[a / b / c / d / e / f / g / gif / h / hr / k / m / o / p / r / s / t / u / v / vg / w / wg] [i / ic] [r9k] [cm / hm / y] [3 / adv / an / cgl / ck / co / diy / fa / fit / hc / int / jp / lit / mlp / mu / n / po / pol / sci / soc / sp / tg / toy / trv / tv / vp / x] [rs] [status / ? / @] [Settings] [Home]
Settings   Home
/qst/ - Quests

File: The Island 1.jpg (20 KB, 300x223)
20 KB
Welcome to The Lost Island Quest. Last thread our hero, Alan Rodain, caught a bird in the hand (the equivalent of two in the bush), interrogated a foreign agent and discovered some alarming information.

Now, Where's Rowe?

http://pastebin.com/W5vqnRBU (Character Sheet)
http://pastebin.com/3LPDLd9u (NPCs)

Just joined this quest. Can you give me some option because I don't know what's going on?
File: Archer.png (106 KB, 250x355)
106 KB
106 KB PNG
A small moment of silence passes as you register the question being asked. It gives you a chance to realize how cool this room is. You're bordering on feeling cold right now.

“What?” Dart asks. You feel her arm go limp in your grasp, murderous intent gone and let go of her. She wipes her dagger on the elf's tattered, green cloak to get the miniscule amount of his blood off it before sheathing it on her belt.

“Rowe,” he repeats. “Rowena. The Orc Hunter. She might be going under a different name. Half-elf with –”

“Who told you this person was here?” Dart probes.

The elf rolls his eyes. “Second or third hand information from Kardassian spies. Said she was recruited for whatever program you're running here.”

“Spies? On Island or off the Island?”

“Uh, definitely off the Island, but I'm pretty sure they've got both.”

“What do you know about the spies on the Island?”

“Nothing! They didn't tell me much. Just what they wanted me to know. I saw the documents though. Plain as day. Private Rowelena Roy was on your recruitment list. Is she here?”

>Yes, she is.
>Why do you want to know?
>She died.
>Didn't know her last name was Roy.
>If you didn't know, we're interrogating you.
>Something else? (write-in)
>>Why do you want to know?
what is your name?
>why do you want to know
>who are you
Ah, also
>Look, you're Cerillian. Why not just cooperate and we'll try to get you listed as having escaped from the Empire rather than defected/aiding and abetting the enemy, even if under duress.
Saying he escaped from an Imperial POW camp with Intel will go a long way towards making sure he doesn't get tried for treason.
I'd suggest reading the archives to get a better understanding, but to summarize:
We (alongside a team of other people) are sent to a special island with mystical properties.
We have a unique ability to 'assimilate' traits and skills from other people. To the point where Hell and its denizens are scared of us and are looking to kill us.
We're trying to figure out the mysteries of the island.
There's a rivalry with this other group of veteran (kind of evil?) adventurers
There's some malignant force called the Master who's directing things against us.
We're in a relationship with Rowe the Orc Hunter (and/or also attempting to pursue a relationship with the monk Gabby)
You should read through the previous threads. If you stick to just the posts from Trick, it shouldn't take too long.
It's important to know what's going on and the context of what's come before in order to understand the current situation and the options.
>To the point where Hell and its denizens are scared of us and are looking to kill us
Don't forget that the Abyss is also scared of us.

We are the Assimilator. Their biological and magical distinctiveness will be made to serve us. Resistance is futile.

Yes, this is still me.
“Why do you want to know?” you ask.

“Well, then I'm planning to ask her a question.”

“You planning on asking as violently?”

“Don't think I'll need to.”

“What's the question?”

He looks between the two of you for a moment, obviously weighing something over in his head. He comes to an internal decision and the air of vigor and defiance he was maintaining up until this point drops. He stares forward and a sense of oddly eerie calm enters his voice.

“I want to know who ordered her to set the Sfar forest ablaze.”

Dart leans back slightly, confusion mingled with surprise on her face. She glances to you and you silently communicate for her to wait. That's a conversation you don't want to have later. She goes back to focusing on the prisoner.

You close your eyes. And really think about what you've heard of Rowe's story. You remember it very clearly. There's no one else you could imagine this person being, but still . . .

“What's your name?” you ask, trying your best to hide the rising tension in your breast.

“Corporal Etriarch. Scout stationed in the Sfar forest. I'm probably listed as KIA. Rowe and I did a lot of operations off the record, culminating in burning the forest down to eliminate a Kardassian army. Look, I know I probably sound fucking crazy right now, but I'm telling the truth. I need to talk to Rowe. Is she here?”

Holy shit.

>Yes she is
>No she's not (lie)
>There was no order
>How did you survive?
>Why do you still have all your fingers?
>If you cooperate we can sweep all this under the rug
>Something else? (write-in)
>>How did you survive?
>>Why do you still have all your fingers?
can we send a mental message to Rowe asking her where she is?
No you have to be in line of sight for that. You do know she's in town however.

