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/qst/ - Quests

You are Finneas the Overlord. After your death, you have been charged in the court of heaven for all the terrible side-effects of your spells which you knew nothing about, and cast them in good nature. Becoming a lich probably didn't help your case either.
The Judge angel however saw that deep down you meant no ill will, and offered you a second chance. To save an unknown world from an unknown threat in a new life. Upon first arrival you have smashed the remains of the Overlord-equivalent of a cat lady, and usurped her feeble minions. Currently you are in the domain of yet another overlord who bashed your door in shortly after your previous conquest, and who's title you've gained through a formal duel.
>Previous Thread: https://archived.moe/qst/thread/2932990/
>Twitter: @OverQM

>Character Sheet: TBA


Now, worried that by tinkering with some contraption found in your enemy's room, you have released some form of deadly miasma, you hurry to the throne-room to inspect things. You raise your voice to address everyone who's going about their business in the vicinity. Though it's been a while, and you come a cross a bit raspy. Still, the point has to be put across.
“Anybody feels like dying?!”
Somehow everyone seems to immediately have important business elsewhere, as they evacuate the room in great haste. Since none of them dropped dead, you can assume whatever substance you've released, it wasn't poison.


“Alright so what are these?” you present the 364 multi-coloured crystals that you have found to your butler. A dullahan in the service of your less than outgoing predecessor.
“Zecrystals. They are a the going currency here in the Undermountain.”
“Do the colours mean different value?”
“No, they mean different mana. They can be used up to fuel powers, hence the value. Tough I suppose you could bargain with some of the northen coins you are used to as well.”

>A) Time for shopping then
>B) “Are you sure you haven't seen any kind of smoke?”
>C) Send him on an errand for books while you practice
>D) Try to hire some additional minions
> B) “Are you sure you haven't seen any kind of smoke?”
can we use the crystals? what colors are there?
The colors are Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, and Violet-Purple,

You've learned that in this world Red is associated with destruction, chaos, fire and and fury, while Blue is manipulation is manipulation of forces, water and space. You are unfamilliar with the other colours yet.

You can also use Red and Blue moderately on your own, as you had firsthand experience with them, and your predecessor had a "Magic 101: Red&Blue edition" book among his stuff.

You know Firebolt and Icebolt spells respectively, but could try to use to use the manas in some creative manner, tough there is no guarantee it will work, or will achieve the desired result. Think of it as wild magic.
You can use the crystals to fuel spells, but it's not a necessity to cast.
“I am thorough in my dusting sir, and I surely would have seen such a cloud taking it's toll on the furniture. And not merely because we have only have very limited furniture to go by.”
“And nobody kicked the bucket since then?”
“No causalities I am aware of.”
There is some commotion at the entrance to the throne room, where Forrman, the bulldog-headed foreman of your minions discusses something with one of his grubby subordinates.

The discussion heats up a bit as the foreman bangs the malcontent on the top of his head with a short baton, and snatches the parchment he was holding. He quickly makes his way to you.
“Master! There are news from the nexus!”
He clears his throat and reads the parchment
“ Lord Ratkeluresh has been missing for seven moons now, and the Council grows weary. Let it be known, that a tournament is to take place if he gives no sign in two more moons. Those who survive the trial will be elevated to the position of Magistrate of Undermountain.' Eh, good news huh boss?! Huh?”
“I think it might be a bit premature, M'lord” notes the butler.
“What does a tournament entail exactly?”
“As far as I know, sometimes it has some objective outside of the mountain, like eradicating an outsider target, taking an item, or destroying some settlement. Often tough it is team battle in the Bloodpits.”
“Is participation mandatory?”
“No sir, since it is usually highly lethal, most masters usually just observe, or even offer their patronage to participants.”

>A) What is a magistrate?
>B) Maybe I should find someone to support
>C) Where should I begin if I want to
>D) I have no interest in this yet.
>What is a magistrate?
although maybe we should learn more of overall political climate before painting a target on our backs and/or picking sides...?
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“What is the magistrate?”
“Well...” the dullahan looks a bit uncomfortable, but then changes his expression “Forgive me my lord, Lady Jezebel always threw a tantrum when we implied other warlocks are above her, but luckily I think I can be frank with you.” he clears his throat “The Magistrates are at the top of Undermountain. Though not literally. They are actual overlords, not prissy witches who just don't want to be called simple lords.” he frowns a bit “But I digress, they usually get one of the Magistrate domains, and command a fair level of authority without having to muscle their way trough.”
“What if I want to participate?”
“If I may be honest sir, I think it might be a bit early for such ambitions. But the details are usually declared a tenday before the actual contest. They are likely trying to get the neighborhood going so to speak, or maybe rouse Lord Ratkeluresh to give some sign of life.”

