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/qst/ - Quests

You turn towards the exit and slowly walk up to it. As you get closer however you start talking things over with Szikra.
"So... any impressions?"

"Just the same thing... that we are way over in our heads with this thing."

"Anything constructive?"

"I don't know...
This all seems fishy to me.
I don't even know if we can trust this friend of yours. I mean... where does he get his information from?"

"Mezegis is resourceful."

"Maybe... but how reliable is he?"

You stop just as you reached the door, the big fella who attempted to stand in your way stared at you with a mixture of confusion and humility. Suddenly taking a step forward you managed to intimidate him enough that he started covering in fear. As he crawled away from you and out of ear shot you turned to Szikra and leaned in so you could whisper to her.
"So what do you propose?"

"We know what's going on!
Let's just tell the elf about the corruption of the guards and the rising crime syndicate and get this thing over with."

You find yourself lost in thought at her suggestion.
What she recommends would be inefficient to say the least. If what Mezegis said is true then it's very likely that Beatrice won't even get a chance to act upon the information you gathered, if the corruption of the guard is as far reaching as you are lead to believe. On the other hand this is likely your last chance to get out of this relatively safe...

You look behind yourself and see a confused looking Zana. She is quite oblivious to everything that's going on but even she seems to be worried as she managed to pick up on the tension between Szikra and you.
Giving her a reassuring pat on the head you returned to Szikra.

"I understand that you don't want this... that this isn't our business..."

>But we must press on. You're not fine with this either!
>So I'm willing to compromise. You stay here and I'll visit the gangs hideout on my own
>And I agree. Let's collect our paycheck.
>Other? (write-in)
>But we must press on. You're not fine with this either!
Szikra pls save us from our poor life choices.
But seriously though, I wouldn't be surprised if we were already on this "Conspiracy/Faction/Whatever's" radar and we were already being stalked the second we stepped inside the city, and no matter what we do, there's a good chance that we're gonna get attacked regardless.
Also, howdy Spooky, nice to see ya again.
>"So here's what we'll do. I'll visit the gang hideout on my own. You go tell Beatrice what we've found, so she has a lead to follow if I get disappeared. After that, you're free to get out of this business; I'm not going to force you to risk your neck with me."
What could go wrong?
Welcome back.

I'm still in the post holiday torpor state induced by all the food and the general hangin' around with family members.
But I had plenty of coffee prepared in advance so fingers crossed that I won't pass out.
I'll be voting but i'm a lazy asshole who forgot to read most of the last chapter, so i'll be doing that first.
This like the best option
That seems to be roughly a unanimous vote

"So here's what we'll do. I'll visit the gang hideout on my own. You go tell Beatrice what we've found, so she has a lead to follow if I get disappeared. After that, you're free to get out of this business; I'm not going to force you to risk your neck with me."

It takes a moment for her to process this but she eventually shakes her head and lets out a sigh.
"You stubborn fool...
Alright. If you don't report within a day, we'll storm the gates."

"Don't get any bright ideas.
If I'm lost then there is no reason for you to follow me.
In that case I want you to take Zana out of here and leave."

I'm not staying because of some sort of pride.
I'd love nothing more than to run away and leave all this shit behind myself.
The reason for me following you is that I won't let my partner ax himself like that! You understand?
If you fuck up! I'll make sure you suffer a far worse torture than anything some petty criminals could inflict upon you!"

You let out a smirk.
"I understand."
Then you turn around and start shouting.

Climbing down from his hoard your former comrade approached you.

"Change of plans."
You gently touched Zanas back and shoved her forward.
"I'm leaving her here. Don't get any funny ideas. You touch her and I'll bash your skull in."

"You want me to take care of your pet?!"

"Not a pet. My comrade."

He shook his head in his disbelief.
"Alright, alright. I'm not even going to question it.
Leave it to me. But in turn I hope you'll resolve this situation.
It's not exactly good for business."

After coming to a mutual agreement you parted ways with him.
Stepping outside you finally took a breath of fresh air and looked at your partner.
"Don't get yourself killed."
She spoke up.


She raises her hand for a high five and you oblige her, giving her hand a satisfying slap.
With your tasks divvied up you went your separate ways. She headed for the guards in order to report your findings while you took out the slip of paper that Beatrice gave you. With renewed vigor and some much needed insight you made your way there.

Weisgardist was still a remarkably large and complex city with streets layered upon each other, creating a labyrinthine pathway that was nigh impossible to navigate for you. Luckily with some streetwise you managed to acquire the assistance of a few imperial citizens who were more than happy to aid you.
Taking the transportation system you used before, you made your way eastward and towards the docks.
Upon leaving the elevated railway you shook off your nausea as you took in the scenery.
Looking at the sunset you could almost make out the phenomenon only known as the Eye on the horizon.
As the Lightwell reaches the end of its path it disappears just before the line separating land and sky.
The reason for that is the titular Eye which is the shortened version of "Eye of the storm". An everlasting natural barrier cutting off the continent from the rest of the world.

For almost two thousand years the land has been surrounded by an unmoving waterspout that rages on with such ferocity that nothing, not even the mightiest beasts can bypass it. Obviously magical in nature, this vortex is single handedly responsible for the belief that nothing other than the Three Lands exists in this world since nobody can verify the existence of anything beyond it, not even mages.

But this is not the reason why you came here so you avert your eyes from it, least it consumes even more of your time.
Turning towards the docks you spot a few buildings on its borders and head for one of them.

A small, unassuming tavern which, one day may have entertained the few tired fishermen brave enough to risk venturing out onto the sea now only serves as the headquarters of a band that is supposedly strangling the capital of the Empire.
The shack is no bigger than a barn and has only two windows on it, the dim light of the establishment barely manages to escape through them and into the night.

The door appears to be old, older than most people you know, its wood only held together by the faith of those who own it.
Since nothing seems to be obstructing your passage you gently open it and make your way inside. To your surprise the faint sound of a piano being played can be heard as most of the pubs guests have already buried their faces in the wooden tables.


Nobody, not the pianist nor the bartender seem to even acknowledge your existence. So far, so good.
Making your way to the counter you gently knock on the wood to get the owners attention.
He doesn't greet you but spits in a pot next to him before looking at you inquisitively.

>Order something
>I'm looking for some work
>I want to talk to someone
>Other? (write-in)
>>Order something
>>I'm looking for some work
Well there isn't much to interpret here


And if there are still 3 people reading...
Roll 3d10 please
Best of 3
DC: 15 no crit

Rolled 1, 10, 4 = 15 (3d10)

seems not a whole lot of people here, i'd hate to see the quest end here and now.
Hey at least you'd made it!

And so would I... but can't really fault anyone other than myself on the failure.
We'll just have to see. My policy was always to keep going as long as I have at least three people.
However if I can't attract at least that many people then I'll just have to pull the plug
Rolled 8, 6, 10 = 24 (3d10)

Whoops, I missed the vote. Not that I object to the options that won.
Rolled 7, 9, 6 = 22 (3d10)

Well there we go, and all of these are nice rolls
Not seeing much point in beating around the bush you immediately got to the point and asked the most important question from the owner of this 'fine' establishment.
"Excuse me...
I'm looking for some work. Heard there might be some-"

"If you ain't gonna buy nothin' then beat it."
The grizzled, unshaven man with the large beer belly belched out a response to you and you did your best to ignore it.

"I see. My apologies.
Then I'd like a mug of the strongest thing you have."



He sneered at you before reaching under the table and raising a stained glass containing some sort of strange fluid.
As he poured its content into a tankard an absolutely rancid smell hit your nose that managed to turn your stomach upside down instantly.

He shoved the murky drink in your face and demanded his compensation.
"Fermented shark-aberrant liver.
Twenty copper!"

As the nauseating gas of the 'drink' filled the entire building the few patrons that were there suddenly started paying attention to you. Seeing this you swallowed nervously and paid the man what was the most amount you've ever given for a drink. He eagerly accepted it and then practically ordered you to drink up already.
Seeing the attention you managed to garner you wasted no time and reached out with your trembling hand.

Realizing that the longer you stare at it, the harder it'll be to drink this swill you chugged down the entire thing in one go, abandoning all common sense in the process. The taste of the thing was twice as foul as its smell, if such a thing was even possible but you sent down the entire thing. After all, what fool drinks for the taste of it?
And as you managed to swallow the thing you felt as if a wild stallion just kicked you in the guts.
Clenching involuntarily you managed to crush the wooden tankard with one hand. The two iron rings that held it together flew off and fell to the ground with loud clatter.

The owner looked at the two gentlemen closest to you and burped out his orders.
"Take this guy out of here and throw him in the water.
Last thing I want is him dying here."

But as those two stooges were getting up from their streets you suddenly started cracking your neck.
I was about to ask for a second round..."

The bartenders composure shattered like the tankard he gave you and he began sweating bullets.

"But then again... it wasn't that good.
Now about that work."
"L-Look buddy I can't-"

But as the owner started mumbling one of the more rough looking gentlemen came up and spoke to him.
"Save your breath old man.
The boss wants to speak with this one."
This man was not particularly well armed as he wore nothing but a pair of brown pants that were tied to his waist via a length of rope and a tattered blue shit. But tucked under his shirt was an easy to make out weapon. Perhaps a sword or a saber.
"You... come."

The man then lead you to the very end of the tavern where a small corner was cut off from the rest of the place by a large curtain. He gestured for you to enter and you obliged. Inside, sitting at a table that was much newer and more well kept than the rest was a woman clad in a set of heavy plate armor adorned with numerous spikes.
She looked up from her drink and you saw that under that short, spiky, black hair of hers was only a single, solitary eye.
Noticing your gaze upon her eyepatch she began scolding you.

"Didn't your parents teach you to not stare at people?
Because if you don't I'll give you one like this, since you seem so fond of it."