File: Dart.jpg (40 KB, 372x576)
40 KB
“Why would you be listed as dead?” Dart asks.

“I was smack dab in the middle of the inferno,” he informs her.

“How'd you survive?” you inquire.

He turns to look at you. “The orc torturing me at the time picked me up and ran. As far as I'm aware we're the only two survivors.”

“Why do you still have all your fingers?” you ask quietly. Dart glances to you again, a disapproving look on her face.

You notice him wriggle his fingers instinctively at your question, still tied together behind the back of the chair.

“Magic. Some sort of highly powerful restorative spell. Regrew the fingers, the eyelids, the toes, healed the burn scars too.”

A pause.

“H-how'd you know I was missing those?”

You go to speak but find your words caught in your throat. You saw it happen to him in a dream.

“You've met her,” he states, the realization slowly dawning on him as he speaks. “She's told you about me. She told you I was tortured, didn't she?!”

“Crap,” Dart mutters.

“Did she tell you about the forest? About burning it down?!” His voice starts to raise in pitch and intensity, almost wild. “Do you know who gave the order?!”

“I –”

“WHO GAVE THE ORDER?!” he screams at you. “WHO –”

Dart strides behind him and smacks him in the back of the head with a small blackjack, similar to the one you've seen Kyra use. His head slumps as he falls into unconsciousness.

Dart looks at you annoyed. “Great. Now he knows we have something to give him. You want to tell me what's going on here? Rowe was ordered to set a forest fire?”

>Explain to Dart
>Ask Dart about where her group has been the year they were gone
>Go check on Blackburn
>Leave and go find Rowe
>Something else? (write-in)
>>Leave and go find Rowe
File: Sword and Shield Tavern.jpg (96 KB, 1024x728)
96 KB
You wipe your mouth with the back of your hand, thinking. Dart looks at you expectantly. You turn on your heels and open the door, walking away.

“Thanks, Alan,” Dart calls after you sarcastically. “Wonderful explanation, I'll just sit here with your mess. At least check on Blackburn to make sure he hasn't killed himself!”

The last sentences trails off into quiet as you turn a corner in the Overseer's complex. You pass by Blackburn's office and see him pouring himself a glass of wine. He nods at you semi-cordially as you walk past.

You make your way to the Sword and Shield Tavern where you expect to find Rowe – you didn't see her in the room you two share when you were just at the Circle. You enter the building and look around past the various patrons. There seem to be a lot of them.

Despite all the deaths it seems Blackburn has kept the new arrivals coming to keep the Seaside population steadily rising. You spot a lot of fresh off the boat looking types enjoying and showing off their powers to each other, much to the chagrin of the support staff.

You see Rowe at your usual spot, drinking and eating dinner with . . . Gabby. Gabby is tearing into a nice juicy steak while Rowe seems to be chopping up some roasted, seasoned chicken.

Great. Today is going to be great.

>Take your ring off, think to her (what, exactly)
>Go up and tell Rowe about Etriarch
>Go forward and speak with both of them (about what?)
>Something else? (write-in)
>>Take your ring off, think to her (what, exactly)
"Rowe, we have an emergency. Etriarch is alive and pissed off"
If she deigns to silently message us or speak out loud, explain in kind:
"I was out near the forest when I got shot by him. I managed to take him prisoner with Kyra, and we were interrogating him for a bit before he started asking about you. That's when I asked him what his name was."
Go up to them, greet them both, tell them th big news: we got evidence of an Imperial outpost, same as Seaside, on this island. Then tell Rowe that we have something very important and private to tell her, and if we could do it mentally so there's no mistakes.

Remember she asked us to warn her before doing it again.

>leaving Dart to clean up our mess
Aw crap, fucking up things again because we can't shut our big mouth.

Maybe we should assimilate that next, the ability to shut the fuck up before we screw things up.
Can you please not fuck this up more than you already have?
I mean, really, starting right off that the person she destroyed her childhood home for, is alive and on the island, without any context or preparation?
>Remember she asked us to warn her before doing it again.
Right, forgot about that.
We'll do it your way.
You make your way through the crowd, receiving a few pats on the back on the way. Rowe smiles at your approach and Gabby does as well, although she quickly, but subtly looks from you to Rowe and then back to you again.

“Hey Alan,” Rowe greets you. She offers you a piece of chicken on a fork which you accept. As you chew you watch Rowe's facial expression shift from pleasant to slightly put off. “ . . .Your eyes. What happened?”

Oh yeah, that. “Picked something up from . . . a person who could see better in the dark.”

“You've never physically changed before from your power,” Rowe mentions, slightly concerned or maybe perturbed.

