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In War, not everyone is a soldier.

The fortress has been under siege for a month now. Tonight, the guards will empty out the royal granary and we will receive our last rations. We have no coal to heat our homes or to boil the water collected from the cave walls. How are we supposed to last a week with barely one kilogram of wheat? Why is the king not doing anything? Is it true that the nobles are going to escape by airship like the rumor says? Is that why people kill themseves for Mystical Stones?

I want to get out too. I want to live and get out from this hole before we are slaughtered or kill each other. But I have other things to do first because I am...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPubd-iofmc

Who am I?
>pick between the 3 choices below
>>
Toressak Flatfall

I am a father of three, a humble miner and a loyal husband come illness, trouble, or poverty... This words, by Vulcan, they are as heavy as my grandfather adamantine pickaxe. I don't know if we can make it. If don't know if I want us to make it. Look at us, look at me, look at my wife.

She has not eaten a single thing for days just so that our child could. Now she is quietly waiting death in her bed, so pale, so frail when she was as round as a barrel. And she has even started coughing but I can't find any doctor. Anyway how am I going to pay them, they only hire people to sabotage the forge before the enemy can take it.

And I still need to get us out of here. I have to. I just need to get back from the coals mines, if only I could pass those thugs.
>>
Harmoline Nobleforged

I am the daughter of the famous engineer Nobleforged. I am a genius, a prodigy in metallurgy and mechanics I will change the world. I am the only one who can, t-that's why I have to get out, right? There's no way I can't come aboard the airships. There has to be airships, right?

My father he... even if he was old he was enlisted in the guards to defend the fortress. His mighty steam mechas are crushing enemy's crude trebuchet. Haha! A trebuchet, no trebuchets, no a thousand trebuchets. ! Why am I laughing? That's bad. I have to save his work. To get onboard a airship.

Uh? Me? Of course, I must get out to. And if there is no airship I can build them. If only these vandals let me get back to my father.
>>
Conrad Noakesburrow

I am a hobbit, and I am NOT a thief. Why does when a hobbit work for dwarfs he always HAS to be a thief? Is it racism? Can I sue someone and get some money of it? Ok, I came here to trade my expertise in counterfeit money for Ingothide&Son but that does not make me a thief.

That damn bastard of Ingothide said the trip to the fortress was my first travel expenditure to lure me in but since I did not sign anything I started with a debt to my employer. If he escapes from the fortress, he is going to harass my family about that debt I still owe him. I have to make sure he never leaves... or something else.

Well, only if I manage to get out of the jails. I am not a thief, but I was hungry, ok? Why is it such a big deal to borrow a loaf of bread?
>>
>>3955938
>Toressak Flatfall
>>
>>3955938
>Toressak Flatfall
>>
>>3956006
>Toressak Flatfall
>>
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>>3956006
>>3956008
>>3956028
First Week of the Siege

When I was young, I wanted to be a soldier and pilot a steam mecha or work at the forge and make them. But I am too weak and stupid for both. I remember vividly how I threw my toys in the iron pits out of desperation. I was going to be a miner, like my father and like his father. Then, they discovered Iceburst stone and many coal miners reconverted in iron vertical digging. Suspended in the void to mine the pits, it's a dangerous job but the pay is good.

Nomalin, my beautiful wife, she says I don't need to be a jeweller or a stone cutter to be a good father and feed us. I put coal in our stove and wheat in our pantry. Sometimes she can get us goat butter or cheese, so our kids can grow strong. At every birthday, without fail, she gathers enough sugar to make a cake. I don't know how she does it, pure magic. Every Sunday, we stop by the market after the temple. If I have enough money left, I buy a rabbit for dinner. I like Sunday nights before going back to work. It's cramped in our little apartment but this little hole is my happiness.

Such is life in the Fortress.

My eldest, Dorafra, she is old enough to get married or work in the mines. I argue all the time with Nomalin about that. She says that having a daughter is a misfortune since she can't mine more than me. I want her to go to school but even her says this is a waste of time. So, I decided to feed her well, make her all plump and round so that a better family will accept her as a bride. The youngest, Novina, is also a girl after all, so we put all our hopes in Vozmoul, my only son.

Such is life in the Fortress.

I went to the public baths with Vozmoul and presented him to my contacts in the guilds. They said they didn't want to take an illiterate apprentice. Moreover, he is too young to work in an enclosed space. I only let him do what he wants because sometimes he comes back from the market, a huge grin on his face and an egg in his pocket. That little rascal, he will show them all. He even barely dodged the conscription. Thank Vulcan. Running under enemy fire to bring Iceburst stone to the mecha during a battle? He would have loved it.

And then the first trebuchet hit the mountain. At first, we thought it was another canon firing on the enemy camp besieging us. But the rumour spread. I ventured deeper in the market, almost to the warehouse area. Soldiers were guarding the stocks and a clouds of dust poured out of the entry with every loud bang. We were under siege, but we will endure.

This is our Fortress.
>>
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>>3956098
Second Week of the Siege

Look who's laughing now. All these proud blacksmiths are coming back to the coal veins. I also heard the canons detonations are too loud for the Guild Offices near the Gate. I like this. This is the best fun I had in years. We are even receiving a wheat ration from the guards. With the provisions we already had it was like Vulcmass.

I don't really get why everybody is stocking coal so much, though. We use everything I can come back with to bake more cakes and breads for the kids. Maybe this will help Nomalin get better too. My only fear is that all these new miners completely deplete the coal vein. My wife told me that can't be, because Vulcan gave us and infinite amount of resources to thrive.

Maybe this is the work of Vulcan. Now everyone has the same living conditions as us, low wage workers. I know we will not have rabbit this weekend, but that would not be the first time we skip our tradition. The kids are becoming more turbulent because of their last intake of sugar, let's hope Vozmoul will not do something irresponsible.

His mother health is getting worse each passing day. She is bedridden all day and only get up to prepare food. Like a ghost haunting our house. Since money has no more value, I can trade a few things in our homes but the most valuable stuff we have left is my pickaxe. Both a weapon and a vital tool to feed my family.
>>
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>>3956100
Third Week of the Siege

Cold. It's too cold. I was yelling at everyone, someone must have left a window open. Then I realized the radiator was off. I asked the neighboor, I actually asked all the neighboors and only one opened his door to tell me it was the same. They even told me I was stupid to ask since we have central heating.

It doesn't matter. We will just burn the coal I dig up from the mine to warm ourselves. The kids were quite depressed knowing that we will only feed on wheat grain now that all our stock of sugar, cheese and milk was depleted. I told them it happened before so they just have to be strong. However it never happened with a malfunctionning heater.

I fear for Nomalin health. Dorafra begged to come with me, saying she could at least help me to carry the coal. And if Vozmoul can take care of his mother and his little sister, I will have to consider it. On my way back from the coal vein I stumbled accross a group of armed youngsters guarding the vein.

Now, I have to pass through this local militia. A bunch of armed youngsters, the Boars. How can I get out?
>trade my freedom in exchange of my adamantine pickaxe
>beg for passage, I will work, I will help you, I will do whatever it takes
>I am a simple father! I can appeal to their feelings
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3956102
>I am a simple father! I can appeal to their feelings

failing that, try

>beg for passage, I will work, I will help you, I will do whatever it takes
>>
>>3956102
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
Try to hide and sneak past them. They won't listen to reason.
>>
>>3956102

>I am a simple father! I can appeal to their feelings

It seems pickaxe murder may be in our future
Anything for sick wife really.
>>
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>>3956195
>>3956197
>>3956216
You haul your bag of coal in the most pathetic way imaginable with the adamantine pickaxe on a shoulder, ready just in case. You never thought that the bearer of such a magnificent tool would have to play yhe victim to appeal to beardless youngsters. Your ancestors look at you in disdain and you feel the weight of your shame crushing your exhausted body after hours of mining.

