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You are Circe, wraith wrangler extraordinaire. Well actually, that might be pushing it a little.

You still vaguely remember the day when what sounded like out of a sappy, ancient poem came to be reality. Iorina Ludinauer, heir to the throne of Aldrose, fled the castle and country to meet her love, a man with the surname of Ruthaena. Star-crossed lovers, they were called.

She had thrown away everything, discarding even her duty, and Solaria responded accordingly. Her mark, the spell circle that proved her right to rule, disappeared within a day.

It’s why you can’t believe what you’re hearing as Professor Mog finishes explaining the next job.

You say, “She’s requesting this?!” A retrieval of some artifact that everyone knows little about sounds like a blind, futile chase.

Touryn anxiously says, “We can’t turn this down. If it’s a request from Mitra and the princess, then this is something we have to do.”

Professor Mog replies, “Glad you feel that way, but I can’t join the two of you. I have things to deal with on my end again, unfortunately.” He takes a look at Syrup, and adds, “I meant the three of you. Circe, don’t you think it’s awfully early for you to have an apprentice...?”

“It is, and you’re mistaken,” you say, “But, the job. How are we going to get to the Forest of Spirits? It’s so far away.”

It’s planted firmly in the center of the continent. The distance isn’t the most trivial matter.

The professor clears his throat, although it sounded a bit like cawing. “Iorina Ruthaena has arranged a ride, so don’t you worry about that. I believe you’ll reach somewhere around the forest in about half a day!”

“What in the heavens are we getting on?” you say.

“She said it’ll be a surprise!” he replies.

Interrupting, Touryn says, “Where are they? Can we talk to them?” He asks that, but you personally aren’t interested in that sort of thing. You’ve been told you’re not the best when it comes to dignified affairs, so you’d rather not.

The professor replies, “They’re keeping quiet and rather busy, so I’m afraid you can’t. There will be time when you return, I’m sure.”

“But wait,” you say, “While you were gone, there were a couple of requests. When are we going?”

Touryn replies, “Surely, this is more important?

Professor Mog answers, “Tonight.”

>Focus on the cursed book.
>Focus on the necklace.
>Focus on the expedition.
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Kaleidoscope+Quest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hopelessQM

Sorry for the wait. I'll be trying something new with the formatting, so tell me if it's not to your liking. Being late is not part of it
>>Focus on the necklace.
I want to return it to the poor soul it belonged to as soon as possible. The book can wait.
>Ask professor Mof to examine the necklace. We can tell him where it came from. If we can't manage to dispel it before we leave, he can take over that task and return it to its owner eventually.
>We can focus on working with Syrup to finish the job with the book.
Rolled 1 (1d2)


Update in a bit.
“We better hurry before then,” you say, quickly going back inside the workshop and bringing back out the necklace. You show it to the professor, who studies it briefly by twisting and turning his head as you hold it up. You wonder sometimes if he wishes he has hands. “Do you know how to get rid of the circles on this?”

Professor Mog exclaims, “Where did you get something like this?”

“It’s been giving someone trouble when they try and sleep,” you briefly answer. “There’s actually another thing too, but that can wait. I want to return this as soon as possible.”

“I think I have something...” he mumbles, walking over to the shelves behind the counter. He scans the rows, and then tilting his head, grabs a corked glass bottle with his mouth and then places it down. It’s empty. “...Apparently not. It seems that it’s dried up.”

“What’s that?” you ask.

“Artemis’s Tears. They’re not actual tears, surprisingly,” he says, “They’re supposed to undo things.”

“Undo things?...” you mumble. “Frightening.”

Touryn picks it up, swishing it around a little. “What about getting it back in?”

“Professor, if we can’t manage to fix it in time, can you return it for us?” you reply, “We promised we’d have it back.”

He replies, “You should know better than to casually make commitments like that. But I’ll try. I’m supposed to be leaving anyways, but I think I can find the time.”

“Leaving? Where are you headed?”

“Pryport,” he replies, “I won’t say anymore, so don’t you bother prying.”

Conceding, you take the necklace. You’ll deal with this first.

Touryn looks at the empty bottle that the professor grabbed before. “I think I saw something like that before.”

You look at him. “Have you?”

“Yeah. Looked expensive, though.”

“If it’s aetherborn,” Syrup says, “Maybe you can try making it.”

You look at her. “You know how to make this?”

“I can try and mimic things,” she says, “Copy the effect, maybe.”

Do you really need it?
>Pry the sapphire out by hand.
>Try making it.
>...Buy it.
>Ask Professor Mog something. (Write-in)
>Try making it.
This will surely go well.
>Try making it
Make it!


Also forget about the formatting thing
Syrup is a clever girl. Maybe it's because of all the books she's eaten?
I shall remember nothing!
“We can try making it,” you say, “We might as well try.”

The professor nods and unlocks the front door. Before he leaves, he says, “Remember to not be late.”

“I know, I know. The northern gate in five hours, I remember. You’re leaving?”

“How do you think the preparations will be done?” With that, he walks out, “Safe travels, then. Remember to lock up before you leave.”