“Yeah he has,” Gabby corrects. “Just not outwardly.” Rowe looks to her, inquistive. Gabby puts down her steak and wipes her hands on a wet cloth. “Gotta sense of a person's physical presence. Can tell when somebody's charged with magic and shit, how tough they are, if they're dying. Shit like that. Most people stay steady with a few changes, depending on what's going on with them at the moment. Al keeps fluctuating.” Gabby looks up to you and studies the new look to your irises.

“Personally, I like the pretty boy eyes.” Gabby chortles a bit. Rowe gives her an annoyed look, before looking back at you.

“I like [your] eyes,” Rowe tells you. She grabs hold of your hand. Gabby goes to study the notches in the table Kyra's left with her knife. “You look tired,” she notes.

“He is tired,” Gabby says into the table, before promptly looking up. “He's been awake for over 24 hours, right Al?”

You nod your head, feeling the exhaustion hit you as you acknowledge its existence. Gabby reaches up and squeezes your arm. “You should get some sleep.”
You wave her off and gingerly pull your arm from her grasp. “I will in a bit. I have something important to tell you both. You sit down on Rowe's side and lean in, bringing your voice down to a whisper. “There's an Imperial outpost on the Island.”

Both of them look surprised. “How long?” Rowe asks.

“Our . . . informant says a year or two.”

“Where the fuck are they?” Gabby questions.

“Other side of the forest.”

Rowe nods her head, drumming her fingers on the table. “Shit.”

“I thought you explored that whole place?” Gabby asks her.

“Not through the deep wood,” she informs you both. “Way too risky. A lot of big, terrifying creatures I didn't want to mess with.”

“Well, whatever,” Gabby dismisses the alarming magnanimity of your information. “We'll find them, fuck them up and kick them out.”

“Where'd we get an informant?” Rowe turns to you. You sigh out. Gabby and Rowe can tell you're holding back some important detail. You turn to Rowe.

“I need to think to you in private.” She looks at you concerned, but then glances back to Gabby.

Gabby nods her head and gets up. “I'll be over by the bar,” she tells you both. She leaves you two some privacy in the booth, surrounded by the background noise of the reveling, tipsy patrons.

You slip the ring of mental shielding off your finger.

>(Etriarch is alive and pissed off.)
>(Etriarch tried to kill me.)
>(Etriarch thinks someone ordered you to burn down the forest.)
>(That orc General is still alive.)
>(Etriarch wants to talk to you.)
>(Dart knows about you burning down the Sfar forest.)
>(I have Etriarch's eyes.)
>(I'm attracted to Gabby.)
>Something else? (write-in)
>>(Etriarch is alive and pissed off.)
>(Etriarch thinks someone ordered you to burn down the forest.)
>(That orc General is still alive.)
>(Etriarch wants to talk to you.)
>Etriarch is alive, the Orc general he was with escaped the fire with him, the only two survivors.
>the Empire forced him into service, he thinks you were ordered to burn the Forest, and he's pissed off
Wait, lead with survivors of the Sfar Forest fire are confirmed, and that our informant is one of the two survivors.

Then break the news that Etriarch survived.
(There were some survivors from the incident in the Sfar forest.)

Rowe coughs. (You mean civilians? I know plenty of civilians escaped.)

(No, survivors from the army. Two in fact.)

(Fuck.) She thinks as she stabs her fork into the table, she looks at you, her face steaming. (Let me guess. You have one and the one you don't have is The General.)

(Uh, spot on.)

(And that General is in command of that Imperial outpost.)

(Maybe, I didn't ask.)

(I'm sure he is. Monster like that is just the sort of person Kardas would put in charge.)

(That's not all.)


(The other survivor. The one we . . . captured. He's . . . not an orc.)

Rowe looks up questioningly, before turning to look at you. Her face is scrunched in thought as she processes your thoughts.

(Not an orc? There weren't any . . . )

Her face drops. It deflates. She looks stupefied as she stares at you, your face confirming her uncommunicated thought. Seconds pass by. She eventually snaps out of the momentary fugue only to mutter a few pieces of gibberish as her mind seemingly breaks like a dam, streams of words assaulting your mind as her eyes dart across the table, studying it like she was looking over a map of a battlefield.

(Dead. No way, couldn't escape. Couldn't run – couldn't walk. Tied up. Burned alive – god what a horrible way to go he probably hates me if he knows. Etriarch. Etriarch. Etriarch. Ghost. Impossible. I made sure – Inescapable blaze. They would have executed him even if – they hated him! He's dead. I accepted that – I moved forward, I shouldn't have just given up on – Etriarch, If he's alive. How could he. I should have looked for him. I should have known he'd – of course he'd find a way – why did – )

(The Empire forced him into service.) You interrupt her stream of consciousness. (He thinks someone ordered you to burn down the forest. He's pissed off and he wants to talk to you.)

(Where is he being held?)

(In the Overseer's Complex. Dart is with him right now.)

(If that cunt has touched him – ) She gets up from the table in a flash and starts hurriedly walking to the door of the establishment.

Gabby turns around from where she sits on a stool at the bar to watch Rowe exit. She then looks to you.