“Who could be the potential candidates?”
Both the butler and Forrman shurg.
“The Harpy Queen?”
“I've heard Lord Konrad has a new, ambitious son”
“Ser Midroy?”
“I don't think he is on for politics, but he might be interested in a good tussle”
“The Sixth Master?”
“I am sure you mean the Sphinx Master”
“No, think that guy kicked the bucket last year”
“Okay okay, so you are not really sure?” you stop them.
“New stars rise and fall daily sir. Only the strong survives in the Undermountain, and anyone can rise high if the opportunity is right. Speaking of which, I would advise we invest into defenses. No doubt that the news of Lord Gash's demise, and our takeover moves down the grapevine”
“What wine?” chips in Foremnan.
“The informational kind” adds the varlet with slight disdain.

>A) Go and shop for traps
>B) Hire mercenaries
>C) Do some reconnisance
>D) Try to get more spells

Reminder that Write-ins are always an option
Sounds like the event itself will be an opportunity to get a feel of the environment.

So, what do we have to work with?

Apart from traps or hired guns we could also invest into our existing minions or powers, right?
That's right. You could arm them better. They don't have much in the department of metal equipmnets
>C) Do some reconnisance
Knowledge is power
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“I suppose it is time for me to take a walk.”
“Very good sir. Do you wish me to accompany you?”
“You said we might be exposed, correct? Organize a defence, I don't want someone to kick in my door unhindered this time.”

You make your way to the front gate, make some last adjustments to your helmet – comfortably hiding your skull-visage – and your pauldron, magically affixed to your otherwise thin, skeletal shoulders. You exit to the dark tunnel, deciding to take a turn left.
Walking around the tunnels, and getting across bigger taverns you take in the scenery. At one point it's dark caverns with bare walls, and after the next turn it's a cascade of mushrooms, glowing with all colours of the rainbow. Descending deeper there was a cavern that would make you think you are in a swamp, or a jungle. Luckily the path is clear and you are not lost. Then the climate harshly changes, as you are surrounded by streams and waterfalls of lava.

In the meantime, none of these places are empty despite looking quite harsh, or outright inhospitable. You are surrounded by creatures of different types almost at every turn. Some you've only heard out of legends, others are completely alien. You have seen a chimera, swooping down on some manner of tall, wingless bird in the jungle. Tiny man-sized insectoid humans walking about, chained servants carrying pale and regal people, and even harpies wrestling in the air, throwing curse words at each other.
You keep your ears open, lingering here and there, catching conversations. They are mostly speculations, but there are some names that are repeated quite often.

One of Lord Konrad's protege, surely have had enough of his father's (sometimes called creator) oppression, and will try to make a name for themselves. There is no consensus who will be the one though. The Zilian colony has a new Queen, who might try and jump to the title of magister since she freshly finished her coup to become queen anyways. Some say someone of the Dalchemists – some local alchemical guild – might have a go as well, but most agree that they will likely keep to the side. Then there is the Black Myrmidon, who...

Your cataloging of information is rudely interrupted, as you make a sharp turn at a corridor, and something crashes into you, throwing your balance out of a nearby ventilation shaft. Both you and your assailant fall back from the force of the blow

>A) Firebolt!
>B) Icebolt!
>C) Concentrate on not falling on your ass
>D) Play dead
>C) Concentrate on not falling on your ass
Do a barrel ro- backflip!
Defensive stance. Let’s see who and why hit us before jumping gun.
Luckily you've took Lord Gash's boots as well, and have a counterbalance to the helmet that whips to your back. Repressing the urge to fire a spell, you wave around your hand hanging in the balance for a bit, and leaving yourself open to any further attacks.
But no attacks come, and after managing to stand back to your two feet, straightening your slide headgear, you get a good look at the source of your troubles.

