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Despite how recent it is, it feels like you have been a travelling necromancer for a long time. Maybe it's one of those "it was fated to be that way" deals. Killing all those bandits was kinda fun. Now, it couldn't have beeen because of those jackasses that a spirit beast attacked you recently but.. Whatever the reason, it definitely wasn't a harmless foe. But you won. And luckily, the run-in with the law afterwards wasn't as uncomfortable as you feared it might have been. Even if you were briefly sort of in prison.

The late afternoon hours in the trade streets of Wyvern's Bazar are as busy as the noon hours it seems. The crowd of people shopping makes the trip less pleasant, as you stare intently forwards to avoid looking people in the eyes. Someone laughs. Your jaw tenses slightly.

After a couple of hours, you've done the shopping you set out to do: new clothes for everyone, and several sets at that. Some simple, some nice & gloomy just for yourself, and something pretty too. You even paid for a so called "bag of holding", one of the cheaper models (20 gold coins). There's always the option of upgrading it in case you feel you need a better one. You also figured that a compass and a map (of the country) would be nice to have as a traveller.

Upgrading equipment seemed like a good idea as well, so you visited an enchanting specialist who upgraded some of your equipment. Your scythe has been handy enough so far, so you upgrade it to +2. For some reason the idea of attaching a chain to it has kept floating around in your head, but you haven't decided whether to act on it yet or not.
Better protection would be nice as well, so you pay for upgrading your chainshirt to +2 as well. Tina's armour is already +2, but you pay to have it further enchanted, to +4. She doesn't have the resilience that a class offers, after all.

Figuring you want a solid backup from your servant, you pay to upgrade Nar-khur's chainmail armour, as well as his two-handed hammer to +2. Even if you decide to lose him, you could always sell the gear again at some point.

For Sierra you buy a brand new spider-silk armour. While its defensive properties are only moderate, it doesn't restrict the mobility of the user in any way. Supposed to be good stuff. It looks like regular fabric, but of good quality. When you offer to buy her some sort of weapon, she tells you that staves are her preferred type, simply enhancing her spell power. So that's what she gets. You do have the funds, after all. And you haven't even sold all of the loot from the last bandit raid yet.

(cont.)
>>
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Back inside the barn connected to the inn, you reach your wagon, and take a look through your stuff. Just to be sure that something hasn't been stolen. You can feel the tension in your shoulders loosen up, as there are less people around. Seems like it's all there, at first glance. But there's a lot of items, so you may have missed something. Well it can't be helped that you don't have a perfect count of the wares, you sort of stole them yourself, after all. But either way you wager you stand to earn a pretty silver for the amount of wares you have.

But that does raise a question... Are you gonna stay in Wyvern's Bazar to sell your wares before moving on to Oaksberg? You do have an appointment with that snake woman to get a merchant's permit in the coming morning. Maybe if you sell the stuff at lower prices, you'll be able to sell it quickly. Besides, Tina probably wouldn't mind travelling at night.

Ah, no matter - you can figure that out later. For now, you plan to treat your team (if they can be called as such) to some choice food for dinner, and have a nice soaking bath yourself. Maybe some booze as well. Too bad Tina can't taste food. But you do have some spare negative energy, so you could generate some blood to make up for it. That thought makes you wonder though... Maybe you can just generate blood outside of your body? Like in a bowl or such. Then she wouldn't have to drink from you. But then again.. Her bite doesn't feel bad, not at all. And friendly skinship is nice. Yeah.

The inside of the tavern greets you with that cosy ambience that is a mix of people chattering, the satisfying sound of clacking footsteps upon the wooden floor which creaks here and there, a smoky smell of the odd person enjoying some tobacco, the fragrance of flavourful food being prepared, and the distinct smell of spilt alcohol. The stylish and picturesque wooden interior has a certain charm to it, accentuated by the dim lights of hanging oil lamps over every table. Soft tones of music emits from the centre of the room, where a harp plays, seemingly by itself, on top of a scene. As you walk across the taproom towards the barkeep, you feel that a place such as this could be a nice place to visit every now and then.

"Good evening", the barkeep greets you. She doesn't seem all the busy right now. Maybe because most people are eating. The waitresses all seem busy enough though, with refills and whatnot.

"..Hi", you respond. After a moment's hesitance, in which you wonder where to begin, you speak up again. "What're you serving for dinner? We're sort of celebrating, I suppose".

She raises a brow at your phrasing, but promptly answers, "well then you're in luck! It's a bit pricier than usual, but tonight we're serving full roasted goat with salted leeks and a creamy liver sauce. It's 13 silvers per person. Personally I'd recommend some alcohol to go with the sauce - cider, wine, brandy, or even rum"

(cont.)
>>
As far as you know, a lot of children don't like liver, but you've never been all that picky about unusual food types. It'll probably taste great, she said creamy after all. As for alcohol though...

"Ooh! I'll have some rum!", Tina answers, "I always wondered what that tasted like. Ah, and a pitcher of ale". Really? Rum and and entire pitcher of ale?..
She shrugs as she looks at you, defending her choice by saying "I'll be bored if I just sit and stare at you guys while you eat up".

You half-smile, and look to your other two companions. "What about you two, what will you be having?"

Nar scratches his collarbone, and sheepishly say "ah, well, if it's all the same I'd like to have an extra servin' o' meat, and pass the leeks".

You nod, it may get a bit more expensive, but really.. This amount of money seems like such a small deal to you these days. It's a good feeling. Now that doesn't mean you should spend mindlessly, BUT! You did promise him and Sierra a good meal this evening, so it's fine.

He seems to brighten up some when you accept his request so easily. Kind of like a child that asks their parent for something, but are unsure of whether they'll just get a flat rejection.

"Great! Then uhh, I'll have an ale with it. Can I also have a rum?"

You halfsmile again and nod.

Then you look at Sierra.

She nods, as though confirming it to herself, "right. I will have a meal, with a cup of wine and a cup of water", she briefly answers in a tactful but no-nonsense way.

"Oh, hey, do you happen to have some dice we can lend?", Tina asks the barkeep.

She smiles politely and nods, "we sure do, just try not to lose any of them while you borrow them", she winks while saying the last part. "How many will you be borrowing?"

Your Elven friend narrows her mouth in a thoughtful expression, and then looks to you. "How about a game of Basilisk? Uhh, let's see, that's four dice per player so... 16 dice?"

A game could be fun, so why not. Should be entertaining enough when you're done eating. Ah, but you still want enough time for a bath.

As you agree, and the barkeep hands over the agreed upon amount of dice, you throw in a question. "Hey you have baths right? How long are those open? I wanna catch a bath before I go to bed"

"Dontcha worry darling, they're open as long as the taproom is, and these days that's all night & day".

These days..? Ah, who cares. You need to order what you want this evening. A bath and... Dinner obviously, but what to drink? Maybe a taste of brandy could be a welcome experience.

>Just water
>Drink lightly
>Drink a moderate amount
>Go hard
>Write-in
>>
>>3279851
>>Drink lightly

we had a lot to drink when we had a party with tina, but we are in a city and in company that doesn't drink that strong, it would be a bit rude to just get wasted
>>
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>>3279851
>Just water
It's good to wash your palate out every so often as to not become inured to such things.

Ur next scrub
>>
>>3279851
>>3279851
>Write-in

Keep up with Tina, if she goes hard go hard with her, can't let her be the only one drunk! This is a party after all.
>>
Welcome back, to "not dead yet" edition, after an almost 2 months hiatus.

Some links to relevant stuff:
Inventory:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LqWRRteXSaDwp4Chiv7aew6hb24044Wp6ndy1Y0hl2w/edit?usp=sharing
Character:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O8YKgjZ7HjME1ONGFPSk88BAGvVm4ZMALcUnwA_SE9I/edit?usp=sharing
Spells & Abilities:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/16scFvYfrYi5S96vjfvKZWpPN3Yb_BHIUu9xKSGylK2g/edit?usp=sharing
Discord:
https://discord.gg/w2qzg9V

I also wanted to include an archive link, but cant seem to figure out how to get my entire quest, but only my quest.

Also, welcome back to returnees and newcomers alike.


>>3279887
lol wb, funny u should use the word inured with current quest events and that game reference..
"With enough ale, maybe they can be inured against the horrors below."
>>
>>3279899
What's interesting is that the guys behind Dankest Dungeon have decided to do a sequel.
>>
Archives (that i totally didnt get help to make work)
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=necromancer%2C+adventure%2C+dark+elf

>>3279907
really? that is interesting
>>
>>3279851
>Go hard
or go home!

welcome back Weaver, had to instantly react when you announced the thread
>>
>>3279912
That's what I'm talking about!
>>
>>3279851
>Go hard

Though this was dead, I'm glad to see you back
>>
(also, to all newcomers, feel free to namefag ITT, especially if your ID changes a lot)

>>3279983
thanks. yeah you never know.
>>
>>3279851
>>Go hard

Celebration, we survived another challenge.

maybe get Tina some blood later, it's a bummer to see her left out of all the lunches and dinners
>>
After some consideration, you figure tasting some expensive alcohol without going overboard seems like a nice choice. Sort of classy.

"I guess I'll have some water, and some brandy.."

"As you wish", the barkeep answer with a polite smile. Once you've paid (71 silver), she says "go ahead and find a place to sit, a waitress will serve your drinks in a moment, and your food as soon as it's ready".

As usual, Nar & Sierra mostly just follow your lead, so it's mainly up to you and Tina which table to pick. You turn towards the room to find a seat, but freeze in your step. There's a sizable crowd of people, so all tables are either entirely or partially taken. Annoying... With a despondent sigh you brace yourself, and search for one of the least crowded tables.

At least the tables are rather large. The prospect doesn't seem to hinder Tina in the least, however, and she gains a headstart to pick a table, and pretty much before you have time to give any consideration as to where to sit, she has already picked a table.

"How about this one over here?", she asks, "there's room enough for everyone". She then adress the people already seated at the table, "you guys don't mind, right?", and neither of them do. At least there's only two people at the table.

As you sit down, you notice one of them, a young Halfling woman, no more than 25* years old, stealing a glance at you, before swiftly looking away when your eyes catches hers. She seems nervous. Yep, it's not much, but that's fear you smell.
Halflings age slower than Humans, but not as slowly as Elves. She looks roughly 18 in Human years

Before you can give it any thought or attention, however, Tina says "so how about that Basilisk, huh? Wanna give it a go? We're waiting for our drinks either way".

You think you vaguely remember the rules, it's been a few years since you last played it though.

"Yeah, sure, let's do that", you tell her. You then look to Sierra and Nar. "Wanna join in?"

"That's a great idea!", Tina says, "the more the merrier, as they say!"

"Well, yes, sure", Sierra says, "but I'm afraid I don't know the rules to this particular game, so you will need the patience to teach me..

"Ahhh don't worry, that's fine, no problem at all", Tina answers her, "it's easy, I promise. Now since wolf is in, hyena will have to join as well right?", she jokes to Nar.

