Madness. Insanity reigns supreme in the City of Ypra.The sound of iron shots is stuck in your head. The thundering of the drums, made of large oxen-hide sheets pulled over round firwood skeletons, dictates the rhythm of the festival. With every thousandth beat is another life sacrificed to the pagan god: Inanna, Queen of Heaven.You are a fish swimming within a sea of flesh. Healthy sun-browned bodies jostle around you, moving in chaotic rhythm, the rising of the horns ahead driving them to a frenzy. Dried flower petals fragrant with their sick-sweet deathscents flutter down like perverse snowdrops from highly-placed balconies on tall ziggurats. The liquid smell of humanity is everywhere. It is as though the entire city is in heat. Every now and then, you glimpse between the almost-nude bodies of the citizens of Ypra the many-coloured robes of the En. They are easy to spot; aside from your family, these venerable priests and priestesses - all of them so vivaciously young, so promiscuous - seem to be the only ones dressed fully. Golden bands cover their arms, shining incandescent from the torches lit throughout the entire city, contrasting yet complementing the cool blue rectangules of lapis-lazuli that tile over their chests, a ridiculously expensive mock-up of lamellar armours. The contours of their robes of office make them look even more revealing than the almost unclothed people of Ypra shuddering in religious ecstasy wherever they pass. One of them raises her chalice of incense, driving the worshipfuls around her in pitched sexual energy. A woman with her manhood unsheathed approaches the she-priest, lurid grin playing on her hungering visage. Then the flow of bodies obscure the moment away, and you are pulled forward once more."Stick close, Dietrich," Hermann's low voice transmits more through the vibration across the held hands than as a sound. You turn your head around. Eir's alert eyes meet yours. The German mother and warrior is keeping up from behind. She will catch you in case your hand separates from Hermann's. A smart precaution, one that the party-focused Ambiorix might not have thaught - the pressing of bodies in this crowd is such that you are certain you will die again, if you were separated from your "parents". That was right - you are not Julius Caesar for now. He would not have volunteered for this suicidal mission. You are Dietrich. A simple orphaned Greek boy, adopted into a family of caring Galatians who are here to offer votive offerings to She-Who-Thirsts in hope for a good harvest season."Cabaleiro never mentioned a fucking festival," you mutter, trusting the noise of festivities to mask the words. Hermann does not respond, grimly sifting through the crowd, looking for an open place, any place free from the pressing of all these bodies and lingering fingers and suggestive hand-slippings.
>>3304352--[Hey, I'm back. Welcome to the slow-post quest, where I update once a day-ish. The archive is here if you want to check out what happened in the past threads:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=CommentariiAnd now, on with the quest.]--Poor Eir, she has it the worst among you. She bears the burden of her shapely assets with the same determination of her chieftain, ignoring the hooting mating calls from the men and women and those in between around her. It was for the best that Aisling did not come with.The drums beat. Another man is consigned to the flames. Damn you, Cabaleiro. Damn you to your foreign gods and back. You never told us it was a time of festivities.Madness. Insanity reigns supreme in the City of Ypra.>Direct Hermann to lead the group toward one of the Ziggurats. The plazas around the temple-ziggurats are many heads higher than the main floor of the city - the extra height would be useful in determining where to go next.>Though the drums are omnipresent, there is only one direction from which the sound of horns come from. You should try heading there.>Toward the screams - the flames. There is bound to be some open space around the fire-pits where sacrificial humans are being offered to the pagan Venus.>You see the priestess you glimpsed before. Her incense-cup is wafting its soothing aroma, making you feel drowsy. Maybe... maybe you should go talk to her. Yes. That sounds like a very good idea right now, for some reason...>Custom
>>3304359>You see the priestess you glimpsed before. Her incense-cup is wafting its soothing aroma, making you feel drowsy. Maybe... maybe you should go talk to her. Yes. That sounds like a very good idea right now, for some reason...I have to do this.
>>3304359>Though the drums are omnipresent, there is only one direction from which the sound of horns come from. You should try heading there.
>>3304359>Toward the screams - the flames. There is bound to be some open space around the fire-pits where sacrificial humans are being offered to the pagan Venus.
>>3304359>You see the priestess you glimpsed before. Her incense-cup is wafting its soothing aroma, making you feel drowsy. Maybe... maybe you should go talk to her. Yes. That sounds like a very good idea right now, for some reason...
>>3304359>>Toward the screams - the flames. There is bound to be some open space around the fire-pits where sacrificial humans are being offered to the pagan Venus.
>>3304359>Direct Hermann to lead the group toward one of the Ziggurats. The plazas around the temple-ziggurats are many heads higher than the main floor of the city - the extra height would be useful in determining where to go next.This is probably why Cabaleiro wanted to come so badly. Note to self: remove him from command at the first opportunity.
>>3304359>Toward the screams - the flames. There is bound to be some open space around the fire-pits where sacrificial humans are being offered to the pagan Venus.Pagan practices. Interesting.
>>3304359>>Direct Hermann to lead the group toward one of the Ziggurats. The plazas around the temple-ziggurats are many heads higher than the main floor of the city - the extra height would be useful in determining where to go next.
>>3304393>>3304409Priestess>>3304457>>3304425Ziggurat>>3304397Horn>>3304433>>3304419>>3304399>>3304467FlamesVote closed, writing
>>3304352>A woman with her manhood unsheathedSonIamDisappoint.png>>3304359>Direct Hermann to lead the group toward one of the Ziggurats. The plazas around the temple-ziggurats are many heads higher than the main floor of the city - the extra height would be useful in determining where to go next.
>>3304478I wonder if they sacrifice virgins and children or just prisoners.
>>3304481>The cult of Inanna-Ishtar, which may have been associated with a variety of sexual rites, including homosexual transvestite priests and sacred prostitution, was continued by the East Semitic-speaking people who succeeded the Sumerians in the region.
>>3304488Justify being a fag all you want
Toward the screams - the flames. There is bound to be some open space around the fire-pits where sacrificial humans are being offered to the pagan Venus. Or perhaps it was the other way around.The cult of Inanna was old - ancient, even, when Prince Aeneas fled the destruction of Troy and sailed west. What was Venus if not a knock-off of Aphrodite, which in turn came from the Phoenician Astarte? And the originator, the mother-god of all these goddesses of love and lust was Inanna. This was her domain.How can a fake compare to the original?With your body language you indicate to Hermann the change of directions - you wish to head to the nearest fire-pit, to be free at last from the intoxicating[/i] suffocating merging of bodies. He aqcuiesces, and turns abruptly, his hand still firmly on yours. You smell more than see the nearness of the fire-pit. The delicious smell of animal fat sizzling on charcoal strengthens, and suddenly, with a whiff of fresh air and restoration of personal space, you are out of the throng. Before you stands the ornate bronze bowl-altar above a pit of flames, beside which naked humans - men, women, children, in-betweens - stand in line."Hear, O people of Ypra; listen the declaration of She Who Thirsts, Mother of Beasts and Men and All In Between!" An immaculately dressed and coiffed man, his eyebrows painted and his face whitened, announces to the crowd around him. Two slaves beside him hold tablets of baked clay, keeping them aloft so that he may read without using his arms. The painted man does not have the badges of priestly office - a scribe, then. Reading the ancient texts was a luxury allowed only to the upper caste of these people of the Ancient Lands. Five tall eunuch-guards, black of skin and eyes, stand menacingly around the man, though they need not have bothered. The crowd is too intoxicated in the debaucheries of this city to try anything."This is the word of Inanna, the Queen of Heaven, spoken through Her servant, Lugal-Erish, who has written these words according to Her dictations," the scribe declares. "She says: 'Why do you fear the coming of enemies with swords of iron and horses of metal? Why do you tear your clothes, distraught in the idea of your daughters sold to slavery and your sons put to the sword? Did I not absorb the mes the gods and goddesses that stood before me? Where now is Aya, wife of Utu? Who now burns precious incense in the memory of Anatu, or Anunitu, or Agasayam? Where was Irnini when I placed my feet on her neck and took the me of the cedar trees as mine own?
>>3304529" 'I am Inanna, Queen of Heaven. Look! I have mounted the Heavenly Bull; it is My will that Kir-gu-lu brings rain, or does not; I have taken the me of Sarbanda - I have taken the rod of Sovereignty. Like the cedars of Lebanon your city will stand to the end of time; your enemies shall be My enemies, and I will grab hold of them by their horns, and overturn them, so that their bellies become exposed to your spears. Do not fear the coming of the Edimmu! Eat your fill, make merry, and drink! Mingle among yourselves and leave not any maiden clean, nor any man filled with unspent urge. This is My command.' "So speaks Inanna, Queen of Heaven, through her servant Lugal-Erish!" the scribe finishes the recitation of Inanna's promise of safety to the city. The crowd cheers incoherently, then returns to their merry-making. Another of the nude captive/slave is pushed down into the great bronze bowl, and you realise with a sick churn in your stomach that the smell of freshly-cooked meat and burning animal fat was from humans. The ones in line do not flinch at the screams of the cooked one, their eyes glazed - some sort of drug, or drink. The hair in the back of your neck stands stiff in warning. Your very nerves tingle with the outburst of power from each human killed in synchronicity throughout the city. They must be synced to the sound of the drums, so that no sacrifice is out of tune, the rhythm maintained... There is a Power here, right in the heart of this city. And She - he? it? they? - is looking for you. She sees you as the invader you are, a foreign contaminant to be squished like a bug, destroyed with extreme prejudice. Nothing can mask the ferocity of that Power's intent from your divine soul, the wandering Thing flitting over people's heads in search of you like a quick-moving cloud of grey and gold. Did the people not see what was right above their heads?I will rip you apart by my hands, Spaniard, you think darkly. A crucifixion is too good for you. The gods of your home tended to be more discreet, more subtle in their machinations in mortal realm. You could not imagine Aphrodite flying about so brazenly over the head of her people in Ephesus. This Inanna, or Astarte, or whatever the fuck her name is was clearly not keeping up with that separation of the mortal and divine.Disaster. A skilled general can bring victory from the mouth of defeat, but you are simply Dietrich, humble Greek orphan. Or are you?
>>3304532[Yikes. Not the first time I fucked up spoilering, but that is excessive.]>Return into the throng, embracing the anonymity of the multitude. Maybe, just maybe, It will go away, exhausted after searching within a thousands-strong crowd.>To the nearest Ziggurat. You need to reorient your sense of direction - and then perhaps begin your exodus from this damned city. You did not expect to deal with a patron deity of this significance.>Ask the scribe for directions, preferably in some kind of inn or other domisciles where a weary traveling family may rest.>The horns - the audible beat of the Heart of the City. Run to the horns. That is where The Temple will be. >Shoot the scribe from the anonymity of the crowd, topple him back into the great bronze sacrificial basin on which humans are being cooked. See if that causes a distraction, a disruption in this city-wide synchronised ritual. [Uses your hand crossbow. WARNING: reload requires undisturbed time - ie no running, no being jostled, etc. Choosing this option will lead to a rolling of the dice.]