"My apologies."
You step forward and reach for the chair opposite of hers but you quickly find one of the thugs stopping you.

"Who told you that you can take a seat?"

You turn back to look at her and give her a menacing look.
"I suggest you call off your dog...
Otherwise I might have to even you out."
After this comment you found at least four different blades aimed straight at your neck as every member of the gang drew their blade on you.

I was wondering if you were crazy or just had more balls than the average battallion...
I guess I found my answer."
She looked at her subordinate.
"Let him go.
Now... please take a seat."

This time you paid close attention to the ones around you as you reached for the chair.
Sitting down in front of the woman you allowed her to size you up.
"Nice armor."
She said.
"We've been eyeing that one for a while now.
Heard someone actually bought it. Didn't think you'd just waltz in with it however..."

"You were expecting me?"

"No. You think you are hot shit, aren't you?
That the whole world revolves around you?"

"No... But I'll change that."

"Good... good...
That's a good attitude to have. Just make sure to keep it in check!
Now... I'll be straight with you. I like the cut of your jib. Not many people have what it takes to drink straight up poison and ask for seconds... less people can manage to intimidate me.
I'll give you a shot. Tell me what you're doing here and if I like your answer I'll consider not chopping off your balls and feeding it to the fish!"

>I'm just looking for some coin
>I heard you guys are hot shit... I want in
>I came to see what all the fuss is about. Frankly, not impressed
>Other? (write-in)
>>I heard you guys are hot shit... I want in
>I came to see what all the fuss is about. I'm still waiting to be impressed.
>I came to see what all the fuss is about. I'm still waiting to be impressed.
Gotta keep up that air of free agent.
>>I came to see what all the fuss is about. Frankly, not impressed
I like this quest, but I tend to miss the start of it due to being busy

Since there were no write-ins please roll 3d10
Best of 3 as always
DC: 14, Crit: 19

Rolled 7, 1, 8 = 16 (3d10)

let's go!
Rolled 2, 8, 2 = 12 (3d10)

I feel like 'I'm waiting for you to impress me' has a slightly different implication from 'You don't impress me', but that might just be me.
Rolled 2, 7, 1 = 10 (3d10)

Success but we did not roll high
Well, yes but I meant "write-ins" as further actions beyond mere words.
I did take your change into consideration, don't worry
Better a regular success than a fail.
true enough, plus we can't crit them all.
"I was wondering what all the fuss was about. I'm still waiting to be impressed."

She furrowed her brows upon hearing your comment.
"Impudent brat. It's one thing to be cocky.
It's another to not know your place.
Get him."


One word. That's all it took for her to cause all those swords around you to be brought down on your neck.
But you weren't afraid. With one quick motion you drew your blade as you stood up and with one circular motion cut in the direction of your assaulters. Those who had enough strength to keep their weapons from flying out of their palms found their sabers being neatly cut apart.

Stabbing downward you nearly cut off the manhood of one of them. As he was thanking his lucky stars that you didn't rob him of his family jewels you took a step closer and after grabbing his arm went behind him. Twisting harder and harder you could almost hear his flesh straining to keep his arm in place, until you heard a satisfying pop and the man broke out in tears. His wailings were enough to cause the others to drop whatever piece of steel they still had in their hands and backed off.

But the lady at the table seemingly enjoyed this spectacle as she placed one elbow on the table and began supporting her head. Letting out a coy little smile she spoke up.
"Nice. Looks like you aren't just hot air after all."
She raised her other hand up and with one wave dismissed all of her men, except the one you were holding onto.
"Let him go. It'd be awkward if he shat himself."

"As you wish."
You relinquished your hold on the poor wretch and he began his panicked escape almost immediately.

"Okay... okay.
Let us continue our little chat then, seeing how you are worth my time after all."
Not even bothering to wait for her offer you took back your seat as she smiled.
"Before we go on, would you like a drink? On me."


After but a snap of her fingers the bartender personally brought her some refreshments and even gave you a tankard full of some top shelf ale. Carefully giving it a whiff you concluded that it was a much more pleasant drink than the one you experienced. Pushing it forward you spoke to your 'gracious' host.
"You first."

"Smart. I like it."
She took not just a sip but an entire mouthful of the fine beer and made a show of swallowing it.
"Don't worry. I prefer steel to poison."
With the danger of intoxicating yourself in more ways than one passing you finally drank as she continued.
"You said you were waiting to be impressed by us, right?
Now I understand why... That armor, that sword. You are dangerous, certainly more so than the average man of the Empire.
But if you are looking to be impressed you are looking at the wrong place."

"I thought as much. You are purposefully hiding in the shadows even though you have control over this entire city.

"Hmph... you are mistaken.
That glorified whore in the palace up there is still in charge, we just got a pass to go as we please.
As long as we don't stand out too much. Was I clear?"


"Now then, even though you are clearly capable enough for the position of officer I still have to ask a few questions before we get any further. I'm sure you understand."
You gesture for her to continue.
"First off, where did you get that gear?"

"Which one?"

"All of it. Especially that sword."

"The armor I bought with my savings.
The sword I took from its last owner. A captain with a bounty on his head."

"A mercenary? Or an adventurer?"

"The latter."

Would you mind explaining why would you risk your neck by leaving your precious guild?
Last time I heard it's not exactly wise to betray the guild master. You know... folk tales and such."

You roll the tankard in your hand around for a bit, carefully thinking up a response.

>Simple. I think there is more coin to be made working for you.
>Frankly I'm tired of risking my life for a bunch of ungrateful peasants and not being properly thanked for it.
>I'm looking for something, something I can't seem to find anywhere else. Have you ever heard of Stride?
>Other? (write-in)
>I'm looking for something, something I can't seem to find anywhere else. Have you ever heard of Stride?
Making it seem like we've got some concrete personal goal here would make it seem more believable, I think. It also misdirects the areas where she thinks she could get leverage over us.
>>I'm looking for something, something I can't seem to find anywhere else. Have you ever heard of Stride?
>I'm looking for something, something I can't seem to find anywhere else. Have you ever heard of Stride?
Well you guys sure seem to be in tune

"Truth be told I'm looking for something, something I can't seem to find anywhere else.
Ever heard of Stride?"

Immediately after hearing that name her facial expression changed, contorted until her annoyance was as clear as the sky.
She stood up so quickly she almost flipped the table over and raised her spiked mace at you.
Her eye was practically radiating with murderous intent as she was hissing from anger.

"Listen kid... I tolerated you beating the shit out of my men, I even forgive you being disrespectful.
But one thing I can't tolerate is people messing around!
Tch... but judging by your expression you aren't."
After she calmed down a bit she sat back in her chair and crossed her arms.
"So I'll tell you once and exactly once. Don't mention that name around anyone ever again, got it?"

"Why? What's wrong with it?"

"I'm not your mommy who tucks you in and reads you bedtime stories!"

"Is it a story? If so I am not aware of it."

She gives you a look that suggests she wants to strangle you but eventually she gives in and she drops her shoulders.
"Fine... I'll tell you. But after you hear it you better shut the fuck up and we get back to business! Understood?!
Then listen closely! Stride is a myth, a tale, a fable. Everyone who grows up and lives in the slum knows his tales. And they are many. He is the one shred, one light, one bright, shining star you cling to in this universe. When you hit rock bottom and think that things can never get better, he is your last hope."

"But why? What was he?"

"I TOLD YOU! He doesn't exist! He was made up by a bunch of desperate fools whose only escape out of this putrid shithole of a reality was a fantasy of power! They made up a figure who could do anything he wanted! What they themselves didn't dare to dream of!
Tales of adventure, heroism, romance and mischief.
Impossible things like fucking a greedy assholes wife, daughter and son at the same time. A man capable of challenging the Empress and the King!"

"You sound upset.
You used to believe those tales, didn't you?"

"Don't.... push... IT!
I did. And so many others.
But accepting that they aren't true is part of growing up.
However it's more expensive for some...
I lost an eye because of it. Because I refused to admit they aren't true to a bunch of jaded bastards who gave up on life and who were offended by my hope..."

She sits back and chugs down the rest of her drink in one go.
With a glazed eye she stared up at the ceiling as she finished it up.
"It's an old wound that never heals. And ripping it up is always painful.
You are an outsider... you couldn't understand. So don't be an idiot and don't mention it to anyone else!"
"I understand. But still, it's something I'm curious about."

"Your funeral pal.
But before we conclude I'd like to ask one thing of you.
I assume you aren't free, much like your mercenary brethren."

"You got that right. And I expect to be paid according to my skills."

"Of that you can be sure.
Over-all I'm convinced. You clearly have the potential to be useful, now it's only a matter of time to see just how much.
If you behave we'll make sure you are well taken care of. If you betray us however, well... You'll be wishing for the Guildmaster to get his hands on you boy."

"I'm not scared...
And you'll see that my performance speaks for itself."

"Riiight. We'll see about that.
How about it then? Interested in finally becoming more than just a hired sword?"

"You say that like that won't be my job."

"Trust me... you got no idea what we have in store."

>Very well. Lead the way
>Can it wait a bit? Got to take care of a few stuff first so nobody will start looking for me
>Other? (write-in)
>>Very well. Lead the way
>Then let's make it quick, I gotta let some folks know that I'm not dead so they don't go on the warpath.
>>Very well. Lead the way
Agreeing with the woman you started following her out of the tavern and into the thickness of the city.
Along the way you started wondering about where exactly she was leading you since there didn't seem to be anything in the vicinity large enough to house any large scale operation.

"I hope we don't have to walk to the other end of the capital."

"Don't worry. You'll soon realize where we are going."

You began worrying when you left even the shadowy alleys and started reaching places where no men were intended to go.
Taking a long flight of stairs downwards you reached a massive grate standing right in front of you and finally reality hit you.
"It's actually inside the sewers?!"

