Welcome back one and all into the second part of the Witch Game, it is time to prove yourself to your ''Sun'' in a duel of honor to regain your precious Magitek gauntlet! Victory would surely endear you to Shereen. Afterward... A visit to the capital? Or perhaps you'd rather stay within the safety of the palace? Maybe nurse the sadness of losing Belphegor gift? Who can say, at least being stuck with a collar hasn't been overly oppressive. Yet. Below are our usual lists. Everything related to Gardy is, alas... Unavailable. Previous Threads http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Lots%20of%20DialoguesTwitter for schedule updateshttps://twitter.com/TaleOfMonstersPerks and spells for our main character https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FFJHeWTu21_OktfrfYkJQhpV5HQw4PtFKav_QoMYjQY/edit?usp=sharingCharacters met by Arawn.https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ishEn1-U1A1i3FbZ-YiQd65xk2jXpLab1XnM2hTNZvs/edit?usp=sharing
''Don't disappoint me.'' You whispered at your fellow Moon who scoffed in response. The well-built salamander took an upward stance with her flaming greatsword whilst her partner slithered cautiously on her left flank, glowing in ominous azure. The fact your opponent could create a weighted weapon out of magic had instilled her with plenty of confidence, her grin was sharp and cruel and the lack of openness in her stance translated into honed skills. A razor-thin barrier of tension was the only thing stopping the battle.A most surreal manifestation surrounded Banu for the briefest of seconds. A cream-colored phenomenon hovered around her body, fixated on the tattoos covering her arms, like a cloud or puff of steam; she disappeared from view and emerge from the world ethers 10 feet beside the lamia in what looked to be instantaneous movement. This immediately caught your foes off-guard, the fluffy snake-lady lunged sideways in a panic, wildly conjuring arcane energy that manifested into an awkward wave of water directed at Banu general direction whilst the salamander had turned her gaze to keep track of this sudden threat that effortlessly jumped over the now jagged ice. That glow... It's not Focus, her tattoos aren't shining; it's as if they've become bright mirages. What in the world?Banu staff rang loudly when it reached the ground and you were within range to strike at the salamander. With a bellowing ''fuck!'' your opponent swung down at you before turning her head and the weight of this heavy conjured blade crashed against your raised metal shield with a force you hadn't anticipated, momentarily stopping your movements. Had your body not been reinforced your arm would have been easily shattered and the flame of her blade licked at your dark purple clothes, radiant heat hurting your face, neck, shoulder... The flaming lizard woman was matching your height but she had much more muscle and the way she pressed down with that blade would leave a mark on your equipment. You took a backward step and angled your shield downward. The flaming weapon scraped against metal and slid as you whirled your mace upward, its menace forcing your foe to take her own protective step back and the weapons met in a soundless crash that resonated painfully into the bones of your arm. Iron won over fire, the greatsword disappeared in a shower of sparks you stepped into; painful heat bit at the exposed skin of your face and arms. The edge of your shield found purchase on the Salamander face. ''Fuck!'' Your opponent repeated, making proper distance with a few more backward steps, large hand covering a bloody face. You spared a glance toward Banu and discovered that she had things well in hand.
She had somehow managed to grapple onto the lamia, one leg wrapped around her throat whilst the other was squeezing around her shoulder. Iced projectiles and clumsy wall of ice kept coming toward the older woman yet she punched them all into uselessness, her tattoos now glowing white. You could almost feel the connections of her jabs when murderous icy javelins exploded in noisy debris. This situation hadn't escaped your foe and before she could muster anything -worrisome sparks of fire kept appearing over her bronze skin- you stepped back within her range and attempted a jab with your mace that she manages to skillfully dodge with a sideways lunge. Flames sparked to life throughout her body, somehow leaving her clothing intact, plumes of fire slithered across her frame like a snake and as you followed to interrupt whatever intentions she had by stepping within five feet her mouth opened, it's inside replaced by a roaring fire... coming right at you! >Keep your aggression! Striking the salamander again should make her miss! (1d20)>Protect yourself with your shield, stand your ground! (1d20)>Dodge out of the way. (1d20+2 You will also step out of immediate melee reach) >Free. (Reminder that you combining spells with actions is possible depending on the spell itself. And attempting unusual strategy is possible, green choices are simple guides)Avoid rolling until we get an agreement on our action.
>>3878208>Dodge out of the way. (1d20+2 You will also step out of immediate melee reach)Create some space to allow for us to gain additional momentum with the mace next turn.Also would it be possible to strike at the Lizard's throat or solar plexus with our soul arm if we were to close the distance needed to be in range, as an alternative course of action.
>>3878239You'd be able to attempt a punch + a regular strike by activating your soul arm spell, yes. Dodging + Soul arm can also work because she's within 2 meters of you without any cover.
I don't think we should disengage, that would give the lizard space to go after Banu.>>3878208Keep your aggression! Striking the salamander again should make her miss!Push through the fire blast with our shield to surprise her! This hopefully gives us an opening to swing our mace at her.Actually, is our shield made of wood or metal?
>>3878245Metal, it's a round shield that covers 3/4 of Arawn arm so it got a good surface.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3878245Dodging.>>3878239Keeping your aggression using your shield.Rolling for tiebreaker, I'll wait 10 more minutes to close things and ask for rolls then. Unless of course, we get more voices.
>>3878208>>3878208No matter what, use the soul arm. Do not lose sight of her.
>>3878248You know, in the interest of keeping things moving I'm willing to change from >>3878245 to>Dodge out of the waySidenote: Arawn really needs to bulk up. struggling to keep up with a Mamono's strength even with Reinforcement is not good. That or but some practise and research into the Reinforcement spell!
Rolled 2 + 2 (1d6 + 2)>>3878295>>3878289Dodge out of the way + Soul Arm punch in the faceRoll me 1d20+3 Will you fail?
>>3878299That was supposed to be minus 2 on the d6. Seems like qst is being funky, look like your measurement was perfect.Will you make a medium strength arm, or a heavy one?
>>3878288If we must dodge, dodge towards our ally. Try to get between the lizard and her.
Rolled 2 + 3 (1d20 + 3)>>3878299Medium, we don't want to hurt her too bad if we connect and save energy for later if we need it.
>>3878299Better make it a heavy, Mamono's are far tougher than humans after all. Also, the faster we end this the better.We'll break one of her knees if we have to.Also what >>3878302 said, can't have Banu dealing with a 2v1.
Rolled 4 + 3 (1d20 + 3)>>3878310I coulda sworn I typed the roll in what the crap
>>3878302>>3878310Duly noted.>>3878312One last chance...
Rolled 3 + 3 (1d20 + 3)For the spirit of brevity, I'll make a roll to finish things. Any new players can cancel mine, let's see if a lizard get punched or Arawn gets cooked...
>>3878328What is going on with these the rolls today?
>>3878328>3+3Oh boy, looks it's Roast Elf on the menu tonight!>>3878330The Dice Gods demand pain as tribute, that's what's going on. *sob*
>>3878335Well at least no one rolled a 1.
Rolled 8 + 3 (1d20 + 3)>>3878299>>3878328here it goes...
Rolled 15 (1d20)The geyser of flame coming out of the salamander mouth was out of a fairytale. Unbearable heat accompanied a deadly column of bright, orange-red fire and you stepped sideways in a mixture of desperation for your health and calculated movement to protect your partner and in a guttural, bestial growl the bronze scaled fire-lizard turned her head toward you and the fire followed like a serpent. You promptly fell on one knee, using your shield to cover as much of your body as you could, the impact of that fire slapped your shield against your shoulder. Heat followed, unbearable painful heat. Fire almost traveled out of the metallic edge to bite into your clothes, embers peeled off to nip at your exposed flesh and the metal of your protection grew warmer and warmer, painful enough to imprint into your exposed flesh, your entire left arm was in a vacuum of fire. Without reinforcement your flesh would be cooking, your clothes might have even lit on fire... Your foe ran out of breath but not aggression, you heard her step before seeing her presence brings a powerful knee into your shield right as you conjured your own offensive; a spiritual arm extended out of your spine, animated by a heavy dose of magic strong enough to create holes in solid walls.Yet she caught it, either she got lucky, her reflexes were good or it was a combination of both, the salamander big hand grasped onto your tightly woven punch of stone and held on, her knee rammed you shield and in turn, your protective cover smashed into your cheek, almost robbing you of your balance. Before you realized what was happened your foe had taken another breath and spat a thin, fast streak of fire -a firebolt- right toward Banu!>Do wait for the continuation...
>>3878370She dodged with feline grace. As if her entire body lacked bones, your fellow Moon somehow managed to throw her entire upper body backward, on the back of the prey she kept holding with her legs and the flaming projectile streaked past her belly harmlessly. With nothing more than pure belly muscles, Banu promptly reestablished her balance before the lamia heavy tail knocked on her face and this time the snake lady lost her balance, both combatants hitting the ground painfully.No time to lose! The salamander is out of breath...!>Get up and fight, keep the aggression! (1d20)>Try to stall, if one combatant is incapacitated then it should be considered a victory for your side... (1d20+2)>The salamander is holding onto your magical arm. What would happen if... you injected with another dose of magic? (Unpredictable result, choose between light, medium, heavy or overwhelming measurement) >Free
>>3878398>Get up and fight, keep the aggression!That's it. Fake a bash at her face and then aim a mace blow to a knee. I sure hope Shereen has has good healers in her employ or on her proverbial speed-dial, burn scars can be nasty.
>>3878398>Get up and fight, keep the aggression! (1d20)If we poke her often enough she will give up eventually.
>>3878398>Get up and fight, keep the aggression! (1d20)She's got one arm free, and we're free to use one for a fake out, and one for an offensive.
>>3878428>>3878411>>3878434>She's got one arm free, and we're free to use one for a fake out, and one for an offensive.Good observation. Roll me 1d20+2
Rolled 6 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>3878437
Rolled 10 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>3878437
>>3878450>>3878445fickle fickle.Dc is 13
>>3878453Goddamn, we should have pestered someone in Throne Town to train us earlier! Arawn's "build" is too stretched out for combat as of now, I feel.I know the real culprit here is crappy rolls but a better combat bonus would have saved us.
Rolled 5 + 2 (1d20 + 2)Don't worry bros. I'm here to save you.
>>3878467At least you tried.
>>3878465Disengaging your arm and remaking it would have made it +3 due to brawling perk>>387846712 it is, thank you Tamamo. Mitigated failure isn't all that bad.
>>3878467...w-well, at least we'll keep the lizard's attention on us instead of Banu, r-right?
Rolled 17 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>3878469>>3878473>>3878474Don't worry bros, I have adventage.
>>3878476What could have been.
''Rgh!'' Muscles, weight, and reinforcement combined to push off the salamander leg and you followed with an upward whirl of your mace that whizzed a deadly arc in the air. She dodged with a graceful sidestep, holding onto your magical arm in confusion as it went well past the length of any regular limb. You closed distance while gritting your teeth against the pain of your flesh and collided against the scales of her shoulder but she kept her balance, taking a few protective backsteps that you quickly followed, preventing any possible venue of attacks toward Banu general direction. Using the pointed upward end of your pace, you jabbed a few time to keep the fiery warrior options contained whilst moving your magical limb in her grasp for freedom, pressing, pressing... the next few seconds became a breathless murderous tango.Your lungs burned, pressuring the salamander was no easy task; she was quick on her feet and desperate to slip your grasp but things change when the magical fist held in her hand unceremoniously shattered promptly dissipating your Soul Arm spell. That thing was stronger than stones! Sparks of hot orange being ejected out of the salamander bronze skin were the only herald of fiery aggression. Both her hands were surrounded by flames as embers exited out of her mouth and nostril. with a combination of Corruption bodily modification and her inherent magic, the molten colored salamander hands became genuine fire wreathed murderous claws! Barely did your eyes register an upward streak of coppery orange that yo instinctively raised your shield to meet it. Clang! The impact traveled throughout your sensitive shoulder, into your belly, vibrating all the way toward your legs and another blur of fiery copper had you step back at an angle toward your shield to keep it raised, claws whizzed across your belly, opening 4 lines in a sideway slash over your torso! ''Ffrgh!'' You grunted, pain shooting throughout your body but reflexes had you counterattack by bringing your mace down toward the Salamander now awkward position, right on her shoulder! Fire escape her mouth in another simulacrum of dragons might. It engulfed your entire mace, quickly covering half of your upper arm!''Raaaaagh!'' Pain! Aaah pain! Hot, molten pain! Your flesh screamed inside your body turning red, cooking alive, scarring!
You stepped back and the salamander hand dug into your shield extracting a toll of sparkles like striking flints. Reinforcement had thankfully spared your limb any lasting injury but your flesh wasn't so lucky, an ugly almost rectangular mark was seared into much of your upper right arm.Strangely, even if this new pain was a true first in your life and tears began to crawl down your eyes, anger trampled any fears you had.Banu must almost be done with her own foe, hold on just a little longer...! Your gaze crossed with the Moon fire-lizard for a second, her grin a twisted sneer of amusement; her attention wasn't anywhere else but you now, even if she could see the struggle behind you. Five feet separated you from your opponent...>Meet aggression with aggression once again. Battles aren't won by standing around! (1d20)>Wait and see, time is on your side.>Free
>>3878551>Wait and see, time is on your side.
>>3878551>Wait and see, time is on your side.Gather our bearings, wait for an opportunity to counter-attack.
>>3878551Can we "charge up" for a big spell if we wait?
>>3878625Yeah, you can prepare for that. It's not useful for your current repertoire but it's always possible.
With measured strength, your mace crashed against your shield, creating a loud banging noise that left the salamander momentarily dumbfounded. A sudden supportive yell from a crowd you didn't see gathers answered your challenge but you didn't pay them any mind and instead faced your foe with a proper defensive stance. ''You ain't going nowhere.'' Reinforcement might have mitigated your actual injuries, your flesh still screamed in pain from all those burns, the four slashes on your belly had thankfully been cauterized but... It hurt like hell. Still, you found yourself grinning.There might be something to this ''battle mania'' Hao show so often. ''Pfeh.'' The unnamed Moon snorted, two trails of fire exiting her nostrils, embers of flames squeezing between her teeth. ''Screw that gauntlet, I wanna bring you back with me instead. You'll make a reeeeal nice trophy husband. Knife eared bastards ain't all suckling after their mommy teets huh?''''How does it feel to know you can't get past someone who's been training for a single week?'' That struck a nerve, her coppery eyebrows furrowed in disbelief.''Bullshit.'' Kindled flames emerged throughout her body with that kindled anger, a heatwave slapped you in the face, dry, burning air filtered into your lungs as you coalesced magical energy into yet another spell; your flow of magic was a carefully monitored river but it didn't help at all when it came to getting refreshment.Then came the resounding noise of a gong. And another, marking a sudden shift in the atmosphere and a noticeable twist of frustration on the salamander features.Banu had overcome her foe, the lamia laid lifeless on the ground with the scimitar wielding lizardwoman inspecting her face, the strange stattos on the elder Moon still glowed their pretty pale, cream colors of dutiful aggression that convinced the fire-lizard to relax her stance. ''Goddammit.'' She muttered, definitely nowhere done with her desire but a crowd of curious travelers and sailors had filled half of the seat of this very short bout -barely five minutes- and a round of applause followed, making Shereen bounce with amusement whilst you did your best to endure that damnable pain from all of your burns and the irritation of sweat covering your body. That was... that wasn't easy. ''Good thing this wasn't to the death, no idea who would have triumphed.'' Banu greeted you softly, hand crossed over her belly, all strange near-magical manifestation of her tattoos having stopped.
''I need to get better.'' You grunted, pain easily dwarfing your curiosity. Your shield bore some ark of this fight, the salamander greatsword had left a small incision and her claws had created four distinctive horizontal lines throughout most of its frame. ''Suppose we don't have any healing potions.''''Didn't think about bringing any, sorry!'' Shereen whispered after bouncing your way, handing over Banu staff, she took it with a soundless nod. ''That was pretty cool, Arawn! You're good! That arm...'' She wiggled her fingers, imitating a snake. ''Looked creepy but pretty neat!''''Souls, hm?'' Banu commented, the corner of her mouth curled upward. Victory felt good, no matter the form. ''Well, I was used to helping others instead of doing fights on my own.'' Letting go of your bodily reinforcement was pure folly, the pain would be so much worse. ''Wasn't used to that.'' One curious look toward the group you've fought revealed the salamander having hoised her snake companion on her shoulder whilst the long slithering tail of gorgeous fluttery white was held by the bodyguard. She didn't' seemed wounded... The other lizard woman held onto your gauntlet and just now stepped onto the arena ground. Something about it looked a little odd, the gem inside the protective cage wasn't a topaz?''I'll go find him a potion!'' Shereen suddenly exclaimed. ''You two stay here!'' ''You majesty hold on, you can't go alone!'' Banu was quick on her heels. ''Ach, cmon. Then stay here Arawn! I'll find something that'll make you stop wincing all the time!'' And like that she scaled the stairs on her own, the crowd of curious onlookers now willing to part before the little Sun. They're... leaving you alone? >FreeContinuing tomorrow. Congrats on your victory, folks! Duel of honors are ultimately decided by those who sponsor it.
>>3878679>''Screw that gauntlet, I wanna bring you back with me instead. You'll make a reeeeal nice trophy husband....I feel oddly conflicted about this. On one hand, screeeew that! But on the other, we left enough of an impression for her to say that... best case scenario, this could turn into a "friendly" rivalry.>>3878681Definitely inspect the gauntlet once we have it, maybe even give it a test firing to see if the topaz was swapped out for some other mundane jewel.Not a surprise they're willing to leave Arawn alone, even if he did run he wouldn't get out of the city with the crowd there and with the kind of injuries he has.But goddammit, Shereen YOU'RE the person with real authority in this situation! Now the noble with our gauntlet will have an easier time to screw us over!...Although to be honest, the topaz is not irreplaceable. The main thing is that we have the gauntlet back in our possession. Reminder that we need to ask Banu to check our belongings - we might be missing something else! Also, our magitek tools may have been included in our... purchase.Also get our weapons to a blacksmith for a checkup, no way all that heat didn't damage the metal on them.