>>3304491It was supposed to portray the sheer alienness of this place in the eyes of Caesar, not shoehorn current politics. And people of the past were pretty wild, for the lack of a better term. I apologise that it was understood that way. If the anons prefer it, I could tone down on the exotic nature of the people of the past and make it more acceptable for everyone so no one feels offended. Would that be better? I am open to constructive criticisms, since this is my first proper quest.
>>3304550It's alright, the Easterns Cults were very much fucked up and weird, you don't have to apologize for portraying them for what they were.
>>3304536>To the nearest Ziggurat. You need to reorient your sense of direction - and then perhaps begin your exodus from this damned city. You did not expect to deal with a patron deity of this significance.We need to get away from this shit and we need to get away from it quickly.
>>3304550Im just being twat, as usualyou good>>3304536>Shoot the scribe from the anonymity of the crowd, topple him back into the great bronze sacrificial basin on which humans are being cooked. See if that causes a distraction, a disruption in this city-wide synchronised ritual. [Uses your hand crossbow. WARNING: reload requires undisturbed time - ie no running, no being jostled, etc. Choosing this option will lead to a rolling of the dice.]We are here to fuck people and kill gods
>>3304536>Shoot the scribe from the anonymity of the crowd, topple him back into the great bronze sacrificial basin on which humans are being cooked. See if that causes a distraction, a disruption in this city-wide synchronised ritual. [Uses your hand crossbow. WARNING: reload requires undisturbed time - ie no running, no being jostled, etc. Choosing this option will lead to a rolling of the dice.]>>3304550Nah, he was just calling you a fag for calling anything with a cock a woman.
>>3304569>wanting to show the equivalent of a Chaos Cultist in the middle of a Slaneeshi mosh pitWhy do you want us to die so much anon?
>>3304536>>To the nearest Ziggurat. You need to reorient your sense of direction - and then perhaps begin your exodus from this damned city. You did not expect to deal with a patron deity of this significance.
>>3304536>To the nearest Ziggurat. You need to reorient your sense of direction - and then perhaps begin your exodus from this damned city. You did not expect to deal with a patron deity of this significance.
>>3304536 >Shoot the scribe from the anonymity of the crowd, topple him back into the great bronze sacrificial basin on which humans are being cooked. See if that causes a distraction, a disruption in this city-wide synchronised ritual. [Uses your hand crossbow. WARNING: reload requires undisturbed time - ie no running, no being jostled, etc. Choosing this option will lead to a rolling of the dice.]KILL IMMEDIATELY
>>3304536>To the nearest Ziggurat. You need to reorient your sense of direction - and then perhaps begin your exodus from this damned city. You did not expect to deal with a patron deity of this significance.We need to leave, NOW. It's far too soon to take on a deity, and there will be more opportunities for pillage further along on our journey.
>>3304568>>3304597>>3304601>>3304668>>3304676>>3304699Ziggy diggy>>3304615>>3304580>>3304569Rooty shootyVote closed, writing
>>3304529Thought: my understanding was that the Romans were accepting of foreign deities because they existed them with their own. A Roman viewing a festival of Ishtar would, it seems to me, be more likely to marvel at the strange rites with which Venus is honored while she wears a different name than to speculate on real or fake gods, alternative to one another.Why did you decide to have Caesar go that way, if you don't mind my asking? It reads like a very Christian thought process to me.
>>3304706>existed themPhoneposting. Equated them was what I meant to write.
>>3304706>the Romans were accepting of foreign deities because they existed them with their own.I'm assuming Caesar probably learned something during his time among the gods that said otherwise.
>>3304706My understanding is that human sacrifices were considered barbaric, and something to be actively destroyed. It is the reason given for the Roman brutality against the Celts, and later druids were accused of human sacrifices to provide a reason to wipe them out (nevermind that Caesar did work with druids of the allied tribes during his campaign, who would usually be the 'learned men of letters' and advisors for their chieftains). Yes, they were generally accepting of foreign deities, as long as they submitted to Rome - though of course this may differ depending on which time period you are talking about - and their own Republican "pantheon" consisted of gods and goddesses derived from Etruscan, Syrian, Gaulish, Phoenician and other varying sources.Human sacrifices is the big thing here. That is a big no no. There are exceptions to this, as the ritual murder of high-status captives brought for the purpose of killing during a Triumph might be argued as one, or during times of great trouble when people panicked and started doing panicked people shit, as Livy relates:When the dispatches from the consul and the praetor had been read out, the senate voted to send Marcus Claudius, the praetor commanding the fleet at Ostia, to Canusium, and to write to the consul to turn the army over to him and come to Rome at the earliest moment compatible with the welfare of the state.They were terrified not only by the great disasters they had suffered, but also by a number of prodigies, and in particular because two Vestals, Opimia and Floronia, had in that year been convicted of unchastity. Of these one had been buried alive, as the custom is, near the Colline Gate, and the other had killed herself. Lucius Cantilius, a secretary to the pontiffs —one of those who are now called the lesser pontiffs —had been guilty with Floronia, and the Pontifex Maximus had him scourged in the Comitium so severely that he died under the blows. [skip]...In the meantime, by the direction of the Books of Fate, some unusual sacrifices were offered; amongst others a Gaulish man and woman and a Greek man and woman were buried alive in the Cattle Market, in a place walled in with stone, which even before this time had been defiled with human victims, a sacrifice wholly alien to the Roman spirit.- Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22 Chapter 57So yes, Romans are generally pretty okay with letting indigenous faiths stay. The concept of a "pantheon" was not as nearly purist as D&D gamers might think of it nowadays, and gods freely changed names as they were transmitted across cultures, a good example being Inanna herself.
>>3304754You may find that the Near Eastern Inanna is somewhat less favourable toward a Roman seeking to sack the city she inhabits, especially when gods do exist in the setting, you being one of them. The "power level" as it were of a god/dess was closely aligned with that of the well-being of the city-state they resided in, so it would make sense for the patron gods to pay close attention to their own city. Of course, a major cult like that of Inanna is spread across basically the Known World. The Inanna of Ypra is NOT the Inanna. She is the Inanna of Ypra. Some Inannas are stronger than others - for example, Ephesus was a central region for Ishtar/Aphrodite worship, much larger than Ypra is.Basically, the Inanna you will face here is NOT the cosmic multiregional Inanna. The "whole" Inanna, as it were, would only be invoked in a time of crisis. Different Inanna/Ishtar/Aphrodite/Venus/etc. cults coexisted at contemporaneous periods, each seeking to claim theirs is the best one. But never the only. An interesting mindset that I think westerners have mostly lost after the dominance of Abrahamic faiths.Anyway back to writing
>>3304754>>3304760Well, you're clearly better informed on the subject than I am! Thanks for taking the tine to explain for me.
"In that man were combined genius, method, memory, literature, prudence, deliberation, and industry."-M. Tullius Cicero, on Julius Caesar---The scribe suddenly looks up, as if distracted by something, and begins to scan the horizon. Taking care not to meet his eyes, you pull Eir and Hermann both back into the crowd."We need to head to the Ziggurat," you say, nodding toward the nearest one. These massive edifices, built from bricks of baked clay, seem to stand in some sort of pattern throughout the city. Hermann shakes his head. "We were to head to the city's poor quarters," he says calmly, swatting away the exploring hand of an Arab man. "We made contingencies and backup plans.""Inanna is here," you whisper, and immediately regret letting the words come out of your mouth. Words have power. "Cancel everything. We leave, now."Hermann regards you with ice-blue eyes. They are wintry. You have not seen anything like it. They are not the callous coldness of Cabaleiro's eyes, when he looks at you with his desire apparent on his face. Nor is it the determined coldness of Brutus, your lover's son, as he stabbed you in the Theatre in a life so different from this one. No, you have seen something like it, or rather opposite thereof. The azure-blue of his eyes are the ice to the life-brimming fire of Ambiorix's. No wonder they do not get along.He takes a minute, not moving, not speaking, simply watching your face. Reading whatever you are letting out. "You saw the goddess of the city," he says.You nod. "It is not wise to evoke the name, Dietrich. There are gods, and then there are Gods.""You don't believe me," you say. Calm. Control. You cannot let impatience seep out, not from your voice, not from your actions. A little Greek boy would panic if he realised a god was seeking him with less than noble intentions. That would be Dietrich. You are not he."On the contrary, I find it all too believable. You do not seem like one to lose his nerve so easily." Hermann sighs, the only concession to his usually emotionless self. "Your plan?""Our presence here is known, if not our face," you begin slowly. "We make use of the higher platforms provided by the ziggurats, reorient ourselves. Then we leave through the nearest of the six gates in this city." Hermann does not argue.The next few minutes are more of the same - jostling, pushing, and being pushed. The movement of the crowd intensifies as does the scent of the cloying-sweet flower petals. The drums are beating slower now, with greater weight behind each blow. With judicious use of the pointy end of his elbows, Hermann and Eir half drag you until they reach the incline, then raise you up. You clambering on the raised platform that surrounds the ziggurats themselves, separated from the gathered throng on the floor level. You are now free.
>>3304867Well, not quite free. You are still in the city, but at least you can see without having to dodge dangling reproductive organs. Think, Caesar. What did Cabaleiro tell you about his city of origin?There, you see the nearest gate - the Liar's Gate, where foreign emissaries and ambassadors are let in and with less frequency, out. They would not allow a poor Galatian family to use such an ostentatious gate, would they?Another gate, further to the west, is the Gate of the Dromedary. A large one built for civilian access, with an eye for merchant caravans and their beasts. Your small family is inconspicuous enough to pass through unhindered, you think. But the guards in that sort of gates tend to be more demanding with the ubiquitous "entry tax". You wonder if you brought enough.Turning your head to the other side, you see that the Entryway of the Hierophant is closed. Then the next. The other two are in the process of being closed, huge panels of heavy wood moving to contain the city. They would not thoughtlessly close four of the six gates that lead into the city without reason.The vibrations from the drums - spread throughout the city, beating in single unison - and the horns whoop defeaningly. A shout, from the center of the city, then cries of jubilation. A new burst of maddened fervor captures the crowd, sweeping them into communal ecstasy that takes Eir off her feet. >Extend your hand and pull Eir up to the platform. [This will necessitate the rolling of dice.]>Try to get Hermann's attention to have him pull her up. It is far too loud for you to simply shout at him. [This will also necessitate the rolling of dice.]>DIVVS IVLIVS [MYSTERY BOX, still requires a dice.]>Leave her behind, and make for one of the gates. [You don't need to roll for this. I'm nice like that.]>Custom [Write-ins, suggestions, you know the drill.]
