. Speaking loudly is very painful for me, and I mislike inconveniences, such as another being unable to hear what I say.”“Speaking loudly hurts?” you asked through the cotton cloud that had descended upon your senses from merely hearing her talk, as you walked towards Viska.“I had my throat changed when I was young,” Viska touched her neck, “I would rather not speak further on such.”“I hope I do not offend by saying that you aren’t exactly what I expected,” you let spill out.“She is young, yes,” the speaker from earlier cut in, “But very well educated, and intelligent. Such is a rare and valuable thing around here, even if she is just shy of a score old. Everyone’s reborn when they come here, and in a way the Commandant’s older than any of us.”
The aide’s harsher, more country way of speaking snapped you back into focus after being caught off guard by Viska’s tones. “In any case,” you recomposed yourself, “I have no authority to decide whether or not you may enter, I merely came to look at your troops and equipment. Have you waited long? I would rather not overstep my position, but I can go and secure permission to let you in, or I can relay a message, if need be.”The aide didn’t know what his superior would have wanted to say, it seemed, and he glanced helplessly at his Commandant, who nodded.“I merely wish to become familiar with my allies,” she said, quiet and soft as a brush stroke. “I am an open book to any friends of the Republic. Although…” her eyes wandered in the direction of the Blue Barbs camp, “Some friends are of questionable reputation. If I were to make a request, some should be made to wait away from here. I would rather not say why, where curious ears would hear.”>I understand. I’ll have somebody on the way as soon as I can. >Curious ears? Perhaps some could be avoided, if you would accompany me on the way back. I find myself interested.>Surely our…allies, from Glockenblume, should be treated as equals. Are they not also here to fight?>I agree with that statement. I’ll see if I can’t speak to somebody about keeping them away, no matter the reason.>Other?
>>2144671>>Curious ears? Perhaps some could be avoided, if you would accompany me on the way back. I find myself interested.
>>2144671>Curious ears? Perhaps some could be avoided, if you would accompany me on the way back. I find myself interestedBring any guards you like.Also goddammit tanq you are only NOW bringing out a scarred platinum blond that is setting off all my favorite waifu alarms? Such is life.
>>2145118Good things come to those who wait.
So my evening was pretty busy and I'm going to be busy a bit longer (driving folks to airport) so the next update will be next morning. Or rather, in EST, sometime in the afternoon. >>2145118Maybe if you let Liemanner do some more surgery on Maddalyn you can bleach her hair and pretend she's Viska.I've considered actually drawing some of them for fun but I get the feeling that the imagined appearance will always be superior, as it is.
“Curious ears?” you asked, “Perhaps some could be avoided, if you would accompany me on the way back. I find myself interested. Bring any guards you like, if you don’t trust me.”The tall men stepped forwards reflexively, but were halted with a raised hand from their commandant.“That will not be necessary,” she said, scarcely louder than the wind. Viska’s decision, though it was clear that some of her men disagreed with it, was not objected to. Viska did not even bring a weapon of her own, which seemed against type for the region. Whether it was because you warranted that trust or because she was confident even an enemy wouldn’t do a thing to her without severe consequence, you couldn’t tell, though considering the latter was uncomfortable as you waded back out of the pile of militiamen.
“So,” you asked Viska as you led her back to the city, looking about for any possible prying ears and eyes, “Why should Glockenblume’s contribution be made to wait outside of the city, away from everybody else?” You wouldn’t have objected to it, knowing the city’s dark trade, but you thought it good to keep how much you knew close to your chest, since the slave trade seemed to not be in the realm of general knowledge about these parts.“How much do you know about the Blue Barbs?” Viska asked; her normal volume was so quiet, whispering had no point, “You brought fighters up to their territory, through ours. Did you visit Glockenblume, or inspect it?”She had gotten straight to the point, hadn’t she? You responded with what you thought to be common knowledge. “They’re raiders and smugglers, aren’t they? At least, before they were in the Republic.”“I understand. I am a stranger, maybe a spy. Why would you reveal any secrets to me? Mayhaps if I reveal a piece of myself, you will change your mind.”“That would be a bit of a gamble if I turned out to not know anything,” you said to that.“It is a gamble worth taking. Tell me, what sort of place would tune the vocal cords of a child like they would a harp, what place would make it agony to shout, let alone scream? Some people would find a person changed in such a way to be valuable, something to pay quite a bit for the privilege of owning.” The words coming from Viska sounded as though they would be boiling with suppressed rage from any other person, but she was perfectly calm, asking it as if it were purely a hypothetical hell. “Or do you think that I had this done to myself? I know my voice is enchanting. It could be a blessing, in a way, to forever have the voice of an angel. I have not met anybody who would consider that, though.”>[Be coy] What a terrible place that must be. Does such a pit even exist in this world?>[Be indulgent] I had heard of the buying and selling of children like toys, but never suspected anything that depraved.>[Test her] Are you saying that the Blue Barbs engage in such things? Not only torturous surgeries, but for the purpose of slavery? If that were slander it could be very dangerous to say such things, especially when we are meant to be allies with them.>Other?Well today was a bust, but apparently lack of sleep caught up with me. Hopefully that's all taken care of now.
>>2149903>>[Be indulgent] I had heard of the buying and selling of children like toys, but never suspected anything that depraved.
>>2149903>[Be frank] I understand. So do you want them at a distance just for personal reasons, or do you think they might make trouble for you because of your...prior relationship?
>>2149903>[Be indulgent] I had heard of the buying and selling of children like toys, but never suspected anything that depraved.>>2145118Found the Glockenblume customer.
You nodded solemnly. “I understand. Do you want them at a distance just for personal reasons, or do you think they’ll make trouble for you because of your…prior relationship?”“What happened to this body in the past, happened long ago.” Viska said, with no change in tone from her calm demeanor, “But since then, I have a new appreciation for life, in that I wish to guard my own. They would prefer few know the precise nature of their dealings, even if some of it can be speculated upon. If I were to be discovered, and my true identity found out, I would surely be captured.”“I had heard of the buying and selling of children like toys,” you said with contempt, “but never suspected anything as depraved as…this.”“This is a land of true freedom,” Viska replied from behind, “One can find anything, buy anything. I would not be surprised by the most terrible evil, nor pure benevolence beyond any other place.”“If there is pure benevolence then I have yet to see it,” your words were dipped in disdain.“I may have suffered through pain such that I struggle to remember the life I had before,” Viska reminded you helpfully, “but I do not see naught but evil in the hearts of men. What dark place do you come from that you cannot see good here?”“No good exists here. It is a shrine to the failings of mankind, to selfishness and greed.”“…I see.” Viska relented, “There is more than my own life at stake, concerning the presence of the Blue Barbs. I am far from the only one who has fled from their clutches. You have heard of the emigration?”
You had; the opening of borders between the Republic’s constituents and the new freedom of travel had spurred a large amount of women in particular to flee from the Blue Barbs’ territory. “Of all of the women from the north, yes. I’ve also heard that the Blue Barbs would rather they have stayed, though that’s hardly something difficult to figure out.”“These men that stand outside your city now, they passed through the lands of the White Eyes to get here. We have received migrants as well, but after these fighters passed through, there were rumors of kidnappings, rapes, beatings. Some even left without much more than a farewell. Unless you want the same to happen here, I would advise you to keep them away.”It was true that, with so many of the men and fighters drilling and training, the typical police force was too busy preparing for war, though the Guillotines’ draconian practice of local law had ensured that the crime rates had stayed low, and the rumors of the same along with the constant drilling just outside the city had kept any newcomer migrants well behaved as well, though the amount of enforcement being carried out outside of the training groups was effectively null.>We’ll have a word with Cyclops about it. They’ll come no closer than they are now.>If they’re that dangerous, nothing will keep them out. They should be kept even further out.>If we advise wariness, perhaps they can be caught in the act? Then they can be brought to heel, no?>Other?
>>2150852>We’ll have a word with Cyclops about it. They’ll come no closer than they are now.We have to make them the first attacking wave once the battle comes.
>>2150852>>We’ll have a word with Cyclops about it. They’ll come no closer than they are now.
>>2150852>>We’ll have a word with Cyclops about it. They’ll come no closer than they are now.Ultimately we don't call the shots but we have to tools to either control or repel them.
>>2150852>We’ll have a word with Cyclops about it. They’ll come no closer than they are now.Slavery just wasn't bad enough, huh? This surgery business however, sounds like the work of Soulbinders don't you think?Maybe that previous idea to have Signy's Republic recognized on the condition that slavery is outlawed should be considered? If there is threat of war and destruction of the nation then Signy would have a casus belli against the blue barbs if they refuse.