He responds with something similar to a growl, and nods. You don't think it's a hostile growl though? It didn't sound angry, and he seems to look forward to the game. Communication across races can be weird. And Tina doesn't seem to interpret it negatively either.

"Great! Then we're all in on it. Now I propose we drink to this while playing, but obviously that'll have to way until we actually get our drinks.."

(cont.)
>>
You're not sure how you feel about that, you had sort of planned for a relaxing evening.. Plus, drinking among so many strangers seems... Reckless. Well it's just without drinks for now. You don't comment on it, but you do send Tina a sceptical glare that should tell her how you feel about it. She seems to pick it up, but responds with a sort of playfully insistent look.

From there on Tina teaches Sierra how to play Basilisk, while you all have a few introductionary rounds of it. She catches on quickly enough, and while it's picking up and starting to get kinda fun, your drinks arrive. The barmaid tells you that your food will arrive in a short while. Your drinks are distributed, and everyone has a sip of what they've bought. Sierra lets out a satisfied 'ahh' sound after after a small sip, Nar takes a proper swig of ale, leaving some foam around his mouth, and you.. You take a sip from your brandy. Phew, stronger than expected. But you definitely think the taste could grow on you.

Then Tina exclaims, semi loudly "argh come on, what the hell!" and then press her lips together in a dissatisfied grimace while putting her drink down. You're momentarily confused, it's only briefly however. She looks at her cup of rum. "I had just worked myself up looking forward to actually tasting rum, and I completely forgot about.. Well damn it".

Oh, right.. She must've briefly forgotten that her sense of taste is practically gone, when it comes to mostly everything. You wanna reassure her, but you're not exactly sure how.

(cont.)
>>
"Well, at least it still works, right?", you offer her.

"Yeah I guess", she exaggerates the last word, and pouts for another moment before saying "aahh whatever, let's just play", in an attempt to cast aside her disappointment.

As you move on, it's another five or ten minutes before your food arrives, and the game comes to a pause.

The food has a particular taste, but it's decidedly delicious in its own way. It is a shame that you can share this with your friend. Maybe one day. At least you can feed her some blood later.

Slowly you start playing dice again before you're done eating, and people start drinking their beverages with varying degrees of vigour.

About an hour later, the mood has picked up a bit, with Nar and Tina laughing at things more easily, and more honestly.

"..That's why I'm telling you all, when I get a class, you're all gonna be relying on me to protect the group! I'm gonna be the best fighter ever!"

"Didn't you say you wanted to be a monk?", Nar asks her.

"Hn..? Well, I just haven't really made up my mind yet.. Whadda you think Alice, what should I do?"

You observe her for a moment. "Like I already said, while I think you're probably best suited for a martial class, you should really pick whatever you feel you want to be, you know?"

For some reason that response seems to make her really happy, like it had some hidden meaning or something. For a moment she goes misty eyed, before blinking it away.

"Thanks, you really know me best.. That's it, I'm getting more drinks".

She promptly gets up and pace towards the counter. You're not sure you want more to drink, as you swirl a sip of water around in your mouth.

(cont.)
>>
(meta post)
k, so while i said (cont.), that is only true in so far that i meant to write more, but didnt make it in time, so... kinda wanted to end on a prompt, but that didnt happen. I will either write more later today, or sometime tomorrow.

Ah, but of course youre welcome to post whatever if you get some idea or sth before i post next update.
>>
>>3280351
Thanks for posting, will wait on it.
>>
>>3280351
Could our "Mask of Life" ability be improved to Make senses more lifelike for disguise purposes? Obviously turning off pain for combat would be a good idea, but being able to enjoy food makes things less suspicious.
>>
>>3280407
its a possiblity. the ability was made by a reader's proposal, and while i have a rough idea on what i want it to be, the ball is still in the air, so if there's a vibe that people want it to go that direction, i'm a-okay with that. It makes sense, given the ability's first level, that higher levels also mimic the living in some way.
>>
>>3280443
I still want to test some blood things and feed Tina tho kek
>>
>>3280452
I doesn't change her species, so she would still need to feed on blood

You just have to wait for it~
>>
>>3280407
>>3280443
What about a passive upgrade to it that can allow us to pour more energy into it and allow us or the person we cast it on be more lifelike?
>>
>>3280480
well it wouldnt really be passive if you needed to feed it either positive or negative energy. But yeah sure, it would be possible to make yourself and servants more lifelike. strictly speaking isnt a servant, but she is a creation, so i think i'd allow it to work on her. all it needs is for people to want that upgrade, and ill add it to the skill tree.

>>3280452
if you want specific tests done with blood, you'll have to let me know. Otherwise, yeah, alice does have more of a skinship need with tina than she wants to be honest about, plus the blood feeding feels good, so odds are that even if she can make tina not need blood anymore, she wont be likely to do it unless a good reason presented itself
>>
>>3280570
I was thinking passive in the sense that it would allow us to pour more into it, because at the moment it seems like a one and done thing that does the bare minimum because we can only pour a certain amount into it.
>>
>>3280577
i see. in that case yeah, it'd be possible
>>
>>3280570
The tests with negative energy blood can continue during the bath later.

What I was thinking too was maybe cook some food with blood on the recipe to see if she would be able to appreciate it.
>>
>>3280597
noted
>>
(still working on a post, it's just taking longer than expected, have literally been working on it for hours. Will post it before i head to bed)
>>
dice rolls, 1d20, best of up to three
>>
Rolled 12 (1d20)

>>3283676
watch me 1
>>
Rolled 11 (1d20)

>>3283676
Come on satan!
>>
Rolled 8 (1d20)

roll
>>
Rolled 8 (1d20)

>>3283676
Awkward feelings about being drained is a go!
>>
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While Tina is getting another round of alcohol, you let out a subtle and drawn-out breath of mental fatigue at the prospect of the heavy drinking she seems to be trying to rope you into. It's not that it's not fun and all to indulge in alcohol, but part of you thinks that maybe you shouldn't make drinking hard too much of a habit. And you had kind of put yourself in the mindset that you'd just be drinking stylishly with a bit of expensive brandy.

But those are the lesser of your worries, the main problem is the location and the people. You look over at the Halfling at the table, who seems to be awkwardly positioned between sneaking glances at you every now and then, like you're some rare animal, and trying her best to not stare at you, and avoid eye contact to the best of her ability.

The other stranger at the table, an Elven man, who looks to be some kind of ranger with a longbow, also seems to avoid looking at you. You don't think he smells afraid however, but you're almost willing to bet that he makes it a point to avoid contact with you, or maybe just your kind.

It's kinda tough to pinpoint the smell of fear in here. The Halfling you're certain of, since she's close, but there are several meager sources of it around.

You don't really mind that people have a healthy level of respect towards you, it makes it easier to avoid talking to unimportant strangers about the trivial drivel of smalltalk that you oh-so-love. However... Fear makes people tense, twitchy, and more likely to act on baseless emotions.

And getting drunk in such a crowd seems unwise for several reasons.

When you give the patrons a light inspection, you find that about a third of the people in here are armed in one way or another. Well, even drunk you're pretty sure you could sling out enough dark energies to defend yourself against most rabble.

"A copper for your thoughts?", Sierra interrupts your train of thought. She's giving you a perplexed or even worried look, and you figure you may have had a bit of a serious expression, as you untense your brow.

"Ah, how do I say this.. I'm just not sure I wanna drink as much as it seems Tina wants to, but I have a hard time turning her down. I don't know. It just seems ill-advised to get drunk among so many strangers".

She scratches her cheek. Short pause. "Yes, lady Tina certainly seems to be in a mood for some fun. But ill-advised how exactly?"

You grumble a little as you wonder how to best convey your thoughts. "Well.. I don't really know this town, so there may be pickpockets, or similar things to watch out for". The reasoning feels a little flat, but it may be a bad idea to say something like 'well you know, as a Dark Elf I sort of don't wanna get stabbed to death in an alley somewhere, just a thought'. That sort of phrasing could draw attention, and antagonizing half armed, drunk people, who may already not like you.. Well. Yeah.

(cont.)
>>
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She seems to get the idea though, as her sight drifts slightly to the side in thought. "Mh, I think I understand".

"So uhh, boss, should I stop drinking too?", Nar asks. He seems like he's trying to get a feel on the situation.

You shake your head, "no it's fine Nar, you do you".

Then Sierra looks back at you. "If it's any comfort, I don't plan on drinking much more, and while I may not be as great of a mage as you, I believe I can prove to be sufficiently efficient for the task". It feels like she's genuinely trying to be helpful, and maybe provide some certainty. Maybe relying on her a bit would make her open up a bit more, and feel more at ease in the group.

Still, she's not a servant of yours, can you fully trust that it hasn't all just been a facade up until now? No, wait, that part should be fine, you had Tina hypnotize her earlier after all..

Speaking of who, that's the moment Tina returns with more drinks, and a wide grin on her face. A bottle of what seems to be wine, and a pitcher of ale.

"Alright, who's ready to play some more Basilisk?!" she asks rhetorically, as she place the drinks on the table and take a seat again.

As the game continues, you take the coward's approach. Instead of flat-out telling her you don't want to get drunk in here, you just take a drink every time it's your turn. But instead of drinking properly, you just pretend to. Small sips made to look bigger, and sometimes just placing your lips on the alcohol without actually drinking any. As far as you can tell, she is none the wiser. A solution that works for everyone. Well, in a way.

It does take a bit of a toll on Sierra however, as she's seated next to Tina. An intoxicated Tina, who get's pretty physical when she drinks. And Sierra, who seems to tense up everytime Tina puts an arm around her neck or looks into her eyes. Every now and then you smell a tinge of fear from Sierra. Can't blame her, given what drunk Tina made her do in that encampment. While it wasn't anything too abusive, it was sort of demeaning. It was fun though. She'll probably take a while to relax around Tina.

Later on it gets louder inside the taproom, as more patrons show up, and people switch from eating food to imbibing various alcohols. But in a way the noise is a good thing - you don't have to worry much about people listening in on your conversations.

But after several hours, you figure it's about time to take a bath and head to bed. Sierra already excused herself to head for a bath & then to bed about an hour ago.

(cont.)
>>
"Right..", you say as you get up, "I think I'll have a bath, and then go to bed as well. Nar, I'll pay for a bath for you as well, be sure to wash thoroughly".

He seems somewhat taken aback by the order, but says "uh, sure, will do miss". He is undead, so washing up to avoid smells and such is probably a good idea.

Tina stands up as well, stretches her arms above her head with a tired sound. "Guess I'll do the same then, no point in lingering. Besides, it's getting late".

With that, the three of you all head up to the counter, where a different barkeep than the woman earlier is serving you. This one's a male Halfelf. His attitude is mostly just professionally polite.

"What'll it be?"

"Three baths", you say.

"Oh, hey", Tina interrupts, "is there room for more people in one bath? Then the two of us could just share one", she says and looks at you.

"They should be large enough for the two of you", he confirms, "but not with a lot of room to spare, so if you prefer space, I'd recommend two separate ones. By the way, do you want your clothes washed while you're bathing? They won't be dry until morning however. It's only one additional silver. Each bath is three silvers by the way".