>>3878681>Trophy husbandThose are a thing? The slaves can get married and the human men can be wagered and bought for these purposes? Thank god Shereen seems innocent, after this display we'd be very "pimpable" to the warrior types if she were so inclined.Can't believe we didn't die or suffer permanent disabling damage after all those shit rolls. Too bad I wasn't here to vote to dispel soul arm and try again when it failed the first time. Now we've got a disfigurement. Oh well, hopefully won't impact our rolls going forward.Wouldn't Arawn have noticed if was missing/had something in it other than a Topaz earlier? I don't want to question it too hard though. You gotta take what you can use. If this fiasco netted us an extra gauntlet that wasn't ours than so be it. Sorry fire lizard, we need it more than you. The pain and scars are more than adequate penance.
>>3878929>The slaves can get married and the human men can be wagered and bought for these purposes? If the Sun allow, yeah. >Can't believe we didn't die or suffer permanent disabling damage after all those shit rolls. Bad rolls but good decision mitigated that. You guys kept on her face and prevented her from joining Banu so things worked out. >Now we've got a disfigurement. Oh well, hopefully won't impact our rolls going forward.With a healing potion, it'll just become an old, healed ugly scar.>Wouldn't Arawn have noticed if was missing/had something in it other than a Topaz earlier?It was glowing yellow because of its activation. Now it isn't for some reason.
>>3878960Can scars be healed somehow? At least it wasn't on our face but still want to know. I don't want it fully removed, just made into a minor one. A reminder of what we went through because of Bad Fluffy and as a mark of masculinity. After all, who wants to die without any scars? Wait, weak immortality, does that even matter for elves? How do they view them?>spoilerHope that was an upgrade Belph made to it. Slot in a "rainbow" gem equivalent that'll match whatever we want it to or something. One other thing it might be and they may have gotten paranoid enough to use/adapt that and slot it in after the catastrophe, but I don't wanna get my hopes up too high. It'd be nice though.
>>3879003>Can scars be healed somehow? At least it wasn't on our face but still want to know.Holy magic being quickly applied to the wound, otherwise, there's some lengthy process available with alraunes and long term, pricy, rare medicines. >After all, who wants to die without any scars? Wait, weak immortality, does that even matter for elves? How do they view themWho knows?
>>3879007So a good long stay in a monstergirl "healing tank" once we finally escape back to our real home. Fixing the scar will thus have to wait until *after* we ensure Ama's taking a extremely permanent dirt nap. Unless the medicines are "apply once a day for 3 months" kind of affair. We skip the last week to keep a minor one but that can be worked into any daily routine. Being friends with/being owed a favor by demonic royalty has perks after all. Pretty sure they'd spring for it. Drop in the bucket with their finances. I think. Might eat the favor owed us though, so if it's heal scar or top-tier equipment upon return we choose the later no question.Will direct combat experience eventually give us bonus perks? Will Shereen allow us to practice our magic now? New spells might be tricky but if our Arm spell had a few more points in it we could have overwhelmed that fire lizard's defenses with ease.Willing to bet another reason Ama sent us here is so that we'd be forced to go down the combat tree over the esoteric one for our spells. The later might have us find a way out of her BS and nope, can't have that, no way in hell. Damn her to the abyss!
>>3879067>Will direct combat experience eventually give us bonus perks?Yeah, though training really is where you perfect things. >Will Shereen allow us to practice our magic now?Gotta ask her.Ama did nothing wrong!
>>3879080>Ama did nothing wrongLet's see, Human Sacrifice, direct and indirect involvement in the wholesale slaughter of innocents, communing with and utilizing eldritch horrors of the "definitely evil and view all sentient life in this world as food" variant, deceiving us and selling us into bondage, almost certainly doing that and worse to yet other innocents, and that's just off the top of my head.If I really thought on it I could likely list further crimes and atrocities. By her words, deeds, and actions she deserves nothing less than final and ultimate death.
Temptation, brief and cruel temptation, had you glance at the second set of stairs when Banu and Shereen disappeared in the crowd. Would it be possible to just... leave? Yeah, definitely but your chances are successes are small, doubly so with the pain of your wounds but anyone that doesn't dare reaps nothing. Your situation isn't desperate enough for that. Of course, you want to go back to Throne Town, back to the girls where you belong but Shereen is personally fetching the solution to your pain and she hasn't been unreasonable after putting that collar around your neck. She hasn't abused her authority, she's been surprisingly supportive... What in the world is Lady White thinking by sending you here? ''Are you well enough to hold onto your good, victorious Moon?'' A gentle voice brought you out of misguided reveries. The noble lizard woman stood in front of you, holding onto the blue inert gauntlet with both of her hands. Now that she was closer, you could easily discern that she was on the pretty side. The green scales covering her neck and traveling down her body were definitely the most widespread colors amongst Mamonos of her type but her hands -a mixture of animalistic humanity- reminded you of Sieglinde's unusual limbs and she hadn't bothered to put on boots to cover her big scaly feet. Pretty brown hair fell on both sides of her face; an undeniably pretty woman.''I think so.'' Carefully and doing your best to keep your face straight, you put your mace on the leather harness on your waist and decided to let your shield gently slide on the ground and rest against your leg. Muribel particular brand of fashion had your arms completely sleeveless, the skin of your shield carrying limb had turned a rather ugly shade of deep red. ''Would I be rude in asking milady name after this... result?'' The salamander and lizard woman had laid the unconscious lamia on a bench. ''Anzu; I haven't taken any offense, though I do admit that trying to figure out this object mystery would have been quite interesting.'' Spears of agony lanced throughout your scarred limb every time your upper arm moved so you grabbed your precious gauntlet with your other hand, Anzu let it go without complication.It's weight felt right, the smooth blue metal made for gorgeous plate armor, repressing a smile was impossible. You could almost hear Belphegor voice saying ''bout time ey?'' ''I see how precious it is now.'' The noblewoman commented with a polite smile.''You could say that.'' You cleared your throat, feeling a little embarrassed. This battle had been dumped on your lap without warning but it didn't seem like there were any hard feelings. ''Would you allow me to express my thought?'' Anzu was looking into the crowd above the arena, all the seats had already vacated and you threw her a curious look. ''The Third Sun of Muribel looks like a handful but also pleasant. Are you happy with your situation?''
That felt like a dangerous question. All thoughts of your gauntlet were pushed in the back of your mind as you observed the noblewoman inquisitively. Her straight back, solid stance and yellow eyes looked peaceful, resolved. ''Do forgive this impertinence.'' Anzu chuckled to herself, sensing your hesitation. ''There are many whispers in the Sun court about our leader and her daughter's Moons, meeting Ensan herald... confirmed many but I do admit to feeling pleasantly surprised by her young majesty.'' ''She prefers quality over quantity.'' Mighty presumptuous words with your recent arrival but Banu was living proof of that. ''I'd say that she's trying her best to be fair.'' She's a lonely girl, a little desperate to be liked, but not a bad person. Not from what you've seen.Nobody died in that blood ritual. ''AHeartening words.'' Anzu smiled quietly. ''Her little majesty is a completely unknown factor in the court, nobody knows much of anything about her aside from her mighty Moon. Today was my first time meeting her, it's good to see she's willing to set foot outside the palace after the rebellion.'' ''Something happened to her?'' Gwendolyn and Tuilelaith had helped the rebels evacuate once their struggle against the Pharaoh turned south... Keeping your relationships with them a secret would be in your best interest here. ''When things started to turn bloody she set out into Marleon on her own to find some common ground between the people and our Shining Pharaoh, words is she earned a crossbow bolt in the shoulder for her trouble. She's been secluded ever since.''If that rebellion had been five years ago, Shereen must have been quite young, still a teenager without a doubt. ''Tell your Sun I won't need repayment, I'd rather lose my money then spent time suffering Ensan herald.'' Banu tall, lean frame was easily seen over most of the crowd. ''Having a collar around your neck isn't an easy thing to swallow... but good things take many different forms. Farewell, mister elf.'' With a slight bow of her head, the noble lizard didn't wait for your reply, eager to exit and rejoin her group before having to interact with Shereen further who seemed to share this sentiment because she completely ignored the now departing group.That was an interesting discussion.
''Shall your Sun help you drink, my dear Moon?'' Said the small Anubis, shaking a small bottle toward you, it's inviting red liquid somehow made the pain in your body worse. Behind her, Banu silently tweaked wit her eyepatch.''I'd rather sleep on your lap tonight.'' You commented idly, earning such a thoroughly stunned reaction that it became comically overzealous so you held your gauntlet with your thighs, opened the bottle with your teeth and down went this wonderful revitalizing medicine.''Haha! Ah... My moon really is quite the kidder!'' Shereen hands had grown fluffier and she began tweaking her index together. ''...Unless? Um, nothing!'' Aah damn it the pain isn't going away.''It should take an hour for your body to heal, so don't let go of Focus yet.'' Banu gently interjected.''Alright, I can entire some more. Say Banu, Shereen when I came here... did I have any items beside that gauntlet?'' Strange how the gem inside had changed to something that looked to be white quartz and the design of the gauntlet itself looked... sleeker, thinner. It's been modified no doubt about that. ''No, all you had was that item.'' Banu gestured at the gauntlet and you couldn't refrain a frown. Magitek without tools is as good as useless...''Maybe you'll be able to buy what you had if we go into Marleon markets!'' Shereen exclaimed spiritedly. ''That was our original aim anyway and my Moons honored their Sun so amazingly well, why not use this opportunity? It's not even midday!'' ''I suppose it was.'' Banu sighed, glaring at the crowd of sailors and palace workers. ''Maybe Arawn wants to rest, getting burnt must have been pleasant.'' >''I'll be fine, I'd like to see sights different than the palace.'' (While it might be impossible to find specialized Magitek tools, you've got a good idea what to buy to make a rudimentary equivalent. Seeing Muribel capital could also be interesting.) >''I'd rather stay, I'm sorry.'' (Waiting for you to heal and remaining on known grounds is the best way to counterattack Lady White machinations. Going outside the palace walls will be a golden opportunity for the vixen followers!)>Free
>>3880375>''I'd rather stay, I'm sorry.'' (Waiting for you to heal and remaining on known grounds is the best way to counterattack Lady White machinations. Going outside the palace walls will be a golden opportunity for the vixen followers!)We should put any excursion off until we have recovered, use the time remaining to do things that aren't potentially physically strenuous like looking though the library or practicing magic.
>>3880375We should examine the gauntlet a bit more closely to see what the mystery gem in it is (more in depth investigation later, just a cursory one for now). Also, ask Banu the odds of our "problem" having agents in town and if she thinks it's a safe risk for us to be out and about with them and if we'd cause a commotion walking around with focus activated in a crowd.If issues are all minor, I'm partial towards going into town. Otherwise we wait. Gotta get us some stencils and more magitek toys dangit!
>>3880433>If issues are all minorThey are, yeah. While keeping focus is suspicious, you're accompanying royalty so nobody will ask questions. As for ''agents'' well... Neither of them believe it.
>''I'd rather sleep on your lap tonight."Arawn why>''Haha! Ah... My moon really is quite the kidder!'' Shereen hands had grown fluffier and she began tweaking her index together. ''...Unless? Um, nothing!''Arawn W H Y. What are you, a harem protagonist??Let's wait that hour for our body to heal as much as it can and then go shopping! No need to let fear of the Witch's machinations keep our elf from living a little!Also we can use that hour to inspect the gauntlet - as much we can without tools, anyway.Aside from magitek tools, what would we need?I say we get a knife or a dagger to keep on our person. Aside from the use as a weapon a good knife can also serve as a tool! Very handy to have in a pinch.
>>3880460They don't believe it, as in they do not believe there to be any agents around? Shereen did mention a purge of Ama's followers earlier I believe. She's that certain she got all of them? How long ago was it?
>>3880495Sorry for being unclear, getting distracted by some irl stuff. What I meant is that they don't really believe that Lady White would be brazen enough to attack Shereen in broad daylight but Banu is always on the lookout for something aggressive. They don't believe Shereen life is at risk; they're willing to respect your own fear though.>>3880481>Let's wait that hour for our body to heal as much as it can and then go shopping! >Also we can use that hour to inspect the gauntlet - as much we can without tools, anyway.That's a good compromise.
>>3880515If we are going out into the wider world to look around for some tools, we should consider passively looking for signs of Ama's influence.
>>3880530Embracing her aspect means letting to of Focus but you'll be free form pain in an hour.This is something that'd need more than a single vote so I'll ask>Embrace Ama aspect after getting into Marleon and possibly identify area with her influence.
>>3880536So after healing up we're going out into town? Also, because paranoia, can we ask Shereen to keep the collar turned off so we can re-enter focus should something happen?I get the distinct feeling that she's the best "owner" we can hope for. If something happens to her we will not enjoy the one who comes next.I can get behind the notion of embracing the aspect but I think it's better left to a vote after actually getting into town. I fear the instant we embrace it we'll be giving off a signal to her followers. What kind of signal that is and whether or not it's a "bad" thing we do not know. Could see us as a threat, could mistake us for "one of them", any number of things. Timing could be a big deal here.We should also ask if the collar will react if we do something "interesting" like that. Mentioning exactly what we're gonna try and do would likely set off the dental mines so let's hope they can understand the "colorful" explanation (whispered into their ears where we're sure nobody can possibly hear us of course).
>>3880614>I can get behind the notion of embracing the aspect but I think it's better left to a vote after actually getting into town.I can operate with that, too. Might need some time for this update, especially with all these questions!
Thankfully your companions were willing to wait the hour needed for the potion to take effect. Today's sky had a hint of clouds masking the sun meaner rays, allowing a comfortable - but still damnably hot- atmosphere throughout the region. Walking into the capital while glowing in magic wasn't appealing either and soon enough Shereen dragged you into a seat as the pain subsided slowly, but surely. Your Sun began to excitedly chatter with her bodyguard and while you were very curious to know about those esoteric skills of hers -she teleported without magic after all- subsiding pain meant being able to inspect your very, oh so very important item and that took precedence. There were many notables small differences compared to what you remember. First was the metal itself, a much sleeker blue with better flexibility in the wrist allowing for a genuinely organic range of motion. The inside had some better padding with a reinforced downward protrusion for keeping the needle stable. Each finger had been reinforced with better metals and some tweaking would allow you to change its left-hand configuration for your right one, the general protective plates also followed with thicker blue steel while the area of the gem...First, the cage keeping the cage had been reinforced by three different screws, and another layer of coppery metal underneath seemed to all but seal the gem inside. The topaz was genuinely gone, replaced by this odd pale gray quartz; that was undeniable now, yet didn't that salamander made it glow yellow? Finally, there was a button next to the cage covered by a thin retractable piece of blue metal; such a subtle thing left you baffled. What was the purpose of that? ''Say, say what is it?'' Shereen's good mood made her voice similar to a chippering bird and her attention moved to you after a while.''It's Magitek.'' Lying here wouldn't help, Banu joined her liege in observing curiously. ''Something that was given to me by a master of the craft.''''Your mentor?'' Banu voice was quiet, almost pensive. ''I've had more than one but for Magitek? Yeah.'' Ah dammit, your heart was squeezing. ''Odd thing is, it's not supposed to work for monstergirls.'' ''Yet it did, isn't that mysterious? Those thundering noises and all that lightning was great!'' Shereen tail wagging as she observed your weapon curiously.''Yeah... I'll inspect it thoroughly tonight, though it'll be much safer to try it out somewhere... Where you aren't afraid of walls being damaged and potentially lit on fire.'' Her brilliant gaze widened in interested and you smirked in turn, though soon lost that good mood when you felt the weight of your collar. ''Shereen, when we head into Marleon, would it be possible to keep this collar deactivated?''''So you can zap any fools making a lunge?'' Sadistic intent shone behind her grin. ''Sure!''''That... well I was more worried about security. How do they work anyway?''
''I don't really know.'' Your little pharaoh responded. ''I think it's similar to that gauntlet of yours or maybe alchemical?'' ''The secret of a Gift construction is a closely guarded secret of our Shining Sun, although enough of them have been manufactured to be available in any old markets throughout Muribel.'' Banu looked used to be an instructor because her voice, whilst softspoken, remained authoritative. ''Apparently, they operate by interrupting the flow of magic in the body, thereby controlling someone's magical potential.''What!? That'd mean influencing a soul!''All mages of Muribel are required to wear these, as they are Gift for her Shining Majesty. Having Moons wear theme is just fashion.'' She made an off-hand gesture at her own collar.Mages are collared in this country? All of them? No wonder people rebelled! The mood grew awkward now. Shereen normally sharp ears had drooped considerably and that black tail stopped its wagging.''Thanks for the info Banu, I think I'm good now.'' Time passed quickly and the potion's effect had happened without your notice. Outside a rather ugly burn scar on your forearm, your skin had gone back to its regular color and you reluctantly let go of Focus; no pain or numbness followed. ''Oh! So... Marleon?'' Shereen had regained a little of her perk.''If such is my Sun desire.'' Her ears sprang to life again. ''I'd like to get some tools.'' ''And I wanna see Magitek tools!'' Shereen constant ''we'' have begun to considerably diminish and, as far as you're concerned, that'll be a welcomed change. Banu silently followed as the spirited recluse led the way out of the arena. --A solid 15 minutes of walking separated the capital and its small palace town. The city was visible for every step and it was quite a thing indeed. A massive sandstone wall stretched out of the coast and curved in an almost ellipsed shape toward the west, a few buildings were tall enough to peek out of these impressive fortifications. From the angle of your arrival you spotted 4, maybe five roads heading directly into just as many gatehouses. Many ships traveled the length of the ocean with quite a few docked into port. The vast majority were small or lean vessels meant to zip across the water but a few large barges hinted at peculiar ambitious merchants or nobles.''Welcome to the wealth of Muribel.'' Banu announced as you continued down the stone path. Almost nobody shared it with your group, coming and going from the palace wasn't popular. ''You say that everytime.'' Shereen rolled her eyes.''I've got an actual reason to indulge now.'' Banu single eye glanced at you amusedly. You were too busy to take in the sight to say anything witty. As Anzu said, good things came in many forms and for now at least, seeing this massive city was quite the experience. Marleon was bigger than any of Thone Town islands but couldn't compare to all of them mixed together.