"The not just the sewers... the old sewers.
Under the current pipeline there is a network of tunnels that haven't been used in about a thousand years.
Those were constructed by the Empress around the time when she founded the Empire. Don't worry, the smell doesn't reach downstairs and it's arguably more stable than the current one."

"Then... why was it replaced?"

Weistgardist simply grew too large for the old system. It was not something you could just resolve with a patchwork.
It was either creating a new, large scale system or the capital would drown in its own filth.
Which is great for us."

You entered the tunnel system and your guide gave you a lit torch to carry.
"Don't worry, you'll learn these pathways like the back of your hand soon enough."

"That's not what I'm worried about.
Aren't there things inhabiting these abandoned tunnels?"

"No. Since they are not abandoned anymore.
We make use of almost every passage down here and make sure they remain clean.
That way we can transport goods and pretty much anything else without the Guard realizing it."

After about ten minutes of walking you entered a massive, dome shaped room that must've served as a cistern back when this place held a different kind of filth. Since then it has been refurbished into a central hub for the gang that now operated right under the guards noses. And as you tried to take in the sheer scope of this second city you had to realize just how pointless it'd have been to report your findings to the guard. Even if they knew that the gang operated down here there's no way they'd find them in this maze before they could just pack their stuff and leave.

Ingenious but also quite worrying.
As you are staring at the scene with your jaw on the ground the one eyed woman slapped your back.
"Stop gawking and come on. I gotta introduce you to someone important."

After recovering from your shock you started following her but not without asking some questions first.
"How long did it take?"

"Less than you'd think.
We have some powerful friends who helped out with some of the initial stuff and the heavy lifting.
After that it was only a matter of months before we filled this place up.
But enough of that. Better prepare yourself for meeting the boss."

"The boss? THE boss?"

He likes doing things personally, especially when it comes to officers."


You are too good for a grunt.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. You won't get any underlings just yet but you will start a bit higher on the pecking order. Instead of just taking orders you'll be the one relaying them. But the boss will explain things in more detail."

She lead you to one of the only actual buildings in this place, making it the only permanent and therefore significant part of this place. Though little more than a wooden shed reinforced with some metal plates it definitely stood out when surrounded by nothing other than a few stalls or tents. After going in she asked around a bit before concluding that the man she's looking for is not here.

A few meters away from the gangs headquarters you saw a spiraling staircase leading down.
You were instructed to remain there until the boss came back, which he did in about half an hour.

And he looked nothing like you imagined.
He was a proper mutant, with much more prominent mutations than Szikra. His hair was bright green, his eyes were those of a lizard and his muscles were swollen with an otherworldly power. He grinned at you and you got a good, long look at his dagger like teeth.

"Ah Jez!
What did you bring me this time?"

"Hey Boss.
Got ourselves some fresh meat.
Waltzed into the fisher hut and crippled one of my guys without effort.
I think he'd be good for an officer."

"Hmmmmm... I see."
He turned to face you.
"Don't worry friend, I won't bother you with some pointless tests.
A recommendation from Jez is fine for me. If she says you are officer material then so be it. Welcome to the family.
You may call me Boss, or Chief. Whichever you prefer.
What's your name?"

>Give him a fake one (write-in)
>Simon. Simon Crabtree.
It's silly but I like it.
And if the boss calls us out on it being a fake name, point out to them that people don't last long in this business with just their real name.
Well that and Zsold has pretty much become our real name for all intents and purposes.
>"Call me 'Edmond'. It's not my birth name; I left that behind long ago. It's more convenient that no one I knew can easily recognize me."
suppporting: >>3022550
Simon it is

And yes, this choice was actually important

>And yes, this choice was actually important
o shit
"Simon, Simon Crabtree."

The boss looks at your completely serious expression as you say that name and bursts out laughing.
"Oh I already like this guy! I ask him his name and he gives me this!

You just shrug at that.
"I just thought it's not smart to run around with people knowing your real name."

"Don't worry. I understand. Simon it is then!
So Simon-"
The boss raised his arm and wrapped it around you, pulling himself close to you.
"What do you know of our little merry band, hmmmm?"

"All I know is that you guys are the biggest fish around."

"Ah, I see.
Then we might as well begin with orientation.
Come, let us walk. It'd be dreadfully boring if we just stood in place while I could be showing how things work around here."
Walking side by side with the boss holding you firmly in his grasp he began explaining things to you.

"So my boy. I assume Jez already told you where you'll start."

"I'll work for the officers above me and give their orders to the people below me."

But understanding what we do is still important. After all, we wouldn't want you doing things you aren't supposed to just because some devious git managed to trick you. So I'll tell you what we are about so you know what nasty business you can report to me."
He points at the many tents set up around the place.
"First off is the market. This is OUR market you can buy almost anyone here with a few exceptions if you pay for the stall.
Nobody extorts anything from anyone, no protection money is paid and anyone tries stealing they die on the spot. Got that?"

You nodded.
Second is the actual business.
Here are what I like to call our manufactorums. You see, we got our hands in pretty much every business imaginable from food to medicine to weapons. Anything that might be questionable or dangerous we handle it, except junk. We don't do drugs, period."

You ask that but in truth you have a pretty good idea why that is the case, two in fact.
First is Mezegis not letting them, the other is a more personal one. Maybe aether rich narcotics are the reason why he looks like that. Perhaps mommy was a bit of a substance abuser.

"Well -ahem- the Guard would quickly notice the influx of drugs into the city.
And no matter how much we bribe them, they won't ignore that.
But putting aside the fact that we provide a free market for anything and sell almost anything ourselves we got our hands in other areas."
The boss then points upward.
"You see those 'finer' folks also conduct a lot of business.
Business which takes profit from us. So we ask some compensation from them in the form of protection money.
Getting that will also be a part of your duties... And defending our clientele as well!"
"But know this...
No matter what happens, always be ready to abandon all of these at the drop of a hat!"

This gives you a pause.
"I don't understand.
If this is the way you make your money then... how could it be so worthless you are ready to give up on it?"

"Ah, now THAT is the important part my friend.
And just because you seem like an okay guy to me, I'll let you in on a little secret.
All of this is just a front for our true clients. Yes, it gets us money which is nice and all but it's negligible compared to what we are making behind the scenes."

You attempt to fake a smirk and manage to succeed due to feeling some genuine respect for such a mad plan.
"That's quite a con."

"Isn't it?
By keeping most of my guys in the dark nobody, not even the guard know what's going on.
All they know is that we took over almost all organized crime in the city and for all intents and purposes, we did.
But we only take that seriously because we have bigger fish to fry.
We pay off the guard so they leave us be, which is only possible because we don't distribute junk, and because we go through all that trouble our real purpose remains a secret."

"Which is?"

"You'd like to know that, wouldn't you?
If you work hard and prove yourself I'll be willing to share that with you.
But if you cross me... I'll not let you walk off with that knowledge!"
Cold sweat begins to run down your cheeks upon hearing that and the boss leans in closer, letting out an intimidating aura that he managed to keep perfectly hidden up until now.
"So listen here funny man! You may be capable, you may be smart... but to me that says liability!
I told you this because I want you to know... I'll be keeping an eye at you. If you prove yourself to me, I'll give you the position and power you deserve. If you don't, I'll let you fade into obscurity. But if you fail me... I'll make sure you'll not live to regret it!
Do you understand?"

You give him a nod.
"Good... I'm glad you get it!
Now then... Before I let you be on your way, I got one thing I'd like to ask you.
What do you think is the most important thing in the world?"

>Other? (write-in)
Everything else is ultimately a means to this end.

There was but one answer for you.
Power, money... all but tools to reach a goal. One that even you strive for.
Freedom from the shackles of the past, freedom from an oppressor, freedom from abuse...

After giving your answer the boss began rubbing his chin.
"Freedom huh?
An interesting answer but no... It's principles. A set of rules which dictate our every actions."

"What do you mean?"
You asked him.

"It's simple, really. You may have whatever it is you crave. But if you don't have principles then they aren't good for much.
Without something to restrain them men would spend all the money they've earned, squander their potential or recklessly use their power until it destroys them. In the wilds the governing principles are the rules of nature, the weak die and the strong live. But for men it's a bit more complex."

"So the most important part of life are the rules we set for ourselves?"

"In a way, yes.
But I don't know if you've noticed... but when men broke themselves from the circle of life and became higher beings they lost their original principles. And when they were forced to create their own it gave birth to degeneracy when the lowest of scum decided that they are better than principles. You see... when the wheat isn't separated from the chaff... when the unworthy get to keep on living they propagate their faulty principles."

"What are you on about?"

The boss pauses for a moment.
"Nothing.... nothing.
I just have a tendency to ramble on.
Tell me, Simon. What are your principles?"

"You've said them already. The weak die... the strong live.
I want to keep living so I get stronger. And through that strength I'll attain my freedom."

"A man of simplicity I see. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, I find it admirable.
But if you'll allow me I'll share mine with you.
And this ties in with what we do around here.
The principles of people have been corrupted... This two thousand year old conflict... No constant governing body to oversee the principles of the masses... We've been spiraling down into oblivion for far too long.
And it's about time we put a stop to that."

You give him a long but confused look.
"You want to dethrone the empress?"

"Not just her... the king as well.
These two immortals have been toying with our lives for far too long, the ideals they force upon the people have corrupted our principles. The Empress is reborn again and again, doomed to forget much of her memories and repeat the same mistakes time and time again! The King remembers everything from each life with crystal clarity and it's driving him mad.
Yet no matter how many times they go at each others throats the conflict never ends.
It's sickening, isn't it?"
"In that case count me in."

"Excuse me?"

"That thing you're selling. I'm interested."

"Really now?"
The boss leans in and closely inspects you.
"I see no deformity on you... none that'd suggest you being shunned by the world.
Did you do something which earned you the ire of the world? No, doesn't look like it.
And yet... there is something about you... that makes me believe you."