Sitting there and nursing her head is a girl, being quite out of place from a look on her face. Upon further inspection you can see that she is covered from scales almost everywhere. Their colour is seems to change based on the environment.
“Ouch, ouch.” he looks up at you “Oh hey. Be careful where you're going!”
“You ran into me, I was walking.”
“Because I am in a hurry!” she bursts out with frustration springing to her feet. “Ohno!” she looks around zealously, grabbing the backpack she just dropped. “I'll be late! Do you know where is the ehhh...” she manages to fish out a scrap of paper from one of her leather pouches. “Smelter Guid,.. Guild is?”

Walking for half a day of course had you go through a few places once or twice, and gave you a pretty good idea of where you are, and how to get to most things. Tough you haven't seen a guild like that in specific, it should be either in the Crafterpit, or the Great Market. Possibly both.
“I think...”
“Oh, oh! Will you take me there? Please please? I'll even forgive you for bumping into me.”

>A) No, *I* forgive *you* if you apologize
>B) Give her directions
>C) Give her wrong directions
>D) Agree
>Agree, although I’m not sure myself.

I’ll take the girl shaped hook. Let’s look for the guild.
I wonder if we could enlist her. Dragonette? Salamander?
You are not knowledgable about the subject enough yet to tell it on your own, but definitely some manner of lizard. Perhaps an amphibian.
You could also ask
We can make small talk as we go.
“Well I am not a hundred percent sur...
“Oh it looks something like this” she presents a little amulet with some manner of rune etched into it's surface. Something indeed does come back from the back of your skull.
“Yeah, I think so. Not sure, but I have an alright idea. ”
The two of you make your way back to the acid-pit.

“So where are you from?”
“The the South-Grim Mountains”
“That's... a long way” you risk a guess
“Sure, the trek trough the wasteland was rough, but the Undermountain has the best forges on this half of the continent.”
“So you want to be a blacksmith?”
“Just like me dad was.” She nods enthusiastically. “So what are you doing around here?”
“I'm just looking around. There is talk of a contest.”
“And you wanna compete?”
“Honestly, I don't know. I'm just looking around for now.”
During your walk you learn that there is a large wasteland surrounding the mountain in which you are in. There are nomadic tribes, and individualistic monsters, but most of the civilized races are far in the south, avoiding this place.

You would ask more, but you finally reach the Lava Falls, the heat is quite rough, as the magma drips from crevices, and collected into pools of liquid fire. Different figures work on scaffolds around the magmafalls, putting in different tools and items, while collecting the fiery rock as well. Now upon second look, you can even spot a few creatures move around and in the pools. Dancing figures of fire walk on it's surface, while some crocodile-like creatures are even submerged into it. On a huge metal door, you can see the sign the lass shown. It is not easy to miss.
“Are you alright?” you inquire your companion
“Oh sure, we salamanders are right at home with this heat!” she says rather upbeat. “By the way, I never asked your name.”

>A) Dramatic Overlord introduction
>B) Respectful Formal Introduction
>C) Relaxed informal introduction
>D) Write your own damn introduction
>I’m Finneas. I’ve recently acquired a property here.

>what are your job expectations? Cause I may have an opening.
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“I’m Finneas. I’ve recently acquired a property here.” you say humbly “What are your job expectations? Cause I may have an opening.”
“Well” she trails off “I am not good enough to work independently yet, but I'll keep it in mind. Oh! If I start my apprenticeship, I'll have to sell my own stuff, so be sure to come by, alright?! The name's Gretta” she extends her toe-padded hand.
“Well, I could use a dozen swords, or shields, maybe some crossbows too” you shake the hand ”I live near the aqueducts, third tunnel on the left, big bronze door. Can't miss it.”

As you walk away from the Smelter's Guild, you feel something evaporate from you a bit. Like a shiver through your spine. It was there a moment ago, and now it isn't. You have been tailed and observed before, but this isn't that kind of feeling. It's something else.
You keep wandering, trying to shake it off, and before you know it, you enter a large hall. Not cavern, but a hall with smooth floor and tall pillars, solemn and armored figures emerging from the stone, looking down upon all who pass among them.
There is a crowd of monsters here. Small groups armed to the teeth, or a few imposing warriors. Some fellows in elegant robes being surrounded by warriors.

There are stone tablets with parchments attached to them, but the most curious feature of the room is the vibrating pools of energies, flickering in and out. Some of them are on the floors, others hang in the air, while some are outside of reach floating above the rest. Some look stable, other disappear and reappear somewhere else in every other minute, while some just flicker in and out. You see figures jumping into them, or falling out, depend
Looking upon the parchments you see that they are different requests, or bounties. Some entailing directions of where to enter, but most do not. Only an objective, a location, and a promised reward. It's seems you have stumbled upon Undermountain's job and transportation center?