“We’ll have a word with Cyclops about it,” you told Viska, “They’ll come no closer than they are now.” You didn’t really have the authority to say that and have it be true, you trusted that Signy’s opinion of the matter would lead you both to the same conclusion. “Lady Vang is softhearted,” Viska said as warily as her soft voice would allow, even then her eyes fluttered with strain. “We met several times, and I have heard of her behavior from those who have worked alongside her; that her aide drives her more to negotiation than force, and that her code demands her to show even the most despicable, courtesy that they can prey upon.”“I know,” you thought this level of caution was not necessary, “but that does not mean she cannot be reasoned with, even if she disagrees.”Signy, despite her spoken hatred of slavery and all such things that the Blue Barbs Band profited from, still felt a sense of duty towards the blackest flock of her subjects that you felt was near entirely undeserved. You had spoken to her several days past, concerning what she should do and what the best action in a mess of poor choices was, but you were uncertain of how much you had convinced her. She hadn’t quite abandoned the principles that restricted her yet, and if in your time since that conversation she had reexamined her stances, and formed a stronger bond towards her republican values rather than less idealistic yet much more practical ideas concerning rulership, you might have trouble on your hands…-----Signy had been hung over from the last night, but she had remained functional (preventing Loch from throwing a fit at you; you had been dreading that possibility), and when you and Viska went to see her the only remnant of her despondence from last night were terrible bags under her eyes, though she tried her best to keep her disposition cheery.The cheeriness vanished quickly as you explained Viska’s proposition for her; after you had had your extended chat, she had complained that her throat was hurting, and requested that you speak for her. You couldn’t refuse, especially in the tone she asked in.When you finished Viska’s story about the rumors of roughhousing of expatriate females by the Blue Barb Band outside the city, Signy looked nearly as exhausted as she had when she had invited you to drink with her.“Shit.” Signy spat, “There’s nothing we can do about that, though. We’ll just have to keep a close eye on them. We can’t turn them away.”“We can’t?” you echoed, “Why not?”“I invited them here in the first place!” Signy spouted, “They’re sending men to die for my cause, how can I treat them like garbage so low that they’re not allowed to stay in this place, when the gates have remained open for so many others? They’ve committed no crimes here yet. They will be allowed to stay, and that is final.”Viska coughed pitifully, and looked to you expectantly.
Much of you wanted to let Signy decide as was her responsibility; she had practically stated that she would accept the consequences, should they come; the political offense of keeping them out, after all, was hazardous. They made up almost half of the force going to attack the Death Heads, and if they were offended, the Blue Barbs might delay, or even pull out of the operation, leaving much of their strength at home, where it posed a threat to the Republic should they decide to strike while its might was elsewhere.On the other hand, with you, Viska, and Signy’s, as well as potentially Loch’s, knowledge combined, you could keep Glockenblume on a tight leash. They were allowed to exist, after all; should the rest of the Republic descend upon them, they would doubtless be doomed to destruction and subjugation. If they were to try and play chicken on that front, while it would disrupt short term operations, in the end they would lose.Signy’s principles got in the way of that, though. She would probably refuse that sort of intimidation based off of that, you thought.Another idea came up, though. One more malevolent than you cared to admit. Signy had made no secret of how lonely she had become, or of how much she longed for even minor acts of affection and friendliness. She was weak there, and you were in a better place than anybody to potentially exploit that. Playing with a woman’s heart like that was doubtlessly rakish and vile, and far from a noble act, but this was for the greater good, was it not? Were Signy’s democratic principles worth the potential suffering of innocents now, if it could be prevented? Or were the men of Glockenblume so significant an asset, that appeasing them in the short term was the best way forwards?>Accept Signy’s decision to let the Blue Barbs into Rostig.>Attempt to reason with Signy to change her mind. (This will most likely not work)>Exploit her emotions, to attempt to coerce Signy into changing her mind to appease you. (Elaboration would help here)>Other?
>>2152705>>Accept Signy’s decision to let the Blue Barbs into Rostig.She's right, unfortunately. We'll just have to assure Viska that if the Blue Barbs do do anything wrong we'll respond appropriately harshly. Maybe we can get her some extra security so she doesn't have to worry about being kidnapped.
>>2152705>Accept Signy’s decision to let the Blue Barbs into Rostig
>>2153002Also it might be worth mentioning that not only does Viska here not trust the Barbs but when we went to inspect their troops and equipment they acted very suspicious and wouldn't let us approach. It might be worth it for Signy to dedicate some people to keeping an eye on them.
>>2152705>>Exploit her emotions, to attempt to coerce Signy into changing her mind to appease the wondrous, beautiful and angelic *Viska*. (Elaboration would help here)Take hold of her hands, gently explain that women and *children* were being mutilated to the taste and whimsy of men like the weapons dealer Garson. Would she want to be associated with people who would cripple hands to prevent rebellion into her inner circle? Such men and their minions were not to be trusted, they have already shown their hostility to the Republic. The disgust and anxiety she felt towards Garson is not a 1/100th of the suffering these people go through, the Republic can't be based on that.
>>2153341Also ask Signy who's supposed to be the one inspecting the Blue Barbs.
>>2152705>Conduct training operations so that Blue Barbs have no time for shenanigans.>Move booze sellers to Blue Barbs' camp so that in between training they could drink there and had no reason to go to the city.I don't think they'll attempt an organized hunt for women
>>2152705I want to tell her in no uncertain terms that if she lets them inside, she is complicit in their crimes. There was an exodus of women fleeing from these monsters to her republic, believing it would be safe for them and here she sits and fucking let them in? Doesn't she understand how fucking despicable and two-faced she is? She's eye to eye with one of their Frankenstein creations, I expected more character from Signy than this.Blue Barbs will be "allowed" inside, but we do what >>2153817 said. We keep all of them out on exercises, night exercises if need be. They have to be too tired to even think about doing anything other than go to sleep, until it's time to leave for the offensive.The amount of men who'd be capable of causing trouble will be low enough that our MP can keep an eye on them and probably have a great numerical advantage too.Make sure that the gypsy camp is off limits. Make doubly sure that the whores and pimps understand that they should not go to them if they value their lives. Hopefully they're competent enough to patrol and police their own.
From a strategic standpoint, Signy was right. The Republic couldn’t afford to refuse soldiers, especially in the quantity Glockenblume was offering. Morally, though, was there really any other option? Perhaps you couldn’t have it both ways.You accepted Signy’s decision. “Very well. However…” you paced to the side, keeping your eyes on hers’, “If you harbor them, then you could not avoid complicity for whatever crimes they perpetrate. These are not only slavers, but people who mutilate, for the purposes of customizing humans to the tastes of degenerates. I want to ask, if letting such monstrosities into the city is tolerable, then what precedent does that set? They are hostile, and I personally do not see them as worth any respect whatsoever. When I went to meet with them, they acted in a very suspicious manner, and wouldn’t allow me to approach; as if I would discover something unseemly. Again, I ask, do you truly feel comfortable about letting these people even come close to this city?”Signy’s lip quivered, and her breathing shortened as she crossed her arms tightly about one another. “…Viska, was it?”“Yes, my lady.” Viska bowed her head in deference.“Wait here,” Signy said curtly, “Richter. You come with me.”This couldn’t have been anything good, but you followed Signy anyways, to what you recognized as her room. She waved you in, and shut the door behind you.
“I-I…” Signy spluttered after a moment’s heavy silence, “Everybody in this place, in this country, they either treat me like some sort of ruler, or like a rival, or like some piece of meat. You know why I keep wanting your opinion on everything, why I want to be around you, you’re…the only one who treats me like…well, a person. So…when you say those things like…like you did…”Signy sniffed, and a tear rolled down her cheek as she pulled her decorative eyepatch off her head, “It hurts more than you could imagine. We talked about this before, with this…Blue Barbs crap, you know I don’t like them, yet you’re saying these things like I don’t know, or worse, like I don’t care anymore! What choice do I have? They’re almost half of the fighters we’re going to be sending with you in two days, and they’re going to be dying for my cause, for your countrymen! No matter how much I hate their leaders, what proof is there that those men have done such wrong that they aren’t even deserving of dignity before they’re killed in my name? Like it or not, Richter, the Blue Barbs are part of the Republic too!”Signy’s face had tightened with frustration and her mouth quavered, eyes shut tight and arms stiff at her sides, “I’m not some person who just wants to win! I want to do right by everybody, or at least, as many people as I can! I try…so hard, and then somebody who I think of this way says…those things to me…please understand. Please, please trust me, that I’ll do my best to keep anything bad from happening, and even if the worst happens…that it was all worth it, that it’ll all be made right again.”Your lack of an immediate response only turned Signy more despondent.“I’m not a bad person! I don’t think I am…but if you think I’m wrong, then hit me. As hard as you can.”>I still don’t approve, but I don’t think you’re a bad person. Don’t be silly.>There’s no need for that. I trust you.>*Strike her*>Other?
>>2155135>I still don’t approve, but I don’t think you’re a bad person. Don’t be silly.>Then give her this idea >>2153817
>>2155135>I still don’t approve, but I don’t think you’re a bad person. Don’t be silly.>I was not berating you, I was telling you what this will look like to your people, the civilians who flocked here because they believe in you and in the idea of your republic. If anything happens, anything at all- and I am sure it will- this is what people will think of you. A woman who cares so much about her military might that she will bend over to appease monsters. You will never survive if public opinion swings this way. Now, I have a plan that should work in your favor...>Other?Say these >>2153817 >>2154164
>>2155135>>2155537>>2156723As a compromise we could also warn the women of Rostig that maybe they should travel out of town for a few days.