You exchange a few words with your nagging guardian, and when he leaves, Touryn looks at you. “You’re serious about making this thing.”

“Of course,” you say, “I can’t just pry it open.” Then, in a much quieter voice, you add, “I can’t go hungry either.”

The three of you head into the workshop. Touryn follows, but he seems unsure more than anything. You doubt he knows much about this sort of thing, but he can at least have a little more faith in the two of you.

Syrup steps into the workshop and instantly says, “...Wow.”

For a moment, you’re proud at the incredibly wide assortment of things inside, but then you realized she was just shocked at the terrible mess. Materials are strewn all over the room, carefully left in their precise positions so that you, and less the professor, would know exactly everything was. The trashcan has been filled and is now overfilling, various discarded failures mixing with everything else.

“D-don’t mind the mess,” you say, quickly clearing a space for work. You push a broken butterfly faerie away and briefly remember what you were doing not a few days ago.

As Syrup tries to settle down in a chair, Touryn leans on the open door, not quite wanting to go in any further.

You say, “So how are we doing this?”

Syrup explains, “If take things that have separate properties we want and mix them together, we can combine the. Sometimes they blow up, but most of the time it’s okay.”

“Oh, that’s not much different than what I normally do,” you reply. Out of the corner of an eye, you see Touryn making a face of incredible skepticism.

Syrup turns to you and says, “What do you think we need?” The herbalist reaches inside her coat and pulls out a long thin box. It has all sorts of labels. A strange mixture of scents drift upwards.

Range: 11-19 (Medium).
Please roll 1d30s.

Feel free to roll more than once if there isn't enough rolls and no one's rolled within 5 minutes of the last one.
Rolled 14 (1d30)

Rolled 13 (1d30)

Here I go
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Still a success! Forgot to say I was writing.
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Offering Syrup a container, you watch as she crushes up a bunch of green things and mixes it with a bunch of red things. You have absolutely no idea what she’s doing, but she does it with such a vigor that you believe that interrupting her focus would do more harm than good.

After what seems like forever, she ends up with a minute amount of liquid, and she tests it by putting a drop of it on her mouth. Mortified, you begin to say something before she shakes her head and attempts something else.

The process repeats for a handful of hours. While she was focused, you went out and returned with food. In the midst of the consumption of your all too delicious sandwich, Syrup’s nose wrinkles as she smells food. You say, “Ah, don’t worry, I bought something for you—” Without warning, the herbalist jumps up and snatches the leaf vegetable midbite and sticks it in. “Hey!” you say. She then dips one of your scrapped faeries into it, and it falls apart.

She hunches over her work, borderline shaking with excitement. “I figured it out! I did it! I’m amazing!” she says. Turning to you, she adds, “Look, it worked!”

“Ah, that’s incredible!” you praise her, “Great job!”

You hand over the necklace, and she stops. Hesitant, she wonders if she should continue in the event it doesn’t work. You know what she’s feeling right now, but you can only encourage her. Wearing an eager expression, you nudge the stone into her hands, and after a small pause, she says, “Here goes nothing.” You want to laugh weakly, but you just watch her pour it on.

Nothing happens. Then, it starts sizzling. Touryn finally wakes up, having somehow fallen asleep while standing. He says, “What’s happening?!”

The stone neatly pops out of the frame, now sitting in Syrup’s hands.

- - -

The herbalist, wearing the most satisfied expression on her face, is busy devouring her lunch as she follows you and Touryn into the slums.

“I think it was here...?” you say, staring at the dilapidated house.

Gluing it back on took no time at all, although you were extremely careful about it. It certainly wasn’t harder than drawing things on an insect’s wing, that’s for sure.

You knock on the door and wait.

When nobody replies, Touryn says, “I don’t think he’s home.”

You say, “Seriously? We can’t wait forever.”
>Invite yourself in and leave it inside.
>Wait outside for a while.
>Ask around.
>Ask around.
To clarify, Let's ask around and if we don't come up with anything we invite ourselves in anyways. I really hope he didn't get shanked in his own house.
>>Ask around.
Ask around

And blow down the door if you have to

“Maybe we should ask around,” you suggest. You noticed Touryn has had a hand on the hilt of his sword for a while now.

He says, “I don’t like wandering off around here.”

“It’ll be quick,” you say, “I don’t want to think something happened to him. If we don’t find him, we should just invite ourselves in.”

“Let’s hurry it up already,” he replies. As you walk away, he asks, “By the way, did you see what was on the sapphire before you crossed it out?”

You were careful about destroying the circle without ruining the appearance of the gem, and you had a good look at it before you did so. You shake your head. “There was a word on it, but I’m not sure what it did. It said ‘Elun’, but that was all I got out of it.”

“Elun?” he says, “Can’t say I’ve ever heard of that word before.”

Syrup says nothing, seemingly only concerned about her food shrinking before her eyes.

You start with Nuell’s neighbors.

