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You are Sir William Shepard, a former peasant elevated to nobility by an accident of fate. You are currently the lord of Olmsville, a small fief on the outskirts of your kingdom. Unprepared and unused to rule, you are trying your best to become a leader worthy of your title.

Recently you've been preparing for a tournament (which you plan to lose) with the help of your overlord, Count Lazar. You soon found out that he was in cahoots with Elves that were bent on your village's destruction. You were able to convince the Count to turn on the Elves and he decided to face them on his own, probably to his death.

----

"My lord, do not let it worry you so much." Says Stewart. He leans against the carriage window. You ride to the city of Fretag to take part in the tournament. It's been nearly a week since Count Lazar disappeared in the forest. You've heard no word of him since and sent no word out. By the time you return, everything will have changed. Everything you wanted will be given to you. Everything the Count hand: his lands, his estate, his coffers and greater than all these, his wife: the Countess Ophelia. Your true heart's desire.

Yet, at what cost? The Count was a good man. And you were beginning to think of him as a father. You should have chased after him, you should have stopped him or tried to help him. But, in the end, there was nothing you could do. It's the same as the first time. It's always the same.

Stewart pats your knee and neither of you can really say anything. You stare out the window and watch the fields and the grazing cows and the sheep. The whole trip is spent in this kind of gloomy silence and it's not until you reach Fretag itself that your spirits recover. The city is almost as large as Lord Eleison's with a thick stone wall surrounding its borders. Everything in the town rises. Smoke from chimneys and from clay spits and the smell of roasted flesh. Balloons made of sheep's bladders in the hands of little children. Music, song and instrument both, rising above the clamor of the street vendors and the tolling of the temple bells. And the great coliseum, built in a forgotten age, lying exactly in the center of town and rising above them all.

"My Lord, do you wish to take a look around?" Asks Stewart. "I can stay with the coachman and bring our things to the inn."

>Why not? Get out and explore the city a little
>No, it's been a long journey, you want to get some rest
>>
>>2585243
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Peasant%20Lord

Sir William Shepard of Olmsville
>Attributes and Skills
Age: 20
Healthy

Excellent Fitness
Skilled Etiquette
Proficient Rhetoric
Skilled Bowman
Dabbling Horseman
Adept Swordsman
Competent Literacy
Skilled Dancer

>Equipment and Possessions
Old Black Stallion
Average Iron Shortsword
Good Quality Clothing (including Cloak)
Wicker Shield
Bone Necklace

Mediocre Cabin

>Olmsville
Population: 34 (Resolved)
Lands: Unnamed Forest (10% Explored), Unnamed Riverbank (60% Explored)

Average Housing
Small Gardens
Small Chicken Coop
Average Lumber Camp
Smokehouse
Wooden Wall
Watchtower

Middling Stores
Poor Trade
Average Sanitation
Middling Security
Average Logging Industry
Middling Fishing Industry

>Forces
None

>Map

Meaville (Village): Several hours away, a small village that subsists on its farms and livestock
Silvale (Town): One day’s ride away, a large town that acts as a commercial hub for the area
Realm of Lord Eleison: A week’s ride
Fretag (City): Two week’s ride

>Contacts

Nobles

King Aldamar III - Unknown
Duke Eleison - Neutral
Count Lazar - Missing
Countess Ophelia - In love
Lady Miriam - Affectionate
Sir Ulrich - Suspicious

People in the Village

Kilkain - Hunter - Grieved
Eve - Clothmaker - Resolved
Wilkain - Hunter - Missing
Stewart - Steward - Neutral
Max Wood - Carpenter - Resolved
Brian Chapman - Head Logger - Resolved
Samson - Miller - Grieved
Carn - Butcher - Resolved
Elder - Fisherman - Content
>>
>>2585243
>>Why not? Get out and explore the city a little
lets scope out the competition. There is a chance that there are some people who are trying to subvert us and who have a more distant claim to the count's lands. We look like no lord, so snooping about should be easy enough.
>>
>>2585243
>Why not? Get out and explore the city a little
>>
>>2585243
Wow, this quest lives.

>>Why not? Get out and explore the city a little

We should at least afford ourselves a bit of fresh air and allow ourselves to see what's what.
>>
>Peasent Lord Quest is back
Fuck yes.
>>2585243
>Why not? Get out and explore the city a little
>>
Also, where's Thread 2?
>>
You're more restless than you are exhausted and you decide to take up Stewart's offer. Stewart reiterates the name of the inn (The Sleepy Griffon) in case you need to ask for directions and then leaves you to explore.

The city is overwhelming in its hustle. Although it's not the biggest settlement you've ever seen, it's overflowing with people that have come to watch (or profit from) the tournament. You can even see a few noblemen walking among the common folk. Lines of servants follow them like elongated shadows. A few might even be competing.

Carriages move lazily through the streets and the drivers yell back and forth with the peasants to get them to move. The smell of dung and spiced meat create a strong odor that wafts between the suntanned heads. Your think of Ophelia and you clutch the pendant of shell and bone around your neck. How much sweeter would this be if she was at your side, her arm in your arm?

You sigh and try to put it out of mind. The tournament will last nearly the whole month and you must focus on that. There will be time with Ophelia afterward. Still, you can't help it. The guilt mixed with the giddiness, you wander aimlessly through the streets.

Where do your feet take you?

>To the Market
>To the Colisseum
>To the Brothels
>To the Docks
>Write-in
>>
>>2585298
I mislabeled the second thread as 2.5.
>>
>>2585333
>Write-in
take note of the nobles present that we can see and their heraldry, see if we cant spot any symbolism that remotely equates to the old counts'.
>>
>>2585243
>PeasantQM
Is that really you? The QM where the QMC auto-locked himself to worst girl?

>>2585243
>Yet, at what cost? The Count was a good man. And you were beginning to think of him as a father. You should have chased after him, you should have stopped him or tried to help him. But, in the end, there was nothing you could do. It's the same as the first time. It's always the same.
>>2585333
>>Write-in
Do we know where the Count went, can we try visiting him or writing him a letter?
>>2585356
+1
>>
>>2585364
On that first point he apparently has some kinda grand plan vis-a-vie worst girl. I just aim to ride it out at this point.
>>
>>2585333
>>To the Market
While doing >>2585356 on the way.
>>
>>2585364
>Is that really you? The QM where the QMC auto-locked himself to worst girl?

Yep it's me. Honestly I'm still surprised that people remember this quest. Last time I quit because of writer's block (I should have said something but I was embarrassed). But as this anon >>2585429 says, I do have some ideas now (especially for Miriam and Ophelia). Nothing on the scale of a "grand plan" but should be a good ride, if all goes according to keikaku. Can't wait till you guys throw everything off the rails

>Do we know where the Count went, can we try visiting him or writing him a letter?

Well he disappeared into the forest to "handle the elves". At this point he's presumed dead since the last time he tried to fight one of them he got decapitated.

Writing for >>2585438
>>
>>2585364
You should read the last thread. The count went into the forest to deal with the elves and he didn't come back.
>>
>>2585461
Huh. ID changed...
>>
>>2585333
>To the Coliseum
Probably a good idea to check out the arena before there’s a huge crowd.
>>
As you wander you try to make out the identity of the nobles you see on the street. They are as varied as paints on a palette. There's one so fat that his manner of walking can only be described as "waddling". You doubt he's competing in the tournament.

Walking with him however, is man you recognize immediately. A strikingly symmetrical face, so handsome and square that women stop and stare openly at him. His golden curls hang down from his head and provide softness to a body that stretches its garments by the shock of manly strength. Sir Ulrich of the Gelderlands.

He, undoubtedly will be competing in the tournament. You find yourself following him and soon you are in the market square beside the great coliseum. Sir Ulrich nearly accused you of murder the last time you saw him. You don't like him and you have a hunch he doesn't much care for you either.

Many other nobles are here in the market, browsing the wares and arguing with the merchants. A few of them are flirting with the village girls--a warm-up before the feast and ball held post-tournament. The nobles wear clothes which are dyed, fancier than your own. And they wear their heraldic crest on upon their backs. You examine each, trying to match it with Lord Lazar's crest: a white sword dripping blood at its tip. You try to determine which of them might lay claim to the Count's lands and fight against you.

But all you see are lions and bears and green owls with large eyes and eagles with arrows in their beaks. No white sword, no blood. Until again, you look to Sir Ulrich. His back bears a sword which is not white but blood red. It's similar enough. You had half expected this but that doesn't improve the situation. He's the worst possible person to go against as he has a direct line to royalty and is a favorite for Marshall of the Realm. If he does claim rights, you'll be hard pressed to refuse him, even with the will.

Perhaps now would be the time to get into his good graces? Or perhaps it would be wiser to ingratiate yourself among the other nobles?

>Approach Sir Ulrich and offer your greetings
>Speak to the other nobles
>Head back to the inn and ask for council from Stewart
>>
>>2585475
Yeah, posting from library since the power went out in my house
>>
>>2585571
>Gelderlands
>Geld
HA.

>Speak to the other nobles.
I'd think it better to have a wide coalition of people we could call on for aid in the future.
>>
>>2585571
>Speak to the other nobles
Might as well
>>
>>2585571
>Speak to the other nobles
>>
>>2585571
>Approach Sir Ulrich and offer your greetings
Just smile and imagine smashing in his perfect face in the tournament. Plus this can potentially springboard into introductions with other nobility or at least the fat man.
>>
Sir Ulrich is a lost cause and part of you doesn't want to befriend him anyway. You approach the other nobles, one by one and offer your introductions. To your surprise, they all seem to know your name, even the ones that you didn't see at the Count's ball. They know you as the man who slew Lord Nigel and raised his own station. Not all of them are happy about it. In fact, most are either dismissive or downright hostile. It takes all the discipline you have not to smash Sir Trunbull in the face when mutters "Pig-fucker" the moment your back is turned. Some, like Sir Kay, don't even have the courtesy to wait that long, they insult you to your face.

"Our Realm is truly in tatters if we are elevating dirt to exalted places." He says this to one in his retinue as though you weren't standing right in front of him.

"I think it speaks more to the caliber of our knights, than the lack thereof in our Realm." Says a voice behind you. Sir Kay turns the color of milk at seeing its source. You have never seen the man that approaches, but by the way he walks and holds himself and his lady, you instinctively know that he is a cut above the other bluebloods.

"How do you do, Sir Keres." Says Sir Kay, slightly bowing his head. Sir Keres! Son of Duke Eleison. The woman at his arm must therefore be Lady Sophia, the daughter of the man you killed. She is veiled in white silk, so that you cannot see her face but she radiates a profound sense of royalty.

Sir Keres doesn't even bother returning Sir Kay's greeting. He turns instead to you and smiles. "William of Olmsville. I have heard of you." Lady Sophia bristles at the name and you bow low and offer your greetings. "Are you competing in the tournament Sir William?"

"I am, my lord."
"Please, call me Keres." He says. Sir Kay makes a choking sound that thoroughly uplifts your spirits.
"As you wish. Will you also be participating in the tournament Sir Keres?"
"Of course. Though I've heard that you are the favorite to win this year."
"Only rumors, nothing more." Says Sir Kay. He looks like he wants to spit on you. You offer him a smile. Sir Keres glances at Sir Kay and then back to you.
"Truly?" He asks. "That would be most disappointing."

>You plan on doing your best
>You didn't come here to lose
>You'll at least best Sir Kay (then wink at him)
>>
>>2585698
>You plan on doing your best
we just have to make sure we rig a loss at some point.
>>
>>2585698
>>You plan on doing your best
Humility trumps bragging or lying in front of a lord.
>>
>>2585429
Not me. I am rooting for Miriam and will push us as far as our treacherous heart will allow.
>>
>>2585698
>You plan on doing your best
>>
You don't want to come off as arrogant but neither do you want to appear weak. Humility coupled with confidence. That will be your approach.

"Admittedly they are rumors, Sir Keres, but I plan on doing my best to make them true." Sir Keres smiles and claps your shoulder.
"Well said! I look forward to it." He says. Sir Kay looks like he just swallowed an raw egg. Sir Keres pays him no mind. "Where are you staying Sir William?"
"The Sleepy Griffon, a local inn."
"With the merchants and the travelers and the common folk? That's nonsense! Come with me to the castle, I'll talk to the Lord and get you a room."
"That's very generous of you--"
"Think nothing of it! It's my pleasure."
"W-what about me Sir Keres?" Says Kay. "I'm also staying at an inn. Do you think you could--"
"There's really not enough rooms, Sir Kay. You should have said something earlier." Says Sir Keres. Sir Kay definitely looks like he wants to kill you now. Lady Sophia doesn't look thrilled by the idea either. Maybe it would be best to refuse the offer.

>Politely decline
>Accept, it's a good chance to befriend the Duke's son
>>
>>2585768
Damn it.
We need Stewart.

Leaning towards not offending the Lord offering us a room.

But... We really don't need more hatred.

Pencilling in Accept while I go reread Stu's plan
>>
>>2585768
>>Accept, it's a good chance to befriend the Duke's son
Yeah.
Won't offend the Duke's son and his motives are probably just the (mostly untrue) rumors.
Pissing off Kay is likely anyway and Sophia can't hate us more.
>>
>>2585768
>Accept, it's a good chance to befriend the Duke's son
but also give our room(s) to sir kay if he doesn't have accommodation. we already payed for it and money shouldn't go to such waste.
>>
>>2585888
Ha!
>>
>>2585768
>Accept, it's a good chance to befriend the Duke's son
>>
No. This is a good chance to obtain a powerful ally. If you can befriend Sir Keres, you'll have the support of his father and that will prove instrumental against any claim that Sir Ulrich might make. You bow deeply.

"I humbly accept, Sir Keres. If you'll give me a moment to return to my steward and inform him of our change in accommodation, I will join you at the castle." Sir Kay grumbles to himself and Lady Ophelia stares unflinchingly at you behind her veil. You ignore them both. Stewart would probably agree with you that this is the best course of events.
"Excellent! But there's no need to go back. I'll have one of my servants fetch your steward. In the meantime you can come with us."
"As you wish." Then as a last jab, you turn to Sir Kay. "Good day Sir Kay, if you're in need of accommodation perhaps you can take mine. They're already paid for and there's no sense in letting them go to waste." It was meant to be an insult but to your surprise Sir Kay offers no spite.
"R-really?" He says. He looks back at his servant. "Well, yes, I'd very much appreciate it, Will--Sir William." He bows his head.

Strange. But now you begin to notice the state of his clothes, the hems in fray and those of servant almost in full tatters. You note his eyes which are sunken and hollow with lack of sleep. Traces of hair that has fallen from his head to his shoulders. Sir Kay's lands must not be doing well.

You touch his shoulder and raise him. He looks genuinely grateful, a complete turn from his former scorn. There is shame in his eyes too and you feel a strange sense of pity.
"Just let my steward know and he will make the necessary arrangements." You say. He nods and mutters a thank you. "I hope to see you in the tournament Sir Kay."
"You as well, Sir William. May the best man win."

And with that, both parties call for a carriage and set off for their respective destinations. You and Sir Keres to the castle and Sir Kay to the inn.
"Sir Kay bad luck, Sir William." Says Keres. He sits across from you with Lady Sophia lying on his lap. He strokes her hair while she sleeps. "You would do well to avoid him."
"Bad luck?"
He nods and his mood turns dark. "His lands were usurped by a traitor. Their own soldiers stormed his father's estate and killed everyone inside. Sir Kay managed to survive only because he was away on business." Sir Keres laughs. "Ironic really, not two years ago Sir Kay was hailed as a prodigy in the art of trade and commerce--now he is reduced to the lowest kind of poverty. No doubt he's only here to try and make his fortune through the tournament--though his martial skills leave much to be desired.
"Perhaps he will try his hand at the games or at the oratory?" So Sir Kay's scorn was merely jealousy.
"Lesser arts to be sure. Suited to a man like him." You make no reply to that. "Ah here we are. Wake up Sophia." He brushes his knuckles against the silk of her veil and she rouses.

Cont.
>>
>>2586021
The castle is built on a great hill overlooking the city. Stone steps cut into the grass leading upward for those on foot, but there is also a road for carriages. Stewart is already at the gates of the castle by the time you arrive, directing the servants to unload your things and waiting for you.

"My lord Keres." He says. "Lady Sophia." He bows twice, very low. Keres pats your back and tells you to wait while he has a word with the Lord. He takes Lady Sophia with him. As soon as he's gone, Stewart sidles up to you and leads away from any prying eyes or ears. He's grinning ear to ear.
"My lord, I never knew you were so cunning! Well done, my lord, well done!"
"I thought you might like this turn of events."
"Like? That hardly begins to describe it. I was planning to try and pull some strings to get us into the castle eventually but to think that you would befriend the Duke's son as soon as we arrive! Ah this is perfect! Absolutely perfect! You've inadvertently forwarded my plans--or did you know along? You are a sly one, my lord!"
"What on earth are you--" You stop. You spot someone over Stewart's shoulder. She shouldn't be here. Why is she here?
"Sir William?" The small squeaking voice is one you've heard before. The small redheaded figure with the delicate wrists is one you know.
"Lady Miriam." Words don't come. "What...uh...what?" You look at Stewart, who is somehow grinning even harder than before.
"So you didn't know." He says. He whispers in your ear. "The lord of Fretag is Lord Farkad. Lady Miriam's father."

Sir Keres comes out a moment later and calls for you to come inside. You've been given a room. You'll be staying under the same roof as Lady Miriam. This is a mistake. You should get out of this while you still can.

>What's done is done, greet Lady Miriam and go inside
>Beg your pardon and flee the scene
>>
>>2586023
>>What's done is done, greet Lady Miriam and go inside
>>
Where'd everybody go?
>>
>>2586023
>>What's done is done, greet Lady Miriam and go inside
>>
>>2586023
>>What's done is done, greet Lady Miriam and go inside
>>
>>2586023
>What's done is done, greet Lady Miriam and go inside
>>
>>2586023
>What's done is done, greet Lady Miriam and go inside
Dues Vult
>>
There are my myriad Miriam brethren.
>>
It's too late to change your mind now. Your hand curls around the bone and shell hanging to your chest. You were supposed to meet Lady Miriam next month, on her birthday. This is too soon to the wound.

"Come my lord, we should get settled." Stewart taps your arm and goes ahead without you leaving you alone with Lady Miriam. She has her mouth open like a fish and looks even more surprised by the chance encounter than you are.

"Lady Miriam." You say, taking her hand and bringing it to your lips. "How do you do?"
"Sir William." She says. "Sir William!" She can't seem to say anything else. Finally she takes a breath and nods to herself. "Forgive me, Sir William, I'm just a little surprised. I wasn't expecting you before my birthday."

She flushes to her ears. You walk together into the main hall of the castle. It has a pair of curved staircases leading up to an upper level, but Lady Miriam leads you into a large drawing room.
"I'm as surprised as you are. I didn't realize that your father was in charge of the tournament." You say.
"Oh! I'm so foolish, you're here for the tournament of course!"
"Indeed."
"I should have known. Forgive me, Sir William, I would have invited you stay with us." She shakes her head and mutters to herself. "I'm sorry." She says again, quietly.
You laugh and squeeze her hand. "You have nothing to apologize for. On the contrary, I'm the one intruding."
"Oh not at all! Perish the thought! I'm so happy that...I-I mean I'm pleased that you're here."
"You specifically?" She is so different from Lady Ophelia, so much more a child, that you can't help but tease her.
"Yes! I mean no! I mean...oh this isn't going at all how I imagined it..." She covers her eyes but her ears are still red. You lead her to a set of chairs by the window and sit across from her. You direct your attention to the scene outside the window, a delightful garden with a diverse array of flowers and trees and an enormous fountain of stone cherubs in the center. You can feel Lady Miriam's eyes watching you between her hands. You pretend not to notice to let her compose herself. She has a servant girl bring you some wine and an assortment of cheese, but can't seem to stop staring at you all the while.
"Something wrong?" You ask her.
She shakes her head and chews her lower lip. "You seem even more changed than when we last met."
"Changed? In what way?"
"Well...your body, for one."
You look down at your stomach. She's not wrong. The training with the Count has toned your muscles to a rippling, combat-ready physique, which you never really had time to admire till now.
"I suppose it's from training for the tournament." She says.
"I suppose so."
"And I suppose somethings have not changed?" She sounds hopeful. It takes a second for you to understand what she's asking.

>Lie: you've moved on
>Tell the truth: somethings will never change
>>
>>2586463
>>Tell the truth: somethings will never change
>>
>>2586463
>"Some things that I wish would not have changed have. Some that I wish would, haven't."

For that EXTRA despair. Count Bro is missed.
>>
>>2586463
>>2586506
>>"Some things that I wish would not have changed have. Some that I wish would, have not."
This
>>
You're not sure how to respond to this wide-eyed girl so obviously infatuated, so similar in circumstance to yourself. You want desperately to tell her what she wants to hear so that at least one of you can be happy--but you don't have it in you commit such a cruelty.