“I still don’t approve, but I don’t think you’re a bad person,” you said, “Don’t be silly. I’m not going to hit you.”Signy said nothing, but merely sniffed once more.“I wasn’t berating you, I was just telling you how this would look to the people who believe in you and your idea of the Republic. If anything happens, anything at all- and I’m sure it will- this is what people will think of that. They won’t appreciate the strategic reasoning behind why they’re suffering, and if you lose support because of that, there might greater damage than letting the military advantages falter. I have a plan, however, that should work in your favor…”You outlined your idea to Signy, who listened intently. The concept of keeping the Blue Barbs busy, tired, and less able to perpetrate any mischief, by having them train and drill until the moment they were to depart along with the rest of the Army of the Republic. In the meantime, for any R &R they required, facilities would be set up near them, instead of having them go into the city. A luxury for most, but also by happenstance a good way to keep them in one place. A justifiable expense, surely.They would have to be kept from the migrant camp, as well. As far as you could tell from Viska’s explanation of the matter, Glockenblume was only interested in pursuing those who left its clutches, and not in wanton kidnapping and intimidation of all of the fairer sex. The best place to look, if you were a bandit, you thought, would be in the place where so many newcomers were building a second settlement in the city’s shadow.The idea briefly came up to segregate the women from being molested by the new interlopers, but you didn’t bring it up for lack of practicality. It wasn’t as if the women could simply leave, either, though. With recruitment drives gobbling up the usual male work force to use for logistics where more fighters weren’t needed, much of the clerical duties had fallen to females, and the formerly bustling whorehouses had been emptied, much to the chagrin of Sosaldtian men who were used to such distractions. You had heard of plenty of hopefuls visiting the migrant town in search of warmed beds, but an equal amount of rumors from those who returned said that the prices were exorbitant, or that the prostitutes were too stingy, or, worst of all, that a few had been treated too roughly by soldiers so they had ceased serving them at all, advising their friends in the trade to do the same, and leaving the market for the company of ladies pitifully scarce, for those who hungered for it.
“That sounds like a good plan,” Signy admitted, “But I wasn’t really concerned about the main force, to be honest…”“I felt rather concerned when I looked at them,” you noted, unnecessarily. “No, you don’t get it. The Blue Barbs Band are…were, rather, raiders, sometimes, but they’re not like…” Signy itched at her eyebrow with the back of her hand, “Not like you think they’d be. If they’re doing this like they’d do any other place, the big bunch is never the one that does any of their…work.”“Oh?” your interest was piqued.“Some of your people are from Holtenberg, right? They deal with the really rough sort, who actually go out and try fighting. The really mean northern groups. The Blue Barbs are sneakier than that. They have bunches that are basically a distraction, then they have small teams that do the real raiding. They don’t let most people know this, but…well, Loch managed to find a few who were willing to explain.”“Presumably he pulled them from his magic hat.”“I guess.” Signy frowned and put her hands on her hips, tilting slightly to one side, “These guys are supposed to be good, though. As in, I don’t know how we’d catch them, good. Really what you said’s the best we can do for now.”You weren’t satisfied with hearing that, but you couldn’t think of any suggestions either, to catch some group of kidnappers who scarcely even existed. Though, if Viska’s report was accurate, the amount of trouble they could simulate was such that they would hardly be hidden for long if they tried that, and if they were caught, they could be appropriately punished, or even bargained with to sell out the other secretive teams. Of course, the best way to hunt them down would be to bait a trap, but that required putting somebody at great personal risk. There was only a couple of days until you were set to move out; perhaps increased security would be enough to discourage these scumbags until their cover had left, keeping them from acting in their doctrine?>Bait a trap using…(write in)>It’s safer to just keep up patrols and advise safety, while keeping the Blue Barbs under a tight watch away from the city.>Maybe you could broker a deal with the “distraction” itself. Request that Signy assign you to meet with the Blue Barbs, or at least pair you with whoever was intended to.>Other?
>>2157376>>It’s safer to just keep up patrols and advise safety, while keeping the Blue Barbs under a tight watch away from the city.Meanwhile we can go ask Captain Honnereig for ideas.
>>2157376>It’s safer to just keep up patrols and advise safety, while keeping the Blue Barbs under a tight watch away from the city.Step up the patrols around the migrant camp especially.Meanwhile we can place covert monitoring posts on the roads leading to Glockenblume and try to catch any raiders while they're bringing their victims back.
>>2157376By the way, later on we could really bait them using Viska and use the fact of kidnapping Republic citizens as a justification for destroying Blue Barbs.
You ultimately decided that it was best to keep the matter subtle as long as you could. With luck, the Blue Barbs might not even have the guts to get up to anything while assembling around many other heavily armed soldiers. Neither you nor Signy planned to abandon everything to hope, but beyond that, there was little to do but carry out the aforementioned arrangements and keep eyes on watch.When you returned to Viska, and then left with Viska in tow after a short talk about what was going to happen, Viska told you what she thought of things as you went outside with her.“I am not confident in the ability of caution alone to prevent harm,” she said wispily, “It was never enough before.”“We’ll see,” you reassured her, “Things will be different here.” Viska, to be fair, hadn’t known about the Blue Barb’s precise tactics at those times. Signy, and now you, did. Though an additional layer of defense would certainly be helpful. You went to go see Honnrieg, for his council.Having dealt with all sorts of raiders of all stripes and talents, in his words, Honnrieg was all too eager to loan you help from his own cohort, once you told him the situation. Their demeanor upon learning their mission was like that of a pack of hounds smelling the scent of prey; they scarcely needed encouragement to slip away, Honnrieg smiling after them.“Don’t worry your head off over something like this, little lady,” Honnrieg told Viska, who lacked the confidence Honnrieg had, “No matter what sort of shadows those gits might be hiding in, darkness is no foe to the 3rd. Now, bring over your own crowd, then. If they can’t even make one little girl feel safe,” Honnrieg grimaced, “Then I’ve got a lot of skulls to rattle in two days, on top of the bunch causing all the trouble!”-----For the rest of that day, despite dire tidings, no trouble was caused.Though it was certainly hinted that it would come in the future. When the Blue Barbs finally encamped near the city, with facilities being brought to them ostensibly for their convenience, you were finally allowed to inspect them. It was obvious now that they were little more than a mob, with the most soldierly folk leading bands of scruffy, hopeless looking men in varying states of health. Equipment flowed such that some were able to have their meager weaponry replaced with something with a touch of modernity, but most equipment was refused by the leaders of Glockenblume’s tithe.
Something must have happened between your first meeting and this one, though, since those you spoke to were plenty willing to speak to you, even about matters you thought would have been kept secret.“The bags?” a squad leader asked lazily, balancing a hefty knife in his fingers, “Drugs, o’ course. Battle brews. Stuff for courage, for bloodlust, keeps them in the mood for fightin’ if they needs it. Most’ve them are addicts, anyways, see. That stuff takes away the withdrawal shit for a bit, but it puts you in a mood you can’t hide. They’re not allowed to have it til there’s fightin’, of course.”“They won’t, well, flee?” you asked. These fighters seemed extremely unreliable.“Course not,” the Blue Barb scoffed, “These are co-debtors, see. They owe for other people. They fight well, or they die, everything’s forgiven. They run, well, no money, see? That and the people they’re shackled to sign an agreement saying they’re bound to servitude, so…”“You sell them into slavery?”“Well, they sell themselves into slavery,” the Blue Barb corrected mildly, “but that’s only if these jokers are dumb enough to run away. If they were that dumb and selfish, they’d’ve never volunteered, you know?”That confirmed your suspicions that these “soldiers” were nothing but meat to be thrown into a grinder, yet Signy still cared for their dignity and honor, for whatever reason, though you supposed they had much more than their minders, in that they fought to prevent their friends (possibly family, not that those were common about here) from being sold. As ugly a reason to fight as that was. “So what do they do after that, if they survive?” you asked next.The Blue Barb looked at you dumbly. “Well, they live like they used to, in Glockenblume or on the sharecrops, or the outposts. Just whatever, since they’re all paid off. I used to be a co-debtor, you know.” “I see you’ve come a long way, then. I’d think you’d go someplace other than the place that enslaved you.”
“See, you say that,” the Blue Barb flipped the knife over in the air and caught it by the handle, before tossing it once more, his eyes on the dancing blade, “But it’s not so bad, once you’re out. Better than being some mold scraper or whatever else you have to do to get a pfenning when you’ve no experience. Once I fought and lived, I had experience as a fighter. Made me valuable.”“Who’d you go into co-debt for?” you asked, out of curiosity. “Ehhh,” the Blue Barb groaned and missed catching the knife. It stuck in the ground by his foot, but he scarcely noticed. “Some broad. Said she needed help, I was young and horny, thought I wasn’t doing anything better with my life, so may as well try and get a girl, you know? One year later and a few shots to my ratty ass later,” He yanked his shirt down to show you a scattering of disc shaped scars, “I get myself into enough little scuffles and one big scuffle, I’m free. You know what the girl does? Goes right back to her, not kiddin’ ya, husband. Not a nice feelin’, figuring out you sold your life for a lie, but that stung only ‘til I got my first pay. Telling ya, Glockenblume’s not nice to look at, but moving from the dirthouses to the second row? Like eating mud then eating bacon, I tell ya.”“Sure, yeah,” you excused yourself, “I’ve got to go now.” You found a little bit out, at least, though plenty more that you didn’t particularly have any interest in.-----The night came, went, and so did morning. The day, being the last before the Army of the Republic would march, was tense and full of activity. Final preparations were made, inventories were checked and rechecked, and even now supplies and weapons were still flowing in. Despite the battle to come, the atmosphere among the soldiers was one as much of hope as it was of anticipation. They had found something to fight for, some cause to prove themselves for. You thought you saw a tear fall from Captain Honnrieg’s eye as the battalion he had set himself to improving saluted him upon your arrival.It was while Honnrieg and Brucker were conducting maneuvers, no longer in charge of their forces but instead handling the skirmishes between individual commanders, that a sudden alarm was raised.One of the motorcycle patrols had spotted something incredible; tanks like nobody had ever seen, they claimed, and with markings they didn’t recognize. They hadn’t seemed hostile, they relayed, but one could never be too sure around here.It was a surprise, to be sure. Rostig was quite a ways into Guillotine territory; how had they come so far without being detected? In tanks, no less? You had to go and see them.