>Follow Rowe
>Go speak with Gabby
>Go talk to Blackburn
>Something else? (write-in)
Follow Rowe,
Have Gabby get Blackburn to join us at the Overseer complex.

Should we have Gabby tag along as well?
>Follow Rowe
>tell Gabby that it's complicated and we'll tell her later if Rowe doesn't tell us to keep it quiet.
No to both.
Blackburn lives and works at the complex; he IS the Overseer.
Sorry, I meant have him join us at the prisoner's cell.

Get Blackburn to come to the cell with you? Y/N
Twenty minute break for food, sorry bout that.
Rolled 1 (1d2)

Back and writing!

1 -- Bringing Blackburn

2 -- Not Bringing Blackburn
Damnit, bringing the boss to a personal meeting like this?

What were you thinking, Wrenloft?
I thought there would be critical information he'd need to know.
We could have just told him such information later.
And what he's concerned with is the Imperial outpost on the island and Imperial spies, not on the emotional turmoil of Rowe's ex and how she left him for dead as she destroyed an entire forest.
File: Interrogation Rooms.jpg (1.81 MB, 1500x1200)
1.81 MB
1.81 MB JPG
You express to Gabby via sympathetic look that you'll explain later and she raises her glass, taking it in stride. You slip the ring back on and follow Rowe out.

You cross back through the city, right on her heels. There is a nervous energy coursing through her. You can tell from her thoughts she's still in a state of shock, unable to fully comprehend and digest the sudden change. You think you understand. If someone walked up to you and told you Tobias was still alive and waiting for you across town you'd probably not be able to react properly for some time.

Rowe pricks her finger casually as she walks past the guards, not taking a second to pause. As you pass Blackburn's office you peak your head in and see the wine bottle is close to half empty. He looks up at you from whatever report he's reading, clearly intoxicated but holding himself together.

“Yes, what is it, Alan?”

“The Imperial agent. Rowe and him have history. I think you should be there.” He rolls his head thinking about it before downing his glass and following after you.

“You alright?” you ask him. He seems particularly distraught as he quickly rights his slight stumbling and assume his proper, firm posture he generally projects to his underlings.

“I've just discovered my work the past three years has actually been an arms race rather than a secret project. No point bringing in bigger weapons if Kardas does the same. I've actually accomplished nothing here and Ceril may be farther from winning the war than ever. That's the type of news that very well may cause me to lose support from the parliament and as such, I believe it's time to drink.”

As Blackburn finishes his monologue you make it to the cell door. It's wide open and Rowe is kneeling in front of Etriarch's seated position, inspecting his face.

Dart leans against the wall and a mocking smile plasters her face upon your entrance.

“Well now it's a party,” Dart comments with a laugh.

“What did you do to him?” (It's really him.) Rowe demands of her.

“I cut his face up a bit and knocked him out after he started screaming at us. He really wants to know who gave the order to set a forest on fire.”

“The Sfar incident, hmm?” Blackburn asks.

“Yeah,” Rowe confirms. “He seemed angry about it?” (He loved that place too.)

You nod your head.

Blackburn makes a tsking sound. He's thinking. “Wake him up, tell him General Teller gave the order.”

Rowe looks back at Blackburn. “That's not true.”

“No shit,” Dart spits.

“He wants someone to be angry at, give him a target. He's not leaving this Island anytime soon. General Teller will be fine.”

>Go along with the plan
>Insist on telling him the truth
>Something else? (write-in)
>>Something else? (write-in)
Well, first, let's see what Rowe wants to do and her reasoning for it.
Like, by private messaging.
"Sir, is lying wise? Yes, he won't be leaving the island for a while, but the island is likely to have made him immortal. And with all the different magical effects that can be found here, a long-term lie is likely to be eventually found out. Do we really want to give him more reason to defect to Kardas?
"Rowe, do you think he won't be able to take the truth? You know him better than us."
“Is lying wise? The guy's effectively immortal. You think we can keep a lie going on forever? He finds out we misled him he's more likely to truly defect.”

“He's not leaving this cell,” Blackburn tells you. “He's already attacked us and something tells me he isn't interested in the true culprit for posterity's sake. Teller, Rowe – there's only one long term solution to this problem.”

“Effectively immortal,” Dart muses. “Wonderful operative word, 'effectively'.”

“We're not killing him,” Rowe snaps.

“You're right,” Dart mentions, her voice mockingly saccharine. “We'll let him strangle you to death.”

“You think he can handle the truth, Rowe?” you ask her.

(I don't know. I have no idea what's happened to him in the time in between. But I can't lie to him. Not now. He deserves to know what I did.)

“Alright then. She wants to tell him the truth so that's what we're doing.”

Blackburn shrugs. “I hope you've made the right decision.”

“I'm going to wake him up now,” Rowe informs you all. She looks to Blackburn and Dart. “If we could have some privacy, that would be appreciated.”