On your first knock, someone immediately answers the door, almost making you jump back in surprise. More skeleton than anything else, the skinny man checks all three of you out in suspicion. You say something before he starts being angry. “Sorry to bother you, but have you seen Nuell anywhere? He’s the man living in the house beside yours.”

“No,” he answers, almost too quickly, “Fuck off.” He slams the door on you.

You blink as you try to process what happened. Then, you frown and walk away in a huff. “Rude.”

You try your second door, this time not all too willing. A tired woman in rags answers slowly, and she gives you the shiftiest looking gaze you’ve ever seen. You say the same thing as you did before, and she replies, “Maybe I have, maybe I haven’t. Who’s asking?”

You want to roll your eyes.
>Pretend to be his relatives.
>Have Touryn show he’s not messing around.
>Bribe her.

Tell her you're new people going to work for him, but he's not home. So you're asking around about that guy.
For some reason I didn't include being honest as an option.

Writing! After about 10 minutes because I'm hungry
You say, “We’re working for him, but he’s not home right now. I’m asking around to see where he is.”

Her eyes narrow, and she shifts the weight on her legs. She crosses her arms, giving you an amused expression. “I don’t believe you. What do you mean working for him?”

“I mean exactly what I said,” you reply.

“And how is he paying you?” she says. Then, she stops. “Oh, maybe that’s why they took him away.”

Touryn says, “Keep talking.”

“The Mud Snakes,” she says. When she realizes you have no idea what she’s talking about, she adds, “Some gangsters. If you keep to yourself, they don’t bother you.” She shrugs and says, “Wasn’t my problem anyways, but he didn’t put up much of a fight when they came.”

“Where is he now? Why did they do that?” you ask.

“None of my business,” she says, “Funny, you probably got him into this in the first place. Don’t drag me into your mess.”

With that, she shuts the door.

You immediately go back to Nuell’s house. You say, “We’re getting in.”

Maybe they left something behind. They must have searched the place if they were looking for money. Circling around, you see that a window had been left wide open with countless shards of glass littering the ground below it.

Peering in, you find that his single piece of furniture had been toppled over, the lamp having been broken and had rolled across the room. Some floorboards were ripped off, and the bed was torn apart too.

Syrup, peeking in, says, “It’s a mess.”

As you’re about to enter in outrage, Touryn calls to you from the front side of the house. “Circe, stop.”

When you look over, you find Nuell returned, beaten and battered. A cloth is loosely wrapped around his head and its been dyed red from a wound. Countless bruises color his skin. He says, “You came back so soon. I thought you two said it would take a week.”

“What happened to you?” you say, running up to him.

“I just owed a little bit of money. Thank Luna I gave you that necklace,” he says in a hushed tone, “I wouldn’t know what to do if they found it.”

Touryn asks, “Are you alright? Wounds to the head are no joke.”

“I’m fine, don’t you worry about me. It’s all over now. Nothing to worry about,” he says as he makes his way over to the door. He fumbles as he digs out a key from his pockets and unlocks it. When he opens the door, a sad expression covers his face. “Ah, I better clean up.”

You bite your lip. You recall what the woman had said, and you’re not quite sure what to do. “Nuell,” you say, calling him. He turns to you, and you put the necklace in his hands. “Something came up, so I had to fix this in a hurry. I hope it looks the same as how it was before.”

He examines it for a moment. “It’s a little... off to the side, but it’s nothing. Thank you for everything. I’m feeling a little tired. If you don’t mind, I’d like to be left alone.”

You nod, unable to stop yourself from scowling as you leave him be.

Syrup says, “Was he okay?”

“...” You find yourself unable to answer.

Touryn sighs. “There’s nothing we can do. Let’s just leave.”

You’d love to play the hero and make things right, but there’s nothing you can do. Before now, you’ve never even heard of this group of thugs. Wondering how many things are hiding from you in the dark, you can’t find it in you to start moving.

The swordsman asks you, “Circe, are you alright? I know how you’re feeling, but...”

You still have some time before the expedition arrangement.
>Make sure Nuell is okay.
>Get to work on the cursed book.
>Head to the northern gate early.
>>Get to work on the cursed book.
Man wants to be left alone. Best to honor his wishes.
>I want to do something, I really do.
>Get to work on the cursed book.
The book!

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“I really want to do something,” you say, “I really do...” Touryn slightly furrows his brow as you say this. “But, let’s go. We should honor his wishes.”

Leading the way, you head back to the shop.

- - -

You stare at the allegedly cursed book that’s on the glass counter. “There’s not much time,” you say, “Anyone got any ideas?”

Crossing his arms, Touryn says, “I got nothing. I’m not an arcanist. I just use my tools, not ask questions.”

Syrup says, “There’s a potion.”

“Oh?” you say, your attention now all on Syrup.

“It’s supposed to purge all aether from an area,” she says, “We need pepper algae from the Black Sea, a white dragon’s saliva, some ambrosia, blood coral from south of Elphrath—"

“Hold on,” Touryn interrupts, probably afraid that Syrup won’t stop listing off ingredients. “There has to be a better way. I think half of those things don’t even exist. Why don’t we toss the fake Artemis’s Tears on it? We still have some left, right?”