>A) Try to enter on of the portals
>B) Post a job for something
>C) Try to take a job
>D) Go back somewhere(specify)
Make a mental note to ask about this place when we’re back in the stronghold. I wonder whether these portals lead to different worlds, planes or just various locations in this world. Nice thing to keep in mind if we needed something exotic. But we’d probably dispatch a reliable minion rather than a murderhobo .
Look for a job cant be a NEET for ever desu
But we already have a job, we’re an overlord with mission to save the world.
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You decide to take a second look on the requests. You aren't certain how rich or powerful you are in this world, but considering the minions you have compared to the grand monsters loitering about, you'd say probably not much. A few extra crystals might be of use, maybe even some new magical bauble.

After a little sorting, you manage to narrow the flow down to a handful of quests that sound useful, don't talk about something you have no idea, have almost a dozen group ogling at it, and finally doesn't sound like it will lead to a massacre.
First there was the acquisition of a fruit from a place called the “Endmarsh”. It even has directions to the place. It pays 600 crystals per plum.
There was also the collection of sand from the wastelands? It pays a mere 50 crystals, but it also offers an “alchemical set, well used”. Finally, there is a call for a raid on a caravan. No pay, but finders keepers, and the critical point of the job is having to make sure that the people who drive won't make it out alive. It seems to be an “open claim” which if is your short expertise is correct, means that anyone can take part. You wouldn't even have to kill if all goes well.

>A) Get some fruits
>B) Maybe that set could be of use
>C) Join the raid
>D) Go home and gather some minions

Asking about which portal leads where merely yielded you open palms and rubbed fingers. It seems knowledge is power here, and knowing what leads where is a value on it's own. Some shady fellow offered to give you a map for 200 crystals. (You have 364 on you)

>Take the offer
>You can find better blindfolded
>Can't be a Neet forever desu
Tell that to Neet Quest.

Sand castle time
Haggle with the man. Time to use our inner Jew to lower the price
Sure why not. Drop me a d100 for haggling. You can roll again if you don't like the result

or just change your IP twice and roll three times, so I can feel like I have three players.
Rolled 63 (1d100)

Most likely my IP will change since I'm a dirty phone poster away from home
Rolled 29 (1d100)

Rolled 38 (1d100)

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“So friend, what do you say?” asks the hunchback creature, waving his tar-black nose with every word.
“I say fourty”
“Preposterous, hundred-fifty!”
“Unheard of! I can count, I know that map has a fraction of the portals here.”
“Hundred and twenty!”
“Half of them are unstable!”
>Gained shady map
>306 crystals left

You decide that a quick money will do for collecting sand at the moment. You make it to the proper portal. The lopsided disc of light seems stable enough, flickering only once every other minute. You take a habitual breath, and step through.

You see the wasteland, worthy of it's name. There is nothing but dust, sand, and rock-formations as far as the eye can see. Some orientation confirms your suspicion, that this is indeed the same Wasteland that Greta mentioned traveling through. In the distance, you see Undermountain from the outside for the first time since you have arrived. The gigantic protrusion is easily five thousand meters the very least, giving an imposing sight magnified by the flatness of the surrounding area.

There are good news and bad news however.
Nearby, you see a lazy whirlpool of sand. It's distinct red colour is in stark contrast with the otherwise hard and cracked ground. The request was specific about the colour of sand too, so this went quite well. The bad news is that the portal seems to have gone after use, and the mountain is quite a distance away. So how to carry the sand?

>A) Use your helmet. Not too much but secure container
>B) Collect it into your cape. A lot more, but have to be careful carrying
>C) Try to use magic to collect, despite not having a specific spell
>D) Screw this noise, it's not worth it
>C) Try to use magic to collect, despite not having a specific spell
>B) Collect it into your cape. A lot more, but have to be careful carrying
If magic don;t work
can I ask for some 3d10s?
Rolled 2, 4, 8 = 14 (3d10)

Rolled 2, 2, 3 = 7 (3d10)

Rolled 1, 3, 9 = 13 (3d12)

Rolled 5, 10, 2 = 17 (3d10)

Watch this nigger
>[Blue Mana result: 17]
You extend your arms, and rub your hands together. You didn't had many opportunities to exercise your powers since you arrived to this world. At least not without being in some deadly trouble. Empty your mind, and formulate the idea. According to the beginner manual Blue Mana should be the one you need, the one that exercises control over the material. You can feel the energy pour into your hand, and right into the whirlpool, lodging between the grains of sand. It slowly formulates the changes you wish to preform; a bridge of sand right onto your laid down cape. A murky energy forms according to your will, and beneath it's swirling murk, you see the blue hue of your mana.