He leans in closer and places his hand upon your shoulder. His hand remains fixated for several seconds before he looks deep into your eyes. You see the slit that is his pupil widening a bit as he gazes into you.
"Tell me... what drives you truly?"

Growing annoyed at his prodding you swatted his hand away.
"My reasons are my own and I'd like it to keep it that way.
Just make sure to pay me for my services and I'll assist you. Do we have an agreement?"

He takes a step back and stares at his palm for just a fraction of a second before turning back to you.
Very well! I'd say that I'm very much interested in working with you.
And as I said previously... prove yourself to me and I'll make sure to reward you with my trust.
When can you begin?"


"Excellent! Jez will handle you when you get back.
Speaking of which! Jez! Be a dear and escort our new friend out."

"Got it boss."

Jez then lead you out the same way you came in and pulled you aside when you reached the entrance to the tunnel network.
"Tomorrow at dawn then. Meet me in the pub at the docks.
And you better learn the path quick beceause I'm not gonna babysit you!"


Leaving the horrid aqueduct you carefully made your way back to the brothel of Mezegis while making damn sure you aren't followed around. Luckily for you the door man remembered you and got out of your way as soon as possible.
Your friend then promptly took precious time out of his orgy to have a chat with you.
"So... how did it go?"

"Can you send a message to Captain Beatrice?
Tell her I'm in."
And I think that's as good a time as any to stop.

Thank you for participating in this weeks brain aneurism again!
I hope you've been enjoying yourselves and I must say you picked surprisingly well, all things considered.

I'll try to squeeze in some omakes during the week, mostly because I couldn't find the time for them last week and I feel guilty about it.
It should add some much needed progress for that "side story" that's been going on.
But if you have any requests, as always, feel free to throw them my way

Anyways, see you guys next session!
as always thanks for running this Spookyng, see you next session
Thanks for sticking by for us Spooky. See ya later.
If that was in reference to my previous comment, I just want to say that it wasn't a threat, nor an ultimatum. Just a simple statement.
Because this is still meant to be a game if we don't have at least three people who could resolve a tie, should it come up then there would be no point in going on.

Aaaaanyway, I'll get to writing that omake I promised!
Nah, I was more referring to the fact that QMs usually have a tendency to just instantly drop the quest they're running without letting the playerbase know.
Omake #1: The old guard

The small band of adventurers finally reached the borders of Weisgardist. Only thanks to their master slapping the back of their heads that they managed to stop gawking at the towering, white spires.
"Pick up your jaws and let's get going."
He grumbled.

"B-But master!"

"It's not that impressive. Now come, you'll get used to it once inside."

As they are lead deeper and deeper into the heart of the bustling city they keep getting distracted by all manner of sights, sounds, smells and people. Mostly the sheer amount of them. On one particular street Lowan even went as far as to stop Griswald in his tracks.

"Look master! Smoke!"

"S-So much! There must be a big fire!"

"None of our business. Let the city guard and the fire watch handle it.
We got our own stuff to take care of."

"Are these common?"

"Hmmm? Oh yes! Not a day passes here without some horrible accident happening.
This big crowd is not even that impressive. Now come on. I'd like to get there before sunset."

They moved through the markets, the craftsman quarters and even passed through the elven district before they finally arrived to the area that most imperial citizens just referred to as "Gierig Town". Suddenly they realized that the relatively simple, gothic architecture of Weisgardist faded away and was replaced by intricate masonry that rivaled many art exhibitions around the world. Some even may call it 'gaudy'.
But if the regular city amazed the farm kids then this left them speechless.

"Amazing isn't it?"

"W-What is-"

"If the gierig have one thing going for them it's their eyesight and precision. They value prosperity and coin above all else. But art is a close second. Combine their natural talent with their world-view and you get some of the most obsessed and masterful craftsmen the world has ever seen. But personally I don't like their style...
You can't buy a buttering knife from them that doesn't have the entire worlds history engraved into it...
Even though they are some of the best buttering knives in the world."

But it appeared that the young ones barely even paid attention to what their teacher was saying as they were too busy gawking at the locals. Even though their curiosity was understandable since they barely ever saw a gierig before but their obsession was starting to become quite rude.

Just as the girls were about to take a look at the many, many, many stalls selling fancy and very intricate jewelry Griswald grabbed them by the collar and started dragging them to where they needed to go.
Not wanting the locals to take their eyes for gawking Griswald took his pupils to the one place he knew.
A mansion that was gorgeous amongst the exquisite, styled with gold and bearing a vibrant paintjob of purple.
Griswald knew better than to shake his head at the exorbitant display of wealth but he couldn't keep his trainees.

"Let this burn into your eyes.
This is what true power looks like. Being able to spend all of this... on appearances.
That is their way.
Aaaand this, is ours."

The massive double sided door looked like it was impossible to move and for the most part, it was. Only after a snatch on it was opened could they talk to the buttler and explain why they came here. After the mildly irritated chamberlain got confirmation from the individual they were seeking did he let the band of adventurers in via some sort of mechanism.
The heavy doors opened on their own and a male elf wearing a formal suit greeted them.

"Allow me to escort you to the training hall.
And please, refrain from touching anything."

Afterwards they are guided through the interiors of the mansion that were somehow even more lavish than the outsides.
Naturally the butler was incredibly talented and always kept at least one eye on them, making sure these unwashed peasants wouldn't get any funny ideas. But upon arriving in the massive hall that the noble family uses to train themselves as well as their guards he was swiftly dismissed.

Standing over a washing basin was an ash colored individual washing sweat off of his body. His long, waist length, white hair was quite messy from his previous exercise.
"Leave us..."
He spoke softly to the buttler who bowed slightly before turning around and promptly fucking off.

Straightening his back the gierig stepped over to the bearded human and extended his arm.
Griswald let out a toothy grin and grabbed it with a loud smack. The two of them then proceeded to stare into the other ones eyes and attempt to overpower the others grip.
"You've grown old."

"You're one to talk Occan! You sonova bitch!"
Finally Griswald yanked on the gierigs arm and pulled him in for a big hug.
After parting from his old friend the human continued reminiscing before getting to the point.
"Gods... It feels like we just met yesterday... time sure flies by, doesn't it!"

"That it does. It's good to see you again."
Occan then looked to the side and returned his gaze to his friend.
"My apologies. You've caught me at a bad time. So I'm afraid we'll have to do the introductions in this sorry state."

"Don't worry about it.
Occan, meet these three strapping younglings I took under my wing.
These are Avana, Sonya and Lowan."

"It's a pleasure to meet you sir!"

"Hmmm... I doubt you came here after all these years just to introduce them to me.
So what do you want?"

"Come now, don't be like that! You know you still owe me for that one time."

"I know. And that's why I want you to get to the point."
"Well truth be told, I thought learning from the most trusted warrior of the Fourth house would do them some good.
And I might as well turn in that favor before I died."

"I appreciate the compliment but... it's the Second house now."

"Shit! Really?!
Man I've been out of the loop for a while.
When did that happen?"

"Not too long ago actually.
The new Heir to the family, Lady Nico Clematis on her own has propelled the house up the ladder. Her father has become so prosperous that many suspect his house will become the First soon."

"Oooooh... that young lass became something like that?
I'd love to see what she's making!"

"I'm afraid you can't. She is being closely guarded, her father doesn't want any harm to come to her.
But I can tell you her secret. It's well known anyway.
She has found a way to use Abstract magic in a way nobody else thought of before.
She managed to turn precious metals llike gold and gemstones like rubies, diamonds and sapphires... and spin them into a thread."
Griswald whistled at that while his kids stared in disbelief.
"Yes... She is the only one who can do this. And many are looking at her with jealousy.
Which is why I had to double my usual training."

"Hmmm... sounds like you could use some training partners then!
Come ooon! I can speak from experience that a fresh pair of eyes can do wonders for your perspective."

The old gierig began stroking his chin until he finally spoke up.
"Very well... on one condition."

"Name it!"

"MAXIM! Come over here!"

From a seemingly unassuming shadow a cloaked figure stepped out, scaring even the grizzled adventurer.
They immediately began looking around, trying to figure out where the hell he came from or where could he have been hiding all this time without anyone registering his presence but to no avail.
The shrouded gierig stepped forward and pulled back his hood, revealing a face that resembled Occan quite a lot.
"Yes, father?"

"This is Maxim. He's being trained as a spy.
If I do this, then he joins in as well."

"Oh wow! Congratulations man! Looks like you really did it!
But that aside, I don't have a problem with it. My brats could use some new "playmates" as well!"

"Then... let us begin!"

Omake #1: THE END
>Spinning precious materials into threads
That's pretty fuckin swanky.
And said materials don't loose their properties.
In theory she could make diamonds into a thread and then someone can turn that into a vest. The problem with that is two fold: Buying the amount of diamonds you need for that and finding a master artisan capable of handling that material.

Other than that, it's free game
Here's hoping the main story and omakes are actually happening concurrently. Because the point where Griswald and gang cross paths with Z̶s̶o̶l̶d Simon is surely going to be interesting. And part of the reason I voted to split up with Szkira is the chance that she'll encounter them too, with both parties having no idea they have a common acquaintance.
The black smoke the gang encountered?
That was the forge Zsold was at
File: My Face2.png (69 KB, 498x554)
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Let the party begin.
Oh boy. They're going to see Zsold working undercover and fuck it all up.
I haven't actually planned an encounter for them (for now). But I'm kinda liking the idea of them bumping into Szikra.

Any requests or suggestions regarding that?
Lowen trying to flirt with her.
I had imagined Szikra's current mission of delivering a message to Beatrice either running counter to or aligning with whatever Griswald and company were doing at the time, leading them to either come into direct conflict or be forced to ally with each other.

Naturally, the usual dramatic irony occurs where both parties end up inadvertently conversing about Zsold without knowing that they're talking about the same person. Perhaps they end up chatting (or disagreeing during a standoff) about adventurers in general, and both end up referring to 'this guy I met' - except their impressions of him are different enough that they have no idea they're both talking about Zsold.