Getting inside a simple matter: you literally walked in, going past the stationed guards that weren't expecting a royal arrival, especially since the highest-ranked amongst them looked ready to faint when she demanded to know our purpose. Shereen merely laughed saying ''You could be punished for that, careful!'' Then immediately felt guilty when the lizard woman fell to her knees in guilt. These guards shared a unique, functional style. All of them wore dark green uniforms mixing chainmail and leathers, wearing visible shortswords and cudgels with a few adding bows to their repertoire but nothing else. The Vigil was Marleon semi-independent militias and apparently, they trained in ''urban warfare'' exclusively. Stepping inside immediately made you realize that Marleon was a city built tall. Every single building surrounding the road share the wall materials making them look extremely sturdy and whoever owned them rich but all sandstones buildings also had more constructed on their roofs. Ramshackle's wooden houses, platforms, and even shops somehow operated on these rooves and some of these had several rooms of their own and even more than a single story; if it weren't midday then this particular road of the capital would already be in the shades. Platforms above the road linked this city of rooftops, the overhead activity easily matched the numbers of Mamonos on the ground. Hundreds of thousands of souls called this place home, there's no doubt about that. ''Now, we shouldn't separate.'' Banu said, holding onto her staff and ushering Shereen behind you. ''Marleon main arteries are safe but those living above tend to watch people adventuring inside all the small streets or the Vigil will keep a protective gaze.'' As she spoke, a pair of green wearing individuals tried their best to avoid being obvious as they began to follow your group from the rooftops. ''The road will open into Redalley...'' Welcome to Marleon, capital of Muribel. As you can see on the map, there are several points of interest here.Redalley is the main bazaar of the city for general bric-a-brac. Items of all kinds end up here from the wide sea, but no independent merchants sell weapons, only city approved sellers are allowed to do sell these goods. The Old Ward is where all the pricy things are. Pleasure, functions, style, vanity, Moons... it's not particularly big but that's where rich spend their coins. The huge garden of Westroad is where food merchants ply the majority of their trades but some foreign sellers -usually oblivious to Marleon ways- tend to set up shop here.It's also possible to find all kinds of items in the poorer ''Rooftops city'' Where would you like to try your luck in finding your tools?>FreeBonus Action>Activate Ama aspect as you travel throughout Marleon.
>>3880871So Redalley is the general store, Old Ward is for exotics and really expensive things like slaves, Westroad is the "food court" with some random foreign shopkeeps selling random foreign stuff, and the "rooftop city" is the slums and where the black market/criminal underground is.That about right?
>>3880895A good way to look at it, yeah. Magitek items are highly specific so finding something adequate won't be easy.
>>3880900Cool, how long until nightfall and how long would exploring an area take? Travel time to the other areas from here?
>>3880950>how long would exploring an area take?It's about midday, each area take a minimum of one hour for general exploration but you guys can try to spend more time to find your items>Travel time to the other areas from here?You guys came from the topmost road of Redalley, getting into Westroad will take an hour.
>>3880871I'm thinking that the Old Ward is one of our better bets - I doubt the common civilian could afford or have interest/knowledge in something as niche as Magitek. More likely that stuff is being marketed to the nobility. The other option is the black market but I honestly don't feel like trying our luck with thieves and other riff-raff of society so soon after the roasting we were subjected to. As for activating the aspect... I don't think we should use that all willy-nilly. It could alert any Ama's servants to our precense here if they're not aware of us, but briefly using it once or twice shouldn't let them get a lock on us.
>>3880976>briefly using it once or twice shouldn't let them get a lock on us.Possible to do that but it'd make pinpointing Ama's influence difficult.
>>3880987That'd be fine by me. Confirming that Ama has influence in Muribel in the first place sounds more important than pinpointing it right now.I'm trying to play the long game here, y'see.Unrelated but godDAMN why does my IP keep changing?Ugh, it's my internet isn't it? I guess that's what I get for settling for a 4G mobile broadband internet. Blegh
>>3881002>Confirming that Ama has influence in Muribel in the first place sounds more important than pinpointing it right now.A worthy attempt. Will go with >Shop into the Old Ward and try your best to obfuscate your embrace of Ama aspect as you investigate Marleon.In about... 15 minutes, I'll wait for more votes.
>>3881023This sounds OK. We don't have the web so we'll likely need Shereen's help to actually pinpoint it. Besides, if there is influence we'd want a cadre of guardsmen/meatshields going into the blood nest first. Or is that guardsmamono? Point is, even if we were to pinpoint it right now there's not much we could actually do that wouldn't be insanely risky at this time.Also try to feel if there are places that seem, like, the opposite of under Ama's influence. Those spots are possibly underground churches to Mother Earth. Might need some of the faithful later.
Rolled 38 (1d100)Alright, alright. Let's see how things go, getting busy with some shopping.
>>3881080Was that good or bad?
>>3881129It is a mystery
>>3881137Damnit, I almost forgot how much you like to troll us.
Traveling from into the bazaar of Redalley was an experience. The sheer mass of people thoroughly dwarfed your limited experience of crowds with Throne Town. Here, you stood ahead of the two ladies and felt really glad to have kept your shield around because you had to push people to make space for the little Pharaoh and likely spare Mamonos a slap of Banu staff. In addition to all the myriads of stalls of the bazaar, every single stone buildings close to the road was a store of some kind -usually food- that made the crowd a chaotic, dizzying wave of movements and colors. No rainbows could show the amount of diversity with all the scaled Mamonos coming and goingA paradise for pickpockets. ''I forgot how crowded it can get at midday.'' Banu huffed, one hand on Shereen shoulder, throwing glares at a couple of kids -lamias- that had slithered a little too close. ''Shall we announce her majesty arrival?''''Nono.'' Shereen shook her head, keeping close to you. ''Ours is a presence of... of passive blessing, these subjects shall enjoy their days and purpose without needs of unsolicited complication.'' ''Good thing we're going in the Old Ward.'' Banu continued and you resisted the urge to look at a stall showing alchemical items. ''We'll be able to exchange our money quickly.''She tapped her pouch. Shereen was wearing a simple dark purple dress that looked was styled as a long-sleeved sundress and you, of course, had nothing so the whole carrier of wealth was the old woman who choked out a lady snake with her legs. Embracing Ama aspect was difficult. It was akin to putting a muzzle on yourself, imagine yourself chained, keep a firm image of the vixen in your head... Then you simply knew her chain had closed around your soul and in turn, came a projected sensation of acute environmental awareness; is this house? That store? That beastwomen breathing out lightning? No, no, no... You couldn't put a number into your search, all you did was walk and seek.Imagining Gardy slamming his fist into Ama smug face was enough to remove her grip on your consciousness so that, at least, was satisfying. --The crowd thinned to a much more comfortable level as you exited the stifling alleyway. Old Ward was the center of town and as such made for a pleasant plaza without any of the disorganized mess of wooden roofs and here, warriors species of various races -minotaurs, salamanders, even a few odd manticores- stood guards with massive maces, meaning serious business for non-existent troublemakers. Here all the construction had a different style, looking gothic and downright gaudy despite the sandstone. The material was ornated in gold or silver, statues of marbles and a fountain made the place scream ''rich'' loud enough to rival the palace yet there wasn't any of the genuine architectural awe, here rich meant irritatingly brilliant.
Things almost devolved into an unfortunate complication when a pair of guards -a salamander sporting bright red scales and a winged woman with a mishappen tail and bestial legs known as a manticore- didn't believe Shereen existence. For a full minute, you ended up glaring at a second fire-lizard and you genuinely feared for your safety when Banu suddenly punched the much taller warrior species in the throat; escalation was thankfully avoided by the arrival of a higher-ranked member of this odd private security force.''Fuck this place.'' She growled as the guards fled with excuses. ''You two stay here, I'll get us some money.'' And then she disappeared into the largest building of the area one that showed a snake woman holding up a sun. ''To think...my authority means so little.'' Shereen looked down, looking so downright pitiful it genuinely tugged your heartstring. ''Don't let it ruin your day, your Moons won you a worthy victory this morning.'' Those words added with your hand on top of her head dispelled the little sun morosity. ''Yeah, of course!'' Thusly she smugged every single guard of Old Ward you came across during your search. Shops here were a test of patience for they were big, guarded and visited by pretentious monsters. Clothes and weapons were a favorite but there was also some surprising find in the form of tableware and utensils that made for genuinely good tools. One shop pretending itself a vault of an oddity, at least, had a few specialized items for your needs but general pickings for Magitek were slim indeed in Old Ward.''How is a fork going to help?'' Shereen asked you.''It's pure silver, melting it can help repair some finner components of magical pathways for Magitek because like precious gems, gold, and silver are conductive with magical energy.'' Good work Arawn, you sound smart! ''Really?'' Shereen cocked her head in disbelief.''Nah, I just wanted to fuck with that woman behind us by taking forever to buy something. The handle of that fork can make a good base for some other tools, it was a lucky find.'' You'll have to be inventive. ''Didn't cost too much at least, remind me to throw a lantern inside ''Filly Frou'' in my lifetime.'' Banu grunted. ''I'm not sure where we'll find your stuff so we'll have to operate at random.'' Rudimentary tools (1/3)Expert tools (1/5)Finding enough supplies will allow Arawn to craft an expert set of tools if you concentrate on it for a few days... and find a forge. Rudimentary tools can be used right away and help maintain your gauntlet. But not modify or craft anything elseYour investigation of Marleon with Ama aspect convinced you the following areas to be free of her influence.Old WardWhat shall you do now?>FreeI might have one more answer in my tonight, depending on when we get our course of action.
>>3881291So we're collecting things to construct either rudimentary or expert tools and have made 1 point of progress towards those goals with 3 needed for rudimentary and 5 needed for expert? I assume that if we craft the rudimentary tools our progress will reset to zero for expert.Time's a factor but we're already about halfway towards Westroad. If we went there and looked around would we have enough time left to go back to Redalley or the rooftop city before nightfall?
>>3881383>So we're collecting things to construct either rudimentary or expert tools and have made 1 point of progress towards those goals with 3 needed for rudimentary and 5 needed for expert?Yup.> I assume that if we craft the rudimentary tools our progress will reset to zero for expert.Nope. It'll carry over.>Time's a factor but we're already about halfway towards Westroad. If we went there and looked around would we have enough time left to go back to Redalley or the rooftop city before nightfall?Only one of them, yes.For now you have (1/4) actions left before nightfall. Old Ward is the city center so going anywhere else will only consume a single action. You can try convincing your sun to sleep in Marleon if you'd like.Westroad is a high risk, high reward option. You could find a very good merchant for what you need there... if you roll 1d20 well enough!Don't do that now, I'll only count Westroad rolls if we get agreement for it.
>>3881389So Westroad might instantly solve our problem... if the dice gods smile upon us. Given how they've been treating us lately I'm a bit nervous about that one. If we went to Redalley would we also be able to check out the rooftop area before nightfall?
>>3881401Only the rooftops of Redalley district, yes.
>>3881413I think I'll sleep on this one, it's getting late. Are the guards trustworthy? Y'know, bribe resistant and/or have a geis that prevents them from harming the royalty and their moons without permission from her mommy? How good are they in a fight if they can be trusted? That'll determine how comfortable I am with the prospect of roaming around at night. Some shops stay open into the night and certain shops only open at night right?
>>3881430>Are the guards trustworthy? Y'know, bribe resistant and/or have a geis that prevents them from harming the royalty and their moons without permission from her mommy? How good are they in a fight if they can be trusted? That'll determine how comfortable I am with the prospect of roaming around at night. Impossible to say. The city is largely overseen by the vigil who managed to recognize Shereen, unlike the private forces in Old Ward so that's as much info as you've got for now. >Some shops stay open into the night and certain shops only open at night right?Mostly inns, not a whole lot remain open at night.
>>3881389>Westroad is a high risk, high reward option.>>High RiskHow the-...Actually, it kinda makes sense. All the pro pickpockets and cutthroats would likely gather in Westroad - Old Ward is too well guarded and enclosed to make a clean getaway easily, not to mention the guards are likely harder to bribe since they work for the nobility and likely get paid better than the Vigil's men.As for Redalley? That place has nothing but chump change exchanging pockets, thus making it the place where the common street rat pickpockets practise their "trade".To be honest I'm just spitballing about what I think is the case, for all I know Insert might just mean high-risk in the "oops, you rolled too low and found *nothing*, good day sir!" way.>>3881389I'm leaning towards going to Westroad, I have a good feeling about tonight!
>>3882023The risk is more about potentially finding a foreign merchant who has what you need in the ''food place'' that is Westroad big public garden instead of having to handle pickpockets. Though you'd be right in thinking some skilled Mamonos are good with their hands in there.
>>3882023I think it's safe to say Westroad it is.I might be unable to continue our thread in the evening, so I'd like to potentially make one or two updates before then.Rol me 1d20!
Rolled 7 (1d20)>>3882246
Rolled 18 (1d20)>>3882246Don't worry guys, I got this!
>>3882271Gonna try for a twenty?
>>3882276Now now, I try not to be greedy!...But if we don't get another Anon to roll within a reasonable timeframe I could roll again.
>>3882296Unless a 1 show up, that 18 will stick. Might as well start with this result, damn it I was having fun with these dices...!
Rolled 6 + 25 (1d100 + 25)Forgot one unsuspicious and harmless roll. Don't mind me.
>>3882309The dice gods are a fickle mistress, much like the fate they represent.>>3882323That's the aspect detection roll I'd wager, we should stop scanning for the day after this one. We don't know what'll happen if/when we get detected and that modifier is ramping up very quickly.
>>3882339Oh, forgot to add, since it is the food area we're gonna enjoy some food right? Maybe Shereen or Banu has a favorite food stand we could try out?
>>3882345Can't afford to get distracted!
>>3882353So no food? Not even a quick taco or something?
A visit into Westroad would be the logical next step given this hour of the day but a hearty late-morning breakfast made indulging with diner an unpopular choice. Marleon biggest park however made for an impressive sight and a good retreat from Old Ward pretentious gaudiness and the packed city roads. Here, grass, flowers and a few trees flourished from carefully maintained nature. Artificial islands floated on what looked to be transported seawater, everything linked by solid stones bridges sturdy enough to support portable food stalls. Alchemical washrooms dotted the landscape and a popular observation platform at sea edge showed many Mamonos relaxing. The smell of the place was excellent; not enough to be overpowering but all the spices, grills and catches from the sea, recently opened exotic sweets or odd animals mixed into a succulent, mouth-watering aroma to awaken gluttony. ''Feeling peckish...'' Shereen wiggled her nose.''Feel free to indulge.'' You responded, cracking a smile when her long ears twitched. ''I'll look around to see if there's a lost merchant.''''Nono!'' The little Anubis shook her head. ''All together, always. Food can and will wait, our hearty breakfast was enough yes... Putting on pounds isn't honorable.'' Honestly, Shereen could do with a little more meat on her bones but that's not something a man should say to any lady, much less someone in your situation. Maybe you can sneak a little something afterward...Looking around for anything Magitek related was very easy because of the vast majority of merchants sold foods, some mixed things in a ''general'' stall that combined with surprisingly rare alchemical finds - alas useless for your purpose. Investigating the length of this huge park was surprisingly time-consuming but a lonely stall caught your attention mostly because of the presence of a lean metallic silhouette keeping a rigid stance, looking almost like a plated armor stand.It didn't deceive you though, that looked to be a golem and the stall it protected was filled with the kind of metallic object that'd make digestion unhealthy and its owner...''Belph?'' No way, no freaking way! Your feet carried you toward that lonely shop without warning and you forced yourself to stop after a few steps. That's wasn't Belphegor no, it was another member of her race or simply someone who shared similar looks. Cloven feet, fur-covered bestial arms, elongated ram horns instead of Belph rounder ones and this girl's hair was much lighter than your Magitek mentor and wasn't sporting any ponytail. ''Found something?'' Shereen was hot on your heel and you decided to ignore Banu inquisitive stare. ''I think so.'' You responded, trying your best to keep a friendly smile.
Walking over to the stall had the tall metallic construct snap at attention and the girl lazily resting on her chair took a moment to realize what was happening. ''Eeh?'' Purple eyes took a moment to blink in realization. ''Ooh! Welcome! sorry for, um not quite prepared yet, didn't choose a good spot huh?'' Then her gaze settled on your ears and she froze on the spot. ''Don't worry, I'm interested in your merchandise.'' You smiled, your voice brought her out of this momentary stupor. ''Are you in the market of Magitek perchance?''''Yeah...'' She nodded slowly, her lethargy was oddly appealing. ''People told me Marleon was a great place to sell things but folks here really like alchemy, not the craft of magic itself. These green people bought my entire alchemical stash as a fair price, they even wanted Krelm. Too bad Magitek isn't...'' Her voice momentarily stopped when she saw Shereen and Banu coming beside you. ''Oh, you've got genuine tools!?'' Arrayed on the table was a pouch of genuine alchemical tools for beginners and, much more importantly a manual of Magitek formulae to help beginners and expert alike in remembering safe manipulation of dangerous powders and known mix, alongside gem good gem types for spells, known minerals for transporting magical energy... ''Banu, this is!'' Noticing your high pitched tone, you cleared your throat. ''...good stuff. I'll take the book and all your tools.'' Which comprised of a solid 2/3 of her entire table. ''I think we can negotiate a good price.'' The Moon strode to the table. ''Word of advice, you should accept precious tones and exchange them back at your homeland instead of relying on the Old Ward bank.'' That caught the little shopkeeper off-guard. ''Really?''''Really.'' Banu opened the pouch on the front side of her waist and extract a single, tiny, shiny diamond. How rich is this place? You've acquired a complete set of rudimentary Magitek tools!Buying more supplies will allow you to craft an expert set. (4/5)You've acquired a Magitek manual for common formulae!With a lab or pure stubbornness and a good set of tools, this can allow you to potentially enchant items if you get crafty enough or steal from the alchemical school of study and make bombs of your own. Your investigation of Marleon with Ama aspect convinced you the following areas to be free of her influence.Old WardWestroad and the populated district between them.>Remain here and try to chitchat with this out of place Baphomet. Does she have news of the Allied Kingdoms? Throne Town?>Indulge in some food instead, Westroad is the place to eat after all. You can afford to waste some time now...>Keep looking for the supplies you need. You're so close! >Free
>>3882477>Keep looking for the supplies you need. You're so close!