“What if the whole book falls apart?” You shoot back, “Maybe it won’t do anything at all and we would have wasted it.”

Syrup says something under her breath, “The giant bird says it undoes something. I don’t think I made the same thing.”

You say, “Maybe we’re overthinking this...”

- - -

What little time there was left disappeared quickly. It had suddenly become the arranged time, and Solaria had begun to set. You haven’t managed to accomplish anything, but there were a few ideas being tossed around. The potion

The professor’s shop had been closed, and a notice had been put up. Hopefully, Schwartz would see it if she came to visit while everyone was gone. The city guards take a long look at the identification papers of everyone.

Tugging at your sleeve, Syrup catches your attention. She asks, “Where are we going now?”

“The Forest of Spirits,” you answer, “Remember what we were talking about before?”

“I wasn’t really listening,” she says, “It sounded boring.”

Touryn groans upon hearing this, but he says nothing about it. “I wonder why they requested us to do something this important.”

Without much thought, you reply, “Maybe there’s no one else to ask. We’re doing this in secret, after all.”

“But just the three of us?” he says, “No, when Mog was talking with Mitra, the conversation must’ve only been about the two of us.”

“Then your mentor must trust you a lot,” you answer. You can’t think of any other answer, but more important, what happened earlier with Nuell is still on your mind.

“...Is that right?” he says, dropping the topic. Nevertheless, your sugar-coated reassurance seemed to have an effect.

The guards hand your papers back. As soon as the northern gate had opened, your jaw dropped.

It was clear what the arrangements were as soon as you saw it. The thing that was escorted by a group of Ruthaenian soldiers. The carriage is nice, yes, and in any other case you would be admiring it, but right now you’re too busy being distracted by what was pulling it instead. Two winged horses practically glow white in the sunset. Pegasi.

Feeling a bit dazed, you almost fall over backwards. You can’t even begin to imagine the amount of money it would take for you to even see it in the flesh. You’re sure you are now indebted forever to someone, probably to Iorina Ruthaena.

An ancient beast, a creature that was forged from Solaria’s will to carry the stars into the night sky. With time, its power has long waned, but you can’t ever even dare to imagine taming one of those. That’s just a wild fantasy for a witch.

“Are you done gawking?” Touryn says, having already entered the carriage, which looks like it can seat four people. It looks like he had a conversation with them as you were too busy staring. He has a nasty expression on his face. Syrup is also inside too, urged in by a soldier. The colors on their armor tell you that they’re the royal guards.

Walking up, you get in by yourself. By the coachman is a guard who says to the three of you, “I was told there would be two.”

You reply, “She’s my apprentice.”

Syrup looks as you if she’s about to kill you, and you give her your best expression that says something like, “I’m so sorry, but please play along.”

Reluctantly, she says nothing as she looks out the window.

The guard says, “...I see. Since you’re the princess’s friends, I’ll refrain from asking any questions.”

Her friends?! Incredulous, you try not to laugh out all of a sudden.

The coachman says to everyone, “Is everyone ready?” When you nod, he says, “We’re taking off.”

You take a look at Touryn, who’s sitting across from you. His expression is even worse. You ask, “Are you okay?”

“Y-yeah, I’m just—” The ride jerks a little as the pegasi begin to pick up speed. Then, you feel the pressure as the coach lifts off of the ground, the spell circles on the stallions wings lighting up. He sees the grassy plains getting farther away, and the swordsman grimaces and covers his hand with his mouth.

Ah, he’s bad with heights.
Thanks for playing! Sorry about stopping here, but I'm feeling a bit weak. I'll be back on the day after tomorrow, same time and hopefully not late.
Thanks for running Hopeless, hope you feel better. I'm really interested in seeing where we go from here.
Thanks for running. It was a pleasure playing.
I forgot Daylight Saving Time was a thing. Session in 3 hours and 40 minutes, actually.
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Solaria’s too damned bright. The light stabbing through your eyelids and into your pupils wakes you up, and you groan as you remember you’re not in your bed. You’ve somehow managed to get a little bit of sleep, which is more than what Touryn can say. Even now, he looks uncomfortable as ever. Syrup’s face is glued to the window, somehow still fascinated even now.

The swordsman says, “Good morning. Looks like you slept well.” That was completely coated with envy.

“Could be better,” you say, “Are we getting close?”

He nods. “Seems like it. Since we’re all done admiring the pegasi, can we talk about our mission now?”

“Our mission,” you repeat, letting the words roll over your tongue. You don’t like it. “...is to find and retrieve an artifact that was lost when the Grand War ended. It was something that an Aldrosian arcanist left behind.” You remember the name vaguely. Ryletley, or something of that sort, but you doubt it’s important. “I’m not sure how we’re going to find something that’s been lost for fifteen years.”

Touryn says, “I was told by one of the guards that we’d receive a tool when we land. Presumably, we’re going to use that to find whatever we’re looking for.”