The oldest of the three thugs, a redhead with beard looking like a patch of pubes asks his companions to surround you. However, you moved so quietly in the tunnel from the coal vein that you now have a more advantageous position: back on a wall.

roll 1d6 to appeal to their feelings
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>3956225
Feels bad man
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>3956225
>>
>>3956225
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>3956285
>>3956225
Sry phone, let's try that again
>>
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>>3956259
>>3956260
>>3956286
>6

Your pleads are enough to soften the young ones' hearts. Their fathers died during the first week of the siege at the Gate and now they are the man of their family. At first drunk of this lawless situation, they slowly came back to their sense and set their priority straight. Some, like the two henchmen are still looking for new way entertain themselves, but the boss understand your situation. He let you pass with a final warning.

"This is our territory now, gramp. Understood? If you want back it will cost you one Mystical Stone."

Slightly humiliated, you get back to your habitation building. A three-story-high complex carved in a gigantic cave wall. Upon hearing your arrival, the eldest, Dorafra, rushes downstairs to relieve you from the task of hauling the bag of coal. The incident with the thugs, having only minor repercussions on your mental health, you manage to pull a smile. Once back in your cramped apartment, the two little kids, Novina and Vozmoul, take immediately possession of the bag. For a brief moment you imagine yourself as the white bearded Toy Master bringing joy to children on Vulcmass eve. But the bag only contains coal, vital to heat your home but it's not food.

"Daddy, where is today's meal? I'm hungry."
"Can I go to the market, Dad? I'm sure I can find food in the abandoned stalls."

Only Dorafra is moving, tossing coal in the stove on which some dirty water is boiling. Novina is sobbing on your chest and Vozmoul is already preparing for his raid to the market. You can hear the lamentations of your wife waking up from on of your only two beds. She painfully stands up, coughs and takes a mortar and pestle to resume wheat milling.

"Welcome back dear. Today's meal will be ready soon. I'm making flatbread."

This cannot go on. The next ration distribution is for tonight and you will need everyone to line up to receive as many rations as possible, but that also means you home will be left unattended. To brighten the mood, Dorafra spill some water on your home's Mystical Stone, it radiates light in the room, calming the children. The table is ready, you just have to wait for your wife to cook the flatbreads on the stove.

What's your priority for this afternoon?
>I have to find food before the ration distribution
>I need a doctor for my wife and a way to pay him
>I have to find a way out of the Fortress
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3956288
>I have to find food before the ration distribution
If we get enough food, we could use the extras to barter with a doctor. When Dorafra's better getting out and running will be viable.
>>
>>3956288
>I have to find food before the ration distribution

Do we find Mystical Stones during mining?
>>
>>3956288
>>I have to find food before the ration distribution

we get food, but to use as currency, for a doctor and a way out
>>
>>3956293
>>3956295
>>3956314
After the children turn, your eldest daughter offers to eat after you since you are probably starving after this morning mining. Digging up coal takes you half a day, with a chance to find a diamond one out of six times. Some digs up coal to fuel their stove, other hoping to find diamonds to trade. After all, bank notes are useless. The real game, however, is Mystical Stone, which is presumably mined deeper in the coal veins.

Anyway, your objective is to find more food and for that you have several options for this afternoon. First of course, always eager to help, but even more eager to get out of the apartment, Vozmoul want to scout alone for food. Then, you can always steal food in the warehouse, in abandoned homes, maybe beg the nobles. Finally, you have to decide if Dorafra can help you or if she should stay at home to help her mother. About that doctor then, you ponder gulping a hot loose flatbread, if you can barter food for medicine then maybe you can barter something else for food, maybe you can ask the neighbours.

>steal food in the warehouse area
>loot for food in abandoned homes
>beg the nobles for food
>ask the neighbours

also
>let Dorafra accompany you or send her to do another of the aforementioned tasks
>let Vozmoul scavenge alone for food in the market
>>
>>3956330
>>loot for food in abandoned homes
>let Vozmoul scavenge alone for food in the market

the eldest takes care of her mother, make sure she rests
>>
>>3956334
Support.
>>
>>3956334
>>3956356
roll 2d6
>>
Rolled 3, 2 = 5 (2d6)

>>3956369
>>
Rolled 2, 1 = 3 (2d6)

>>3956369
>>
Rolled 4, 1 = 5 (2d6)

>>3956369
>>
>>3956372
>>3956388
>>3956389
>4 for Torresak : 1 day worth of wheat grains for everyone
>1 for Vozmoul : nothing

After a scanty meal, the youngest succumbs to slumber, digestion being too much for her to handle. Vozmoul took your silence for approbation and went on his to find something to eat, let's hope he will be back for the ration distribution. You tell Dorafra to take care of her mother, being the one who collect the water on the wet walls of the building she will help her to wash herself.

The street is the giant cavern is dimly lit, with the lantern almost all destroyed for their Mystical Stones. You went to a building carved in a pillar in front of your house. You can only find few grains of wheat scattered here and there in the corners and under the furnitures, enough to make a flatbread for everyone for one meal. Occupants have vanished, leaving only blood on the stone staircase. You fail to understand how a fight between civilians could go to such extent, until... Until you walk to the upper floor where dwarfs are hanging by their feet, throat slit.

Brain and body exhausted you can only react instinctively and rush back home. You slip on the last march and cover yourself in blood. Trying to catch your breath, your mind subconsciously tries to distance you from a detail you saw on those bodies. Like a ghost haunting your memory, something so horrifying you would rather forget it.

>remember
>remain ignorant

Vozmoul is just behind you in your building staircase. Not only did he come back empty-handed but it looks like he is wounded. A bright red cut on his leg. But at last, he didn't make any bad encouter like you. Once everyone is safe in the apartment, you have to prepare for the ration gathering. Seeing you covered in blood makes your wife faints and the little Novina cries.

Ration gathering, each person showing get one week of wheat grains
>bring Novina (little girl)
>bring Vozmoul (boy, wounded)
>bring Dorafra (girl)
>bring Nomalin (woman, ill)
>>
>>3956392
>Ration gathering, each person showing get one week of wheat grains
>>bring Novina (little girl)
>>bring Vozmoul (boy, wounded)
>>bring Dorafra (girl)
>>bring Nomalin (woman, ill)
If that was not clear enough, you choose who goes with you to the ration distribution and you can choose as many as you want. Not choosing someone will be considered as a vote for this person to stay at home.
>>
>>3956392
>remember
We have to remember, damn it. We have to know what we're running away from.
>bring Novina (little girl)
>bring Vozmoul (boy, wounded)
>bring Dorafra (girl)
Nomalin should stay at home so she doesn't exert herself.
>>
>>3956392
>>bring Novina (little girl)
>>bring Vozmoul (boy, wounded)
>>bring Dorafra (girl)

>remember
>>
>>3956399
the food we found will be enough for 5 days to Nomalin anyway and she has to rest
>>
>>3956399
>>3956397
+1
>>
>>3956399
>>3956397
Support
>>
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>>3956397
>>3956399
>>3956401
>>3956404
>>3956407
There's no time to dress the boy's wound. You tell Dorafra to carry the crying little girl and pull Vozmoul by the hand, leaving the unconscious Nomalin on her bed, alone.