>>3882491Redalley is the only area left to find what you need, so this choice will move you back there.
>>3882477>Remain here and try to chitchat with this out of place Baphomet. Does she have news of the Allied Kingdoms? Throne Town?See if we can learn more about her, and where to find her in the future, if we managed to cultivate a contact that could provide us with a constant supply of exotic material, for any projects we wanted to build or allow for the maintenance and repair of our gear.Also could be useful in the future for the possibility of covertly sending messages in the future.
>>3882499This sounds like a good option. Getting the remaining supply point and then crafting the expert set won't help us too much without a reliable source of magitek materials and knowledge manuals (though those are inferior replacements for our mentors damn that fox to hell) so we can start to tinker, craft, and invent in earnest.We should also ask if there are any other magitek vendors/specialists she knows in the region and beyond and whenabouts they'll be in or near the city potentially. I'd hate to do it to them but if Shereen "moon'd" a magitek specialist that'd help us a lot. Still wouldn't be as good as our former mentors but better than mere manuals.
Was just about to roll to break the tie. Speaking with the little goat it is.
''May I know your name?'' You asked after putting your new possession in a bag. You didn't have a penny to your name and asking Shereen to essentially pay for these did hurt your pride... Trying to repay her will have to wait. ''I am Arawn Loukanos and it's a pleasure to meet another practitioner of Magitek.'' As the goat-lady held onto one of Banu diamond with the content expression of someone making a good deal, her expression stiffened and her gaze turned to you with that little spark, that inkling of recognition and familiarity... ''Grelda.'' She answered. ''Grelda Kelebek. I'm not a genuine practitioner of your craft, I just know what to sell.'' She smiled awkwardly.Grelda Kelebek, a Baphomet merchant.''I'm Banu.'' Said your paying companion.''Refer to us as Shereen Roshanak and we are grateful for your help in helping my Moon! Mmhm. Don't bow please.'' ''Ah...okay.'' The merchant hadn't even begun anything, it was clear she didn't have any idea about Shereen bloodline. The anubis tried very hard to camouflage her dejection. ''You could have tried...'' She muttered very, very softly.''Do you think you'd be able to gather more Magitek supplies Grelda?'' Better change the subject now.''Eh? More? Do you have a lab?'' Perhaps savvy to your Sun mood, the small fluffy merchant concentrated her attention on you. ''Not yet, I'll shop around to find some additional tools to add with what you've given me.'' You moved your left arm forward, letting your shield gently slide on your leg to reveal your gauntlet. A new sparkle kindled inside the Baphomet purple gaze at this sight. ''I wanna tweak that thing a little more but having more options is always.''''I-I'm no expert... that's a mighty cool thing you've got there.'' She shook her head and, you noticed, that she also had a long and very, very bushy creamy tail wagging behind her. ''Most things related to Magitek and alchemy need a good lab, but getting supplies is... at least things outside tools can only reliably be found in Throne Town. The Free City of the unsettled lands only needs a three-day journey on a Needler if the conditions are perfect or you've got a water mage. Magitek stuff there is... unpopular.'' She smiled awkwardly. ''Sailing for the Old World takes close to two weeks, tensions are a bit high these days so Throne Town ports are much more careful.''''Is that so?'' You've barely heard anything about the events of your year-long coma, neither Banu and Shereen have been keen to talk. ''Interesting news from the lands beyond the Sun?'' Shereen pep was back, this girl would likely become a good friend with Hao with that kind of temperament.
''Yeah... Things have settled into uneasy tension but after the Demon Lord declaration of war, things got really, really dangerous in the Allied Kingdoms.'' Grelda waited to see if anyone would interrupt and continued when it didn't happen. ''Y'see... Her majesty moved troops on the border of the Cursed Swamp, somehow bypassing the four cities states in the Old World and getting Kreszens permissions to station people on her border but that didn't sit well with the surrounding kingdoms at all. In the Old World, the cities temporarily united but were forced to stay put when the Commonwealth massed troops on their two fronts in response and only the meeting of the Church Matriarch, Demon Lord and the two leaders of the Commonwealth prevented all-out war. Her majesty proclamation remained the same: war against the Wound-of-the-World, vengeance for the death of 160 teenagers. Throne Town and Zipangu have also allied, bringing the second half of the Commonwealth with them.''160.... 160 summoners trainees died in the assault of Lady White followers. Mother Mercy, had you not decided to evacuate the group quickly enough, that'd have likely been a hundred more. ''Goodness, all of that happened up north!?'' Shereen was listening intensely now.''That's only the Old World.'' Now Grelda had shed all her awkwardness and spoke spiritedly. ''Things got teeense in the Allied Kingdoms. Her majesty arrival with only a few thousand troops resulted in an army of hundred-thousand humans massing in less than a week! The Patriarch himself was at the head of it, ready to purge a demonic incursion... but then he and his supporters were thoroughly blindsided.'' She rubbed her furred hands together excitedly. ''A kingdom of free Mamonos revealed itself inside the Elven Forest.''''Ah...'' Shereen fluffy ears drooped. ''...Kreszenz queen openly supported the Demon Lord, the Matriarch of the Old World faith stood with the queendom -in person- and one inquisitorial sect moved to stop conflicts. It was the Exemplar -the Church greatest paladins- who not only moved to investigate the Demon Lord intention ahead of time but were also given complete authority to inspect every single inch of Overlord Gwendolyn cities.''''That name.'' Banu suddenly interrupted, not coldly but it still threw a bucket on Grelda enthusiasm. ''Don't go pronouncing it casually here, alright? Please continue.'' ''O-okay.'' Grelda threw you a cautious glance. ''Um... well the paladins are supporting the Mamonos for... the first time in history I think? I heard the Closed Fist declared open war against them in retaliation and now the sects are killing one another outside the cities. I'm not sure what's happening with the rest of the Church but the Patriarch allied army had to turn around since he'd risk creating a new civil war in the Faith.''''G...goodness this is fascinating, fascinating times we live in!'' If stars could live inside people's eyes, Shereen would be full of them.
That... was a whole lot to take in. The Old World situation isn't too bad but the Allied Kingdoms are are an ugly powder kegs ready to blow at any moments. Daiyu came with the subtlety of a sledgehammer but... Sieglinde Suppression bore excellent fruits.She really did good.''Have the elves said anything about this realm in their forest?'' Banu question shook your thoughts. ''Not that I know.'' Grelda answered softly. ''I'm kinda impressed to see these news haven't traveled here, Muribel isn't that far from the kingdoms.''''The Shining Sun doesn't care for what it doesn't see.'' Responded the one-eyed woman. Why would Lady White send you here? Outside an extinguished rebellion, this country is looking stable! All that tension in the Allied Kingdoms would need the fall of a single domino to erupt in violence! Yet... here you are? Why? What is she up to?''Ooh... This'll be worthy of a history book!'' Shereen gazed at the visible sea in what looked to be... longing? >Allow us to buy you some refreshment after all that talk! (Remain in Grelda company to, perhaps, ask something specific?)>Say your farewell with this well-informed little goat and keep looking for tools>FreeYou have (2/4) before the evening. I might be able to squeeze a little more updates and I thought this evening, but no promises.
>>3882833So Throne Town's the only place to reliably acquire magitek materials and knowledge with the free city being an unreliable source? Damnit, well, that ritual indicates Shereen has access to servants/slaves. Might be able to convince her to send a few out to search at least the free city on a regular basis for the shit we need. Elf with magitek toys would impress nobility after all. Hell, Tesla and Edison were mad popular with the upper crust of society because of their wondrous toys!I think this nation's leader and Daiyu hate each other so that rules out Throne Town as a source completely. Poor innocent slave would get seized by the succubi spies and grilled well done the instant he stepped off the boat. Assuming they didn't just up and claim refugee status as I doubt Daiyu and the like approve of slavery and soul fuckery collars (that Belph would immediately reverse engineer so as to figure out how to mass EMP the things).Willing to bet Elina will buzz this city or something similar in a few weeks and nab our exact-ish location given all this. Then things get really, really "interesting" as it were. We are now officially a "political" asset that could potentially make or break this shit. That's why we're here, in part, to draw this nation into it somehow and thus more greatly entertain Bad Fluffy. Much like the Chaos God she channels, the greater the complexity of the schemes and plots, the happier she becomes.
>>3882867Getting a little news from outside feels sobering after a while huh?
>>3882833>Say your farewell with this well-informed little goat and keep looking for toolsWell, I think we've gotten everything we need from Grelda. Time to move on, but let us thank her again for the tools and the bookI'd request she bring more Magitek goodness the next time she stops in Muribel, but it sounds like Grelda would need quite a bit of time to resupply. And Arawn doesn't know enough about the craft to request anything specific at this point in time.
Alright, I'll have to continue tomorrow, so there's time to vote tonight.
>>3882833How long would it take us to ask her to resupply as much magitek stuff as she can get her furry paws on and about how long does she thing it would take to get a good stockpile of good shit? I don't care if it takes a few weeks as, let's be honest, we're not getting out of the city with good survival odds within the next month or two.We can, however, take advantage of Shereen's apparent desire for adventure outside the confines of the city once we've leveled up a bit and maybe created a magitek weapon for our Sun as I don't think "blood magic" is good in combat unless we're talking a battlefield and a whole lot of corpses. A little nudge, a white lie or two, and she'll drag us, Banu, and (hopefully by then) an additional moon or two on a glorious adventure beyond the city's confines. Placing us in a position to much more easily be "reacquired" by our former hosts who do have 3 people who can track us down without fail.>>3882900I stopped my speculations because that would be feeding you ideas. Whole world's a fucking tinder box now. There are many ways to ignite it and a good deal of them involve us in some capacity. Damned fox really has planned this one out to the nth degree hasn't she.
>>3882998Really depend on what kind of stuff you want.Most of the high-end Magitek stuff involve magical gems attuned to particular elements or empty ones, alternatively, you can get equipment ''shells'' that can be modified depending on what you want but all of them cost a pretty penny and can be hard to find, even in Throne Town. More medium of the line stuff involves creating appliances similar to alchemical lamps, various miscellaneous stuff. Cables that allow ''magical transport'' (replica of mage veins) make a good deal. Otherwise, there's also getting the material you need for a lab, which is very power-hungry... If you want to stick to weapons, she could be back by next month. Would you truly abandon you Sun that easily? Hasn't Shereen been good to you?>I stopped my speculations because that would be feeding you ideas.Don't. Maybe you'd be able to enjoy the feeling of predicting something!
>>3883015As of now, we should stick to weapons and lab materials. I don't think we'll have to worry about "power" if we're, errr, a little morally gray about it. Martha did make that "blood battery" after all. How many gallons a day would one run through when in use? Wait, what exactly powers those things? Do we have to invent/discover electricity ourselves to get it up and running or is it rare and expensive alchemical reactions keeping the lights on? Who said we'd be the only person they'd be acquiring? Turnabout's fair play after all. We were her slave, so the best case scenario has them getting captured by Daiyu's forces when they nab us. Then we ask Daiyu to punish them by making them *our* new maids!
>>3883056Most apparatus are fed by what is called ''Force'' which is the alchemical trapping of the concept of energy. (Water wheels, steam, fire etc)Magitek fine-tuned on that concept enough to create it's own school of science and branched off by giving Mages self-powered equipment but overall, the two sciences mix so often it's impossible to differentiate when you don't create equipment powered by your magic. All of that is fairly pricy to make but hey, necessity is the mother of invention...Requesting the merchant to bring this fuel is a possibility, but so far all you've got is your gauntlet and that's powered by your organic mana. Still, there's no guaranteed you'll have time to see her again, you also don't have any money of your own. Dilemma! I like this positivity. You'd make an old woman like Banu into a maid now?
>>3883087Yes I would, she seems like she'd make a good one.
>>3882833>Say your farewell with this well-informed little goat and keep looking for toolsThank friend goat, acquire tools.
Rolled 98 + 25 (1d100 + 25)>>3883199>>3882904Tools it is, I'll open tomorrow with that.
>>3883204Welp, now we're gonna see what those rolls were for.
>>3882819> her expression stiffened and her gaze turned to you with that little spark, that inkling of recognition and familiarity...Going to get sleep now but cannot believe I missed this. This city gets buzzed by our angel next week at the latest with that one. Sieg and the bunch have spilled the beans by now, the bounty for this kind of info has been posted, it's pretty damned big, and upon our departure that merchant's gonna sell that info to a broker hard and fast and it's gonna find its way into Daiyu's network just as quick because holy shit, that friggin' bounty.Hell, by the end of this month we might get a covert assault upon this place by demonic forces! Not that I mind, especially if Hao's in it. We just tell her to knock out Shereen and Banu and haul them off to their most deserved fate as our new maids!
>>3883498I think you mean their deserved fate as the only survivors in the highest ruling class of this place, and our friend.
>>3883530>That spoilerHey now, that's a fate that's gotta be earned by other means. Means like the upper class willfully and knowingly doing the bidding of Bad Fluffy. No mercy for Ama's willing toadies/apostles, but other than that there's no reason to outright murder them.Maids, Daiyu and company are about to get a lot more maids on staff if we can help it. Hell, they/we can start a company. Dirty houses, palaces, and churches cleaned dirt cheap by desert mamono maids. Even the fanatical purifier sects of the faith might start to loosen up once they see the benefit of hiring a few monstergirl maids. This world needs more maids!
''It was great meeting you Grelda, thanks to you I'll be able to find all the tools that I need.'' Feeling the weight of the leather pouch holding your Magitek equipment was comforting. The Baphomet pastel gaze went to your gauntlet before momentarily meeting your gaze.''I thought I'd be mostly sightseeing in Marleon, people don't say much about making a profit in this land. Thanks for buying most of my stock.'' Her smile was sweet and gentle, giving her an adorable doll-like demeanor.''It's amazing to hear what happened beyond the Sun reach...'' Shereen tone had decreased into a whisper of amazement, you found yourself nodding without thinking. ''Do you have everything you need Arawn?''''One last trip into Redalley should do it. Need a few precision tools that I should be able to make myself by buying a few different things here and there to make them in a forge.'' The genuine sun had traveled a fair bit in the sky, going past its zenith the middle of the afternoon. You'll have more than enough time. ''Alright, let's go before we succumb to gluttony. All the surrounding smells make indulging hunger increasingly difficult to resist!'' Shereen waved back toward the city. Its sea of sandstone buildings and wooden slum-like second stories made for an equally ominous and impressive sight, the crowd was still substantial everywhere you looked. A never-ending tide of nearly all colors besides white and purple. When you glanced one last time at the tiny, friendly shopkeeper and her metallic guardian, Banu had leaned closed and whispered something close to her camouflaged ear that made the soft-looking Baphomet frown, her expression didn't relax when your fellow Moon extracted a few pieces of gold and put them on the table. ''What was that about?'' Shereen asked, having noticed this behavior. ''Gratitude for bringing us good news and having the items we needed. Redalley it is now?'' Banu tweaked her eyepatch, behind her the Baphomet waved at your group spiritedly. Hopefully, she'll have a safe trip home. ''It is.'' You returned Grelda gesture, readjust your shield and took point in front of Shereen, silently combing the areas with a sudden embrace of Ama aspect.--The general bazaar of Redalley was a stifling but nonetheless amazingly chaotic mess. The crowd had a strange ebb to it due to all the surrounding dwellings being commerces of their own with a, particularly popular blacksmith causing most of the stalls easy to browse. ''General'' was a fitting title for all the available goods which combining just about anything unrelated to food outside spices and salt. Sailors from the docks brokered deals inside the proper establishment, curious buyers of knickknacks and your group followed your lead closely due to how damn packed everything was and the overhead life on the rooftops had you see constant movements of monstergirls running around or flying, a good chunk of harpies called this particular district home.
Finding what you needed turned to be time-consuming because you needed some precise measurements and tools that forced you to look into alchemical sellers and the forge itself to find what you needed for repurposing into something much more useful and precise. You have acquired all the supplies needed to craft an expert set of Magitek tools! Spending some time in a forge will allow you to finalize them into useable instruments ''I can't remember the last time we've gone and done something like this...'' Back against a nearby stone wall, Shereen seemingly forgot ranting about keeping herself clean now, probably because of all the dust raised by another wave of late afternoon buyers. ''I forgot how crowded this place can be.'' Banu responded idly. Thankfully no monsters tried anything untoward during this trip, they completely ignored your trio, being nothing more than three more heads inside this big capital.You personally found that a little odd, you didn't see many men and of course no elf and you were also accompanied the youngest member of this land royalty. Maybe you shouldn't judge every place by using Throne Town standards.''I... We are tempted to witness more sight of Marleons today, it has been years and the city has changed quite a bit.'' Shereen expressed, forcing some volume in her tone to be heard above the brouhaha. ''Today's main quest is over yes?'' ''If her majesty wishes to do so, then we should be quick in getting a pair of rooms to continue this exploration and return for the evening, although I do not recommend that. The palace will always be a better place to rest.'' Her guardian responded flatly. ''Yes, but it is a tad boring... Though next time we clearly should wear more practical clothes.'' The bottom of her dark purple dress was unfortunately stained from today's journey, she wore it a little too long.
Perhaps staying wouldn't be a bad idea. You haven't inspected too much of the city yes, all the housing was likely situated away from the docks and commerces. Then, as you idly inspected all the Mamonos, all their widely different races and colors; coppery scales, dark furs, slithering red lamia, brownish dark harpies flying overhead you spotted an odd glance of white that looked out of place. Outside organic monstrous appendages, pale colors weren't popular for the monsters of Marleon so that must have been why this silhouette caught your gaze. It looked to be a human woman disappearing inside one of the many, many alleys of this peculiar district....? Why this sense of familiarity? For a moment you felt afraid. What if... it couldn't be that witch, right? No, it's... of course, her aspect is a two-way street once you embrace it but this... you just glanced at a pale-haired woman yet she felt so familiar? Your mind drifted back into last year, the moot with Gremory, a stalwart blue knight stepping forth to do what's right...''My moon, what say you?'' Shereen brought you out of your reverie, she and Banu had discussed the logistic and merit of staying the night in Marleon, the older maiden was clearly in favor of going back into the palace. >'' Please excuse me, I need to see something.'' Try and find this person that feels so strangely ''familiar.'' Could it be someone tied to your past? Or another plot of Lady White? Either way, you should find out.>'' I'd rather remain in Marleon tonight.'' It'll give you more time to inspect the land for Ama influence and hopefully find something tangible for Shereen. Making yourself useful should help your situation.>'' Let's go back home. The capital won't run away, we can find more time later.'' Something is fishy, it'd be better to go back inside the palace. >Free
>>3884127>'' Please excuse me, I need to see something.'' Try and find this person that feels so strangely ''familiar.'' Could it be someone tied to your past? Or another plot of Lady White? Either way, you should find out.Nothing ventured nothing gained.