>>3304807No problem, it's great that you were thinking of how the Romans acted while playing this! This quest won't be perfectly historical, since gods are active actors (some more than others), and magic does exist, not to mention my own lack of knowledge in many different aspects. I don't even speak the damned language.
>>3304890>Try to get Hermann's attention to have him pull her up. It is far too loud for you to simply shout at him. [This will also necessitate the rolling of dice.]
Rolled 8 (1d100)>>3304890>DIVVS IVLIVS [MYSTERY BOX, still requires a dice.]
>>3304890>Try to get Hermann's attention to have him pull her up. It is far too loud for you to simply shout at him.
>>3304890>>DIVVS IVLIVS [MYSTERY BOX, still requires a dice.]
>>3304890>Try to get Hermann's attention to have him pull her up. It is far too loud for you to simply shout at him.Hope we get smothered between her... assets as a reward
>>3305428Reminder: Alexandros is five years old.
>>3305429>>3305459It's a joke. And I meant it as more of a motherly hug that she would give to her children rather than a lewd one.
>>3304894>>3305081>>3305384>>3305394>>3305428Pull>>3304927>>3304959>>3305111[REDACTED]Iacta alea esto! Please give me three rolls of 1d100, one anon per 1d100.
Rolled 40 (1d100)>>3306908
Rolled 52 (1d100)>>3306908
Rolled 80 (1d100)>>3306908
>>3306908NO! We lost the mystery box!
>>3306952>DIVVS IVLIVS>Deus Julius?Full godmode?Unless those were "v"s, in which case I have nothing.
>>3306955I think it was supposed to be Divus Julius; VV in latin is usually either vu or uv.Not sure what it means, though; it just sounded like the most interesting option.
>>3306952>>3306955We will never know what was in that mystery box. Ever.>>3306959Bingo, though it's Divus Iulius. Writing
>>3306961>Ever.Ever? What if, hypothetically speaking, we went back to that priestess?That's entirely hypothetical, of course.entirely and totally hypothetical
No point in shouting - the uproar from the energised crowd drowns out any sound other than its own. The drums themselves are no more than regular tremors, now. You pull Hermann's hand - he was looking in awe at the ziggurat before him - and get him to pull the beleaguered German shieldmaiden to her feet, pulling her up the platform. All three of you are free from the crowd."Wine-blinded idiots," Eir shouts in barely-restrained anger. "They're going to kill themselves before we do anything!" At least, that's what you think she shouted. They are so loud."It's not the wine," you read Hermann's lips, the German chieftain not even bothering to voice his words knowing it will go unheard. He pulls your arm and points at the central temple in the heart of the city, the highest of all the ziggurats in Ypra. Something is going on there. --Of note, among the many festivals and celebrations of the oriental peoples, is the Cutting of Barley. Also known as Akitu or Akitum, this spring festival is in truth not one but a conglomeration of festivities, where the inhabitants of the City reaffirm their dedication to their patron deity and make sacrifices to ensure the health of the new harvest to come later in autumn. Most importantly for the ruling class of the City, Akitu confirms the power and authority of the King by showcasing his virility, a symbol of dynastic stability and...[Snip]...then, during the evening of the Tenth Day, when the Evening Star is at her brightest, the physical representation of the god Marduk will mate with Inanna in front of the idol, or Ishtar, thereby ensuring the fertility of the new year. The roles of the two gods are assumed by the King (the masculine role) and the head of E-anna, or House of (I)anna. This is the reason the orientals favour the young, the healthy, and the beautiful as acolytes. These students of the temple are superbly trained in the art of love....[Snip]As the sexual union between Marduk and Inanna reaches its peak, a variable number of slaves (depending on the "faithfulness" of the City, its size, its importance, and other economic factors) are simultaneously sacrificed by the slitting of their throat throughout key points in the City, in order to "fuel" the love-desire-fluid of the two mating gods and ensure the health of the new year. The blood thus spilled are funneled in the underground tunnels that connect the ziggurats, or so it is said. The access to this supposed tunnels was denied to me, a foreigner.It was for this reason that I sought out in secrecy the hidden tunnels said to exist within the ziggurat-temples that sprawl hidden underneath the foundation of the City.— Gallabus the Traveler, Accounts on the People of Asia Minor Book 8, Chapter 31, 71BCE - ?? (Presumed missing)--
>>3307000Even from this distance you can see that the man standing on the dais of the temple is magnificently dressed. And not only that - if you compare his height to the men and women surrounding him, he must be a colossal giant. Even your father would be dwarfed by that... thing. An elaborate crown of precious metal adorns his brow, shaped like the branching horns of the majestic stag. His chest positively shimmers with trinkets that adorn his otherwise naked form. And beside him stands a priestess, dwarfed by the relative height of her would-be partner.You are familiar with the gist of it, if not the details. Spring festival, heralding the beginning of a new cycle of harvest. Asian potentates couple with the high priestess in an act of hierogamy, partly to show their continued devotion to their patron-deity, partly to prove their virility - and thus, the assured continuation of the dynasty. That giant was in all likelihood the king of this city.What draws your eyes, however, is neither the giant nor the high priestess. There is a statue behind the pair, a statue that, despite the distance, appear in such clarity and detail that you feel as though you are standing right in front of it- Her.Now that - that was a Venus. Even the goddess of love you saw during your brief stay among the illuminated gods before returning as Alexandros paled in comparison to this statue, this idol. The upper part of the body is nude, as great divinities are usually represented by the ancients. The right hand is raised as high as the breast, the palm turned inwards, the thumb and two first fingers extended, and the others slightly bent. The other hand, drawn close to the hip, holds the drapery which covers the lower half of the body - but not in chastity. There is not a single iota of the demurring goddess of the Greeks, proud and alluring. Her tease-filled fingers play with the folds in her drapes and leave the voluptuous form beneath to one's imagination, making the blood rush to one's cheeks and drain from the brain toward the nether regions, where they stiffen.Disdain, irony, and cruelty simultaneously coexist in peaceful harmony on that supremely beautiful face. You desire her, from that sneer of cold command to the mocking hand poses. The eyes of lapis-lazuli set against mother-of-pearls winks at you. Her face... a face that your brain aches at the familiarity thereof, a face that reminds you - no, has shifted, to become the exact representation of-Mother. The statue's lips move, and you read her enchanting visage. Come, my son, she mouthes with those perfectly-formed lips of hers, so perfect for... activities, the mental images of which assaults your brain. Come hither. Let us play, little Alexandros. You wished for me to be alive and well, didn't you? I am well now. Embrace your mother.You do not see the cloud of grey-and-gold.
>>3307003>I love Mother. I will embrace her as she commands, bury my heads between those twin mountains of myrrh, the two hills of frankincense. Her eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. With Mother I will reside forevermore, and my cup will not be found wanting. [Come to your Mother.]>Caesar, knowing that oriental degeneracy held no place in a man of true Roman spirit, ignored the siren call of the Syrian Harlot. [This will necessitate the roll of the dice.]>DIES IRÆ [MYSTERY BOX, also requires the roll of the dice.]>Custom [Write-in, may or may not require the rolling of the dice.]Sed fortuna, quae plurimum potest cum in reliquis rebus tum praecipue in bello, parvis momentis magnas rerum commutationes efficit; ut tum accidit.
>>3307005>DIES IRÆ [MYSTERY BOX, also requires the roll of the dice.]
I forgot to add a crucial distinction: Choosing both DIES IRÆ and rolling to resist the siren call will have a different result to simply choosing DIES IRÆ.
>>3307009Then add>Caesar, knowing that oriental degeneracy held no place in a man of true Roman spirit, ignored the siren call of the Syrian Harlot. [This will necessitate the roll of the dice.]To my vote and see if we can't call the Buddha to purge the lust within us and become immune to her call.
>>3307005>>I love Mother. I will embrace her as she commands, bury my heads between those twin mountains of myrrh, the two hills of frankincense. Her eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. With Mother I will reside forevermore, and my cup will not be found wanting. [Come to your Mother.]
>>3307005>Caesar, knowing that oriental degeneracy held no place in a man of true Roman spirit, ignored the siren call of the Syrian Harlot. [This will necessitate the roll of the dice.]Wait are we in Syria? I thought alexandros was going to Chong land
>>3307031We're on a road/sea trip through all the major stops of the ancient world.And choose the mystery box, you son of a thrice-addled son of a hamster and an elderberry bush.
>>3307005>>DIES IRÆ [MYSTERY BOX, also requires the roll of the dice.]
>>3307005>Caesar, knowing that oriental degeneracy held no place in a man of true Roman spirit, ignored the siren call of the Syrian Harlot. >DIES IRÆ Nihil redditio neque deditio.
>>3306959Seemed more like it to me too since "the Divine [Jules]" was the common epithet used in texts alongside his name post Octave Auguste.
>>3307041>redditio>redditreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeAlso, Fortuna, how are you going to count a tie for Resist the Evil Mommy and DIES IRÆ? Will it count as both?
>>3307049It means "neither capitulation nor submission" if I didn't fuck up the declensions.Gotta admit, it's been some time since I last did Latin but this quest made me pick up back some interests I had on the antic era, especially about mythology. I'm glad I still can somewhat understand the sentences without needing to run them through a translator tho I do have the advantage of being a romance language native speaker.
>>3307049Gonna have to have a secondary voting round if that is the case, featuring>A: both DIES IRÆ and RESISTANCE>B: just WRATH
>>3307054Well, you know I'm sticking to A.
>>3307054>A: both DIES IRÆ and RESISTANCE
>>3307005By the way:>bury my heads between those twin mountains of myrrh>bury my heads>headsyou sly dog Fortuna
>>3307061[imagerelated]>>3307058>>3307059By the way choosing both will need more/harder rolling compared to just picking one, I'm not sure which to pick yet
>>3307054A) all the way.Pimp-slap the wench away
Rolled 12, 15, 18, 5, 5, 7 = 62 (6d20)>>3307063Let me get the 1s out of the way before we roll.
Will Fortuna favour your gallantry?The Goddess of Fate requires of you 3d100, one d100 per anon.
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>3307096
Rolled 70 (1d100)>>3307096ETIAM
Rolled 17 (1d100)>>3307096
>>3307098>>3307102>>3307103The dice are cast, writing begins
The time between time, the border between Day and Night. When the boundaries between the real and the unreal blurs into confusion. The Evening Star rises, proud and indolent. It shines, shines, shines, shines, shines, shines-You can hear Her whispers. Her whispers are the only thing you can hear. The drums have fallen silent and the from the horns are ceased their interminable baying. Gone are the crowds, gone the King and Priestess. The stand-in of Marduk and the False Inanna melt away as the distance between you and the Statue disappear to nothing, putting you nose to belly button against her voluptuous stomach.And she says:>37"Why didn't you pick the smut option, my little anons?"The She-Goddess speaks incoherence - her language is that of your own, yet the words are inscrutable. But you understand what she means. But you understand what she means. To want to grasp her pillowy plums, to desire the burying of one's head on those toasty thighs, this is the natural order of things. Behold, the beasts of the field - they rut and lie among themselves to produce new youngs, and their herd grows strong in size, in number. Her voice is reproachful, chiding you for not picking the good option. The right option. The only option.Was it not smut that you wanted, you degenerate creatures of the flesh? Why would you deny yourself the pleasure that you crave? Why the self-lies?>70Caesar speaks.