A loud repeated banging echoes through the gigantic cavern. The guards have arrived, they came across the Forge carrying something more precious than gold. The royal granary wheat. Queues are already stretching from the doors to the cars and local militia including the Boars are closely watching everyone so that no incident occurs. There seem to have been a shift in power, a tacit agreement between the thugs and the soldiers.

For the most part they are women and children, men or just a bunch of injured or old failed soldiers like you, unable to fight. Witnessing these healthy mounted warriors delivering food is almost unbearable to certain. A woman is adressing a royal guard.

"Give us the boars pulling your cars!"
"Foolish nonsense. They are the king's royal stable."
"It's not like your are charging anyone, we are all trapped here."
"Silence or I fire a round in the crowd."

And without a second of reflection, people silently murder the one who dared to anger the guard. It's hopeless, everyone is going to quietly walk toward their death if the path is lit, even more if there are marks to make it gradual. And everyone knew this was the last mark. The royal granary are empty but nobody wants to admit it.

Once back home, the "night" is coming and thankfully Nomalin did not die choking on her phlegm will being unconscious. However, Vozmoul wound has become worse and Novina is wetting herself. It seems that being forced to go outside just after seeing you covered in blood has traumatized her. At least you have 8 days worth of wheat grains and some coal until the next morning. Like usual, you all skip the dinner in order to last longer.

How to spend the night
>Dorafra on watch first
>Toressak on watch first

This encounter today has really challenged your common sense. You are not a soldier and the only corpse you ever saw... Well, vertical digging means once someone falls, his body is lost, so you actually never saw a dead body. But there was something strange about those corpses. Something that should not be there. Or maybe something that should have been. When you finally manage to pull off that splinter in your mind, you remember. Some of them were dismembered, some even had... bit marks.

What's your priority for tomorrow morning?
>I have to find more food
>I need a doctor for my wife and a way to pay him
>I have to find a way out of the Fortress
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3956417
>>Toressak on watch first

>I have to find more food

The fortress's food supply will run out eventually, we need to hoard enough to last us when it does.
>>
>>3956417
>Dorafra on watch first
Whoever did this (goblins? the worker's quarters are closest to the goblin caves) probably attacks when people are fast asleep, so we should take the second watch when they're most likely to come out.
>I need a doctor for my wife and a way to pay him
We have extra food to pay a doctor with, so let's get to one as quickly as we can.
>>
>>3956417
>8 days worth of wheat grains
*7 days for 4 since Nomalin couldn't go=28 meals
plus 1 day for everyoe with the bag you found=5 meals
total if divided evenly=33meals/5=6 days where everyone eats+3meals

sorry, math is hard
>>
>>3956417
>>Toressak on watch first
>I need a doctor for my wife and a way to pay him


get our daughter to look after the kid's injury while we change the youngest
>>
>>3956432
change to this actually
>>
>>3956417
>Toressak on watch first
>I need a doctor for my wife and a way to pay him
>>
>>3956417

>Dorafra on watch first

Second watch is more dangerous.

>I need a doctor for my wife and a way to pay him
>>
>>3956420
>>3956432
>>3956442
>>3956446
>>3956448
>Dorafra on watch first
>I need a doctor for my wife and a way to pay him

You have Dorafra treat the boy's injury while you take care of the youngest. Novina is babbling incoherent words, crying and begging you to not get out. You manage to calm her a little and put her to sleep with fresh clothes after a quick wash-up. Vozmoul's wound is too big to have him move out of the house informs your daughter. He needs at least two days to rest.

Without your eldest daughter you wonder where you would have ended. You need to protect her, hence you let her first watch since it's the less dangerous. Nightmares fill your night, you dream about your past job, hanging on a line to mine iron when suddenly you end up hanging from your feet, defenceless against a creature crawling on the wall with a giant mouth. You burst out of your sleep.

HAAAAAAAA! DAAAAAAD!

Dorafra woke you up in the worst part of your dream and your shout covers hers, you end up scaring her when you are actually both the slave of fear. This primal exchange ends when you finally notice a continuous banging on the door.

Please... Fooooood... Please...

Slow guttural sounds, that vaguely reminds you of words, sync up with the banging. There are two voices but you can't really tell how many people are banging on the door. Meanwhile, Novina is slwoly waking up because of this commotion and Vozmoul is searching for a knife, trembling with both fear and excitement. Nomalin, still unconscious.

>open the door and prepare your pickaxe
>"we don't have any food, get out"
>play dead and don't answer
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3956470
>play dead and don't answer

Reach for the pickaxe and be prepared to defend the entrance

Tell the oldest to grab the youngest so she doesn't have to witness this
>>
>>3956470
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
Prepare your pickaxe and open the door just a little bit to get a better look.
>>
>>3956474
Supporting this.
>>
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>>3956474
>>3956477
>>3956481
The people pleading for food at your door keep slamming and begging. You almost mistake them for the Undeads of the legends you hear at the tavern from itinerant minstrels. The passes and their resolve shatters against your silence. Dorafra is hugging tightly her little sister while your young son is ready at your with a kitchen knife, trying to mimic your courage with your pickaxe. The young boy shaking turn into spasms, he lets the knife falls running back to his big sister.

The beggars leave only to resume their annoying pleads next door, and then the next door and so on... Dorafra shift ends with the 3AM bell, and she collapses from mental fatigue with the two kids in her embrace near the stove. You try to stay awake as much as you can for your shift but your exhausting nightmare, the stress from tonight encounter and the exhaustion from your strict flatbread regimen get you knock down before the 4AM bell.

Morning comes with all the Mystical Stone of the cavern's lantern being lit by droplet of water. At least, this system is still working, not like central heating. It's time to focus you sleep deprived mind on finding a doctor for your wife.

>ask neighbours
>go to the Nobles Mmansions for a doctor
>scavenge the Market for apothecary remedy
>scavenge the Guilds for magical potion

also, what should you bring with you?
>bring your pickaxe
>bring 10 meals worth of wheat
>bring 20 meals worth of wheat
>bring 30 meals worth of wheat
>bring your home's only light source:mystical stone
>>
>>3956519
>scavenge the Guilds for magical potion
>bring your pickaxe

Things will get ugly
>>
>>3956528
support, probably the quickest and cheapest way
>>
>>3956532
If we gotta kill a fool for meds we gonna kill a fool for meds, ain't leaving wife behind without a fight.
>>
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>>3956528
>>3956532
>>3956560
You don't know a lot of things about magic or science, but the tales from the taverns extol the virtues of magical potions. Heroes who could have succumbed to fatal injury just drank a potion, and they were ready to slay anything. What's a lung disease to something that can cure a dragon's bite?

Without any coal left, Dorafra anticipates and soaks enough wheat grain for today's lunch. She even takes the time to crush your portion and fill a small recipient. You can eat those wheat flakes anytime now, but it's going to take some time to digest.

"Have safe trip dad."

The day after ration distribution is always quiet. Everybody had their fill, except the one too weak to walk to the guards. Maybe the people who slammed your door last night were just starving people, who knows? So, your journey to the Guilds cavern is however quite peaceful, until you get near the Nobles Mansions. Huge houses built from the ground and not carved in the walls, sometimes with a garden lit by a huge Mystical Stone. However, it seems that even here people were killing for those so you hardly found any.

"You, please help me ! HEEEEEELP ME!"