The sand lands upon the cape, like sucked across a twisted hourglass. However it is tiring. You can tell it is going to take several dozen minutes to complete it.
>Gained some experience; Basic Telekinesis
After ten minutes, you feel as if your arms are getting tired, and something within you suffers some strain. If you would have to explain, you would say that your Blue Mana muscles are tired from the effort. However from deep within, you feel as if something is about to break up like a spring. It washes over your spell, strengthening it, doubling it's efforts.
[Added power from ???: 13 – Total: 30]
Before you know it, the cape is fully covered in red sand. You fold it together into a bag, and hoist it over your shoulder. Making your way back to the mountain.

Luckily, the map you have bough comes handy. After nary a mile, you find a giant pale-green skull, with tusks of fourty feet. Following the map, you enter it's left eye-socket, and leave through the right one, repeating the process three times. Upon the third, you find yourself back in the teleport room. A bit dusty, and worse for the wear, but filled with valuable experience, and more importantly; Sand!

>A) Deliver that damned sand
>B) Go home and clean up
>C) Keep the sand for yourself, might have some use
>D) Write-in
>Figure out what the sand is useful for.
Knowledge is power, if it's worthless to us we'll deliver it to get our money. If it's useful for something and worth more than we can ask for more or use it ourselves
>A) Deliver that damned sand
>but keep a few handfuls for yourself
Kinda want to find out what the sand is use for so we can ask for more money with our knowledge
You have more sand than anyone should need, whatever they need it for. So pocketing some should be of no issue. After that, you take your considerable cape-bag, and head towards the drop-off location. You return to the twisting tunnels, until you find the sign; “Ruzul and Co.” It hangs on a surprisingly clean, and circular door made out of polished wood. You pull the copper handle beside it, and hear a ringing inside.

“I'm coming!” you her a voice between squeaky, and creaky. Withing a few minutes, a white muzzle pokes out from the doorcrack, held partially shut by a chain. “Yes?”
“Red Sand delivery.”
“Oh yes, yes.” the door is shut, and the sounds of several chains being removed echo for a while. The door opens, and the white-gray form of a hunchback ratman appears in the frame. He squints at you from beneath his thick glasses. “Bring it here”
You follow and see that the room is covered with phials, candles, books, and all sort of utensils.
“I have to warn you that if you kill me, this whole place goes boom, and you won't make it out in time” says the old geezer with his back turned to you. He sounds he's saying this more out of habit, than hostile malice.

“So what do you do you do with all this sand?” you inquire while he is in the back
“Hmmm? Oh glass of course! I need a new pair of glasses, then a few new jugs, phials, lenses, and whatnot. Fresh is the best.” he finally emerges with a little box, and a tiny bag.
“There we are, 50 gems, and my old alchemical set.” he coughs into his hands, probably some old-age malady.
“So you are an alchemist?”
“I wouldn't really force myself into a single category. Alchemy, botany, astrology, a little nautical dwelving... Ruzul and Co. have been built for discovery!” he says in his whizened voice.
“So you are Ruzul?”
“The one and only.”
“What about your partner?”
“Oh him? Don't mind him.” he coughs “he has been quite agreeable for a while” he points at a skull-formed candle-holder in the corner. “Now if you don't mind, I have to get this sand into shape!”