You took Von Walen and Von Metzeler with you, and after some short driving, you were led over a shallow hill by a Republican soldier, still clad in his old Guillotine wear, since he was of the patrols and not of the true army.“The hell is that?” Von Walen whispered hoarsely, crawling with his head low like you and Metzeler were.“An Ellowian tank,” Von Metzeler answered, “Though with no roundel, nor colors, but with unit markings nevertheless.”You knew what it was, though you weren’t surprised that your comrades didn’t. It was a P5-21TE; it was only supposed to have begun production a scant few months ago. An intimidating beast of a tank, it was low slung with a large, but open turret, in which was seated a colossal long barreled 7.5 centimeter bore gun. Spooked by the appearance of T-15s in the Twaryian inventory, you’d read in arms papers, this vehicle had been purpose built to strike from a distance and puncture the heavy armor of the new assault tanks. It itself was relatively thinly armored everywhere but the front face of the turret, built to absorb punishment while the rest of the vehicle was ideally hull down, the lightness of the vehicle and the power of its twin engines propelling it at impressive speeds if need be.It was modern, deadly, and rare. Yet here before you were two of them, making pace through the wasteland at a speed that was somewhere around but a sixth or so of their top; these people were in no hurry. Upon their sides, also, were unit markings; something you’d not seen with the Death Heads, and something that had to be forcefully implemented upon your own allies’ armor. Underneath the heavy coating of dust, you could see the most bizarre coloration scheme; though tan and brown blotches were the majority of the coating, either your eyes were deceiving you or there was a stripe of Strossvald Blue running over their hulls behind the turret.The sun glared at you, retreating behind a cloud, and off of your binoculars. You had been observing the commander of the forward tank at the time, and though the glare had been only for a second before you lowered the optics, you saw his attention snap sideways. With a raised hand, he stopped the two vehicles in the column, and you saw him raise his own eyepiece towards the hill you alighted on. He waved again, and he drew closer to your hill.“Shit,” Walen swore, “Should we run?”“Oi, oi!” the commander of the mystery group shouted, climbing atop the limited roof space the half open turret provided, “Are you stalkers from around here!? We have a delivery! Something for…” He paused, and seemed to ask something of his crew, before looking back up and shouting once more, “Something for, and I quote, a rich boy pedophile!” He drew a breath and shouted further, "None of you happen to be pedophiles, do you!?">”I’m not a pedophile!”>”Who’s asking!?”>Stand and approach them>Say nothing and keep hidden>Run>Other?
>>2157695>”Who’s asking!?”>[murmur]”I’m not a pedophile...”
>>2157695"Im not rich, Im not a boy and I most certainly am not a pedophile!" In the most high strossvald accent we can
I support both in a compromise:First:>>2157758then murmuring multiple times>>2157716
>>2157695I hope the delivery is the tanks.
>>2158436Clearly, the delivery is a 75mm HE Shell to a Richter Von Tracht, delivered at nearly 800m/s
>>2158452That would be less preferable but a distinct possibility.
>>2158470Seasons GreetingsFond regards, L.
I'll be updating in a couple hours or so. Have unplanned doodles to get done...
>>2158621Is it the centrefoldOr Richter eating a terminal velocity tank shell
>>2158671>>2158621HE, HESH, AP or APBC?
>>2158726APCR? APDS? HEAT? DUMMY? Oh, that hellfire round thingy for ghosts.
>>2158736>Hellfire round turns us into ghost. Get to waifu Emma.Become literal ghost pedophile
>>2158764>Spend the next year harassing fie by sneaking into her pouch to lick her balls.
I'm anticipating about half an hour or so more. Had other things to take care of, axed one drawing despite being a good way through to get update out quicker, will probably use it later anyways since it's a flexible image.>>2158671Drawing a picture of Richter having a shell dropped on his head would require me to actually decide what his face looks like.Or I could just do like I do in the OP and have it almost completely covered but then he'd potentially be indiscernible from Malachi.I'm being a dick, having a shell plowing into his face would be easy.
“I’m not rich,” you called back loudly, standing up, “I’m not a boy, and I most certainly am not a pedophile!”The commander of the twin tanks looked back down, said some other things, then shouted back again, “Yeah, you’re the guy! Come on over! Or don’t, I mean, if you want us to chase you, that’s fine, but you’re not outrunning a boosted Kieferauge, so I wouldn’t even try! Besides, I think you’ll like what we’ve got!”The latter statement was almost certainly said in jest, by the tone. The guns were set in travel locks, anyways, so these people clearly hadn’t come for a fight.You took your time stepping up, regarding the commander and his men as you went. They were garbed in black uniforms with silver buttons, though they were definitely not the style the Death Heads had. For one, these people’s uniforms had no white trim, instead having blue on the edges, but more distinctly, you were rather certain that the Death Heads did not emblazon the backs of their jackets with stylized boar heads. There was really only one thing that these people could be.“Iron Hogs?” you asked as you drew close, of the commander, who was now leaning, rather than standing, on the roof of the turret lazily, lighting a cigarette.“Yeah,” the commander said. He wore no cap or hat atop his head, from which sprouted long, straight locks of unkempt black hair. He had the thinnest, yet longest nose you’d ever seen; it was more akin to a knife’s blade than what you’d come to expect of a normal nose. His eyes were dark, though he bore a grin that distracted from how worn his eyes were. He couldn’t have been much older than you were, at most. “I’m L-T Illger, but I’ve earned the name Phoenix. Or Cockroach, ‘pending on who you ask…”“You said you had a delivery?” you asked impatiently.“Yeah, yeah,” Illger saw that you wanted to get to the point, “Some kooky weirdo dropped this off, saying to give it to somebody who looks like you, talks like you, and gets all defensive about liking little women. Didn’t mean nothing by calling you a kiddy fiddler, but that’s what the guy said to do so the wrong guy wouldn’t come up, so…” Illger cracked his knuckles and blew smoke out his knifelike nose, before cocking his ear to some complaint from inside the tank. “Fine, fine, I’ve built up enough tension. Get the hell out of my tank, midget.”From the turret, a fluffy pile of strawberry blonde hair appeared, before its owner pitched up and over the turret, bouncing off the tread guard and landing roughly on her feet on the dusty ground.Maddalyn had finally been returned to you.
She thankfully seemed no worse for wear than when you’d last seen her, though her state of dress hadn’t changed from then, besides now wearing a heavy jacket. The crew must have not been willing to donate any pants, since the tiny shorts still framed her upper leg delightfully with black stockings. Maddalyn had done her best to pull the oversized jacket down, but it wasn’t enough to hide her pale thighs. She looked to you, and as she beheld you, her face contorting itself over a spectra of emotions. She walked, then ran unevenly towards you, panting heavily as she stumbled forward, and threw herself into your waiting arms.>Hug her>Kiss her>Grope her>Other?
>>2159184>Hug her>Kiss herWe won't need words where we're going
>>2159184>Hug her>Other?Bonjour, madmoiselleWell whadda ya know, Riverman actually pulled through. How the hell did he get away from the other mage? I know, I know bullshit wizardry but still.Also we should make sure to go get her eye as soon as we can.
>>2159184 Well I would have preferred being given the tanks but I suppose this is good too.
>>2158992Didn't you draw Richter already?>>2159184>Hug her>Hug her some more>Hug her a bit longer
>>2160116Sure, a tentative design, but I don't think it's good looking back, and I don't think anybody was really fond of it either. It's probably for the best to keep things vague. Facial coverings are ideal anyways for keeping dust and kickup out of your mouth and nose.
You embraced Maddalyn as she buried herself in your chest, sniffling, holding one hand on her back while stroking her hair with the other.“Bonjour, mademoiselle,” you said softly into her ear.Maddalyn rubbed her face against your chest intently, “Your accent’s as awful as ever…” she mumbled into you, muffled by your jacket.“I suppose you’ll have to teach me better,” you curled her locks around your fingers, letting them go and running your hand down the back of her head. You noticed she still had that plain, now rather ratty looking hairband from when you first met her. It didn’t suit her, you thought as you continued to pet your fiancée, her breath warming your breast. You waited for Maddalyn to pull away, but she didn’t…not that you minded. You stayed like this for a few minutes, thankfully not feeling any eyes drilling in to you all the while. At least common courtesy was alive somewhere in this godforsaken place.“Do you want to go home?” you finally asked Maddalyn.“No,” she said, “I want to stay with you.”What a sweetheart she was, you thought as you felt it prudent to hold her for a bit longer after that.You could have sworn you heard Von Walen say Kiss her, you dumbass, but he had been cut off by a harsh shushing. You got the message, though, and released Maddalyn from your grip, who sidled behind you and hid from the Iron Hogs, arms wrapping themselves once more around your waist.