"Somethings will never change." You say, softly. She looks away, clearly hurt, but trying hard not to show it. "And somethings have which I wish, had not."

You sit in silence for a while, sipping wine. Then, you decide to try and change the subject and lighten the mood. "And you, Lady Miriam? Are you excited about your birthday, or about the tournament?"
That only seems to make things worse. She starts to cry and her chest heaves with quiet sobs. "Lady Miriam, what's wrong? Have I offended you?"
She shakes her head. You try and move closer to her, to comfort her, but she gets up and flees before you can do so. You want to chase after her, but you decide that it would be inappropriate and remain where you are. A moment later you hear Sir Keres call for you from the main hall.

"In the drawing room Sir Keres."
"Ah there you are. What are you doing here all alone? Come, we're playing cards upstairs--your man Stewart is a shrewd player I had to step out before he got the better of me."
Your thoughts are still caught in Lady Miriam's strange response--something must definitely be wrong. Sir Keres mistakes your pause for hesitation. "Cards not your game, William? True, it is a bit soft. Perhaps you'd rather have a sparring match in the garden?" The Duke's son has a tiger-like gleam in his eye. He's not joking.

>Cards will be just fine
>Accept the match, maybe some exercise will take your mind off things
>Decline both, you just want to get some rest before tomorrow
>>
>>2586578
>>Accept the match, maybe some exercise will take your mind off things

>You know godsdamned well why she tore off, don't delude yourself, and consider this match proper recompense.
>>
>>2586578
>>Cards will be just fine
>>
>>2586578
>Accept the match
It's tussle time
>>
>>2586578
>>Accept the match, maybe some exercise will take your mind off things
Okay, but go easy.

>>2586597
>You know godsdamned well why she tore off
Her reaction seemed worsened at the mention of the birthday or the tournament.
>>
Ending it here for today. Battery on my laptop is almost dead and power is still out.
>>
>>2586627
Recharge man.
Thanks for running.
>>
>>2586663
ditto

>>2586627
I hope your power comes back on soon
>>
>>2586021
>Sir Kay was hailed as a prodigy in the art of trade and commerce--now he is reduced to the lowest kind of poverty
Hello there new potential NPC ally to help our little village grow!
>>
A game of cards would only push you deeper into your thoughts but a bit of exercise might be enough to distract you.

"I wouldn't want either of us to get injured before the real deal." You say.
"I sense a 'however' is going to follow."
You nod. "However, I am feeling a little restless and could use the sport."
"Excellent! I knew what kind of man you were from the moment I clapped eye on you--don't worry Will, may I call you Will?" He doesn't wait for approval. "Will, I feel as though I've finally found a man worthy of respect and friendship."
"You flatter me, Sir Keres. I hope I do not disappoint your expectations."
"Hardly! You have already exceeded them. Come, let's take a walk--do you prefer wrestling, blades or a simple brawl?" He reaches for your shoulder and curls his arm around it. It's the kind of affection you're not used to, especially from a blueblood like him--nevertheless, you find yourself rapidly growing accustomed to it.
"I think using real blades would be unwise."
"Real blades!" He laughs. "Of course you would think that, a real man would--no, no I meant only stickfighting."

>Wrestling sounds fine
>Go for a tussle
>Duel him with sticks, see if the Count's lessons really stuck
>>
>>2587769
Duel with sticks. Let's see how we've improved.
>>
>>2587360
>Duel him with sticks, see if the Count's lessons really stuck
>>
>>2587769
>>Duel him with sticks, see if the Count's lessons really stuck
>>
You're itching to put the Count's lessons to work and you're not sure how well you'd fare in a brawl or wrestling match. The choice is practically made for you. "Then I prefer the blades, Sir Keres."
He slaps your shoulder and leads you to the main hall and then a side passage into the garden you saw before. You spot Lady Sophia and a few other noblewomen gossiping and sipping wine around a small white table, sheltered from the sun by an enormous umbrella that sticks out of its middle. Their conversations cease immediately when Sir Keres strips his shirt (forcing you to do the same). The ladies eyes are now at attention on Keres's broad and scarred back. Though you note with some pleasure that some of their eyes are on you as well, and that you are a little better built than Sir Keres, leaner, but more muscular.

"Might as well give the ladies a show eh?" He says, grinning. He goes and picks up a set of carved wooden sticks--clearly he had already expected this course of events or intended to force it at some point. He throws one of the sticks to you and takes a few practice swings with his own. You merely get a feel for the weight and take a neutral stance in front of him.

The ladies are now knocking their heads together to whisper things which make them giggle and blush. Lady Sophia doesn't seem to engage in the activity, merely stare at the both of you with rapt attention. You also see Lady Orison, Miriam's sister, among them who seems equally interested in the match. You try and pay them no mind and focus on Sir Keres.

"Rules of the match?" Asks Sir Keres.
"Whatever you like."
"Three rounds to a match and lets say...best of five?"
"Alright."
"Round ends with a hit or when the other yields. Ready?" He takes his stance and does not wait for your reply, instead charging at you with a great roar. You easily sidestep the charge, then bind and exchange a few exploratory blows.

At first you don't understand what's going on. The blows that come are so slow compared to the Count's that it's like Sir Keres were moving through molasses. It's only out of fear of embarrassing him that you don't just end the round immediately--but you find yourself parrying every blow with the same ease as if you were snapping your fingers or tying your shoelaces.

And Sir Keres's form is atrocious--at least in your eyes, every inch too far forward of his feet, every inch too far back of his elbow, the way the slight tilt of his shoulder gives away where and how he's going to strike, all of it is as clear as a freshwater pond in the spring.
>>
>>2587850
It's too easy. You find you have to hold yourself back at every blow, to slow yourself to his snail's pace so you don't utterly annihilate him. The moves and stances that the Count drilled into you, all those hours of slow torture, have become whole interchangeable units you can manipulate as expertly as a musician does his instrument.

In short, Sir Keres poses as a much a challenge as a toddler might to a lion. You're not even sure how to handle this, do you let him win? Do you defeat him soundly in front of all these ladies? You can control the match however you please, but if you do too much, he may notice and take offense.

>Annihilate him
>Try to make the match close and then win
>Fake a complete loss
>>
>>2587853
>Try to make the match close and then win
>>
>>2587853
>>Try to make the match close and then win
>>
>>2587853
>Try to make the match close and then win
>>
It's difficult ignore all the holes you see in front of you, but you try your best to make it seem like an even match. The first match lasts a whole ten minutes and Sir Keres is glistening with sweat at the end of it. You aren't even out of breath. The two weeks you spent with the Count training at full speed, non-stop, has elevated your endurance to unnatural levels.

You give the first match to Keres and then win the next three, making sure to win by a small margin so as not to embarrass him. At the end of it, he's completely exhausted and can barely string a sentence together between his pants.

"Good match." He says. A servant girl hands him a towel and he mops up his face and body. You just go and quietly put on your shirt, body still dry as a bone. If Sir Keres is any indication of how the tournament will go, there shouldn't be any problems. You offer a curt bow to the ladies (which sets them giggling again) and then head inside to meet with Stewart and tell him the good news.

Lady Orison stops you just as you reach the door. "That was a well fought match Sir William." She's flushed and smiling broadly at you--the same expression she had when Sir Ulrich was with her at the ball. The same expression her sister had when she was with you.
"Thank you Lady Orison. I think Sir Keres went a little easy on me, I don't think I would have won otherwise."
"So humble too! I can see why my sister likes you so much." She casually slips her arm around yours and begins walking with you. You can feel the softness of her breasts on your bicep and immediately find yourself comparing them to her sister's. Hers are bigger. You try and think of something else. Ophelia's are bigger than hers. That'll do. "Sir William are you listening?" You weren't.
"Forgive me, Lady Orison, I'm still recovering from the match." That seems to satisfy her.
"I asked whether you would be attending my sister's birthday--I'm sure she invited you."
"Yes I am. Indeed, I'm looking forward to it."
"Are you?" She eyes you carefully. "Will you be proposing to her?" You stop.
"What?"
"Well that's why I assumed she was so happy lately--her recovery notwithstanding. Traditionally, nobles propose on the coming-of-age. It's not as common these days but it does happen. Despite how she is I'm sure there will be suitors for her. Our family is quite prosperous, as you can see."

>You don't have any such intentions
>Don't say anything, change the subject
>>
>>2587903
>Don't say anything, change the subject
>>
>>2587903
>Don't say anything, change the subject
>>
>>2587903
Don't say anything
>>
>>2587903
>>You don't have any such intentions
>>
Something came up so I'm done for now (and maybe for today).
>>
>>2587903
>>You don't have any such intentions
>>
>>2587903
>Don't say anything, change the subject
>>
>>2587903
>Don't say anything, change the subject
Personally I think we should do it, she is much better then the other bitch
>>
>>2587903
>You don't have such intentions.
After beating the lil' Keres keep being manly and true to your heart!

You rancid scum, you are only after Miriam's riches and not our MC's happiness!
>>
>>2588502
I don't think the MC would be happy with a women who wanted to cheat on her husband with us.
>>
>>2588527
Her husband was a poor husband.
>>
>>2588551
Ah yes and that is a good reason to try to sleep with random men you meet.
>>
>>2588575
Little bit yeah
>>
>>2587972
I hope you're doing alright, this has been a great quest so far.

You've been writing excellently, to be honest. Take care of what you have to and come back soon! I'll try to put in participation instead of lurking whenever I'm able
>>
>>2587903
>>Don't say anything, change the subject
Although, our "What?" might have been enough to tip that we had no clue.
We need to Not Devastate Miriam, second priority under Not Fail as Lord.

>>2587972
Keeping the faith!
Even when I'm stranded where the wifi bans 4chan.
>>
>>2588962
>>2589263
I'm fine, just had to run some errands that predictably ended up taking the whole day.

Gonna do the last update for today.
>>
>>2588138
We think she is.

He doesn't.
>>
The only responses that come to mind are either pathetic or inappropriate. You can imagine yourself in her shoes. In a few weeks she may have to marry a man she feels nothing for and relinquish all right to the one she truly loves. You understand her earlier tears. Her anguish mirrors your own.

And though you know that she's being childish, and though you feel that this is only an infatuation, something that will surely pass with time, you also know that you are being a hypocrite. Because aren't you the same? Because do you really know any more about Lady Ophelia than Lady Miriam knows about you? You remember her words, as you have remembered them before in sleepless nights: "Love should be pure if nothing else. Love is a thing to do, not a thing to be achieved." If it is true, it is a tragedy.

Your mental deliberations create an uncomfortable silence which you finally break it by asking what kind of cake Lady Miriam likes (apparently she hates sweets in general and prefers spicy things).

"Tell me, Lady Orison, if it is common to be proposed at ones coming of age, why aren't you married?"
She straightens herself and cocks her head back like a heron preening itself. "I am the jewel of this house." She says. "I cannot be given away to just anyone. I had many suitors at my coming-of-age but my father rejected them all. And rightly."
"Yet I thought you danced very well with Sir Ulrich at the ball."
She smiles and chews her lip--a habit both sisters share. "He is quite handsome isn't he?" She says, though by the state of her reverie you no longer exist.
"I think you will make a handsome couple."
She slaps your shoulder playfully."You speak too freely, Sir William."
"Am I wrong?"
"...well, no. My father has spoken with his father. But nothing is decided yet."
"You will cheer for him in the tournament, I suppose?"
"Yes, but I wished he wouldn't compete. I can't bear to see him hurt. Oh! But do not tell him so, I would be mortified."
You don't understand the games women play, most likely Ulrich already knows. Whether he cares or not is another matter, but you don't know the man. Maybe he too is in love.
"Rest assured, your secret is safe, Lady Orison. I am its tomb."
"Such a gallant! If you're not careful, Sir William, I may fall in line with my sister." She nestles into your arm, which is a shallow excuse to try and feel your bicep. You don't even bother flexing, but it delights her anyway.
"Lady Orison, is your sister--that is, I mean, does she really--"
"She thinks she's in loooove."
"I see."

Cont.
>>
>>2589334
"It's an obsession really. Ever since she heard about the famous William of Olmsville, the man who killed Lord Nigel in single combat and changed his own destiny forever--well, I suppose it changed her destiny too. She's always been sickly, never took her medicine properly, gloomy--dreadfully gloomy, always stuck up in her tower staring at the stars, always alone." She leans in and beckons for your ear. You give it. "You know about the burn on her arm?" She whispers. You nod.
"An accident?"
She shakes her head. "She did that to herself, to cover up--"

"Oris!" The voice comes from the balcony above you. Lady Miriam. Livid as a scorned lover. Her eyes are red from crying and her hair is a mess, but the anger is as white-hot as melted steel.

Lady Orison steps back from you. "Mary! I-I was just, I didn't--um, good day Sir William." She curtsies and quickly flees the scene. Miriam watches her she's completely disappeared. Then slowly, reluctantly, she turns back to look at you.The anger is all gone. "Did she tell you?" She's whispering now, but the empty hall carries her words to your ear.

>Lie so she thinks you already know and tells you herself
>Tell the truth, she didn't say anything
>>
>>2589335
>>Tell the truth, she didn't say anything
Tell her we won't judge though, and that she's free to tell us if she wishes.
>>
>>2589340
This
>>
>>2589335
>>Tell the truth, she didn't say anything
>>
>>2589335
>Tell the truth, she didn't say anything
>>
>>2589335
>Tell the truth, she didn't say anything
"You have very good timing, m'lady"
>>
dedquest
>>
>>2589520
Shut the fuck up.
>>
>>2589531
despair
>>
>>2589335
>Miriam, miriam. Tell me what you did.
Looking vrry worried just as the MC is. Does not he feel responsible?
>>
>>2589565
you sound like a proper formic queen.
>>
>>2589335
>>Tell the truth, she didn't say anything
>>
>>2589335
>>2589515
>>Tell the truth, she didn't say anything
>"You have very good timing, m'lady"
>>2589340
>Tell her we won't judge though, and that she's free to tell us if she wishes.
This

"You have very good timing, m'lady. Your sister's concern for you might have let her slip something you may have preferred kept in confidence. But try not to be too cross with her, she didn't say anything. And I would have you know that, no matter what paths the days ahead may lead us down, I will never judge you and you are free to tell me anything or not, as you so choose.
>>
>>2589520
>dedquest
Pic related

>>2589535
>despair
Ah. Nvm
I fear QM is simply in the same spot I was in with my first Quest where I could not post nearly as much as I wanted to. Do not mourn the Phoenix that has risen From the Ashes only to disappear again.
>>
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8 KB
8 KB JPG
>>2589843
>>
Lady Miriam looks as if the wrong word will bring about another bout of tears. You decide to tell the truth. “No, Lady Miriam. You had good timing.”
She studies you, searching for a sign that will put doubt to your words. She finds nothing. And then slowly breathes out relief. “But you are free to tell me when you wish--and know that I would not judge you, whatever it may be.”
“Thank you.” She says, quietly. “I know you would not but I still could not bear it if you found out.”

You nod. What could she have covered up? Certain dark themes come to mind, but they seem too incongruent with the sweet face before you. And you know now the source of her infatuation and you wonder how you will tell her that it is all a lie. Founded on falsehood. That you are no hero and if your destiny was changed, it was not by your own hand. To ruin even that--do you have the heart for it? You can see the girl desperately preening herself, running her hands through her hair to try and straighten it, and though she is not much younger than you, she is so little in your eyes, frail as pottery. She is not like Lady Ophelia, she cannot hide her weaknesses so well. You climb the steps and she pauses her work to look up at you.
“I’m sorry for running off like that.” She mutters.
“Yes, you were being a little insensitive.” You say. She winces and hangs her head. You lift her chin and look at her eyes, and try and try and try, and feel nothing. Only a vague platonic affection. “I was too. I didn’t know about the proposals. I’ve been an oaf.”
“It doesn’t matter anyway.” She says, turning away and then leaning on the balcony. “Father will be happy to have another chip to play. I am not of great value, but I will fetch a good price.”
“...I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” She says. A pause. And then, “Is she pretty?”
“More than anything I have ever seen.”
“And does she love you too?”
“Yes.”
She swallows twice and you expect more tears, but they do not come. She curtsies as though she were made of straight iron rods and then takes her leave.
----

The first week of the tournament are the qualifying rounds but since you were invited to compete you are exempt. The qualifiers are supposed to give a chance to the lowborn to compete against the nobles but it is more a thinly veiled opportunity for the bluebloods to gamble on the lives the peasants. They fight with real blades, first in teams, then in individual combat and they get extra points for maiming or even killing their opponents. You attend only the first match (on Sir Keres’s behest, who seems to enjoy the sport a little more than he should) and are so thoroughly disgusted that you avoid the Colosseum for the rest of the week.

Instead you…

>Keep the Count’s training sharp with daily practice
>Spend time with the Ladies in the castle
>Meet with the other nobles outside of the castle
>Rest and relax
>>
>>2589871
>>Keep the Count’s training sharp with daily practice
Is what I would normally vote for, but he didn't seem all that pleased when we practiced by ourselves before.

So attempt to
>Rest and relax
taking much needed breathing room from thoughts of conspiracy, our complicated love live, or any other stressful happenings.
>>
>>2589871
>>Keep the Count’s training sharp with daily practice
>>
>>2589871
>>Keep the Count’s training sharp with daily practice
Gotta turn fiction into fact
>>
>>2589871
>>Keep the Count’s training sharp with daily practice
>>
>>2589871
>>Keep the Count’s training sharp with daily practice
get gud.
>>2589876
good point. preferably we would want a sparring partner, but working muscle groups is always good. strength and dexterity never goes amiss.
>>
>>2589843
>Do not mourn the Phoenix that has risen From the Ashes only to disappear again.
Told you.

>>2589871
>You lift her chin and look at her eyes, and try and try and try, and feel nothing. Only a vague platonic affection.
Heart confirmed for worst villain.
>>
Something about Ophelia just rubs me the wrong way horribly. It's not even the blind worship thing. It's just something about the character herself throwing me off. I'm not sure what.
>>
>>2589910
she might be trying to kill us. who knows. we are legit dealing with siren/supernatural charisma and beauty here.
>>
>>2589913
Kind of hope it happens. Longer this goes on the harder it is for me to empathize with the MC. Not even necessarily because of the waifu stuff, although I won't say that's not a part of it. When it comes to enter thoughts the new just comes off as whiny and very woe is me. No real mental fortitude at all.
>>
>>2589921
enter=inner.

Sorry, phoneposting.
>>
Mind, I'm not saying the quest is bad. I'm just saying I'm unsure if the MC deserves a happy ending. This seems like an excellent classic epic tragedy in the making.
>>
>>2589910
I initially thought she was trying to get us to take the blame for the Count's death. Now I'm just not sure.
>>
>>2589871
>Rest and Relax
Poor MC has pushed himself so much this days. His village threat, managing the actual village, rigurous training, the death of many, passing trough a harsh winter, his overlord's demise... so many secrets yet for unfold.

Our MC deserves some time alone! Time for himself! Let him rest people!! Let him rest and mend his wounds. Deep wounds lodged in his tired heart
>>
>>2589871
Oh yeah, I didn't vote did I?

>Rest and relax.
>>
You spend mornings and afternoons out in the garden, deep enough that the prying eyes of the ladies or the servants cannot pick you out. It is a kind of meditation to you now and though your master is no longer here to guide you, you find yourself performing the motions without need of his help. The quietude stills your heart and takes your thoughts away from all your troubles.

In the evenings you eat with Lady Miriam’s family in the dining hall. Sir Keres is often there, but not always, and so is Lady Sophia. Lady Miriam’s parents do not even acknowledge your existence beyond a slip of your name in the first night. Lady Miriam, who looks more and more sunken by the day makes no effort to speak to you beyond pleasantries, yet often you catch her looking at you over the dinner table or when you pass by in the hall. Her eyes have fallen inward and blackened. And very late at night, when you cannot sleep, you can hear her footfalls on the steps of the western tower (for your room is right at its base) and you can see the smooth bore of her telescope shine in the moonlight as it searches the stars.

You tell yourself, she will be fine. That whatever suitor comes for her will do well by her. That her father would not give his younger daughter to a man who might hurt her. And then you are able to sleep easy and guiltless, even if you do not wholly believe the things you say.

The week passes quietly. Sir Keres tries to take you again to watch the peasants slaughter each other but you are able to refuse without offending him. The morning of the tournament proper finally comes. The archery competition is in the morning and the free combat later on, a little past noon. Stewart doesn’t seem to care about the archery competition, so you assume that you are free to try your best.

>Roll 1d20+2 to see how you perform in the first round
>>
Rolled 2 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2589996
>>
Rolled 6 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2589996
>>
Rolled 10 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2589996
>>
>>2589876
>>2589905
Isn't he presumed dead though?
>>
>>2590004

You barely pass the first round. The Count never got far enough to teach you the bow so you had to make do with the lessons you received from Wilkain. There are some competent archers among the nobles (Sir Kay for one, Sir Ulrich another), which makes the task even harder. Still the distance to the target is short enough that only the worst and most unlucky archers among you are eliminated.