"Sure", you confirm, "I think we'll take two baths then, and we'd all three like to have our clothes washed.

Following the barkeep's instructions, you walk through one of the doors, and see a hallway with a stone floor, and with about a dozen doors, each leading to a booth with a bath in it, supposedly. Only one of the seems to be in use. Let's see, you got booth #6... It's easy enough to find, as each door has a stylishly cut wooden number nailed unto it.

Once you and Tina are inside booth #6, you see one of the barmaids standing by the tub. She seems to have been waiting for you.

She half-bows as a greeting, and says "welcome dear guests. I'm here to tell you how to use the bath. Throw the clothes you want washed through the hatch in the wall over here, towels and soap are on the table over there for your use. You can adjust the water temperature just by saying either 'heat up', 'cool down', or 'stop', simple word commands. It has to be in the common tongue though. If you feel there's not enough water, just use the pump over there. If there's something that isn't as it's supposed to be, feel free to ring the silver bell over there to call for a waitress. Any questions?"

When you both confirm that you haven't any - it's just taking a bath after all, what questions could you have? - she does another half-bow, and says "enjoy your stay. Take care not to get light-headed if you decide to turn up the heat". With that, she leaves through another exit.

You feel there's a joke to be made about your condition, and feeling light-headed.

(cont.)
>>
The room itself is not all that spacious, but it has a nice atmosphere to it with candles, and a light carpet of slowly rising steam from the tub. It has the same stone floor as the hallway, with a in it drain in case of excess water.

You're the first to move, as Tina examines the room a bit closer. You take off your clothes, and put them into the hatch as instructed. It seems that behind the hinged cover of the hatch is another hallway. Maybe a waitress will pick up the clothes on the other side?

You go to the tub, and dip a foot into it. Pretty hot, but not unbearably so. Then again, with your new perspective on pain, maybe you're not the best judge of that.

"Tina? Would you test the water for me? I can't tell if it's too hot or not".

"Hm? Oh, yeah, sure doll.. Wait, what, you can't?", she says with an increasingly confused voice.

"Well, yeah no, not really. Pain feels different now. It doesn't 'hurt' per se, it's sorta just there", you try to explain.

"Huh. Well alright", she shrugs and offhandedly shelve the subject. She then discard her apparel out the hatch as well, and go test the water, just like you did.

"Oof, yeah it's pretty warm. Not too hot though, just right I'd say". She slowly gets into the water while speaking.

Figuring it's fine, you get in as well, except all at once, since you don't have to adjust slowly. But once you're in it, the heat is nice and comforting. But you decide to wash up before getting too comfortable. Using a nearby bath brush, you give yourself a good scrub.

Tina seems content to just soak for now, as she leans back, and close her eyes.

The tub is large enough that there's plenty of room for the both of you to sit in comfort while facing each other, but not enough room to stretch your legs without hitting each other.

Figuring you'd give her a little treat, you take one of her feet, and give it a good scrub. At first she's trying to gauge why you grabbed her foot, and she then shifts to gratitude, but quickly tense up as she's a little ticklish at her feet. She's not complaining, however, and she seems to be able to contain herself. For the most part. It seems to get the worst when you try to be careful and only lightly brush her foot. While that is funny, you really meant for this to be nice, so you go a bit rougher with the brush, to make it endurable for her.

Once you're done with both her feet, she says "ahhh, thaaanks.. That was good. But I swear you were tickling me on purpose at times. But, here, let me make it up to you". She then reaches for your foot, but you've thought of a fun little thing instead.

"Ah, no thanks, I'm feeling a little light-headed, maybe you could help me with my hair instead", and as you say it you pull off your head, and gently throw it into her lap. Her panicked expression when you throw your head makes the risk worth it.

(cont.)
>>
She fumbles a bit with your head before she properly catches it, and you can't help but laugh at how bewildered she got. She does give you a bit of a castigating glare once she holds your head firmly in her hands, just above water level.

"Now listen here young lady!", she says while looking down at you, "you need to take better care of yourself than that. At least give me a warning next time, what if I hadn't caught you, or your aim was off?"

"Don't you mean a 'heads up'?", you suggest with a smirk.

"Wha..? Oh, I see. Har har har. Okay sure, whatever, a 'heads up' then, as long as you give some sort of signal next time" she insists. She's sitting upright, with her knees above the water, and she places your head upon her knees, with her hands on your temples to hold your head steady.

After a few moments where no words are spoken, you're the first to speak up by nicely asking "so how about it? Would you wash my hair, please?"

Her lips curve into a indulgent smile, and she turns you around so that you face yourself. Which is honestly kind of awkward, looking at your own body like that. The blue flames on your neck where your head should be looks kind of cool though.

"Okay so just close your eyes and relax, so you don't get any soap in your eyes".

You instinctively try to nod, but since that doesn't do anything you respond with an brief 'mhm' sound. And that marks the beginning of what turns into a rather lengthy, and pleasant, grooming. It lasts for about half an hour, and for the last twenty minutes or so of it, she basically just massages your scalp. She even softly hums a melody, it seems somewhat familiar, but you can't place it. The only interruption is when she at one point make the water heat up. This really is bliss. Your body is soaking, it gives you a soft, floating feeling of satisfaction, and the massage is just a luxurious bonus.

"There we go", she says, words you dreaded to hear, as the pampering comes to an end. She places your head back on your neck.

"Fiiine..", you say with a sigh. "I guess it's my turn to spoil you a bit now" you add, and your mood improves somewhat at the prospect of feeding her blood, the vitality of her unlife. It gets even better when her eyes almost gleam with delightful anticipation. That hint of predatory hunger in them even kind of suits her.

You hardly have time to think about how and when before she scoots closer. "Yay, finally! I've been sooo looking forward to this since dinner! Gimme gimme!"

And while you may have said like that, like it's just for her, it's not like you're not enjoying these sessions as well...

(cont.)
>>
"Hold on a moment, I need to modify the blood..", you say, as you turn your back towards her to give her better access to your neck. Mainly because it would have been kinda... weird... To have her feed from you if you were face to face like this. In retrospect you could probably just have given her your hand to quench her thirst from. Well whatever, this is what it is now.

You close your eyes to better focus, and start conjuring up the profane energies inside of you once more. It's pretty easy to get going, as usual, and you feel the familiar darkness course through your veins, supplying your blood with the essence of undeath that makes it all more enjoyable to Tina. According to her, your current 'recipe' is more or less on par with her more natural fare. But wouldn't it be wonderful if you could exceed that.. Funny how you have this natural desire to experiment like that.

With that thought in mind, you shape and draw the energies into those familiar patterns, and wonder what you can improve upon. They're already pretty neatly drawn, and you think the amount of it should be fine as it is... Ah well, may as well try something out. You take a few minutes to get creative, and wonder what the end result is. Might as well try it. Once you apply it properly, you let Tina know that you're done.

And of course it doesn't take her long to react to those words. Soon she sinks her teeth into your neck in an almost sensual manner, and... Yeah, no, turning your back didn't make it not-weird. But you barely finish that thought before your mind is overtaken by crimson comfort, and your senses fail you as expected. It's a strange sensation, uncensored longing to just stay like this makes itself the only thing you want to act on.

You do feel that with your level of willpower, you could probably try to fight it. But why would you? It's Tina, and this state of mind is nothing less than exquisite. Despite the inherent dangers of her predatory nature, you feel safe like that. At home, even.

(cont.)
>>
It feels like she's taking her time. It doesn't seem like she's actively draining the blood from you, but more like she just opened the way, and slowly lets the blood trickle it's way from you to her. A nice peaceful state of interpersonal peace.

But, it ends. You blink a few times to provoke your senses back into function. And by the time you can see, you turn around to see her sitting back where she was before, with her head tilted back, and her eyes closed, and a large, content, smile on her face.

Well, it was nice while it lasted. But you really have very little idea how long or short of a time that may have been.

Now then. You should probably be heading to bed soon. You've soaked in this bath for a long time. And come morning... Hm. You still need to decide whether to sell your wares here, or in Oaksberg. You did make a deal with that reptilian woman to meet here in the morning in order to get a merchant's permit, but maybe you should just take care of it in Oaksberg instead? What to do, what to do..

>Plan to trade in Wyvern's Bazar in the morning
>Plan to go straight to Oaksberg in the morning
>Something more or something else? (specify)
>>
(phew, that took a while... wont post more tonight though, in all likelihood, im drained. dunno when next update will be)
>>
>>3283861
Hm, let's get the trade permit and trade the more mundane stuff
We keep some rare gems and items and see if we can get a better price in the bigger city, or just leave them as insurance, since cities can have thiefs and the like
>>
>>3283872
Great work, thanks for the update and have a good one
>>
>>3283861

>Plan to trade in Wyvern's Bazar in the morning
>>
>>3283877
this, trade everything mundane here and bring the rest back to Oaksberg

>>3283861
move over to Tina to get comfortable, maybe a nap in this constantly warm water can be pleasant

at some point, either today or tomorrow after selling the stuff ask her what class she would like to train in

>>3283872
amazing stuff man, thanks
>>
>>3283877
This
Gotta get proper licensing before we get the guard on our shit for some odd law that discourages the use of unlicensed trading.
>>
>>3283905
+1

>>3283877
+1

Lets head to the next city, who knows what we can find there!
>>
>>3283861
>>3283877
Supporting
>>Something more or something else? (specify)
And read a book before sleep, don't remember what's was, but the one about undeads, to read about our guys we had made and Tina as priority.
>>
>>3283861
>>3283877
Gems are easier to carry than their worth in gold coins.
>>
The hero reads an unsettling passage..
After the dizzying bath, however refreshing it was, you tell Tina to go ahead and go to your room, while you fetch a book. The dark evening sky is accompanied by a cool breeze which prickles the top layer of your still warm skin. It has a nice sensation to it. But it seems the barn is locked during the night. When you ask the barkeep about it, he has cleaning girl accompany you with a key.

The dark stable is only illuminated by a simple lantern held by the cleaning girl. She acts skittish, and smells a little scared by being here. Instead of lingering, you figure you may as well fetch what you came for, so as to make it less frightening on the young girl.

Now then.. Where did you put the book.. What was it even called..? Undead, undead, undead... Ah, there are your books, between a sealed crate you haven't checked, and a barrel of grain. You wrapped them in an empty linen sack in order to better preserve them from harm. There it is, 'A Recollection of the Lost'. You briefly flip through the bright brown pages with text and caricatures to confirm that it's the one you were looking for. Sure is. Woah, you can make Undead Dragons? No, wait, according to this text, it's made of shadows.. Oh but it says here that it's an Undead. Huh.

Ah, better not make the poor girl wait. You close up the book with a satisfying thwomp, and jump off the wagon. Apparently that scares the girl - she lets out a short, shocked, yelp.

"Ah, sorry 'bout that", you say while withholding a bemused smile.

She mutters that it's no problem, and seems eager to leave once you head outside again. Back inside you thank the barkeep for the help, and go to your room.