“A tool? What kind?” you ask, and he shrugs. “In any case, let’s just find our bearings.” You reach into your satchel, and when you open it, Touryn sees the cursed book that you stuffed in there.

He says, “You brought that along?”

“It’s not like it’s going to get damaged,” you reply, pulling out what you were looking for. “Ah, here it is.”

You unroll the map, and Touryn points out, “That’s old.”

“It looks like it’s going to fall apart in my hands, but it won’t,” you reply.

“It’s also missing a whole lot of labels.”

“Stop complaining already!” With both of you taking a look at it, your finger traces from Ristella to the mountain pass leading to the Forest of Spirits. “Since they can’t drop us directly in there, we’re going to be stopping at a village close to it.”

“And we’re going to have to walk the rest of the way,” he finishes. He takes a look at you and says, “Do you do this often? We didn’t have any downtime after the Roc business, but...”

You wonder if you saw a hint of concern.
>”I can handle myself.”
>”We’re not walking this time, so I’m happy.”
>”I can’t really complain when Iorina’s asking this from us.”
>”Shouldn’t you be more worried about yourself?”
>”I can’t really complain when Iorina’s asking this from us.”
>”We’re not walking this time, so I’m happy.”

Howdy, Hopeless. By the way, where does the Spirit Forest we're heading too lie on the map, relative to everything else?
Hi! It's the big ol' green thing in the middle. it's a good distance away. I won't say any actual numbers because I'm not good with that sort of thing
Gotcha, that's a fair reasoning. Is this a random map you commandeered?
Nope, I made it painfully a while ago. It took a few hours and there's a bunch of mistakes.
Nah, they're not mistakes! They're just little quirks added in by the whims of the Eidolons when they created the world or something like that.
”I can’t really complain when Iorina’s asking this from us,” you say.

“Don’t push yourself too hard. If you need some rest, then get some.”

“Aren’t you the one who should be taking that advice?” you say, “You look tired.”

“I’ve been worse,” he says, “Trust me.”

“Well, I’m happy that we’re not walking this time. That was a mistake,” you say. He chuckles, and you ask, “Oh, did you hear from the guards what the artifact did?”

He shakes his head. “It looks like they’re kept in the dark from this as much as we are. But,” he says, “I think I can guess what it’s for. Seeing as how she’s asking this right as we’ve heard the news...”

The swordsman grimaces, and then he wipes it off his face when he sees that you noticed.

Turning your attention away, you look at Syrup, who’s still staring outside at the passing plains, houses, and forests. You say, “Hey, you were paying attention, right? Please don’t tell me I have to say everything twice.”

She faces you, and says, “It’s okay, I can just follow you instead.”

You wonder if she was really fine with that.

You don’t think about it for long, however, as the carriage begins to descend. Touryn’s expression worsens as he notices the world tilting.

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The sight of two flying, winged horses descending from the sky drawing a carriage right behind was enough for everyone in the small village of Whitewaters to immediately wonder if judgement has come and a god was about to strike all of them down. There was a mixture of disappointment and relief when they saw who actually arrived, and the village head had come out.

While he and the royal guard had a quiet conversation, the coachman comes over and says, “Open your hand, I got something to give you.” You comply, and he puts something small in your hands. Glass and metal.

“What’s this?” you ask him.

“I was told to give it to you, that’s all I know. Good luck, though. This is way out of my depth.”

“Are you going to be waiting here?” you ask.

“As long as it takes, but don’t take too long, will you?” he says before heading back and leading the horses somewhere. Looking away, you examine what he handed over. It appears to be a compass of some sort, despite it having not a single label on it that could tell you which way was which. In fact, it points in a single direction, one that is certainly not north.

Looking over, Touryn says, “Well, that works.”

You tilt it around, noticing that the arrow always faces in a certain direction—the Forest of Spirits. You’re not quite sure about how this is possible and are wondering what’s it even tracking in the first place, but you suppose you’ll find out when you get to it.

You notice that the village head had finished talking with the guard. He takes a look at the three of you and nods with a small smile. Then, he leaves, no questions asked. Touryn says, “This isn’t much to work with, but I guess there wasn’t enough time for preparations.”

The village is split in half by a large river, one that cuts into the earth. Bridges separate the two halves, each side spiraling upwards and climb uphill. Forests surround the village, and a road that leads outwards cut through it. You’ve never been here, but you can tell it’s certainly an improvement over Blackwell.

“Circe.” Syrup speaks up. When you look at her, she continues, “I’m going to pick some herbs. Making the necklace thing took a lot of things.”

It looks like she’s planning on going with or without you.
>Go along with her too.
>Everyone can split up and meet up later.
>You and Touryn can talk to the village head before she returns.
>Go along with her too.
>Go along with her too.
>You and Touryn can talk to the village head before she returns.

Wouldn’t mind getting more details about the job
Go along

Village head

You say, “If you don’t mind, can I come too?” Syrup looks at you while a growing soft smile, and she nods.

The herbalist says, “Then, I’ll teach you something interesting.”