The pleads came from some sort of gallows where apparently a child is being forcefully held by a bunch of hooded executioners who looks more like cultists. They were approaching a red-hot iron pipe from his head.

"Let the fire of Vulcan purify you from your sins"
"I did not steal that bread. I did not. I did not. I did not..."
"Filthy hobbit. All hobbits are thieves. Now, repent."

>not my problem
>stop right there
>>
>>3956564
>stop right there

Because its useful to have a thief as ally, specially in times like these and we are exacly going somewhere to steal right now
And of course he is a thief, all hobits are thiefs, but lets pretend he's not for now
>>
>>3956564
>>not my problem
>>
>>3956564
>not my problem

no need to ruffle fellow dwarves' feathers
>>
>>3956588
>>3956591
Aren't you being ahort sighted? This guys steals stuff, we need to steal stuff, he can help us get meds for wife
>>
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>>3956573
>>3956588
>>3956591
It will be over soon.

The hooded man say while nonchalantly forcing the red-hot iron on the Hobbit's forehead. Popping noises of his flesh being burnt fills the cave with a peculiar smell. Something you almost forgot and that your stomach reminds you with a horrifying shame. For moment, just for a moment, you thought "that smells good". You feel your sanity slowly crumbling.

Hey you, the bypasser.
Me? This is not my problem. Continue what your are doing.
I'm just warning you. This the Sons of Vulcan territory. No stealing.
How far is your territory.
All the market. And also, we confiscate every Mystical Stones and Iceburst Stones.
... Why?
Can't you see? They are cursed stones. Only our forge should light the darkness, that's in the holy scriptures.
What about Iceburst Stones?
D-Don't ask too many questions. Now get out.

It was a strange exchange, but fanatics seem to control this part of the Fortress. You believe in Vulcan teachings but not to that extent. You are just a normal dwarf who goes to the temple every Sunday. Maybe these people are not as zealous as you and just use Vulcan as a pretext to gather special stones... The hobbit is left on the gallows with his third degree burn on the forehead, he is not going anywhere.

You approach the Guild area where statues representing each profession are sculpted in the stalagmites. It's much easier than you thought to find the suitable buildings. After all, you don't know how to read. However, you are absolutely sure that healing potions are red, just like in the stories.

Where to loot healing potions at minimum risk
>Adventurer's Guild
>Alchemist's Guild
>Tamer's Guild
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
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>>3956658
Healers guild if there is one. If there isn't then

>Alchemist guild
While the adventurers guild might have more of them it also probably has adventurers, unless all this buildings are vacant, in that case
>Adventurers guild
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>>3956691
You look for a Healers Guild but can't find any. For various reasons, including the Dwarfs' warrior tradition and the influence of Gnomes alchemists the healing profession is not very welcome in a Dwarven Fortress. So you fall back on your second choice, the Alchemist Guild.

The office seems abandoned at first glance, but every window is barricaded. It's been so long since you have last seen wood. Everything has been thrown in the stove when central heating malfunctioned. You position your pickaxe to pull apart the plank from the entrance before being interrupted by the noise of shattering glass behind you. Someone threw a bottle at you and now a foul smell fills the air, forcing you to retreat. From the rooftop, a Gnome with long thin moustaches warns you.

"Get away from my property."
"I need a healing potion."
"And I need the philosphal stone. We all want something, now get out."
"What are you going to do about it?"
"This was a stink bomb but I have something more explosive for you."

This is not looking good, you can't enter the building without getting under the angry Gnome shelling.
>trade for a potion (currently in your possession:adamantine pickaxe, 33 meals worth of wheat grain)
>beg for a potion, anything I can do for you I will do it
>"My wife is about to die!" appeal to emotions
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
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>>3956915

>beg for a potion, anything I can do for you I will do it

See if we can trade it for some service or quest or something.
Lastly offer to trade for food, if he is taking care of his property so much it means he can't go to the food line
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>>3956915
>>trade for a potion (currently in your possession:adamantine pickaxe, 33 meals worth of wheat grain)

Start our bartering at 10 meals worth, see what he thinks.
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>>3956915
>>beg for a potion, anything I can do for you I will do it
>trade for a potion (currently in your possession:adamantine pickaxe, 33 meals worth of wheat grain)

a service or food, start very low in case he needs it

ask if he has them before negotiating
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>>3956919
>>3957137
>>3957245
"Yesterday there was a ration distribution."
"So what?"
"If you protect your store like that, you didn't get your fill, right?"
"You think I didn't trade with the guards? Everybody wants my healing potions, dream potions even fear reduction potions."
"How much? I can offer you 10 meals worth of wheat."
"Are you kidding me? I already have plenty. Find me meat and we will have a deal."
"What else can I do for you?"
"My son, go to the front see if he is still alive."
"I have to bring him back?"
"No, he was not drafter he enlisted on his own will. He serves on the fourth Battery, ask him the recipe for Aqua Vitalis. That way I will no you are not lying."
"And if he is dead?"
"Whatever, figure it out, now get lost before I blow you up."

And now you have to find a Gnome at the Gate or find meat. On the first glance, finding meat appears to be simplest task and you could even keep some for you. However, you have no idea of where to get some. Maybe you will have to scavenge abandoned homes risking a bad encounter, beg the nobles or maybe find how your neighbours get their meat but it means turning back. Or you can keep moving forward and steal in the warehouse. Also, you remember about what that women in the crowd said about the royal cavalry, maybe you can sneak in the stables...

The midway bells rings and your stomach rumbles, in the end, it all boils down to three options.
>kill a boar in the royal stables and bring back meat
>keep moving forward to the front-line and find the Gnome's son
>go back home and decide how to find meat there

Also, eat your soaked wheat flakes now? It will be pretty indigestible since you did not cook it and slow you down a little, but no energy means you will feel weak.
>yes
>no
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>>3957961
>keep moving forward to the front-line and find the Gnome's son
>yes
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>>3957961
>>keep moving forward to the front-line and find the Gnome's son
>yes
>>
>>3957997
>>3958025
You chew on the poor ration and adjust the adamantine pickaxe on your shoulder feeling that energy boost. It's a long way to the Gate, almost as long as the distance your already travelled to get here. If all goes well you will arrive just in time to see a sunset. It's been so long since you last saw the sky. Why do Dwarf have to live underground already?

The path until the Banks area is well lit and clean from any feces people just threw out of their windows in the dormitories. Here and there, some stalagmite have been sculpted and completed in beautiful columns decorated with gold. Pipes are less apparent and the Mystical Stones lanterns more magnificent. It truly is the Banks area. On your right, you can spot the large Warehouse cavern, and endless disposal of giant pillars that could be, depending on the situation, flooded with gold, wheat, coal...

Something bothers as you approach the Barracks, only the Warehouse is guarded, why? Aren't they afraid of thieves? When the siege will end, the king will need all the Fortress gold to rebuild it.

"No! Please! No that! No that!"

In a dark corner, three persons are fighting. Actually it's two persons pinning another on the wall. The pleads come from a woman.

"Silence woman."
"No, please. I will repair your steam engines, I will repair the canons, Please no."
"We don't need any engineer. Be useful like nature intended you to be."
"HEEEEELP YOU. HELP ME."