Blackburn nods. Dart scoffs. They both open the door and take their leave.

You lock gazes with Rowe. There is uncertainty in her expression.

>Leave the room
(Do you want me to stay?)

if not, (I'll be right outside if you need me)
“Do you want me to stay?”

(I don't know. I'm not entirely sure.)

“Alright, I'll be over here then.” You make your way to the side of the cell and lean against the wall.

Rowe nods and puts her hands against Etriarch's face. She chants a few words and you watch as a verdant green energy radiates off her hand. It has the feel, sound, taste and look of nature magic. Whatever the spell's origin, it seems very similar to the energy channeling of divine magic. The cuts on his face begin to heal and his eyes flutter open.

It takes him a moment to come to his senses but once he does his eyes widen. He laughs to himself.

“Hey Et,” she says casually, chuckling to combat the severity of the situation. “Long time, no see.”

“Hey Rowe,” he says back to her. He looks around the room. He spots you and startles slightly, before coming back to her. “How've you been?”

“Alright, I guess. Doing better than you. What have you been doing, exactly?”

“Sitting in a prison cell deep in Kardas. You remember that shithead, torturing fuck, right?”

“Yeah, I hear he's still alive. What about him?”

“His last name is Killmen. Spelled K-I-L-L-M-E-N. That isn't a joke, it is legitimately his legal last name.”

They both laugh.

“That's pretty stupid,” she remarks.

“Says it's ancestral. He also took me back once, as a “present” for my birthday. To the Sfar forest. Showed me the whole place burned down. Said you were the one who did it. Well, not you, but whoever I was working with.”

There's a pause.

“Were you the one who did it?”

“Yeah. That was me.”

He swallows. You can tell he didn't want to hear that, no matter how certain he was of the fact.

“Who ordered you to do that?” he demands of her.

“Nobody.” He starts breathing more rapidly. He looks hurt, but not like the idea Rowe acted on her own was something he never considered.

“Somebody had to. If you had acted on your own they would have hanged you.”

“They didn't,” she shrugs.


“They were going to torture you for another four months. I couldn't let –”

“NO!” he abruptly shouts at her as he struggles against the ropes binding him. She recoils. “Don't you dare blame me!”

“I wasn't –”

“I didn't ask you to save me!”

“I couldn't –”

“You killed dozens of innocent people. Maybe hundreds. Y-you . . .” he trails off. “You deserve to die.”

“. . . You're right,” she agrees.

>Interject (what?)
>Stay Quiet
"Deserve nothing. Sounds a lot like you want someone to blame, and the more an individual rather than a faceless organization, the better.
"I should know, because I've been on both sides of that door."
>because I've been on both sides of that door.
could you explain that a bit further? Because there are a couple ways I could see interpreting that statement. (Great Will, Red Rider, Emperor Kardas)
"It's human nature to seek culpability in a time of tragedy. You fault her for putting the torch to the woods and killing many lives, but ultimately she did it for you, in the hopes of ending your suffering. If the roles had been reversed, what would you have done?"
Can we wait until he explains things? I want to know what he's referring to, too.
So there's going to be a slight change in structure, seeing as this is our super special 50th thread.

So, I'm about to go see a play (Chicago) but the thing is that this thread will be up for a few days even if we don't bump it. And I finally have a shitload of free time again.

So, while I'll still be doing my Saturday chunks of running for roughly 6-8 hours as you have come to expect, throughout the week I will continue updating this thread at irregular moments whenever I have time until it finally falls off this very slow board.

I will only update the next post when I see there have been two votes for whatever post I have made (There have been two for this last post so don't worry, I will certainly be making at least one more story post tonight). I may increase this number later if i see there are much more than two fans for this quest in other time zones so as to give European/non-American fans some sway over the story.
I was thinking of Alan referring to his loss of faith when Tobias was killed and how he had to face what Tobias' death meant to him, as well as becoming the Red Rider as a response to the horrors inflicted on him and then inflicting those same horrors onto Imperial soldiers as the Red Rider; blaming others as well as being the one blamed.
>Interject (what?)
"She did what needed to be done, in wars people die regardless of the choices you make, I've been on the front lines and seen it, Rowe made a choice, perhaps not a good one or a kind one or even a choice she had a right to make, but that choice was for your benefit to end your suffering, those innocents would have been tortured too, the death they met was a tragedy, but at least it was swift and they had their dignity, the death of those people was already a certainty, Rowe shouldn't be punished for their death"
But the ones he's referring to are the civilians on the Imperial side as well as the Republic side.
Those civilians were in no danger until Rowe set the forest on fire.
Hey! Nobody messes with the waifu!

This, can we add in:
"Do you think the orc general would do what? Arrest people? Take prisioners? He was a FUCKING TORTURER! But...you of all people should know...would you rather that they were all alive but at that guy hands?"