If they end up making enemies of each other, Zsold will later be forced to deal with the consequences of this when they invariably meet with each other once again (this time with Zsold present).

If they make allies of each other, and Zsold ends up in over his head on his current mission, we get to see the 5 of them working alongside each other to save his ass.
This is so cruel... LOVE IT

And this is incredibly detailed, thanks! I'll see what I can come up with...
As I said before I have some 'plans' for the group but that will be for a later date. This however can be a really nice tie-in.

I think I'll do something real quick and then finish it tomorrow-ish
>Lowen trying to flirt with her.
It's like you want him to die horrifically or something Anon.
Omake #2: A chance encounter

"Since there are six of us in total, I'd say it's best if we form pairs."
The elderly soldier spoke up.
"You, lass... I see you chose the way of the bow and arrow. You will be with me."

"Me? I'm... honored ser but are you sure that's the best?
Wouldn't you be better off with... I don't know, Lowan?
I'm... quite good on my own."

"Hah! Worry not! I have a few tricks up my sleeve! As for the others though...
Griswald, do you remember the library?"

"Unless you moved the entire thing, I think I'll manage."

"That's good to hear. Go and grab any tomes regarding magic so you can look them over for the other young lady.
As for you my boy-"

"I get your son, yeah I gathered as much."
Lowan cracked his neck and drew his sword.
"Alright, let's see what you got!"

But Maxim simply rolled his eyes around before turning to face his father.
"Is this really necessary? I don't feel like teaching an imbecile."

"I've told you over and over again son. It doesn't matter how trained you are in the art of stealth. There will come a time when you can't hide in the shadows. And you must prepare for when that time comes.
This will be just as much of a lesson to you as it will be for him. Now raise your blades!"

"If you say so father..."
Maxim then reached under his large cloak and drew a pair of odd looking blades which he then proceeded to strap to the golden bracers on each of his arms.

"Wrist blades?!"
Lowan looked in surprise at the weapons that looked more like ritual tools than anything that can be practical in combat.

"You force him to use those things?"
Griswald questioned his friend.

"It was his choice. Said he wants to use the weapons of our people.
Can't really blame him.
Now Maxim!"
He turned to his son.
"I want you to fight as seriously as you can without hurting him!
This goes for you too young man."

"Understood sir!"
Lowan raised his sword and pointed it at his opponent.
"Prepare yourself!"

"Please... This will hardly be a challenge."

The two wasted little time and charged the other one with their weapons readied. But as they got to the center of the ring Lowan prepared an obvious swing coming from the right side which Maxim dodged effortlessly. Dancing around the human, his wrist blades flowed like water as they grazed Lowans cheek as he passed by.
The boy quickly turned around as he saw the gierig turn into a blur and dash past him.
Wondering what just happened he wiped off the blood trickling down his cheek and let out a smirk.

"Not bad!"

"That was the most obvious attack I've ever seen...
It's clear that you have no talent. I recommend you abandon your profession before you get yourself killed 'adventurer'."

"Heh... We'll see about that!
Now come! I'm not gonna hold back this time!"

"Tch... holding back?
Are you truly that arrogant?
If you intend to win you should fight at your fullest right from the start!"

"Can you only beat someone if you fight all out?
Are you that weak?"

"...I'm gonna hurt you now."
The two prepare to go at each other again. But this time the tides seemingly turned as Lowan got his second wind.
Tightly gripping his sword with both hands he welcomed Maxims flurry of blows with considerably more finesse than last time.
Only winding up his blows minimally he kept his intentions hidden from his opponent and parried the storm of blades with only a few flicks of his wrist.

The combined strength of both his arms proved to be sufficient in matching the gierigs offense. By putting just a bit more power into each blow he managed to work around his opponents advantage since he couldn't protect himself from such fearsome attacks with only one arm. As the two are deadlocked the young assassin lets out a pained groan of exertion while Lowan starts grinning at him.

"What's wrong? I thought you were gonna hurt me now!"

As if he was waiting for just that Maxim swiped both of his arms in a cross pattern, knocking Lowans sword away.
But knowing that he can't really hurt the human he instead resorted to simply punching him in the gut before dashing past him.

Coughing slightly and attempting to support himself with the tip of his sword the human turned to face his adversary.
"Now this... This is more like it!"

"You're annoying...
I'll finish this charade!"

"Funny... I was about to say the same!"

Maxim lowered his posture until his legs were spread wide open and he could touch the ground with an open palm, meanwhile Lowan swung his sword around in an eight figure before pointing it at the rogue.
The gierigs body was slowly enveloped by a deep purple aura while lightning flew out of the humans sword as the two charged their attacks.

But neither of them got far enough to actually unleash whatever they had in store as their respective masters swooped in and clubbed them over the head so hard they both kissed the stone under their feet.
The two elderly men shouted at them at the same time.

>But neither of them got far enough to actually unleash whatever they had in store as their respective masters swooped in and clubbed them over the head so hard they both kissed the stone under their feet.
The two elderly men shouted at them at the same time.
I like these old men already.
After having his head shouted off and his ass handed to him on a silver platter Lowan deemed it necessary to leave the noble house in order to get some fresh air and to walk off the pain his mentor beat into him. Even though his opponent received the same treatment he was still mad about what happened to him and so he went into a bar to drown his sorrows in booze.

Chugging down the entire tankard of ale he let out a loud gasp before loudly shouting.

Another voice spoke up behind him almost at the same time.

Bewildered to say the least, he turned around to look at the owner of that high pitched voice and found a pair of red eyes staring back at him. Startled he reeled back and bumped into the table with his back.
Looking back he made sure he didn't spill anything before apologizing to the strange girl.
"Heh... sorry. Bad day?"

"I was about to ask the same."
The blonde girl stared at Lowan without blinking.
She had a strange aura of danger and mysticism around her. Perhaps it was due to her mild mutations or her adventurer gear, he wasn't entirely sure. Only thing he knew is that it... captivated him... and he didn't know how to feel about that.

"You could say that.
Hey erm... is that seat taken?"

The girl placed a hand on her hip and let out a smirk at the obviously nervous boy.
"That's awfully forward of you!"

"N-NO! I-I'd never..."
He fumbled for a while before taking a deep breath and focusing on what he had to say.
"What I meant to say is, sorry for staring at you. May I buy you a drink as an apology?"
The girl raised an eyebrow at him which he took as permission and raised his hand.
"Bartender! Another round for the lady!"

The bartender looked like he was about to say something but the girl quickly shut him off.
"Beer is fine."

"W-Why? What's wrong?"
At this the girl handed him her tankard and urged the boy to drink. After but one sip he reeled back in surprise.

"That sip is worth than all the money on you. Including your weapons and armor."
Lowan swallowed nervously but the girl quickly reassured him.
"Don't worry. I won't charge you for it.
My name is Szikra by the way. And yes, you may have a seat."

As he took a seat on the other side of the table he and the strange adventurer began talking through their problems.
Apparently the source of the girls headaches was some woman who got a male friend of hers into trouble.
She's apparently a "bitch" who seduced him with her "massive cow tits", as Szikra called them.

And in turn he shared his experience with her.
He explained what happened and why his mentor roughed him up so hard.
"I dunno... sounds to me like you did nothing wrong!"
She said.

Anyway, it's not a big deal. Once things calm down I'll just go back and kick that guys ass the old fashioned way.
Then nobody will have anything to complain about.
But about you... that man he-uh... he sounds important to you."

"Oh, what? Oh no! Gods no!
I mean-"
Szikra looked like she wanted to say something but she got lost in thought.
"Erm... He likes to play the cold, emotionless hardass but I've seen him thrown himself between a sword and an innocent little kid. I think he's a good guy, even if he doesn't necessarily want to be."

"Sounds like a great man, wish I could've met him instead of... these guys.
As it stands I have a teacher who regularly kicks my ass, now this new jerk and then that one bastard who humiliated and beat me up back when I started."

"Hmmm? Who's that?"

"I'd... rather not say. Don't like slandering people behind their backs.
But he was a real bastard, a ruthless and cruel killer who was delighted at the sight of dozens of scorched bodies... which he set on fire to begin with."

"Was he a... contract of yours?"

"No... that's the worst part. He was with us.
What he did... what he said... still haunts me to this day.
When I close my eyes I can see it. When I dream I hear his voice. And that smell... gods that smell! I can't get it out of my head!"

"Sounds like you had it rough. For what it's worth, I'm sorry."

"Thank you. But don't.
What I learned that day... I'll use it to become stronger. So when I face him I can pay him back!
But... it does feel nice to talk about this with someone else."

Lowan then stared into the girls red eyes. He never felt anything like this before. He didn't even know he was attracted to mutants up until now. But now here he is, unable to tear his eyes away from her face, her hair and that cute little fang.
And she was so nice to talk to, much more pleasant and liberating than any conversation he ever had with Sonya or Avana. He could REALLY talk to her without restraint.

But as he got swept up by his own infatuation he didn't realize that he was slowly reaching forward until he actually touched her hands. Which Szikra didn't appreciate. Pulling her hand back almost violently she snapped at him.
"Don't... touch... my hand!"

Quickly picking up her spear she spun it around and slammed its butt into the boys chest before she went to the counter and paid her tab to the bartender.
"Keep the damn change!
Tch... and when things got pleasant.
As Szikra stormed out of the building the bartender nervously stepped over to make sure one of his patrons didn't just get murdered. Slowly he began shaking Lowans shoulder as he tried to speak to him.
"H-Hey boy! You alright? You alive?"

"Argh... love... hurts!"

Omake #2: THE END
Aaaaand that's it finally for this omake.
Boy did it take longer than I thought!