Tina is already snugly huddled up under both quilts. She has a playfully selfish expression, telling you that she hogged both quilts to provoke you. You simply shake your head at her with a half-smile, and sit on the bed in a legged position, with a pillow between the wall and your back.

"You need rest, right?", you ask her.

"Erh, what? Uh, I think so yeah? I mean I haven't tried not sleeping.. But why wouldn't you wanna sleep? Sleep is great".

"I don't disagree", you offer, "just asking. I'm gonna get some reading done, there's a few things I'm curious about regarding Undead. You should go ahead and sleep though, I won't disturb you".

She doesn't seem entirely satisfied with it, but she does give you back the quilt that belongs to your side of the bed.

(cont.)
>>
You start idly flipping through the book, trying to see if anything catches your eye. You don't have anything in particular yet you want to look up on, but your curious side has been trying to make you read up on some of these things for a while now. Oh hey, neat, it seems there's a sort of index that tells you, in a few words, what can be found where in the book. Handy.

"So we're selling our wares tomorrow right?" she asks.

"That's the plan yeah.. Or at least some of it...", you absentmindedly answer her, as you look through the book's contents.

"Great. Great. Cool..."

"..Some of it anyway.. I figure we leave tomorrow whether we sell it all or not... Maybe we can get better prices... for some of the stuff in... uh.." Huh, would you look at that, even just regular zombies seems to have various variants you can make..

"Oaksberg?", She offers.

"Yeah..", yup, the aptly named 'fast zombie' is definitely the one you've already made..

"Don't bet on", she objects, "I've heard that only a few wares should be sold in Oaksberg rather than at the Bazar, like plums."

"Plums.. Is that so..." Apparently skeletal Undead have about just as many variants to them as zombies do. Curious, but good to know.

"..Argh! You and your books. I'm going to bed" she declares with a miffed voice. Wonder why.

"Mmh, good night Tina". You place a hand on her forehead and stroke her hair to comfort her from whatever annoyed her. It feels like it helps.

"..Thanks. You too, if you ever manage to put your book down".

Ahh, you had better pick some topics to read up on, instead of trying to go through it all.

What should you pick..?
>>
(that last line is a prompt btw. Write in stuff)
>>
>>3295013
Read whatever we can about Tina's undead type.

Read about other tipes of zombies that we can do, focus on the undead we wouldn't need to slave a concience to create.

I feel bad for letting Tina down, she wanted some fun apparently, when we go to sleep spoon her tightly and sleep confortably.
>>
>>3295051
Support everything

Also, see if there is any application for positive energy to undead that doesn't involve hurting them
>>
(seems pretty dead for now, so i'll let the vote rest for the night)
>>
>>3295013
>>3295051
This, but also put some bookmarks on the pages that look interesting to us so we can tackle them later.
>>
>>3295051
+1
>>
>>3295231
>>3295051
>>3295013
Supporting both of these
>>
>>3295013
Read about the undeads we already have had so we can understand their abilities at the fullest.
>>
>>3295013
>>3296667
Also specifically read about mummies.
>>
>>3295013
>>3295231
I agree with this guy.
>>
Curiosity, interest, and obsession — mile markers on my road to damnation.

Vampires & Dhampirs, a good place to start..

The more you read about them, the more the Dhampir seems like an incomplete version of the Vampire, weaker in almost every aspect, but with less severe weaknesses. "Dhampirs are physcially stronger than their mortal counterparts, but severely weakened in sunlight." Yeah you had noticed. "A few cases have even observed wherein the Dhampir was actually hurt by sunlight." Good thing that's not the case with your friend. "Dhampirs are also famously vulnerable to fire, just like their stronger relatives. And while they can be killed by most regular means, beware that a stab through the heart will only inflict paralysis upon them - and only for as long as their heart remains penetrated. Bring a wooden stake or something similar that can be left in there, if that's your aim."

The craving for blood is a mix between an addiction & a matter of sustenance to Dhampirs, according to this text. "Most of their senses are heightened as a result of their race, but also distorted. They come to dislike the taste of regular foods, while all drinks taste stale and boring. Some Dhampirs claim to hear the heartbeat of those in close proximity, or even see their veins pulsate, but this is speculated to be a figment of their imagination, since so few claim it." And of course there is the matter of darkvision, but you knew that.

"The Dhampir also come to learn some of the supernatural talents that a fullfledged Vampire possesses - abilities fuelled by the very blood they need for survival. Regarding the blood, records agree that the Dhampirs can go about thirty days without sustenance before they expire. However, their sanity and ability to focus seems to deteriorate in earlier stages, how early seems individually different. Coherent speech has not been observed in Dhampirs who haven't fed for twenty days."

"Every Dhampir seems to know how to use their sustenance to heal their wounds in moments, akin to what is seen in demons and devils. It also appears to be a common ability to be able to temporarily increase their strength, endurance, and dexterity by expending blood. The exact process of how they 'spend' their blood is unknown, other than that at close hand, it looks to be a process similar to burning, although it doesn't appear to hurt them."

The book also lists some additional abilities that Dhampirs have been observed to have, but it claims that it's impossible to discern a pattern in who develops what abilities. Among them are: shapechanging, animating the dead, mental control, supernatural resilience, conjuration of elements, shaping of the flesh, animating the shadows, manipulation of time, and assuming a berserker state. It namely states that Dhampirs who abuse their mental control abilities can be among the most damaging ones to an otherwise functioning society.

(cont.)
>>
"One of the greatest dangers of the Dhampir affliction is their ability to multiply - by emptying a victim of their last few drops of blood, and then feeding them some of the Dhampir's own blood, they can have their victim enter a comatose state for a few hours. After this sleep, the victim themselves wake up as a new, and thirsty, Dhampir. While most laws don't specifically prohibit Dhampirs from living in cities, I urge anyone who considers themselves to be good & just to take proper precautions against this invasive menace, before it's too late, lest your town be turned into a feeding ground."

...What the hells. You go back and take a look at the forewords of the book. Ah, there. "Written by Bishop Kehall". Probably some religious fanatic or something. Either way, what a biased ass.

Finally, it states that in certain conditions, some Dhampirs have been observed to transform into fully fledged Vampires themselves, a much greater threat.

Well you knew some of it, but there are a few little neat additions to your knowledge.

Oh, maybe... Searching the book as well as its index, you find nothing regarding non-harmful ways to apply positive energy to Undead. Ah well, was worth a try. What you do find, however, is that there's been a lot of research into making a lich based on positive energy instead of negative, but that nothing has come of it yet. The book makes a point to discourage any attempts at lichdom, stating that no mortal may hope to hold on to their sanity, as "all Undead are inherently evil by their nature". What a slimebrain.

You also read a bit up on Ghouls, Zombies, and Laughing Dead. You're surprised to find that Laughing Dead is even in the book, and has the same name that you found fitting. Odd. Anyway, you find a few variations to Zombies you didn't know about, but after reading about them you think you may be able to make them - the Exploding Zombie and the Zombie Lord, although the latter is supposed to be sapient.

You also find a Ghoul Marauder, supposed to be a very aggressive type of mindless Ghoul who's hard to control in battle, but remarkably lethal. "While the Ghoul Marauder is no more hardy than a regular Ghoul, they are both stronger & faster, and even more proficient in rending flesh with their wicked claws. According to one necromancer, they can be made into a stronger 'Szlachta' variant, if you posses the necessary fleshcrafting skills."

(cont.)
>>
Under the section of minor Undeads, an entry on a Silent Servant piques your interest. Even though it's a mindless Undead, it's capable of performing somewhat complex tasks, like cleaning clothes, making food, loading wares properly, or steering a horsewagon. Its combat abilities are very meager, however. Could be a handy minion. Seems they were the invention of some sort of evil countess who didn't like having living servants. But can you really trust this book in that she's truly evil?

And then there's a weird one. What basically looks like a featureless body with no head, and two sets of arms & legs. And it's using all of its limbs to walk, like some weird person-shaped spider. "The Faceless Stalker is rather stealthy, as the name implies, and has the uncanny ability to walk on walls or even upside down on a ceiling. Each of its limbs seems able to sprout a bone spike for attacking in a flurry of deranged movement. While it's not as strong as some of its peers, beware its stealth skills."

During your reading, which may have taken a few hours, you've placed several bookmarks of interest, the Lich among them.

That should be enough for tonight, you wanna get some sleep too, after all. Although you're pretty sure you don't strictly need it.

You put the book away, lie down, and shift closer to your friend & put an arm around her, while making yourself comfortable.

(cont.)
>>
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A girl in a robe, claiming communion with the great beyond. Madness...
An unnatural chill permeates the air, the shadows seem liquid, and the entire room just seems... Smaller. The walls seem closer than they actually are, and you feel like you can touch the roof just by stretching your hand.

But it only lasts for a moment, then it's gone without a trace. Everything is back to normal. Quiet, save for the distant ambience of residing in a tavern. You can vaguely hear someone talking loudly in one of the rooms, and the soft sound of footsteps somewhere outside.

"I'm not your enemy, young one". The sudden voice from somewhere - or everywhere? - startles you badly enough that you almost roll out of bed, but instead you sit upright and scan the room for the source of the voice.

Then it reveals itself. A vaguely person shaped, roiling, cloudy, mass slowly emerges through the opposing wall. It has a small bright red lightsource in what may be its head, and a brighter one in its torso. After coming out of the wall, it remains stationary, hovering a meter or so above the floor. The figure is partially hunched over. If it stood upright, it'd probably be three or four meters tall, but it's not very broad.

"Worry not. I just want to talk. This is a dream". It has a deep and muffled voice.

..A dream? Talk? Wha.. You look around again. Tina isn't here, and neither are any of your things, and while you try to look for anything familiar, the floor turns to water. Guess this is a dream of some sort. Maybe another vision from the raven..?

"Who are you?"

"Arrum, or Nightmare. Either will do. What is your name, young girl?"

"..Alice. Are you real? It feels like you're real"

"Oh? Alice have had encounters before, then. Yes and no. I'm not real in your world. But I am in mine."

"..So what do you want?", you ask it. Having spent a few moments while maintaining eyecontact -apparently that smaller dot is an eye- you confirm that its name is Arrum.

"Something simple but complicated, Alice. I desire a friendship. Or something akin to it, with Alice. I see strength in your soul. I think we could have a mutually beneficial friendship. I have some influence in the spiritual world, but very little in yours. The opposite should be true for you."

"..That does sound complicated. I still don't know what you want from me."

(cont.)
>>
"To help you, Alice. If I help you, maybe you will help me sometime, yes?"

"Erh.. I guess.. It really depends, what do you need help with?"

"Nothing right now. But maybe sometime. It is good to have strong friends. Maybe if you need a spirit or a lost soul, I can procure it for Alice. Maybe sometime you can procure a particular one for me. Or help me get rid of someone. I feed off of nightmares, fear is my prey. Sometimes someone interferes with my feeding. Maybe sometime you can help me bring a physical object into my world, that would be useful."

"...I have no idea how to do that last one. I don't know, it sounds shady, I won't promise I'll ever help you."