>A) Do you have any books alchemy?
>B) Ask about magic
>C) Time to return home
>D) Write-in
>A) Do you have any books on alchemy?
>A) Do you have any books alchemy?
>D) Write-in
Tell him we would be happy to do future work in exchange for alchemy lessons.
>A) Do you have any books alchemy?
>D) Write-in
Tell him we would be happy to do future work in exchange for alchemy lessons.
Short break, We'll resume in 15 hours
“Would you happen to have any books on alchemy?”
“Hmm? I have a few older editions I've got lying around. Feel yourself free to take one, I was about to use them as kindling anyways.”
You take one of the books, that lay in a pile beside the sofa. You take one that's in relative good condition, and eye it with a little suspicion. You've learned that better safe than sorry with magic books.
“Well if you happen to have any other work, I am willing to turn them in for some instructions in alchemy?”
“Alchemy? What use would a Warlock have for alchemy?”
“What makes you say that?”
“Well usually commanding six colours of magic makes you a bit harsh in my experience. Not to mention that if you can achieve things with your natural talents, then you tend to neglect other forms of the arts.”
“Well, I prefer to try my hands at more than one thing”
“Alright, say what. Take that book, and see if it's any use to you. Bring back something useful you've made if you do, and I'll get you a lesson.”

You make your way back to the domain, with the manual under one arm, and the box of utensils and holders under the other. At the door, two of the shoddy minions away you. One of them is relaxing on a pitchfork with an old rusty helmet, while the other has a decent short sword, but wears a pot as a helmet. Seems that defense perimeter you ordered have been made.
Taking your seat in the chair within the throne-room – calling it a throne would be a bit of an overstatement – you begin to ponder on what you already know. You have to find out what threatens this world. So it is evident that you need to know more about it. The question is, how to obtain this knowledge? Telling people you are from somewhere else might draw a lot of unwanted attention, and direct questioning might put your origins into question. Then again this place seems to be partial to the 'might makes right' approach, so you might just have to look menacingly enough.

>A) Maybe there is a library with books?
>B) Try to procure some maps
>C) Maybe a fieldtrip outside of the mountain?
>D) Maybe later, let's see what can we cook
How many minions of what sort do we have and do we have enough KFC to feed them all? What resources we have available within our domain? How much will the weapons from the salamander girl cost? Who do adjoining areas belong to?

If we can make it through the day then maybe we could send some minions on scouting missions.
I should get out of the habit of witing into the quickreply window. Now I have to start again.
I'll make a full charactersheet till the next thread but in summary
Minions: 48
>1 ettin (Jego and Jogo Widefoot)
>1 swampgnone (Riben)
>1 beastman (Forrman)
>45 duende (or filthy goblin if you prefer)

You have a hatchery with plenty of 'eggmaker' creatures, and even a kitchen of some sort, so you can feed all your minions atm. But you'll need more if you want to expand.
Grette's weapons will depend on her, like how good she, how good you want it to be, and how much she asks, however the general market price would be 20 crystals for 5 goblins being equipped with basic shield, weapon, a litter armor, and helmets. Trying to give them higher quality is usually folly.
I also don't want to work out a full-economic system here, so I'll probably give prices in a bulk and situationally.

The warlocks perfer to keep their distance between each other, and Undermountain is roomy enough to do so. Therefore adjointed domains have a lot of space between them. But the nearest neighbours are a mindflayer with slaves to match, and some trickster feline with mechanical dolls.
Hmm I wonder if we could make a deal with the cat against the mindflayer, assuming the mindflayer is scum they usually tend to be. But I suppose we’re gonna need more intel anyway before picking alliances.

Anyway I suppose gathering information from the wide world is gonna be a priority, if not “the”, considering it goes toward both securing our position and eventually fulfilling the main job.
>>A) Maybe there is a library with books?
I suppose it might help to learn more of the areas history.
>>A) Maybe there is a library with books?
You need to learn more about the world, and of course this is what books are written for! What better place to look than your local library?
“Lulach!” you call to your butler.
“Yes sir?” The dullahan makes his entry a minute later, head elegantly in his left.
“Is there a library around?”
“A library, sir?
“You know, big place, tall shelves, plenty of books. A quiet sanctuary, with comforting walls of wise words. And you can also borrow them temporarily if you compensate the librarian.”
“Oh I've heard of such places in far away lands. Alas, such place wouldn't really sit well in Undermountain.
“Why not?”

Aside from the various inhabitants spewing fire, leaking mucus, swimming in acid, and throwing around other materials unfriendly to paper, there is also the matter of the local leadership. It seems that the magic users hoard anything that can be used to further their powers to themselves, and if someone was to find a book, they would definitely not let anyone know it's contents. Maybe for compensation, as there are some merchants who sell them for profit.
“That's a pickle.”
“But wait, I remember! While Lord Gash doesn't seem to have any reading material, Lady Jezebel was quite keen on collecting books. I shall transfer her collection to you immediately M'lord.”