How good was the smell of burned flesh, you will never forget the intense shame you felt. And now you fell so low that you are just going to ignore a damsel in distress? The choice is all yours, but you will have to live with the consequences.
>not my problem
>stop right there
(I recommand you to write-in to boost Torressak determination or help him rationalize)
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>>3958061
>stop right there
Saving a damsel is the most heroic thing a dwarf can do
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>>3958061
>stop right there
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>>3958061
>stop right there
>>
>>3958073
>>3958075
>>3958092
You are a dwarf, you remember. The trump card in the adventurers tales, strength and resilience personified, of course you have to do it. What's more heroic than saving a damsel in distress. You were weak before but it's time for redemption.

"Hey you. Stop what you are doing."

You take the pickaxe in both hands. One of the assailant is putting back his pants, still offering his unprotected spine to you? His companion firmly holds the female Dwarf by the wrist, angrily looking at you for interupting whatever they were about to do.

>attack one of them
>let's talk
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>>3958113
>attack one of them
Talk is cheap, act while they're unprepared
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>>3958113
>let's talk
Is this what we have become? Savages who rape and kill each other?
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>>3958113
>Attack
Talk is cheap.
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>>3958113
>attack one of them
Do it as gruesome as possible to scare the others
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>>3958126
>>3958128
>>3958221
>>3958225
You chose to resort to violence, the most universal language in the universe. Your pickaxe is ready, it only needs a target to unleash your wrath. Your legs are shaking a little, just like your son last night. The adrenaline rushes in your veins, your post meal energy surge is at its apex. While you are still not realizing the terrible thing you are about to do, it's time to take someone else life.

>attack the one holding the woman
>attack the one turning his back on you
>actually, just swing the pickaxe while shouting to scare them
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

And how to make the best use of your adamantine pickaxe?
>downard strike
>horizontal slash

And where precisely do you hit?
>head
>torso
>guts
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>>3958238
>>attack the one turning his back on you
Likeliest kill, and will make enemy count -1
>>downard strike
Come on, it's a pickaxe not a sword.
>>>head
Aim for the head but as long as we hit it's okay.

I think this is the best sequence.
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>>3958243
It's easier to aim at someone turning his back on you but it feels so... unheroic. Any illusions you had about being a good person by taking this fight collapse with your opponent body hitting the cavern floor.

The pickaxe pierced his skull, splattering clear red liquid on your face. You lose your balance and almost fall with him. The tool is stuck but it's not like it was trapped between a Dwarf's sturdy thoracic bones. One down. The other aggressor stares widely at his companion head spilling out blood and a mess of brain, hairs and little skull parts.

"B-Big Boss will hear about it."

Scared, he runs to the forge. You think about going after him for a moment but the very indigestible meal you had makes you unable to sprint. You just want to rest and forget about what you have done.

"...I'm sorry.I'm sorry.I'm sorry.I'm sorry..."

The woman you just saved tries to stand on her shaking legs while repeating the same phrase, like a broken phonograph. Then, it's happening again. A sense of incoming danger, or maybe something more abstract like a ghost haunting a dark place of your mind, struggling to make itself noticed. You have to get out of here, but you don't know why exactly.

>continue to the front line
>continue to the front line and force the woman to come with you
>stay here to talk with the woman or loot the corpse
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>>3958279
>continue to the front line and force the woman to come with you
TIME TO GET OUT
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>>3958279
>>continue to the front line and force the woman to come with you
>>
>>3958288
>>3958291
You forcefully grab the woman by her wrist, putting back your blood stained pickaxe on your other shoulder and rush toward the Barracks. You saved someone. It's the only thing you have done and the only thing you want to remember.

This woman is wearing a typical long dress with traces of oil and coal, it's actually more like a working outfit with a very rough textile. Her aggressor called her an engineer, no wonder her wrist feels so thick and her forearm so plump. She is a well-fed person, not an aristocrat but definitely upper class.

"Who goes there?"

You hear coming from a barricade after the surprisingly empty Barracks area. A soldier with a helmet too big for his head and no even a single hair on his beard is pointing his heavy halberd through the pile of rubble. It's a child, only a few years older than your son.

"What's that blood on your face? Release the woman and drop your weapon."

Is this the front-line? You can almost feel fresh air caressing your blood covered face. The smell of pine trees, the singing of the birds, the smell of ashes and a never ending brawl background. Suddenly the mountain shakes, something hit the Gate, something very big, instantly followed by a canon detonation. Yes, this is the front-line.

>I saved this person. Here, I'm dropping the pickaxe
>I need to speak to your superior
>I just want to know if you have a Gnome alchemist
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
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>>3958296
>I saved this person. Here, I'm dropping the pickaxe
>I need to speak to your superior
>>
>>3958296
>>I saved this person. Here, I'm dropping the pickaxe
>>I need to speak to your superior
>>
>>3958296

>I saved this person. Here, I'm dropping the pickaxe
Not so much drop but just put it away in our belt or wherever it stays when we are not holding it.
>I just want to know if you have a Gnome alchemist

His father is worried and sent me to get some news if he's alive or dead.
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>>3958300
>>3958331
>>3958334
You try to explain that the woman is not your captive while lowering the pickaxe. The instant it touches the ground, the child soldier surges from the barricade moving pushing you back with his threatening halberd. You can't do anything bu step back.

"Wait, I need to speak to yo-"
"Get back to your home and leave that weapon here."

In spite of his goofy looking attire, the child soldier was very serious about stabbing your guts with his halberd. With your pickaxe out of reach, your options are limited. However, he is a lot less intimidating than anyone you have come across until now, maybe just more dangerous which in itself feels contradictory. Some part of you can't really process the thought of a child's killing intent but it's very real.

"Don't kill him"

The woman you saved finally get out of her state of shock. She kneels in front of you to protect you from the halberd spike. The child takes one step back.

"It's me. Harmolin. I come here every week to see my father. Don't you remember me?"
"Ah, the lady with the food basket. So? Where is the food this time?
"Yes, here. Can I bring it to my father now?"

She offers a neatly tied package, the child soldier open it with one hand. It's full of ham which makes the child drools and lower his guard. Seeing meat for the first time in days clouds your judgment and this occasion to take down the child will not present itself again.

>seize the halberd
>steal the ham and run away
>wait patiently for his decision
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>>3958339

>grab our pickaxe back and be a few feet away while the discuss
>>
I forgot to add
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
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>>3958342
This.

Mention that we need to see someone inside too and if the kid won't let us pass see if she can grab that note fron the alchemist son for us.

Guys, depending on how grateful she is we could ask to bring our sick family to her house, she must have better and safer installations and we could say that we can escort her whenever she wants to see her father as an exchange.
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>>3958342
>>3958350
The adamantine pickaxe is just right at your foot now, you take it back but this only frighten the child soldier who drop the ham package n the dirty floor. Seeing her precious meat wasted Harmolin let out an indescribable shrieking. She quickly jumps on it, dusting off every slice.

"How dare. You don't know what I have been through to get this for my father."

The child soldier already fell back to the barricade as fast as a well tamed animal but the commotion was loud enough to attract the attention of a grey bearded Dwarf officer with an eyepatch and his share of scars. He pats the boy's shoulder to signal him to stand down and relax. The boy treated him with a deference, more than a superior he was a god, a god of war. Exactly the type of Dwarf you hear about in the legends and operas, who could beat off a dozen of people like even slay a dragon with a single warhammer. If this was a game, he would definitely be the character to choose. But you are Torresak, humble miner.

"Why are you disturbing my rear-line? You better lower that pickaxe before I gauge your eyes with it."

You are not a soldier, not a fighter, the only thing you can do is surrender or die right here. You comply.