Anyway, I'll be returning tomorrow around the usual time to continue the thread!
It's fantastic. Just needs more suplexes.
Loved it. Next time we run into them will be fun.
"Can you send a message to Captain Beatrice?
Tell her I'm in."

Mezegis did as you asked and in less than an hour you got a response in the form of a letter.
It contained one, simple sentence: I'm coming.
You didn't even have enough time to send a response before you heard a knock on the door and both the captain and Szikra stepped in. This frustrated you greatly. Unable to restrain yourself you berated her about how stupid, dangerous and dangerously stupid her actions were.

She reassured you that she made sure nobody followed nor spotted her.
Szikra just shook her head and let out a tired sigh.
"I hate to admit but she was thorough."

"Thank you!"

You raise an eyebrow at her.
"How come such an orderly person can cover her tracks so much?"

"The trick is that if you do things properly and by the book you won't have any tracks to cover."

"Fair enough... but this was still an unnecessary move!
You could've compromised not just yourself but us!"

"That's the reason why I was so careful.
So... what did you find out? Where are they located? How many are there? When can I crack down on them?"

"Easy there captain.
I'll tell you all I got but you can't go out yet."

"WHY?! If you know where they are we must not waste any time and strike NOW!"

"It's not that easy captain."

Afterwards you proceeded to explain how you managed to weasel your way into the criminal organization that has been strangling the capital for a while now. You told her about the old sewer system that they use to traverse the city and how they managed to get their grubby little hands on every facet of life in Weisgardist.

"By the Empress...
This is worse than I thought! We must act quickly!"

"Now now captain-"
Mezegis stepped in and attempted to calm her down but found a rapier being pointed at his nose.

"Not another step!
I was angered when lady Grimen told me about you- You! YOU CRIMINAL!
But I tolerate you since you are willing to aid us! For now..."

"Okay, okay! I get it.
We quietly resent each other until things get sorted, then we get back to our usual cat and mouse game."

You shake your head and slap your own forehead.
"Can we please, FOCUS?!"
The commotion around you stops at once and you are free to continue.
"Thank you.
Now Captain... The reason why you can't storm the gates just yet is that they apparently have some sort of underground operation."

"They are in the sewers... what, is it even more underground?"
Szikra asked you dismissively.

"Something like that. It seems to be the entire reason behind their existence.
Everything else is just a front, a facade. None of the grunts even know what's going on there.
Only the most trusted officers are in the known."

The captain looked at you quizzically.
"So what? If we know their location we can crush them now regardless of what's their real plan."

You glare at Beatrice.
>Because we don't know what we must focus on
>Because there is much we still don't know
>You know what? Fine! Do as you wish
>It's exactly that kind of attitude that allows them to run circles around you. Keep it up and they'll give you more than enough rope to hang yourself with.
No wonder she can't get anywhere, her head is too far up her own ass to tell the forest from the trees.
I'll back >>3038414
Without all the info they can just rebuild later.
There's also the fact that they can just ask their corrupt buddies higher up to sack her ass.
I see no point in delaying things any longer.
And I like those write-ins.

"Captain... It's exactly that kind of attitude that allows them to run circles around you.
Keep it up and they'll give you more than enough rope to hang yourself with.
If we don't know everything about them that just gives them an edge over us and might even allow them to rebuild after you think you eradicated them!"

"But the rules-"

"It's the doctrines of the Empire that got you into this mess to begin with!
Your best move against these criminals was breaking them and reaching out to us!
Now please... let me do my work!"
Standing up you look straight into her eyes and without flinching say this.
"I promise I'll fix this!"

Though looking quite distraught for a moment Beatrice lowers her shoulders in her defeat and looks up at you.
"You're right... If I did things by the book I'd still be sitting at my desk, not accomplishing anything.
But please... Call me when the moment to strike comes.
I owe this much to the city! I will cleanse her of this filth myself!"

"You have my word."
Turning around to Mezegis you asked him a favor.
"Would it be alright if I stayed here for the night?"

"Sure. As long as you don't muck up any of my stuff.
But I can only provide you a pile of pillows to serve as a bed.
And don't ask me about the stains on them..."

Upon hearing this Beatrice also stood up and dusted herself off.
"In that case I shall take my leave.
Wouldn't want to sully this place with my presence any longer."

"Hooold your horses captain!"
Mezegis called out to her which quite offended the elf.
"What do you think you're doing?"

"I'm. Leaving!"

"Oh no you don't!
If anyone sees you leaving this place they'll have MY head as well!
We can't have that now can we?"


"I'm afraid you'll have to stay here. The same goes for you m'lady!"
Mezegis spoke to Szikra.
"You, of course, will get a private chamber all to yourself."

"Oh? With room service I hope!"


"Then I shall accept."

Beatrices face turns into a darker shade of brown as she starts blushing.
"And you expect me to sleep in your brothel as well?!
Do you not have any decency?!"

"I do.
But wouldn't want you to sully my beds, now would we?"

"I... Wha-
How dare you?!"

"You can share my pile of pillows with Zsold.
You won't mind, will ya pal?"
You simply shrugged at that.
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Afterwards Mezegis had his servants take the good captains clothes to be laundered and even loaned one of the outfits his girls usually wear. When Beatrice came back it became quite apparent that even though the evening gown she received cowered much of her skin it was meant to accentuate her features and draw mens eyes to them.
When you sized her up she raised a piece of cloth in front of herself.

"This is so embarrassing..."

"Though his methods are questionable there is logic behind his actions.
If you left here you'd expose yourself, not just us."

"S-Still... This is hardly appropriate."

Sighing at this you rolled around so you'd not look straight at her.
"These women, I swear!
There! Now get to sleep."

You heard a faint rustling sound as Beatrice attempted to settle down on the not-so comfortable pile of pillows that was provided for her. It became clear to you that she's incapable of falling asleep and resigned yourself to the fact that you won't be either.

"Say ser..."


"M-May I ask what your relationship is with Lady Grimen?"

"We're partners. We travel, work and fight together.
Now go to sleep."

"She... seems to have a great deal of adoration to you."

"Really? That's news even for me.
Mostly she just mocks me."

"When you... are not around... she talks quite fondly of you."

You take a deep breath and start patting the head of Zana who is sleeping next to you.
"Go to sleep captain.
We got work to do."

"Y-yes, you're right."

You thought that was the last of it. Or at least you wished. But as you were starting to fall asleep you heard the chattering teeth of the good captain behind you. Looks like that piece of clothing is not insulating as much as you thought it would.
Feeling a slight tug on your shoulder you heard a faint whisper in the darkened room.

"A-Are you asleep?"


"M-May I... erm...
It's quite cold... W-Would you mind if I-"

You let out a sigh.

>Go ahead.
>Just go to sleep already
>Other? (write-in)
Erm... wot?
>Go ahead. Just try not to take up too much space.
Fuck it, I'll take it!


That'll teach me for trying to pace things
>>Go ahead.
was busy earlier

Oh? I apologize for being a dick then
"Go ahead. Just try not to take up too much space."

"Thank you."

As she snuggled up to you, you felt her tender flesh pressing against your back. It wasn't unpleasant but it sure made things a tad bit uncomfortable. But when she managed to drift into a deep sleep her rhythmic breathing managed to also lull you into a world of dreams.

Though you prefer not having dreams at all, these ones weren't too unpleasant. You were in a cozy little house, not unlike the one you grew up in. This detail didn't escape your notice and was enough to make you realize you were dreaming.
Still, for some odd reason you didn't wake up as if the dream was clinging onto you. Suddenly a faceless, featureless but clearly feminine figure stepped in. You know you were supposed to just roll with it and embrace her as she still behaved as if you did that but the thing creeped you out to no end. One look out the window revealed an endless abyss just outside the building. Suddenly a wave washed over you, a sound, a voice.

"Don't get too comfortable now..."


"Be careful..."

The words rang in your head and spread through your entire being, causing your eyes to snap open violently.
Gasping loudly you tried to sit up but found something restraining you.
"Mmmmm? Mooom... just five more minutes!"

You see her hand holding onto you, clutching your shirt tightly. Still breathing heavily you fell back onto the pillows in a cold sweat, wondering "What was that?".
Once you calmed down you did actually pry her away from you which caused her to snap awake.

"H-Hmm? O-OH! OH GODS!"
She pushed herself away from you in a fit of embarrassment.
"I-I-I-I'm so sorry!"

"Don't worry about it."
You look away from her and turn to Zana who woke up at the noise.
"Go back to sleep."
You stroke her cheek and she closed her eyes.


"S-She can speak?"

"Yes. A little.
Now allow me to get prepared. I got places to be...
And so do you."
Not wanting to waste any time you donned the heavy plate armor you are still not quite used to and headed for the docks.
When you arrived you found Jez, the one eyed woman waiting for you.

She blew a puff of cigarette smoke in your direction and spoke up.
"You're early.
What kind of a thug wakes up so soon?"

"Says the one who beat me here."

"I'm here because it's my job."

"Now it's mine as well."

She cocked her head to the right and told you to follow her.
As she lead you through the slums she began explaining your new assignments.
"We're goin' to visit a bar."

"Isn't it a little early to drink?"

"It's five o' clock somewhere.
But we aren't going there to drink... well mostly."

Much to your shock she lead you to a very prominent bar on a main street, in broad daylight. This act alone speaks volumes of the level of non-fuck-giving these people seem to possess. She practically tore the door open as she entered the deserted establishment. The owner and his three barmaids looked at her as if they were gazing upon a demon.
Jez greeted the people inside and made her way to the counter.
"It's time to pay you decrepit fuck!"

"Please, we don't want any trouble!"

"Then get me my fucking money and quick! Wouldn't want to drag this out 'till opening hours!"
Jez then received a frankly fat sack of money which she gauged simply by lifting it.
"Good, good. I'm always glad when someone does the smart thing."

"W-would you like anything else?"