“Thank you, for bringing my fiancée back to me, safely,” you said to Illger, who shrugged.“Hey, I just went where I was going anyways. Not like somebody so small’s hard to squeeze into some nook or cranny. You want to thank somebody, thank the funny guy who found us.”“There doesn’t happen to be…” you were plenty wary of local custom, “Any sort of delivery charge, or compensation?”Illger thought on that. “…Nah, no charge.”“What about the jacket?”“Keep it.” Illger hurried along, waving his hand back and forth. You could scarcely see faint lines running across the fingers of his waving hand.“So did a person called the Riverman have you deliver her? Is that why you came?” you asked Illger, having approached him slowly, accompanied by your officers, and Maddalyn, who remained covered and concealed behind you.“What? Nah.” He answered brusquely, with a confused turn of his head, “He ran into us on the way here. Schweinmann sent us to get a contract. The boss of Todesfelsen bit it a couple days ago, and our info guy’s just hearing it turning into more and more of a mess. Piggy talked to Boss, and I came out with a sampling to see if you wanted any. You’re gonna hit the place, yeah? Don’t worry, it’s not exactly common knowledge. Point is, we came over to see if the Republic wanted to buy our services. We can arrange a loan, if need be.”You scratched your chin, contemplating. “Aren’t your services the most costly around?”“Only for the best around,” Illger replied, offended, “What, you think I pulled these Kieferaugen straight out of my ass? After Ellowie bites it, you’d probably be able to count all of these left in the world on your two hands, and with Smitty’s crew screwing with these machines, they’re actually even better than when they started out. Yeah, we don’t come cheap, but you won’t find many who won’t say we’re worth it. We can even negotiate price, if you want. We can haggle it down. Hell, I’ve already come with a discount. Thirty percent off the top, fifty eight thousand union marks and we give it our all for a whole day. Unbelievable deal, trust me.”You didn’t know how much actual money Signy or the Republic had to hire these mercenaries>We do need all the help we can get. I can have you meet with the leader of the Republic, they’ll discuss things for you.>I don’t know if the Republic can afford that expense, but I might be able to. Maybe not the whole lot of you, though.>I’d say we’ve got things pretty handled, but I’ll take you along for a meeting anyways. You deserve a favor, after all.>How much do you want for your tanks?>Other?
>>2160212>>We do need all the help we can get. I can have you meet with the leader of the Republic, they’ll discuss things for you.Even if we dont hire them, he can be an envoy between the Republic and the Hogs.
>>2160212>We do need all the help we can get. I can have you meet with the leader of the Republic, they’ll discuss things for you.
>>2160212>>We do need all the help we can get. I can have you meet with the leader of the Republic, they’ll discuss things for you.
>>2160212Also, the 58k price given is for how big a force?
>>2160212>We do need all the help we can get. I can have you meet with the leader of the Republic, they’ll discuss things for you.>Other?Which way did that funny man end up going?
“We do need all the help we can get,” you half said, half thought aloud, “I can have you meet with the leader of the Republic, they’ll discuss things with you.”“Great!” Illger seemed awfully excited about such little news, “When can we do that? Right away?”“Sure,” you saw no problem with going enthusiastically forward, “You don’t mind if you ride back with us, instead of in your tank? I have a few more things to ask.”Illger looked confused, but accepted. “Okay, why not.”Once you had gotten moving again, you asked Illger some more questions on the short drive back, watching the P5s haul after you, their heavy guns doing their best to bounce out of the locks that restrained them.“Fifty Eight thousand…” you asked, thinking about what the Iron Hogs’ arsenal was like if these two rare machines were any indication, “How many of you does that buy?”“Huh? Well, our usual when we’re being serious, I guess,” Illger tapped a finger against the inside of his arm, both arms crossed. “Errr….Two companies, a reserve, scouts, breachers-they’re for if things get close and dirty-can’t forget the mortars, and the transport section. Everything we need to be an independent combat group. Can’t throw out everything, just in case, you know?”You nodded to yourself. Not enough to take on Todesfelsen by itself, of course, but certainly enough to cause serious trouble if desired. “About that funny man who gave you my fiancée. Where did he end up going?”“Ah…” Maddalyn almost said something, but shut up.“Don’t know,” Illger said noncommittally, “Wasn’t watching. Didn’t care. Just said somebody was coming after him and the girl needed our help, I’m not one to turn down somebody in need.”“Richter,” Maddalyn whispered to you, “He said he was told to go north. Told by who, or why, I don’t know.”If nobody knew why, then you supposed you would have to accept it. You didn’t see yourself particularly needing him again soon anyways; everything you had asked him to do had been completed. You wouldn’t have been surprised if he never showed up again.
You let your officers take care of introducing the Iron Hog to Signy and Loch at the town hall; you felt you had to take Maddalyn straight back to camp.Once you had arrived, news spread of her return, and your crew was soon enough whooping in celebration. Maddalyn, as could be expected, continued to hide modestly behind you.“Finally!” Hans cred, clapping his hands, “You’ve been missing so much, princess. You ever hear a shanty?”“…no…” Maddalyn answered halfheartedly.Sea Shanties, known as Shanties for short, were a sort of music popular in Sosaldt. They evidently came from musically inclined merchant sailors who traded between continents and over oceans. Their long journeys, as well as the real possibility of being kept away from home forever by a Great Gale, made them morose, if not adventurous, and many songs had a sort of common appeal concerning tragedies of life, joys of adventure, black humor, and most commonly of all, extremely rude lyrics about attractive women. You explained all but the last point, for politeness’s sake, but Hans grinned evilly as you finished.“My favorite one’s something the boss ought to be singing to you soon.” This favorite had an incredibly offensive last stanza, and since the bald lacking of taste the song had had made it unfortunately popular among your platoon’s enlisted, you had become more familiar with it than you’d have liked.You thought about letting Hans have the first two or three verses, which were innocuous on their own, but fumbled forwards involuntarily for Hans’s throat as he belted out verse starting in the middle of the song.”Give me a taste of that sweet little pu-URFFH.” Hans’s attempts to mess with you were stifled by your trusty driver, who had shoved an oily glove into the offending maw before it could sing any more of the nasty song.While your driver and radio operator fought and bickered, your loader making mocking statements to both of them, Stein approached you and Maddalyn.“A lot of strange things happened while you were away, milady,” Stein bowed slightly, “A few things with the tank, actually, that were…odd.”That piqued Maddalyn’s interest. “Odd? In what way?”“Well, it bled, it grew eyes, and talked in this weird speech…”Maddalyn made a noise of slow pondering, hooking her little finger in her lip. “…That actually worked..?”>What actually worked? You knew about that thing?>Oh goodness no, you thought you were done with ghosts. Politely suggest to Maddalyn some other activity.>Ask Maddalyn something else>Other?Sorry about the awfully late start time, I've been feeling like five pounds of shit in a two pound sack today.
>>2161098>Yes, it did, saved all our lives too.>Does it really have to grow eyes though? It was really creepy.I thought Poltergeist already told us about it. That senile old wizard was doing forbidden magic
>>2161125He did.He didn't tell anybody else, though.
>>2161098>What actually worked?Get Maddy back, dont immiedieatly eat her face. Still havnt eaten her face.
>>2161147gotta plop the eye back in for a full course meal.
>>2161125Works for me.>>2161147Once we get back into the tank and are sure it isn't watching us.Or maybe it'd be better if it was~
“What, the gold armor? Yes, it did,” you told Maddalyn, “Saved all out lives, too. Does it really have to grow eyes, though? It was really creepy.”“Is it…a devil?” Stein added, curiously.“Well…” Maddalyn looked to Stein, then to you- she must have not been sure whether to give you both the same answer. “It isn’t a devil. It’s…not a threat, is the best way I could put it. It depends on what’s in there, I didn’t actually think this would work, so…”“You made that?” Stein asked, more befuddled by the moment. His idea of what the haunt was must have been tragically altered.“…Sort of…” Maddalyn replied, slowly and carefully. “A little.”“Poltergeist looked at it some time ago,” you offered, “He said it was something called a Possessor.”“Really?” Maddalyn’s eyes widened as she squeaked out that word, “That’s…that’s amazing! I have to see it…” She skipped over to the tank and clambered up on it.“That doesn’t sound like a very nice spirit…” Stein grumbled, “I’d prefer a guardian angel or some name like that. Would be more appropriate and less gloom and doom.”You left Stein with that thought as you piled in after Maddalyn, who had tilted herself into the open turret, surprising Jorgen, who eyed her as she looked around the turret for…something.You got an idea, noticing how empty the tank was, and whispered something to Jorgen. The Yaegier forester turned tank crewman whispered something back harshly telling you to “not get anything on his seat,” or at least, that’s what you thought he said, before he slipped off the edge of the turret door and onto the ground.Maddalyn had found something with a satisfied “Ah!” and stroked what had always seemed like to you to have been a patch of some sort. It turned out to be less welded to the inside of the turret than you had thought, and a patch of gold appeared as the piece popped off with a puff of dust. Maddalyn ran the back of a finger against the sharp edge of the metal, slicing it open, and you couldn’t help but look away, afraid that she’d wound herself more drastically without care for observers.“Amazing…” She remarked, “I knew there was something in that old thing, but I didn’t think it was a Possessor…Hee hee. If that old bird knew he had this...”>Shut the panel, and the tank hatch, and assault Maddalyn.>Suggest to Maddalyn that you’re both by yourselves in here, from the looks of it…>It wouldn’t be right without getting her eye back in. Try and bring that up, though it probably wouldn’t set her in a romantic mood…>Now isn’t the time, actually. Do something else.>Other?