You have lunch with Stewart at a nearby food vendor. He's bubbling over with glee at the fruition of his plans, so much so that he ignores his food, he even ignores a pair of pretty village girls that sit at the table next to him.

"My lord I've already gotten three offers for your loss--just in the first match! I mean we're not even up to the duels yet!"
"How much?" You find yourself less enthusiastic about losing in front of everyone that Stewart does.
"Granted it's not much yet." He says, laying his hand softly on the table. "A few gold pieces really. But my lord by the end of this we shall have enough to improve Olmsville. Really improve it!"
"Are you sure this is going to work?"
"Absolutely, as long as you are willing to take the fall at the right moment. Please, my lord, do not fall prey to pride like all the other nobles. Your victory here would be meaningless, but the money we earn would change everything."
"Why do we even need the money anyway?" You lean in. "I told you about the secret will."
"We can't depend on something so precarious. And gold is gold my lord, I assure you we will find some use for it once we have it. For now, just keep winning. I heard about the duel you had with Sir Keres. He's no Sir Ulrich but he's strong--how did you feel fighting him?"
"I tried not to embarrass him. The Count trained me well, Stewart, I don't think I'll have any trouble."
"Well be that as it may, watch out for Sir Ulrich. If not for the rumors surrounding you, he would have been the favorite this year. And speak of the devil--"
"Sir William." Says Ulrich. "How goes it? I saw your performance at the archery competition. Well done." A compliment he doesn't mean.
"Archery is not my forte."
"Then I'm sure you will display some prowess at the team matches." He takes a seat at the table and flicks his finger at his servant, a young girl that looks like she just got out of a streetfight. Her left eye is bruised black and there are numerous cuts on her lips and cheeks. Her nose is bent in an odd angle, indicating that it's been broken before and there are more bruises along her arms and the exposed parts of her neck.

Cont.
>>
>>2590038
"How is the food here?" He asks. "Any good?" He turns back to his servant. "Lily get me some of what they have." The servant bows low and runs to fulfill the order. "I hear you are staying at Lord Farkad's castle, Sir William." Says Ulrich. His perfect face is caught in a taut smile that holds his features the same way a tanning rack stretches out deerskin.
"Yes, my lord was invited by Sir Keres to stay there." Says Stewart.
"Ah Sir Keres, I see." His eyes narrow, but only briefly. "And how are you enjoying it there?"
"Quite well." You say.
"And how is the Count? Recovered from his illness?"
You look at Stewart, who subtly shakes his head. Is this a trap?

>Why is asking?
>He's just fine
>According to the attending physician, he's sick
>>
>>2590039
>>According to the attending physician, he's sick and his habit of drinking only serves to worsen it.
>>
>>2590047
+1
>>
>>2590039
>I have heard that he's fine. How toughtfull of you of thinking about my overlord. Were you and he close? he taught me swordplay personally you know?

Who does this asshole think he is!? Defy him! Speak loudly! Make people whisper
>>
>>2590047
>>2590052
both of these are good.
>>
>>2590047
This
>>
"According to the attending physician, he's sick and his drinking habit is only making things worse." You say. Nothing untrue about that.
"I see. That is unfortunate." His servant returns with a platter of food. Ulrich lets her put it in front of him then inspects each dish one by one. He finds a hair in one of the dishes, a thick bowl of soup. "What is this Lily?" He says. Instantly the girl is on her knees.
"I-I didn't see it. Please forgive me my lord." There's an intense silence that follows, broken only by the shivering of the servant girl. Ulrich drags the strand of hair and then flicks it away with his thumb. He clenches his hand and then seems to notice you and Stewart staring at him. He smiles and his hand loosens again. "Get up Lily." She remains on her knees.
"I'm sorry my lord, I swear to you I didn't see it. It isn't mine. I swear it."
"Get up!" She scrambles to her feet, almost in tears. "My appetite's gone. I'll see you at the tournament Sir William, perhaps we'll meet each other in the duels."
You're too awed by what you just witnessed to say anything. He grabs his servants arm and drags her with him, while she continues to apologize and beg for forgiveness.

Neither you nor Stewart say anything, you finish your meal in silence and then head back to the Colosseum. The first round of free combat consists of team matches. 10 men to a team and two teams to a match. The outcome of the matches themselves are not as important as individual performance. Getting knocked out in the team matches is instant elimination, but the objective is to capture and hold a small hill in the center of the arena. Combatants are awarded points for style and for knocking out opponents. Team captains are decided by lot.

As it turns out, you draw the team captain position--an outcome which your team is thoroughly dissatisfied with. Sir Trunbull actually refuses to listen to you and the team fractures into two groups, three nobles that side with Sir Trunbull and the rest which don't (but don't necessarily side with you). Your match is the third of the day, the first two were over quickly, a team led by Sir Keres and another led by Sir Kay won their matches (though in the latter, it seems Sir Ulrich got the most points).

Cont.
>>
>>2590094
You pour out into the arena. The sun is still high above the horizon, hot and oppressive. The crowd is still in a furor, shouting profanities and cheering. To the side, in an upper chamber, you can see Lord Farkad and his family and other nobles watching the games. Lady Orison is there and so is Lady Miriam. The other team comes out, black uniforms to contrast your white ones. Both are armed with wooden sticks and shields (though you decided to drop the shield since you're not familiar with it).

The enemy moves in close formation toward the central hill, slow and steady. Your men do not even wait for your command. Lord Trunbull takes his men and charges the flank of the enemy and the rest run for the hill. As it is, Lord Trunbull's forces are outnumbered and will be annihilated.

>Go and support Lord Trunbull, you need his soldiers
>Head for the hills with the others
>Head straight for the enemy, you'll take them out by yourself
>>
>>2590097
>Go and support Lord Trunbull, you need his soldiers
>>
>>2590097
Head for the hills.

As much as I'd like to annihilate them by going solo, we cannot show our hand. People will question our loss if we show them how good we are.
>>
>>2590097
>Head for the hills with the others

Points is good, but...
>>
>>2590097
>Head for the hills with the others.
Let them think we are the sly peasant they presume we are. Being an antagonist will get increase the bets against us
>>
>>2590097
>>Head for the hills with the others
>>
You ignore Trunbull's idiocy and move to take the hill. You're confident you could take all of these men by yourself, but for now you must maintain the illusion of the sly peasant. Trunbull for his part, smashes into the side of the enemy and manages to knock two of them out before they encircle and destroy them. Fool, he just got himself and his men eliminated and if you weren't on the team, perhaps this whole match would have ended in defeat.

As it is, you reach the hill and hold it until the enemy regroups and decides to charge your loose formation. You keep yourself under guard and let the others do the brunt of the work. All of it is child's play and everyone is moving so slowly that you could have defeated any one of them ten times over without breaking a sweat.

By the end of it, only three of you are left and the rest are either knocked out or surrendered. Not exactly a crushing victory, but you're awarded points for winning out despite being outnumbered. You're not on the leaderboards which means that you'll have to fight sudden death style in the duels but it doesn't worry you, the competition here is soft. Two more matches follow yours and the last one has an unusual outcome. A single man takes out both teams by himself. He goes only by the moniker: Nightowl. The same Nightowl you had consulted some months ago to fight the spirit in the forest. He may provide a challenge, though you doubt any noble will pay to see him win.

The end of the team matches concludes the first round. There follows the week to rest and recuperate while other festivities take place around town. You spend this time much the same way as before. Training and rest from your demons. Sir Ulrich visits the castle a few times, to chat with Lord Farkad and to take long walks with a giggling and blushing Lady Orison. You not that he always comes alone, never with his servant. You wonder if you should tell her about what you witnessed at the food stand, or whether it will even make a difference.

The morning of the second round comes and goes much the same as the first. You win all your duels with an illusory evenness, hiding your true strength for the real battle. You do not manage to place in the archery finals, but win an expertly made yew bow for your performance.

The final day of the tournament looms before you. Just eight men left, you, Sir Keres, Sir Ulrich, Nightowl, Sir Kay (by some uncanny luck in the matchups) and three others you do not recognize, one of which has scandalously entered under the name "Sir Nigel".

Yours is the first match and it's with Sir Kay. He's intent on giving it his best shot, though from the very first exchange, you know that there is no hope for him. Stewart told you the night before that now is the time to reveal your abilities, so that the lords sponsoring the others get into a bidding war. You find yourself hesitant to embarrass Sir Kay. He's already suffered so much.

>Destroy him
>Try to make it a close match
>>
>>2590178
>Try to make it a close match
>>
>>2590178
>Destroy him
>>
>>2590184
This.
Like somebody mentioned before, I'd like to try to get his help in matters of commerce in our realm.

Maybe don't make it too close of a match but still don't humiliate him.
>>
>>2590219
I'll agree with this
>>
>>2590178
>>Try to make it a close match
Ideally it'd be somewhere between a close match and total destruction. Winning handily is one thing, humiliating is another.
>>
>>2590178
Basically >>2590219. Don't shitstomp him, but just make it clear that he isn't on your level.
>>
>>2590247
Generally by that, don't get too aggressive, but whenever he closes in, respond hard.
>>
Gotta call it a day for now.
>>
>>2590178
>Destroy him
Why not spare him the humiliation and win in one strike?
>>
>>2590270
Thanks for running, I just discovered this quest and am eager for more at another time.
>>
>>2590350
Read the archive!! The QM's writing and the things he comes up with are awesome
>>
>>2590178
>>Destroy him

>>2590247
>Don't shitstomp him, but just make it clear that he isn't on your level.
This

Afford him every courtesy, honor, and respect possible.
We want him to be grateful enough for our respect and desperate enough for the position we can offer him to forgive us for taking gis chance away.
Be his salvation, not his humiliation.

But sticking to the plan and striking fear into moneybags' hearts is the most important thing.
>>
>inb4 Ulrich pays us to take the dive

>>2590178
>You wonder if you should tell her about what you witnessed at the food stand, or whether it will even make a difference.
We should tell her the story, leaving out the man's identity, and ask her opinion of the man's actions.
...before the dive.
>>
>>2590178
>>Try to make it a close match
>>
>>2590425
>>2590219
something like this.

>>2590425
I got a better idea, hang out with Miriam and tell her. even exchange secrets. Her burned secret for ours in killing the lord. We accept hers, lets see how our illusion of us to her is taken by her.
>>
>>2590677
That sounds interesting. Let's do it.
>>
>>2590409
You see, I did before posting as to be certain that I would fully understand Sir William as a character and I am also convinced that Miriam is best girl and Ophelia a THOT
>>
>>2590740
Most of the players are.

I really, really hope that the count survives and we don't inherit his stuff because then it will be impossible to stop the worst girl from winning.
>>
Okay, so I finally realized why Ophelia seems to rub me the wrong way.

It's that in her first few actions she's showing a number of undesirable traits. Yes, she's pretty, and she's good at acting high-class, but she's also shown through her behavior to us to have a general disrespect for propriety, and worse, she seems to have little disrespect for individuals who can't service her, so to speak- considering she seemed to pay the count's illness only the barest lip service. She hardly even so much as showed baseline concern for the man that elevated her to that station in the first place. And by all rights and respects he's actually a pretty cool dude. I have a difficult time imagining that he's that different with her or with others as he was with us. Even in his dealings with the elf, he was very clearly regretful and in general had a similar attitude of respect and nobility. And his imploring us to just escape with him, I didn't really feel a man who is trying to be selfish, but rather a man who thought he was doing the only thing that he could. And yet such a man seems to get nothing but blank looks and scorn from his wife. If she's that starved sexually, I can't imagine that he wouldn't understand on some level. He might not like it, but he doesn't strike me as the type to strike people, at least not these days.

Basically, for all William talks about how much he's in love with her, I think the problem here is a mutual lust that both of them are trying to fulfill. They don't really love each other because they don't actually know each other. They just see each other as two lowborne individuals who got elevated to high class and now they just want to jump each other's bones. The sad part is that William I feel is holding her on a massive, massive pedestal, but I get the feeling that Ophelia doesn't even think that highly of him. She sees a rugged good-looking man who she wants to jump into bed with, no more, no less.

...baiscally yeah she a thot. I just needed to put some logic behind it.
>>
>>2590798
Now all that is left is to make William understand.
>>
>>2590798
I'd let Ophelia rub me if you know what I mean.
>>
>>2590704
>>2590677
>Her burned secret for ours in killing the lord.
This is a fair idea, however...

>>2589871
>you wonder how you will tell her that it is all a lie. Founded on falsehood. That you are no hero and if your destiny was changed, it was not by your own hand. To ruin even that--do you have the heart for it?

Our continued determination to treat Miriam with honesty and respect while avoiding leading her on is causing her more and more pain.
Before revealing that the story that apparently bolstered and heartened her was a total lie, we need to figure out how to say it delicately.
We want her to focus on how the strength and drive she drew upon after hearing the story was within her all the time.
She needs to know that she can fly, not dwell on that she was tricked by a sham magic feather.
She seems prone to dwelling.
>>
>>2590798
>she's also shown through her behavior to us to have a general disrespect for propriety
Worse than us, even.

>she seems to have disrespect for individuals who can't service her
Her attitude towards us when she was mistaken of our interest was a point in this

>she seemed to pay the count's illness only the barest lip service
Definitely cold

>She hardly even so much as showed baseline concern for the man that elevated her to that station in the first place.
Ungrateful

>And by all rights and respects he's actually a pretty cool dude.
To be fair, some pretty cool dudes have made some pretty shit husbands.
He may have said as much.
Andy Dufresne was a total bro, but an admittedly bad husband.
>>
>>2590853
I probably agree with all of this.
>>
>>2590798
This nigga has got it down, fuck that bitch
>>
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You are wrong, Miriam. People can only save themselves.

Why so upbeat? Did something good happened?
>>
You cricle Sir Kay, keeping your wooden blade easy at your side. Sir Kay already has the marks of fatigue on him and though he’s trying his best to put on a brave front, he’s sensed that he’s hopelessly outclassed. He charges you again, blade held back above his head. The feint is too obvious, too clumsy. The Count would’ve scolded him. You parry the overhead blow and then let the blades bind with the feint. He uses the opportunity to draw against the edge and come closer.

“I admit that I’ve no chance against you.” He says. “But please, Sir William, I must at least make it to the semifinals.”
“We’re playing sudden death.” You hiss. “My loss cannot happen here.”
“I’ve money on this match, I will split it with you.” He says, releasing the bind and aiming down at your leg. You catch the blow easily, and automatically shift into a disarming move which would have won the match right there, but at the last second restrain yourself.
“So do I.” You say. You exchange another flurry of blows and feel Sir Kay’s desperation in every hit. His eyes are wild like a frightened child’s and his forehead is shiny with sweat.
“Please I beg you.” He says, raising his sword again.
“I know what happened to you. I can help you, but not like this.”
He hesitates. You strike three quick blows, hip, chest and neck. It happens so fast that neither he nor the crowd understands what has happened until Sir Kay collapses to his knees. You hear the bell sound, indicating that the match is over and you reach over and bring Sir Kay to his feet.

The crowd, still a little confused, begins with scattered applause and then a full blown cheer.
“Come to Olmsville. I will have place for you there, I promise you.”
He looks incredulous and you wave to the crowd and take your leave. With his prodigious skill in commerce, he will be a worthy addition to your fief.

You watch the remaining matches, but the only ones of any interest are the ones involving Nightowl and Sir Ulrich. Sir Ulrich destroys Sir Keres and though his technique is eerily similar to the Count’s, his blows are much heavier. He actually breaks Sir Kere’s arm and the accounts of his previous matches are filled with stories of broken fingers, shattered collarbones and cracked femurs.

Nightowl is a different being entirely, his style of fighting is so completely unorthodox--he doesn’t even use a blade, only a shield--that you can’t really imagine how you would fight him. Thankfully you don’t have to. He quits the competition right after he gets to the semifinals (Stewart surmises that he was working the same plan as you and got paid off), which automatically pushes you into the final match.

Sir Ulrich fights the mysterious “Sir Nigel”, who reveals himself to be the son of the late Sir Nigel--a revelation which only serves to embarrass him--as Sir Ulrich, rather anticlimatically breaks his knee 10 seconds into the match.

Cont.
>>
>>2591306
With Sir Ulrich’s win, the final match will be you and him, three days hence. The match will go on until one of you is either knocked out or surrenders.

“We’ve already received the lump sum from Sir Ulrich’s father.” Says Stewart. He joins you at the table for lunch. You’re both back in the castle, resting before the big match. “But we’ll have to make it look good since you didn’t show off in the first match. If you had gone according to plan, the ones against Sir Ulrich would have bid more, and we could’ve raised more money. But nevermind, the amount I’ve raised should be enough. And if Sir Kay is as great as you say, then it will have made up for it.”

Stewart taps the table, giddy with the prospect of gold, of all that the future will bring. “My lord, why do you look so sullen? I thought you would be happy, we’re almost finished with this tedious business. After the birthday party, we can return home and you can be with your beloved. Isn’t that what you wanted?”
“Yes.”
“Then why do you look like someone just killed your dog?”
“Don’t pretend you don’t know, Stewart. You wanted me to stay in this castle, with Miriam. You would’ve have made me come here even if I didn’t meet with Sir Keres.”
He leans back and looks away. “Yes.”
“Why? Why when you knew how I felt about her?”
“...I wanted to change your mind.” He brushes a thumb over his lower lip. “My lord, Lady Ophelia is not good for you.” He says, softly.
You can feel a fire suddenly ignite in your blood. “Choose your next words very carefully Stewart.”
He shakes his head. “Can’t you see that you’re obsessed? Do you think that’s healthy?”
“It’s love.”
He sighs, as though you had said something incredibly childish. “Even if that were true--how do you know she feels the same way?”
“What are you saying?”
“Has she done anything to show you that she loves you beyond just her... own satisfaction?”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying, that for her part it is lust--not love. That her husband obviously couldn’t satisfy her, and she felt a kinship to you because--well, because you’re both of common origin, and you’re renowned, and while you’re nowhere near as handsome as I am, you’re no dog either.” He grins, trying to lighten the mood. You’re trying your best not to bash his teeth in. He’s basically calling Ophelia a whore. Your Ophelia.

Cont.
>>
>>2591311
“I don’t love anyone else.” You say, trying to maintain the strictest control.
“The point I’m trying to make my lord, is that perhaps it’s better if you were with some who loved you, regardless of your own feelings.”
“And I suppose this has nothing to do with the fact that marrying Lady Miriam would tie me to Lord Farkad?”
“It certainly doesn’t hurt. He has prospects my lord, I’ve heard rumors of a mine--”
“Listen to me very closely, Stewart. If you ever insult Lady Ophelia like this again, I...I’ll banish you, from Olmsville. And then I’ll break every bone in your body.” You stand, not waiting for a reply, and head for the garden to clear your head.

----

A day before the final match, Sir Ulrich decides to visit the castle, first to pay respects to Sir Keres (who’s shin and elbow he broke in the match) and then, to request a meeting with you.

>Refuse, Stewart told you to keep away from Ulrich so as to avoid any suspicion
>Accept, it’s probably just to wish you luck, no harm there
>>
>>2591314
>Smack yourself 5 times in the face for being such a moody faggot and falling in love with the first girl to give you any attention. She really is a old whore who wanted to cheat on here husband.

Then

>Accept, it’s probably just to wish you luck, no harm there
>>
>>2591314
>Refuse, Stewart told you to keep away from Ulrich so as to avoid any suspicion
>>
>>2591314
>Refuse.
Not because Stewart said so, but because we don't feel like it. Fuck that tool Ulrich. Who does he thinks he is, giving himself high airs beating weak girls and hurting our friend Keres.

Tomorrow, we will sweep the floor with him
>>
>>2591380
Supporting
>>
>>2591314
>>2591380
This.

Even if we don't have any control over it, it get ESPECIALLY annoying when this uncontrollable lust starts to risk interfere with our planning. And being on the outs with Stewart- AGAIN- who was the guy who CAME UP WITH THE PLAN IN THE FIRST PLACE TO HELP OUR GODDAMNED VILLAGE- endangers that.
>>
>>2591314
How did he get 'she's a whore' out of 'you don't know her'?

I'm starting to legit think that there is something mentally wrong with our MC that we can't really play around. Like, no memes. That he has an actual mental illness.

>Refuse.
>>
>>2591314
>>Refuse, Stewart told you to keep away from Ulrich so as to avoid any suspicion
Maybe have Stewart tell him as much, so he doesn't just think we're blowing him off. Even if we are. Just because we don't like him, doesn't mean we have to insult him.

>>2591380
Not this. Never this. Fuck this salty cur. Instead, clutch our necklace and think fondly of our sweet Ophelia.
>>
>>2591380
Support
>>
>>2591314
Dammit William. Steward almost got through to you.
Bros b4 hoes man. Steward is a bro, count is a bro. Ophelia is the definition of hoe.
>>
BTW, refuse. Do as Steward said.

>>2591507
Steward did say that she just wants to satisfy her lust.
>>
>>2591571
Yeah I went back and read that. He should have chosen his words a little bit more carefully.