"I don't ask for promises Alice, I ask for friendship. Maybe if help Alice, Alice will want to help me of her own volition. Don't think I can even hurt you if I wanted to, other than with bad dreams. I cannot force your cooperation, thus I seek your friendship, Alice. I'm an artist of the arcane of some skill, I can help Alice with difficult rituals, or crafting of magical items."

Ye gods. How are you even supposed to react to this. You're pretty sure that this is all a dream, but that the stranger isn't just a dream. It still seems pretty shady, but is there really a reason to decline another ally?

>Accept friendship. What could go wrong?
>Decline friendship. Suspicious.
>Decline friendship in a polite but resolute manner. Definitely no.
>Write-in.
>>
(and 3x 1d20 for trading later on, while we're at it, so that i dont need to ask for it later)
>>
>>3297077
Well, we seem to have caught the attention of the spirit world. I wouldn't want to decline, but it's definitely suspicious. Maybe Arrum can help if we want to find out why we're a dullahan, or when another anubis-type enemy comes along
>Write in
A friendship is built on trust. We become acquaintances for now, not friends nor allies. No contracts, nothing set in stone, don't want our soul taken.
>>
>>3297077
We just met, I cannot accept or decline since I don't really know you or your motives, we know each other but we are neither friends nor enemies, only time will tell witch one we become.


Tell what happened to Tina when we wake up, she is our friend and can give us advice, don't wake her tho, keep hugging her until she wakes, it will give us sone time to think and enjoy the calm time
>>
Rolled 7 (1d20)

>>3297085
Rolling
>>
Rolled 1 (1d20)

>>3297085
Friendship builds with time, at the moment I can only promise to listen to what you have to say and maybe we can help each other, then we will see what happens
If I find out you have lied to me this whole thing is off, same for you I imagine

Tell Tina obviously and we might need another book about spirits ...
>>
>>3297104
Well fuck you too rngesus
>>
>>3297104
Seems like we won't sell much
>>
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>>3297104
I can work with this
>>
Rolled 8 (1d20)

>>3297088
>>3297094
>>3297104
The general tone of not accepting but saying we can still talk works for me too.

Stay with Tina until she wakes and tell her also works for me
>>
(im writing stuff, just at a bit of a slow pace. mean to post it today)
>>
You mull it over for a while. Friendship huh... Your only actual friend is Tina. And you couldn't be as close to a random stranger as you are to Tina. But maybe a contact like him wouldn't be bad to have.

"Friendship is.. Something where you trust each other. I can't trust you yet, since I don't know you at all. And I take a long time to regard people as my friends, so.. Time. But in the meantime I think we could be acquaintances. But if I find out that you lied to me.."

You fix him a stern gaze, and let the implications speak for themselves.

After a rigid pause, Arrum casts his gaze down, and speaks in a less than motivated tone.

"I see. Not what I had hoped for. No friendship with Alice. Unfortunate. But being acquaintances is better than nothing. Then I will give Alice a parting token to increase goodwill. A means to contacts me. I hope to purchase your approval to visit you again with this goodwill. In dreams. Like this."

He then conjures a simple ritual drawing on the wall, and a symbol beside it.

"This is a summoning circle to my world, and this is my symbol. Draw it inside the circle to call for me, and think of me. I hope you can remember it. I could implant it in your head, but it does not seem Alice wants that. Please remember it well. Only useful at midnight, at the witching hour when the veil is thin. May I purchase your approval to visit you again? I urge Alice to accept this, since how else will Arrum and Alice become friends."

What an oddball. The spirit world must be a very different place from the material world. Maybe you should buy a book on it.

His request seems benign, and judging by how he's already here, his request is probably more a formal request than anything else.

"Sure, if it's just like this, I don't mind you visiting again. I don't know if I can remember the circle and symbol, but I'll try.

"Adequate. Please do not show others my symbol, it is a private thing to me."

Huh? Really? It's probably useful for something then. Or maybe not.

"Sure, I'll be sure to not show anyone".

"Thank you Alice. Please do not hesitate to ask me for help. I will try to not ask you for too much, since we are not friends."

"Well you can ask me anything you want really, I just won't promise I'll do it."

"It is not imposing to Alice? In that case I will likely soon ask some... Thing."

You nod.

After a brief pause Arrum speaks up again.

"I will leave you now. Sleep peacefully."

While you're not entirely clear on what you can use him for, it seems he can help with things regarding 'difficult rituals' or 'crafting magical items', and probably other things related to 'the arcane arts'.

And with that he disappears, and the rest of your dream blurs into regular sleep.

(cont.)
>>
Despite the unusual dream, the rest of your sleep is both uninterrupted, and decently sound.

In the morning you wake up before Tina, but decide to simply wait for her to wake on her own. It gives you some time to just enjoy the quiet, and think about things. You're confident you still remember the ritual circle as well as his symbol, but you should probably write it down soon.

When she eventually does wake up, she slowly sits up and rub her eyes with a yawn.

"G'morning.."

"Good morning Aurúthiel" you answer her with a content tone.

While she gets up and clothed, you explain your dream to her, as simplified as you can.

"Eh? Another one? I know you said it's friendly but.. This one won't attack us, right?"

"I don't think so, no. It seemed sincere enough, from what I could tell, anyway."

She doesn't seem entirely convinced, and grumbles a little. "I hope that's the case, but.. Ah, whatever. Oh hey! I forgot all about that."

?

She picks up a cloth sack from the floor by her side of the bed, and gives it to you with a wide, toothy, smile decorating her face - and very messy hair.

With a puzzled reaction, you hesitantly take the sack, and look inside for its contents.

What you find is... Cloth?

You take it out of its sack. Yeah no, that's a plushy. A plushy resembling a cutesy designed fennec fox. It's remarkably soft, and of uncommonly high quality too. While you have to admit it does look kind of cute, you're not a kid anymore, you're 125 years ol-..

That's when you realize it. If your count isn't off, your 126th birthday should have been yesterday. That's what this is about.

"You like it? Back in our village I remember how much you liked that fennec fox the travelling old Gnoll had with him when he stayed in town for a week last year, so I thought maybe you'd like it. And I figured that even if you're Undead, you should still get a gift on your birthday. I meant to give it to you yesterday, but I completely forgot. Sorry about that". The last part she says with a silly smile.

You knit your eyebrows while the right side of your mouth curves into a smile.

"I'm not a kid anymore, you know", you say with a semi reproachful voice, but you can feel the smile in your tone.

You sheepishly put it in your bag, and thank her for the present. It's a nice thought. And it feels like you appreciate more than you're willing to admit.

And before you forget it, you scribble down a sketch of the summonging circle as well as Arrum's signature thingy.

(cont.)
>>
-----
In the taproom
-----
You order some breakfast for Nar, Sierra, and yourself at the desk, where the usual woman is back to serving. Your total comes to 19 silver coins and 5 copper coins. Not bad for three people honestly.

"Thanks hon'. Go ahead and find a seat, your food and drinks will be along shortly."

Neither of the the other two are here yet, however. But you do see a familiar face beckon you over - the reptilian woman who was some kind of guard, and who had shown you this inn.

When you reach her table, you greet each other. She seems to be drinking some sort of red drink that smells like fruit.

"Slept well?", she asks you with a friendly attitude.

"..Yeah, it was fine. You must've been up early to be here by now?"

"Mmyeah I'm a bit of an early bird. Plus I actually slept here last night, so that's part of it."

"I see."

A barmaid comes to your table and serve your drinks. You take a sip of water. Water in the morning has a nice effect on the throat, you find.

"Do you plan on selling your wares today, or..?"

"That's the idea, yeah", you answer. "Then I'm probably leaving in the evening or so, depending on how it goes. Heading to Oaksberg."

"Oh? That was a short stay. Well if you're done selling your wares, I guess it makes sense. I see."

You chat on for a bit more, pretty much about mostly superficial subjects like that, and the weather. You do notice something through your conversation though. She stares a lot, like she's trying to discern something from the look in your eyes. It makes you a little wary, but it's probably nothing serious. From it, however, you gather that her name is Kyria.

For an hour or so, nothing else is really going on, except that your food gets served. It's not extremely interesting by itself, but it's okay.

Once Nar and Sierra have joined you, and eaten their food, you leave to get your merchant's permit.

The streets are pretty crowded, but it's not that bad yet.

And soon after you're back at the Merchant's Guild once again, the warehouse-like building with the comfortable interior. This time, however, you haven't really given a close look at what kind of wares you brought. A scribe and a guard accompanies you outside to the wagon, and examine your wares. After some scribbling, the scribesman tells you everything is in order, and that you'll be expected to pay three gold coins inside, which you do.

(cont.)
>>
Ten minutes later, you are outside the guildhouse, with a piece of parchment in hand that allows you to sell your goods in town for your stay. Before you set off, however, Kyria, the serpentine Beastblooded woman, adresses you.

"Hey, Alice. It was Alice, right?"

You nod.

"I erhh.. I was wondering if you're taken? And if not, if you'd maybe like to spend some time with me, before you leave..?", she hardly looks at you while she awkwardly, and slowly, says her piece.

What. She can't possibly mean it like that, but what else could it mean.

"I've had my eye on you since I first saw you, and, well.. I just think you're really attractive.. So.."

What is this, some bard's ridiculous love story? How can you even respond to this... It doesn't make it less weird how Sierra, Tina, and Nar all are right there next to you. What is this even... Wait, it could actually be an attempt to catch you without the backup of your group. You should probably reject her politely.

>Reaction?
>>
(taking a break for now. dunno if i'll post more tonight)
>>
>>3297260
I'm sorry Kyria, it's complicated for me...I don't really know what to say, you are beautyful and pleasant yourself but I can't I really can't......
(Why am I embarrassed? Why do I hope Tina doesn't hear this? It's because she would make fun of me of course, nothing more than that.....right?)
>>
>>3297260
first things first, get pale(paler?) and flushed, instinctively reach for the plushie inside our bag and hold it while talking.
Steal some unconscious glances at Tina while we speak to Kyria
Try to let her down as gently as we can, telling her that we don't know where we stand right now and while we appreciate her offer and think that she is nice we can't accept it.
before we leave:
"you know, yesterday was my birthday, but you couldn't know that of course, thanks anyway, you made me realize something"

time to get very confused with all of this
>>
>>3297316
just to be clear, who is the last line directed at? the birthday one
>>
>>3297260
get a bit embarassed and a slight blush but let her down easy, thank her for the attention but you aren't in the mind to look for someone atm

thank tina again for the gift and lets get this done so we can get a move on, unless sierra or nar have anything left doing
>>
>>3297335
to Kyria, we just noticed something...maybe...
>>
>>3297316
>>3297266
Support, but I don't support the birthday line, Alice is reserved and she probably wouldn't tell others about it. Maybe just thank her.
>>
>>3297354
>>3297335
hmm
makes sense, don't tell her it was our birthday
>>
>>3297260
>>3297339
>>
>>3297260
>>3297339
Supporting. Also tell Tina what happened and pay attention to how she react.
>>
(currently writing some stuff. plan on running some today, since i wont have time in the weekend)
>>
What's with this situation.. You're speechless at first. Did you misunderstand her somehow? No, there's nothing to read into here. Maybe a joke? No she seems honest enough. But it could be.