>>2161413>>Now isn’t the time, actually. Do something else.Recharge the tank with the Pearl. Judge knows we need it for the assault.then:>It wouldn’t be right without getting her eye back in. Try and bring that up, though it probably wouldn’t set her in a romantic mood…
As much as you would have liked to turn Maddalyn around and repeat your earlier performance in the depths of the Death Heads’ fortress, other business seemed more pressing.You reached into your pocket and withdrew your trusty companion, the Radiant Pearl that you’d been keeping just in case, and now that your tank had an opening with which to sate its hunger for presence, you intended to restore your battlefield invulnerability. No sooner had you reached over Maddalyn’s shoulder and pushed the faintly glowing sphere into the golden plate, than a black well opened up and hungrily took the pearl into itself, a faint, indescribable sound warping the air as the pearl seemed to vanish into the gold, faint inscriptions filling with the glow that was once your tribute’s. The armor burbled at you in glad jibberish.The Armor of Fate has been given a tribute of life energy, and so will once more repel harm.Fate Points: 2
Maddalyn had watched the pearl be consumed, and was still mesmerized by the glowing whorl that had appeared where the pearl had been absorbed, that was now fading away. You put a hand on her shoulder and she jumped slightly, turning to face you with some embarrassment on her face as she realized how distracted she had been.“I have…something to give back,” you told her, as you rummaged in the tank’s storage, around the case of gold, taking out the small box that held Maddalyn’s eye. You opened it and showed it to her. “I’m not sure if we need to, well, wash it or anything.” It remained as pristine as ever, fresh, and, bizarrely, turning to face you even now. It was unnerving to see one of Maddalyn’s blue-grey eyes in her head and the other outside, both looking at you.Maddalyn looked at her eye, and her lip turned down, face falling as she stared at it. “…It looks like that…?”“Well, of course it’s not too great looking by itself. Trust me when I say that it’s quite lovely when it’s where it ought to be.”Maddalyn closed her eye and allowed a slight smile to return as she sighed slowly.“…So, you can fix it, can’t you?” you asked hopefully, “You can just sort of pop it back in, right?”Maddalyn looked up and smiled perhaps a little too broadly, “Uh, yeah, sure! Just er…” she regarded her excised eye with some contempt once more and prodded it, “You should probably…look away. This might be gross.”“Thank you for warning me this time,” you breathed as you turned your head away.You waited until you heard a slight pop, and Maddalyn told you to look again.“S-see?” Maddalyn still wore the smile that was far wider than you knew she usually smiled, “Good as new, right? Nothing to worry about.”Something was off, though. It was barely perceivable, and you couldn’t quite place your finger on what, but the way Maddalyn’s replaced eye looked at you was somewhat different from the way her other did.“Thank heaven,” you said to relieve Maddalyn, as her mouth had tautened while you had remained silent.“Er,” Maddalyn coughed, “Also, I just wanted to ask…could I get some pants, now that we’re here again? Or a dress, or, well, anything…it’s embarrassing having my thighs out all the time like this, and these clothes…they cling to my butt too much. It’s vulgar.”>I forbid you from wearing anything different. It would be a crime for you to go back to your usual fashion.>I’ll see what I can do. Not that there’s much in the way of fashionable wear here.>Now is hardly the time to be thinking about putting clothes back on, dear.>Other?
>>2161555>>I’ll see what I can do. Not that there’s much in the way of fashionable wear here.
>>2161555>I’ll see what I can do. Not that there’s much in the way of fashionable wear here.
>>2161555>You look absolutely enchanting in this.>Though I’ll see what I can do. Not that there’s much in the way of fashionable wear here.>Let's also ask her what she knows of Hilda.>And anything interesting she can tell us about Todesfelsten
>>2161555>Now is hardly the time to be thinking about putting clothes back on, dear.After the battle we're going back to that rich guy to thank him aren't we? I'm sure his tailors can whip up something great for her.Bonus points if nobles back home like them and adds to his reputation, perhaps fewer will think badly of us for associating with him.
>>2162237>I'll buy you something nice in three days so walk around in panties for now.Anon.
>>2162244I'm sure Signy has some stuff we can borrow for now.
“But you look absolutely enchanting in this,” you said as you ran a hand over the outside of Maddalyn’s pale thigh, and running your finger around the indentation where her stockings squeezed tightly to her legs. Maddalyn made a disapproving grunt before brushing your hand off of her. “Though,” you resigned yourself to keeping your hands off, “I’ll see what I can do. Not that there’s much in the way of fashionable wear here.”“Not like I have much preference about that anyway,” Maddalyn grumbled. “As long as I’m not…exposed.”There weren’t too many people you could borrow from and hope to fit Maddalyn with. Signy was taller by a head, and was much denser of frame, Fie had few clothes of her own in the first place, and though Viska was closest to being as short and compact, you didn’t think you could demand the clothes of her, especially considering she likely hadn’t packed her wardrobe for the march.“Thank you for being so accommodating,” you said only half sarcastically, “I want to ask a few things of you, if you don’t mind recounting your time in…captivity.”Maddalyn gave a short, huffy sight, but did not object, nodding shortly.“Hilda was in that fort for some time…” you led off.
“Hilda?” Maddalyn asked, “Oh, the…voluptuous other woman.”“I would say scarred,” you corrected Maddalyn, though given that Maddalyn had difficulty with seeing the finer details of people’s textures, it was understandable that she wouldn’t refer to Hilda as such. “Did you happen to see her, or know what happened with her?”Maddalyn shook her head vigorously. “I only saw her a few times, and I wasn’t told very much, if anything. I just know that when she was around, the other girls, they called her by a different name, and they were at least distracted from…tormenting me while that woman held their attention.”“Tormenting you?” you asked her.“They called me names, and made fun of my body,” Maddalyn murmured, her face a dark mask of spite as she recounted, “That bothered me little, but then they began to take advantage of my weakness to push my head under the water…” Maddalyn bit her lip and shut her eyes, “They did that whenever they had the opportunity, afterwards.”Maddalyn had stated in the past that she was terrified of drowning, and the feeling of being unable to breathe. What had caused this fear, you still didn’t know, but it obviously wasn’t a pleasant memory for her to relive.You could only guess that if she wasn’t told much about even Hilda, and with how much of her time she apparently spent locked in a cell, only escorted out to bathe, she probably couldn’t tell you much about the city. You would have to wait for news elsewhere; you’d missed Loch’s courier when he came, and hadn’t asked Loch about the city’s condition recently.In the meantime, you had to scrounge something up to warm Maddalyn’s legs. It was towards the end of October, after all, and the air was rather nippy as winter loomed around the corner.>Confiscate the pants of one of your crews. They’d be loose and baggy but a good belt and suspenders would hold them up anyways.>Procure bottomwear of more feminine proportions from somebody you know>Poke about the now idle brothels and hope to find something that isn’t completely inappropriate>Other?
>>2162731>Other?There must be someone in this hellhole who can make clothes. throw some money at a gypsy to get something that'll fit. Or just adjust a spare uniform, not too picky.
>>2162731Don't think we can wait for somebody to sew us a skirt, but we certainly could buy one.>Find and buy a skirt in town. Or in the refugee camp.
>>2162757>>2162965Seconding, there's got to be a store or someone with spare woman's clothing or something.
>>2162965This works fine although I like her in that jacket, she looks really nice and comfy.
While Rostig was a place that lacked more than a few things you would have considered normal in a city, it at least did not lack for tailors. From your experience, though, most clothing repair here was done by hand or by jacks of all trades who worked the scattered general stores. You had been in Sosaldt long enough to figure out how it worked, and despite its seeming lack of structure from the outside, it turned out that inside there were constant flows of wandering traders whose wares were broad if not necessarily numerous enough that a surprising amount of goods could be gained by those who were fast enough. New clothing was not one of these things, but textiles were, either in bolts or in scraps and rags, and such things could be formed into simple clothing by even the most unskilled of workers. Such simple wear was the standard among the populace, with some having better tailored clothes that were obviously not locally made, but these were a minority (the uniform tunics, for example, were procured from the south). Where the prostitute’s elaborately crafted tantalizing costumes came from you still had no idea, though you were assured that they came from somewhere. More than anything Sosaldt had turned into a land of questions without answers, and more often than not the populace was willing to perpetuate the belief that whatever was needed could simply be trusted to spring forth from seemingly nowhere, said nowhere upon investigation often being trader caravans that were the only migrants who came only to leave in the morning, swarmed by general store owners before they even entered the city proper. Their knowledge of precisely where certain goods came from was similarly lost to the land.Of course, Maddalyn being blind carried the advantage that she wasn’t picky as far as clothes went. You assumed that you could find a skirt or dress somewhere, the bigger issue was getting one in the proper size, since you made it a mild goal to actually put something on Maddalyn that fit for once.
Your search carried you to the Vyemani section of the ballooning migrant town, where you asked where you could find female clothing, and were directed to the hovel of the sole example of an old woman you’d seen in this country. She was draped in the colorful shrouds common to her people, though she seemed to less wear them and more peep out from under a pile of geometric patterns. Her nose stuck out from the heap like a bent, warty carrot, and what you could see of her face that wasn’t cast in shadow was so deeply lined that it wouldn’t have surprise you to learn that she was a century old. Long, thickly built white braids of hair dangled from under her hood, over the sides of her face. All in all, her appearance made her seem like she would turn you into a toad if you said the wrong thing, and given what you’d come to learn of this world that was stranger than you thought it was, you wondered briefly if you should simply assume that she could indeed make you into an amphibian.“Eh he he he he…” the old woman cackled as you stepped up to her, “Men such as you only come to me for one thing, yes…”“Women's clothes?” you guessed absentmindedly.“Eh? Whot?” The old woman spouted, flustered, “Oh, I suppose I have those too…” She rose to her feet, turning into a slightly more elongated pile of colorful blankets, and waddled into her hut. “No following!” she snapped as you leaned forward to take a step. “Hrm…how big is she?”“Small.” You answered.“How small?”You approximated with your hands. “Feh. Not as young as I was, at least.”You were uncompelled to raise any objection to what had been implied, feeling that an old woman would be unlikely to be convinced anyways and that you would be wasting your breath. “Was hoping you’d come for your fortune…” the old woman yammered, a boney, clawed hand rising from under her coverings and perusing sets of drawers idly, the scratching of wood upon wood creeping out to your ears every few seconds, “Nobody seems to know how much they’re worth, I tell ya. No respect for the whims of fate, the day to day. Like they think they’ve got no future.” “How much are your fortunes?” you asked.“Three union marks.”“Whew,” you scoffed, “I think I know why you’re not selling your fortunes as much.”“Another wise young one! Tell this old crone the secrets of your worldly wisdom, spring sprout.” She yanked something from a drawer, examined it, then turned back to you, flailing a piece of black wool cloth with a worn satin ribbon streaming from the waist; presumably for adjusting the waist. “Ten pfennings.”“…really?” you asked, bewildered, and having expected a much meaner price.“’s much as it’s worth,” the old woman sniffed, “Before the ghosts came, I sewed. Still sew, silly youngsters think this is worth more. Prove ‘em wrong, I say.”