Lady Jezebel's seems to have been an avid reader, luckily to you. Unfortunately, half of her stuff seemed to be romantic fiction. Mostly raunchy ones between Skeletons and Squid people for some reason. You still find a few useful items, good for your purposes. There is an atlas, quite old, but it's unlikely that the landmass changed too much since then. There are also a lot of non-fiction (or at least non-fiction sounding) books.

>d100 for research! best of three
Rolled 19 (1d100)

you can roll again if you want to, I am not going to delude myself into thinking I'll get more players by waiting for them
Rolled 64 (1d100)

Rolled 81 (1d100)

By what you can garner from the few historybooks, manuals, and accounts, it seems that Undermountain have been funded by rouge magic users. Outcasts from several different kingdom and race, for heinous crimes entailing the abuse of their powers. It mentions the invention of something called “The Dark Ember” or “Shadow Mana” but doesn't expand on it much. The sorcerers have fled to the most inhospitable corner of the world, to plot their revenge.

Many of the monstrous races also end up on Undermountain. There are several reasoning for that across different sources. One cites the fact that outcasts of their societies had to go somewhere too across the centuries. Also that magic affinity being either very limited, or even abscent from most monster races, making a teamup a logical step. Others point out that due to the magpie nature of these wizards, a sizeable black market of rare or even outlawed goods can be found in Undermountain at any given time. Making it the target of vagabonds, adventurers, collectors, and treasure hunters, and not just minions of the local warlocks.

The information about the rest of the world is sporadic. There are mentions of the Sea of Terros, which lies east of the Great Wastelands, a hostile series of reefs and islands, where civilization rarely sets it's foot. The Marshwood, and the Longsteppes, a massive jungle and savannahs south of the wasteland. You also find a banana bread recepie, and a manual on bone polishing.

The last two days have been spent with reading with some rest in between., but you finally exhausted almost all of Jezebel's books. Except for the explicit materials of course. You get an okay idea of the names of nations some cultures, and societies.
>Gained Skill Research 6
>Gained Skill Lore 3

>A) Try to magpie some items for yourself
>B) Research that Dark Ember
>C) Get to cook
>D) See if Grette set herself up yet
>>B) Research that Dark Ember
desu id rather research the shadow mana.
it is quite likely that the two things are the same, and the sources couldn't agree on a unified term.
That dark ember sounds like bad news. Perhaps we should in fact learn more about it. But first ensure that domain is properly patrolled so we don’t get any surprise visitors.

Things to do on our next outing:
Try to figure out which portal in portal chamber goes where based on our new knowledge if geography, cross reference this with the map we bought.
Have some milk in local drinking establishment to strengthen them bones and overhear the talk of the town.
See if Grette has set herself up
I think the best thing we might get up to is hiring more help. Extra security plus they can run some small jobs for us. Like the sand collecting.
This thing sounds quite bad, if the mages got exiled from half a continent because of it. Maybe it's still in the mountain? Perhaps this is why you are here? The great danger that threatens this world? Questions upon questions, better take a look at it. But where to?

>A) If it's a substance, you might be able to buy it on the black market
>B) If it's an artifact, then maybe one of the treasure hunters know more
>C) Inquire if Lulach might know something. After all he knows you are not from around here
>D) Write-in (or do something else)
Let’s start with Lulach.

We should be careful with actively asking around for this stuff.
>C) Inquire if Lulach might know something. After all he knows you are not from around here
“You've called sir?” the dullahan makes an appearance in your chamber.
You ponder a little on how to ask, without showing that you know absolutely nothing. Truly a valuable skill.
“Where should we look to acquire more Dark Ember?”
“Dark Ember sir?”
“Shadow Mana. Jog your memory I don't have all day!” you add with faked annoyance, pretending to work on something at the table.
“Ah, well sir, some overlords hold a stash on them. Or in a safe place. Mayhaps Lord Gash had some hidden away.”
“So if I want more, then I'd have to fight other overlords.” you state matter of factly.
“As with all things around here sir. Though pray tell, why do you wish to gather so much, don't you.. already possess enough?” he risks
“Oh sure. It's just a precaution. Just in case.” you say with a prefect pokerface. Having nothing but a skull for a face probably helps.
“Shall I start a search party?”
“What? Oh no, no. If there was some, we would have found it” you say absent-minded “That will be all.”