>>3884127No matter what, do not split the party.
>>3884152>>3884131Splitting isn't always unwise now!Now then I'll wait a little longer for another potential voice.
Alright, let's see if you'll gain a little something by venturing forth...
''Weeh? Where are you going?'' Shereen was incredulous when you began walking away and quick to follow. Bringing your shield forward, you pushed into the crowd with, perhaps a little too much insistence. ''I saw something strange.'' The woman had disappeared into an alley further up the road of Redalley tightly packed main street.''Now's not the time to be bothering with potential criminals.'' Banu growled, she still followed close behind because Shereen enthusiastically accompanied you.Part of you felt like trying to shoo her off but it'd just cause unneeded complications, that person already had a large margin of distance on you and could easily have disappeared on this side of Marleon labyrinthine back alleys. Stepping inside these small streets was a stressful experience. If Redalley was a tight road, here things were downright suffocating, your line formation became a necessity instead of being a choice. Muffled activity filled your ears, loud stomping thumps from Mamonos living above echoed all the way down, shades thrown everywhere by all the high constructions transformed this late afternoon into a dark evening. The flutters of a dark cloak belonging to whoever you were following kept beckoning you onward and onward.''If things get dangerous Arawn...'' Banu growled in warning. ''...you'll need to understand-''''Shush, Banu!'' Shereen chided. ''It is the Sun duty to shine everywhere and this place has clearly seen far too many shades. Look around us, nobody peeks outside, no one stands in the shades, life is above or in the streets; here be darkness and nothing else!''''That's because Marleon murky ground is unsafe, your majesty.'' That woman made a sharp turn and you followed, soon stepping into a cul-de-sac of about 6 to 7 meters. All around were tall constructs of mixed stones and wood, the sun barely peeked through these small towers, drenching everything in an almost prison-like atmosphere of fresh shade. Standing on the opposite wall furthest from this exit was the woman you've followed and again you were struck with a strange sense of familiarity.
Her long pale gray hair was the thing that sent you on this curious little quest. She wore it in a tasteful ponytail with many wild bangs falling around her face that, for some reason, evoked images of claws. Her eyes were closed yet the bemused smile on her face made it obvious she wasn't caught off guard. Her clothes were quiet, a dark shirt covered by a dust cloak and a small skirt with long boots made this attire one for comfort instead of protection.This woman general feature looked sharps, somehow she... reminded you of a crow, yet the angle of her face... Had vague similarity to Teruko. Someone from Zen?''Aah! Do you have your permit for wearing weapons, traveler?'' Shereen squeezed behind your back to stand sideways and Banu force herself to stand protectively beside her little liege. Somehow a long pommel resting on her waist, supported by a big belt of leather, protruded out like a spear. ''This?'' Those were this lady first words and you struggled to keep a straight face. Why does she feel so familiar? ''I didn't need it. See...''There was a quiet click when she somehow twisted that handle a full 90 degrees and took it out of its scabbard, revealing a sword handle without a blade. ''...harmless.'' She put it back where it belonged, the weapon somehow snapped into position without issue.''Whoa that's impressive, is it alchemy? Magitek?'' Shereen ears perked up, little twinkles of interest coming into her eyes again. ''Maybe.'' Replied the woman. ''May I know why I''ve been cornered?'' ''Oh dear please forgive this Sun untowardness, you see my Moon...'' Shereen gestured at you with her fluffy hand. ''...seems to have some business with you but you were already long gone so we had to follow! You aren't under any inquiry or arrest of any sort that I assure you!''''I see.'' This woman rubbed the corner of her mouth with her thumb. Why does this gesture feel so familiar. ''What could an elf want with me?'' > ''Do forgive me, I think you might look like someone I've known a long time ago but the memory is foggy...'' (A little polite investigation shouldn't hurt. )> ''I'm sorry for this intrusion, my lady. I've made a terrible mistake, please excuse me for wasting your time.'' Something doesn't feel right about this. Not at all.>Free
>>3884285>''Do forgive me, I think you might look like someone I've known a long time ago but the memory is foggy...'' (A little polite investigation shouldn't hurt. )On a scale of 1 to 10 how fast is this going to go wrong?
>>3884295Why would anything go wrong?
>>3884285Is the aspect reacting to her? Try to exchange first names and ask if they ever traveled with an elf if it ain't. If it is, just first names.
>>3884304>Is the aspect reacting to her?Nope.Polite/careful introduction it is.
''Please forgive my rudeness.'' Your instincts don't want you to lower your shield. ''I've had the impression that you looked like someone I've known long ago... but the memory is foggy.'' Her eyebrows shot up silently, her casual smile remained and she crossed her arms. ''That's quite interesting.'' She stated plainly.''My name is Arawn Loukanos.'' You looked into her closed eyes, finding nothing but flesh and that casual expression. ''Arawn Loukanos... You think we've met before?'' One more her thumb went to poke the side of her mouth. ''I'm Zhu, marriage will have to be the moment when I take a family name.'' Zhu...Zhu... it is familiar but you can't quite put your finger on it, the reason for this impression seems at your fingertip.''If you have the wrong person then we shouldn't be holding her back.'' Banu glared above when people loudly traveled the unorthodox city of roofs, a few curious heads peeked into this cul-de-sac.>''Have you heard of a woman named Klesiah?'' (A shot in the dark...)>''You're right Banu, sorry. I got carried away, have a good day lady Zhu.'' >Free
>>3884335Ask about our knight in whispered tone. Can't let the guards hear shit!
>>3884335>>''You're right Banu, sorry. I got carried away, have a good day lady Zhu.''Time to go. If we knew her as a past ally or friend she would have had a different reaction.Also hi INH and fellow readers, been a while since I could catch a thread. Hope everybody's doin alright. I'll be hoping for the secret Ama route as always.
Hm, having a little difference in votes.>>3884380>I'll be hoping for the secret Ama route as always.Now that's what I call true ambition. I'll wait 10 more minutes before breaking the tie, I'd like to make things interesting tonight...
>>3884380We look different than we used to, we "grew up" so she might not recognize us legit.
>>3884399We gave our name though.
Rolled 2 (1d2)As always, any player vote cancel mine. 1 = Mentioning Klesiah2 = Excusing yourself.
>>3884418>Mentioning KlesiahNo backing down now!
Was just about to start and lock. Childhood friend it is.
>Checked the archiveYep, our knight mentioned that she, Zhu (whose description this girl matches), and Hecate buried us 3 (now 4) years ago when we first met her after our "revival". She stated that she left them both when they needed her...Get ready to block with our shield and set gauntlet to stun. Because reasons, reasons I'm not feeding to the GM.
>>3884604Also, get ready to use soul arm. That will confirm who we are beyond pretty much any doubt. I'm sure only we and maybe one or two other people on the planet have our magical nature.
Something about this woman made you nervous. Was it her tall and lean frame that undeniably hinted at an existence of conflicts? Her constantly closed eyes and relaxed expression that seemed to hold a hint of sadistic enjoyment? Or maybe it was your own anxiety? You've felt this strange vague sense of familiarity a few times and... it hasn't led you astray yet.''It's a random question but have you heard of a woman named Klesiah?'' There was a subtle change in her face.''A friend of yours?'' Shereen bluntly asked. ''From your time in Throne Town?'' This girl doesn't have a hint of subtility but... it might actually help here. ''Yeah, it was by the grace of fates alone that I managed to find her once again. She told me something about having a few friends in the past.'' She hadn't described any of them to you but it was undeniable that you had a few companions before your... apparent demise. ''You looked similar to one of them.'' When you turned back to look at Zhu, her eyes had opened completely and Banu sharp intake of breath betrayed her astonishment. One socket was empty, that wasn't any cause for alarm but the other... This woman right eye looked had been replaced by a jewel, a chromatic mingle of all colors imaginable shone in what seemed to be a flat circle upon which was cut many, many surfaces that held its own colors and these mixed oddly as you observed.''Whoa! What a gorgeous eye!'' Shereen was completely undaunted. Zhu crow-like features spread into a wide predatory grin as she closed her bad eye, living the shine of this... thing softly illuminating her face with shades of rainbows.''She was a companion of mine a few odd years ago yes, my last memory with her is when we separated after killing a squad of her knightly order coming to pursue us... or rather, her. They were a pretty good sport, too. But Klesiah feels things so strongly, she went away believing she betrayed me.'' Her hand crawled the length of her handle like a spider and Banu roughly shoved your little Sun behind her, forcing her to step into the alley.''Hey! Hey!'' Shereen immediately protested. ''Don't you dare! Everything is fine!'' But the eyepatch Moon said nothing, her stern expression was obvious enough; she didn't trust this stranger and would leave you behind if things turned ugly. ''Such intensity.'' Zhu hadn't moved an inch, thank Mother Earth for that. ''Great passion despite your burnt out colors, age is just a number.''''You were one of Klesiah friends?'' Get things on track, Arawn! This woman... is she another specter of your past? Or Lady White bad joke? No way could this be a coincidence!
''Yes, I'm glad to know she's still healthy. Her talents were very promising back then, I hope she blossomed into a fine warrior...'' Her tongue peeked out to moisten her pale lips. ''...You've grown very quickly huh? It's only been four years I think? Men's growth spurt really comes in late. First time I've ever seen someone showing nothing but gray steel, I need to get close to actually see your face.'' What is she talking about? Colors? No doubt this jewel grants her some kind of unusual sight, it wouldn't be lodged inside her eye socket otherwise. ''It's a long story.'' One you weren't very keen on telling in this dingy back alley with many opportunities for being overheard.''Indeed, last time I saw you was when I shoveled dirt onto your dead body, crawling out of that hole must have taken quite the toll... I'm glad to know your potential hasn't been wasted. Your word is true, you never break any promises huh?'' Her fingers interlocked together and she stretched lazily, creating a few audible cracks out of her joints. ''I'm afraid... I forgot.'' Couldn't be any plainer than that. Is this the moment where your past starts to catch up to you?''Can't blame you since you came back from the dead.'' Zhu giggled, poking the side of her mouth once again. ''I'm still waiting for the fight of my life you promised me. It's been a long time now, the years have been so boring... I should have stayed in the Kingdoms.'' ''That's enough!'' Banu interrupted. ''This man is the property of her Shining majesty Shereen Roshanak, whatever business he had before then will need to be resolved with the consent of his Sun.''''Hm, that's the patch of bloody oil I see hiding behind you?'' Zhu made a show of standing on her tiptoes.''How rude! The Sun doesn't hide!'' Shereen wiggled out of the alleyway and stood beside you, hands on her hips, doing her best to look furiously radiant. It didn't work but the spirit was willing.
'Hm... quite the fix huh?'' Zhu said, nothing about her face made it seem she was talking to you but that's that impression you got. ''It's not good being so full of tar, little lady. You really should take care of that.'' ''You!?'' Sherren shook her head. ''We have no clue what it is you mean but we assure you, ours is an immaculate soul rivaling the sun above!'' ''I believe it.'' Zhu replied casually, adding a giggle and a small handclap. ''So can I ask you to have Arawn keep his promise then?'' ''Um...'' Perhaps due to Banu aggressiveness, the air was choke-full of tension. Zhu had gone back to closing her eyes but there was no relaxation anywhere. ''...maybe?''''What a reasonable little lord, I like you.'' Her hand traveled made another spidery travel on her sword, making Banu tense up even more. >''If you come with us, I'll be able to explain to you how I'd be able to keep that promise.'' Banu will likely throttle you alive for this, but... If you can get an ally -even an unstable one- in the palace... >''While I don't break my promises, I can be slow in accomplishing them. There's... a great many things I'd like to tell you, Zhu. Would you be open to sharing the same inn as us tonight?'' One evening together to rub off this intense, bloodthirsty atmosphere should help. >''You'll be safer away from me, Zhu. I... I'm not the same man you knew.'' She looks dangerous. Far too dangerous to be around... Is this a game of Lady White?>Free
Oh yeah, stopping here tonight.
>>3884668>>''While I don't break my promises, I can be slow in accomplishing them. There's... a great many things I'd like to tell you, Zhu. Would you be open to sharing the same inn as us tonight?'' One evening together to rub off this intense, bloodthirsty atmosphere should help.We need a little talk, to see if she'd be any help in this witch game.>>3884674Thanks for running!
>>3884668Man, this girl is like Hao's shadow self. A battle freak without the happiness and warmth, a cold, icy seeker of bloodshed and battle against which to test her skills...Fight of her life eh? Fighting what amounts to a deity and their champions in the form of Bad Fluffy and her apostles is a promise we can easily and gleefully keep. If it's a fight with us in particular, well, we're not leveled up enough yet. We've forgotten all our combat skills and most of our magic. We could fight her now, but we'd lose badly and possibly die horribly, again.Let us see if she is amenable to going inside the palace. If she is, ask Banu not to restrain or restrict her in any way (save for things like not going anywhere near Shereen's chamber once she's asleep of course). I doubt it'd end well for anyone. Also, as discreetly as we can, inform her of our current weakness/inability to fulfill our promise right this instant due to amnesia and ask her kindly not to try and seek a serious lethal fight with the guards or anyone before we've leveled up enough to deliver. Part of me suspects this girl wouldn't mind trying to take on the "max wanted level" challenge with all the cops and military in the city, and the other part agrees.If she is unwilling to go into the palace then we're gonna have to settle for the inn option. We need links to our past and allies, powerful ones, if we're gonna survive Ama's BS. She also has soul vision it seems. I want that badly so we need her in the party so she can tell us how she did it and if we had a part in it so we can do it too.
>>3884752It'll be possible to bring her to the palace, though that might make things mighty awkward.
>>3884668>''While I don't break my promises, I can be slow in accomplishing them. There's... a great many things I'd like to tell you, Zhu. Would you be open to sharing the same inn as us tonight?'' One evening together to rub off this intense, bloodthirsty atmosphere should help.We can't provide the battle of her life with our current skill, but damn if we can't provide with our connections. A war with the wound of the world is fitting I think.
>>3884848Then I will lean towards the Inn option. Did we have a kind of "alarm system" spell we regularly employed and how did we explain how it worked to her and the gang? We're gonna want that when we inevitably make a break for it.In fact, that fight of her life, how and why did she believe we could deliver? We impressed her mightily in the past with our magic and potential. Illuminate us ye battle freak, what conceptual worst case scenarios did you seek to test yourself against? We can and will deliver if given a chance, but we can also offer up even greater challenges.Wanna duel the Demon Lord 1v1? We can arrange that. How about claiming the head of Bad Fluffy? That was our initial offer right? Please tell us that your battle lust was aroused by that prospect. Killing bad fluffy in a duel makes you a very happy happy swordmaster yes yes?
''If the Arawn you remember didn't break his promises, I'm not about to start now.'' A hint of white teeth peeked out when Zhu grin widened and that somehow made your instinct scream danger. ''...but I won't pretend to be quick about finishing them.''It was undeniable that Banu had grown nervous once this cornered woman mentioned something about ''fight'' and you had to admit to being impressed that Shereen wasn't feeling any kind of pressure. ''A friend of m...our Moon is someone worthy to know.'' She commented, thoroughly immune to Zhu passive intimidation; staying so firm in front of a roc was equally foolish and impressive. ''Good to know you didn't lose your honesty, Arawn.'' Her hand hovered away from her long handle, somehow giving you the impression of a disinterested bird. ''Slow but steady; lazy and stubborn. Shedding the wounded animal look was nice, you're finally starting to look like a man.'' Her face moved a few millimeters, angled at the slightly ired little sun who clearly didn't appreciate being ignored. ''You've got one troublesome man, oh shiny one.'' Now that stung. Were you that different in the past? ''We'd rather two Moons with personalities than a dozen sycophants whose sole importance is preening themselves for other's eyes.'' Shereen responded with a growl and Zhu expression changed with a brief moment of passing mirth. That, however, felt like a passing chance to be bold to you. ''Would you like to share an inn with us tonight Zhu? We have four years to catch up on.'' Banu single-eyed glare radiated intense disapproval. ''If my Sun allows it, I'd like to catch up with you, my old friend.'' ''No-''''That sounds great!'' Without a care for the grim of this hole between houses, Shereen voice echoed upward with her ever lifted spirit.''We haven't spent a genuine night inside the capital in years, finding a proper place shouldn't be too difficult.''''Your majesty...'' The chaperone wasn't keen on this idea. ''Nobody is going to care back at the palace.'' Replied the little anubis. ''Today was my first visit in Marleon since... Anyway, fates somehow align that we'd meet an old friend of my Moon, celebrating this happenstance is natural!'' People from a slave life showing up randomly mustn't happen so often.
However, was this truly pure luck? Not a chance, not with Ama being involved. She wouldn't have sent you here to reunite with another specter of your pest, what happened with Klesiah was a fluke this... Dwelling too much on that is unhealthy, you might as well accuse her of all the world woes at this rate. ''Hmm... you'd do that?'' Zhu had taken a moment to consider this offer. ''Why not? I didn't come alone but... Unworthy company deserved to be ditched.'' ''Oh! We can pay our lodgings accommodating us won't be difficult!'' Shereen was trying her best to be accommodating, Banu had managed to calm down somewhat, resigned to her fate and duty. ''I'm afraid your radiance wouldn't be welcomed inside a dank hole, little lord.'' Zhu replied. ''I've a taste for the luxurious, so why not escape this hole and walk under the sky?'' >''In that case, let's go into the Old Ward.'' (You should be able to find luxury inside that pompous district.) >''I'd rather stick with something middling. I've had my fill off pompous Mamonos for one day.'' (A middling inn would do best, it should also be much easier to relax and talk.)>''If you have companions, why not meet them? I'd like to know what you've been up to.'' (Sound like she already has a place to stay, why not take advantage of that?)>Free
>>3885536>>''In that case, let's go into the Old Ward.''Upscale places are probably less crowded.