>>3307154"Am I a beast in the field, to lay among the females and rut senselessly?" His voice - your voice - rings clear in the sudden silence. You are alone, but not alone. That is because... "I am a Roman."Her voice is sinuous, sssibilant. It tickles your ear-lobes, bites on them, caressing your hair in just the right-wrong places. "You are Greek," she tuts. "I see your blood, Alexandros. I smell your ambition. You want to rule the world, rule Sinae, rule Rome - then use me. Spread me wherever you go; make love to me, spreading your seed over and in me. Worship me as the Queen of Heaven that I am - worship these breasts that rise like the Valleys of Sharon, kiss these lips, and become the Consort."You step back, denying her incoming embrace. "To be Roman is not a matter of blood. It is a dream, an idea - that someday, humanity will be united, free to do as they please without the meddling of the Old Gods. That we will erect gods of our own, whose best interest is not of burnt offerings, petty disputes, or wars - but the human. Gods of humanity, by humanity, for humanity."I am Gaius Julius Caesar. Scion of the gens Iulia, son of Aurelia Cotta, five times Consul of Rome, and dictator in perpetuum of that most venerable of Republics. I will never submit to one who sacrifices the lives of men in ritual ecstasy. Never to you.">17Astarte, the Aspect of Wrath and War.
>>3307154>"Why didn't you pick the smut option, my little anons?"pic related is why
guys I'm scared
>>3307155"You think you are above us, just because you are a demigod risen from the blood of man?" She spits, the acid-water burning your flesh, but her grin does not leave her face. It widens instead, her mouth opening - just a little too wide - revealing, for the briefest of a second, the multitude wallowing within. Within the inferno of her face-tunnel are thousands and hundreds of thousands who have become absorbed into her cult - men and women who were consumed by their lust, the basest act of desiring for desire's own sake. "Humans are such weak creatures," she purrs, her visage changing to that of a grotesque fusion between the feline and the human. Her statuesque arms, now befurred, drape over your shoulder. "You die from a little thing like... this." A wound opens, then another. They increase in number all around your body, a grim replay of what happened on that day in the Theatre of Pomey. "Lose a liter of blood, and suddenly they don't stand so strong," she mocks, and you feel physically drained, but you stay standing. "Break a little bone here, and you never walk again."She looms over your prone form, chortling silently as you clutch your legs on the floor. Her arms have increased in number, and on her hands are the various implements of War. Where she pokes and prods, agony blossoms."One tap on the brain... and the most intelligent of men are turned into gibbering dotards," she says. "Before you lose your senses, I will tell you this, little boy. You are nothing. Your race is nothing. You will never be anything other than the play-thing of your betters. What a shame... you have such a beautiful body."The Whore of the East smacks her lips in anticipation, raising a trident to strike you down, then lowers her weapon-held arms. "But I am a merciful God," she says, and her face transforms once more, becoming that of your mother, Rhea. Rhea in her most youthful moments, when she - according to your father - loved to run along the coastline of Numante. The woman that your father fell in love with, and is risking his everything to heal. She kneels on the floor and raises your downturned face to look into your eyes. "I will raise you up to the thrones under Heaven, little Alexandros, if you admit your defeat. Shed your "Roman" hubris - that was a moment in your past life. Do you not see? You are one of us, now. Stop clinging to the weakness of that mortal form and become mine, an Avatar of my own. I see the curse lain on your mother dearest." She sighs sympathetically, a single tear scrolling down her pale cheek, and your heart aches to weep with her. "Become my Consort, my Dumuzid. I will indulge with you the pleasures of the cosmos." Her lips tickle your ear. "I will defend your mother from that Western Bitch."A great comet streaks in the distance, far above the ziggurats of Ypra.
>>3307163The Ara-Ara~ is the shota's natural predator after all, indeed, and giving in for all tempting it is would have consequences as unfortunate as they're obvious.
>>3307172>Western BitchOH SHIT, OUR MOM'S BEEN CURSED BY LADY LIBERTY
>>3307172>You are Alexandros Basileus, husband-consort of Inanna. With the divine blessing of the Queen of Heaven, you will be... invincible.>Nihil enim malo quam et me mei similem esse et illos sui. (I prefer nothing but that they act like themselves, and I like myself.) [Fortuna preserve you - the dice will determine your success.] ...hanc animam interea caeso de corpore raptamfac iubar, ut semper Capitolia nostra forumquedivus ab excelsa prospectet Iulius aede!
>>3307177>Nihil enim malo quam et me mei similem esse et illos sui. (I prefer nothing but that they act like themselves, and I like myself.) [Fortuna preserve you - the dice will determine your success.]A man must stick to his word
Before people accuse me of forgetting the "Divine Wrath" portion of the vote - look unto the Comet.
>>3307177>Nihil enim malo quam et me mei similem esse et illos sui. (I prefer nothing but that they act like themselves, and I like myself.) [Fortuna preserve you - the dice will determine your success.]
>>3307177>Nihil enim malo quam et me mei similem esse et illos sui.
>>3307177>NIHIL ENIM MALO QVAM ET ME MEI SIMILEM ESSE ET ILLOS SVI
>>3307177>>Nihil enim malo quam et me mei similem esse et illos sui. (I prefer nothing but that they act like themselves, and I like myself.) [Fortuna preserve you - the dice will determine your success.]
>>3307181>17>a tiny rock in spaceDivine Wrath? More like Divine Mild Irritation
It is decided. Commence the rolling of the dice - let there be three different people rolling a die, each numbered to a hundred. [Just roll 1d100]>>3307193Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.[Context for the Julius Caesar quote: http://perseus.uchicago.edu/perseus-cgi/citequery3.pl?dbname=PerseusLatinTexts&getid=1&query=Cic.%20Att.%209.16]
Rolled 70 (1d100)>>3307197
Rolled 11 (1d100)>>3307197
Rolled 61 (1d100)>>3307197
>>3307199>>3307200>>3307201The winds of fate are fickle; not even the gods themselves may consider their selves safe from the ever-changing currents. A scribe begins to mark virgin clay with the records of that fateful day.
>>3307207>CarthaginianTry Sumerian.Or that priestess.
>>3307207Sors immanis et inanis, rota tu volubilis, status malus, vana salus semper dissolubilis.The Fortune is fickle and some slight of mine is probably to be blamed for the disfavor she showed with my roll; let's hope our little Caesar will carry on nonetheless.
O cities of the entire Asian Land,O Persian earth, and great haven of wealth,how in one stroke is your great happinessshattered, the flower of the Persians fallen and perished!—Aeschylus, The Persians---You have only one answer to that offer. Gritting your teeth, you move your aching jaws, feeling every strand of your muscle protest with each word you drag out of your lungs: "There is nothing that I prefer more, than to see a man act like himself - no less, and no more." Divine Caesar, your blood-ichor flows to the ground. They pool, they rise, they return to your flesh, and knit once more whole those grievous wounds visited by the She-Who-Thirsts. The statue-goddess looks in unconcealed amazement as you get back on your feet. In her surprise, she does not notice the growing of the Comet."Whore of Babylon, Daughter of An. From the bones of the earth, you were carved. I consign you to your ultimate fate. Return to the bosom of the earth! Be ground to dust, and spread yourself senslessly as the sands of the beach, like the legs you spread so willingly to foreign kings and potentates!""Then die!" She cries out, but the heat of the falling star is unmistakable now; she turns, and the fiery globe from the sky fills her with dread."Foolish, foolish child of man!" she wails. Nothing is left of her vanities and her pride. Her people, unfrozen from the spectacle before their sight, turn to flee in disorganised panic, and in the process trample each other. Her priests and priestesses scramble without direction like so many wolf-attacked sheep; their trinkets and magical scrolls and amulets of power avail them nothing in the face of Caesaris astrum. "You have unmade us both! I shall die, but my sisters will avenge me, while you - you will be destroyed, no sign of your self evident amidst the ruins of my City!" You ignore her.Hello, my old friend, you think, as you stand - too weak to run, and where can one flee from the stars? - facing the comet of your namesake. The same celestial body that shined so brightly during the funeral administrated by Octavian so many years ago is here again, now as the herald of your impending doom. We seem to meet each other in such inopportune times, do we not?
>>3307236So this is where the quest ends...It was nice having ya OP, hope you run again soon
>>3307236"You promised."The petulant voice of an old man. Weighed with the troubles of the World, yet as innocent as a newborn lamb. "You made a promise, Alexandros.""...Titus?" You whisper, knowing full well that Titus Labienus is dead. Dead, dead - dead like all your friends, your children, your closest associates. It was not your hand that felled the promising officer and greatest of your lieutenants, but it might have very well been. Hearing his voice... it makes you feel so very tired. To die, to sleep..."I will be very cross if we do not end up seeing the water mills," the voice says, more clearly this time. You open your eyes - you had closed them once the comet became too bright - and look up to find the shaggy face of an unexpected ally. "Ariamnes," you choke out. What was he doing here, not fleeing the doomed city like the rest of the people?The old knight frowns, but his gold-brown eyes are touched with the light of playful mirth. "That is better. You are a little thing, Alexandros. So small. Even in my advanced age, it only takes me a single arm to raise you up." He pulls you up onto the saddle like a traveling bag, placing you lightly behind him. The steel armour bites into you, and the saddle is too big and uncomfortable and unfamiliar. You wrap your childish arms around the old knight and bury your face against his steel plate. It feels like safety.The horse snorts and tramples the ground, eager to get going. "Woah now, girl," Ariamnes chides. "Let's take it easy. No sense rushing out when the way is filled. Not every day we see a repetition of Sodom." He puts his horse on a slow canter, watching the people around him flee. The dead and dying are everywhere, trampled by their own neighbours in their haste to flee destruction. Slaves still locked in cages frantically shake the bars to get attention, the masters of keys long departed for their lives. Babies are thrown away by mothers to reduce weight."So," the Parthian knight begins conversationally. "I guess Ypra was a bust, eh?"You nod, too tired to answer."I am guessing we will have a talk with that smooth-talking Spaniard of yours, once we get back," he continues, gently guiding his armoured mount this way and that. "But I am glad. That was a very nice thing you did, little Caesar. Or didn't do, rather."You look up and find the bushy-bearded knight looking down at you. "What did I not do?" you croak weakly."Didn't fall to the smut." There is that word again, that cryptic, foreign word. You try to ask him what it means, but he turns back around, eyes to the front."Sleep, now. Rest up. My horse will never let a rider she likes fall off."You close your eyes.