"That's better. Now state your business. You don't look like these bunch of rats trying to flee the Fortress."
"I'm here for a Gnome alchemist, his father sent me to check if he is alive. I need to talk to him."
"What about you Harmolin? Didn't I tell you to not come back, your father is... wait do you know how to repair a steam mecha?"
"Yes! Yes, I can. Let me see my father please."
"Hmm... Repair our steam mecha first and we will see."
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>>3958389
He signals to the child soldier to resume his guard duty with hand gesture and have both of you follow him. The ceiling crumbles with each impact on the Fortress. You have never been so close to the exit. On your right, giant arrowslits let the sunrise project blades of light on the wall, but there is no more canons.

"Where are all the canon? Last time I came here there was at last two batteries."
"Broken. We may have more firepower, but for each trebuchet we take down a dozen are built during the night. It's like fighting an hydra."
"But I heard a canon firing when coming here."
"That's where we are going."

Finally, the exit. The pin trees are projecting threatening shadows on the mountain due to the low sun rays, almost like fangs. High clouds of smoke rise from the forest, rocks launched through the enemy's trebuchets pierce the black smoke and sometimes land on the nearly destroyed Gate. Only on giant statue remain of a Dwarf kneeling down. What an appropriate image for the Fortress.

"Here. The mecha and my main weapon officer. Hey, Ronwin, someone is here for you."
"But... The mecha... you..."
"Yes, we mounted the last canon on it. Beautiful, ain't it?"
"They can't hit us if we move after every shot."
"My father did not build mechas for that. You are supposed to attack them, attack!"
"Ah yes... I would like to do that. A valiant charge, sending a dozen of corps flying with each punch... But what you are currently seeing is our last mecha... Now get to work, miss Nobleforged."

You approach the Gnome. He looks nothing like his grumpy father, almost jovial in the way he repairs the canon. Before stating the true purpose of your visit, maybe you can ask something about the situation.

Pick 2 (TWO) and only 2 (TWO)
>what's wrong with the mecha
>why are you not charging?
>what are you doing here?
>is there a way out of this hell?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
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>>3958392
>what's wrong with the mecha
>why are you not charging?
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>>3958392
>why are you not charging?
to see the situation
>>is there a way out of this hell?
and to see if there is apossible way out
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>>3958392

>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>How's the war going, Can we win it?

>how can we get out of this
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>>3958394
>>3958412
>>3958417
>what's wrong with the mecha
>how can we get out of this

Is it broken?

You inquire about the state of the mighty mecha. Operated by three Dwarf, it can beat down a troll bare handed or send orcs flying with a single punch. However, the arms are now attached to the canon, making the whole vehicle a walking artillery battery. The Gnome joyously oblige to your request and detail a list of technicals difficulties you don't really understand. Even for someone who wanted to be mecha pilot that's too far. It's very humbling to see a Gnome stealing your childhood dream. So close and so far.

"... so to sum it up, we don't have enough pressure going to the arms so it is better used as mobile artillery"
"I... I see... Can you do something about it?"
"Not really. Actually it is getting quite slow recently, and we nearly got hit by a projectile. I hope Harmoline can repair the legs but the steam engine needs a little more punch if we ever wan to use the arms."
"What do you mean?"
"Like, I don't know... Iceburst Stones instead of coal. Say, mister, what's your business here anyway?"
"One more question please."

You then ask about any possible escape route from the Fortress, maybe an hidden passage. What about the rumour on the nobles escaping by airship.

"Hahaha... You don't believe that crap, right?"
"W-What's so funny?"
"I mean, you realise how much Mystical Stone you had need to lift up these many people? Stop joking around."
"I suppose you can't escape from here either."
"Well, it's not like the ennemy is going to let us pass through. However..."
"Yes?"
"I heard the commander talking about three secrets passages. The Lava Castle guarded by a dragon, the deepest part of the Mystical Stone Cave guarded by a Titan and of course through the maze of the Goblin tunnels."
"This... You realise these are legends we tell the children here."
"I... I'm not a child, ok? I'm a Gnome, now what do you want exactly?"

Getting all you could from the alchemist you reveal your true intent. You talk about his father wanting a proof of him being alive. A proof he gives you with the formula of an obscure potion. On her side, Harmoline finished the reparation.

"What do you mean my father is dead? It... It can't be."
"I'm sorry Harmolin, it did not make it through. He was very old and..."
"That's nonsense. I went through the Brotherhood of Battle territory to bring him a basket of every week. How did he died?"
"Starvation..."
"A-A-Again with the nonsense. H-Ho-How would he have died of starvation if I fed him every week? He even had a lot of friends who cared for him. I always see them rushing to him when I bring him the basket."

She wants to give the meat to the commander and ask him to deliver it to her father. The commander seems reluctant.

>keep the meat, Harmolin should accept the truth, the soldiers were stealing her father's food
>give away the meat, it's better if she believes her father is still alive and defending the Fortress
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>>3958451

>keep the meat, Harmolin should accept the truth, the soldiers were stealing her father's food

She probably will die if she tries to come here again to deluver food, its better to face the truth, tell her to hide the meat and she can come with us for safety.
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>>3958451
>>keep the meat, Harmolin should accept the truth, the soldiers were stealing her father's food
>>
>>3958451

>keep the meat, Harmolin should accept the truth, the soldiers were stealing her father's food
>>
>>3958451
>keep the meat, Harmolin should accept the truth, the soldiers were stealing her father's food
She has to face the facts.
>>
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>>3958458
>>3958459
>>3958460
>>3958466
"Harmolin. He is dead. Don't you understand? They stole his food every time."

The Dwarf collapses. Something has broken inside her, and she lets out and intense scream as she realizes the reality she has been avoiding until now until she enters a catatonic state. Now all limp and docile, like a doll, you can take the meat package for you and promise to bring her to safety. If only it was as easy to repair minds as it was to repair mechas. Before sending you back, the commander has a request for you.

"Listen fella. You are a capable one, I can see that."
"Thank you commander, by the way. What's your name?"
"Commander Warmbasher... Just Hungrar. Ranks do not mean anything now."
"So, what's your request, com... Hungrar?"
"Our artillery got almost wiped out except for the canon on our mecha. But we also have a lot of smaller canons that have to be installed by hands. However... my men are too scared to mount them."
"I don't blame them."
"If you can get your hands on a phonograph cylinder of the defender of Morghul I could manage to make them fire a round or two. That or some Iceburst Stone for our mecha. I will be in your debt."

One hand you can send all these soldiers to death in a last stand, one the other you can sacrifice the last mecha of the Fortress because who knows what he will do with it once it is fully repaired. You led Harmolin by hand out of the Gate. Maybe this was the last time you saw a glimpse of sunlight. The 7PM bells rings. One day has passed and there's still plenty of things to do, if only you ate something more digestible.

>pass through the now hostile territory of the militia you challenged by saving Harmolin and go back home before midnight
>go back to the Alchemist Guild to inform the Gnome father and get a healing potion
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
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>>3958474
>go back to the Alchemist Guild to inform the Gnome father and get a healing potion
We should get help for our wife before anything else. Then we can go to find a phonograph.
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>>3958474

>go back to the Alchemist Guild to inform the Gnome father and get a healing potion

Get that potion
Describe her illness to the alchemist and see if he has anything that can help waifu
Bring the engie along
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>>3958479
>>3958485
On your way back to the Alchemist Guild you find no traces of the corpse from before. Uh? A corpse? Why there should have been a corpse here? Your memory is fuzzy, you only remember that you helped Harmolin here and somehow it angered the local militia. Speaking of them...