>>3885536>''I'd rather stick with something middling. I've had my fill off pompous Mamonos for one day.'' (A middling inn would do best, it should also be much easier to relax and talk.)Plus, it would likely be a new experience for Shereen.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>3885545>>3885559I'll wait ten more minutes to lock things with the dice.
>>3885566Ok, court intrigue. Are any nobles gunning for our sun or would any of them pester us if we went to the upper class inn?Could we ask about those companions she mentioned before going somewhere? Y'know, gotta make sure that she wasn't hanging with little ghoul girls, tanned tonfa wielding bitches, big muscular male onis, ya get the picture. We would know why that'd be bad, but she would not.
>>3885566If we end up with middling, you guys have to decide on what area you'd like to go. (This choice is here to help with your solo investigation)>The Arch is Marleon overall residential district. Inns there follow the road, going deeper means finding houses and schools.>Harbour Ward docks are surprisingly inviting as a general place of stay, aquatic Mamonos ply trades as bards and troubadours. >Eastgate is the place to stop for caravans and general traders. Inns here all tend to have stables and are relatively big as a result. It's not the place for independent commerce, goods are negotiated and traded in large bulk here. >Narrow Hills is essentially a slum but the inns near the park are good quality. Bit of a rowdy place however, this is where the militia headquarters is located. See map here >>3884281
>>3885583>Are any nobles gunning for our sun or would any of them pester us if we went to the upper class inn?What you know about Shereen is that she's been a recluse ever since the rebellion 5 years ago. That question will need to be asked directly for a proper answer. >>3885583>Could we ask about those companions she mentioned before going somewhere?Her only answer amount to ''rude, boring company.''
>>3885590It's a quick question, so I'd like to ask it of her or Banu (whispers of course, who knows who's listening in on us right now). We do not want to deal with high court bullshit right now so if the odds are good we'll get in some shit with the nobility in the Old Ward we stick to middling.Zhu might be disappointed, but I'm sure she understands not wanting to deal with nobles and all their BS politicking.
>>3885601Banu answers amount to this.''If there's a noble, then it's likely they'll bother your Sun, if they realize who she is anyway. Don't speak so frivolously about intrigue''
>>3885608Damn, she really is insistent on us hailing master isn't she? Slavery aside, Shereen must have done something quite major to earn this degree of loyalty and devotion.So good odds on being bothered in the penthouse. Welp, middling it is. The militia realized who Shereen was right?
>>3885615>The militia realized who Shereen was right?Yep.
>>3885617Well then, provided the militia is more keen on protecting our sun than taking a fat bribe to extinguish her radiance I think our little noble needs to see what blue collar, hard working, hard drinking, hard fightin' redneck equivalents are like.If the prospect of a blue collar uprising is in the current deck of cards, though, than the harbor sounds cool.
Rolled 1 (1d4)>>3885585Making a roll for the place you'll stay.
>>3885637Huh, posted at the same time. Narrow Hills it is.
Ahh dammit, I let myself fall behind again.Man, Zhu really has quite a presence about her eh? Almost like being trapped in a cage with a wild predator.If we can't convince her to stay around for a while, maybe we could point her in the direction of Daiyu's war on the Witch? Plenty of fighting to be done in that direction. That is, assuming she is willing to do mercenary work. I doubt her just showing up and claiming to be one of our past companions would be met without scrutiny.>>3884380Hey hey heyy, more the merri->Spoiler>Pic relatedExcuse me while I go scrub my brain clean of the idea about Arawn x Ama being a thing.
>>3885703You'll come to see things my way, soon enough.
Thankfully, Zhu didn't seem to mind when you opted to avoid the pretentiousness of the Old Ward for something a little more honest and, extending Banu an olive branch for her boiling frustration, opted for a place not too far from the headquarter of the militias. The green wearing peacekeepers kept to the roof almost exclusively and, as your group of four emerged into Redalley main street, you spotted some of the Vigil trying their best in being inconspicuous as they followed your travel from the rooftops. Good to know someone took their duty seriously with a royal in the city. --Moving through a busy crowd and finding adequate accommodation drained what remained of the afternoon into a proper evening. This was your first sight of the crouching sun in Muribel -no windows outside holes in the roof in Shereen side of the palace- and the sight of a fiery sky dotted by crimson clouds was equal part beautiful and distraction. The inn itself was middling, built on the road, not too far from the tiny park that was this rather sad district main landmark. A genuine two-story-tall sandstone building with what looked to be wooden crates on its rooftop became your area of rest for the night, administered by a rodent beastwomen with a full litter of litter girls running around, acting as surprisingly well-trained and efficient waiters to a modest group of clients. Entertainment here amounted to smoking pipes near the chimney or a balcony and gambling with dices and cards, something Shereen found highly disdainful, especially when people -many of them men- kept clamoring over good hands and throws. Your accommodation counted three rooms. A big one with two beds for Shereen and Banu, the none for yourself and the additional companion who didn't voice a single thing throughout the journey. ''We'd have thoughts common folks to have a little more energy and animation in their evening.'' Shereen groused between bites. Evening meant supper and your food had been delivered by the adorable squad of rodents girls with the kind of reverence that betrayed their knowledge of your sun identity. The food was delicious, made by a mother competent hand.
That alone was worth staying here. ''This place mostly houses travelers, the docks have better revelries and songs.'' Banu had relaxed considerably now that your group wasn't inside some choking hole between buildings or at risk of getting stabbed in the streets.Zhu stayed silent eating rather... oddly. She kept taking small bites, nibbling on meat and vegetables alike with stubborn precision, like a fish poking at bread. ''Least things are quiet, There's an interesting story to be told, yes?'' Unlike Zhu slow eating, the little pharaoh had already finished. ''I wonder about that...'' Zhu grinned, looming over her bowl. ''His head is in the cloud.''Ama aspect had reacted somewhere nearby. Where was difficult to say because ''nearby'' probably encompassed the entire district of Narrow Hill but... it was undeniable, you knew something was nearby. It's like being ill. You just know. ''You said something about a lady called Klesiah, Arawn?'' You've got to admit, Shereen has some skill in moving things forward. That question was thrown your way with her boundless curiosity. >''Yeah. She's a friend of mine, a sworn knight...'' (Describe Klesiah and relate your relationship with her after your awakening in Throne Town.)>''Indeed, I believe she was one of my companions during a time. I can't remember that period, do you think you could relate how we meet, Zhu? My revival robbed me of memories.'' (Admit to your amnesia is a good enough start, knowing you've met this crow faced swordswoman should help put things into perspective.)>''...I'll have to change the subject.'' (Mention your recent discovery, your plight with Lady White, inform Zhu of this immediately. That oughta grab her interest.)>Free
>>3885722Could we concisely describe Klesiah, then mention our amnesia and ask Zhu about our past together?
>>3885714If it was some other fox - *any* other fox - I might be persuaded.But not Ama.NEVER Ama.>>3885720>gambling with dices and cards, something Shereen found highly disdainfulHm. Is it the gambling or the cards and dices Shereen finds disdainful? The former I can understand but if it's the latter case then truly I am wounded! Cards and dices are a perfectly valid past-time!>>3885722>''Yeah. She's a friend of mine, a sworn knight...'' (Describe Klesiah and relate your relationship with her after your awakening in Throne Town.)
>>3885732Being vague about your knight and changing the subject into Zhu past can work. >>3885703>>3885735You guys, this anon >>3885714 heart is in the right place.
>>3885738How long do we have for this little story time before bedtime?
>>3885738Hmm... probably one or two more choices depending on what's chosen. You'll have more opportunity to do things at bedtime.
>>3885754So it's this choice plus one more afterward? I'm kind of partial to what >>3885732 wants to do. There are certain particulars about the Klesiah story that we may not want to tell here with so many ears and I bet Zhu can detect lies (as can the collar I wager).
>>3885763Alright, being vague about your dear Knight to focus on Zhu.
''Yes, she's a Knight of the Storm from the Allied Kingdoms.'' The most gorgeous blueberry in the world. ''We met by happenstance twice, before my demise... and after.'' That caught Zhu attention, her colored eye had shown itself for a second. ''Do you love her?'' Shereen asks so plainly that you're caught thoroughly off guard, her friendly expression hides a hint of teasing. ''N-no! I huh... Not quite, no. Ahem.'' You wonder how far and how strongly your feelings are traveling through your soul links. Distance makes all of them dormant but... Like ama abominable influence, you know in your heart of heart they are all alive and healthy somewhere up north with... hm? One deviation? ''I think you've got an idea but I'll state it plainly to you Zhu, I've lost all of my memories after you seemingly buried me. Whatever past we've shared... you're the only one who can tell me about it now.''''Mh, interesting. That's the price of revival then?'' She had stopped eating, having consumed only half of the meat yet found enough space for all of her vegetables.''I haven't elucidated the full mystery of this miraculous revival.'' Gardy gave you his body, protected your should against the chaotic ravage that was the Demonic Throne... You didn't have any answers as to how your soul found itself in there. ''Suffice to say I'm here and that's about it.''''I like to believe it's because you didn't want to break your promise.'' Zhu leaned back, making her wooden chair crack when she rested her body comfortably. ''Suppose you'd like to know how were tied together? Unlike our darling blueberry, it's not exactly romantic.'' ''Anything that helps with my past is one more piece of a perspective puzzle. Everything is a fog, so I'd rather rely on people words than esoteric rituals.'' Banu and Shereen had grown quiet, listening to this exchange with an equal amount of curiosity, though the older Moon watched Zhu like a hawk.''You were following me like a puppy, in your words, it was a coincidence but there's no escaping this.'' She gently tapped the side of her colorful eye. ''I don't remember the city but it was a big one from someplace in the Kingdoms. Shady area too, with its criminal underbelly, one giant nest of wasps that was so, so fun to poke.'' There it is, that quiet, distressing smile, that fluttery movement of her hand that crawled the length of her resting blade... ''Hecate had been kidnapped to become some kind of exotic slave and our blueberry was recuperating from a nasty cold, or something worse I don't quite remember. Anyhow you cornered in an alley and asked for my help.''''Just like that?'' You could tell this has been a test of some sort because Zhu smile widened even more; she was convinced of your amnesia now.
''I miiiight angered some crime lord during my stay, I think the five corpses on the ground must have convinced you.'' Five...? She's so casual about this, no attempt at embellishment, no gesture, only the smirk of someone recalling a fond memory. ''Then we stormed the slaver den, slaughtered the lot of them, stole their loots, freed people and hit for a few weeks for Klesiah to recover. I just... stuck around, really.'' She shrugged, keeping her gaze firmly closed. ''And that promise...?''''That's how you made me stick around... There was good substance to it back then since Klesiah order of knights was after her and they're good.'' Her tongue peeked out, her sharp and angled features brought more images of crows and raven, even her voice had this natural gravity to it... ''Too bad things ended so sadly. At least I made sure Hecate was in good company in the Elven Forest before leaving so my heart is free.'' Zhu lifted her leg, resting it on the chair, almost flipping her skirt but her angle... Wait no, stop that Arawn!''Say, big and burly lord, is there substance to your promise now?'' Resting her chin on her knee, the tall and lanky sword lady grin had this edge to it, this nasty little hint of hunger... something anathema to a normal mind. Bells of dangers rang; a predator asked you why she shouldn't eat you.The fight of her life.''Whoooa! This is intense! So cool, fascinating!'' Shereen looked enrapture, Banu for her part was radiating a slight, gentle color of creamy white out of the tattoos on her arms...Danger. Danger. Danger.>''Better than last time.'' (Reveal where you woke up, speak about your Throne Town friends, Lady White... This predator is starved, you've got to slake it.)>''Only if your willing to play a game.''(Keep your Throne Town connections to yourself, mention Ama to your best of ability.) >You trusted someone -something- like that in the past? No way, she's too dangerous, too unstable to trust in this finely woven trap that is Ama's game! (Don't answer her question) >Freehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrWwFw2vRr8
>>3885841>>''Only if your willing to play a game.''(Keep your Throne Town connections to yourself, mention Ama to your best of ability.)Doesn't feel right to reveal everything right now.
>>3885841I saw what you did but I won't leave definitive evidence.I'm not going to lie, I like the cut of her jib. This girl's full on Champion of Khorne material, which makes me smile. I believe we already revealed that we're connected to the Demon Lord and Ama to Shereen and Banu so no harm in letting her in on that if she promises to keep her mouth shut.Naturally, we keep it hush hush, maybe go somewhere else in this inn where we're pretty sure nobody else is going to hear this as it's juicy, juicy info that'll fuck us over hard if it gets out.
>>3885841>''Only if your willing to play a game.''(Keep your Throne Town connections to yourself, mention Ama to your best of ability.)I guess this choice will decide if we want to have her go to Throne Town and assist our friends or stay here and assist us.
>>3885868What did I do?>>3885873>>3885862Two for one. Let's see, I'll try one last update for today.
>>3885878You know what you did.Damnit, that option's not optimal fellas and we've no reason to hide shit from her but it is what it is.If we're going with that option I at least hope we mention how Ama fucked Thrown Town over and how powerful her apostles are. She's even got an angel, that ought to pique her interest. I hope.
>>3885895The isn't anything stopping us from explaining more later.
>>3885906Yeah, there is, the fact that there's a "meal" right here in front of her and if we don't offer up something significantly better this instant she'll just eat up right here and now.
>>3885909If she wants a fight right now, she wouldn't go after us though she would go after Shereen causing members of the Vigil that are likely shadowing us to attack her, she lets one escape to call up reinforcements and she has her fight.
''Only if you're willing to play a game.'' Zhu eyebrows shot up, her eyes opened slightly, empty socket and chromatic octagon peeking at you. If the Arawn of your past managed to keep this woman interest, to keep up with her bloodlust long enough to somehow die by someone else hands instead of her own... Well, better not shame him now. ''I'm stuck in a game of witch, Zhu.'' Using Ama mediocre title for your situation left a bad taste in your mouth. ''I've been cursed by the Wound-of-the-World. She doesn't allow me to be direct so if being roundabout with information doesn't satisfy you, walk out right now.'' You point to your teeth while rising on your feet, glaring at your ''old friend'' who didn't react. Her face a shadow of neutrality stuck with a half-open gaze, if it weren't for the movement of her hair because of the nightly breeze you'd be staring at a statue of flesh.Or a corpse.''I've witnessed for myself the attack in Throne Town, the death of 160 teenagers that motivated the current troubles in the Allied Kingdoms was because of her'' Granted, you didn't see how the battle ended because of Sieglinde situation but that initial assault, all these abominable creatures tearing into the flesh of young cadets...The memory still felt raw. All these girls with hopes and dreams to serve their city-state and the Demon Lord, gone, torn apart. Literally. ''It's be-raagh!'' It's because of her that I'm here. That had been your intention but it would seem Lady White had another idea, the jolt took place in all four molars and spread throughout your mouth in one moment of utter agony.
''My Moon!? Don't force yourself!'' Shereen rose to her feet in worry, sending her chair clattering on the ground but you waved in her direction to keep her still. You weren't about to stop now that you've gotten worked up. ''The fox has strong followers I'd like you to kill, she plots and plots some kind of nefarious ''play'' for her own entertainment, chucking me like a mouse inside her sandbox and enjoying the mess I make. You're part of it, Zhu, in fact when we came I fe-Faa!'' I felt her influence in this district. That had been your intention yet this second jolt felt... stronger, it seemed to spread down and up your jaw, tingling your cheeks... Zhu lazy posture straightened and she opened her colored eye completely with an amused grin spreading on her sharp feature. ''Arawn! Your sun believe you! Know that her shine will cast away all infection from such an evil, evil being! You'll stay safe as my Moon this I swear!'' Shereen tried to add more encouragement but Banu gently silenced her, putting both hands on her shoulders. ''Two sparks.'' Your old companion finally commented. ''Two sparks, two jolts, two flashes followed by pain; your soul isn't yours my burly lord?'' Her question dripped with sarcasm. You heard a faint metallic click when she rested her wrist on her handle. ''Mind finding another title?'' At least this agony had dispelled your anger, talk about a bucket of cold water. ''I've never broken any promises since I... came back. I don't want to start now, you wonder about the substance of my words, right?''A girly giggle escaped Zhu.>''Stick around, come with me and you'll find out eventually. If I'm being taken on a grand ride by a witch, you'll be swept along.'' (You'll need strength to resist Lady White machination and Zhu has it.)>''Keep an ear out for troubles because it'll eventually come.'' (You can't trust this woman in the palace, better to keep her at arms length. Zhu... might be someone from your past, but it's been a long time.) >FreeStopping here tonight. I might be unable to update tomorrow. Our thread will either close tomorrow or Thursday!
>>3885957>>''Stick around, come with me and you'll find out eventually. If I'm being taken on a grand ride by a witch, you'll be swept along.'' (You'll need strength to resist Lady White machination and Zhu has it.)Have a good day/night!
>>3885957Would it be possible to go with the stick around option but also say that there is more we would like to tell her, but that we do not want it to get out into the public domain? These current walls have ears after all and now they know we're cursed by Ama pretty much beyond any doubt.If they also knew about our connections to the Demon Lord, well, that'd make things interesting in all the ways I do not want them to be.
>>3885974Oh it's complete night for me, have a good one too anon.>>3885895No really, what did I do?
>>3885983>Would it be possible to go with the stick around option but also say that there is more we would like to tell her, but that we do not want it to get out into the public domain? Yeah, a tweak on making her stick around work too.
>>3885985Tried correcting that post and thought nobody wouldn't see you do it.>>3885994Good. Main thing I want to count on is her being with us when we make a break for it. Here's the pitch when the time comes: "Keep us alive until we get to Throne Town and we'll schedule a duel with the Demon Lord for you. We sparred with her once, she lives up to that title very easily."
>>3885985Probably several things and you're not sure which they're talking about.>>3885957>''Stick around, come with me and you'll find out eventually. If I'm being taken on a grand ride by a witch, you'll be swept along.'' (You'll need strength to resist Lady White machination and Zhu has it.)>>3885983Yeah, that's a good point.