You look at Touryn, who says nothing. He probably wants to get on with the whole thing but is too tired to complain. The two of you follow Syrup as she quickly walks off the main road and into a path that was made from years of people having trampled over it. A path into a forest, and any guide is better than none.

As you leave Whitewaters, you see the royal guard watching you and wondering if he should say something. Leaving him to his thoughts, you enter forest that surrounds the village. The trees aren’t too tall, and it’s spacious enough that traversing is would prove to be no problem.

You ask, “So, what are you looking for?”

Glancing around, Syrup says, “Anything.” Taking in this extremely helpful tidbit, you decide to leave the pace of the conversation to the expert, who seems to be operating with almost full concentration. She touches trees as she passes by, and when you look at where she runs her fingers over, you noticed that someone had already made marks. Small arrows, pointing to the way out.

Eventually, she comes to a stop. She crouches down, and you follow. There’s a plant growing from the dirt. A thin, green stem that looks more like a branch than anything. It rises and splits off into white, flowers. Leaves spread out in a circle beneath its crest.

She looks at you and asks, “What do you think?”

What are you supposed to think? No, the real question that you should be asking yourself is what kind of answer she is looking for. And to that, you reply, “...Inedible?”


There’s a brief silence where all that could be heard are distant chirps. At first, you were wondering if this is actually the sound of Syrup’s disappointment, but after a while you realize she was just waiting for Touryn.

Leaning on a tree, he notices before you, and he replies, “Looks inedible to me.”

She asks, “But what part of it?”

You hesitantly toss out, “...The leaves?”

“Good guess,” she says, having immediately given a thumbs up. You feel a bit of surprised elation for a moment.

“You have to be careful.” With her gloved hands, she digs into the earth and uproots the whole thing. She shakes off the earth that’s clinging on and ripping it free. Turning the plant upside down, she points out, “You can eat the leaves, but not everything else. Be careful when you mix things.” Syrup rips most of the roots from it and presents it. “If you keep eating the roots, you’ll grow weak and die.” She flips it back over again and detaches the flowers all at once, “If you eat these, you’ll throw up. But, if you get burned, you can rub the burn with this.” The herbalist is also stuffing the outside pockets of her coat with the plant parts, not caring that they’re dirtying. “It’s the same thing with faerie plants, but I don’t like to touch them. Plants that move aren’t plants anymore,” she says, almost shuddering.

A few moments later, she says, “Okay, let’s go.” Finishing up, she stands and starts walking again. You’re about to follow her until you notice Touryn had fallen asleep again leaning against a tree. You lightly hit him in the arm and he wakes up.

- - -

When you finally begin to head out of the forest, Syrup had just finish explaining the basic test for seeing whether something is edible or not. You had, by the end of it all, started wondering whether or not she was a herbalist or a scavenger instead. Seeing as how she’s younger than you, you find yourself having more questions than you did going in. After the first little lecture, she started gathering odd little things much faster than you’d expect. It’s almost as if she already knows what’s growing around here already.

A strange sound takes you out of your thoughts. You stop walking, and Touryn almost bumps into you. He asks, “What, did you step in something?”

You give him a look, and he shuts up. Syrup has also stopped, and she looks at you, curious.

Rustling. It’s low, and you can’t place it. Just barely, you can make out a tap as something steps on a tree’s roots.

You wonder what it is, and you begin to experience a sinking feeling. Your sense of self is pulled inwards, as if you’re losing consciousness. You’re engulfed in a familiar, mysterious feeling that loses shape the more you try to focus onto it.


“Circe?” Syrup says, shaking your arm.

“Ah,” you say, snapping out of it. You raise your hand, pointing to something in a clearing ahead. A circle of bowing trees, the canopy completely depriving the space underneath of light. “I think I saw something there.”

No, not saw, but felt.

There’s a terrible feeling telling you to ignore it, but it draws you in nonetheless.
>Check it out.
>Go alone.
>Leave and don’t look back.
>Go alone
>Check it out.

Definitely don’t wanna go alone
Rolled 2 (1d2)


Absolutely nothing wrong can happen. Writing!
“Can we check it out?” you say.

Skeptical, Touryn replies, “Are you sure it wasn’t a squirrel?”

You frown. “It’ll be quick, come on.”

You lead the way, heading to the clearing. No, it’s not a clearing. As soon as you got close, you can tell that the trees were moved and shaped. The straining wood is a dead giveaway, and so is the upturned ground.

You peek inside, and there is but black earth. Dirt as dark as the night, as if the shadows had bled its color into the ground. The circle of trees starts to resemble a chamber, and you wonder what is it that makes you want to enter it.

Shallow markings form vague lines and arcs. For a moment, you wonder if it is a spell circle. Here, the air is thick, so much so it’s suffocating. No, perhaps it’s that the air is impossibly thin, and that the space is filled with something else instead. Whatever it is, with each breath, you want to take in more.

It reminds you of home.

“Move!” Touryn says, shoving you out the way. His sword connects to a flying shadow, one that split into half as it finds itself stuck onto the steel. The swordsman frowns as he activates the runes. With another swing, the small creature is sent flying backwards into the space, blood splattering the ground underneath its arc.