She still a ho tho.
>>
You’re in no mood to entertain guests, least of all someone like Sir Ulrich. Stewart also told you to avoid him until the match, just to ensure that there’s no chance of any breaking from the plan. You’re still angry at Stewart for what he said, but nevertheless you’re not foolish enough to break his carefully laid plans for that.

You tell one of the servants that you’re not seeing visitors and she comes back a few minutes later confirming that Sir Ulrich has left--disappointed, but not insulted. You sleep uneasily that night, mostly because Stewarts words keep rolling in your head. You lie awake clutching the pendant to your neck and peering into it. There lies your beloved, sleeping peacefully in the sliver of ice. You wonder if she sees you in her matching pendant, whether she thinks of you, whether she misses you, ultimately, whether she loves you.

It is not lust. But you then must wonder why you put on your robes and pace the room. You were so absolutely certain. You could feel her heart beat in your palm. Yet, now that you think of it, wasn’t your very first encounter with Ophelia one for her own satisfaction? And when you were unable to provide that...she threw you out. And when the Count was sick, were her tears for him? She was scared, but was it because he was in danger?

You feel suddenly tired, fatigued. It comes on like a flash fever, the thoughts themselves seem to weigh down on you. You clutch the pendant and look into it again and a wave of pleasure and comfort wash over you. An opiate haze that seems to put all doubts to rest. You love her don’t you? Of course you do, what else matters? But how did she manage to wed Count Lazar? He doesn’t seem like the kind of man to marry someone he couldn’t satisfy, or marry just because of a pretty face. But when you look again at the perfect face in the ice, the tresses of gold on her porcelain cheek, the thoughts vanish again. You smile. You love her. Isn’t it just that simple?

“Sir William? What are you doing?”
You’re outside of your room, halfway up the stairs of the western tower. How did you get here? Lady Miriam is standing at the foot of the stairs. You snap the pendant shut and slip it into your shirt. “I...I couldn’t sleep and I somehow wound up here.”
“Oh, I see. Is everything OK?” She runs up the steps to examine your face. You note that she’s wearing her nightgown and she notices you noticing and binds the robes tighter around her. “Are you nervous about the tournament?”
“No. Well, a little. Much rides on its outcome.”
“Oh? Are you aiming for the title of Marshall as well?”
“What?” You frown. “What do you mean?”
“Did you not know? The one who wins the tournament is the favorite for the position of Marshall of the Realm. Of course that’s only if there’s a vacancy, but father says that Duke Fastbender is getting on in years and will soon retire and King Aldamar is looking for new candidates.”

Cont.
>>
>>2591873
“I see.” Why didn’t Stewart tell you? Was it a ploy, is he playing you? No, of course not. It was because it was something you didn’t need to know. A distraction. You rub your eyes. Stewart has been nothing but a friend to you, a wise councilor, and you’ve treated him only with disdain and derision. But why does he have to slight Ophelia? Your Ophelia. If he’s your friend shouldn’t he support you? It's not obsession. It's just love. He should understand that.
“Sir William? Are you really alright? You look pale. Do you want to sit down? Perhaps a glass of water? The kitchen is closed now but we can go up to the observatory.”

>You should head back to bed, you’ll need your rest
>You do feel kind of clouded, some water might help
>>
>>2590853
I know, but I was tired so I didn't try to think up a way to let her down gently.
>>
>>2591876
>You should head back to bed, you’ll need your rest
Apologize for the intrusion, and for making her worry.
>>
>>2591311
>>2591314
Laying it on too think there, I'm starting to think we should go with Miriam now.
>>
>>2591568
Now I think the proper term for a lady like her would be Thot.
>>
>>2591876
>>You do feel kind of clouded, some water might help
>>
>>2591876
>You do feel kind of clouded, some water might help
>>
I’m new is the pendent affecting us
>>
>>2592038
Maybe, should try taking it off when we bathe.
>>
>>2591876
>You do feel kind of clouded, some water might help
>>
>>2591876
>You do feel kind of clouded, some water might help

Even beyond the thot issue, just letting your head swirl won't do you much good. Been there, done that.
>>
>>2591876
>You do feel kind of clouded, some water might help
I don't think we should lose to Ulrich- now with the title up for grabs and the fact that he might try to fucking cripple us during the match. Stewart fucked up for not mentioning this in his explanation of the plan. We need to talk to him before the match, I don't know if it's viable to back-out or try to get a better offer by changing our mind near the zero hour.
>>
>>2592116
We could just not take a dive at all and beat Ulrich's fucking face in.
>>
>>2591882
This

>>2592116
If we get that title and job, we won't be able to develop our lands and our lands need some severe developing.
I don't think Steward messed up by not saying anything to us. Let's stick to the plan.
>>
>>2592138
>>2592148
>Sir Ulrich, rather anticlimatically breaks his knee 10 seconds into the match.
Thought he lost, or was it that Ulrich broke Nigels knee?
with an arrow?
>>
>>2591873
>Take off the fucking Pendant
>>
>>2592164
Ulrich is a violent dipshit who likes hurting people but I doubt he'll be able to maim us even if we deliberately lose to him.
>>
>>2592225
>Still don't get an answer.
Wat?
>>
>>2592164
>Ulrich broke Nigels knee
>>
>>2591876
>>You do feel kind of clouded, some water might help
>>
>>2592249
Yeah, I didn't actually catch your question when I answered.

Nigel got his shit kicked in by Ulrich.
>>
>>2592287
that was the unclear part and I wanted clarification.
danke.
>>
>>2592287
>>2592300
linked myself by mistake.
>>
>>2591314
>“Listen to me very closely, Stewart. If you ever insult Lady Ophelia like this again, I...I’ll banish you, from Olmsville. And then I’ll break every bone in your body.”
This is NOT a proportional response.

>>2591507
>I'm starting to legit think that there is something mentally wrong with our MC that we can't really play around. Like, no memes. That he has an actual mental illness.
Guys, we've literally seen a guy get decapitated and shrug it off.
I think there's a real chance we've been enchanted.
Like Ophelia wanted to sex the "hero" like the Count used to be, had a spell cast, got disappointed by our restraint, and upped the ante with the pendant, maybe even poisoning the Count to remove our objection?

>>2591873
>>2592038
>is the pendent affecting us
Sonuvacrap!

>>2592048
>try taking it off when we bathe.
This
>>
>>2592048
Oh, shit. Yeah we should take off that pendant.
>>
>>2591929
>>2592048
+1. Maybe we should talk to Stewart about it?

>>2591571
>>2592317
So what you're saying is Ophelia is a thot?
>>
>>2592317
Didn't WE buy her that pendant pair? One for us one for her? Or do you think she had planted that mysterious shopkeeper?
>>
>>2591386
>Tomorrow, we will sweep the floor with him.
You know that's not the plan, right?

But I'm saying this now:
Ulrich is going to try to push our shit in.
We are not, I repeat NOT, going to let him break a single fucking bone.
He paid for us to lose, not for the right to hobble us.
We'll fight to a standstill and "succumb to fatigue” while still fending off blows.
Because you know he'll try to hit us when we're down.

If anyone asks, we slept poorly the night before the match.
>>
>>2592347
>So what you're saying is Ophelia is a thot?
Worse. A potentially magical thot.

>>2592356
>Or do you think she had planted that mysterious shopkeeper?
You mean the one that showed up with the perfect item immediately?
Yeah.
Maybe.

Also, not totally suspicious of Ophelia.
But I'm 100% suspicious of our feelings for her.

Could be knife-ear work.
>>
>>2592317
Like I'm pragmatic i nthe sense I think we can somehow make it work with Miriam as our wife, and Ophelia as our mistress. Else she may be living on the streets if the count truly is dead.

Thing about most trophy wives is they know what they are for the most part, and they know they've got a good live, just needa give em some live and attention often enough that they don't go looking.
>>
>>2592380
Ah, the inevitable harem route
>>
>>2592380
Miriam might unironically commit Sudoku in that case
>>
>>2592429
Not entirely, a lot of high status men in the past had one public wife and one hidden mistress.
>>
>>2592357
>He paid for us to lose,
See that’s the part that concerns me- does he even know his father paid for us to lose?
>2591311
>“We’ve already received the lump sum from Sir Ulrich’s father.”
He may fight full tilt until we forfeit or get wounded.
>>
You feel fuzzy, like a fog has drifted into your mind. “Some water would be nice.” You say, rubbing the corners of your eyes.
“Come on, this way.” Lady Miriam grabs your hand and then, realizing the nature of the action releases it and quickly walks ahead. You climb the steps to a small room at the very top. It was probably once a watchtower, given its angle and viewpoint, but now it looks more like a young girl’s bedroom. There is a small spare cot by one corner and a bookcase and a table in front of it and an oillamp sitting on the table giving off soft light that is overshadowed by the moonlight coming from the window.

Lady Miriam tells you sit at the table and then goes to fetch a silver jug and some cups from her nightstand. By the window you can see another chair (which she drags over to sit with you once she’s done pouring the water) and a telescope pointed at the sky. It’s a clear night, perfect for stargazing. That’s probably why she was coming up here in the first place.

“Do you sleep here?”
She nods. “Sometimes. I know it’s a bit strange, but I like to come here when I can’t sleep. To get away from...everything.”
“No I understand completely.” Indeed if you didn’t have your training to fall back on you would have snapped by now. You finish your water and Lady Miriam moves to refill your glass but somehow manages to knock the jug over and spill water all over her nightgown and robes.
“Ah!” She covers herself with her hands and you turn away to protect her modesty. The water passes through the thin silk membranes and makes her clothing transparent. You grab one of the blankets on the bed, finding nothing better, and still without looking, hand it to her. Then you fix your gaze toward the wall. You can hear her slip out of her wet clothes and you wonder if you should leave--but that would require you to turn around.

“Lady Miriam, are you decent?” A pause.
“Yes.” She whispers. You turn around. She’s wrapped herself in the blanket. Her discarded clothes are on the floor. She’s nude underneath but you try not to think about it.
“Should I call for someone?”
“It’s alright.” She says. “I usually sleep like this anyway--i-in the springtime I mean, when it’s hot. Not all the time.” She seems to think that point is important.
“Right.” Silence. “Should I go?” More silence. You move towards the stairs.
“What am I supposed to do Sir William?” Her voice is suddenly weak, nearly broken.
“What do you mean?”
“I-I’m beginning to wish that I had never recovered...that I had never even heard of you.”
“I see.”
“No. I don’t mean that. I don’t, please believe me.” She grabs your hands. “But I don’t know what to do. I thought it would be enough to just...to know you--and I know what you said and I know that I’m being selfish, but I...I don’t know what to do.”

Cont.
>>
>>2592818
“You don’t know who it is you’ll be with.” You say, you stroke her cheek. “How can you be so sure you won’t be happy with him?” She turns away. Something is wrong. “Your suitor still hasn’t been decided yet right?”
She shakes her head.
“Really? Who then?”
“Sir Ulrich.” She says. “Of the Gelderlands.”
“What! But I thought he was courting your sister?”
“He is.” She says, and there is a black savagery in her voice, like the call of crows on a battlefield. “I am to be his mistress.” Your arms fall slack to her sides. “All for the good of the house.” She says, imitating her father. “All I am good for.” She sniffs and wipes her eyes. “Forgive me, Sir William, I should not burden you with my troubles. This was a mistake. Like so much else. I think you should go now.” Perhaps it’s best if you don’t involve yourself any further.

>Do as she says, leave her
>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details
>>
>>2592820
>>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details
>>
>>2592820
>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details
>>
>>2592820
>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details

I'm pretty sure we were taking the attitude of 'fuck 'im' anyway, right?
>>
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>>2592820
>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details.
>>
>>2592820
>>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details

Remember fellows, we can take the dive, take the money for our village, and still murder Ulrich another day.
>>
>>2592820
>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details

Yeah no way we're letting that woman-beating bastard get this girl.
>>
>>2592930
We can also get money another day and murder the bastard now.
>>
>>2592930
Not gonna lie. I half expect our village to have been run over by elves by the time we get back.
>>
>>2592958
I expect the count to be alive for when we get back and he's like "well I killed them all"
>>
>>2592940
Coin first, then murder.
That is how it's done.

>>2592958
>>2592958
>I half expect our village to have been run over by the time we get back.
That's when we take the $, Miriam, our badass skills, and run off towards adventure!
>>
>>2593013
well that too. If we have no village to return to... off to adventure?
>>
>>2592820
>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details
>>
>>2592820
>>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details
>>
>>2592940
There's only one correct answer:

RIP AND TEAR

First Ulrich, then the elves.
>>
>>2592820 you know I've been team Miriam for a while now but I'm beginning to suspect she is playing us as well. A wounded bird in need of protecting
>>
>>2593606
Not nessesarily a bad thing. Better than the other thot.
>>
>>2593606
I doubt it, aside from thay water being "spilled".

But always trust but verify before murdering.
>>
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By the way, kudos PeasantQM!

Sir Ulrich is obviously intended to be hated, a clear manipulation of player emotions, and yet I honestly cannot remember the last time I wanted to punch a fictional character in the face more, when they weren't portrayed by Wil Wheaton, that is.
>>
>>2592820
>Remain, comfort her and ask her for details
Ask her to show us her telescope
>>
>>2593709
Mabye we just break every bone in his body and concede the tourney to him after our match. That way we kill two birds with one stone.
>>
>>2593709
Oh comon we didn't even get to see him raep the girl yet.
>>
>>2594096
Or, one more mortal wound?
Can we shatter both his kidneys?
>>
Probably won't be able to update today, but I wanted to get your guys input on something.

I recently discovered akun and am wondering if I should transfer this quest there. Some advantages:

1. Akun has a live/follow system which would be good given my sporadic posting schedule
2. Akun has an edit function which would allow me to edit typos and other stuff after posting. I get really annoyed when I'm reading over old posts and see awkward phrasing or typos.
3. Akun has separate sheets where I could put all the character and fief information without having to post it every in-game month
4. Built-in archiving
5. Possible new players

Some disadvantages:

1. Seems to be filled with smut so not sure how appropriate it would be (this quest is strictly SFW)
2. The chat system doesn't really allow for extended discussion (I think the thread system is supposed to supplement that, but I believe it's bugged to hell)
3. Bugs and frequent downtime
4. Might lose some players here who really hate akun
5. Possible new players

I'm kind of on the fence on this. If I do transfer, I'd get a chance to edit the previous threads and polish them up a little. What do you guys think?

tl;dr: Akun, yea or nay?

>Yea
>Nay
>>
>>2594711
ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Im fine with akun cause I use both qst and akun on a daily basis. I dunno, you might not find a bigger following since you already started the story here, and people likely wont read the suptg even if you link it in the prologue or something.

I really dont care personally.
>>
>>2594711
I don't currently use akun, but would use it if you decided to transfer. I very much understand the benefits of doing so, and support your decision either way.
>>
>>2594748
If you are a prude, its probably best not to go for fear of cardiac arrest. Fucking cancer is what it is. qst is comparatively patrician. I will recommend some good stuff depending on your preferences.
>>
Calling it now, Ophelia is a succubus or some other sort of turbo-thot and has cast a spell on our asses. Should really see a priest and get William blessed one of these days.

>>2594711
>Nay
Personally I much prefer the /qst/ format, even if posting is sporadic and it's kinda clunky. Plus I don't really use Akun at all.
>>
>>2594748 if he transcribed the earlier chapters it might solve that issue. This was one of the problems with Maiden White since it was spread over three different boards
>>
>>2594711
>Nay
Don't use akun and I think I'll stay at /qst/
>>
>>2594711
Absolutely not.
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>>2594711
Nay, don’t sweat the typos QM- as for character and fief info, have you considered pastebin or google docs?
>>
>>2594711
I'm fine with either, but I don't currently use Akun, and would have to fix some stuff before I can use it again.
>>
>>2594711 personally I'm a big fan of Anon Kun I vote yay
>>
>>2594711
>Nay
you already throw waifus at us, it will become a smut related thread with the akun player base.
>>
>>2594711
I'd rather you didn't, but would follow if you chose to.
>>
>>2594711

This was also suggested >>2588965
>>
>>2595150
>he doesn't know its the exact same site
point at him and laugh
>>
>>2595150
>Fiction.Live
That's anonkun bro
>>
>>2595242
never been to it, don't intend to change that.
>>
>>2594711
Everything I've heard about Akun makes me think I would not like it.
I am mostly a filthy phoneposter and am concerned about running that site on my phone.

You WOULD be guaranteed more traffic and players.
Their quality and tolerance for sfw may vary.

I vote to stay here.
Typos ain't nuthin and, if you really wanted to, you could copy, paste, fix, and spam out all the previous posts into one thread as a Remastered Edition.
Or something.

If you go, I'd try to follow, but if you took another hiatus, I wouldn't wait or look for you there.
>>
>>2595250
I've never been to, or plan to go to, Cambodia or Campuchia either.
Still though.
>>
>>2595312
what?
>>
>>2595324
>Google Campuchia
>>
>>2594711
Ease of use for you might not translate to enjoyment of use, given what additional users would contribute. I'm rarely able to contribute, given my work schedule, but I respect the input I witness 4chan anons contributing.

Think carefully before you decide. You'll be losing more than you'll gain.
>>
>>2595956
Mabye its just late, but I expected you to teleport behind me after reading that.
>>
>>2595294
Same here.
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>>2596134
Understandable? I'm a little embarrassed, now. I don't think QM would be happy with the change, but he's got a right to it.

For what it's worth, I'm stuck with just reading when I can. I work at a restaurant on pretty hellish shifts, so I mostly just lurk. The story has been decent enough that I'd really miss knowing how it all might turn out
>>
>>2596134
How so?
>>
>>2594711
>>Nay
Nah Pez, I would prefer we do things on /qst/ but if you moved the quest I would do my best to continue being a player, I love this quest a lot.
>>
>>2594711
>Nay
pls no op
>>
>>2596270
Not that Anon and it didn't strike me until they said something, but try imagining the last two lines of post whispered by a skinny guy with a dark trench coat and katana:

>"Think carefully before you decide. You'll be losing more than you'll gain."

It's a valid point and well said, but the edginess is there, ready to be freed from the marble.
>>
>>2596265
fair enough.
>>
Consensus is nay, so I'll remain. I was on the fence about it anyway.

I'm going to try updating sometime in the evening today.
>>
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>>2596641
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>>2596641
>>2597261
kek. Thanks for the explanation.

>>2596842
What are your thoughts on democracy, Peasant?
>>
If Ulrich really takes Miriam as a mistress, what would he do to her? If the way he treats his servant is any indication--but no, he wouldn’t raise his hand against the daughter of another lord, would he? Maybe it’s only because his servant is a peasant that he takes such liberties. Maybe, all this will turn out for the best. After all, Sir Ulrich is from a good family, wealthy and handsome, and once you lose this tournament he will be well-positioned to take the appointment of Marshall of the Realm.

You open your mouth to tell Lady Miriam exactly this, but the words catch inside your throat like a misplaced fishbone and expire. It is a lie. You don’t know how you know it, but you do. Sir Ulrich will hurt her and because she is only the 2nd daughter and a mistress and because this is a political marriage, she will have no voice with which to protest.

“Lady Miriam.” You say. You sit by her on the cot while she weeps into the bedsheets.
“Please go away.” She says.
“I can’t do that.” You grab her arm and lift her up and embrace her. Her whole body shakes with sobs which you try to enfold and quiet. “Tell me what I can do to help.” You whisper. You can feel her breath on neck. Her auburn hair tickles your nose.
“Take me away. Take me with you when you go.”
You sigh. “I can’t do that.”
“Yes you can. I won’t ask for anything, I swear to you Sir William. I will live as a peasant, as your servant if you wish it, I will scrub the floors and make the bed and cook for you--though I don’t know how to cook, but I will learn. Please, I promise you I won’t make any trouble for you...or anyone.”
“Think about what you’re saying. There are alternatives. I can speak to your father, you need not marry Sir Ulrich.”
“As well him as another!” She says. “What does it matter who it is, if it is not you!” She peels herself away from you, clutching the blanket tighter about her nude form.
“My lady, you think too highly of me, your ideas of me have been corrupted by rumor and gossip. I am not the hero you believe me to be. I am a…” Fraud. But you can’t say it. Even now you cling to the fable so that you can make it true. To utter it, would in a way, destroy all the work you’ve done till now.
“I know.” She says.
“What?”

Cont.
>>
>>2598694
“I know.” Her voice rises, more certain. “I know that the stories are exaggerations. Maybe even false. That is not why I...you changed yourself to bear what fate alloted you.” She crawls over and touches your cheeks. “I told you at the ball, you were very different from what I expected. I thought you would be uncouth and common and vulgar, but you were not. And I marveled. You see Sir William, what inspired me was not the stories, but your fulfillment of them--the very idea of you, the change in you as you filled the shoes fate allotted you.” She smiles and for the briefest of moments, to your own horror, an impulse to grab her neck and place your lips upon hers overtakes you like a seizure, but in that same moment she releases you and moves back. A fresh wave of sweat crowns your brow.