If we died of hubris again then it would be very fitting I guess.
>>3307261When you awake, it is aboard the familiar creaking of the Rhea.>You awaken fully rested. How... how long has it been, since you fell asleep?>It was only hours ago that Ypra was destroyed. You can still smell the ashes from the smoke that spill endlessly from the ex-city. Your body cries out for rest, but... there is treachery to deal with.>The Emperor's Dream. [MYSTERY BOX, Fortuna asks for your dice.]
>>3307272>The Emperor's Dream
>>3307272>The Emperor's Dream>>3307268I gotta say, literally going "COMET TO OUR COORDINATES" would have been the most fucking metal way to die.
>>3307281It's pretty nice to be so based that you have an entire comet to yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar%27s_Comet
>>3307272>The Emperor's Dream. [MYSTERY BOX, Fortuna asks for your dice.]I give my dice, not for honor but for you
>>3307272>>It was only hours ago that Ypra was destroyed. You can still smell the ashes from the smoke that spill endlessly from the ex-city. Your body cries out for rest, but... there is treachery to deal with
>>3307272>The Emperor's Dream. [MYSTERY BOX, Fortuna asks for your dice.]
>>3307261>Didn't fall to the smut.Maybe in 10 years. Shotacon goddess is worst divinity.
>>3307272>The Emperor's Dream>>3307736Her Ara-Ara's have no power here!
>>3307272>>The Emperor's Dream. [MYSTERY BOX, Fortuna asks for your dice.]
>>3309189>>3309063>>3307720>>3307295>>3307289>>3307281>>3307273Far to the East, the Emperor dreams. From the far West, a guest enters uninvitedMay Oneiros grant you her favour, and Nyx her all-obscuring cloak-of-obsidian. Flee from the grasp of Hypnos, lest you lose your memory of the Self.Fortuna asks of you three dice of three. [Roll 1d3]
Rolled 2 (1d3)>>3309673
Rolled 1 (1d3)>>3309673
>>3309677>>3309696>>3309697Portents and signs - men sigh-shiver with dread at the implications of the numbers. The stars are out of line. Ten Imperial Cosmologicians are beheaded.A bone oracle enters an entry into the Record of Dreams.
Desert. Sand stretches from north to south, west to east. The Son of Heaven awakens in the unwaking world. "May you rest in a deep and dreamless slumber."The court magicians have failed him yet again. In the waking world, the Son of Heaven commands armies of millions, decrees harvests to be brought. Through his proxies, entire commanderies are raised and destroyed. The Known World is his and his alone to command - but this is not the Known World.In the unwaking world, where false realities reign, even the Son of Heaven is troubled by the real falsehoods.He raises his arms, so that the eunuchs may dress him in his robe of resplendent colours. No eunuch approaches to robe his naked form.Desert. Sand-scubbed sands irritate his unblemished skin. He begins to walk.---A makeshift tent before a temporary oasis. These watering holes appear and disappear at the whim of the Desert. There are people here - three figures, waiting, wondering. The Son of Heaven sits on the cleanest of the chairs provided. He grits his teeth at the lack of gilt in his temporary throne. As far as dreams go, this is of a most unpleasant sort. He is more used to the fire-dreams, where he tortures his relatives. Not by his hand - never by his hand, but at least he was dressed as he should be in those dreams. This is not a fire-dream.The Boy sits next to the Son of Heaven. His body is youthful, perhaps five, perhaps fifteen. The Boy has the complexion of the Xirong. For a child, he is remarkably clear-eyed. The Son of Heaven marvels at what he sees from the gold-flecked eyes of the Boy. He would make a beautiful eunuch, the Son of Heaven thinks. But his eyes - too intelligent by far. If only this was a fire-dream, the Son of Heaven wishes. He has never tortured a boy of such like.The Third does not need remarking upon.A fourth appears, from behind the barstool of the tent. Many elixirs common and rare line up behind him as if from thin air with the entry of the Fourth. He pours the Three a round of drinks - on the house."This is not a normal dream," the Third says. "No, this is not a normal dream," the Fourth - the Bartender - agrees. "Have you many dreams, Third One?"Third only shakes his head."Another March has come upon us," the Bartender turns to address the Boy. "Do you fear it?"The Boy, resolute, clear-voiced: "I do not fear it."The Bartender nods. "That is as should be. Fear is the poison-of-mind, delayer-of-limbs. Hark the warning-signs of fear, for they are the little hints from your ancestral memories! But never give in fully. And now, a question."The Bartender has not addressed the Son of Heaven with the respect reserved to the Son of Heaven. He will torture a hundred bartenders and innkeepers come the next morning. No one disrespects the Emperor - not even in the dreams.
>>3309784"The question, first of three, is this - what drink would you like?" He lays out four cups.The first goblet of gold glows purple, luridly inviting, a wine of the finest vintage. Its aroma is intoxicating, just with a single whiff. Many fine stones of value and precious metals band and decorate the goblet. Across the surface of this cage cup are engraved the erotic exploits of countless people, bodies writhing in unquantifiable Pleasure. The second is served upon a drinking-vessel of skull. From the eye-holes the liquid spills, yet the blood within remains at a steady level, ever-replenishing. Crude, but powerful. Blood is more than the currency of life - it is the bartering-chips of War.The third cup is no cup at all, but a transparent flask. Within bubbles a blue brew of unknown potency or flavour - a Mystery. It is the kind of phial associated with alchemists, students of arcane disciplines. The fourth, and the last - a simple, humble wooden filled with a liquid of brown-green. The sour tang of cheap wine mixed with water pokes your nostrils. It is the painful realisation of the Futility of life's work and toils. 'Vanity of vanities,' the drink emanates. 'Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.'Caesar ponders.
>>3309786>The first.>The second.>The third.>The fourth.>None of these drinks are for me.
>>3309786>>3309788If we would emulate the true Alexandros, our drink would be from a gilt skull, mixed of the first two. Of the provided options, though, the second best fits the body temperament the reborn Caesar had shown so far.
>>3309792Gah, phone typos! Bloody temperament, I'd meant to write.
>>3309788>The second.War also rejuvenates and empowers Caesar. It's the only magic we've made work for us so far.
>>3309806Maybe if an adorable fluffy white mascot character shows up to over us a contact. Otherwise, I'd rather stick with war.
>>3309788>None of these drinks are for me. Bring me the Ambrosia, chop chop!
>>3309815The first.>>3309803>>3309792>>3309838The second.>>3309818>>3309794The third.>>3309821>>3309824The fourth.The mind finally makes its decision clear.
>>3309849The Boy opens his mouth to speak, but is stopped. There is an order of things even in this realm. >1"We will take the goblet of glass and wrought gold," the Son of Heaven declares. "It is only right that we take the only drink that looks befitting of Royalty." He takes the goblet of gold and glass with both hands and begins to sip. A Mark appears on his forehead, branding the previously clear skin - Purple, the Colour of Royalty. The Mark appears as the combination of the symbol for Man and Woman."Something good, at last!" the Son of Heaven shouts in jubilation. "Behold! Is this not a sign of our superiority from the both sexes, rendering us greater than any humans? There is no clearer sign that we are become something more, something truly divine!" And his form changes, his unblemished skin taking on tinges of red. His hips widen, and his breasts become shapely. The Son of Heaven is no longer merely the Son. They are something else entirely, of a form pleasing in the sight of both Man and Woman. Beauty, personified. The Child of Heaven glows with an ethereal energy to them. "It is done," the Bartender says.
>>3309856The Boy opens his mouth to speak, but is stopped. There is an order of things even in this realm. It is not yet his time.The Third speaks. "I shall take the Fourth.""It is done," the Bartender says simply. The Third does not bear remarking upon.There remains yet the drink-in-skull, and the mystical brew. The Boy ponders.>Alexandros speaks. [Take the mystical brew. It yet bubbles invitingly - perhaps even more so.]>The General speaks. [Take the skull.]>Vipera in verpecula est. (The vipers nest within the bed of violets.) [Do not take the offered cup. A breach in hospitality - but is the Bartender hospitable?]
>>3309866>Vipera in verpecula est.
>>3309856>his form changes, his unblemished skin taking on tinges of red. His hips widen, and his breasts become shapelyD-did he become a succubus?
>>3309866>>The General speaks. [Take the skull.]
>>3309897But Slaanesh's color is purple.Khorne is the red one.wait, did he become a KHORNETTE?
>>3309921Don't do it, you fool, Alexandros will become a tranny! These are badly-brewed gender-bending potions!
>>3309866>>Alexandros speaks.Also>the Third does not bear remarking uponWhat does it mean? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
>>3310147It means he doesn't Bear remarking upon.
>>3310147Does it matter, anon? The Third is a neglectable entity. Do not worry your charming head on the subject.The Third does not bear remarking upon. >>3309922>>3309924To clarify, the Son of Heaven took the First Cup. Not sure why you think he has become a Khornette. As to what happened to the Third when he drank the humble cup, that does not bear remarking upon.
>>3310298Not at all what I had in mind when I wrote this. Intriguing theory, but I'll point out that he was already unremarkable before you three were offered drinks of four. >If only this was a fire-dream, the Son of Heaven wishes. He has never tortured a boy of such like.>The Third does not need remarking upon.Looks like this vote is going to take a few more hours to resolve satisfactorily. Choices are what lives are built of. Sometimes, the decision not to choose can be the greatest choice of all.>>3309874>>3309962Caution, or cowardice? Where might one draw the line between justified suspicion and craven fear? Fortune favours the bold... but bravery is just another word for suicidal.>>3309921>>3309954Blood and skulls, death and wrath. There is a perverse kind of freedom in being chained to such emotions. It is blood that pleases the gods, the offerings of burnt flesh that appease their ever-hungering appetite if only for a moment. But powers always have caveats.This, you know, from your encounter with Ypra-Inanna.>>3310147The sciences! Hitherto have they served humankind well, expanding their claims against Nature, expanding the mind in ways intellectual and arcane. Yet there are some things you were never meant to know. To venture far and away of the placid sea of ignorance, that is bravery.The Bartender is patient. The Bartender knows that you will choose - one way or the other.
>>3309866>The General speaks. [Take the skull.]
>>3310320I change my vote from >>3310147 to Vipera in verpecula est
>>3309866>>Vipera in verpecula est.
>>3309866>>Vipera in verpecula est. (The vipers nest within the bed of violets.) [Do not take the offered cup. A breach in hospitality - but is the Bartender hospitable?]
>Vipera in verpecula est. (The vipers nest within the bed of violets.) [Do not take the offered cup. A breach in hospitality - but is the Bartender hospitable?]Caesar needs no magic.