"I.. I'm not sure what to say. I'm glad that you think that, if you truly think that.. But.. I don't think I'm ready for those things right now. You seem nice, but..". You're not sure how good of an answer it was, but hopefully it'll do.

A discrete sigh escapes her, as her shoulders drop, and she close her eyes with a resigned face. She then straightens her posture and open her eyes. With what appears to be something of a forced smile, she says "thanks. It was worth a shot I guess. Let me know if by any chance you change your mind sometime. Oh and just to be clear, I'm not usually this straightforward with people."

There's an awkward pause where neither of you say anything, and the only sounds are the background buzzings from people going about their daily business.

"..I should probably let you get back to your merchant business. Good day miss". The last part she says with a trained & formal manner. Then she turns to the side, and briskly walks down the street.

Nobody from your group said anything while the conversation with Kyria went on. Sierra seems embarassed by it, Nar doesn't seem to think it's a big deal, and Tina.. Even though she seemed somewhat awkward about it while it went on, there's not much of a reaction from her now that it's over with.

There's that unpleasant silence again.

You clear your throat.

"A-anyway". You lift up your permit to eye level and give it a once over with exaggerated body language. "How about we find a place in the market area to set up shop, if we're lucky there's still a good spot open". They all comply with your offer. In order to dispel this strangely uncomfortable air as quickly as possible, you press on towards the marketplace.

Once you're there, and in the process of looking for a good spot to set up your wagon, Sierra says "unfortunately it seems as though a lot of people are already here. They must be getting up early. Hopefully there's still a halfway good position open somewhere".

You give a simple "mh" as answer. While what she said was pretty obvious to everyone already, you feel like she might have said it to get something else on everybodies' mind. If that's the case, you appreciate the assist.

(cont.)
>>
It takes a while to find a good place to set up shop, and you end up having to settle for something of an off position - a wide alleyway adjecent to one of the main streets. It'll have to do.

Oh right. After you set up shop, you look to Tina.

"Hey Tina, could you do me a favour? Since I've met another spirit being in my dreams, I think I should get some more knowledge about it. Would you go and look for a book or something similar about the spirit realm & spirits in general, while I try to sell the stuff?"

She gives you a "really? Another book?"-kind of smile. Her Dhampiric sunlight fatigue only helps to further intensify the criticizing part of her expression, by accentuating it with a tired look.

While shaking her head lightly, she says "fine, no problem. If I'm lucky I'll find it in a store with some shade". She tucks the hood from her robe to cover her face a little more. She wears the hood so that it almost covers her eyes.

"Thanks. Nar you go with her - I know it's not a dangerous city, but there's no reason not to be sure".

He agrees, judging by reaction, and ostentatiously places the haft of his two-handed hammer on his shoulder. "I gotcha boss. I'll keep 'er safe as can be".

The edge of Tina's mouth curls into a smile. "Heh, my own bodyguard. I almost feel like a noble lady".

With that, they take off, and you & Sierra are left to put the rest of your wares on display. You hadn't really looked it through, but it appears to be mostly foodstuffs, fabrics, some simple jewelry, metal ores, the arms & armours that the bandits used, and sizable amount of tobacco.
You pick out a simple sheet of fabric, fold it up, and place it on the ground. A simple, cushioned, seat. Assuming a crosslegged position upon it, you get ready to sell your wares, and tell Sierra to just pitch in and help if she feels like it. She seems like she's ready and willing to help out. Nice.

Your shop obviously doesn't see as much traffic as it would on the mainstreet, but it doesn't take a long time before the first couple of potential customers show up, and you do your best to try and deal with them. Your strategy is mostly to sell your heavy wares at somewhat lower prices, in order to make travelling lighter afterwards...

(cont.)
>>
Regroup. Reassemble. Evil is timeless, after all.

The man is probably around 2,5 meters/8ft. tall, and wields an executioner's sword that's as tall as he is, and donned in a brightly polished breastplate. His weapon as well as his armour clearly have got an aura of enchantment to them. His horns, his tail, and his skin tone suggest that he's a Tiefling* of some sort, and he has got a dangerous air about him. He doesn't seem angry, but he doesn't look like he'll take a lot of bullshit either.
*Humanoid race with demonic/infernal ancestry. Their appearances vary a lot. Counterparts to Aasimars. They are often frowned upon as a race.

And you thought that today would be a good day.

...

You had just started selling stuff, when some Human approached your shop. You could tell before he reached you that trouble was brewing. That particular look of disdain mixed with that certain cocky air of arrogance. He's armed with a longsword, and sporting a studded leather armour. While he hasn't actually drawn his sword, he makes it obvious that his hand is resting on the hilt. Maybe if you hadn't packed your own equipment away, he would have been more hesitant to approach, but so would any trader.

On further inspection, you notice that he is accompanied by two other Humans, who keep their distance.

"What in the hells is a dimdweller doing out here in bright daylight, acting like you belong here?"

You don't answer. How are you supposed to answer? You know that anything you say will just be an excuse for him to torment you even more.

You can tell that several nearby people noticed, as he didn't exactly keep his voice down. No one are interferring, however. Why would they.

Sierra seems outright confused by the whole situation, you can tell that she's wondering why you don't say anything.

The jackass draws his sword and uses it to look through some of your wares on display.

"Fine wares you got here, doesn't look like revolting dimdweller taint at all", he says, as he pricks open the seal on a jar of pickled fish, with that obnoxiously, stuck up, attitude of his. He seems to take delight in bullying, as expected.

He smears the semi solid vinegar on the tip of his sword on some of your fabrics without a care, ruining not only the fish, but some cloth as well, with his blatantly tyrannical harassment..

(cont.)
>>
He goes on, in that obnoxiously terrorizing tone of his. "It SEEMS ya KILLED some honest merchant and stole his wares in my opinion". A wildly preposterous assumption. "Tell you what, dagger ears, you go ahead and pack up these stolen goods of yours, go back to the 13th hell* where you belong, and I'll be generous enough to let you be" he says with a haughty voice, as he pretents to look through some of your still clean fabrics which he 'accidentally' tears with his blade. Infuriating.. Piece of shit. Snotty, stuck up, slandering, blatantly underhanded piece of person-shaped trash. You hear your teeth creak.
*The 13th hell is known as the final layer of the hells, also known as "Oblivion". It's said that nothing can ever leave there. And there's supposed to be eternally dark there, hence why he felt that a "dimdweller" must belong there.

"My wares are not stolen", you declare in a low voice.

He, in turn, raises his voice. "The hell you babbling about you incoherent, lying, bitch?! How else would a dishonest leech like you actually sell wares? You either stole them from honest people, or you whored yourself out to buy them! And since there's so many wares, and your loathsome ass ain't halfway attractive enough to earn more than half a days worth of food from an entire day's work, there's no way you earned! Which means you STOLE it". Revolting.. Your thoughts feel like tar. Heavy, dark, suffocating..

By now there's obviously a crowd of people watching the spectacle. And from among the crowd, one of his companions speaks up. "Oh hey yeah! I saw that outcast steal an entire bucket of bread yesterday, the bitch just straight up just ran with it!".

"I heard about that", the other accomplice spews another loathsome lie. "Didn't merchant Sollom say that a female darkskin mugged him with a knife a few nights ago? I bet the knife matches one of those she's got lying right there!"

You can tell that some people are becoming wary of you, with their gasps and horrified exclamations. And a slight smell of fear.

Someone else loudly whispers "careful, she's probably a witch! I hear all Darkelf women can use unholy magics".

Infuriating.. You can tell that this abhorrent abuse is amusing to the hateful cretin who started it.

...

You start packing the rest of your wares, whatever you say or do now would be useless...

Sierra is perplexed by the situation, she doesn't say anything, but her eyes say "what, really? We're leaving?". Shut up.. All of you shut up...

(cont.)
>>
"What the shit, you're selling nightbloom?!", he shouts, "the audacity of this bitch!".

He's pointing his sword at you now, the tip is no more than a hand's reach from your chest. You have to restrain yourself to not just impale him then and there for that gesture on top of it all.

You can tell from his face that he's refering to some of the tobacco you haven't packed up yet. And judging from the reaction of the crowd, there's some merit to the name of the leaves.

"Steal our wares, kill our merchants and poison our fair city with your illegal drugs?! Huh?! Get the hell out of our city, RIGHT this moment!"

As he shouts the last part, he feints a violent swinging motion towards you with the sword. Instinctively, you pull you left arm from your robe to shield yourself from the blow.

Someone from the crowd screams "watch out she's got a knife!". You hear more screams, and smell a lot of fear. You hardly have time to register the sadistic spark of inspiration in the tyrant's eyes before he takes this opportunity to take another shot at you, but this time for real.

You don't react in time, and his sword punctures through your abdomen. Your chainshirt must've been lifted by your arm's movement, because it didn't cover for you either. The blade is halfway through your stomach. More screams. He pulls out the sword, and he seems shocked by the result of his own actions, but there's still something of an expectant smile to his face. For the briefest of moments, he's looking forward to see you keel over.

(cont.)
>>
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Your darkest of energies manifests itself around your right hand before you had even decided to do anything. But since you're already holding it... You decide to expend a small amount of it.

Black flames with a purple tone consumes your figure like a cloaking aura. And with a singular intent, you clench up your fist with indomitable wrath, and lay down vengeance upon this repugnant fool by pounding your fist into his face. The force of the strike is enough that he staggers a few steps backwards while turning halfway around, and promptly plants his face in the dirt. But the accompanying smell of burnt flesh is positively aromatic. Smells like bacon.

...

While you stood there for while, dumbfounded and unable to figure out what to do, some people ran away. But more importantly, someone arrived. That big brickhouse of a Tiefling.

He said something that you didn't quite catch at first. You were sort of in a cathartic daze. And you couldn't help but just stand there & think "Ahh~, now I've done it. What will happen now". After a moment you speak up.

"What..?"

"Like I said", he repeats in a patient but stern voice, "I'll need you to remove that aura, and follow me. You'll be brought in for questioning". His voice is deep, as befits his size, and he utters the words with a confident & authoritative voice.

While his tone is calm, you can tell that he's ready for anything.

You let out a despondent sigh, as you wonder what to do. Trust in justice and stay, try to flee without your things and likely never return to this city, or fight your way out... Ahh, neither of those seem like great choices.. And what about Tina, she hasn't returned yet....

>Obey
>Run
>Fight
>Write-in
>>
(I'll let this one simmer for a while, since, y'know, it'll be sort of a landmark)
>>
>>3304967
>comply, but slowly
ask who he is and if this one is gonna be taken in as well
>>
>>3304991
support. we acted in self-defense, but running or fighting. would just casue trouble adn spurting someone . i hope they are just towards us.
since sierra hasn't done anything they wouldn't take her in i guess? send her to inform tina and nar about the situation
>>
>>3304967
>>3304998
ah i forgot to clearify, i meant both sierra and the dude that we hit
>>
>>3304991
This,
Ask where he is taking us so that our companion can go there to pick us up
also tell Sierra to stay here and let Tina know what happened.