She traces her fingers over the wrinkled scar on her arm. “You saved me Sir William, just your very existence. I thought that if a peasant could become a noble, I could defeat my sickness. I know it is a childish, naive way of thinking, but it gave me strength. And then when I finally met you at the ball, well, any girl would’ve fallen for you.”
“I’m sorry Lady Miriam, but I…”
“Please don’t say it. I know it and I’ve resolved myself. It is enough to be near you, to see you, to hear your voice. That’s all I ask. So take me with you, I beg you.” She grabs your hands.

>Refuse, if you took her you’d anger both her father and Ulrich’s family
>Accept. You can’t leave her with Ulrich, no matter the consequence
>>
>>2598699
Accept. Best (or at least better) girl route full steam ahead!
>>
>>2598699
>>Accept. You can’t leave her with Ulrich, no matter the consequence
>>
>>2598699
>Accept. You can’t leave her with Ulrich, no matter the consequence
>>
>>2598699
>>Refuse, if you took her you’d anger both her father and Ulrich’s family

Woman, run away on your own
>>
>>2598699
>Accept. You can’t leave her with Ulrich, no matter the consequence
Try and wisk her away without them knowing.....

Would this go against what the Stewart said not to interact with Ulrich?
Can we have her run away from home and meet us at the end of the town or forest when we leave?
We really need to talk to Stewie.
>>
>>2598785
It be great if we could have her convice everyone that she ran away from home, and showed up at our place a few weeks later.

Maybe we can hire that night-owl fella to lend a hand.
>>
If we keep her in the village and away from the castle it should be fine.
Cause if her dad starts offering a higher and higher bounty then our new potential hire might turn on us for the money
>>
>>2598699
>Accept. You can’t leave her with Ulrich, no matter the consequence

"What you say is true I changed myself to fit the shoes fate allotted for me. Just as you must now change yourself to slip into new shoes and the new fate that shall be allotted for you. It's up to you to write the new story of how the rest of your life goes and who you are going to be. Spend every day trying to fit the role you've set out for yourself and for your happiness. Happiness is a habit. Never live for someone else, Miriam."

>>2598786
>Try and wisk her away without them knowing.....
AFTER securing the gold

>Can we have her run away from home and meet us at the end of the town or forest when we leave?
>We really need to talk to Stewie.
>>2598789
>It be great if we could have her convice everyone that she ran away from home, and showed up at our place a few weeks later.
>>2598802
>If we keep her in the village and away from the castle it should be fine.

All this.
>>
>>2598699
>>Accept. You can’t leave her with Ulrich, no matter the consequence
this arc most definitely has a terribly tragic Shakespearian ending.
>>
>>2598843
Obviously, but I doubt qm will let us get away with it unless........
>>
>>2598699
>>Refuse, if you took her you’d anger both her father and Ulrich’s family
>>
>>2598699
>Accept. You can’t leave her with Ulrich, no matter the consequence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbsuAbTTsV8
>>
>>2598699
>Accept. You can’t leave her with Ulrich, no matter the consequence
Well if we’re going down the path that’s guaranteed to piss off Ulrich and his family, I say we take the lump sum payment we already received and bet it on us winning. Worse case we return the initial payment with a portion of the prize and earnings.
>>
>>2598699
>take her away.

And take that fucking necklace off. Freaking succubus thot BEGONE PLEASE.
>>
>>2599661
In character we have to work up to it. The fact that there was even a flash of affection for Miriam is a major milestone.
>>
>>2599670
>a flash of affection for Miriam
>>2598699
>an impulse to grab her neck and place your lips upon hers overtakes you like a seizure
Ah yes!
A chink in the tenacious armor of our villainous heart!
>>
>>2599200
>unless
Unless what damnit?
We need a solid plan.
>>
>>2599776
I think we should all just agree that William just needs to get laid.
I mean, do we even know if he's a virgin or not?
>>
>>2599825
He's a peasant, does livestock count?
>>
>>2599645
I like this plan, maybe we can convince some of the other lords to give us money in advance and than bet in on ourselves. Pay all the lords back than leave. Also, why can't we just offer to marry Miriam? Go to her father and ask him for her hand in marriage. Than on her coming of age we propose. If not than we can have her as our mistress until we find out how much of a thot Opelia is. If we win we'll be Marshal and he'll have to say yes.
>>
>>2600211
We could offer to marry Miriam, hypothetically, except our character is madly in love with Ophelia and doesn't want to romance this innocent young girl who he feels nothing for.
>>
>Accept to try to make her not marry Ulricht
I believe that we should told both sisters and their father (probably the mother too so she can´t help us convince the patriarch of the family) about Ulricht behavioral problems. Even if this is a political marriage, wedding their children to a potential abuser might be to much. I might be useful for us to get the testimony of the maid about that.
If push comes to shove, we can tell them about the elves, and how he coul gain preige by putting a few pointy-eared heads in spikes. Eithe that, or we could promise to win the tournament and marry Miriam in exchange of some gold to recruit mercenaries for the village. Try to make it look like we are reveling important information to the father, so he feels indebted to us.
We must play this smart boys. Simply running away in a heap of romanticism would put us both to misery, make Steward really angry at us and dom our village.
First we brng the sisters and her mother into the fold about Sir Ulrich and then we told them about our real reasons to be in this tournament. Who knows, perhaps he father knowing that Sir Ulrich ha paid to make us fall makes him lose his respect of him.
>>
>>2599645
>>2600211
Did you forget that we can't bet on ourself?
>>
>>2600322
Can Stewart bet on us?
>>
>>2600341
Nope, iirc. Steward went over it when he first told us about his plan.
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>>2600354
Fuck, there goes my reason for winning. Maybe we can get Kay in on this?
>>
>>2600262
I believe that we should told both sisters and their mother, so she can help us convince the patriarch of the family, about Ulrich's behavioral problems.
Agreed, but only if we can do it BEFORE we lose in the fight.
Afterwards would be dismissed as sour grapes and only weaken our position.

>It might be useful for us to get the testimony of the servant girl about that.
Unlikely to happen, but a good idea.

>we can tell them about the elves
Horrifyingly bad idea.

>he coul gain prestige by putting a few pointy-eared heads in spikes
Or they could kill us all.

>we could promise to win the tournament and marry Miriam in exchange of some gold to recruit mercenaries for the village.
BEST PLAN.
Our treacherous heart would never allow it though.

>Simply running away in a heap of romanticism would put us both to misery, make Steward really angry at us and doom our village.
Agreed 100%.
Village/lordship responsibilities comes first.

>The father knowing that Sir Ulrich has paid to make us fall makes him lose his respect of him.
Maybe, but we took the money.
We'd have to really play up the "I can't go through with it." aspect.

Telling Miriam's family about Ulrich Von Lickmuhtaint seems like the best plan.
Whatever we do, we need to run the plan past Stewart before acting.
He might like the idea?

If the Father or family don't believe us or don't care, I say we apologize for disturbing them, lose the fight, take the money, and buy a large trunk or veiled "servant girl" and go home quickly and quietly.
>>
It would be easy to a turn away now and leave her to this fate. For you owe her exactly nothing. Not a single thing. Turn now and forget her.

You cannot. The Count and his sacrifice and your impotence in preventing it, is still fresh, a scab in your mind unhealed. You had no choice then, you have one now and still will you run? Even if you don’t love her (and here you’re reminded of the momentary impulse to kiss her) will you abandon another person in need? You squeeze her hands.

“Very well, Lady Miriam. Let me talk to my steward. I give you my word you will not be married to Sir Ulrich or anyone else you do not desire.”
Fresh sobs break upon her chest and you hold her as she exhausts her joy, the purity too intense to be contained. She becomes exhausted herself by the release. You lay her to bed and put the blankets around her. Her eyes are half-lidded, still wet with her tears, but she is smiling and peace like the sounds of dawn all about her. She grabs your hand and draws you close.
“Sir William, I thank whatever gods may be I was born in this life, to meet you and to bear witness.” She pecks your cheek and giggles and you lay her softly down again. It pains you to look at her for the desire to love her and the inability to do so clashes so severely in your soul.

“You must not depend upon me, my lady.” You say. “For if we do this, your life will change irrevocably and you must be ready for it. I have heard that all life is habit, happiness too. We are our habits, what we toil toward daily. So ask yourself what you would be Lady Miriam, choose it for yourself and do not live for another.” Hypocrisy! Do you not remember the sweat and blood you shed daily, the muscles in taut exertion for the one you love so far away? Would you not, even now, break again just to hold her? For whom do you live? For whom have you changed? You close your eyes and stand and leave her softly sliding into sleep before you plunge again into a deeper lie.

Cont.
>>
>>2600875
You find Stewart waiting for you at the foot of the stairs. “Did you consummate?” He asks.
“What?”
“Judging by the look on your face, you either shot too fast or didn’t nock the arrow”
“I don’t have time for your jokes, Stewart, we need to talk.” You grab his shoulder and he follows you inside your room.
“We can’t bring her with us.” He says, the moment your seated.
“Why is it that I’m always the last one to know anything?” At this point you’re not even surprised.
“I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to you to get distracted.”
“I already promised her I would help her.”
“I knew you would.” Stewart twists his bracelet about his hand, adjusting it and staring at it a long moment. “You must marry her then.”
“Who? Lady Miriam? I doubt her father would--”
“No, no." He rubs his head. "As much as I’d like that, for your sake and for hers, it could never happen. Her father will not give her hand to you, the very idea disgusts him. You would have to take her by force, and then you would be labeled criminal.”
“What if I were to win the tournament? I would be a candidate for Marshall then, that renown is worth something.”
“We’ve already accepted the terms with Ulrich’s father. Even as we speak an ox-cart full of silver and wheat rides to Olmsville. There are worse things in the world than Lord Farkad’s wrath, believe me.”
“What then? I know you have a plan.”
He nods, staring at the floor in front of him. You can almost hear the gears whir inside his head. “If we take Lady Miriam by force, we incur the wrath of both the Farkad house and the Gelderlands. If you try to marry her you will be denied because her father will not allow it. If you win the tournament, we lose our money and break our oaths. Our hands are bound.”
“So it’s hopeless.”
“No. There is a free agent in all this.”
“Who?”
A pause, a long thought resolving itself within him. “Lady Miriam herself. She will run away of her own free will--such things are not uncommon--and we will help her, in secret, and bring her to Olmsville.”
You scoff. There’s a glaring hole in this plan. “And when they find out? They will come for her and think I have taken her for my own.”
He pinches his nose and looks up at you, meeting your eyes directly. “Lady Ophelia.” He says. Thrill like lightning, through your spine.
“What?”
“You will marry Lady Ophelia.”

Cont.
>>
>>2600886
He looks back to the floor, as though all his machinations were carved there on the wood. “That will remove any suspicion of wrongdoing. It will appear as though Lady Miriam joined you of her own accord and that you merely extended your protection.” He nods, slowly and heavily. The logic of the plan overcoming even his own preference. “The law would be on your side. They couldn’t say that you were aiming to wed Lady Miriam to improve your station. And neither Sir Ulrich nor Lord Farkad could make any claim on her, so long as she chose to remain in your care.” Flawless. Perfect. Every loose end tied up neatly. You marvel at his cunning. Yet the genius himself sits bowled over, clutching his head, utterly defeated.

----

You arrive early to the Colosseum, well before the match, when the stands are clear and the arena only full of sand. As you passed through the streets, little boys ran up to you and asked you if you could really cut a horse with one blow, told you that they admired you, they wanted to be you when they reached manhood, they wanted to follow you. Old ladies whose sight had long failed them, touched your cheek and blessed you. Young peasant girls and young men, nearly prostrated themselves to the earth when they saw you, as though you were not mortal but the avatar of a living god and when you held their shoulders and raised them, they wept to look at you.

Now Lady Miriam’s words catch up to you. Your good fortune is not enough to warrant this kind of worship. Nor even the stories of you. What then inspires them? It is the way you walk and bear yourself; the speech you have spent long hours perfecting. The martial skill that was handed down to you from a more worthy source. And in their eyes you see the expectation of further greatness and in their souls, the unsung promise to be fulfilled. How far can one of their own go?

This must be answered.

Sir Ulrich of the Gelderlands, is alone in the center of the arena. He swings his blade, real iron, in the various forms, painfully slow, fluid and fast, then slow again. He sees you and he sheaths his sword and approaches.
“Sir Ulrich. How do you do?” You say.
“I am well.” He says. “We are of like minds, it seems.”
“Are we?” You say, quietly.
“We both wanted to feel the sand before the match.” He kneels and closes his fist over a clump of earth and lets it fall between his fingers. “Are you looking forward to our fight?”
“I am. It will be a good one, I think.”
He scoffs. “I doubt it.” He rises and claps the sand away. “I know about the deal.”
No surprise there, Stewart already told you Ulrich might know. He looks away toward the hill, where your fight will take place this afternoon.
“I expected as much from my father--his pragmatism often outweighs any sense of honor--but not from you.”

>He doesn’t even know you
>It’s just business, honor doesn’t buy food
>>
>>2600896
Just ignore it, he doesn't even know you
>>
>>2600896
>Ignore him, your path is beyond the petty duels for glory.
>>
>>2600896
>Do you want me to fight my best? Okay then. Swear, in front of the whole stadium, that you will deliver a sum equal to what your father has given me if I happen to beat you, as a concession for my "lower" upbringing or whatever shit excuse you manage to scrounge up.

I win, you get to claim you personally end me the gold your father gave me. I lose, and I still receive your father´s gold for losing. And you get the fight of your life, assuming you still got one once I finish with you.

So, are you gonna bark, or are you gonna bite little puppy?
>>
>>2601090
Mess up the greentext. Basically, we promise him to fight our best if he promises us in front of the whole crowd that he will give us the golf if we win, owing to our lower breed.

No matter how it goes, we get the gold (as he can claim the gold his father send us was his the whole time), and perhaps a bit of prestige. And he gets the fight he wants.

Perhaps change the wording, but we need something that really gets to his pride.
>>
>>2600896
>>It’s just business, honor doesn’t buy food
He can think of us what he will, but we are burdened with the responsibility of nobility, and our people must be put before our pride. We're happy to lose, if it means victory at home, where it counts most.
>>
>>2601144
Speaking of that, poor main character. After marrying the countess he’ll have even more people to look out for. And even mor dreaded political intrigue if that stupid succubus doesn’t kill him the stress will.
>>
>>2601106
Guys, shouldn´t we try to bait him? We have much to gain here.
>>
>>2600896
>>He doesn’t even know you
"With respect, there is no higher honor than respecting the duties and responsibilities of lordship.
"My land desperately requires these funds.
"If you, great sir, could find a way to guarantee that my land would benefit equally from my winning as it would from the current arrangement, I would fight you to my greatest skill.
"If you're not capable of ensuring such a thing, I would understand.
"After all, you are not your father.
"Either way, I will make the fight close, leaving us both with some dignity."

>>2601106
>Perhaps change the wording, but we need something that really gets to his pride.
Like thus?
>>
>>2601188
+1
>Like thus?
Sounds like it.
>>
>>2601188
I agree with this but I don’t think we should say the part about leaving the fight close. However small there is still a chance of defeat. Nothing is impossible, shit happens so we shouldn’t say unnecessary things.
>>
>>2601188
ill back this.
>>
>>2601188
Backing
>>
This is going sideways, I wanted to hire night owl to help "kidnap" (escort that Miriam pays) her and bring her to our town. That way it would be harder for them to hire him and bring him back since it risks harming his reputation.
>>
>>2601401
We'd need someone reputable. Wouldn't want them taking extra liberties with her after all.
>>
>>2601407
I'm not gonna say anymore since it might give some "bad ideas" for the quest.
>>
>>2601370
Fair point.
I mainly just wanted to correct him on doubting it will be a good match while also outright stating that we are in control of how close it will be, for extra injury to his pride to take the bait.

Honestly, I doubt he's capable of assuring us that we'll get paid.
We can't trust this abusive louse at his word, betting on oneself is disallowed, and anything public risks scandal.
I don't know what he could offer, but at least we can throw his powerless lack of options in his face.

"What if I give you my word as a Gelderlander?"
"No good. I've met too many Gelds."
>>
We already made our oaths. It would be more dishonest to break them than to deliberately lose the match.
We need gold more than they do. They need the title of Marshall more than we do. It's a simple and straightforward deal. Let's not try to convolute it further.
There's also the case of Ulrich not being a slouch either, maybe we won't even need to fake our defeat and will lose legitimately.

If he really needs to defend his honor, we can have a serious match after the tournament. Heck, since it would be after the official event maybe if we play our cards right we'd be able to place bets and win some more money.
>>
>>2601584
>There's also the case of Ulrich not being a slouch either, maybe we won't even need to fake our defeat and will lose legitimately.
Good point.
Again: we will NOT allow him to break a single bone.
Fuck that.

>If he really needs to defend his honor, we can have a serious match after the tournament. Heck, since it would be after the official event maybe if we play our cards right we'd be able to place bets and win some more money.
I like this idea.
Good distraction for Miriam to slip away while we have an airtight alibi too.
>>
Looks like the consensus is to convince Sir Ulrich to back up his words with money.

Going with this >>2601188 plus a few modifications.

In a separate matter, I've begun the task of editing/rewriting the past three threads (which I plan to post as a pdf later). The first thread alone is over 20k words so don't expect this anytime soon, but I will fix all the typos, improve the prose and dialogue as much as I can and add some more images for flavor. The overall plot will remain the same, so you won't miss anything if you've been following along, it's just a service for any new players (current and future).

I'll also be taking pics (of the characters, locations etc.) for pdf, so post em if you got em.
>>
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>>2601736
>I'll also be taking pics (of the characters, locations etc.) for pdf, so post em if you got em.
>>
>>2601736 such a tragedy that our Practice Sword snapped in two and the broken end accidentally impaled his neck
>>
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>>2601756
>>
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>>2601766 I don't have many noble women for some reason I need to correct this mistake
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I get the horrible feeling that this will all blow up in some bad way. I don't know how, but I just feel it.

No plan survives contact with the enemy, after all.
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>>2601827
what if we get our favorite bro to start a separate bet on the outcome of his own previous one. Could this circumvent the rule? Technically you’re not betting on yourself here but whether or not one other bet won or loss.
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>>2601844
This is how housing markets crash.
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>>2601844
Bets on bets should not be a thing.
Just sayin'.
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>>2601827
OP has spoon-fed us sorrow, tragedy, and worst waifus.

Surely, doom awaits us.
Stride the Noble Path, protect Best Girl, and defend our land.
Meet our doom with open eyes and the honor of doing what's right.

And then crush inevitable doom and do the impossible.
Rewrite our story and don the shoes of victory.
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>>2602107
Indeed let's be the man the count wanted us to be and write our own destiny.
>>
You feel no wound from his remark. Honor does not weigh as much gold. It is the luxury of men like Sir Ulrich, men whose lives are so filled with excess that they must make up things to want.
“You and I are not the same Sir Ulrich.” You say. “To be blunt, I cannot afford the kind of honor you speak of.”
“Is it truly so, or is it a façade to hide your cowardice? No honor, indeed.”
Still, his words do not touch you. You were destroyed over and over by the Count, rebuilt cell by cell and even then you never once bested him in a duel. This too was a part of the Count’s artful tutelage, for now you have no pride to prick.

“I am a lord, Sir Ulrich. My honor is first in the duties and responsibilities of lordship. My land and my people require these funds. Coward or no, I will secure them. There’s no more to it than that.” You’ve said your peace, it’s time to go.
“Wait.” Ulrich grabs your shoulder and turns you again. “You are right. I was born into everything I have, wealth, skill, looks; the gods were generous in my creation.” He grimaces and clenches his jaw as though you had kicked him in the shin. Not a shred of arrogance in the admission, only pain. “Men see me and think I have earned nothing. And they are right. It is a curious, maddening impotence, Sir William—power without freedom.” He searches your face; he wants you to understand—but you cannot reciprocate. He looks away. “That is why I despise you.” He shoves you back and his hand reaches down for his sword but does not draw it. “The limited exercises of my power no longer satisfy me. I must earn something for myself.”

“I’m sorry, but the terms have already been set.” You are done. You turn and go.
“I know it.” He says, quietly. “But I also know that Lady Miriam is in love with you.” You stop. “Did you think I wanted her because of her looks?” He laughs like a child, stomach-clutching laughter. “No, I knew from the moment you danced with her at the ball.”
“You’re mistaken.” A hopeless bluff.
“You will not have time to carry out whatever you’re plotting. Did you think I would proposition her at the coming-of-age? Ha! There’s no need for ceremony when taking a whore. Once I win this tournament, I will go to Lord Farkad and I will drag little Mary back to Gelderland, my home.” His voice lowers to a whisper. “And then I will break her.”
You can feel blood in your palm where the nails have cut into the flesh. If his skin were flayed and his organs opened to the carrion birds, his eyes and mouth filled with maggots and sewed shut, his testicles twisted into knots and his toenails levered off—still that pain would pale to what you wish to inflict upon him now. Yet by the routines embedded into you by the Count, by Stewart, you remain calm and cold.
“She has nothing to do with this.”
He smiles; a revolting perfection. “So you love her too.” He says. “I thought so.”