>>3310840Seriously? We've already been reincarnated by magic, gotten strength beyond our years from magic, and been saved from Inanna by magic. We'd be dead twice over, and significantly smaller if not for magic. Go for pragmatism, not ideology. Go for the skull.
>>3310886Just saying, magic is useful. Use it.
>>3310907Not only that but wrath and blood and war are literally what empower us in this setting. Currently we are in a childs body, it seems prudent to take a power up if we can
>>3311593"Yes anon! Drink that completely unsuspicious drink that the totally not evil entity is offering you! I'm sure things will go just great!"
>>3313195That is a whole lot of assumptions there dude, like... a lot of them
>>3309866>Vipera in verpecula est
>>3313553We literally saw the guy who drank from the last cup turn into a Keeper of Secret. It's not an assumption, even less "a lot" of them than to realize maybe drinking blood oozing from a fucking skull ain't exactly the smartest idea senpai.
>>3313582>when 4chan turns f a m into senpaiY tho? >>3313556It has literally been isekai from the start tho and we're getting trippy dreams from slaying a thot-goddess. If anything, it's turning into Berserk and that's more of a compliment than a criticism.
>>3309866>Vipera in verpecula est. (The vipers nest within the bed of violets.) [Do not take the offered cup. A breach in hospitality - but is the Bartender hospitable?]Caesar has no need of foul sorceries or poisonous skull drinks. All he needs is his Roman intellect, and strong steel.
>>3309866>Vipera in verpecula est. (The vipers nest within the bed of violets.) [Do not take the offered cup. A breach in hospitality - but is the Bartender hospitable?]As much as I prefer to sit silently I feel I've got to make a move when something this important comes along. Lord knows I ain't letting us drink of khorne or any other foul chaos.
>>3313586First of all this isn't 40k so fuck off with that. We saw a guy drink from the cup and change. Were we expecting nothing to happen? We don't know that that was a negative outcome, a curse, a power up. Obviously these drinks do something and make changes, I don't think anyone expected any different from the beginning but I think it's a stretch to go "This guy has tits so this is bad". The QM literally describes the change as>>They are something else entirely, of a form pleasing in the sight of both Man and WomanNot a twisted monstrosity, not a hideous outraged figure but a form pleasing to everyone. And he seemed pretty pleased as well. Although, if I am being fair we haven't seen a post-change reaction but the lack of one could be seen as evidence that all is well. That might also be a stretch though.
>>3309874>>3309962>>3310337>>3310769>>3310840>>3313563>>3313603>>3313606>>3313631Don't drink>>3309921>>3309954>>3310329>>3310493>>3310522>>3312821>>3313600>>3313669SkullVote closed, writing
>>3313673Man you seriously can't just leave your own modern sensibilities and ideas at the door can you? Try actually roleplaying for once
The Boy's eyes are on the skull-cup, watching the pooled blood swirl lazily within. "Just take your cup, and be done with it!" the Child of Heaven says imperiously. What an odd dream this is turning out to be, they think. The Third simply watches.The Boy shakes his head and pulls his hand from the offered cups. "You would deny my gesture of hospitality?" the Bartender asks."Thank you for your offer of hospitality, Bartender," the Boy replies. "I do not feel the need to imbibe any one of these drinks at the present time."The Bartender tuts. "Look, place your eyes on the endless sands that stretch far and away. Any man would feel the urge to wet their throats in such a condition.""It is not in the habit of my people to entrust our bodies to half-explained powers of strange origin," the Boy remarks. "It is undone," the Bartender says, a little hesitantly, but takes back the two remaining cups under the counter. The table is now bare. "Very well. There are still two questions left.""I have never been in dreams that last so long as this," the Third says wonderingly. "Who are you, Bartender?"The Bartender shrugs, his many-layered robe of iridescent colours hissing pleasantly from the movement. "My title describes me aptly, but not fully. I am a humble mover of wares, peddling curiosities from There and Back Again. Recent events have given me an unexpected overflow of merchandise; is it not sensible for one to celebrate this windfall by showing charity to wanderers in this inhospitable desert?"The Third says nothing at that."The second question, then - it is only right that we participate in the Exchange of Names, as we have become friends.""Friends?" Child of Heaven scoffs. They look at the Bartender with slanted eyes, filled with derision. "You think yourself a friend of the Ruler of All Under Heaven?""Friends," the Bartender repeats firmly. "I have offered you drinks in my tent. You have accepted them - or, in the case of one, refused. No matter, the relevant rites have been mostly observed. But one cannot have friends without names! I would know who you are, you to whom I have given you succor from this desert.">2The Boy instinctively realises that he does not have to speak out first - nor can he."We are the Second Emperor," the Child of Heaven declares. "We are the Morning Star that awakens the lazy serfs to till the soil, and the Evening Star that graciously marks the end of their days. From our left hand come death and damnation to our enemies; from our right, the gift of a thousand flavours to our faithful servants. And we are no friend of a sand-humping tender of bars.""You have yet to tell me your name," the Bartender reminds him.The Child of Heaven is reluctant. "Before we were raised to our station, we were known as Huhai.""It is known," the Bartender says.>2The Boy speaks.
>>3313870>"Hospitable Bartender, I have not taken the water of your tent. We are yet strangers, you and I, and thus there is no need for the Exchange of Names.">"Kind Bartender, I am Alexandros, son of a mighty captain of ship and men. We seek a draught that will free my mother from the grasp of a cruel goddess.">"Noble Bartender, I am Gaius Julius Caesar.">Custom
>>3313873>"Hospitable Bartender, I have not taken the water of your tent. We are yet strangers, you and I, and thus there is no need for the Exchange of Names."Nope nope nope nope, giving out one's True Name is a fucking mistake, let's absolutely not do it. At best, we can give him one of our numerous nicknames but nothing more.
>>3313873>>"Noble Bartender, I am Gaius Julius Caesar."No need to hide who we are, I think. I feel the bartender would know if we were lying, regardless.
>>3313873>"Hospitable Bartender, I have not taken the water of your tent. We are yet strangers, you and I, and thus there is no need for the Exchange of Names." I just don’t trust this guy
>>3313873>"Hospitable Bartender, I have not taken the water of your tent. We are yet strangers, you and I, and thus there is no need for the Exchange of Names.">>3313886 has it right. Never, ever, ever give your True Name to anyone you don't trust with your life.
>>3313889He definitely know who we are but revealing one's name is opening the door to a lot of bad Juju. If our stay in Gaul told us one thing about esoterism, it's the power of spoken words.
>>3313950"Hospitable Bartender, I have not taken the water of your tent. We are yet strangers, you and I, and thus there is no need for the Exchange of Names."The Bartender frowns. "It is as you say, yet I would insist on knowing your name."The Boy shakes his head. "It is contrary to the customs.""It is unknown," the Bartender says. He is displeased.The Third speaks. "Generous One, I am but a humble worker of wood. My name is of no interest to anyone, least of all to one as learned and well-traveled as you." The Carpenter bows deeply, forehead upon the table. "I return your offer of friendship with the utmost gratefulness, but I dare not sully your name by its association with mine own. Thus do I respond only with the name of my worthless profession.""Ah! The desert plays host to stubborn men to-night," the Bartender complains. "So be it. It is unknown."The storm of sands outside the tent is growing. The dunes beyond are sinking, revealing more and more of the horizon's sun. "The sands of Time are ever-hurried, and we have but a few moments more to enjoy each other's company," the Bartender says. "You have shown your colours by partaking in my drink, or not, and you have made yourself known - or not. My third and final question, then - to where do you travel?">1The Child of Heaven smirks. "We lie sleeping in our traveling carriage, exchanger of coins. In three days, we will arrive in the Liaodong Commandery to take control of our forces there and embark on the Eastern Pacification Campaign. None shall stop the march of our thousand-of-thousands armies!""That is for certain," the Bartender smiles. The Boy, careful examiner of faces that he is, notes the smirk behind the smile.The Carpenter speaks. "Good Merchant, there is nothing so grandiose as a plan to travel in my ordinary life. I will wake up in the morning, labour the toils of my profession as my father did before me, and fall asleep a tired but fulfilled man when the moon rises. Surely, it shall be so until the end of my days. For those of my station are tied to their work-places, unlike you, for whom the entire world is your work-place.""That is for certain," the Bartender says. The Boy, prudent reader of expressions that he is, sees the laughter behind the eyes.>1It is the Boy's turn to speak. All eyes are drawn to him.>"Kind Merchant, I journey far to the east to find a cure to my mother's affliction. It is said that there exists a tincture of Immortality in those unenlightened lands.""Noble Merchant, it is for vengeance that I venture abroad, to gather sword-arms and strong men with bows. I have been greatly wronged in the past, and the account books have yet to be balanced.">"It is not certain.">Custom
>>3314050>"It is not certain."Our destiny belongs to us alone. No weird merchant is gonna have any effect on it.
>>3314050>"It is not certain."
>"It is not certain."The Bartender's anger rises, as sudden as the desert squall. "You enter my tent, refuse my water, give out no name, and evade my questions!" he says. "Is there anything you will answer?"The Boy answers. "Yes."A question was given, an answer returned. It is time for the dreamers to walk once more in the waking world. The tent wobbles, its sand-floor draining like the flowing grains of an hourglass. "More time!" the Bartender cries. "I just need more time!" The flow of sand is inexorable, deaf to the pleas of the Merchant. The Child of Heaven, the Carpenter, and the Boy are swallowed by the dune.You wake up.-=-You are Divine Caesar, god in mortal flesh to enact your will upon the world. Already at your tender age you masterminded the city of Suerna's sacking, and you rose triumphant from your fight against the Inanna of Ypra. That last battle drained you near empty, from how your body protests at your attempts at moving.You are also bound and gagged. "About time," Cabaleiro says, his face two centimeters away from yours. "I was beginning to think you would never wake up." The Spaniard, armed and armoured in his full military regalia sans helm flashes you a crooked smile. He is seated on a stool, facing your prone body resting on your bed. "I have to give it to you, kid. Didn't think you would survive the comet. That was some freaky shit, flying right into the city just as the festival's best part was starting. The Jews think it's some kind of a sign from their fucking god, a repeat of Sodom. Their first miracle since, I don't know, centuries." He sighs dramatically." Had to kill a few of them to make sure they didn't try anything foolish like "rescuing" you. As if you need rescuing! You are their "Messiah", after all."There is never a time to lose oneself in panic. Panic disrupts one's ability to process information - information that sometimes comes in faster than one would like. So the Jews thought you some kind of a god-figure, casualties were had, and you were currently bound and gagged. Also, the Five Hundred turned rogue."You made me lose a pretty damn big bet with Galen," the Spaniard is saying. "Good thing I just so happen to have a ship when I needed it! Seriously, I gave him very low odds, and he still accepted it. It's like that guy thinks you're some kind of a survivalist." You check the room - no guards. Of course, the mighty Cabaleiro wouldn't need guards when talking to a little boy, all trussed up like a princess waiting to be kidnapped. You listen carefully for footsteps outside - none. Not even the occasional creaking of the sentry moving his legs to keep it alive.