Two more shadows move out, and he takes a step back. Six legs that become pointed ends, it stares at you with its snake-like head. It’s the size of a large dog.

“That’s the...” you start to mumble. One of them attacks Touryn, while the other jumps at Syrup. You call her name, and you pull out your carving pen.

Intercepting it, you try to grab it as it knocks you over with its surprisingly large momentum. Turning, you try to pin it to the ground, but instead the situation is reversed. Holding back its neck with one hand, you try not to look away as it head reaches forward with its long neck. Its fangs snap at you, almost reaching your face. You grip your pen, ready to stab upwards, and then you see it—a brand. A row of ugly scar tissue that resembles runes circle its neck and down its body.

This belongs to a witch.
>Make it yours. (Hard)
>Kill it. (Medium)
>Hold it back. (Easy, harsh consequence if you fail.)
Rolled 3 (1d30)

>Kill it. (Medium)
Hahaha, I hope this goes well ;_;
Nope. Not going well. Definitely not. Someone else role and save us!
I was going to ask for a roll after since I wanted to switch to best of three, but it looks like it wouldn't have mattered.

Uh oh. I lose my phone signal at the worst times
You’ll have to try and kill it here and now. You stab up, feeling resistance as the sharp steel sinks in. It stops, and it sinks in that you have one of the least optimal weapons for an operation like this. The creature cries out and kicks downwards. One of its legs land onto your stomach, and air is forced out of your lungs. That was all was needed for you to lose your strength, just for a moment.

It lashes out, and you push away as fast as you can, looking away. Its teeth sink into your shoulder. You cry out from the searing pain.

You try to push it off but to no avail. Suddenly, the beast is thrown off of you, and it takes you a second to find out why. When you painfully get up, you see that Syrup had grabbed a large rock and swung at it. The herbalist helps you stand up, something you greatly appreciate considering your diminishing strength.

The creature growls as it faces the two of you. It takes a step forward, and then it leaps. It’s blasted out of its trajectory as its messily split into two, a piercing wind following behind as Touryn slices it with his sword.

“Thanks,” you mumble. You want to tell him something about him constantly shoving you out of the way, but you can’t bother.

He walks up to you and says, “Are you okay? You’re looking a little pale.”

You nod. The fire in your side has disappeared, and in its place is a constant numbness.


You had no more energy to investigate whatever that was before. In fact, that was the last thing on everyone’s mind. You’ve wrapped the wound with some bandages by the time you got back to town. The haze inside your head is gone now, and your shoulder is started to feel a little better. Either this is a good sign or the worst possible thing.

Regardless, you try to perk up, especially when Touryn and Syrup are looking at you with suspicion and worry.

“I’m fine,” you say, “Look, I’m feeling better already.” You can’t forgive yourself if you were to collapse right here and now. You haven’t even stepped inside the forest. “I can have all the rest I want after we find our artifact, alright?” you say. This was a point you will not concede. You can go on, and that is that.

“Some weird thing bit you,” Touryn says, “At least sit down for a moment, okay? Let me get you something to drink; you look like you’re about to die.”

“Fine,” you answer. You take a seat on a nearby tree stump, and Syrup walks up to you.

Frowning, she quietly says, “Sorry.” When you give her a confused look, she replies, “I should have said no when you said you wanted to follow me. You got hurt because of me.”

“Don’t give me that face,” you say, “Look, there wasn’t any venom, right?” Syrup had given it a quick check, and that was what she found. Still, with the way you’re acting, she doesn’t seem convinced. You think for a moment, and then you tell her, “It was my fault anyways. I was curious about something, and I was the one that wanted to check it out.”

She seems to be unconvinced, but she says nothing. You sit there, watching the river continue to carve out the earth, ever so slowly. The two of you stay like this for a while, until you start to wonder when Touryn’s coming back. It’s surprisingly peaceful around here. You can almost stay like this forever.

Under your breath, you say, “He’s sure taking a long time.”

“I’m back,” Touryn says, surprising you with his timing. He hands you a wooden cup.

“Thank you,” you say, “What is it?” You take a sip.

“I haven’t got a clue,” he replies, and you almost spit it out. You would’ve if it weren’t sweet. It has a fruity hint to it, and you decide to not ask any questions. Touryn says, “I asked around a little bit, and there are two ways into the forest.”


“One’s the mountain pass, and the person guarding it never lets anyone through. The other path is a network of mineshaft tunnels that reach the other side. Apparently, there’s someone who knows their way around there, but he doesn’t seem like the type of person who would help us out.”

You ask, “How did you figure all of this out?”

“I asked the village chief.”


As you take another sip, you wonder what to do.
>Mountain pass.
>Navigate the mineshafts yourself.
>See if you can convince that person who knows their way around the mineshafts to guide you.
>See if you can convince that person who knows their way around the mineshafts to guide you.
>Mountain pass.
I refuse to let Circe end up in the fantasy hospital!
Rolled 2 (1d2)


You find yourself caught between having a guide or trying to get through the pass. Navigating the shafts blindly is just too dangerous, and the more you think about it, the more appealing the mountain pass sounds. It’s quicker, simpler, and most importantly, you don’t have to go lurking through tunnels.