Cont.
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>>2602956
“Please, listen to me, Sir Ulrich—“
“No, no. No, no.” He wags his finger. “We’ve come too far now, Sir William. No more words. We both know what must be done. Go to your servant now and tell him to cancel the deal. We will have our fight, clear and free, winner take all. If you win, you get the girl and the gold. If you lose, you lose everything—as it should be.”
“You think her father will stand for this?”
“Her father will lick my shoes if it puts him in the good graces of the king. You think I fear men like him? Do not weasel from this, Sir William.” He takes a step forward. “Do you not see?” He squints his eyes and turns his head slightly, an expression of madness that somehow does not destroy his beauty. “This is fate. Our lives are not our own, Sir William—we are determined by the whims of gods and they have brought us here, to this moment and I will not have you taint it with petty mortal commerce. Fail to break the deal, lose? Yes, you’ll have your gold but I will take the woman you love and destroy her.”

He’s wrong of course, you don’t love Lady Miriam. But you’ve made promises. Calculations progress unbidden in your brain. The prospect of victory against Sir Ulrich is an uncertain one. His technique is not unlike your own and you suspect he’s been holding back in the other matches, as you have.

On the one hand, an innocent girl but on the other, the duty to your people. What is the responsibility of a lord? What is the noble thing to do?

>Accept. Winner takes all. You just have to win.
>Refuse. You’ll not risk your people’s well-being for a girl
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>>2602961
>>Refuse. You’ll not risk your people’s well-being for a girl
>>
>>2601756 I refer to this plan but obviously don't tell him that
>>2602961 I'll do it
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>>2602961
>>Accept. Winner takes all. You just have to win.
>>
>>2602961
>Refuse. You’ll not risk your people’s well-being for a girl
We cant bet our village survival in a match against this homicidal maniac
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>>2602107
>Stride the Noble Path, protect Best Girl, and defend our land.
Who is best girl, from our perspective or the MC's?

>>2602956
>“I know it.” He says, quietly. “But I also know that Lady Miriam is in love with you.” You stop. “Did you think I wanted her because of her looks?” He laughs like a child, stomach-clutching laughter. “No, I knew from the moment you danced with her at the ball.”
>Ulrich wanted Miriam to cuck the MC.
>You can feel blood in your palm where the nails have cut into the flesh. If his skin were flayed and his organs opened to the carrion birds, his eyes and mouth filled with maggots and sewed shut, his testicles twisted into knots and his toenails levered off—still that pain would pale to what you wish to inflict upon him now. Yet by the routines embedded into you by the Count, by Stewart, you remain calm and cold.
>How Arthur feels.

>>2602961
>>Accept. Winner takes all. You just have to win.
If we don't then we're probably stuck with Ophelia, left to the mercy of her witchery.
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>>2602983
>>2602961 I'm changing my vote to refuse. We can kill him later
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>>2603000
>>2602988
>>2602961
Accept
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>>2602961
>Accept. Winner takes all. You just have to win.
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>>2602961
>Accept

I suggest we search for that monster hunter, see if he can teach us something about Ulrich style and perhaps even show us some tricks of his own.
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>>2602961
>Channel Karl Franz, Elector Count of Reikland, Prince of Altdorf and destroyer of heathens

Kill the witch, Purge this fool, rule our lands
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>>2602961
>Accept. Winner takes all. You just have to win.
>>
So, just to make certain: We can't just say 'okay', and then set up someone friendly to us yet technically third-party to make a bet on us losing to cover our asses?
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Rolled 68 (1d100)

>>2602961
>>Accept. Winner takes all. You just have to win.
Victory is a habit.
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>>2603223
68% is still a D-, right?
Victory!
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>>2602961
>Accept.

Kill him at night, before the duel even begins. He’s not giving you much option here. Blame it on someone one else who would have motive and an opportunity greater than you.
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How do we even know that he'll hold up his end of the deal if we win?
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>>2603392
>How do we even know that he'll hold up his end of the deal if we win?
THIS.

I didn't realize when he said to have Stewart break the deal, he wasn't establishing a new one.

ONLY ACCEPT IF THE NEW DEAL IS IRONCLAD.
I assumed that was a given, but, oops.
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>>2603329
>Kill him at night, before the duel even begins. He’s not giving you much option here. Blame it on someone one else who would have motive and an opportunity greater than you.
You never watch true crime stories, do you?
Every murderer thinks "Oh I can just do x, y, and z and Nobody Will Know.", forgetting about the rest of the alphabet.
The whole "Wasn't Me" Shaggy routine only works if you're of the highest rank.
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>>2603437
+1
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>>2602961
>Accept. Winner takes all babiii
>>
“I don’t believe in fate. But if you want a fight and if you’re willing to hurt the innocent for the sake of your pride—I will not say, honor, there is no honor in this—then I will fight you.
“Believe it or not, Sir William, it is destiny all the same. Go now and tell your steward the news.”
“How do I know you will keep your end of the bargain? The gold, if I win. Lady Miriam’s freedom.”
He fetches a folded piece of parchment from his breast pocket and presents it to you. A deed, a title to a modest parcel of land, whose value is as at least as great as the gold.
“If I fail my duty, present that deed to the king and the land is yours. It is my own holding and worth more than whatever my father offered you. Otherwise, what my father has already sent you will be yours to keep and I will go to Lord Farkad this very day and tell him I will not take his daughter—and if you wish it, I will put in a word for you. All that, if you win.”
You read through the title one more time, making sure of its authenticity. Ulrich may be a scoundrel but he doesn’t seem like the kind of man to fabricate a thing like this. “Very well. I accept these terms. I will see you in the field.” It won’t be enough to merely win, you need break something, a bone, a nose, an organ.
“Now I look forward to it.” He says and laughs again.

---
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>>2603814

The stadium is packed, every man in the town must be here. So much the more is the silence surprising, heavy. The conversation with Stewart was a short one. You could tell he was angry, but to his credit he wasted no time berating you. He sent out an envoy to Sir Ulrich’s father immediately and began preparations to remove Lady Miriam, just in case Sir Ulrich decided he was treacherous after all.
Fifteen steps to the mound. Sir Ulrich is already there. Not even the sound of breath in the air, no cheering. This is a sacred thing. You unsheathe the wooden sword from where it is dug in the sand. Sir Ulrich sweeps his hand across the body of his blade. It is a ritual for him, his eyes are closed, his lips muttering prayers to the gods that love him. He takes a neutral stance, betraying no intent.

[Dueling Rules]
Duels proceed in rounds. A round consists of 2 exchanges. The Duel ends when either party gives up or is unable to continue due to injury.
Both players start with 5 STA, you spend STA and add it as a modifier to your rolls. You can also negate an injury by spending 2 STA. You restore 1 STA at the end of every round. Nothing happens if your STA goes to zero.
At the beginning of the duel, you determine your intent. I will roll a 1d20 to determine the enemy’s intent. The attacker takes initiative, if both duelists attack, the winner takes initiative. Initiative carries over round to round.
Only the duelist with initiative can attack, the other must defend. In either case, you choose an appropriate maneuver, roll 3 1d20s against a known DC and count successes. 2+ successes are needed.
On a successful attack, you either deal an injury or reduce enemy STA. On a successful defense you gain the initiative. Injuries last the whole duel and will have debilitating effects. Upon sustaining an injury there is a 1 in 6 chance of immediate loss. This increases by 1 every time a minor injury is sustained.
[End of Rules]

Choose your intent:

>You'll attack and take the initiative
>Defend for now, feel him out

Enemy intent: Unknown
>>
He's gone well mad.
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>>2603816
Shit, we couldn´t meet Nightowl before? Damm.

You know what? I would rather attack now and try for a quick injury, see if we can stack the deck in our favor.

Also, can we put STA behind our attacks after they are declared and rolled?
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>>2603822
No, you decide on STA first, then roll.
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>>2603816
>>Defend for now, feel him out
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>>2603816
>You'll attack and take the initiative
with 0 STA preferably

> Upon sustaining an injury there is a 1 in 6 chance of immediate loss.
holy shit
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>>2603816
>>You'll attack and take the initiative
I'd recommend spending 1 STA too.
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>>2603816
>At the beginning of the duel, you determine your intent. I will roll a 1d20 to determine the enemy’s intent. The attacker takes initiative, if both duelists attack, the winner takes initiative. Initiative carries over round to round.
What happens if both defend?
>On a successful attack, you either deal an injury or reduce enemy STA. On a successful defense you gain the initiative. Injuries last the whole duel and will have debilitating effects. Upon sustaining an injury there is a 1 in 6 chance of immediate loss. This increases by 1 every time a minor injury is sustained.
Why would someone choose to defend first? Doesn't attacking offer more rewards? Gaining the initiative seems to be both sides' goals. It doesn’t mention if the DC for attacking or defending is different either.
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>>2603816
>defend first look to parry.

Kick his chins constantly whenever you can. Just for the lols.
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>>2603864
*shins. I hope we out class him so we can just keep lightly kicking him in the shins in the same spot over and over and over.
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>>2603861
If both parties defend, you circle and go for intent again.

Attacking offers more rewards, but also more risk. Furthermore you can only attack when you have the initiative, or the initiative is up for grabs.
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>>2603816
>You'll attack and take the initiative
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>>2603816
GUYS GUYS WE NEED BATTLE MUSIC!!
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>>2603816
>You'll attack and take the initiative.
>>
We should make him waste his STA points,
i feel he will go for +1 STA on his attacks given how he goes for heavy blows also if he goes retard mode he will be wasting them just to hit us , that's atleast feeling a get from him.
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>>2603871
>Attacking offers more rewards, but also more risk. Furthermore you can only attack when you have the initiative, or the initiative is up for grabs.
>>2603816
>On a successful attack, you either deal an injury or reduce enemy STA. On a successful defense you gain the initiative.
Right, but from the description you can only deal an injury or reduce enemy STA if you're attacking,
>Only the duelist with initiative can attack, the other must defend.
and if you lose the initiative you're defending anyways.

>>2603871
>If both parties defend, you circle and go for intent again.
What happens if both parties keep going for defend? What's to keep both sides from say, doing nothing but circling each other for 10 rounds?
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>>2603880
>What happens if both parties keep going for defend?
Impossible. Intent of your opponent is determined by dice. There's always a probability he'll attack.

>>2603880
>Right, but from the description you can only deal an injury or reduce enemy STA if you're attacking,
In general, yes. There exceptions, e.g, a counterblow. Note also that a failed attack immediately loses the initiative.
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>>2603883
Will we know types of attack and methods of defence after the initiative and intent are decided¿
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>>2603816
>>Defend for now, feel him out
>>2603878
I concur, but if we do that then it would be better to go on the defensive to drain his stamina before going on the offensive.

>>2603883
>Impossible. Intent of your opponent is determined by dice. There's always a probability he'll attack.
True, that was a hypothetical. So players are free to keep going for defense as the tempo will always be kept moving.
>>2603883
>Note also that a failed attack immediately loses the initiative.
Yeah. Is there a malus to losing the initiative after a failed attack besides being forced to defend? Because a fighter who loses the initiative and is forced to defend seems like they'll be in the same situation with similar odds of defending as the fighter who originally, willingly defended.
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>>2603899
well its mostly if we get early 0sta hit
STA will be like this him 4 vs ours 6
>>
Rolled 7 (1d20)

Ulrich's intent: >10 = Attack

>>2603887
Of course. You'll have a list of options based on previous actions and the current situation.
>>2603899
>Is there a malus to losing the initiative after a failed attack besides being forced to defend?
Yes. It's harder to defend after a failed attack (you're left open)

Looks like attacking wins.

What will be your approach?

>Bind the opponent's weapon: Deals no damage, but retains initiative and adds +1 to the next roll. DC 7
>Feint and strike: Feint this exchange, setting up a free hit next exchange if successful. +2 DC to the next Feint. DC 12
>Strike hard and heavy: Inflict an additional injury but leave yourself open to attack, -1 to next exchange, -3 if you fail. DC 11
>>
>>2603914
>>Feint and strike: Feint this exchange, setting up a free hit next exchange if successful. +2 DC to the next Feint. DC 12
>>
>>2603914
>Feint and strike: Feint this exchange, setting up a free hit next exchange if successful. +2 DC to the next Feint. DC 12

We should cripple this guy. He already feels impotent. Maybe crippling him will just make him kill himself.
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>>2603914
>>Bind the opponent's weapon: Deals no damage, but retains initiative and adds +1 to the next roll. DC 7
Bind then Feint with 1 STA, giving us a DC 10 Feint.
>>
>>Bind the opponent's weapon: Deals no damage, but retains initiative and adds +1 to the next roll. DC 7
> adds +1 to the next roll. DC 7
+1 bonus, not +1 DC?
Opens up to a
>Feint and strike: Feint this exchange, setting up a free hit next exchange if successful. +2 DC to the next Feint. DC 12
if this succeeds.

>>2603931
But will he pay us if he's dead?
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>>2603942
Note you can only feint at the beginning of the round (to set up the hit on the next exchange)

And yes, +1 to the next roll. I'll state when it's DC
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>>2603816
>In either case, you choose an appropriate maneuver, roll 3 1d20s against a known DC and count successes. 2+ successes are needed.
How many dice does the enemy roll, and how many successes does he need?

>>2603947
>Note you can only feint at the beginning of the round (to set up the hit on the next exchange)
Huh. Interesting. I wasn't aware of this. Should this sort of mechanic be stated?
>>2603942
>>>Bind the opponent's weapon: Deals no damage, but retains initiative and adds +1 to the next roll. DC 7
>>2603914
Forgot to link. Still keeping it for lowered DC.

>>2603941
Guess if we can't do this then we'll go for another attack to lower the DC, then feint next round with the initiative?
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>>2603914
>Strike hard and heavy
Expend 2 stamina for a sweet +2

This is over this round boys!!
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>>2603947
if that's so maybe going
bind > Heave strike could be good plan
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>>2603816
>Both players start with 5 STA, you spend STA and add it as a modifier to your rolls. You can also negate an injury by spending 2 STA. You restore 1 STA at the end of every round. Nothing happens if your STA goes to zero.
>>2603903
>STA will be like this him 4 vs ours 6
We have max 5 STA on both sides.
>well its mostly if we get early 0sta hit
Wouldn't the enemy be expending STA to get a more likely hit as well if we're both attacking?
>>2603957
>This is over this round boys!!
Couldn't he expend STA to negate the hit? He's defending so it would be easier to block too.
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>>2603952
>Huh. Interesting. I wasn't aware of this. Should this sort of mechanic be stated?
I'll let you know such things before any rolls are made. Don't worry you'll always have all the info you need before anything is done. I won't try to surprise you in that way.

On your part, if you tell me the intent of your actions like >>2603942 I can give more pertinent information.

>>2603952
The enemy doesn't roll dice. Your failure is his success and vice versa. His "roll" is represented by the DC.

>>2603970
>Couldn't he expend STA to negate the hit?
Correct.

Tally seems to be going for bind. So we'll go with that for now.

How much STA will you commit this exchange?

>None
>Choose 1-5
>>
>>2603978
Go for 1, I say.
>>
>>2603978
>>None
>>2603914
>>Bind the opponent's weapon: Deals no damage, but retains initiative and adds +1 to the next roll. DC 7
It's a DC of 7, shouldn't be hard to meet.
>>
>>2603978
>none

>>2603970
>Both players start with 5 STA
rules don't imply cap

>Wouldn't the enemy be expending STA to get a more likely hit as well if we're both attacking?
probably but it realy depends how much he uses if he uses +3 he's wasting
>>
>>2603991
>>2603995
We'll go with none for now. I'm going to change this rule so that you can commit either 0, 1 or all your STA in an exchange. 0-5 dilutes the choices too much.

>Please roll 1d20.
>>
Rolled 7 (1d20)

>>2603995
>rules don't imply cap
True. I figured 5 STA meant you were fresh, for why STA won't go any higher.
>>2604003
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>2604003
why use all STA on attack if enemy only needs to use 2 to block damage?
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>>2604012
fuck me
>>2604010
hmm maybe im gaming this to much and you are right ,it does make real world sense
>>
Rolled 17 (1d20)

>>2604003
Here's hoping.
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>>2604012
The enemy may not have 2 STA to block. Or a certain difficult maneuver may guarantee an injury. Certain manuever's effects also depend on STA spent.
>>
>>2604031
i guess that would make some sense ,but still that would also leave us open as well.

hope later down in quest we get perks for dueling
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>>2604031
So we go in HARD! when he's at 1 STA yes?
>>
Rolled 12 (1d20)

>>2604003
Is it too late to ruin everything with a bad roll?
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>>2604031
>Or a certain difficult maneuver may guarantee an injury.
Like a plunging attack?

>>2604060
Yes.
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>>2604070
We gonna win babiiii
We will celebrate with spagetti and meatbals
>>
>>2604049
>>2603914
>>Strike hard and heavy: Inflict an additional injury but leave yourself open to attack, -1 to next exchange, -3 if you fail. DC 11
Hard as in this maneuver, or hard as in spend a lot of STA?
>>
>>2604079
former but it would be smart to spend some STA
>>
>>2604010
>>2604029
>>2604029

>7, 6, 17 vs. 7: Success!

You circle each other, probe each other for weaknesses in form, betrayals to intent. Sir Ulrich is not like the other combatants till now. You can see no flaw in his movements, but he remains cautious and defensive. If he’s willing to give you the initiative, you will take it gladly. You inch forward and take three quick steps. Blow to the left side of the neck. His sword comes up to parry and you strike your real target, the blade itself. You bind and feel the pressure along the length of wood, compete over the point of greatest leverage.
Sir Ulrich’s sword is heavy; his strength is incommensurate to his build—where does it coming from? He’s grinning, mad-eyed and fresh. A sudden shift in the blade’s hold and then you have him.

>You have the initiative
>+1 to roll

>Disarm him: A quick strike to the hands to knock away the blade, opponent cannot negate next hit with STA DC 19
>Strike heavy and hard: Inflict an additional injury, but leave yourself open to attack. Opponent gains initiative. -2 to next round. DC 13
>Kick his shins: -1 to enemy STA, initiative is up for grabs next round.
>>
>>2604079
as soon as he is in 1 STA we expend all ur points in Plunging attack
>>
wait if >Strike heavy and hard
passes does that mean he has to use 4 STA to block 2 injuries?
>>
>>2604103
>Kick his shins. Hopefully his knees actually. Or crush his big toe.
>>
>>2604110
Correct. Assuming he chooses to block them.
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>>2604118
well that would be retarted move on his part
also why DC on Heavy strike is now 13 if it was 11?
>>
>>2604123
The DC's change based on the current circumstance. It's hard(er) to do a heavy strike in the restricted space of a bind.
>>
>>2604103
>>Disarm him: A quick strike to the hands to knock away the blade, opponent cannot negate next hit with STA DC 19
Holy shit, that's one high DC. What happens if we crit-success or crit-fail?

>>2604103
>>Kick his shins: -1 to enemy STA, initiative is up for grabs next round.
>>2603864
>>2603870
kek, this actually came up.
Is there a DC to this?

>>2604104
>>2604091
Totally worth doing.
>>2604125
Interesting.
>>
so guys what do? i'd like to try heavy strike but if there isn't support for then
>Kick his shins: -1 to enemy STA, initiative is up for grabs next round.

>>2604134
>Is there a DC to this?
given there isn't dc writen i would think it's auto pass
>>
>>2604134
Crit-success (defined as 3+ successes) will give you additional bonuses based on the maneuver. Cril fails (defined as 0 successes) will add on consequences on top of usual loss of initiative.

No DC for shin-kicking, it auto hits.
>>
>>2604134
I mean, have you ever done MMA/Kickboxing? Hitting shins fucking hurts.

>>2604103
>Kick his shins: -1 to enemy STA, initiative is up for grabs next round.

It's a good tactical opener.
>>
Looks like we're going for the low kick. Writing.
>>
>2604143
>Crit-success (defined as 3+ successes) will give you additional bonuses based on the maneuver. Cril fails (defined as 0 successes) will add on consequences on top of usual loss of initiative.
So there's no crit-success or crit-fail if someone rolls a 1/20 or 20/20?

>>2604143
>No DC for shin-kicking, it auto hits.
>>2604145
+1. Seems like we can STA drain him all we want if we go on the offensive or defensive.
>I mean, have you ever done MMA/Kickboxing? Hitting shins fucking hurts.
Nope.

>>2604118
If we inflict an additional injury, does that only happen if the first attack procs? We don't roll for two attacks?
>>2603816
>Both players start with 5 STA, you spend STA and add it as a modifier to your rolls. You can also negate an injury by spending 2 STA. You restore 1 STA at the end of every round. Nothing happens if your STA goes to zero.
Can you spend STA to increase your defense?
For striking hard, one could either spend 4 STA to block the attack(s), or spend 4 STA to guarantee no injuries if the attack(s) proc?
>>
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97 KB
97 KB PNG
>>2604174
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>>2604180
>Nope.