"Hey! We are coming for you maggot."

A bunch of angry mobs are pursuing you and Harmolin. You think about carrying her on your back but that would be problematic with your pickaxe. If you do so, you will probably end up exhausted right at the Gnome's door. She really doesn't want to run no matter how hard you pull her. Or you can hide in the Banks area.

>hide in the Banks area until they get bored
>run to the Alchemist Guild, carrying Harmolin
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3958503

>run to the Alchemist Guild, carrying Harmolin

We can probably trade for a tonic there with that ham

Godsdammit this dudes
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>>3958503
>hide in the Banks area until they get bored
There's no way we can outrun them while we're carrying a woman and an adamantium pickaxe, and of we somehow did manage it we'd only bring trouble to the doctor's house.
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>>3958503
>hide in the Banks area until they get bored
>>
>>3958503
>run to the Alchemist Guild, carrying Harmolin
Just until we are off their territory, gotta get to the alchemist and the wife quick
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>>3958507
>There's no way we can outrun
I implied you could but with consequences
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>>3958523
And the consequence for hiding is wasting time I imagine, precious precious time
>>
>>3958503

>run to the Alchemist Guild, carrying Harmolin
>>
>>3958503
>run to the Alchemist Guild, carrying Harmolin
>>
>>3958505
>>3958507
>>3958515
>>3958516
>>3958580
>>3958613
>>3958503
After and intense run with this woman on your back you can see the Gnome on his rooftop hailing at you. Not even the plump lady flabby arms around your neck can distract you from your objective. If only she could properly grip you, you wouldn't have to lean forward and force her weight on you. It's time to burn the last calories left in you. Dashing like a madman, you slam on the heavy door of the Alchemist Guild.

"Get out of my property."

The Gnome shouts to your pursuers while throwing some bottle that explodes with a flash and a loud bang. You fall to the ground, exhausted.

"Your son... Your son is alive."
"Aqua Vitalis recipe. Now."

He threatens you, his arm ready to launch one of his potion on your head. You tell him the recipe only his son was supposed to know, then he slowly lowers his projectile with each ingredient you mention. He even manages to pull a shy smile before coming back to his usual grumpy attitude, but his eyes look more relaxed now.

"Why do you need my potion anyway?"
"My wife? She is sick."
"Sick?... Wait, describe the symptoms."
"Uh... She is coughing..."
"Wet or dry cough. No, that's obvious... Is there any solid things in her phlegm?"
"Yes... I think."
"You dumb anvil head. You are trying to cure tuberculosis with an healing potion?"
"What? Is that bad?"
"Use your, you stupid Dwarf. My potions are for adventurer who got severely wounded in combat. It will cure her necrosed lungs but it will not destroy the disease."
"How is that a bad thing?"
"She will appear better for a few days only before it gets worse, a lot worse."
"Is there anything I can do?"
"I'm an alchemist, not a doctor. Now get out of my property."

The midnight bells rings and the Mystical Stones light fades away. The cavern slowly falls into total darkness. Also, you are exhausted. There's no way you are going to carry Harmolin back and you don't even have the strengh to pull her, not even mentioning holding your pickaxe. If only you had some food left. Wait, you actually have but you know the Gnome would willingly trade for meat. You can also buy another healing potion, just in case. You currently have 6 slices of ham, enough meals for everyone for on day, including Harmolin.

>exchange meat for a potion to help you regain your home before morning
>exchange meat for another healing potion just in case
>exchange meat for a a potion to help Harmolin get out of her catatonic state
>exchange meat for a different potion, write-in
>no exchange

If you choose not to take the potion to regain strengh, where to stay?
>"I am a father too. Let me stay in your house just for one night."
>exchange meat for a place to stay
>find an abandoned Guild Office with no interest for looters
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
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>>3958623
>>exchange meat for a potion to help you regain your home before morning
and try to bargain for
>exchange meat for a a potion to help Harmolin get out of her catatonic state

it is ham we are talking about and helping her out of the catatonic state could jelp us get more ham, so try for the two potions
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>>3958637
seconding
>>
>>3958623
>exchange meat for a potion to help you regain your home before morning
>exchange meat for a a potion to help Harmolin get out of her catatonic state
>>
>>3958650
>>3958648
>>3958637
Additionally ask if he knows any doctor, we will do anything to save our wife.

If he asks who the girl id tell him she was going to be raped and we decided to help, but after hearing that her father died she stayed like this, the ham we are giving him was destined to her father

Maybe all these plyghts a the fact that we did him a favor just now will soften him a little bit
>>
Poor dwarf can't catch a break, one disaster after the other
>>
>>3958637
>>3958648
>>3958650
>>3958667
I need you to roll 2d6
First one to see if the bargain for an additionnal potion worked
>>3958662 I will take that into account as bonus for the roll
Second one for night encounters when going back home
>>
Rolled 4, 4 = 8 (2d6)

>>3958670
>>
Rolled 2, 2 = 4 (2d6)

>>3958670
>>
Rolled 1, 4 = 5 (2d6)

>>3958670
>>
>>3958674
>>3958680
>>3958682
>1,4
You explain to him that the girl was going to be raped and you saved here, hence her catatonic state. The poor girl just wanted to give food to her father and now that he is dead, you are using it to save her. You launch the package on the rooftop asking for the two potions. How tragic.

"I don't care. Here, take that and get out."

The ever-grumpy old Gnome tosses a bottle that shatters at your feet, emboldening vapours submerges your senses and you feel like you could move mountains. The bargain failed, and he doesn't want to discuss further, you will have to find a doctor by yourself.

Placing Harmolin on your back once more, you find your way in the darkness, crossing peacefully the territory of the Sons of Vulcan (since you don't carry any special stones). You just pass near the gallows where the Hobbit is groaning in pain from his third degree burn, reminding you of your cowardice. However... You are a hero. You saved a damsel in distress. Ok, you had to take her precious ham to save her and somehow you angered a militia. But you are a hero, right? At least you will be able to say that to your family.

The 6AM bells rings as you finally arrives at your doorstep. Your knees ruined and legs burning. You wonder about the effect of a potion that forces you to use muscles without energy, is it a good thing? And you have not rested for 24 hours. Maybe after a good nap it will be alright. So you approach your hand from the doorknob... Where is the doorknob?

"Dad! You are alive?"
"What's going on here?"
"Dorafra, you're injured?"
"Dad... I thought... I thought you died. Why did you not come back before the night?"

Your eldest has an arm in a makeshift sling. The strongest person in your household, both body and mind, is now crying on your shoulder. Apparently a lot of things happened while you were absent.

"It's the neighbours... They said you will not come back. That if I wanted protection I had to give them half of our wheat."
"What's left?"
"We only have enough for 15 meal left. That's enough for 3 days. Less if you count your friend."
"What about you? Are you alright? Is anyone injured?"
"It's just a sprain... They hold me down real hard when they stole our food... But Vozmoul, his injury he had before you left... I had to wash it with dirty water since we had no more coal and it got infected. Now he has a fever."

There's plenty of things to do, but for now you are completely drained, mentally and physically. So you collapse on the ground...
>>
>>3958728
Once you will wake up, there will be a lot of things to do. First to eat, then decide if you want to give the potion to your wife regardless of the alchemist's warning. Then find a doctor for both Vozmoul and your wife. Finally, get Harmolin out of her catatonic state. But most importantly kill your neighbour for having injured your daughter and stealing half of your food. And also eventually find coal to boil water.