>>3314222You can guess why the soldiers vacated the immediate area. The screams Cabaleiro could extract from his lovers was... considerable."Still, I will say this - you are going to be worth every damn sesterces I gave to Galen because you survived." He feasts on your body with his eyes. You feel only disgust. Too much hellenisation was a bad thing. A crease on his picture-perfect brows. "Weren't you smaller before?">Headbutt Cabaleiro [Requires a roll]>Attempt to break free from the rope's bonds and kick him in the nuts [Requires a roll]>Indicate that you wish to speak>Suggestion [Custom]
>>3313556The beginning of the quest was getting reborn while keeping our memories. Nice bait, but this quest has been isekai from post 1.
>>3314227>Indicate that you wish to speakSee if we can get him off guard through dialogue before we attack.
>>3314227>>Indicate that you wish to speakGod Damn Greeks, they're turning the Barbarians gay!
>>3314050>"It is not certain."The will of man is strong, but even it is not completely immune to the fickle whims of Fortuna and Fate.Also, is the Third Joseph? I can't help but feel like there's some connection there.
>>3314227Whoops, looks like waited too long before I refreshed.>Indicate that you wish to speak
>>3314050>I am but a humble worker of woodFuck off Josef, father of cucks
>>3314227>CustomLets just out-fuck him, and kill him after he falls asleep
>>3314397>Out-fuck him>Protagonist is five years oldAnon...
>>3314227I'd like to state for the record that when Cabaleiro suggested the Ypra attack, my suggestion was to ignore the city and throw him into the sea.
>>3314399should be easier than ripping free of our bonds and/or beating up a grown mercenary captain, I'm in it for survival
I guess this really is turning into Berserk, huh. Hopefully Landros didn't sell us.
>>3314399Tbf, Caesar really was a Satyromaniac so that technically would be in character. Still, let's not do that when we're still a god damn kid.
>>3314417we are not a kid, our mind has lived a long life, long enough to know we mut make sacrifices when we fuck upOur body is a 5yr old, which had a magical growth thingy, what is our physical age now op? 10-12?
>>3314429Just gonna say, twelve is still too young. Maybe 14, minimum. And even then, I'd rather we try every other option first; Cabaleiro is a disgusting bastard.
>>3314451Look.. I am not interested in smut, I just want our character to get out of this shituation, who cares if we become julius gayus caesar? we are greek now
>>3314050>>"Unimportant carpenter" I'm not falling for that, especially not in this century.
I won't be able to update today due to being overwhelmed with real life shite. Sorry! Wanted to at least tell you guys instead of pulling the disappearing act. Will see if I can get update up tomorrow.
The first question to be asked when the gag is removed -"Why?""Why?" the Spaniard says mockingly, copying your high-pitched voice. A reminder of your undeveloped vocal cords that, even with your bursts of magnificent oration, reduces the gravitas of your words. "Why would I plan to betray a madman and his demonic child planning to send this ship off the edge of the world? Or why tie you for causing the death of my mother city? What do you think, Alexandros? You are the smart one, after all." Cabaleiro is breathing heavily, muscles taut with anger that show his smiling visage for what it is - a mask. Madman. You wouldn't have embarked on the scouting of the city if it weren't for him. The city of Ypra would still be standing then. "It was you who suggested the city be attacked." "Attacked, yes! I didn't expect for a comet to fall down!" He has dropped any pretense of being calm now. Fury rises in his reddened eyes - did he have family there still? You have to wonder. A lover or three?Rarely did you face such peril to your person, throughout your two lives. Granted, the second was much shorter than the first, but that was what gave you protection. You were too young to be considered a threat. Cabaleiro evidently thinks otherwise. Or maybe he just wants to vent his anger with degeneracy of his own."This whole expedition, journeying to the east for a draught of immortality - you have to be fucking kidding me. The whole thing is just..." he waves his hand, unable to find the right words, "nuts. You, your father, and your whore of a mother - that is a sure sign of being cursed by the gods. You think I would have followed you so far away? A family so clearly doomed by the hands of the Immortal Gods above?" He chokes out a laugh. "I was going to simply sell you off in Ypra and take over the ship, so that my men no longer had to march around everywhere! The Five Hundred would share the profits of selling the dead weight like your Jews and the Suernians and your family to Ypra the Bountiful - instead you destroyed it!" Spittle flies on your face as the enraged Lusitanian shouts. "You destroyed the house of the Queen-of-Heaven, you Greek bastard!"The pieces fall in place. Cabaleiro never intended for Ypra to be sacked; he merely wished to use the existing marketplace for his own reasons. He likely planned to meet with the city's leaders under the guise of "scouting" to finalise his deal.
>>3320368Your mind is tabulating the possible scenario aboard the ship; counting losses of lives, considering which person is more likely to defect to the new lord of the ship. The Jewish civilians on board were not on the rebels' side, if Cabaleiro was to be believed, and there was no reason to doubt him, barring his betrayal. The Gauls... no, you trust Ambiorix. That man likes you too much, and dislike the Spaniard in equal measure, to ally with him in this uprising. The German could not have been involved; he was against Cabaleiro leading the group, and suggested the addition of Jews and other civilians instead of the Five Hundred. Or did he do that to remove himself of any suspicion? The cold-eyed German is certainly capable of such an act. But there has to be a motive - what would he get, if he assisted the Five Hundred? What you know for certain is that Ariamnes did not have anything to do with it. That maverick was too senile half the time for a schemer like Cabaleiro to entrust with anything. It's curious how he was able to summon up such lucidity during the night of the Comet to come rescue you. He seemed to know... something. He even called you Caesar that night.As you ruminate in those thoughts, Cabaleiro continues to rail against you. He details the acts of lewdness that he will defile your body with, the ritual defiling and killing of the Jews that followed you here by burning them with pig-oil, and the planned rape of your unconscious mother. The loss of his Mother-City has had a great effect on the man. This is no longer the suave, slick-haired socialite you hired not so many days ago. It's as if something has snapped inside him, the characteristics that made him such a leader of men despite his many negative qualities gone, siphoned out of his shell, together with the death of Inanna-Ypra. By the time he ends his tirade against you, you cannot find the old Cabaleiro anymore, not in this wild-eyed barbarian of low stature haranguing you with unsophisticated insults, wearing only the trappings of civilisation.
>>3320369Divine Caesar, you have been weakened. The cruel injuries sustained from the onslaught of the goddess Inanna-in-Ypra are healed, but at a cost; scars criss-crossing your flesh throb even now, under your clothes, which Cabaleiro has yet to tear away to sake his strange desires. The summoning of the Comet has done much to sap away your own strength and you can feel it to the bones. Such a feat of miracles will not be repeated any time soon. Yet not all is lost. You are a god, and you have conquered the City of Ypra. Even as your old strength has fled, new power has joined you. You are drained, certainly - but as a greater vessel than you had been before visiting the City of Lust.Even as you contemplate the changes within, your body enlargens already muscled, protesting at the too-tight bonds that barely hold your rejuvinated flesh. Your formerly flowing sleeping-clothes (two sizes too large, because it's comfortable that way. Ever wrapped yourself in your boyfriend's bigger T-shirt?) that were still comfortable when you woke up is now much too small for your form. Your sudden growth amazes Cabaleiro. "Demon...! Abomination!" he says, half-standing in his rush to jump away from you. There is a moment to act, before the traitor comes to his senses.>"There is still time to repent, Cabaleiro. Undo the damages you have already wrought, and I will see you judged justly and without excess for your act of betrayal. It is more than you have done for me and my family, but I am not you.">Free yourself from the ropes that bind you with brute strength. There is a time for talk, and then there is a time for action. The current situation qualifies as the latter.>Suggestion
>>3320370>free yourself from the ropes.and beat that motherfucker.Well we can give the other dude we talked to control of the 500 he seemed chill if a tad lax.
>>3320370>>Free yourself from the ropes that bind you with brute strength. There is a time for talk, and then there is a time for action. The current situation qualifies as the latter.
>>3320370>"Thre is still time to repent, Cabaleiro. *breaks ropes* Undo the damages you have already wrought, and I will see you judged justly and without excess for your act of betrayal. It is more than you have done for me and my family, but I am not you."
>>3320370>Free yourself from the ropes that bind you with brute strength. There is a time for talk, and then there is a time for action. The current situation qualifies as the latter.Step 1. Beat him up.Step 2. Blind him. Step 3. Castrate him. Step 4. Drown him.Fucker threatened us AND our mother. No mercy.
>>3320370>Free yourself from the ropes that bind you with brute strength. There is a time for talk, and then there is a time for action. The current situation qualifies as the latter.Betrayal such as this deserves no mercy.
>>3320437Supporting that particular course of action.
>>3320437+1You got my support, except over the emotional reaction, we are giving him only what a traitor is due.
>>3320509>>3320487>>3320471>>3320437>>3320469>>3320399>>3320393The rope itself is easily shed, like the yesterskins of a newly-grown beetle. The course of violence, however, lies within the domain of Fortuna. Let three patricians roll three of their tessarae, the dice of six sides. Only the greatest roller will be admitted into the Record of Games. [Roll 3d6, Bo3]
Rolled 4, 2, 2 = 8 (3d6)>>3322789Number of the beast, incoming.
Rolled 6, 4, 6 = 16 (3d6)>>3322789
Rolled 6, 6, 5 = 17 (3d6)>>3322789
>>3322827Oof, off by one number! Writing
Rolled 1, 6, 3 = 10 (3d6)>>3322789
"And the Man of the Sun said unto her, 'If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.'The Temptress therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, 'Your enemies be upon thee, Man of the Sun!' And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread."---This new body is much more to your liking. It's young, fast, and best of all, you can reach those cabinets where they stored all the sweets. You do not give the surprised mercenary any time to react. First come two cautious punches, where you test your strength against the metal plate on his torso. It dents. Cabaleiro vomits blood and breakfast which you dodge, then, acting more from instinct than conscious thought - the hallmark of a veteran warrior, to whom a fight is drilled into the verry marrow of his being - he unsheathes his sword (clumsily) and dashes forward, swordpoint first.Fights involving fists are ugly. Fights that involve daggers very quickly become lethal. The Iberian's sword is similar to the gladius - or it should be said rather that the Legionary's ubiquitous stabbing-sword is similar to Cabaleiro's. The straight, somewhat short double-edged implement superbly designed for stabbing the enemy's guts (one of the most lethal areas to wound, given the primitive state of medicine) was originally taken from Celtiberian tribes that the Romans encountered during and after the era of Hannibal and Scipio. The sword, unlike the rest of the Spaniard's fancy accoutrements, is stoically bereft of ornamentation and bejewellment. As it should be. Only fools disrespect weapons in such ways like ornamenting tools of war. You feel a flicker of respect for the Spaniard, purely in his role as a fighter. He would have made a good gladiator in the pits. Unfortunately, he is completely outmatched. Fortuna shows you favour, at least for this moment.The Spaniard's sword slices through empty air, as your arms, the newfound muscle like Dacian steel, coil themselves around his torso. He has no time to utter a single sound of surprise as you bend your back in a feat of agility that would not have been possible in your first life, smashing his helmeted head against the bedpost. "May Inanna dry the seed of your family to the seventh genera-akh!," Cabaleiro manages to speak out as you disarm and dis-arm him. To his credit, he does not scream when his arms break. That comes with the rearrangement of his leg bones. You had to make sure he would not pose a threat, but you also did not want to kill him. Not yet. You might ritually strangle him to death after blinding and castrating the man with your own two hands, as was done to Vercingatorix. Now there was a worthy foe, even if he was a barbarian.