Well well, look like we're trying for a new companion. Ama game is interesting isn't it? You reunited with Klesiah once, then somehow found Zhu!Well, it was a good roll.
>>3886022Not only that, but we got a lead on Hecate as well. She's in Gwen's/our kingdom according to Zhu. Once we escape we may be able to get the old band back together in time for the final battle against Bad Fluffy!Willing to bet Hecate was crushing on us something fierce and maybe we were starting to like her back right before we died. Our knight had oaths and Zhu was/is married to Khorne so that leaves only one option for truly reciprocated romance. On an unrelated note, what kind of guys does Zhu like?
>>3886050>On an unrelated note, what kind of guys does Zhu like?Why are you so interested?You'll know soon.
>>3886063Because I have a thing for insanely lethal women, isn't that obvious?
>>3886076You'll have to be left in suspense for a day or two then.
>>3886081Oh, I just noticed this one but it bears mentioning. The watch and the rats here all realized who Shereen was but the nobility did not. This indicates that she is actually known of by and liked by the peasantry and lower classes.This will work out well for her if things get political (if only we can bump up her self-confidence before/when it happens). Power belongs to two kinds of people in the end, those with money/resources, and those with people. If you got the people on your side, well, then things get interesting in all the wrong ways for the nobility/rich folks.After all, nothing like being able to subject an obstinate noble to a scene out of "Fight Club". Nobility often forgets that they depend on the peasants. They cook their meals, they haul their trash, they deliver their messages, *they guard them while they sleep*. Do not fuck with them.
''Stick around me and you'll find out.'' You glared into her single good eye, the nonchalance of her smile and general demeanor slightly eroded at your sense of self-worth. Trying to be serious and grave felt like a waste of spit yet somehow Zhu indolence awakening a tinge of dark humor. ''If I'm being taken on a grand ride by a witch, you'll be taken along by remained near me. I've got much more to say but I don't trust this inn to be a safe enough place to continue. So...'' A brief inspection of Zhu reactions revealed nothing tangible, she remained dangerous primed for something. ''...You'll know more if you come along.'' And then silence reigned, a short and intense moment where you glared into Zhu single good eye. Similarly, she stared silently while remaining on her seat, putting her leg down and readjusting the handle of that empty blade.''My Moon...'' Shereen broke the silence, her brilliant gaze fluttering between you and Zhu whilst her chaperone was ready for any eruptions hostilities. ''Forgive your Sun for not fully believing your claims about she who spread poisoned knowledge, you truly cannot speak about what you want huh?'' The genuine care in her tone and gaze ran completely against the nigh deadly atmosphere and an evident deescalation followed as Zhu rose to her feet slowly. Her shoulders weren't so stiff anymore, her legs moved slowly and her arms laid lazily on her sides, a combination of gesture that whispered a feeling of satisfaction.''Arawn has always been a very bad liar.'' Zhu started, closing her eyes once more, pinching her chin. ''I'd wager it wouldn't be too farfetched to believe him or he's somehow mentally unstable, which is equally fun.'' Thanks, Zhu.''My Moon extended to you an offer of companionship and I would like to sponsor his wish since it is my responsibility as his Sun!'' Shereen furred hands slapped the table in an attempt to gain some gravitas. ''Your majesty...'' Banu protested dryly.''None of that now, Banu. You never ask me for anything, I can at least try to be cordial to my Moon who has -which extend to you and me now- a powerful enemy.'' ''Will I need to have a collar?'' Zhu suddenly asked, closed-eyed face turning in Shereen general direction which caught the small Anubis off guard.''Ah... I...We...'' Her gaze glanced at you for half of a second. ''...only if you wish it, lady Zhu. By becoming my Moon you shall gain many privileges but also new duties.'' Banu lips had grown tight enough to nearly show the outline of her teeth, yet she kept her peace for some reason. Surely she'd like to protest this?''Did Arawn enjoy that offer?'' Zhu continued indifferently.
''H-he...'' Shereen voice sounded like a kicked puppy, her gaze firmly settled on her monstrous unable, unable to face you and Zhu despite the latter closed eyes. ''No.'' Shereen's voice had stopped wavering. ''An elven male that is no Moon in Muribel would likely be... targeted. Especially if he has the Gift as well it... Arawn is a rare person, very rare so I...'' Shereen voice became silent, wracked by indecision. Of course she knew very well what she'd done. Lady Whtie undeniably engineered your kidnapping but the fact remained you awakened into this little pharaoh influence. Elven Moons are rare, mages Moons are rare, combined the two and there's no doubt your existence makes for an exotic -therefore prestigious- extension of your owner influence.However, it didn't make Shereen a bad person. ''Made him yours, I like that boldness little lord. There's no need to sugarcoat it with thinking about his security.'' Zhu spoke, tracing her throat with a finger. ''Perhaps putting on a collar willingly could be fun and I've often wondered how the existence of a palace would be. If it ends up boring I'll only have myself to blame right?''''To be a Moon is to shoulder the glory and influence of your Sun, it is no duty to be taken lightly.'' Banu spoke and Zhu giggled gently.''If it is foisted on people I'm sure I can adapt.'' Shereen winced, Banu remained composed and closed. ''But I digress, I'd like to be the little lord guest for a while. Arawn made a compelling case and I'd wager we all want to know a little more after today; seeing the sad colors of your place could be nice too.'' ''So you'll...'' Shereen ears perked upright.''Maybe.'' Zhu interrupted, walking up to you to pinch on your dark blue shirt. ''Would you fancy a night stroll with me Arawn?'' ''Huh...'' Before you could get your bearing, Zhu released her hold and dextrously exited the room with the grace of a snake, leaving the door half-open. In the calm atmosphere of the inn, her steps seemed to resonate in your ears. ''Are all your friends this intense?'' Banu spoke, releasing a long-held breath.''N-'' Actually, thinking about it now... ''Probably.'' ''Will you go?'' Shereen sat once more beside her older Moon. A night stroll with that woman doesn't sound wise. >''I will, don't wait for me. I'll probably be out for a while.'' (What's the worse that could happen?) >''I think she could use that fresh air alone.'' (You might be old friends, that doesn't mean you can trust her. Not yet)>Free
>>3886900>'I will, don't wait for me. I'll probably be out for a while.'' (What's the worst that could happen?)She did ask, I don't see why we shouldn't humor her.
>>3886900Can we go out with Zhu but tell them that if we're not back in a few hours than something may have happened?The aspect did react so there's a blood nest and Ama's toadies nearby but I doubt we'll be able to tell them that directly. Just say there's an ominous atmosphere about the district, bad juju's in the air, or something so we don't want her wandering alone. She can probably handle herself yes, but we're still worried.
>>3886900>''I will, don't wait for me. I'll probably be out for a while.'' (What's the worse that could happen?)Eh why not. Let's keep things rollingI honestly expect she'll pick a fight with some thugs *just* so she can see us fight.Things could end up worse, of course. Zhu seems to be the very definition of a loose cannon.
>>3886967Yeah, telling them something like that can work.
>>3886967Seconding this suggestion
''Indulging her is probably wise.'' Banu chuckled at your words whilst Shereen ears twitched in worry. ''If I'm not back in a few hours... think you could look for me? I felt something weird in this district, never know what'll happen.''''Her majest-''''Of course!'' Shereen interrupted her Moon yet again. These two truly had a rather intense dynamic. ''Just... be careful alright?''Banu glare held a hint of intention about wanting to say something else but she swallowed this desire and simply nodded silently, letting you exit. You did so silently, emerging into a completely dark hallway with only the illuminated first floor as guiding light where patrons and guests had all retreated for the night, putting everything into an eerie silence only broken by occasional sounds from the city. Behind the counter that was previously occupied by the motherly innkeeper was a middle-aged man of skin tanned by Muribel harsh sun, holding onto a book, his attention being a simple nod as a greeting.Zhu stood near one of the windows near the main path, gazing into it with that eternal smile of nonchalance. A soft metallic click emerged out of her waist when she turned around and rested her hand on her blade. ''You're actually coming?'' She asked with a widening grin, perhaps she was flattered? ''You offered.'' You answered simply, walking next to her.''I'll be here all night so come back whenever.'' The innkeeper said when you pushed open the door. He was likely keeping guard because of Shereen presence in his establishment. Outside the air had turned surprisingly cold, not enough for air to escape in fumes but dry heat switched to a poignant coldness that sank into your bones, making you start to regret the exposed sleeves of your clothing. ''Hm, that's a dose of vitality.'' Zhu commented.''Better get walking before my teeth start clicking.'' You replied, attention momentarily focused on the dark city. Night had finally vanquished Marleon crowds but activity wasn't so easily intimidated. Countless lamps moved up or down, sideways and along paths of both stories of this big city. The main path itself was patrolled by a few green wearing Mamonos who looked rather surprised to see you and Zhu exit by your lonesomes but made no attempts to stop you.Zhu silently led the march for a minute, making you follow her into a dark alley, casually stretching her hand to steal a nearby lamp posted there under the nose of a Vigil who, besides being flabbergasted by this blatant stealing, didn't do anything. ''There's some perk to being seen with a princess.'' Zhu wildly commented after taking a few steps inside the thoroughly dark alley of Marleon. Shadows cast by the orange oil lamp made her closed-eyed relaxed expression somehow appear devilish to you. ''You're certainly living at your pace.'' Your comment earned an approving snort.
''You said that exact thing when we first met.'' She commented, completely fearless and oblivious to all the surrounding darkness of Marleon tightly packed stones buildings. Venturing here was worse than Redalley because of all the openings.This was a good opportunity to embrace Ama aspect, while loath to be doing it, there was something here resonating with Lady White influence... Deeper, deeper still. Probably the middle of the slum.''Find anything?'' The woman ahead asked, her long ponytail bobbing sideways with her walking.''You're asking me?'' You heard a faint stomp overhead, someone moving up above. The darkness here was intense, clawing into the light of the lamp. Zhu stopped, looking at you over her shoulder. ''You felt something here didn't you?'' ''That's...'' Seem like Lady White defenses aren't perfect. ''...Is that why we're out there?''''No, but it's a good opportunity right?'' Zhu strode forward once more. ''A bit like old-time, I've been bored these past 4 years. I'll take a dull palace with my burly lord around, Marleon doesn't have anything interesting to it... At least, up until now.'' For some reason she gave her ponytail a little woosh, it straddled her back rather... enticingly. Almost enough to rival Klesiah.''So you actually, don't mind coming along into...''Another step overhead, a bell of warning rang in your heard and you tightened your grip on your weapons. Good thing you left your tools in Banu and Shereen room. ''...the little one palace?''Zhu made a sudden sharp turn into an alley that would end into a particularly large opening between building, the odd angles of surrounding shadows made this spot of the slum look like a small park without nature. ''Whether its fate or the design of your boogeyman, meeting you again felt really nice y'know? Are you thinking I'll do something rash out there?'' No concern in her tone, only amusement.''A little.'' You could almost see her smile widen from the back of her head. ''I haven't done much in the week I've been there. Don't expect... more than what you've done here I suppose. Maybe less?'' Then you emerged properly inside this small plaza of the slum and quickly realized you and Zhu weren't alone. The lamp highlighted someone else, a few more steps and... revealed a most unusual Mamonos. Almost two meters tall with half of her body fused into a scorpion frame was a deadly looking individual; whilst the human parts were banal enough, the huge pair of pincers hovering above the ground and the equally grand and deadly stinger tail hinted at deadly poison and a big enough skewer enough to rival a spear. You heard a few more numerous thuds as shades jumped from the surrounding roofs, thankfully none close to you and Zhu. One, two, three...six, seven monsters had somehow tailed you silently, or they were here all along. Each of them of a beast type races aside from the scorpion mixed woman.
''Zhu!'' Lamps were ignited as the creature... no, the Mamono deep voice snarled, revealing the entire group to be indeed six monsters. ''You're late by several days.'' Hissed the scorpion, bottom half of her face hidden behind a silk red veil. ''You think Madame Jamene is a joke!?'' Zhu rubbed her ear with her palm, settling down her lamp. ''Mind your volume.'' Veins were already protruding on the tanned insect-woman face, she wouldn't need more provocations to make something pop. ''Is he the merchandise?'' Her brown gaze turned to you and you embraced Focus in response. ''The fuck?'' That made her back down a step. ''Why's he glowing with a collar? Ain't he the brat new Moon? He'll be enough to calm down Jamene by why the fuck is he-''''Are you the new merchandise, Arawn?'' Zhu not only interrupted this big monster but turned to you in genuine incredulity.''One collar is plenty enough, thank.'' She mentioned ''company'' earlier today, this certainly wasn't what you expected. ''Guess not.'' Zhu turned at the woman, shrugging. ''Just came by to say goodbye is all.''''Like hell you will you crazy bitch! You've been living on Jamene golds for a few months without doing shit and now that she needs a little service you can't come through?''''I never promised to kidnap anyone. Are you a dog?'' Zhu suddenly asks a fluffed beast woman trying to look intimidating.''Listen to me!'' One scorpion claw stomped the ground. ''We're all working for Madame Jamene who's working in turn for Ensan; working for the Sun itself ain't a bad deal so just... hand over the elf.''''I'm thinking of taking my chance with her little sister.'' Zhu answer was so casual, so empty of threats that it managed to freeze the scorpion-woman in genuine incomprehension. ''Hey Arawn.'' Zhu turned to you. ''Isn't it amazing? When we first met we had to handle slavers. Now we've unexpectedly reunited...''''...Pretty sure that was all you shaking this nest.'' Zhu giggled felt genuinely good-hearted. The group was growing hostile now, their intentions were obvious. Blades were drawn, cudgels were grasped to likely know you out.''I had two other reasons to follow you back then, Arawn.'' Zhu didn't bother turning to look at the group of foes. ''You, Hecate and Klesiah radiated an incredibly intense, irresistible aura of distress. It was... marvelous, all three of you were so exhausted, so worried yet happy of each other's companies that I thought it'd be great to become a force equalizers. Protecting weak things is surprisingly rewarding, y'know?'' ''And the other?'' Strong enchantment modified your body. Zhu formed a circle with her thumb and index then inserted another finger into the middle. ''We kept fighting to be on top''On then on this night, perhaps the first move of the Witch Game, blood flowed in Marleon streets. >A Tale of Monsters -32- end.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG3MJpnt1gA
>>3887135>Zhu formed a circle with her thumb and index then inserted another finger into the middle.Lewd?!Anyway, great thread! I enjoyed getting to join in again, even if it was just the second half.
>>3887149>Lewd?!Lewd!Always glad to have you, anon. Influencing votes can always happen no matter when you join!
>>3887135>Zhu formed a circle with her thumb and index then inserted another finger into the middle>"We kept fighting to be on top"Ok, um, is she implying what I think she's implying? Because if so than hot damn Arawn you sure do know how to pick out your lovers! Nice score dude! Oh man that's gonna complicate things a lot when we get back to Throne Town but apparently our main elf knows how to make women happy in more ways than one. Thank god we didn't die a virgin!So we're outnumbered 3-1 in a back alley in the middle of the slums much closer to the blood nest (if not right on top of it). Praise the sun she didn't reactivate the collar. On a bit of a side note, who should be more worried, them or us? We seem outnumbered but for a Champion of Khorne, well, that's just a fair fight.I just knew one of the royals was in on all this with Ama. Looks like Shereen's gonna have to become a kinslayer or let us do the deed down the line...
>>3887186> Because if so than hot damn Arawn you sure do know how to pick out your lovers!Maybe he didn't have a choice.We'll concentrate on what happened in the fight with the next update.
>>3887193Any idea when that will be?
>>3887195Not too sure. I'd like to go this weekend but I need some time to recover a little, so I won't guarantee there. Next week is looking feasible. How's act 2 so far?
>>3887193I don't know, given how we've been playing him he doesn't seem to mind the prospect of stronger women potentially having their way with him. I mean, we were potentially starting to crush on demonic royalty and hit on supreme level mamonos like it was nothing and we ain't anywhere near as powerful yet. A man still has his pride though, hence why ya gotta try to get on top.I just hope we keep all our limbs and don't get any new scars. They are going to go for us, though at least it would seem they want us alive. On a side note, healing potions, never going outside again without at *least* 3 of those fuckers strapped to our waist in sturdy metal containers from now on. Elina spoiled us in the healing department, not making this mistake ever again!
>>3887208Do not forget your old companions now... I miss writing them!>I just hope we keep all our limbs and don't get any new scars. They are going to go for us, though at least it would seem they want us alive. On a side note, healing potions, never going outside again without at *least* 3 of those fuckers strapped to our waist in sturdy metal containers from now on. Elina spoiled us in the healing department, not making this mistake ever again!Now that's wisdom.They can't be relied on in combat but do help afterward,
>>3887201>How's act 2 so far?Needs more AmaI'm quite enjoying it though.
>>3887226Our favorite fluff shouldn't overstay her welcome now.
>>3887135>''We're all working for Madame Jamene who's working in turn for Ensan; working for the Sun itself ain't a bad deal so just... hand over the elf.''...I shouldn't even be surprised anymore at this point.Anons, I must *insist* on Arawn getting a dagger/knife to hide under his pillows/clothes. If this doesn't anger Ensan enough to try get us killed, then it won't be long until we're permanently on her shit-list if we keep messing with her operations.I wonder how body reinforcement holds up against blunt trauma from cudgels. These are Mamono's swinging them after all.Perhaps our first priority is to back up against a wall, to avoid getting clobbered on the back of the head.I wonder if our Soul Arm is strong enough to do lethal or grievous damage.Thanks for running Insert! Sorry about my IP hopping all over the place. I was honestly tempted to get a tripcode just to keep it from happening. My internet cannot be trusted.>>3887201>How's act 2 so far?Really liking it! I appreciate getting out of Throne Town (though not the circumstances behind our unconsented relocation). Really gives Arawn a chance to grow a little more.Also running into Zhu was an excellent stroke of fortune! Now all that's left is meeting Hecate, and that should happen easily if we do end up accepting Gwendolyn's offer on ...was it lordship? Something a little more humble?>''We kept fighting to be on top''>>3887156>>Lewd?!>Lewd!My goodness Arawn you ladykiller~!Pic related>>3887186>apparently our main elf knows how to make women happy in more ways than oneTo split hairs a little, I'm pretty sure the current Arawn would have to re-learn that stuff assuming he ends up doing the horizontal tango with someone before getting his memories back.Speaking of, I know the two methods to retrieve our memories were either ripping them out of the Demonic Throne or taking the Zipangu Ritual...But I wonder if we could do a bit of both? As in, use the Throne to get a part of our memories back and then finish it off with the Ritual? Or would the two methods somehow interfere with each other?I'm mainly asking because I was under the impression that using the Throne would take longer due to the limited amount of time we could spend inside the infernal pillar, necessitating several trips.>>3887228I'm honestly surprised she hasn't shown her mangy face in our soul yet. She must be quite busy to not be able to be smug about something to Arawn's face.