Or something like that...
one side would have killed them eventually
And then, there would be a lot more retaliation between the Imperials and the Republic side
That side would have been our side. So you want to at that it's better that they burned alive rather than got turned into refugees? Because we, the Republic army, would have tortured them before killing them?

Something which we didn't do except in Imperial propaganda?
>there would be a lot more retaliation between the Imperials and the Republic side
The deaths of civilians by fire has done nothing to minimize retaliatory strikes or enmity between the two sides.
It's only served to make both sides more determined to fight the war to the death.
>Do you think the orc general would do what?
He wouldn't have done shit to those people because they were his own civilians and he had an enemy army right in front of him he had to fight, and if he distracted himself or his army with raiding their own villages in the forest he would have had his army cut down by the Republic forces.
well, i'm bowing out. good night guys
Mentally. Tell her she doesn't deserve to die, she did the right thing at that time. He only wants to blame somebody.
Also supporting >>223854
File: Mutant Orc.png (254 KB, 1000x1000)
254 KB
254 KB PNG
“Bullshit,” you spit, crossing your arms.

Both of them look back to you. This whole situation is causing your hackles to rise, it seems.

“You're scrabbling to find someone to blame rather than embrace the fact that war forces people to do shitty things. She wanted to end your suffering as quickly as possible. Four months of torture? What would you have done if the roles were reversed?”

“I would have respected her decision to make that choice,” he tells you, refusing to look in your direction.

“What about my decision to not watch you die in agony in front of me,” she speaks through tears.

“That decision killed people,” Etriarch snaps.

You scoff. “Every decision kills people. Every choice comes with a cost and no matter what you do innocent people are going to die. But you already know that. You've been on the front lines and watched while sons of bitches have killed innocents in front of you.”

“This was different! It was one life weighed against hundreds. The amount of death, devastation, ecological destruction she wrought to save one person –”

“Is probably roughly equivalent to the amount of death, devastation and ecological destruction that would have happened anyway. Or are we going to forget the entire army of amoral marauders that went up with the Sfar forest? Y'know how many people would have died fighting that army?”

“Soldiers. Not civilians,” he argues.

“Being told to put on a uniform or else you're going to be put to the sword by a bunch of foreigners who want you dead or enslaved does not make someone guilty. Not to mention the pillaging, the raping, the slaughtering, the torturing for god's sake – you've experienced it yourself. I've seen it firsthand. Those mutated creatures you brought with you make me sick to my stomach. I'm glad that orc never made it into Ceril with a loyal army.”

Etriarch doesn't respond. Rowe puts a hand on his knee as the two sit in silence.

“We'll never know for sure if what Rowe did was the most optimal course of action to save the most amount of people. But I know she beats herself up for what she did every day and I doubt the man on the other side of that forest does the same.”

>Anything else to say? (write-in)


>What next? (write-in)
>Anything else to say
"So, what did Killmen offer you besides your freedom, to work against Ceril? A chance to strike at the person who burned down Sfar, rather than the person who marched an army up to it, necessitating its destruction? Do you really think that the report that had Rowe's name on it was so conveniently left out in the open by accident for you to read?"

>What next?
Tug on Rowe and get her to go back to either our room to talk things over, or the Sword and Shield to talk things out over a lot of liquor.
>>Anything else to say? (write-in)
I think we've said enough. Just let them think it over for now.

>What next? (write-in)
meet with Balckburn to discuss how to uproot the enemy
Or, I guess we could probably talk to blackburn after getting drunk.
If Etriarch starts blaming somebody again shoot him down like >>224998
but if not then wait silently (without the ring so Rowe can think to us). Be there for Rowe, she's in a shitty situation. Since Blackburn is probably totally drunk by now we can't talk to him instantly but we should do that ASAP to make a plan against the empire.
>without the ring so Rowe can think to us
Uh, she can think to us even with our ring on.
She wants us to keep the ring on so that she doesn't get bombarded with Alan's thoughts all the time.

Wow, just caught that. It's Rowena, obviously. Update coming in soon.
“What exactly did this Killmen fellow offer you?” you ask.

Rowe laughs, despite herself. “General Killmen.”

“Baron Killmen,” Etriarch corrects her. “Lord Baron actually. Lord Baron Killmen. He told me I'd be able to fire a bow again. All my seemingly permanent wounds would be healed. He told me I would find my partner and that I'd be able to get answers and . . . retribution for what happened to the forest and those people.”

“And you trusted that piece of shit?” Rowe asks.

“Of course I didn't trust him. I don't like him. If I could get him alone in a room with a . . .”

“Dull rusty spoon?” you offer as he searches for the right word. He nods at your suggestion.

“Yeah. It wouldn't be pretty. But, look, for all his shitty, sociopath traits one thing he doesn't do is lie. Doesn't have to. He told me when he had me that he was only torturing me because his men were unruly and a spectacle against someone they hated would keep them content. Said the longer I made a show of it the more innocent people would avoid ending up as entertainment for his troops. Informed me he found 'brutish antics' deplorable actually. Promised me painkillers through the worst of it if I played along.”