Ah, I did a bit of martial arts back in the day. A common sparring tactic is to just wail on someone's shins all day because it can REALLY mess up their maneuvering and motion once you've peppered their legs enough. That's why a lot of old-school training involves strengthening your shins by kicking stuff.
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>>2604180
2 STA negates a wound, plain and simple. Think of spending 2 STA to block the incoming strike
>>
>>2604103
>Kick his shins: -1 to enemy STA, initiative is up for grabs next round.

>>2604143
>no dc for shin kicks.
Hahahahahaha
By the looks of it he might be on something. He doesn’t look stable, surely repeated kicks can’t go wrong.
>>
>>2604103
>>Disarm him: A quick strike to the hands to knock away the blade, opponent cannot negate next hit with STA DC 19
>>
>>2604180
>So there's no crit-success or crit-fail if someone rolls a 1/20 or 20/20?
Correct.

You spend STA before the rolls. You can do so for defense as well as attack. Spending STA to negate injuries comes after the roll is decided. In that sense, 4 STA to defense roll != 4 STA to negate 2 injuries.
>>
>>2604197
note that OP said there are ways to do guaranted injury
>>2604031
> Or a certain difficult maneuver may guarantee an injury.
>>
He expects sword stroke, perhaps a disarming strike or a blow to knock away his sword. You offer neither. Instead, using the leverage from his weakness you step inward and then kick savagely at his shin. He steps back—but not fast enough, the toe of your boot makes solid contact just above his ankle. He stifles the scream but a wad of spittle flies from his mouth from the pain. You break apart and circle again. He’s a slower now and favoring his right leg just a little more than the left. His stance has changed to a more open and aggressive one.

Choose your intent:
>Keep up the offensive
>Defend and wear him out

Enemy intent: 70% chance of attack
>>
>>2604226
>Defend and wear him out
>>
>>2604103
>>Kick his shins: -1 to enemy STA, initiative is up for grabs next round.
>>2603816
>Both players start with 5 STA, you spend STA and add it as a modifier to your rolls. You can also negate an injury by spending 2 STA. You restore 1 STA at the end of every round. Nothing happens if your STA goes to zero.
Wait a second, if gave him -1 STA, and we regenerate 1 STA each round, wouldn't that mean he would have the same STA at the start of the round? Or does the STA loss proc after the regen, or perhaps even prevent STA regen?

>>2603816
>Only the duelist with initiative can attack, the other must defend. In either case, you choose an appropriate maneuver, roll 3 1d20s against a known DC and count successes. 2+ successes are needed.
If we're forced to defend, do we get to choose our defensive maneuvers, or are we forced into a straight roll?

>>2604226
>He’s a slower now and favoring his right leg just a little more than the left. His stance has changed to a more open and aggressive one.
>>2604226
>>Keep up the offensive
Well, we have the initiative. Don't see why we should let it go to waste.
>>
>>2604226
>Offensive Defense. That is to say, wait for him to approach and then pop him one as he closes in.

THEN we start getting aggressive.
>>
>>2604239
>Kick his shins: -1 to enemy STA, initiative is up for grabs next round.
> initiative is up for grabs next round.

>Well, we have the initiative. Don't see why we should let it go to waste.
sorry but we actualy don't have it
>>
>>2592818
>>2592820
Only time I would support using a discord to conspire, else the quest story will be made specifically to screw our plans deliberately.

>>2604103
>>2604221
Same text.....

>>2604226
>Defend and wear him out
>>
>>2604239
>Wait a second, if gave him -1 STA, and we regenerate 1 STA each round, wouldn't that mean he would have the same STA at the start of the round?
Shin-kicks prevent STA regen.

>Well, we have the initiative.
Actually, you don't, that's why we're doing intent.
>>
>>2604247
>>2604254
>Actually, you don't, that's why we're doing intent.
Oh, right. I forgot about that.
>>2604254
>Shin-kicks prevent STA regen.
Great.

>>2603883
>In general, yes. There exceptions, e.g, a counterblow. Note also that a failed attack immediately loses the initiative.
>>2604240
+1. So a riposte?
>>
>>2604238
This
>>
>>2604240
eh what could go wrong support
>>
>>2604261
Basically.
>>
>>2604226
>Keep up on the offensive!
>>
>>2604226
>Defend and wear him out.

As a general strategy though keep up the pressure on his legs with the kicks and make him favor his left leg. He’ll be way easier to predict and we can actually start playing with him even more than we aready are.

I kind of want him to lose his cool in front of everyone and make him snap in a rage. Time for people to truly see the monster he can sometimes become.
>>
Seems to be stuck in stalemate. So I'm going to end it here for now. I think I'll hold a formal session tomorrow at 6 PM (PST) so we can finish up the duel (and the tournament arc)
>>
>>2604226
>>Defend and wear him out
>>
>>2604380
A stalemate between what?

>>2604195
What's the difference between attacking the shins and any other body part repeatedly?
>>
>>2604226
>>Defend and wear him out
>>
>>2604400
Shins are rather important to the whole 'keeping the body balanced and upright' thing. Which is rather important in itself. Forcing one of them to have less weigh put on them causes unavoidable imbalance in weight distribution and ultimately makes you easier to control. And again, hinders essential movement.
>>
>Villain List:
1st. William's Heart
2nd. Fucking Elves
3rd. Ulrich
4th. Thots
5th. Ulrich's shins
>>
>>2604934
>5th. Ulrich's shins
Just you wait, as soon as we fail a roll Ulrich's shins will become the #1 villain.
>>
Op are you running today? I can only masturbate to CAPTCHA for so long.
>>
>>2606325
he said 6 pm PST and it's 16:25. We wait.
>>
>>2604226
Also,
>Keep on the offensive
>>
>>2606325
i cant wait for William to plow Meriam cherry
>>
Rolled 9 (1d10)

Let's find out enemy intent: >3 = Attack

>>2606325
I'm here. It looks like defense won.
>>
>>2606589
>Sir Ulrich has the initiative.
>Sir Ulrich has 4/5 STA

What will be your approach?

>Parry the next blow: Enemy retains initiative but +2 to next defense roll, DC 11
>Set up a counterblow: If successful, immediately gain initiative and +1 to next roll, otherwise -3 to next roll, DC 13
>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade hit, spend 1 STA to evade, 2 STA to evade and gain initiative
>>
>>2606624
Parry
>>
>>2606624
>Stand your ground, defend but don’t parry the next blow. Keep his blade in place and kick him in the right shin again.

Slow and steady.
>>
>>2606624
>Set up a counterblow
We have better skillz than he!!
Worst case, we spend 2 stamina to negate whatever wound he inflicts us.
>>
>>2606699
bruh there are three choices. How do you expect to defend without parrying the blow. With the head?
>>
>>2606711
Dunno guy, parrying is usually done after blocking. But you can soly block and not follow up with the parry.

As for the alternative choice, I thought write ins were allowed.
>>
>>2606624
>Parry
>>
>>2606734
differentiate parry and block. Rember we only have a one handed sword
>>
>>2606624
Counterblow
>>
Where is everybody? Should I just roll for the tiebreak?
>>
>>2606840
The write in of >>2606699 refers to a block but not a parry. I say the closest option is parry, since that's the only way we can block
>>
>>2606848
Alright. We'll go with parry then.

>Roll 1d20
>>
Rolled 12 (1d20)

>>2606854
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>2606854
Here goes.
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

>>2606854
+1 STA
>>
>>2606864
>>2606865
>>2606869
Shit, forgot to do STA but with these rolls it wouldn't have made a difference

>12, 6, 16 vs 11: Success!

You switch to a two handed grip, keeping the blade low and your stance leveled side-ways at Ulrich to decrease the size of his target. He tries a few false starts to get you to commit to a defense. You don’t fall for it. His leg is still aching and the disparity in weight distribution is as easy to read as Stewart’s lust when he sees a pretty maid. Ulrich quickly gives up on trickery and goes for a real blow. He steps inward, swiveling his foot slightly left and putting the full weight from his hips into the blow.
Blade at your side. You step out the side and parry. Blade sliding up yours and going for the weakness, trying to lever the defense open. You step back to break. Blade downward at your left shoulder. Parry again. A series of quick, staccato blows, each one faster and heavier than the last. You redirect and block every single one, which no matter how coolheaded Ulrich may be, must have disheartened him a little.
He utters a bass, bear-like growl. He switches to a one-handed grip and begins a flurry of even faster blows, but these are lighter and you’re able to control the pace by putting more weight behind your resistance. He finally buckles and his handsome face breaks into a furious scowl. He switches back to his two-handed grip and comes now hard enough to break bone. How can his blows have so much power? It’s as if his blade were made of iron. You can actually feel your own blade bend and threaten to snap.
>Sir Ulrich has the initiative
>Sir Ulrich has 4/5 STA
>Sir Ulrich is using 1 STA (+1 to all DC)

>You have +2 from a successful parry
What is your approach?
>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade hit, spend 1 STA to evade, 2 STA to evade and gain initiative
>Attempt a master strike: Defend and attack at the same time, this attack cannot be negated with STA, you immediately gain initiative DC 18+1
>Keep parrying: Initiative up for grabs if successful, DC 11+1
>>
>>2606974
>>Keep parrying: Initiative up for grabs if successful, DC 11+1
>>
>>2606974
>>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade hit, spend 1 STA to evade, 2 STA to evade and gain initiative

I don't like the 'your sword might break' bit.
>>
>>2606974
>>Keep parrying: Initiative up for grabs if successful, DC 11+1
If the sword breaks, we'll immediately "accidentally" stab him with the broken wood, take his sword, and reveal his use of an iron cored sword.
>>
>>2606974
>>Keep parrying: Initiative up for grabs if successful, DC 11+1
>>
>>2607021
That is a good idea, it might prove how every opponent he's faced has gotten a broken bone from his fights. I'll go with this.
>>
>>2606974
>>Keep parrying: Initiative up for grabs if successful, DC 11+1
>>
how does the +2 of the succesful parry work- aaah +2 but -1 cuzz ulrich is using +1 sta, duuh.

>Keep parrying: Initiative up for grabs if successful, DC 11+1
>>
Parrying wins.

>Roll 1d20+2 vs DC 12
>>
Rolled 7 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2607097

Keep it moving.
>>
Rolled 18 (1d20)

>>2607097
pfft, too easy. We won't need sta right?
STA = 0
>>
Rolled 18 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2607097
>>
Rolled 19 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2607097
>>
damm, we were so close to a critical success too
>>
>>2607119
>>2607120
>>2607121
>9, 20, 21 vs DC 12: Success!

Still, you keep your guard. Ulrich goes for your vital spots now, base of the neck, groin, head, elbow. He’s trying to take out in this one exchange, break a bone, maybe even kill you given how hard he’s hitting. It doesn’t make sense. He shouldn’t be that much stronger than you. Is he cheating somehow? Is his blade actually reinforced in some way? You wouldn’t put it past him, but you have no proof. All you can do is win.

Ulrich puts ever more weight into his blows and several times your blade comes very close to snapping in half. You manage to redirect the strikes quick enough to avoid it, which enrages Ulrich even further. To the point that he’s now aiming only at your sword. You use his strategy against him, baiting him with clear strikes and then twisting the blade to negate the brunt of his attack. At one point he actually lifts one foot off the ground and puts the weight of his whole body into the blow. You side-step, letting your sword fall away and creating an opening, allowing you to go on the offensive.

>You have the initiative
>Sir Ulrich has 4/5 STA

What is your approach?
>Called shot: Aim for a specific target and deal a minor injury DC 14
>Twitch the blade: A feather-like strike to wrench open the defense, -2 DC next exchange, DC 13
>Strike hard and heavy: Inflict an additional injury but leave yourself open to attack, -1 to next exchange, -3 if you fail. DC 11
>Sweep the leg: Deals no injury and loses the initiative but -2 to opponent’s STA, DC 13
>>
>>2607180
>>Called shot: Aim for a specific target and deal a minor injury DC 14
Hit him in the head.
>>
>>2607180
>Strike hard and heavy: Inflict an additional injury but leave yourself open to attack, -1 to next exchange, -3 if you fail. DC 11
>>
>>2607195
>>2607188
Nvm switching to this. I wanna see our sword snapping on his big head.
>>
>>2607180
>>Called shot: Aim for a specific target and deal a minor injury DC 14

>Shoulder joint of his sword hand.

It doesn't NEED to be a major injury, shots to the joints will still fuck someone up.
>>
>>2607180
>Strike hard and heavy: Inflict an additional injury but leave yourself open to attack, -1 to next exchange, -3 if you fail. DC 11

It's our time boys! Our time to make HIM wonder how can we hit so hard. Also, if he spends his STA on negating wounds, he will be left with 0 sta. That means push the offensive!
>>
>>2607180
>Strike hard and heavy: Inflict an additional injury but leave yourself open to attack, -1 to next exchange, -3 if you fail. DC 11
>>
Called shot wins I think.

Sorry for these weird pauses, I'm having issues with my laptop battery

How much STA will you commit?
>None
>1
>2
>All
>>
>>2607256
1 sta.
Hard and heavy looked perfect :(
>>
>>2607256
>1
Gotta save the rest.
>>
>>2607256
1.
>>
>>2607260
>>2607311
>>2607316

>Roll 1d20+1 vs DC 11
>>
>>2607322
DC 14*
>>
Rolled 18 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2607322
>>
Rolled 13 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2607322
Pls dice gods. Pls. First roll of the quest for me. Have mercy.
>>
Rolled 8 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2607322
For Miriam.
>>
>>2607353
Damn it.
>>
Rolled 17 (1d20)

>>2607322
>>
>>2607381
Damn it.
>>
>>2607335
>>2607346
>>2607353
>18, 14, 9 vs 14: Success!

Call your shot:

>Head: Stuns the opponent, leaving himself defenseless to the next blow, -3 DC to the next hit
>Shoulder joint of the dominant hand: Dislocates the opponents shoulder causing extreme pain, +2 to all your defense rolls for the remainder of combat
>Shin: Fractures the shin, greatly lowering mobility, -1 DC for the remainder of combat
>>
>>2607389
>Head: Stuns the opponent, leaving himself defenseless to the next blow, -3 DC to the next hit
>>
>>2607389
>Shoulder
>>
>>2607389
>>Head: Stuns the opponent, leaving himself defenseless to the next blow, -3 DC to the next hit
Should lower the strike hard DC so we can easily get it without spending STA.
>>
>>2607389
>Shoulder joint of the dominant hand: Dislocates the opponents shoulder causing extreme pain, +2 to all your defense rolls for the remainder of combat

Permanent buff better than temp debuff, IMO.
>>
>>2607437
True, but with >>2607213 draining his STA leaves him open for more heavy attacks, rapidly crippling him.
>>
Another tie and unfortunately I need to sleep now. We'll continue tomorrow.

Looks like I need to streamline the dueling mechanics. It's too broken up for this format.
>>
>>2607389
>Head: Stuns the opponent, leaving himself defenseless to the next blow, -3 DC to the next hit
>>
>>2607470
>Looks like I need to streamline the dueling mechanics. It's too broken up for this format.
I suspected as much.
>>
>>2607389
>>Shoulder joint of the dominant hand: Dislocates the opponents shoulder causing extreme pain, +2 to all your defense rolls for the remainder of combat
>>
>>2607470
I'm still enjoying it.
We could select approach, shot, STA, and as anything else in one vote, then roll.
>>
>>2607555
>We could select approach, shot, STA, and as anything else in one vote, then roll.

I agree. We don't need to go this specific for the stances we already plan on, especially with the write-ins we're getting.
>>
>>2607389
-Shoulder joint

If we are commit on a defensive stance all of the combat, I believe this is the way to go. Make him lost his STA and parry him to infinite.
>>
>>2607389
>Shoulder joint of the dominant hand: Dislocates the opponents shoulder causing extreme pain, +2 to all your defense rolls for the remainder of combat
>>
You can’t let this opportunity get away from you. You can create a permanent advantage to exploit for the rest of the fight. You enter into his space from his dominant side and he does a backhanded upward swing, trying to catch your head. You duck, the blade whooshes past your ears. You step back, raise your blade and bring it crashing down on Sir Ulrich’s neck. He blocks as you predicted, you step in between his legs, pull the sword back and bring it down with both hands, as hard and as fast as you can on his right shoulder—your real target.

You can feel the slight distension as the weight of the blow pops the bone from its socket. This is too much even for Sir Ulrich; he screams like a little boy that's been stung by a bee. He right arm slumps momentarily, struggles to maintain itself. Tears are in his eyes, wholly involuntary, but somehow still satisfying. He quickly switches his blade to his less dominant hand, which you know has permanently tipped the battle in your favor. You can take all his blows and simply wear him out now. There’s a risk in it, if he’s desperate and you’ll have to give up the initiative to do it, but it's a sure path to victory.

>You have the initiative
>You have 4/5 STA
>Sir Ulrich has 4/5 STA

What is your approach?
>Kick his shin: Initiative up for grabs next turn, -1 enemy STA
>Flurry: A continuous series of quick blows that deals no damage but retrains the initiative, -1 STA
>Charge!: A sudden ferocious charge to deal a critical blow, -3 STA, immediately deals a major wound, DC 16
>>
>>2609715
Also how much STA will you spend this exchange?

>None
>1
>2
>All
>>
>>2609715
>>Charge!: A sudden ferocious charge to deal a critical blow, -3 STA, immediately deals a major wound, DC 16
>Spend all
>>
>>2609715
>Charge!: A sudden ferocious charge to deal a critical blow, -3 STA, immediately deals a major wound, DC 16
>Spend 1

He probably expects this. He may yet not be in position to do much about it.
>>
>>2609755
>>2609799
supporting...no guts no glory
>>
>>2609715
Hi, new reader here. I finally finished reading the 2 archived threads and now i finally kept up to this thread. Great quest QM.

>Charge!: A sudden ferocious charge to deal a critical blow, -3 STA, immediately deals a major wound, DC 16

>>2609718
>Spend 1
>>
>>2609755
>>2609799
>>2609811
>>2609838

>roll 1d20+1 vs 16

>>2609838
I really need to speed up on making the pdf of the past threads for new players.
>>
Rolled 20 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2609847
Engage!
>>
Rolled 19 (1d20)

>>2609847
>>
>>2609847
>>2609849
FUCKING WELP. WE'RE DONE HERE.
>>
Rolled 14 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2609847
well let me roll a nat 1 for you
>>
>>2609853
>>2609849
poor guy ,didn't even hit us yet
>>
>>2609853
This one doesn't count. Please roll properly
>>
Rolled 7 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2609847
>>2609855
Pretty good.
>>
Rolled 2 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2609847
pls no 1s
>>
>>2609942
wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew lad
>>
>>2609888
>>2609857
>>2609849
>21, 15, 8 vs. 16: Failure

The match is yours. A slow but certain victory—but why do you taste ash and lime? Why does your mouth pucker? Isn’t this too easy? Isn’t he getting off too lightly? He threatened Lady Miriam, called her a whore, insulted her purity, blackmailed you into obeying his commands. And he will be defeated by simple attrition?
What is this hot thing, fire that surges from the stomach, redness all over? Rage. This is not enough. He must break. However much this loss will wound him, you will never be satisfied with mere metaphor. Something physical within him, bone or organ, must shatter. And so you charge.

Background cheers fade away, sound into silence. The point of your blade in his neck, you will collapse his windpipe, either kill him or make it so that he can never speak properly again. You pour all the remaining breath in you into a single point, a single sovereign strike.

And Sir Ulrich, who perhaps had been waiting this whole battle for this moment, readies himself for a counter. You match blades, the charge is too slow. You bind. Sir Ulrich attempts to disarm you and break your fingers. He almost succeeds, but at the very last sliver you turn your hand and the blade and deflect the blow. Had the blow fell, it would’ve crushed your bones to powder, crippling you for the rest of your life. It did not fall. But the deed is done. The charge has left you exhausted and put Sir Ulrich on the offensive. In a single blunder you’ve evened what was a sure win. You break away. Sir Ulrich nurses his shoulder, but there is a cold smile on his face.

Pride and malice have been your own undoing—ironic given that it was the very thing you planned to exploit in Sir Ulrich. Stewart is never going to let up on this. A total disgrace.

Still. You wipe your brow. All is not yet lost. Sir Ulrich’s blows will be lighter without the assistance of his right hand. You just need to recover your breath and bide your time. Your advantage will not fade.