“You are truly a shrewd merchant,” you muttered as you dug for coins. As you did so, the old woman’s eyes flashed, and her talons snatched out and snared your wrist, dragging your hand towards her, palm up. You stifled a shout of alarm as her other equally gnarled hand flew out and traced itself down your palm, leaving white scratch lines as her sharp, yellow nails dug into your flesh.“The lines of the emperor, the star, and steel,” she coughed, “eminence, hope, strife. Three paths enter, and one leaves. Yet the path whence taken leads to naught…”You yanked your hand back. “That wouldn’t happen to be fifty marks or whatever, would it?”“Nay, nay, a sampling. My fortunes are always accurate, should you come to understand them…”“I understand that you are a kook,” you said harshly, thrusting your money out, “I’ll be taking that.”-----The skirt fell to just below Maddalyn’s knees, and she breathed a sigh of relief as she exited the tank after pulling it over her waist. “Thank you,Richter…” she said, “For…well, everything…”“It was nothing.”“Hmm…” Maddalyn frowned and looked down; the eye she had put back in still stared at you as the other gazed downwards, and you must have made it apparent that you found that strange, as Maddalyn’s gaze shot back up and she smiled uneasily as she put both eyes back on you. “Ah! So! Did you…did you want to do anything?”>You wanted to go bother Loch about tomorrow. You would be marching out then, after all.>This would be your last day before you possibly went out and got murdered. You wanted to take Maddalyn out somewhere. (Specify)>Fuss over your troops and equipment some more; you’d done that plenty and you doubted you’d get more done, but you couldn’t be too careful, could you?>Other?>You'll be dragging Maddalyn with you unless you tell her to languish by herself
>>2164064>>You wanted to go bother Loch about tomorrow. You would be marching out then, after all.
>>2164064>>This would be your last day before you possibly went out and got murdered. You wanted to take Maddalyn out somewhere. (Specify)To the most romantic spot in Rostig, of course! Which would be...hmm...shit. Maybe there's a nice restaurant or something? Also we might want to pick her up an eyepatch until her other eye starts working properly again. It...will start working again, right?I'm also tempted to go back and get our fortune told properly.
>Other?"You've just been kidnapped for (specified amount of time) what do you want to do with your freedom?""And don't say stay in the tank to play with the Armor."If she comes up with nothing stick with the crew and PARTY. Responsibly.
>>2164064>>You wanted to go bother Loch about tomorrow. You would be marching out then, after all.Feel that we can have some quiet time once we go back across the border. There's probably a lot more to celebrate back in Strossvald than in Rostig.
>>2164064>>This would be your last day before you possibly went out and got murdered. You wanted to take Maddalyn out somewhere. (Specify)I'd say go hide under a bridge or to the riverside but I don't know if there is one here. Forget loch, Maddy deserves an irresponsible evening
>>2164064>Maybe Fie can spiritually reconnect Maddy's eye back?I'm grasping for straws right now, but the situation where our waifu was tortured because of us, and instead of bemoaning her mutilation pretends to be fine so we don't feel bad, is bringing me anguish.
“You’ve been kidnapped for…what, three weeks now?” you guessed. Vanishing in the mountains didn’t help your sense of how much time had passed. “What do you want to do now that you’re free?”“What do I want to do?” Maddalyn repeated, “…Er…” she kneaded her hands together, “Well…I’ve never been here before…we could walk around, I guess.”That was an answer you were somewhat relieved to hear, since Rostig was not exactly a tourist trap. Sosaldt’s badlands were patchy and dusty, and the local attractions consisted of places where one would never go in polite company. Theatres and such were unheard of, the closest things to restaurants were quaint cafes and what amounted to storehouses with seating areas attached to them, both of which had their variety of food greatly dependent on what caravans brought through, otherwise being limited to the bland staples of roots and beans. Even the various games that were played as pastimes had been curtailed for training and preparation; Rostig had the entertainment potential of a military camp, though you hadn’t explored the Migrant settlement in depth, so simply walking around there might yield something, with luck. You’d even heard rumors from famished brigands turned recruits that they had smelled roasting meat from the twinned town; a rare treat for the lowly fighter or laborer here.Before that, though, you thought to have something investigated.“We picked this girl up a few days ago,” you explained to Maddalyn, gesturing in Fie’s direction. Maddalyn blinked at the green haired woman as she idled about, examining a deck of cards; as a mystic of sorts, Fie put much trust in divination, though she admitted she had no talent for it; whatever talent helped reading the whims of fate from pieces of painted paper, you had no idea. “Ah,” Maddalyn noticed, “She’s a mosshead.”“She called herself a Nief’yem,” you said, thinking that would be the more polite term.“That name isn’t an appropriately humble one,” Maddalyn stuck her nose up, “I don’t go around calling my sort Kaisers.” Maddalyn noticed quickly that you had no idea what she was on about, and she added, “Nief’yem means prophet. Ooh, your people were here first, you’re so great, no.”Maddalyn of course referred to the well-known but oft forgotten fact that peoples such as you, Maddalyn, and practically everybody else you knew were descended from a race that migrated from Caelus to the east, in some bygone time. What became known as the Nauk Imperial found an oddly empty continent for the taking, with only scarce remnants of other civilizations opposing them. Said remnants were only mentioned in passing in Nauk histories; details about them were scourged from most records, leaving little knowledge of what came before. The Nief’yem, as well as the Yaegirs and Vyemani, were what was left of the eldest races of the land where you stood.
“She knows something of…the sort of things you do,” you explained, “I was thinking she could check your eye out and make sure it’s healing well.”“…There’s nothing to check out,” Maddalyn said hurriedly, smiling again disconcertingly, “Is something the matter?”“…Look at that building behind me,” you commanded her, and then you moved from side to side. Her replaced eye followed you, disregarding the attention the other eye placed. Maddalyn realized this with a start and her hand shot up to cover it.“That’s fine!” she chirped, “It’s normal! It just needs some time.”“It wouldn’t hurt to at least have her look at it,” you coaxed Maddalyn along with a hand at her back. When she still resisted, you pinched her on her lovely round tuckus.“Eep!” Maddalyn squeaked, “Knock that off! I don’t want to have her look at it, okay? People who know what the little ones in my eyes are…” Maddalyn peered worriedly back over to Fie, “…not understanding. The Hermit always said to never have them inspected.”You sighed at Maddalyn, who stared hopefully at you.“Fine,” you acquiesced, “Let’s go, then. How long has it been since you’ve eaten something proper?”Maddalyn’s stomach gurgled on cue and she coughed, grimacing as she failed to conceal the noise.“Well,” you noted, “that certainly won’t do.”-----Maddalyn wrapped herself tightly round your right arm as you walked through the bustling migrant town, poking you as sweets vendors called out to her. Her tastes matched her age, apparently, but you advised her not to stuff herself with candy before a meal.“I’m older than you, you know,” Maddalyn grumbled as she held onto you more tightly, leering at a tall woman as she strode past, “I should be telling you how you should eat.”“Shall I start calling you mommy?”Maddalyn flushed bright scarlet. “No-oo! Don’t you even think about it!”“Speaking of,” you trailed into another subject, “Your mother was quite the looker, I found out. It’s good that she passed so much of herself to you.” You smirked at Maddalyn, whose scarlet calmed to a mild pink, as she allowed a slight smile to crook her lips.“I appreciate it, but…I could never hope to be half the woman my mother was. My memories with her were wonderful…when it was just her, my father and I…”“None of your half siblings?” you inquired.“What? Oh, I suppose they were there too,” Maddalyn shrugged slightly, “they were old enough that they didn’t appreciate my mother the way I could, anyways.”>What about your sister? Was she better in the past, too?>On the note of your mother, dear, all you need is the right sort of dress. Or lack of it.>Tell me about your family…(write in)>Other?
>>2166262>Tell me about your family…(write in)Who's your favorite member of your family?Does your father rule well?When'd you meet the senile old man? Who stands to inherit the Duchy? And are they prone to...accidents?
>>2166262>>What about your sister? Was she better in the past, too?
>>2166262>>What about your sister? Was she better in the past, too?Also we might want to inform maddy about the impending soulbinder war and how she'd stand out like a beacon if any of them come sniffing around
>>2167169And how soul binders affect those they are close to, so its possible her father was changed by the presence of the hermit
>>2166262>What about your sister? Was she better in the past, too?