“You were acting?” Rowe inquires, cocking her head.

“It still fucking hurt!” he qualifies. “But I played it up, yeah. True to his word he pulled me out of the fire as opposed to any of his own men. Apparently I was worth more than any of his lieutenants alive. I was treated well when we got back to Kardas. Despite how angry he was he never took it out on me. Told me stories of what happened in the Sfar Forest, of the Red Rider, of Cerilians raiding civilian vessels. I didn't believe him for most of the time, but when he showed me the burnt villages and the still charred bodies, Rowe –”

“I know,” she apologize, patting his leg. “I wish I had found another way.”

He swallows a choked sob and continues. “Yeah, well eventually I got to find out about this place and the fact that you were reportedly on a list of recruits. He showed me the documents and promised me a second chance plus everything else as long as I cooperated. Didn't even ask me to tell him who on the list it was.”

“You plan to actually cooperate with him?”

“No. Pretty sure I've thoroughly screwed the pooch for the Imperials with the stunt I just pulled.”

“Of course you did – we're naturals at doing that. And it would be a shame wasting talent like that rotting in a jail cell. We've got one last orc to hunt still.”

“I –” he cuts himself off. “I don't know, Rowe. I need to . . . I need some time to think about everything. I'm still . . .”

“I understand. I'm ready to talk whenever you are,” she says getting up.

She wipes her eyes on her sleeves and backs out of the room with you following right behind.
“Well?” Blackburn asks from where he stands. He manages to maintain his rigidity despite his inebriation.

“I'm confident his urge for vengeance has been mitigated,” Rowe explains. “He just needs some time to process stuff. Which will be much more successful if he isn't tied up in Dart's playroom.”

Dart sticks her tongue out as Blackburn cocks his eyebrow, turning to you.

“No offense, Rowe, but I believe I would appreciate a second opinion.”

>Let him out
>Keep him in there
>Something else? (write-in)


>Talk things out with Rowe in private
>Talk things out with Rowe at The Sword and Shield Tavern
>Something else? (write-in)

If there are any specifics about the whole situation you would like to discuss feel free to mention them.
>Something else?
Put him in another secured room. Better furnished than a cell, but a cell nonetheless. We can't be sure of him unless we dive into his mind/assimilate him, but I'm sure Rowe wouldn't like it and I don't want to pollute our mind with his.

While he worked for the Empire under duress, he worked for them all the same. If he had been part of a work gang, that'd be one thing, but he was made into an operative.

>Talk things out with Rowe in private
Bring along a jug of relatively good alcohol of her choice, suggest we talk things out telepathically so we're not stumbling over words.
>>Something else? (write-in)
move him to somewhere more comfortable, but have someone or other keep watch over him discreetly.

>Talk things out with Rowe in private
Seconding a nicer "cell" and private conversation
File: Spoiler Image (119 KB, 640x427)
119 KB
119 KB JPG
“Put him somewhere nicer, more comfortable,” you tell Blackburn. “Less cold, dark and dungeon-like. But keep the room locked, secured and guarded. The situation is complicated but he's still an agent who conspired, however briefly, with the Empire.”

“You heard him,” Rowe argues. “He's mad about what happened – about what I did. But he'd never defect to Kardas. We don't have to –”

“He shot me in the chest, Rowe,” you inform her sternly. “He attacked us.”

Rowe closes her mouth. (I'm sorry about that. I'm glad you're alright.)

“I'll get the arrangements for the . . . 'house arrest' in order,” Blackburn decides. Blackburn looks to Dart. She rolls her eyes and walks away to find one of Blackburn's aides.

You grasp a hold of Rowe's arm gently. “I think we should talk things over. In private.”

(With alcohol.)/“With alcohol.”

(You need to sleep.)

“I'll get some after you get some of your concerns off your chest. You in the mood for anything specific? I'll splurge on the good stuff.”

“I'll have a bottle of the best sent up to your room,” Blackburn ofers. “6th floor of the Circle?”

You nod both in confirmation and in thanks to Blackburn. You and Rowe walk together back to the lodgings you share. The bottle sitting neatly outside, the runner who brought it obviously must have beaten your there.

Inside, you slip your ring off and Rowe pours it into two glasses. It's a sweet red.

(How you holding up.)

(Still in a state of disbelief, I'm pretty sure. I mean I talked to him, Etriarch's alive. He's here, but . . . just like that. I mean . . . yeah, he's probably going to hate me forever for what I did. And I deserve his scorn.)

(No you don't.)

(Yes I do.)

(You saved his life.)

(By destroying his home! What if it was Basye that I had burned down to save you. Your entire childhood gone in an instant, bodies littering the streets. Boats sunk in the harbor, buildings ash and cinder. Would you accept 'hey, I did this for you and in the grand scheme of things better to ruin one town than let it spread across the country. Be grateful, I'm such a fucking hero!' Would you forgive me?)