It's actually good that Tina wasn't here during this shit, she would have made him eat his intestines
>>
>>3305027
>>3304998
>>3304991
Agreed.

Tell Sierra to explain everything and bring Tina and Nar to meet us.
>>
(not sure i can make time for another update tonight, but ill be around in case there are any questions or anything like that)
>>
>>3304967
>question
Under whose authority?
Why?
We already were question and have proper documents.
Then no matter what.
>Call guards
>>
>>3305331
yeah, no matter what call the guards, thinking about it now I don't really remember him being part of the guard, ask all these questions and call the guards. just to make sure this shitter is legit

DO not follow him if he isn't a guard, we have a good rep with them and even if they kick us out we were planning on going anyway
>>
Since we had no problems with guards even after what we done, it's literally not possible for him to be one
>>
>>3304967
>>3304991
>>3305331
Supporting these ideas, and if things goes wrong, fucking fight
>>
>>3304967
Forgot to say, if we have our equipment in the wagon, better get it quickly just in case if things goes ugly.
>>
(public service notice: Things will not always go to shit on a nat 1, I just felt like doing that this time. But! There will be consquences: Alice will now have little less tolerance and affinity for Humans. It is something that will slowly diminish on its own, and something that may be completely countered by future encounters, but it is what it is for now. Also, proof-reading some text now, will post it after im done)
>>
You are still riding the high from slugging that Human. Your whole body feels lighter, and there's no longer any trace of that sour pit in your stomach.

You feel delightful. Very satisfying. Oh, right, the Tiefling.

Maybe going along for now is the best idea.. You were treated fairly last time after all... Still, it seems dangerous. If you allow them to imprison you again, and they then decide to execute you, you'd be in a bad position to run away. Hopfully they'd settle for decapitation or hanging. Ahahah..

Ahh.. Ah well.

"Uhm, so I'll be going to the guardsmen's headquarter again, or where? And who are you by the way?", you ask, as you extinguish the [Undead Flame] you had enchanted yourself with.

"Just so. Er, again? You've already been there?"

"Ahh, yeah, killed some bandits, had to answer some questions. You know".

He seems to reflect upon that for a moment.

"Mm, I see. As for who I am, I'm the sheriff around here, I work for Viscount Ragnar. I just arrived here last evening, woke up to hear about this mess, figured I'd go take a look myself. Just uh, wait here for a moment, okay?"

Hm? Wonder what kind of job that is. Taking a look around, you notice that you must've really been in a daze, because you didn't even notice the six guards who are positioned outside the alley, about ten meters away. There's still a lot of Human peasants present, and it looks like two of the guards are talking to some of them. Maybe asking questions.

The alleged sheriff quickly walks over to the guards, and appears to be asking them something. Both of the two that he talks to look over at you, they appear to confirm something to him and then talk some more.

It doesn't take long, and he's promptly back.

"I think I get the situation now", he says, "I hope you'll be just as cooperative as you were last time. Oh, and I wouldn't worry too much in your shoes, I hear you're something of a hero in this city."

"Hah, I guess I am. So who's coming with us?", you ask, "If Sierra here doesn't have to go", you do a thumb gesture towards her, "can I send her to inform my other companions on where to find me? Oh and what about that crispy idiot", you nod towards the Human.

(cont.)
>>
He furrows his brow a bit. He then approaches the Human, and lift his head to take a look at him, and then let go so that his face smacks down into the ground again.

"I don't think there's any reason to bring this guy anywhere except to the undertaker" he dryly declares.

You accidentally let out a suppressed laugh at that. That was the business you once worked in yourself! That's why your family became the "Ashbedights" in town, because you prepared the dead and prettied their urns up. You were called Ashbedight because unlike here where they bury folks, in your town you only cremated them. Oh wait, cremation, just like you burned his face! That just makes it even funnier.. Haha.. And if you have to say so yourself, you did pretty his face up a lot! Ahahah, oh wow..

He actually waits until you've swallowed your laughter, before he continues talking, albeit with a rather puzzled look on him.

"Erh, anyway. If you're fine with not bringing your friend..? along, then I don't mind just taking her statement here. Miss, what happened here?"

Sierra shakes her confusion from your laughter off of her, and answers him.

"Well, for some reason this ruffian and a couple of his friends decided to harass our shop, but mostly just Alice herself. They broke several wares, and were very offensive to deal with. I'm in awe of Alice's patience - personally I would have set an example from the get-go. And just as we were about to leave, one of them attacked Alice with a sword, whereupon she defended herself."

Oh yeah, you forgot about the wound. You show the guard the wound, and then cover it, and decide to heal it while the conversation is still going. It could be used as evidence later, but you'd rather not show people that you neither ache nor bleed. Easier to just tell them that you healed it. Besides, you still have a hole in your blouse, that should be evidence enough.

He seems to consider her words, before nodding and saying "that will do. Thank you miss, you're free to go about your business."

Sierra looks to you, and says "in that case, I'll attempt to sell the rest of our merchandise while waiting here for Nar-khur and Tina. Depending on how it goes, we'll either be visiting you later, or waiting for you at the inn."

You smile and nod, "that sounds fine". Then you look toward the sheriff. "Okay, I'm ready to get locked up and questioned again". You can't help but smile a little more as you say it. It's been a doozy of a day.

(cont.)
>>
He gives you the perplexed look of someone regarding a boggling puzzle.

And soon there after you're back at the old familiar guardmens' headquarters. People get up and salute the sheriff when you go through the halls, and the Kitsune woman greets you with a perplexed look. What was her name again?.. No matter, you smile and greet her from a distance with a wave of your hand.

Aand back in the prison cell. The sheriff asks you about the whole situation, and you answer honestly as you did last time. But you emphasize that the Human stabbed you before you cremated his ugly mug. Purely self defence.

The sheriff, whose name you confirm is Balto, interrogates you in a casual manner for about an hour. Mostly about details of the situation, like what the Humans' companions looked like. During that hour you 'sober up' from your unusually good mood as well. Probably for the best, settle down a little.

"Now", he says, "you did kill a man. The thing is, it's not as bad as you may think it is. The guy had a tattoo of a one-eyed silver serpent. That means he belongs to a group of killers, thieves, and extortionists by the name of 'One Eye'. And as such, he was actually wanted dead or alive anyway". He smiles wryly, and goes on. "Of course I don't want you to think that it's alright to go about killing folk, but since you acted in self defence, it wasn't that much of a problem to begin with. I can imagine it must be tough bein' a Dark Elf sometimes".

Well that's good. "You seem quick to trust me", you remark.

He grins, and says "yep! I'm pretty good at telling when people lie, hahaha", he's got a boisterous laugh.

"...Isn't it just the room that's enchanted to tell when people lie, though?"

"Ah, you knew. Damn, thought I'd try to sound a little cool. I know this inquisitor guy who can discern lies from truth, and it sounds pretty cool when he says it". He scratches his neck while saying it, but doesn't seem all that embarassed that you caught him lying over something so simple.

"That aside", he says, "you're free to go now", and then he gets up.

You get up as well, and go upstairs. There you see Tina sitting in a chair, presumably waiting for you. When she sees you, she gets up and paces towards you. Just as you're about to go to her, sheriff Balto says "by the way Alice. If you're in need of a job where you can earn a respectable coin, come see me sometime. I like your spirit. And from what I hear you're a mage of some power. I could use a vice sheriff - frankly I have too much to do. You'd basically roam the local region and uphold the law. I could even refer you to someone higher up, or elsewhere."

Halfway through his offer, Tina reaches you. She raises her brow and her eyes widen a little at his offer.

You're equally somewhat taken aback yourself - not only have you been treated rather well during your stay, you even got a job offer. By killing a guy. Funny how that turned out.

(cont.)
>>
You end up just confirming with a nod for now, and with that Balto takes his leave.

Tina looks from Balto and back to you.

"Hi Alice", and after a brief pause she adds "you okay?"

You nod. Shrugging a shoulder, you add that "I did get a little stab wound, but it wasn't bad".

"Good", she simply says with a relaxed smile. She then gestures towards the exit with her head. "Shall we?"

...

Once you're back at the marketplace where Sierra and Nar are still trying to sell your wares, you tell them that you'll leave the rest to them as well. You look over at where you scorched the Human. After a moment you spit on the ground, and go inside the wagon. You've had enough of trying to be nice to Humans for a while. Behind the wagon's curtains you rummage through your bag of holding, and pick up your book "Recollection of the Lost". Once you've made yourself comfortable, and opened up the book, you hesitantly pick up your new fennec plushy as well, and place it in your lap. People can't see inside the wagon due to the curtains, after all.

Now here's something that's easy to deal with. Undead. Let's see.. Ahh, here it is, the Mummy.

It appears to be weak to fire, it seems that's it's a common Undead trait. Holy magic as well. The regular type is unable to take fast movements, and thus cannot run. Well you're used to that with Zombies. Its strengths are hardiness versus regular weapons, an affinity for curses, and pretty decent affinity for magic. It says that cleric or warrior Mummies are the most dangerous, but you suspect that it's just speculation.

"Similar to the Dhampir in this aspect, the Mummy is fortunately weakened in the holy radiance of the sun. But beware their tombs, for in their domains of darkness, caster Mummies have often been observed to command vermin like locusts or scarabs, as well as venomous snakes and scorpions". Cool. "Luckily they are not often roamers, and won't often stray outside of their residence unless given good reason".

According to the text, part of their danger level lies in the fact that they are intelligent Undead. That's a little troubling, but hopefully you won't have to actually make one. You're not sure how that peculiar ability [Presence of the Undying King] works. But you do feel like you've killed about two thirds of the living creatures you're supposed to kill to upgrade it.

"Enjoying your read?", Tina inquires, as she enters the wagon.

Luckily you manage to hide the fennec under your cloak before she sees it.

"Yeah, i-it's good".

"Great". She takes a seat next to you, and hands you another book. The title reads "Secrets of the Veil". Glancing through it quickly reveals it to be a book on the spirit realm. The author seems to think his name is a pretty big deal himself.

(cont.)
>>
"Thanks" you tersely say with a smile.

...

"..Alice?"

"Mh?"

"I'm glad you're you."

"..Hm? .....Thanks?"

"Don't think too much about it", she says with a warm smile, "I'm just glad you're here with me."

"...Even if I killed a Human? I don't regret it, you know. If anything, it felt really good. Cathartic."

She ruffles your hair with her hand closest to you, and then looks you in the eyes with a serene smile on her face. "I'm sure you did the right thing. I heard he tried to kill you. I don't think anyone could want to kill you, and not deserve to die themselves".

You're not sure you get her reasoning, but it's good that she doesn't hold what happened against you.

You spend at least an hour in each other's company, but with select few words exchanged. But it feels nice and cosy.

>Enjoy the moment
>Write-in
>>
[meta post]
that'll be all for tonight, and like i hope i remembered to say, i wont have time to post in the weekend. Might have time next week before thread dies, we'll see.