Once he is gone, you stop scribbling, and look around the room. Maybe it's here? Maybe you've already seen it? You survey the old bed, maybe it's beneath? The near-empty shelves, only hold the items you've carried over. The rusty chest have been turned inside out already, the throwing axes been put to use among your minions, maybe under the carpet? Or perhas...
The stone basin.
The dark cloud.
You skip on your feet, and slowly start to circle around the basin. Is that it? But you have unleashed it already. What the heck just happened?

>A) No, that's probably not it. I have other things to do than chase shadows.
>B) Try to control the basin again
>C) Try to learn more at the market under the guise of buying a new one
>D) Panic.
I suppose no then
Sorry m8 irl shit came up
>examine the basin again
>examine the basin again
>>B) Try to control the basin again
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Well you didn't make it to Court Mage, Seneschal, Royal Adviser, Master of Pigeons, and "that corpse-puppeteering commoner creep" by shying away from danger and experimentation! Nothing bad have happened last time either, right? You've asked around and nobody even saw a thing.
You cautiously lean over the basin, examining the murky waters in it. Then placing your hands into it, and push slowly.

You get nearly elbow-deep before you hit the bottom. This was around the time when the reaction happened, but no such anomaly this time. No rising smoke, no hidden instinct, nothing. Maybe it really was nothing? Nobody saw a thing...
You let that thought linger on a moment, then you remember two things; one that when you first did this, you felt something pushing, and you had to push back. Second, that you have seen it, but not visually. You could only sense it so clearly that your mind deceivingly told you it was there.

The thought is on the tip of your tongue, but somehow it eludes you. Just like it eluded you that maybe things were going too well. Like you never questioned that why are you so special that you that you and you alone can save the kingdom from the plague, you stupid stupid! Then the court always exchanging glances when you entered a room, or how there was whispers of vile rumours that you were never confronted with and could not speak up against. Why did you thought that you could ever belong? Because you've worked yourself sick, and then kept going on after you yourself caught the plague?!

"Curse you all!" you shout with all the anger, frustration, and hate that you can muster, raising your clenched in a fist, cursing the world.
Suddenly black mist envelops your fingers. You reel back, almost dropping it in surprise, but manage to hold onto the sudden energies. It comes from all around you, the gray vapor that you have unleashed from the basin concentrating among your fingers. No, you bring it closer to your face.
It comes from you as well.

>A) Let it go
>B) Raise it into the basin
>C) Try to mix it with other mana
>D) Take it into yourself
Raise it to the basin
Also since it seems this thing is connected to emotions, let’s try to imagine pleasant and unpleasant memories alternately to see how and to what this thing reacts.
>Raise it into the basin
You carefully hold it in your hands, like it could slip any moment. You decide to raise it down into the basin in the hopes of preserving it. As your fingers touch the water, the energy slips into it, dispersing on the surface, then sinking down leaving the familiar murky look.
However you pinch a little between your thumb and index finger, contemplating on the events. Testing a hypothesis, you start to alternate your mental state. You try some anger, and hate, reminiscing that one time you got a beating for your ninth birthday. The dark matter swells in size, but just a bit. What is curious that it no longer collects anything from around you -all that is in the basin now- but rather, it emanates from you.

The growth stops after a while, despite turning the feeling inside your gut a bit. You shake your head and dismiss it, concentrating instead of this new discovery. You try to remember happier times, warm pie made by your mother. You miss pie.
The smoke stops in growth, and maybe shrinks a bit, but you can very well tell it is the same density and merely appears to be less. You drop the fickle into the water too. Then you reach down, grab, and pull out a handful again. Your second hunch have been correct too; the basin is some kind of container.

Through various hours of contemplating, experimenting, and writing down your findings, you learn much about the substance. It acts the same way as the other manas you have encountered; they can be shaped and thrown in it's raw form, but the black one doesn't seem to do anything on it's own. It's use is not apparent until you try to throw two colours together. Red and Blue extinguish each other in a sizzling metaphysical reaction. Black however, seems to empower whichever colour it interacts with. The icebolt you mixed it into, froze your wall all over, and took three normal firebolts to scorch off.
I am not too sure where to go next. If nobody wants to do anything specific now, I'll probably be back in 17 hours with a new thread, small timeskip, and proper character sheet.
Sounds good to me boss.
Well, I thank those two (dare I think three?) anons who kept playing, and kept forcing me to update. You are all great.

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