>(It was your home too.)
>Something else? (write-in)

Any specifics of the situation you would like to discuss after, feel free to bring them up.

>Something else? (write-in)
I know enough about you that such a decision would weigh heavily upon your soul, Rowe. You'd feel remorse.

I'd be furious with you, but in the end, I think I'd understand. Given time, I'm pretty sure I'd forgive you.

Were you a more arrogant person, unable to feel any guilt over it, that would not be the case.
As for questions relating to the game, is Rowe actually from the same town as us? I forgot.

come to think of it, have we ever found out where the rest of our team originated from?
>(It was your home too.)
>Something else?
"Would I be upset? Yes, of course. Would I have a lot of emotions swirling around in my head, a lot of them negative ones directed at you? I'd have to say yes. But if there's one thing that the years since Tobias, and the Great Will, has taught me, is perspective. And with it comes acceptance and even forgiveness to an extent.
"Ugh, listen to me. I sound like I'm about to go on a sermon for the Great Will."
>is Rowe actually from the same town as us?
No, she's not.
She's from the Sfar Forest. Her parents had a cottage there.
>Something else? (write-in)
(Yes, because it's you, and I know you'd have done only what you thought was best)
>>(It was your home too.)
and seconding
>>>(It was your home too.)
yeah, probably want to include this, too.
(It was your home too. You lost just as much if not moreso than him.)

(Great, so I'm a masochist. Like that makes it any better.)

(It means I know – and he knows – that you didn't do what you did lightly. You weren't acting callously. It weighs heavily upon your soul. Remorse. You care.)

You both pause to refill your glasses.

(To answer your question . . . I'd be upset, obviously. Furious at you even. But with some time, patience and a little perspective I think I would come to realize you did what you thought was best. And I would understand and accept what happened. To some extent I would come to forgive you.)

(You think Etriarch will?)

(We can only hope.)

The two of you drink in mental silence. Rowe begins to tap her fingers on the wine glass.

(Y'know . . . I used to look up to you.) she thinks at you as she raises her eyebrows.

(What?) you adjust yourself as you try to process that foreign thought.

(When I was still operating in the Sfar forest. Our whole side of things heard stories about the infamous Red Rider and how he was taking charge of that theater of the war. There were times when I'd be in a bad spot or have a hard decision to make and I would think about how someone managed to pull himself out of a massacre and take charge. I figured if someone could do that then I could . . . ambush that patrol, kill that captain, intercept that message. You were a source of inspiration.)

(You were too, for a lot of the boys on our side.)

(Not you?)

(Eh, I wasn't 'looking up' to much at that point in my life.)

“Mm,” she casually voices, wordlessly articulating her interpretation of that thought.

(Any more thoughts on the subject of Etriarch.)

(Honestly . . . I'm just glad he's alive. Even if there are so many strings attached. If you had asked me what I'd give to get him back [I]yesterday[/i] . . . I'd hate to say it's a dream come true, but this is better than anything I could have hoped for. A bit jarring – a chapter of my life I thought had closed suddenly opened back up again, but at least now maybe I'll get to write a better ending.)

The two of you pour your fourth round of drinks.

(On a slightly unrelated note.) Rowe thinks, (Etriarch mentioned something that made me recall a question I wanted to ask you. What do you want for your birthday?)

(Oh yeah that's coming up, isn't it. Three weeks from now.)

(I suck at coming up with gift ideas so if there's something you want, tell me so I can continue not being a bad girlfriend.)

>What do you want for your birthday? (write-in)

> A date would be nice.
We could go fishing? or Swimming?

could go on a hunting trip.

Definitely hunting.
A picnic, lounging around, and a date.
italics not italics
(A date would be nice. Maybe we could go hunting.)

(That's liable to end up with us having to fight some grotesque monster.)

(And there's no one I would rather do that with.)

(Alright. Sounds fun. Doesn't sound like much of a gift though. Is there anything tangible you want Alan? Like something I can wrap for you?)

>I don't need anything
>Well . . . (write-in)
>>I don't need anything
no material desire right now. that and my mind can't come up with anything, so...
>Well...I would like a hat.
ok, so now that I think of it...

Since this is probably the one time we do have some privacy to discuss things in a while, and we might not have this for another long period of time, should we tell Rowe about our connection to Gabby?

Show of hands?
I don't know if right now is a good time.
Yeah, we talked things through with Rowe about Etriarch, so she's probably feeling more centered now.
But is dropping the Gabby cannonball into Rowe's mental pool right after the Etriarch shock a good idea?

I think she should get a few more days before we tell her about the dream.
Alright I'm officially closing out the thread. A dedicated run will be happening this Sunday.

>End of Thread

[Advertise on 4chan]

Delete Post: [File Only] Style:
[Disable Mobile View / Use Desktop Site]

[Enable Mobile View / Use Mobile Site]

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.