>>3322934You reconsider. Maybe strangulation was too good for this traitor.You pick up the fallen gladius, testing its heft. It's perfectly balanced - as all things should be. The hilt, crafted of ivory instead of the more common types of bones, remains firmly in your grasp with the lightest touch. Its wooden pommel and guard with brass plating feel reassuring, ever so nostalgically reminding you of your first sword. Octavianus was probably consecrating it as a symbol of war or some inane idiocy.You pick up the shield that Cabaleiro left leaning against the door. A little too heavy for your current body, but it is better than nothing. The difference a shield makes in battle is stupendous - which is why the Roman pila focused on making enemies drop theirs. You have no armour, but it would take too long of a time to denude the prone Cabaleiro. Every moment spent dallying is a moment where your family members and friends remain imprisoned.Or worse.>It is to the deepest levels of the ship that you head first. Maybe you could inspire the Jews to rise up again by showing that you were free through miraculous means. You may have to drop by the Armoury to give them an actual fighting chance afterward. [3 Time Resource]>The stables are where the majority of Gauls like to be. If the rooms with locks are overcrowded, which you take as a given, it is not a bad place to start looking for Gauls. If they remained loyal to your cause, then they would obviously be de-armed. Armoury afterward. [2 Time Resource]>Though they would not be mounted, the help of heavily armoured Parthian knights would be significant while fighting across the ship's hallways. You're not sure if they would be messed with by the Five Hundred, given old Ariamnes' fighting prowess. He is senile half the time, but you try to mess with his things and he will spit you on his lance like a pig. But there are only twenty of them. Or maybe less, now. [2 Time Resource]>The celebrating soldiers would likely be in the mess hall of the ship. If you could somehow make them stand down, or even find someone more trustworthy to take command to de-legitimise Cabaleiro... [3 Time Resource]>Is the Princess safe? Women are so often the first target when a settlement is taken over. You yourself have seen to the destruction of hundreds of Gaulish villages. The rapacity of soldiers is known to you, a commander of men.[7 Time Resource]>Mother. [5 Time Resource]>Custom[Number of Time Resource indicates number of dice I will be rolling. For no reason whatsoever, of course. Why do you ask?]
>>3322935>The celebrating soldiers would likely be in the mess hall of the ship. If you could somehow make them stand down, or even find someone more trustworthy to take command to de-legitimise Cabaleiro... [3 Time Resource]We want to keep as many of the 500 alive as possible; they're one of our best assets, after all. Best way to go is to demonstrate the disfavor the Gods have shown Cabaleiro, and raise up a new, loyal, commander.
>>3322940>>3322946Inb4 we terrify our mother by bursting into her room in the body of an adult and the stress worsens her condition even more.
>>3322956I would like to clarify now than later that the celebrating soldiers in the mess hall by no means constitute the majority of the Five Hundred, many of whom are likely guarding prisoners. And there are a lot of prisoners.
>>3322935>>The celebrating soldiers would likely be in the mess hall of the ship. If you could somehow make them stand down, or even find someone more trustworthy to take command to de-legitimise Cabaleiro... [3 Time Resource]
>>3322935>>the celebrating soldiers.Bring Cabaleiro's broken body
>>3322956>>3322981>>3323006Supporting these, especially if we bring his unconscious body
I'll make the case for making sure Rhea is okay first since if she's hurt or worse, our entire reason for heading to the Orient is null.
>>3323053Well, not quite. Our original reason was to find a place where Caesar can live without being hunted by Juno, remember?Rhea is a secondary motivator we picked up after being reborn, not our entire reason.
>>3323059It's also Landros' reason for making the trip. While I think it wouldn't be impossible, I think the men would be less willing to follow us than the actual owner of the ship.
>>3323082Oh, for sure. I don't mean to say Rhea doesn't matter, I just think it's going a bit far to say she's our only reason. I feel we should focus on resolving the situation with the enemy first and then check the status of our family afterwards.
>>3323665that's brutal, and fitting
>>3323006+1Also like the idea of decimation like anon >>3323665 put in. These traitors are LUCKY that their punishment will be decimation.
>>3323822>>3323665Question: How do you suppose we're going to accomplish the decimation? It seems like a hard sell to convince them to kill 1/10 of their number when we have no troops of our own, even if we did beat up Cabaleiro.
>>3323841I'm guessing that part comes after we've gotten the situation under control
>>3323665And then we crucify Cabaleiro after he's done watching his men decimated
>>3324012Earlier Fortuna pointed out that the majority of the 500 are sober and standing guard, though, and only some of them are celebrating.
>>3323980we can put him on the bow of the ship, he can be our figurehead
>>3324030Just so long as we can make absolutely sure he stays away from red eggs.
>>3324039So we could lose our most effective fighting force?I'll remind you, we spent quite a bit getting the 500. They're the cream of our military crop, even if their captain is a corrupt bastard. Torture him as much as we like, but keep as many of the troops alive as possible.
>>3324070We've essentially lost them already tho. Do you really think you can trust on the field of battle a force that mutined, took prisoner fellow mercenaries and tried to sell them and their employers into slavery? Honestly, we should cut our loses and just get rid of them while making sure they do as little damage to the rest of our crew as possible. >>3322935Mother.
Rolled 6, 6, 8 = 20 (3d10)>>3322956>>3322981>>3323006>>3323049>>3323665>>3323822Vote closed, writing
[i]Behind the closed darkwood doors that led into the Dining Hall was heard the sound of rejoicing and the occasional glass-breaking, from which Caesar deduced the complete collapse of discipline. This presented a problem for Caesar, who had hoped for most of their officer-caste to be within, all centered in one nice location. This was for two reasons: so that he could reverse Cabaleiro's command in one stroke and restore order and normalcy aboard the [i]Rhea[/i] as soon as possible, and to make sure that the actual officers could be persuaded to see reason, instead of dealing with minor insurgencies that would inevitably require stamping out through the ship. Caesar had lopped off the head of the rebellion, but in such a decentralised organisation as a mercenary company, the leader only ruled by the allowances of the lieutenants. Of the utter importance of officership within an army can there be no amount of aggrandisement, no hyperbolic statement that will do justice to their true import in a battlefield. Even the vaunted Roman Legionary is, in the end, simply a man when it comes down to it. It is not only discipline, but an inspired and inspiring officer cadre that held the line. An individual is a greedy, selfish, short-sighted creature who prize his life above all else, unable to keep his sight on the Civic Virtues that separate Man and Beast. This is why the individualistic barbarians of the north and west always broke against the bulwark of Roman shields despite being so full of energy in the initial engagement, so filled with fury and rage by the perceived injustice done to them by the Civilised Peoples. Once that adrenaline-filled moment passes, these men - warriors, not soldiers - realise their own fatality, and morale invariably flags. Even the Romans were not immune to this deletrious effect, and we see time and again the cost the great Republic paid because of poor leadership. Thus, it is said (rightly) that the centurion is the backbone of the Legion, which in turn acts as the backbone of the Republic.[/i]
>>3325148[i]If the men were so rowdy and unawares despite the potential of a resurrection by the still loyal population (of which there were many, from the insane Jews who thought Caesar their own mad religion's prophet, to the sailors and Gauls who were likely either imprisoned or labouring under duress) it seemed unlikely that Caesar would find the true leaders of the Five Hundred here. Their company was a highly reputable force with a long line of pedigree that went back to the time of the great Persian monarchs, after all. However, there was (as these things usually go) another explanation. Caesar had seen how Cabaleiro the man shrunk from his original glamorous self to that pitiful barbarian, currently lying broken and gagged on the floor beside his captor. If the Five Hundred were not entirely powered by their discipline alone, if their might had in part a divine component, a blessing put down upon them that was now gone, then the Five Hundred Caesar knew was likely dead and gone together with the patron-goddess of Ypra. The carousing men within might not be any better than the newly-formed cohorts of heavy infantry made from freedmen.Caesar did not utter a single word of despair at the loss of the most trustworthy (in battle) infantry lineup in his employ. He had led rabble to legionhood before, and he could do it again. It was with such newly-stamped legions that he faced off Pompeius Magnus and his veteran Syrian legions, after all. But that was a close thing. Such a close thing.Fate was such a cruel thing.[/i]
>>3325150Divine Caesar, the door before you lies closed and barred. The two guards stationed - drunk, disorderly, and altogether bringing shame upon the illuminated name of the Five Hundred - are slain, the injuries on their windpipes bearing witness to the clinical simplicity with which you dispatched them before they could cry out to their inebriated comrades within. "When Cabaleiro is done with the boy, I'm going to ask if I can have a go with his mother!" comes a shout from within. That is something you've been hearing a lot today. "If he didn't defy the captain's orders, he'd probably have been the first in line!" another shouts. "Fucking idiot, shouldn't have gone against the captain." A barrage of agreements and shouts for drinks in the name of Cabaleiro resounds, and all conversation loses once more their coherence, as is the way of men who indulge overmuch in alcoholic beverages.So, even among the rebels, some maintained their honour. Galen... that name sounds familiar to you. But there is time to try and remember people later. It is show time.>How do you enter the dining hall? What do you say? How would you say it? Your very life may depend on how well you articulate your points.
I'm guessing the lack of italicising comes from my IP having changed after a week, so I'm no longer the "OP". Or did I fuck up with the [i]s?
>>3325153Do not simply burst in like some barbarus, march in calmly. Get their attention with a statement bellowed from our divine lungs, and throw forward our wayward mercenary captain.>Here! Here lies the Iberian Cabaleiro, broken and bound, for he believed that such a great betrayal against the people to whom he owed his loyalty to would go unpunished by the divine. His belief was greatly unfounded. Tell me now , men. Will you follow this man into ruin and demise?
>>3325155Yeah, only the OP gets to have formatting fun.
Well that is no fun. Please wait warmly while I bake a new post.
>>3325374Welcome to the new thread!