With that, you make your decision. “Let’s go through the mountain pass. Maybe we can just tell them who we are and they’d let us through. You’d never know.”

“I doubt that,” he says.

“Okay,” you say, getting up. Patting your clothes, you wonder what to do with the now empty cup.

Leading the way, you go and cross a flimsy bridge as quickly as you can, reaching the other side of the village. From there, it’s only a short walk before you leave the place altogether. The road splits here, but you opt to for the one that leads you to the pass, where the two mountains lower into a rocky, jagged valley.

The more you walk, the more you feel your strength return. By now, your shoulder has stopped bleeding, which makes you a bit more confident than before. Or rather, your confidence would be a little more founded. Your legs, however, are now complaining about how much you have to walk uphill. The grassy stretch of land is often broken by jutting rocks, and the mountainside that surrounds the pass is as steep as ever. The river that flows down the mountain is loud, and it fills the silence as you, Touryn, and Syrup make your way up.

There, at what presumably is the peak, is a house—a small wooden cabin, a humble thing. You watch it carefully as you start to make your way closer, but someone opens the door. A woman in flowing clothes carries a sword by her side, and she watches the three of you carefully.

You raise your hand, and you open your mouth. “Hi—”

“Turn around and go back,” she says abruptly. “Don’t enter.”

You frown. You really wish the pegasi had taken you over the pass instead. “We’re sent by Princess Iorina Ruthaena in search for an artifact.”

“Don’t know who that is, and don’t care. This isn’t a place that anyone should enter.”

The Forest of Spirits, from what you know, is filled with faeries. Every nook and cranny is filled with it, making it a rather dangerous place. Still, for a single person to guard a way into it like this, it’s certainly strange.

You stop walking altogether.
>”Who are you to say something like that?”
>”We can handle ourselves fine.”
>”We’re passing by, with or without your approval.”
>Try to sneak past later.
>”Who are you to say something like that?”
>There are other ways to get in, and for all we know they could be more dangerous than this one. We 'will' be going in, one way or another.
All of this

File: Capture.png (569 KB, 724x543)
569 KB
569 KB PNG
“Who are you to say something like that?” you ask.

“Someone who’s actually been in there,” she replies, “Walking in will be a death sentence, especially for the three of you.”

You’re a witch. In anything, you’re the one who would go into there knowing most about it. With her making all of these assumptions, you can’t help but scowl. You reply, “There are other ways to get in, and for all we know they could be more dangerous than this one. We will find a way in, one way or another.”

She returns your expression with a scowl of her own. “Then you’d be walking into your deaths yourselves, and I’ll have nothing to do with it.”

Syrup glances between her and you worriedly. You say, “Why don’t we talk about this? My name is Circe.”

“Valeria,” she replies, “and I won’t be convinced.”

Touryn says out loud, “You’re guarding this pass alone, aren’t you? This isn’t an option for us. You can let us go on our way.” He takes a step forward, and Valeria grips the handle of her sword.

She says, “Not another step.”

Touryn replies, “This doesn’t have to be so complicated.”

“And it’s not. I told you what I wanted, didn’t I?” she says, “Just turn around already.”

On edge, Touryn moves his hand toward his sword too. He glances at you, conflicted. Not going through with this task isn’t an option, and yet, it doesn’t seem like Valeria’s taking this well. You doubt she cares about the specifics at all.

Roll 1d30.
Going to make that the last update for this thread. Thank you for playing! I'm here for any comments, questions, or concerns. Criticism is appreciated, too.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hopelessQM

I'm a little interested in hearing any thoughts about this quest. If there isn't any, that's fine.
Rolled 1 (1d30)

Cause why not
Rolled 27 (1d30)


I'm enjoying the quest. It's been very laid back and comfy fantasy. I am curious to see if there is an ultimately bigger picture, high-stakes conflict we're building towards (as may be hinted by this business we're doing for the royals) or if it will remain more episodic and slice of lifey as we pick up different odd jobs and requests from Mog's shop.
Rolled 12 (1d30)

Always best to try resolving things peacefully first. Plus, after that encounter earlier, I don't think we want to get into a fight. Something about only one woman guarding this makes me uneasy.

Also, I'm really enjoying the quest and can't wait to see where you go next with it!
Rolled 20 (1d30)

If the picture means anything, she's too strong for us to take on.
Rolled 17 (1d30)

I notice our current average is exactly 15, let me go ahead and ruin that for us.
I like the quest. It’s not entirely clear the manner of quest it will turn into and that’s pretty cool.
New Circe doesn’t even know about Ryletley, old Circe would be filled with contempt, I’m sure

Might as well close the vote.

Thank you for replying and clearing away some doubts.

New thread on Friday, same time, but I'll only run for a day instead of two for this week. Sorry about that, but I need to catch up on some work.
New thread!

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