"HUH?! Oh yeah... now that you mention it.
If you poured me a drink you'd make me a very happy gal."
She then threw her thumb back over her shoulder and pointed at you.
"And get one for him as well! Chop chop!
You. Get over here."

Not wanting to step out of line you walked up to Jez and when she handed a mug over you drank heartily.
"Good huh?
Well I hope ya like it, cause this 'ere will be your job.
Got a few boys a few blocks away who got particularly lazy as of late."

"So we'll go and sample some ales?
Sounds good."

"Don't you play smart with me!
Go there, get them to work, get me the money!
Fail and we're gonna have some problems. The boss may like you, but you'll learn soon enough that it's a curse, not a blessing!
Got that?"
You headed over to the place that Jez pointed you to.
Suffice to say it was a lot less friendly place than the one you were before and as such met your expectations quite a bit more.

And the fellows you were told about wouldn't be less inconspicuous if they tried.
They had all the telltale signs of Ne'er-do-well. Ugly, stained clothing, many scars, inking and general misbehavior.
But even though they were loud and obnoxious still nobody even dared to stop them from ruining the already shitty atmosphere of the place.

These... were your men.
And now you had the problem of deciding how to approach them.

>Assert dominance. Beat any of them who talk back.
>Sit down and introduce yourself to them.
>Tell eveyone in the building to get out. Now.
>Other? (write-in)
>>Sit down and introduce yourself to them.
>Sit down and introduce yourself to them
Have to go with the classic. Be nice and calm then jam a knife through someone's hand if they get uppity.
Okay then.

This might be a bit shorter than usual.
Get ready those dice people, we might need 'em

>>Sit down and introduce yourself to them
Taking a deep breath you cautiously approached the ominous table with one hand free and the other resting on your blade.
"Good day gentlemen.
May I have this seat?"

But rather than waiting for an answer which you knew would be "no" or a more vulgar alternative, you simply dragged an unoccupied chair there and sat down beside the grim looking individuals who did not appreciate your presence.
They exchanged a glance and then almost unanimously asked the same question from you.

"The fuck are you?"
These five gentlemen then proceeded to ask a variety of different questions from you, mostly empty threats veiled as questions but a few actual ones were in there as well. Regardless of that, none of it was important enough to pay attention to.

Clearing your throat you managed to get them to shut up for just a little bit, giving you ample time to explain yourself.
"My name is Simon. And I'm your new boss."

There was a brief pause when none of them did anything but soon after they all burst out laughing. After that faded they became quite angry, one of them even stabbed his knife into the table with enough force to permanently damage it.
He at least is a true psychopath. Maybe all of them are. Maybe that's why they gave them to you.
It doesn't matter now.

"You sure got balls just waltzing up here, calling yourself our boss!"
One of them spoke up. Judging by his sheer presence he must be the alpha of the pack, so to say. Whether he is officially recognized as a leader or the others simply submit to him unconsciously is unknown to you.
"Now... I'll give ya five seconds to fuck off before we'll make a trophy outa those big balls of yours!"

As he pointed his knife at you he glared at you with some genuine bloodlust.
That makes two madmen. Troublesome.

>Time to take over the group with force
>Make an example out of him
>Tell them Jez sent you and that they are playing with fire right now
>Other? (write-in)
>Make an example out of him, without breaking him too hard. We still are gonna need him in working condition after all.
After our example, we tell the group that Jez sent us and that it's time to get the wheels turning again.

The reason why I want to make an example out of him first is because they're not gonna care if Jez sent us, more than likely they're gonna call bullshit and attack us for pulling that in the first place without getting their shit properly stomped.
>>Make an example out of him
>>Make an example out of him
project Flexing some muscle is a go

Roll 3d10
Best of 3 as usual
DC: 12 Crit: 17

Rolled 7, 1, 2 = 10 (3d10)

Dice don't fail me now.
>inb4 the dice fail me
Rolled 9, 1, 1 = 11 (3d10)

Rolled 5, 2, 4 = 11 (3d10)

This is the second quest the dice decide to 'tard out on me.
We're bad at this
I'm blaming the booze we drank before we sat down.
Well erm... this is unfortunate

I actually didn't prepare for this outcome.
Hold on
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I only hope we get a second chance at this.
You look the man straight in the eye, ignoring the dagger being pointed at you.
"I'll give you a chance to back out now... Ignore it at your own peril."

"The fuck did you just say?"

"I said-"
But before you could continue you saw him thrusting his arm forward in an attempt to gouge out your eye.
Quickly you raise your hand and grab hold of the weapon. Feeling it cut into the palm of your hand you stand up.

Your assaulter grins and with one swift motion pulls back his blade, giving you a nasty gash.
He smiles and licks your blood off of his weapon.
"Tastes like a bitch!"

Now both of you are standing with the table being the only thing to separate the two of you.
He grabs hold of it and angrily throws it out of the way. He takes a step closer to you and begins wildly flailing with his pocket knife. He's obviously not very trained as his movements are very rudimentary. They are dangerous as they seem to be aimed at your vital parts but they are easy to dodge. Mostly anyway.

Your heavy plate armor inhibits your movements just enough to be inconvenient and enough to allow your assaulter to score several hits on the unarmored parts. As you receive one too many cuts you wince a little, giving him a chance to move in and stab between the armor plates near your hip. When he hits you fall on one knee while he stands triumphantly over you. He licks his knife once more as he starts gloating.

"Just another fool muckin' about.
Your dumb ass shoulda stayed in bed, fool!
Now you'll sleep with the Dead God!"

He winds up a strong kick and drives his foot into your face. The force of the impact was enough to make you flip on your back and spit up blood. He then sits on your chest and proceeds to punch your face repeatedly with alternating punches.
Left, right, left, right. He continues to hammer away at you until there is a decent sized puddle under you and his knuckles are coated in your crimson fluids.

Once he's satisfied he stands up and simply spits on you as a final insult.
"A moron like you doesn't even deserve to be finished off.
Die on the streets like the dog you are!"
He licks the remainder of your blood off of his knuckles and his favored weapon and sits back in his rightful place at the head of the table. Turning to the terrified owner he starts ordering him around.

"Hey you... drag him outside and throw him on the streets!
I don't want him spoiling my mood over here!"

"Y-Yes! As you wish!"

But as the man was unceremoniously climbing over the counter he stopped midway as he saw your body rise up.
The silent dread of the patrons turned into panicked screams as your bloody body seemingly lifted itself off the ground in order to face the one who assaulted it. Your eyelids were heavy from the coagulating blood but you managed to snap them open and stare at the bastard who did this to you.

"That's it?
Honestly, I was expecting a bit more."


The 'alpha' came back in order to finish what he started. Furiously he began punching you over and over again but he found himself unable to continue as his attacks did seemingly nothing. He took a step back and looked at you with a panicked expression.
"W-What the fuck?"

You cracked a smile at him, hiding the fact that you were in quite a bit of pain. But you endured it all for the sake of the act.
He injured you a bit so you'd rather avoid further damage if possible.
Looking him in the eye you spoke up.

>Want me to show you how to throw a punch?
>You should be careful about what you eat...
>Nice knife... here's mine!
>Other? (write-in)
>>You should be careful about what you eat...
>>Nice knife... here's mine!
>You should be careful about what you eat...
That is the worst mistake and probably the last mistake he'll ever make in his life
Wait no, scratch that. Don't want to give away the fact that we're a Blood Mage to these bozos.

changing my vote to
>Nice knife... here's mine!
Knife it is.

Roll the dice again!
Best of 3
DC: 10 Crit: 18

Rolled 4, 7, 7 = 18 (3d10)

Rolled 1, 1, 4 = 6 (3d10)

Rolled 6, 5, 1 = 12 (3d10)

Here we go!

Oh thank god
I know, I feel like we dodged a cannon shell.
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>Entire thread and me be like

Though if you picked the "eat" option that woulda been an instagib
"Nice knife."
You slowly draw your blade, making sure the bastard gets a good look at it.
"Here's mine."

He barely has any time to react before you lunge at him and stab him through the foot. Screaming and wailing he reflexively reaches for the foreign object in his body in an attempt to remove it. Seeing this you reach for the hand that has the knife in it and tear it out before throwing the crude cutting tool away.
Desperately he attempts to bargain with you as you slowly start pushing the blade deeper into his foot.


Despite the constant screaming you barely make out what he wants as you are busy mending the wounds he inflicted on you. Most of them are very surface level wounds and cease being a threat once the bleeding is stopped but the one stab wound in your side is problematic. You'll have to take your time to heal that one.

"Oh well... Here ya go."
Reversing your grip on the blade you pull the sword out with one motion, causing your victim to let out a scream and fall to the ground.


Kneeling and holding his foot the man hisses as it's his blood now that gets all over the floor.
Sneering at that you stabbed your sword down before lifting him up and throwing him out the taverns window.
Grabbing your sword on the way out you meet your victim once more as he's trying to reorient himself.
He looks at you with the fear of death in his eyes as you approach him, still soaked with blood.

"H-Hey man! I get the idea! I really do!
I won't do it again, I swear!"

"You're right. You won't."

He starts guarding his head as you bring the pommel of your sword down on him with enough force to cause some serious bleeding on his skull. Now dizzy and heavily wounded he's guarding himself with everything he can on an instinctual level.
But he is still little more than a pig ready for slaughter.

>Kill him
>Spare him
>Make an example out of him
>Other? (write-in)
>>Make an example out of him
let's try this again
>>Make an example out of him
>Make an example out of him
Gotta show them who's boss.
O-Okay then!
This is going to get a bit brutal so strap in

>This is going to get a bit brutal so strap in
Exactly what the doctor ordered.
You grab him by the throat and raise him up so he's at least kneeling for what's coming to him.
Once you managed to wrangle him into a somewhat upright position you slowly started pushing your sword between his teeth. Luckily for him he had enough teeth fallen out for you to effortlessly pass through without injuring him seriously.
But at the same time... he got to experience what was next.