“What about your sister?” you asked reflexively, “Was she better in the past, too?”Maddalyn said nothing for a few steps, but finally said, “I suppose. Mother died when Mathilda was three, so I don’t think she knew her as well. She was closer to father, and, well, me.”“What changed that?”Maddalyn sighed slowly. “I don’t know,” she added flatly at the end, in a way that seemed as if she was telling you that was so, instead of it being an admission.The way Maddalyn ended that subject was too awkward for you to let it linger for long, so you did your best to lead it on to another question. “So who’s your favorite member of your family?”“…My aunt, on my mother’s side,” Maddalyn answered, “But I haven’t seen her since mother died. She isn’t fond of my father since then, I’ve heard, and I’ve hardly gone far from home since, anyways.” Maddalyn frowned and stared at the ground, her wild eye having been covered with a patch to keep others from noticing it, “I-it’s not like I do not love my father, you see…but he has come to despise me so, I’ve almost forgotten how he used to be.” Maddalyn stroked her hands together, arms still around yours, “I don’t want that to happen, but…”“Perhaps it won’t,” you reassured your fiancée, “I don’t see him being insensible for long, after all, he is a ruler, no? Does he not reign well?”“I’ve heard nothing but that he does,” Maddalyn guessed, “Mostly in regards to territorial security and the military tithe, the industry in regards to the latter. The Blumlands manufacture all their own arms, and we’ve only grown the richer for it.”Strossvald’s constituent states, despite swearing fealty to the Archduke, provided their own for soldiers, local security, and, though they procured arms from the capital or other states, were still responsible for providing manpower and the cash for equipment, should they want to keep it outside of wartime. Otherwise, heavy equipment was considered to be “on loan.” States that requested forces from the capital similarly had these troops “on loan,” at least until the formation was either integrated into their realm by manpower replacement or withdrawn. Though, what more often happened was that there were long term loan units that were the Archduke’s in all but name, that consisted a territory’s best troops.On the note of security, though…
“I was rather unimpressed with the regional stability in my first visit,” you couldn’t help but say.“Ah…” Maddalyn fretted, “That…really hadn’t been going on for long. You saw how quickly it was resolved when it became a problem, yes?”If it had been resolved, you thought. There were too many loose ends that you could only trust were being handled.“When’d you meet the senile old man?” you asked innocently, choosing a different subject to take your mind off of that political danger, “Surely he didn’t just spring from nowhere?”“Of course not. Father knew him for some time, I think, but he didn’t come to stay in our lands until…I think just over seventeen years ago, now. When I was six years old.”“So right when your sister was born,” you nodded to yourself.Maddalyn said nothing, then suddenly became extremely uncomfortable. “We should talk about something else,” she squirmed, “enough about her.”“What about…” you trailed off, unsure if you should mention soulbinders in this public of a space, but Maddalyn shook her head, brushing it against your upper arm.“No, I’d rather not talk about any of…that, right now. I’d rather forget about this stupid magic stuff for a bit.”>Your wish is my command. Hey, do you smell that? I think they might have real food here!>I’m sure a certain brand of stupid magic stuff would be fine. Do you want your fortune told?>I get the feeling you should tell me more about something…(write in)>Other?
>>2167444>>Your wish is my command. Hey, do you smell that? I think they might have real food here!However, she has to know about the Oblitares and the threat they could pose to her, considering she is dabbling in their magic.
>>2167444>Your wish is my command. Hey, do you smell that? I think they might have real food here!
>>2167444>>I’m sure a certain brand of stupid magic stuff would be fine. Do you want your fortune told?
>>2167444>>Your wish is my command. Hey, do you smell that? I think they might have real food here!
“I’m sure a certain brand of stupid magic stuff would be fun. Do you want your fortune told? There’s an old bint who does that around here.”“A fortune teller?” Maddalyn repeated you, “…No, I think I’d rather not. They’d probably say the same thing anybody else has.”You thought to say health and good fortune?, but that could easily be misinterpreted at this moment, considering what had happened. So you moved right along.“Very well then. Do you smell that?” you referred to what must have been the roasting meat reported earlier, “Either my nose deceives me, or they have real food here!”The source of the scent turned out to be a curious vehicle that was a combination of a house, kitchen, and diner all on the buckling frame of an old truck of eastern make. Its windows were webbed with cracks and its light blue paint was rusted through in many places, and in general it looked more like it belonged in a scrapyard than anywhere else, but the wheels were passably new. From its back, a long stovepipe protruded, belching aromatic smoke. Paler smoke and steam floated out of the end, with a different, meatier aroma.It had been difficult to find, too. The owner had been one of the first to arrive at this town, but had languished for lack of ingredients. By the time he had procured some to open for business, so many others had crowded around him that, he had lamented to you once you had dug through said barricade of dwellings, nobody could find his place. The prices were steep, certainly, but not unreasonable considering the scarcity of some things. It surely wasn’t an easy thing to procure spices here, as you smelled such cooking in the kitchen.
“So,” the chef clapped his hands together expectantly, “Will you be having..?” He was a squat, round man with a bald head and a full, black beard. His accent placed him as coming from somewhere distant to the west, beyond the Reich, from the troubled lands of Vitelia. What had once been a prosperous kingdom in the shadow of the Reich had dissolved into civil war with a hundred sides…so you’d heard. Little news came from the place, and even most expatriates had been people who’d left before the states failed.“Of course,” you said, “I don’t think I’ve eaten meat in days. What is that back there, anyways?”“Sheep, lamb,” the chef told you, “A herder arrived, sells them for…too much, I tell you.” You couldn’t help frowning a little, if only by habit. Sheep was pauper’s meat, but you supposed it would have to do. You would at least spring for the lamb, if you could.“The lady, is she your..?” the Vitelian cook eyed Maddalyn curiously.“Wife,” Maddalyn said firmly.“Wife?” the cook scratched his beard, then chuckled, “Ho ho, she’s so thin and small, why, the wind would blow her away! That will not do, certainly not if she wishes to give you any strong children. I have just the thing.”Maddalyn leered at the cook as he wrote down what you wanted (the cheapest meat; some sort of pudding with a vulgar northern name; not as though you couldn’t stomach it) and muttered to herself, “What, I don’t get to choose?”You squeezed her around her waist, “If it’s for the best, it’s what you’d have anyways, right?”“…sure,” Maddalyn said hesitantly back. “I just hope that I’m not expected to eat a heart or something gross like that.”More likely the heart was reserved for you; cheap puddings were often made of minced organs and grains, after all. Maddalyn wasn’t very happy to hear about that, though.“You’d best not kiss me with a piece of sheep liver stuck in your teeth,” she pouted. “…Not here! Not here!” she squeaked as you tightened your grip around her middle and leaned towards her, “Not where everybody can see!” She was flushed, but still turning her face away and biting her lip. You gave up your attempt as quickly as it had begun.
The place where you were directed to sit was a little squat table on a rug, in the eastern Sosalian style; presumably a concession to the population the cook had been traveling with. When you and Maddalyn sat opposite from one another, the cook’s similarly squat, yet hairless assistant, who had guided you to the place, made an offended cry.“No, no! You are wife, no? You sit with, not apart!” He directed you to sit with your legs crossed, and then sat Maddalyn down in the bowl formed by your legs. “That is right way to do! Now wait.”The position had the problem, though, of not being as good as it could have been. You coaxed your fiancée to adjust herself backwards and upwards. Maddalyn didn’t realize that this drove her butt into your crotch until about ten seconds later.“You’re a pig, you know that?” Maddalyn said in a scalding tone, slipping back down into her original seating. You made an innocent sigh and placed your hands in a conciliatory facing.Eventually, the food came. Your own was placed on the other side from you and Maddalyn, and her’s, closest to you. It was a heaping plate of cubed meats and roots, doused with steaming, rich brown dressing that was filled with herbs, its savory smell nearly driving you to tears.There was, notably, only one fork and knife.“So, er,” you asked the assistant who had delivered the meal, “Can we sit normally, now?”“No!” he snapped, “You feed her! She eats first, then you! What kind of man puts self before woman?”“…I see,” you said, Maddalyn silent as she nervously surveyed the pile of meat, itself towering on a dished plate large enough to serve her own head upon. “Thank you, then.”“Richter…” Maddalyn murmured, turning even paler than she normally was, “I don’t…I don’t think I can eat all this…I’ll burst!”>Strong, healthy children, dear. Also, I can’t eat until you’re done. So open up.>Yeah, the appeal of Vitelian tradition has worn off. Get up, now. I’m going to cram my teeth full of livers and hearts.>It might defy the spirit of this exercise, but I’ll help you with it. I can probably fit four times as much as you can, easily.>Other?
>>2168066>Strong, healthy children, dear. Also, I can’t eat until you’re done. So open up.>And if we don't exercise ...proper etiquette, that man is going to keep shouting at us, but perhaps you want a crowd?
>>2168066>>It might defy the spirit of this exercise, but I’ll help you with it. I can probably fit four times as much as you can, easily.With such a degenerate inconvenient eating culture no wonder their country dissolved into chaos.
>>2168066>It might defy the spirit of this exercise, but I’ll help you with it. I can probably fit four times as much as you can, easily.Avenge all the boyfriends whose girlfriends stole food from their plates on a date!
So since we're close to the edge of the board, I'll say this vote here's the last one for the thread and we'll continue in a week, maybe a day after New Years.In the meantime, have a merry christmas. Dunno if to do Maddy again or to do somebody else. Or multiples. Or to just complete what I should be doing before I even think about it. Santa dress is easier to decide on than costume design in any case, honestly thought more than it was worth on that.
>>2169311Merry Christmas and HNY Tanq!
>>2168066>Strong, healthy children, dear. Also, I can’t eat until you’re done. So open up.>buuuut>It might defy the spirit of this exercise, but I’ll help you with it. I can probably fit four times as much as you can, easily.