Also, while we're at it, I'd like for you guys to decide whether to go to Oaksberg once you're done selling stuff (it'll be evening by then), or if you want to wait untill morning.

Thanks for reading and playing so far. I hope it's as enjoyable to follow as it is to write.

Will probably be checking the thread every now and then, so if there's any questions etc etc, you know the drill.

Also-also, I'd like feedback on the writing style used when alice snapped. I tried use "powerful" words (like "loathsome", "torment", "tyrannical" etc) to desrcibe her mental condition, do you think it worked, and/or are there parts you think could be improved upon. I think I may have overdone it a bit, but ah well.
>>
>>3305944
>"Tina? Thanks for being you too."
>>
>>3306006
> I'd like feedback on the writing style used when alice snapped. I tried use "powerful" words (like "loathsome", "torment", "tyrannical" etc) to desrcibe her mental condition.
I'd say that it worked, since it was severely different to how Alice speaks and normally acts, almost to the point where one could say that it's a slowly building personality of her negative traits and her elven and undead nature being pushed to the forefront.

>>3306066
Also supporting this.
>>
>>3305944
>>Write-in
> *in a low pitch voice* "I love Aurúthiel, I thank you for being you and for staying with me, but I would have hoped if you were at the moment of the crisis at my side."
Gotta spice more this, so let's be honest, if a woman had a bad moment and the man weren't there at that time she will get angry as unreasonable as it is. Doing this we can develop the characters and their relationship.

>Now, once we finish selling our stuff, if we don't get more clients, we should move to the abandoned church, Oaksberg was to buy more equipment, but I think we have good enough stuff, upgraded and all.
>>
>>3306386
O
Oaksberg is to get Tina a class, regardless what we do we have to go there so she can be as powerful as us.
>>
>>3305944
>"I'm glad you're you."
Thinking about it now I think she meant she is glad to be with us,regardlees of what we are, be it dark elf or undead.
She probably said it because most people hate Alice just for what she is.

[write-in]
"And I'm glad you are you, and here too"
Hug her tightly and
>enjoy the moment

If she happens to discover the fennec fox shamefully admit that we like reading with it.....we should name it later...

Maybe after some time, if the mood is right, I don't want to disturb it. Ask if she felt ill earlier, she didn't even joke about another girl wanting to get.....I mean that girl wanting to go out with us.

"
>>
>>3306066
>>3306006
supporting

remember folks, alice hasn't yet realized how much more she likes tina than what is probably normal for an old friendship
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>>3305944
Lay or head on her lap, it's been a stressful day and we need the calm now.

Enjoy the moment and tell her >>3306066


Should we mention the guard? I'm not sure, maybe wait for her to bring it up, she was strangely quiet about the episode, then and after it too.
>>
>>3306200
Thanks, i appreciate the feedback. Im glad thats how you interpreted it.
>>
>>3305944
Enjoy the moment. Thank Tina for being there. Maybe cuddle a bit. Once the comfy mood has died down a bit sell our leftover wares if we have any left(let Tina or Sierra take care of it) and plan go move to oaksberg over night. Must be tiring to be in the sunlight for Tina
>>
>>3306006
Your writing is good. I'm not much of an analyst, but i could definitely feel the emotions being portrayed
>>
>>3306455
Fuck, you're right, gotta go there then.
>>
The interior of the umber coloured wagon feels like it's isolated from the rest of the world right now. The curtains that close off the entrance muffles outside sounds enough that it feels distant, somehow. Like you're in your own little world. A world where you can sate your curiousity in a relaxed setting.

And of course Tina is here. That's probably a sizable part of why it's nice. The hairbrush gliding through your strands of hair delivers a pleasant sensation. It's strange how it's so much better when someone else does it for you. When you brush your own hair, it mostly feels like a chore.

But at moments like these, you're much more at ease than you usually are. They used to be rarer, but now that you don't have duties to perform back at the village, you find yourself in these little oases of peace more often than before.

While Tina isn't in your line of sight right now, you're sure she's wearing a relaxed smile behind you. She's usually like that when she coddles you like this.

While the meaning of her words earlier aren't crystal clear to you, you think you get the overall message. Probably. She can be strange sometimes in her own way. Still, shouldn't hurt to return the kindness.

"..I'm glad you're you, too. And I'm glad you're here with me."

Her hands stop for a moment, before resuming their task.

"I know", she says with a smile in her voice. It feels like she's thinking about what to say. "Thanks", is all she ends up adding, however. Guess you're not the only one who don't always know how to say things.

...

A short while later, you're sitting next to each other. Your back is leaning against one of the wagon walls, with your head resting on her shoulder, with her head resting on yours. While your mind is drifting, you think about that woman who approached you earlier today. That whole deal felt unreal. You still somehow suspect it was a ploy.

You at least had expected to get laughed at, or that someone would make fun of you. But no one did. Tina hardly reacted at all.

"Back before you left, in front of the merchant's guild..", you start, but your mind races on how you can say the next part without actually bringing that embarassing moment up.

"Yes?", she says when you're silent for a moment.

It really shouldn't be this awkward to talk about.. Concentrate, you need to gauge her reaction. You lift your head from her shoulder, and make eye contact. Damn it, that made it even harder to talk about..

".. The things that slit-eyed woman said.. What did you think about it? You didn't even make fun of me afterwards".

Her eyes slowly seek upwards, as her expression changes into one of reflection.

(cont.)
>>
"Mmmh... Why was that". She thinks about it for a few moments. "I had a lot on my mind. Like 'how am I supposed to react to this', and such. She looked honest to me, so I thought you might have accepted her date, which made me happy in a way. You know, since you never really had any boyfriends or girlfriends". Ouch. You knew what she meant, she didn't have to say it all..

Her eyes flicker back down to you, and her pensive expression changes into a casual smile. "Your reaction to it was pretty funny in its own right - you were practically paralyzed!... But.-"

There's a brief pause before she goes on.

"But.. I figured I shouldn't make it even more difficult for you. If there's anyone who deserves to love, and be loved, it's you. And I would never do anything that would lessen your chances at being happy."

That was something. You ended up having a hard time keeping eye contact, but you managed somewhat. She's calm about the subject, not brandishing her usual zest at all. Even when she made fun of your reaction, there was a weightlessness to her words.

But did she think you would accept it? Really? It was all so sudden to you, it didn't even seem like a real option to accept it. Well sure Kyria wasn't ugly or anything but.. That whole situation was just weird.

Thinking about it makes your thoughts drift to adjecent memories, and your thoughts wander back to the briefly unpleasant encounter with Humans again. It's a mixed memory. Being bullied like that was gravely unpleasant, not to mention demeaning. But the release from venting your anger afterwards was such a release. Fun, even.

>>3306386
Still. You consider telling Tina that if she wants to make sure you're never unhappy, she shouldn't have left, even if you asked her to. You know it's unreasonable, but a small & emotional part of you can't help but feel that way. But after those nice things she said, you're not sure you have the heart for being even more selfish.
Your vote wasn't ignored, but if you still want to go through with it, I'll need you to string up some sentence or sth that gets your point across (others are welcome to pitch in ofc). The one you already made could work, but I don't think I can write up more than a short scene for it. If other anons vote against it, I may not go through with it. But if it goes through, it'll probably be something Alice brings up while they're travelling to their next destination. Let me know if you disagree with this choice or have other objections, I'm not immovable

(cont.)
>>
----
Much later
----
There's not much sunlight left for the day by the time the crowd of customers have diminished, Sierra informs you. She tells you that they've managed to sell a decent amount of wares, but not as much as she had hoped for.

They all seem to look to you for what to do now.

Tina does offer an idea though. "How about we leave for Oaksberg now that the sun is setting? That way we'll get to enjoy the sight of the nature with each other".

You don't suppose there's a lot in the way of just travelling at night. Monsters are known to be more agressive during the night, but it should be a somewhat safe area, plus... You feel confident that you can handle whatever may show itself on these roads. But can she even keep awake? She didn't sleep during the day.

What about the horses. They should be somewhat rested as well, right? They didn't work at all during the day. But maybe they didn't really sleep either. Skeletal horses should be better in that regard, no stamina to worry about.

Striking while the proverbial iron is hot, your groups decides to leave at once. You'll have to sell the rest of your wares at Oaksberg - while the guards are surprisingly easy to deal with around here, you should really get Tina a class as soon as possible. That process will even take some time on it's own, so you should have plenty of time to sell the rest in Oaksberg.

While riding towards the southern exit of town, you look at the map you bought. According to it, the road between Wyvern's Bazar and Oaksberg is winding. With your map and compass, you could likely cut an hour or two off by going for a straight route, and maybe arrive before sunrise. Or you can stick to the road.

Tina votes for going offroad in order to reach an inn before the sun rises.

Nar is indifferent about it, "since the wagon wheels are durable enough for this terrain anyway".

And Sierra says that "we'll risk encounters with either route, but straying from the beaten path will be more dangerous", but adds that "not that it matters if we're attacked by a group of wolves or brigands, since we have you". Looking at you, her eyes are practically glittering with respect as she says the last part.

What?.. Since when did someone as uncharismatic as you inspire that level of respect..

>Play it safe(ish) and travel along the road.
>Faster is better, and some combat would give you more experience.
>Write-in.
>>
File: 1540593478458.jpg (1.44 MB, 1768x856)
1.44 MB
1.44 MB JPG
(for those who havent seen it yet, or dont remember, here's an estimation of the region)
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(And a slightly larger one with emphasis on landscape. Also also, idk if ill find time to post more today, and it may even be more fitting to continue in a new thread instead, given that we're on page 9. Dunno. We'll see I guess)
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>>3317850
>>Play it safe(ish) and travel along the road.

we already know how to deal with bandits and exp is somewhat wasted if tina doesn't have a class yet
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>>3317850
oh, and tell sierra and Nar that we share the "watch" so to say on the journey, if they want to rest the back of the wagon is free

alice and tina should take the first watch, since they lounged around somewhat during the day and especially tina is much more active during night, so its no loss
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>>3317850
>Faster is better, and some combat would give you more experience.

Lets go streight there, Tina is at her peak at night and we are at full capacity, we don't need to fear the monsters on these woods, many would say we are the monsters roaming the woods.
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>>3317875
Agree with us both taking first watch
>>
(btw-btw-btw: while i its likely i wont have time for more tonight, ill be aiming for posting more within the week, but prolly in a new thread)
>>
>>3317850
>Faster is better, and some combat would give you more experience.

Let's try to reach there before the sun comes.

Take first watch with Tina and start discussing with her what classes she has in mind since we will be getting to that first thing after arriving in the city.

note on our previous conversation, she values our happiness a lot, I wonder what would make her happy since we value it too
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>>3317850
>Faster is better, and some combat would give you more experience.
maybe we'll get a fun encounter. The only worry i have is potentially getting our wheels stuck, but i think it should be fine.
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>>3317850
>Faster is better, and some combat would give you more experience.
>>
>>3317848
>be something Alice brings up while they're travelling to their next destination
Go on with that, OP, you're doing great there. Things doesn't have to be too pushy, also is more realistic if some time pass before bring it back the pass.



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