Once you passed a certain threshold and your victim realized what was happening to him you thrust forward and down his throat. Naturally the act managed to mangle most of his windpipe, cut several arteries and tore his throat in half. His death by bleeding out became inevitable. To his credit he didn't die from shock but he started rapidly fading as his lifes essence flowed out of him.

But you aren't entirely merciless and allowed him to die before continuing to make an example out of him.
After making sure he wasn't alive anymore you pushed the hilt of your sword downward with all your might.
At once the thugs jaw, neck, chest and stomach split open from the inside, expelling the contents of his body onto the street.

As blood and gore filled the small street you flicked his forehead, causing the lifeless corpse to topple over before going back into the tavern. The patrons, the proprietor and even the other gangsters stared in horror at the blood drenched murderer, completely forgetting the fact that most of the blood covering him is in fact his own.

Wiping your face clean just enough so your eyes aren't covered in blood you made your way back to the table where the four remaining criminals remained. This time not even bothering to address them you sat down where the poor fool used to be and glared daggers at the remaining lowlifes.
In their panic they all stood up, causing their seats to fall over.

"Let's do this again..."
You spoke up as they remained speechless.
"My name is Simon... And from now on you do as I say!
Do that and I'll think about not gutting you like a fish!"

"Y-Yes boss!"

Now I've heard you wastes of skin are lagging behind with the money...
You have thirty minutes!"

"B-But that's-"


Realizing you are not fooling around they don't waste another precious second arguing with you and run out the front door as if their lives are at stake. Letting out a sigh you walk up to the owner and speak to him.
"Look... I need a strong drink."
You look down on yourself.
"And a bath. Do you have baths?"


"Ah good! How much?"

"No it's f-"

"How much?"
Sitting in the bathtub of the inn you washed yourself clean of your own blood and attempted to address the nasty stab wound in your side. Though you managed to stop the bleeding the injury reaches deep, too deep for you to fix it. Just another one amongst the many. Luckily the one on your chest didn't open up and your shoulder is now nicely healed, leaving only a scar to show where it was.

"I guess that's something..."
You say to yourself as you dunk your head underwater one more time.
But as you are cleaning yourself you hear the door opening to the bathroom and so you look up.
"You lot were quick.
I knew you can do it if you put your minds to it."

You told the innkeeper to send these tools in should they return. And to their credit they managed to complete their assignment in just twenty minutes. Carrying their heavy bags of coin they placed each one on a nearby table and stepped back, giving you a good chance to look at them.

One of the four steps forth, panting hard and desperately trying to avoid eye contact with you.
"W-We did as you asked boss!"

"You mean you finally did your job..."
He swallowed hard upon hearing that.
"Well, no matter. As long as you don't forget your place and do what you're supposed to do it doesn't matter what you think."

"W-Will that be all?"

"Yes. That will be all for now.
But the next time I come you better hop to... or we'll have problems."

"You got it boss!"

"Good. Then fuck off, I want to bathe alone."

With the cleansing done with you put your armor back on and went out the tavern where you left Jez.
Carrying all those bags was no easy task alone but luckily the distance wasn't too big, so you managed.
Upon entering you walked up to her and dropped each and every bag in front of her.
She looked up from her drink and stared at you with her sole eye.

"There, I got them to work."

"So I've heard.
This is your first day and I already had to pay off the guards just to look the other way?
Maybe you are fit for this after all. But do try to not kill too many of our own in the future. We need the grunts to do the dirty work for us."

So what's next?"

"Nothing. The boss wants to speak with you."


"It's not everyday you hear about someone getting cut in half in broad daylight.
But before we do that, how about another drink?"

You already have about two pints inside of you so you are feeling a bit of a buzz.
But this might be a great opportunity to get some information out of her.

>So what's with the stuff going underground?
>How did you loose the eye?
>I'd prefer if we went now. Don't want to keep the boss waiting
>Other? (write-in)
>>I'd prefer if we went now. Don't want to keep the boss waiting
both of those sound way too risky to ask right now
>I'd prefer if we went now. Don't want to keep the boss waiting
Let's get some trust built before we ask questions.
>>So what's with the stuff going underground?
Cutting straight to the chase, are we?
Very well

"I'd prefer if we didn't keep the boss waiting..."

"Suit yourself.
One more shot for me!"

After Jez downed her drink the two of you made your way back to the underground sewers where the hive of this wretched gang was located. The commotion was just as big as yesterday, if not greater.
So it was really fortunate that you had business at the calmest area of the place.
Entering with Jez into the Boss' office your superior announced your arrival.

"We're here as you ordered chief!"

"Ah Jez! Good, good."
The horrid mutant spoke with glee.
"Now where is my money?"

"All here!"
She spoke up and slapped you to get moving.

Handing over all the sacks you watched as the boss opened them up and did a quick head count.
The amount of coin flowing through his fingers was maddening to look at. If this just came from one, small area and he gets such piles monthly or even weekly then this man must be richer than the gods.
"Excellent, excellent! I see my faith in you was not unfounded!"

"Let me ask you something... Was that all on purpose?"

"Giving you control of the least productive squad to see what you'll make of it?
Yes. Whether you got rid of them or taught them some obedience, it was a win-win situation for me.
But I was going to judge you based on how you did it. If you killed them and didn't bother to collect the money then you would be of no use. If you killed them and did the job yourself you'd be good enough where you are now. But now... now I see that there is indeed something special in you."
The boss then stood up and started leading you by the shoulder.
"Come, come... I'd like to show you something."

Moving to the stairs you followed the boss as he descended to the deeper reaches of this accursed place.
An incredibly long, spiral staircase lead you into the bowels of the earth until you finally reached a long hallway with a massive iron door at its end.
The boss urged you and Jez to come and you obediently did as he asked.
"Do you know that we actually make deals with the guard Simon?"

You nodded.
"You pay them and they look the other way."

"True, that can be considered a deal. But there is more to it than that.
You see, one of the guard thought that since we always pay them for a service that they'd do the same. And pay us to do some work for them."

Hearing this was very troubling but you didn't have the luxury of expressing your shock.
You simply raised an eyebrow and asked him.
"Don't tell me the guard are actually paying us to get rid of... unwanted members."

"Well it's not that severe, yet. They can handle that on their own. Sometimes a nosy captain appears, those who are making a killing with us remove them. Then a new one comes, usually because the last one disappeared. It's a wicked cycle. But no.
What we do is more of a... community service.
You see there is a big problem in this city which the guard must resolve as per Imperial orders.
Garbage. Waste. Call it whatever you like. And a big city like this has a lot of waste to dispose of.
So... one bright man high in the foodchain pays us to get rid of it for him.
He fixes the issue with but a fraction of the full price and we get paid!"

"I see. So they are making you do the dirty work.
That's what's here then?"

"You are quite correct!
That is our main source of income. The Imperial army itself.
But before we go on, I'd like to properly welcome you to our family!
To do that however... I require you to take an oath."

"An oath for a crime syndicate? Isn't that a little... backwards?"

"It may be but I like the idea. Even though we are outlaws we are still people.
And as such there are certain rules even we must abide by.
I want you to swear on your name, on your honor that you'll remain loyal to me! That you'll be dedicated to my cause!
This way I know I can trust you. And should you betray me I'll deal with you as an oath breaker!"
The boss then extended his hand to you, asking you to shake it.
"It's not much... but a promise is the only thing I'd never break. I hope you can agree on that!"

>Swear loyalty to him and shake his hand
>Swear loyalty to him but don't shake his hand
>Other? (write-in)
We didn't even give our real name and he wants us to pledge loyalty to him?
he's an idiot
>Swear loyalty to him and shake his hand
>>Swear loyalty to him and shake his hand
This is going to go so so poorly
>he's an idiot
>This is going to go so so poorly
snicker intensifies!

Seeing no reason not to accept this... rather odd request of his you took him up on the offer and extended your hand.
"I swea-"

But just as you touched his hand a sudden explosion erupted from your bodies, repelling the other one almost immediately.
While the two of you were barely pushed away Jez was violently thrown against a wall which caused her to roll around on the ground, groaning in pain.

Meanwhile the Boss quickly stared back and forth between you and his own hand, mumbling to himself all the while.
"This can't be... Unless!"
He stared you in the eyes and he cracked a smile.
"Oh, I get it now! So that's what's so special about you, you sly dog!
You should've told me!"

"I don't- I don't understand what you are talking about!"

"Oh I'm sure you don't. Don't worry I won't pry.
We all have our reasons. But even with this little failure I know I can trust you with this.

The doors swing wide open revealing to you an image most grotesque. So gut wrenching that you have trouble keeping your sanity together, much less your food down. Piles of decaying bodies waiting to be processed, human carcasses dangling from hooked chains, people locked behind massive iron fences waiting for god knows what to happen.
And by the looks of it more and more people are being brought in and strange barrels being shipped out.
The boss smiles at this.

"Amazing isn't it? As a culter I'm sure you appreciate this!"

"What? Why?!"

"Those fools in the guard think they are paying us to dispose of the beggars littering their streets...
Idiots. The bodies are our real payments!"
And that's it for today folks!

I'll leave you on this cheerful note.
Archive is literally the same as last time and I'll hopefully see you guys next week.
Stay safe until then

If you happen to have any requests feel free to toss them my way.
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Oh and I finally found a suitable pic
>snicker intensifies!
>this happens
Dear lord what have we done
you, could've warned us more
How your feeling bud? Going to try to woo the lady proper next time?
Ah yes, that's a brilliant idea!
I must've offended her with my brazen and foolish advances!

Let's see... A bouquet of flowers... Roses maybe? Some nice garments, of course! Oh and I must find a bard! Can't give a proper serenade without music!
Oh shit, this thing is still here?
Well just in case anyone is lurking here


Here's the new thread

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