>>3887247...And, of course, I forgot to upload the image like a doofus.
>>3887247>I wonder how body reinforcement holds up against blunt trauma from cudgels. These are Mamono's swinging them after all.Mamonos tend to be naturally stronger because of their biology so let's say it'll hurt like hell but you are unlikely to be clobbered unconscious on a first strike. >I wonder if our Soul Arm is strong enough to do lethal or grievous damage.Level 3 Soul Arm definitely is.>Thanks for running Insert! Sorry about my IP hopping all over the placeI trust you to do the right thing!>Also running into Zhu was an excellent stroke of fortune!Indeed... Indeed. Pieces are being moved.>That should happen easily if we do end up accepting Gwendolyn's offer on ...was it lordship? Something a little more humble? Given the current situation of the Allied Kingdoms that offer is likely to change.>I'm honestly surprised she hasn't shown her mangy face in our soul yet. She must be quite busy to not be able to be smug about something to Arawn's face.>>3887249Shereen isn't enough smug?
>>3887264>Shereen isn't enough smug?Shereen hasn't quite perfected the smug yet. I'd say who has perfected it, but I'm starting to feel like a broken record.
>>3887269Whoever could it be?
>>3887264>SpoilerAnd just like that I regret my choice of words already. Fantastic.>Level 3 Soul Arm definitely is.Well then, a forceful enough of a fingerjab to the eyes or the throat should be enough to put someone to the ground.Oh, and we do have our gauntlet, lighting blast is an option. I almost forgot about that thing.*facepalm* I honestly didn't even think about how tense the Allied Kingdoms are. Of course Gwen giving land to a supposedly dead Elven Prince would - *at the very least* - raise more than a few eyebrows.Eh, we can still visit Gwendolyn's lands if we find the time or have a burning enough reason to do so in the future. >Shereen isn't enough smug?I agree with >>3887269, Shereen hasn't really come off as smug to my eyes. But admittedly it's usually very late for me when I read these threads, I may have easily missed characters being smug.
>>3887201It's alright so far. Lucked out with Zhu it would seem. How did we do this thread?>>3887226Needs more dead Ama.Fixed that for ya.>>3887247The mind may forget, but the... wait, this ain't our body and I'm pretty sure Gardy was as celibate and Saint Agnes. You're right, gonna have to re-learn our Casanova-tier lovin' skills. Damnit.We won't be pissing off Ensan just yet. These are underlings of her underling. Them getting deep six'd only makes the underling look bad. We'll have to fuck up a few more ops before the gloves come off.And you just know that, thanks to all this aspect embracing, Ama's going to show up the instant we lose consciousness to gloat over all this shit. I must wonder if the collar's activated state prevents the bitch from making a visit. Probably not but an elf can dream>>3887264>Shereen isn't enough smug?She needs more self-confidence to really sell it. We seem to be increasing it by mere proximity though so give it another month or two...
>>3887280>Well then, a forceful enough of a fingerjab to the eyes or the throat should be enough to put someone to the ground.>Oh, and we do have our gauntlet, lighting blast is an option. I almost forgot about that thing.Hm, this might spoil the fun but... Don't plan too much for that fight. Let's just say that Zhu happens.>I agree with >>3887269, Shereen hasn't really come off as smug to my eyes. But admittedly it's usually very late for me when I read these threads, I may have easily missed characters being smug.She didn't have much of a chance to be smug yet so that's alright. Girl aint used to be with people.>>3887285>It's alright so far. Lucked out with Zhu it would seem. How did we do this thread?It was semi-sandbox, you guys accomplished three things (Got your gauntlet MK2, found all of your tools, found Zhu). While that's not everything, as far as I'm concerned doing all three in a single day? A+. I didn't want Zhu encounter to be ''fated'' so I rolled for it. Gal kept to the general area of Redalley, hence the modifiers. >She needs more self-confidence to really sell it. We seem to be increasing it by mere proximity though so give it another month or two...It's been two sessions, I wonder what the verdict on her so far is...
>>3887285>Fixed that for ya.Silly anon, you misspelled "lovely."
>>3887289>First spoilerSo Hashira/Supreme mamono tier? I was expecting a good deal of power but to land that tier so soon? I would celebrate, but you don't ever give us things that we won't need/thank God we have later on. If she's here, something of her threat level or greater is as well (excluding Ama, who's always around and is Deity tier for fucks sake). Please dear lord don't let Bad Fluffy be in the city in person.>>3887291The only lovely thing about her will be how pretty her corpse looks as it's being broken down into its constituent quarks. No chances are to be taken, we shall rid the world of her evil root and branch.
>>3887336>So Hashira/Supreme mamono tier? Not enough endurance for that, but... well let's not get ahead of ourselves now.
>>3887378>Not enough endurance for that, but... well let's not get ahead of ourselves now.Hashira then. Still, put the "right" Hashira against the "wrong" supreme and, well, big rock it may be but paper beats it anyway. Or rather, in this case, the scissors are a bit small but boy do they glide through that fat sheet of paper like it wasn't even there. Cannot wait to see what her powers are.
>>3887468I wonder what that fancy eye and empty sword are supposed to do besides looking strange...
>>3887472The "eye" grants "soul vision" to the otherwise blind. The "empty" sword, well, do you know what the "Sword of Light" is? Gourry (pic related) had a similar weapon. Indeed, you've almost spelled it out for anyone who knows of what I reference.Empty when it needed to be. But a well-forged sword when combat commenced in earnest. However, when things became well and truly serious, the "empty" blade would be drawn as such before revealing its true nature to the woe and terror of those who beheld it for it was the last thing they ever saw. A true blade of light...
>>3887478Who says she'll even use her blade?
>>3887488Hey now, if she can get away with not killing anyone here that'd be great. Far less complications down the line and actually kind of embarrassing for these slaver thugs. Couldn't even kill a lowly humie girl and nab a pansy ass elf? Talk about being a failure of a slaver.I don't think she'll do that though. Again, Khornate Champion, blood for the blood god, pulped skulls for a better constructed skull throne then. They're dead and that'll cause fallout we'll have to deal with, just as Ama the Tzeentchian villain planned.
Seem like the general attitude/demeanor for Zhu is a friendly one. I'll keep that in mind with Arawn.
>>3887900A tinge of fear as well.She's gonna steal Arawn's second virginity before he can get married!
>>3887953Can you think of an explanation for all FOUR girls you are linked to?
>>3887953That will be a concern, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. We did dream that there was a time we were running from something in a labyrinthine stone building. There is a possibility we'll be reliving that one, only instead of fleeing for our lives it'll be for our virginity.>>3887964Will they even be able to feel that given the distances involved? I mean, Klesiah will probably feel it but we wouldn't really need to explain it away that hard to her. She had to know back then what Zhu was doing to us and upon seeing her again it'll be "Damn, she got him again." As for the other girls:"The situation was quite dire, I needed a guide and protection, and I had exactly zero gold and half a country trying to find me and the other wanting to kill me. She offered an alternative payment and, well, this isn't the first time we've had this arrangement according to her. By the way, do any of you think you can have a duel with her that doesn't involve killing her outright? That's the other half of that payment I mentioned. Please forgive me?"
>>3887997>Will they even be able to feel that given the distances involved?Do not underestimate female intuition...>I mean, Klesiah will probably feel it but we wouldn't really need to explain it away that hard to her. She had to know back then what Zhu was doing to us and upon seeing her again it'll be "Damn, she got him again.She genuinely had no idea that was happening. With the link though...>"The situation was quite dire, I needed a guide and protection, and I had exactly zero gold and half a country trying to find me and the other wanting to kill me. She offered an alternative payment and, well, this isn't the first time we've had this arrangement according to her. By the way, do any of you think you can have a duel with her that doesn't involve killing her outright? That's the other half of that payment I mentioned. Please forgive me?"Pictured is an adequate representation of Belphegor face when Arawn is dragged off for reeducation.
>>3887964Ahh, there's the flip side of the coin. On one hand, yay Arawn had some action before dying! But on the other, logic can have VERY little space in matters of the heart when other people close to our elf find out.But then, I feel that Hao at least would react along the lines of "Oh, bum." Followed by a shrug.Then she'd promptly ask Zhu if she's willing to share.I mean, far as I remember Hao was pretty chill with the ideas of polyamory and harems. Been a while since I've read the older threads though, I could very well be wrong here!Also, Hao is one candidate for dueling Zhu! Who knows, the two might get along swimmingly.>>3888006>Spoiler...Oh shit.Speaking of logic having space in matters of the heart? Well, it is good to remember that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
>>3888072>I mean, far as I remember Hao was pretty chill with the ideas of polyamory and harems. Been a while since I've read the older threads though, I could very well be wrong here!Hao couldn't adjust to the tribe she was born into so she's clearly a bit... unusual. She's a very intense girl. The monstergirls general dating scene is a bit on the weird and wild side given the difference in biology between men and all the races of Mamonos and, of course, the sheer number of monsters. Zhu might force you into it with the grace of a rhinoceros.>Also, Hao is one candidate for dueling Zhu! Who knows, the two might get along swimmingly.Careful what you wish for. >Speaking of logic having space in matters of the heart? Well, it is good to remember that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.But will Klesiah feel scorned? Who can say.
>>3888006>That spoilerOk how innocent, exactly, was/is Klesiah? How about Hecate? People who just got done having intense "consort" have a look and a smell to them that you just instinctually get not to mention the loud sounds, betting Zhu's a moaner. How on the goddess's green Earth did they not even suspect we were boning/getting boned by the hot not-Asian Khornate Champion?>>3888081So Zhu'd be fine with sharing and might even insist? Probably have to "show her a good time" in an arena before she'd be willing but if Hao or any of the other girls do it (and they can) than yeah, I could see it: "These women are *fun* my burly lord. Why not show them how much *fun* you can be when you're lying spent and exhausted on your back like you've showed me all these past few months?"And I too wish for Hao and Zhu to get along like BFF's. They really are two sides of the same coin after all. As for "keeping up" with the two (or more) should it actually come to that, well, bridges to be crossed in the future. Hopefully our reinforcement spell and re-fusing with Gardy will solve any issues on that front, but I'm still going for a monogamy run. Though, if the situation is dire enough and there's no other way to keep Zhu around except for our body...
>>3888144>Ok how innocent, exactly, was/is Klesiah?Remember how emotionally intense she was in act 1? Remember that brief moment you went into her head? You knight is PRECIOUS.>How about Hecate?I will not speak for someone who hasn't been encountered yet. >How on the goddess's green Earth did they not even suspect we were boning/getting boned by the hot not-Asian Khornate Champion?It didn't happen too often and Zhu liked the secret so she kept quiet. >So Zhu'd be fine with sharing and might even insist?It depends mostly on what exactly a ''romantic relationship'' is supposed to be with this woman. Zhu is very much on the chaotic side of chaotic neutral, you've glimpsed a fair side of her personality for now but being intimate is still different than mere talks and friendly jabs; she'd rather bait criminals in rash action than having sex for example.I'm not pushing for anything. Monogamy is always possible, though having soul links is gonna make that mighty awkward.Also, the very idea of ''sex'' and ''Hao'' in the same sentence is likely to break reality!
>>3888166I see, yep, Khornate to the core, likes to fight and kill over getting laid. She probably didn't want to cause drama with Hecate and Klesiah yet also liked getting away with it I'd wager. Can't wait for more interactions with her. She's interesting and hitting all the right buttons for me.It is my hope that any superfluous links can be safely dissolved with Gardy's help. We essentially forcibly married the poor girls. It was to save their lives yes, but still, they should get a say on whether or not the links remain after we're back and returned to full power and memory.>Also, the very idea of ''sex'' and ''Hao'' in the same sentence is likely to break reality!Has Hao even had that conversation yet? Does she even know how babies are made?
>>3888243>She's interesting and hitting all the right buttons for me.Oh my, what an interesting thing to say. I didn't expect Zhu to somehow resonate so strongly with my players. Will that opinion remain after the fight?What if they want to keep the links? It can be used for many things... as long as you aren't countries apart.>Has Hao even had that conversation yet? Does she even know how babies are made?She had a very good mom so she's not completely out of the loop.
>>3888251Oh I'm expecting her to go either full sadist or truly, utterly indifferent to the slaughter as these enemies are "boring" to her. Either way will have me liking her even more honestly.Then it's their choice. If they don't mind them, we won't dissolve them. Though I fear they may want to keep them merely because having one is a major "leg up" against the "competition" if ya know what I mean. We are a fine catch no matter how you slice it (Ama's infection notwithstanding), women dream of getting those husbando'd up for themselves and will go far to do so.
>>3888349>Oh I'm expecting her to go either full sadist or truly, utterly indifferent to the slaughter as these enemies are "boring" to her. Either way will have me liking her even more honestly.Well now... interesting. She kinda instigated it all you know? What make you believe they'd see one another as competition?
>>3888355Girl's gotta eat, she didn't know we were in town (let alone alive) and well, they're slavers. Slavers always have it coming.Only so many links can be held by a single anchor safely I assume. Thus there is a "competition" of sorts. Who gets to be the "favored" waifus who enjoy an esoteric and metaphysical link to their husbando/us? Not that I want a harem, but even in those there's a hierarchy and women in them competed for the "top" spot as it were. They will not be immune to that urge I fear. The urge and desire to be the "favorite" waifu!
>>3888006Also, I forgot to ask about it in the post eariler but, "reeducation?" How? For what? Why? Desperate times, desperate measures, surely they would understand wouldn't they?
>>3888368The number of soul links that can be held simultaneously differs from person to person, usually based on their ''capacity'' related to the general strength of their soul and/or magic.You've been awake for a good week now and haven't felt any side effect, that's more than enough time for side effects to start showing despite the ''dormant'' nature of your links despite the distance and, of course, nothing has happened. Arawn can safely be the source of 4 soul links, going beyond that could be problematic, however. In this sense there's no ''favorite'' in a logical, biological term when we look at the concepts of links. And with jealousy, remember that Mamonos as a whole have only about 230 years of humanity and culture. Of course, there are people like Daiyu and Tuilelaith who have been around longer but fact remains that the entirety of Mamono civilization isn't even 300 years old. Copying humanity only goes so far, you've already seen some oddness in throne Town related to honor duels and Muribel also showed a few cracks already; love life, in general, is bound to be a bit... weird especially since Mamonos exclusively give birth to females. Now if we go and add your situation, let's just say that act 1 hinted at many, many things already if you concentrate on the girl's general demeanor. But that's an issue for later.>>3888378>"reeducation?" How? For what? Why? Desperate times, desperate measures, surely they would understand wouldn't they?The only thing to understand is that it's a thing to get angry about!
>>3888385>That spoilerWell, they knew we may start to like them as more than friends and they were open to the possibility of reciprocating. They were all fine catches themselves after all, any one of them would be a fine waifu. I'm still partial to Sieg, but the others were gaining (Zhu is as well, damn girl).The "all female births" problem will have to be resolved sometime within the next century or two or shit's gonna break for real. Hopefully, once Ama's well and truly dead, our elf and Gardy can do something to resolve it. This would complete Daiyu's ultimate ambition of fusing the human and mamono races, but we don't mind that as that's a happy end for this world. After that's solved, get to work on orbital mechanics. The sea of stars ain't gonna colonize itself!>The only thing to understand is that it's a thing to get angry about!Hurt or jealous I get, but angry? It was either put out or stay a slave/get dead! We were under extreme duress! Better a "slightly used" alive free elf than a "pure" dead/enslaved one right!?
>>3888429>The "all female births" problem will have to be resolved sometime within the next century or two or shit's gonna break for real.Not quite, as you'Ve seen Mamonos are quite numerous. Corruption can make some explosive population growth.Still, it is a problem nonetheless... But you have more pressing concerns. >Hurt or jealous I get, but angry? It was either put out or stay a slave/get dead! We were under extreme duress! Better a "slightly used" alive free elf than a "pure" dead/enslaved one right!?Pack mentality. Remember, they are still monsters!
>>3888442True that, but one should always be ready for what comes next. There will be life after Ama's well deserved and most satisfying death. We must have a purpose once this current one is fulfilled (i.e. reuniting with everyone we know and like/love and killing Ama together).So it's not that we put out per se, but that we handed over our reborn V-card to a humie or an "outsider" as they perceive it? That why they'd get mad if we indulged Zhu's hornier side?
>>3888496Maybe they won't get mad. Who knows? Why not try and find out?Mamonos are fun!
>>3888510That they are. Monstergirls are the best girls.I'd rather not unless we have to. Again, if it comes down to it we put out for Zhu. It's a "last resort" measure though as this is a mystery box I'd rather not open. Maybe they're cool and understanding, maybe they'd be furious. Most importantly, however, is that we might make one of the girls cry. We don't want that if at all possible. I'd rather they smile with joy, love, and contentment for all their days.
>>3888520What will you say to your knight
>>3888524I'll have to sleep on that one. It'll depend on if Zhu is with us alive and well or not. I hope she is when we see her again, as Zhu will probably have endless fun ribbing her for not noticing all those years ago.Still, immediate future plans, try and find a way to learn "Soul Vision" from her. We need that spell in our lives damnit. Combined with the aspect, we don't need no damn web, just a straight LoS to identify Bad Fluffy's blood nest and most devoted/favored followers. If we can somehow impart that knowledge to Zhu, that a certain color or shape means Ama lover/target for immediate termination, she becomes a "fire and forget" automatic anti-Ama killing machine. Oh yes, that'd make her "best girl" in short order.
Is quest dead ?
>>3892526Not at all, I'm prepping the next thread for sometimes this week, probably around Thursday or Friday. Maybe sooner if I can.
>>3902776New Thread's Up.