>Sir Ulrich has the initiative
>You have 1/5 STA
>Sir Ulrich has 5/5 STA
>Sir Ulrich is using 3 STA this round, +3 DC
>You gain +2 to defense from enemy’s wounded shoulder

What will be your approach?
>Parry the next blow: Enemy retains initiative but +2 to next defense roll, DC 11+3
>Set up a counterblow: If successful, immediately gain initiative and +1 to next roll, otherwise -3 to next roll, DC 13+3
>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade hit, spend 1 STA to evade
>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+3
>>
>>2609946
>Parry the next blow: Enemy retains initiative but +2 to next defense roll, DC 11+3

What? I thought we won that?
>>
>>2609958
>roll 3 1d20s against a known DC and count successes. 2+ successes are needed.

I didn't count the 19 because it wasn't rolled with the modifier. Earlier I chose to take only the properly modified rolls so I have to consistent.
>>
>>2609946
what i dont understand? That's bullshit
>>
>>2609961
That's pretty fucking bullshit a rolls a roll, it's not like modifiers are hard to add after.
>>
>>2609965
I already took the three first three properly modified rolls earlier (here: >>2607389
). Since I made that ruling, I want to be consistent with it.
>>
>>2609976
Whoops, I meant here: >>2607180 (I took the 21 instead of the 20)
>>
>>2609965
Ah fuck it let Ulrich win and Meriam be raped i don't care anymore. Well just bang that thot and be done with it maybe the elves come and kill us.
>>
>>2609976
Can you clear something up, doesn't spending a STA bring down the DC by the number we spent?
>>
>>2609989
STA is added as a modifier to the roll. When the enemy spends STA it's added as a modifier to the DC (because the DC essentially represents the enemy's roll)
>>
>>2609946
>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade hit, spend 1 STA to evade
dodge seem cost effective and save
>>
File: 1420162220952.jpg (71 KB, 600x450)
71 KB
71 KB JPG
>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade hit, spend 1 STA to evade
It's not over yet boys we can still pull through!
>>
>>2609946
>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade hit, spend 1 STA to evade

Waste of a nat 20...
>>
>>2609946
>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade hit, spend 1 STA to evade
>>
>>2609985
We should have let the last thots void holes raep us.

I don't get this combat mechanic.
>>
>>2609946
why does ulrich have 5 stamina?
>>
>>2609946
>>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+3
>>
>>2610018
He had 4/5 last exchange. This is a new round so he gets +1. Hence 5/5.

Similarly you spent 4 STA last round which would have left you with 0, but this is a new round, hence 1/5.
>>
>>2610018
Yeah OP shouldn't he have only 4
>>
>>2609946
>Parry the next blow: Enemy retains initiative but +2 to next defense roll, DC 11+3

Guys, thinks this through. We have +2 of defense, so the DC is actually 11+1. We don't expend stamina and the outcome if much more favorable than a dodge
>>
>>2610046
switching to this.
>>
>>2610046
Seconding.
>>
>>2609946
>Parry the next blow: Enemy retains initiative but +2 to next defense roll, DC 11+3
>>
Looks like Parry wins.

>roll 1d20+2 vs DC 11+3
>>
>>2610046
also switching to this
>>
Rolled 12 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2610056
i want to believe
>>
Rolled 17 (1d20)

>>2610056
STA: 0
>>
Rolled 8 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2610056
>>
>>2610061
god damm it I keep messing it up.
Is it dice+1d20 + 2?
>>
>>2610061
I'm afraid I can't count this. Roll again with the modifier, please.
>>
Rolled 12 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2610056
>>
Rolled 6 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2610061
>>2610066
You meanie pie
>>
Nah bois we lost...we dont have the stamina seems like the dice dont like us.
>>
>>2610060
>>2610063
>>2610071
This are the ones that count riiiight op?
>>
Rolled 12 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2610056
Damn it, I can't catch a roll.
>>
>>2610060
>>2610063
>>2610071
>14, 10, 14 vs 14: Success!

Recovery is not simple. Ulrich knows his advantage is brief and comes with all the fury of a rutting bull. His attack is in direct contrast to your charge, methodical and precise, as if to say that he’s different. Better.

Let him think so. You avoid every overhand strike and pointed strike. Binding only briefly, breaking frequently for your muscles are screaming with exertion, lungs for rest, throat for water and you’re not sure if you can hold the sword long against his strength. It is all you have just to deflect and redirect his steady attack. More and more you frustrate him.

“Engage me.” He mutters, coming still faster, still too slow to catch you. Sweat blinds you, the smell of fire is in your breath as the imagined flames torture your lungs. Some part of you now cries for mercy, tries to convince the greater whole to surrender and end this pain but this is immediately squashed by the rest. Too much rides on this battle to resign simply because you want water or reprieve. You remember the two weeks of solid hell you faced against the Count. That was far worse and the thought steels you. Nevertheless, the blows get closer and closer to the skin. One of them rips your shirt and leaves a red stripe across your chest.

But Ulrich is slowing now, the continuous onslaught and its failure is catching up to him. The shoulder is hurting him. His approach doesn’t matter; he can’t hit you, it’s as simple as that. But the fire is still in his eyes. He hasn’t given up.

>Sir Ulrich has the initiative
>You have 1/5 STA
>Sir Ulrich has 2/5 STA
>Sir Ulrich is using 1 STA this exchange +1 DC
>You get +4 to this roll (+2 from enemy’s wounded shoulder, +2 from parry)

What is your approach?
>Bind and taunt: Bind up close and personal and spit venom in your opponent’s ear to inflame him, opponent retains initiative, but if successful +2 to next counterblow, DC 12+1
>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade this hit, spend 1 STA to evade
>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+1
>>
>>2610088
>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+1

we need that juicy STA
>>
>>2610088
>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+1

Yah, I can't hold all these positive modifiers. We need to use what we have
>>
>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+1
>>
>>2610088
>>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+1
>>
>>2610090
>>2610103
>>2610105
Let's dance!

>Roll 1d20+3 (+4 this round -1 from maneuver) vs 11+1
>>
Rolled 7 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>2610109
Dice gods pls
>>
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I think the propper roll for this one would be dice+1d20+3. Yeah I am dumb like that
>>
Rolled 3 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>2610109
Well. Here goes.
>>
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>>2610109
ayy
>>
>>2610112
oh no
>>2610117
oh no oh no
we are fucked
>>
Rolled 6 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>2610109
lol we failed too hard
>>
>>2610121
>>2610119
don't worry, it took many successes to gain an advantage on him, it will take as many for him to do the same, unless qm wants us to lose.
>>
Here comes our first wound boys!! Lets take it like a champ
>>
>>2610112
>>2610117
>>2610121
FOR FUCK SAKE
what shit rolls
>>
>>2610112
>>2610117
>>2610121
>10, 6, 9 vs 12: Critical Failure!
This had only a 6% chance of happening

Wasn't expecting this, so please wait a bit while I consult my notes.
>>
Rolled 9 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>2610109
DAMN IT, I can't catch a roll.
>>
>>2610065
>Is it dice+1d20 + 2?
No, it's either dice+1d20 +2, dice+1d20 -2, dice+1d20+2, or dice+1d20+-2?
>>
>>2610154
>dice+1d20+2, or dice+1d20+-2
This
>>
>>2610161
>>2610154
>?
Meant to write "." All 4 variations work for modifiers.
>>
>>2610154
>>2610161
Thanks boys. Let's wait now for our wounds.
Since we made a critical failure at defending we will get 2 wounds prob...
>>
Rolled 7 - 2 (1d20 - 2)

>>2610164
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>2610177
Huh, guess so.
I just learned the two.
>>
Rolled 13, 1, 11, 10, 13, 7, 18, 6, 17, 2, 18, 12, 16, 8, 16, 16, 1, 20, 6, 14 = 225 (20d20)

This is ridiculous.
>>
>>2610181
What is?
>>
>>2610184
8 of the last ten rolls were below 10 and the other two were 12.
Our rolls leave much to be desired.
Our village, Miriam, and the Count's teachings deserve better.
>>
Rolled 13, 9, 20, 20, 6, 9, 13, 9, 5, 6, 12, 3, 18, 9, 2, 6, 2, 13, 17, 12 = 204 (20d20)

>>2610181
>>2610201
timing is important.
>>
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Rolled 13, 10, 2, 12, 4, 11, 7, 15, 6, 11, 17, 7, 16, 20, 4, 1, 12, 15, 12, 16 = 211 (20d20)

Watch this
>>
>>2610204
Right. There goes the good luck.
>>
Much as you hate to admit it, Sir Ulrich is a worthy opponent. Even now you can feel the limits of your abilities, limits that went wholly untested till now, stretch to fill the void. A sword sharpens another sword. If you survive this battle intact you will have gained something from it, not merely experience but skill; resistance, overcome.

But only if you survive it. And increasingly that seems to be a distant proposition. Sir Ulrich gives no quarter, not even a second’s worth of rest, but comes again and again and again, blade patiently carving out space, searching for opening. You can no longer hold your sword up to bind and must now rely completely on your footwork. You focus on taking deep breaths, to restore your fatigue. Sir Ulrich knows you are on your last legs and he pushes still further.

The world is blurry. You feel like vomiting. Death itself has its hand on your throat. All that you bear comes upon you now, total heaviness. The Count’s expectations, Stewart’s, Lady Miriam’s, the peasants, the village’s, your own, even Sir Ulrich’s.

Try and try and try. Keep the chin up, the eyes forward and focused, the legs moving. But it’s no use. Indomitable spirit yields before the flesh. The exertion from the footwork itself destroys you, until you finally slip: an inch too far forward.

All that Sir Ulrich needs.

>You’ve sustained an injury!
>You have no STA to negate this injury
>roll 1d6, a 1 is an instant loss
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>2610209
>>roll 1d6, a 1 is an instant loss
fug. Did Sir Ulrich have to roll before when he got injured?
>>
>>2610212
No in that case I specified that it would be an automatic minor injury. However, with every minor injury the probability of an immediate loss goes up by 1.

That means, another injury (on either side) will now have a 2 in 6 chance of immediate loss
>>
>>2610216
Do we pick one of these options?
Are you only taking one roll?
>>
>>2610212
>>2610219
I uh.... vote for the... 2
>>
>>2610222
so a lower chance of injury is good, but if we rolled a 1 its an automatic loss, or is a higher roll better?
>>
>>2610212
>>2610219
Just one roll

>You sustain a minor injury, choose from the following:

>Fractured rib: It hurts to breathe, +1 STA cost to any maneuver requiring STA
>Torn elbow: Your elbow has been knocked out of its socket, -1 to all rolls
>Concussion: A shot to the head has rendered you numb to your pain--but promises certain doom, regain all your stamina next round, in 3 rounds you will go unconscious and lose
>>
>>2610234
>>Fractured rib: It hurts to breathe, +1 STA cost to any maneuver requiring STA
But it doesn't cost STA for negating injury or boosting modifiers? Are there any maneuvers so far that required STA?
>>2609715
>>Flurry: A continuous series of quick blows that deals no damage but retrains the initiative, -1 STA
Just this?
>>
>>2610227
if we don't roll a 1, we are good.
>>
>>2610234
>Fractured rib: It hurts to breathe, +1 STA cost to any maneuver requiring STA
probably best one.We should try for thousand cuts victory anyway.(Basicly stacking debuffs)
>>
>>2610238
Yep. DODGE! Also uses STA
>>
>>2610234
>>Fractured rib: It hurts to breathe, +1 STA cost to any maneuver requiring STA

Walk it off!
>>
>>2610234
>Fractured rib: It hurts to breathe, +1 STA cost to any maneuver requiring STA

The torn elbow covers the rib's bane
>>
>>2610245
I agree. The fight with the Count and this fight with Sir Ulrich by charging proved taking risks doesn't always pay off.
>>2609715
>>Charge!: A sudden ferocious charge to deal a critical blow, -3 STA, immediately deals a major wound, DC 16
We would've needed to spend more STA to have made that maneuver viable.
>>
>>2610234
>Fractured rib: It hurts to breathe, +1 STA cost to any maneuver requiring STA
>>
>>2610131
>This had only a 6% chance of happening
How'd you get that? I got 9.1%.
>>
>>2610264
Don't forget to the count hitting the number itself
>>
>>2610269
>>2610109
Ah, right. So if it's including the DC to meet it, which makes it 8/20 of not succeeding instead of 9/20 then it's your number. I forgot about that.
>>
The first hit whiffs you and the second you just barely redirect and it takes the rest of you with it. The third hit hits you square in the side. You can feel the bone crack, can hear it right up to your jaw. But you don’t scream like Ulrich did and that scares him. He jumps back, as if expecting a sudden counter, but it never comes.

The third rib has a crack in it and every time you take a deep breath it’s like someone’s poking your insides with an awning needle. Hot and sharp pain that makes you sweat, that makes you want to cry—but you don’t. You hold it in. You cannot show weakness now. Not now when the thing is so settled on the razor’s edge. Even that momentary slip of the mask would give him renewed purpose. You keep your face hard and steady. He must believe you are made of iron; he must know that to the core of his soul that he cannot even hurt you. His faith must be reconstructed. Let him worship you as an immortal; something unbreakable.

So you circle, even as every breath makes you want to scream and curse and rip your hair out, you do it in perfect, absolute silence. Sir Ulrich is terrified. He has his mysterious strength, as you have yours. You would laugh, if only it wouldn’t hurt so much. Sir Ulrich attempts false starts but these are old tricks and you don’t fall for them. You take a closed off defensive stance. You must endure.

>Sir Ulrich has the initiative
>Sir Ulrich has 2/5 STA
>You have 1/5 STA
>You get +2 to this roll from enemy’s torn shoulder

What is your approach?
>Parry the next blow: Enemy retains initiative but +2 to next defense roll, DC 11
>Set up a counterblow: If successful, immediately gain initiative and +1 to next roll, otherwise -3 to next roll, DC 12
>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11
>>
>>2610275
>>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11
0 STA. We need a buffer.
>>
>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11
>>
>>2610275
>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11
>>
>>2610275
should this be next round ?
>Use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows with fancy footwork and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11
hope we pass this time
>>
>>2610280
>>2610282
>>2610286
>>2610293
>roll 1d20+2 vs DC 11
>>
Rolled 16 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2610299
just
>>
Rolled 3 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2610299
>>
Rolled 6 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>
Rolled 16 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2610299
>>
Rolled 11 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>2610299
>>
>>2610305
maybe op will not use this roll if it isn't linked.
>>
>>2610318
Shouldn't, really.
>>
>>2610305
Can we rules lawyer this one as not counting since it didn't link to the post?
Damn this shit is too close.
>>
>>2610318
I really hope so
>>
>>2610322
I'm feeling merciful. We can do this, but this ruling will hold in the future. I will take the following rolls:
>>2610300
>>2610304
>>2610310
>>
>>2610329
I'm so glad that I'm a fuckup
>>
>>2610329
>this ruling will hold in the future
Naturally.
And the next 20 will be unlinked, heh.
>>
>>2610329
Our rolling rules have become more strict, time to become more anal.
>>2610331
Haven’t heard that one before.
>>
>>2610331
>I'm so glad that I'm a fuckup
See
>>2610204
>timing is important
>>
Sir Ulrich seems inexhaustible. It occurs to you now that the man must have been fighting from a young age. You wonder how he would react if you told him that you had only been training for a few months. He probably wouldn’t believe you. You don’t believe it yourself. In the end, you can take pride in how far you’ve come.

Lady Miriam was right. How many can truly say that they could have accomplished the same in your shoes? True, the Count was a superb instructor but would another have endured the punishment he doled? Could another man have been patient enough to trust his tutelage to the end?

Always the question is begged in your mind: are you worthy? For you know you have not earned your laurels and in that way, you are not so different from Sir Ulrich. You can understand the stomach-tearing lust for authenticity, for something earned by sweat and blood and not by the name of one’s family. Not by the weight of gold. Not even by providence. And suddenly you find yourself even admiring Sir Ulrich. It is not that he risks nothing. His loss in this battle will be catastrophic, yet he pushed himself to the limit to make it real. Even if you hate his methods, you cannot really despise the man.

His movements have slowed now. You don’t know if it’s because he too is beginning to tire or whether he is simply biding his time, laying a trap. It matters not. You concentrate on recovery, running when you can, avoiding blows and use of muscle. Breathing, even when it hurts, until the pain has become background radiation, blended with the cheering of the crowd you had forgotten long ago.

Lady Miriam is perhaps there somewhere, watching you. Did she gasp or look away when you were wounded? Strange, that your mind would go to her first and not to Ophelia. You cannot even see her now in your mind’s eye, she feels so far away. A faint instinct compels you touch the necklace and see her in it, but you resist it.

You both are boiling over, steaming with sweat, water dripping from your hair and chin, wet all over, panting. The is the endgame. Sir Ulrich prepares himself. So do you.

>Sir Ulrich has the initiative
>Sir Ulrich has 2/5 STA
>Sir Ulrich spends 2 STA this exchange, +2 DC
>You have 2/5 STA
>You get +2 to this roll from enemy’s injured shoulder

What is your approach?
>Bind and taunt: Bind up close and personal and spit venom in your opponent’s ear to inflame him, opponent retains initiative, but if successful +2 to next counterblow, DC 12+2
>DODGE!: Use your foot work to evade this hit, spend 2 STA to evade
>Continue to use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+2
>>
Also I just realized I didn't add the -1 to the modifier. Not that it would have changed the result, but I'm subject to the same rules so there will be a special boon at the end to make up for the error
>>
>>2610360
>Bind and taunt: Bind up close and personal and spit venom in your opponent’s ear to inflame him, opponent retains initiative, but if successful +2 to next counterblow, DC 12+2
doesn't matter what we pick (dc) may as well try for attack next round
>>
>>2610360
>Bind and taunt: Bind up close and personal and spit venom in your opponent’s ear to inflame him, opponent retains initiative, but if successful +2 to next counterblow, DC 12+2
>>
>>2610360
>>Continue to use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+2
>>
>>2610362
Neat, thanks.

>>2610360
>>Continue to use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+2
If we succeed he's at 1 STA we're at 3 STA.
>>
>>2610373
>>2610376
we realy need to start attacking,currently we are stuck in loop. We need STA only for tanking
>>
>>2610376
>we're at 3 STA.
4 STA actually.

>>2610383
Yeah.
>>2609715
>>Charge!: A sudden ferocious charge to deal a critical blow, -3 STA, immediately deals a major wound, DC 16
>>2609718
Wait, does this it costed 3 STA so we only could spare 1 STA?
>>
>>2610387
>Wait, does this it costed 3 STA so we only could spare 1 STA?
Yep. (Note that it now costs 4 STA on account of your injury)
>>
>>2610360
>>Continue to use your footwork: Avoid the exchange of blows and recover your breath, -1 to roll, +1 STA recovered at end of round, DC 11+2
>>
>>2610391
>>2610373
>>2610376
Looks like footwork wins again.

>Roll 1d20+1 (+2 from enemy shoulder, -1 from maneuver) vs. DC 11+2
>>
Rolled 3 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2610390
>>2609718
So the options given were moot because it was either 3 STA or all our STA in that charge?

>>2610392
>>
Rolled 2 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2610392
>>
>>2610394
Those options were moot. Remember that I posted that before the maneuver was decided.
>>
Rolled 12 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>2610392
>>
>>2610394
>>2610396
Guys pace yourselves, don't roll all at once
>>
>>2610397
Ah, right. That makes sense.

>>2610400
Why not?

>>2610394
>>2610396
>>2610398
Does this mean we have to spend STA to negate our injury, bringing us back down to the same STA as him?
>>
>>2610402
Dice are partly based on the time. Its persudo-random.
>>
>>2610406
So how would one know when's the right time to roll?
>>
>>2610410
from 1D4:
>TG dice is what fa/tg/uys call the strange phenomenon whereby /tg/'s random number generator tends to be anything but. The reason for this is that /tg/'s dice aren't truly random. Like most RNGs it's actually a pseudo-random generator tied to 4chan's server clock. The effect usually isn't that dramatic, but fatguys love to blame it for their shit rolls anyhow.
>>
>>2610394
>>2610396
Jesus fucking Christ you guys.
>>
The aching is not as great now. Some of your breath has returned and the two of you are dead even. Both injured, both ready to drop but unwilling and unable to do so. Sir Ulrich now takes an unorthodox stance, lifting the sword high above him. It’s blatant taunt. A screaming announcement of his intention to attack.

He steps inward no longer trying tricks, but going straight for the critical blow. Downward swing to the crown of the head. Too slow, but you too are slowing. You sidestep and push him away. He flips the blade up on the downswing and switches to an upward strike at your chin. You lean back and the blade flicks a bead of sweat on your nose.

Ulrich elbows you in the chest, aiming directly for the rib he broke earlier. You twist away, shutting off the pain by girding your teeth. This too much and for a slight moment everything goes black, like you just shut your eyes. You feel yourself falling into an abyss and then you’re right back and Ulrich’s blade is coming toward the side of your head.

You duck. The air from the swing instantly vaporizes some beads of sweat on your neck. Ulrich follows with a sudden step on your left foot. You’re pinned. The blade reaches around and goes for your neck. It’s over.

>You have sustained an injury!
Choose one:
>Use 2 STA to negate the injury
>Roll 1d6, a 1 or 2 is an instant loss
>>