Obviously, being a good father, you put aside all side quests. They are irrelevant for now, so what is your top priority (after eating)?
>find a doctor in the Nobles Mansions
>the problem with your neighbours
>find coal to boil water in order to clean injuries and make better meals
>take care of Harmolin

You can also decide to send your eldest on one of the less important aforementioned objective
>send Dorafra do something
>no, she stays here

About the healing potion
>give it to your wife
>let's wait for now
>>
>>3958731
>find a doctor in the Nobles Mansions
Goddamnit. We have to go find a guy right now.
>no, she stays here
It's not safe for a girl now.
>give it to your wife
>>
>>3958731
>doctor

>stay inside

>don't give.
>>
>>3958731
>the problem with your neighbours
>no, she stays here
>let's wait for now

Lets kill him and take our things back, and his special stone and coal will come in handy too
>>
>>3958750
I change to neighbor, he is too close and is a threat
>>
>>3958731
>>the problem with your neighbours
>no, she stays here
>let's wait for now

Fucking nigger, I bet our neighbour is a half-hobbit
>>
>>3958750
>>3958753
>>3958759
>>3958761
You sleep until midday. It took Dorafra six hours with her injured harm to reduce wheat grains into flakes using a mortar and pestle. She is dressing the table, trying her best to hide her sobbing, as if everything was normal. Your son and wife bedridden, the woman you saved staring blankly at her meal, there is, so to speak, only you and your two daughters alive.

Chewing on the dry non-soaked flakes you find yourself dreaming about those flatbreads your wife made just yesterday. Anyway, if you keep eating like that, you only have food left for one day, so you think the best course of action is to take care of your neighbour and take back what's yours... and maybe more. The pain in your knees from yesterday marathon feels like a thousand needles, you wonder if you can continue to walk like that.

"While you were absent they offered new jobs."
"I don't want you to get out for now."
"But... People are going to hunt giants rats just before the Iron Pits... that's still meat..."
"Look at your harm. How are you going to hunt giant rats anyway? Who did that, Dorafra? I'm going to make them pay."
"Boulderfoot... A family of three, only one daughter, the... the same age as Novina."

She points on the little girl chewing her meal as if trying to find an excuse for them. It was the father who raided your home. You remember the fat Boulderfoot. He pulled a contract on a drunken noble and now he gets enough annuities to live the easy life, jobless but in the workers homes. Someone who shone only once in his life. Too fat to work or get drafted. The worst parasite imaginable.

What's the best way to deal with him?
>charge head on right now with your pickaxe
>ask the Boars militia to get rid of him
>ask the Sons of Vulcan militia to get rid of him
>maybe you can convince some neighbours to gang up on him but you will have to share whatever you find
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3958795
>maybe you can convince some neighbours to gang up on him but you will have to share whatever you find
They should be easiest to convince. Also, Barefoot should probably have enough food to go around
>>
>>3958795
>charge head on right now with your pickaxe
1 fat fuck vs 1 angry father with a pickaxe let's go
>>
>>3958795

>charge head on right now with your pickaxe

Our food with interest
>>
>>3958805
>>3958818
>>3958856
Fueled by anger you climb one step after the other, not wanting to wake up the pain in your knees. Your adamantine pickaxe is ready, so this fat leech will get what he deserves. Dorafra was told to guard your home, but she is still busy trying to feed her mother, her little brother and maybe that weird woman you brought back.

Facing the door of Boulderfoot you kick it open only to find the little family feasting on wheat porridges, a warm stove in the room and a piece of salted meat on the table. The fat Dwarf is still on his seat, crumbs and stain in his beard, his greasy fingers holding a slice of dried meat. He did not realize yet what is coming for him, but his wife did, and she instinctively hugged her little daughter, shielding her from your wrath.

Are you a murderer?
>yes
>no
>>
>>3958880
>no
This is simply karma, all we'll do is break his arms. An eye for an eye
>>
>>3958880
>no
Just knock him out cold with the pommel of our pickaxe (is that even a thing?), then explain to his wife and daughter why we are here.
>>
>>3958880
>>no

beat him with our hands
grab food, meat and coal(it will be useful tot rade with the doctor) and say that this is to pay for what he did to our daughter
>>
>>3958880
>>no
>>
>>3958880
>>no
But take our food back.

Fuck, this is the edgiest quest I ever played.
>>
>>3958880
>yes
Plant that pickaxe in his eye, we need that meat for another potion and the rest of the food
>>
>>3958882
>>3958902
>>3958910
>>3959154
>>3959202
>>3959939
A lot of thoughts are swirling around in your mind. Should you break his arms, knock him down, calmly explains things, take everything, just what he stole from you. A darkest part of your mine even whisper to you how to make his death as gruesome as possible by gouging his eye, an eye for an eye, right? But you decide to let him live. After all, you live in a community and your neighbours will hear about this. However, that means you will have to live with a potential threat next door.

While you were deciding on his fate, the mountain of fat took a kitchen knife in his hand. It's useless, you still have the advantage, so you use the reach of your tool to break his nose with the eye of your pickaxe. You hear his skull creaks and a flow of blood starts cascading on his beard as he falls and let go of the knife.

"Dorresag you... I brodegded your daugders."
"Never approach my home, you fat turd or I will come again for you."
"You abandoned you home."
"You broke my daughter arm and stole our food like a lowly fat goblin."
"I habe a bamily do feed do."

He said that as if it could justify anything but you know better. You are a righteous hero who saved a woman, you risked your life to find a cure for white death and the commander of the Fortress guards even gave you a quest. That's right, you are like a hero from the legends. Are you a hero?

You look at his provisions and wonder what you can take back.
>take his Mystical Stone
>take 1 day worth of coal
>take wheat grains, 14 meals equivalent (what he stole from you)
>take all wheat grains, 30 meals equivalent
>take salted meat, 12 slices
>>
>>3959978
>>take 1 day worth of coal
>>take wheat grains, 14 meals equivalent (what he stole from you)
He broke an arm, we broke his nose.
We could use the coal a lot more than we could so the food, we have around 20 meals back at home regardless. Need the coal much more, but taking both of these options seems even enough to me. Likely won't draw any ire upon us, if we take everything, he sure as shit will be vengeful, or others will hear about it and do as he did.
If OP will only allow one choice, then my vote goes toward the coal.
>>
>>3959997
>20 meals back at home regardless
*8
After the ration distribution, all the family had a meal, so you had 28 left of your 33. During the night, he stole half of the remaining rations, so you had 14 left and he took 14. Then you had a meal for lunch with your family plus Harmoline, so you only have 8 left.

>will only allow one choice
You can take as much as you want
>>
>>3960004
>8
What? did we not get the meat Harmoline brought? My mistake. I took that into account.
>>
>>3960037
Should clarify. I realize we gave meat to the gnome alchemist, but I had assumed that it was 1-2 units of what we had. Not all of it.
>>
>>3960040
yes, it was everything for a potion (all 6 slices)
>>
>>3960004
Support
>>
>>3959997
You judge that it's enough to only what he stole from, plus a well due compensation for your daughter sprained shoulder. Coal and wheat bag on your back you step back out of Boulderfoot's house until you are in the staircase. Other neighbours have gathered and discuss what you have just done.

"I saw Boulderfoot break Flatfall's door."
"Yes, this fat bastard go what he deserved."
Way to go Torresak, don't let yourself be intimidated."
"Didn't he take more than what Boulderfoot stole from him."
"Who is going to protect the building if Boulderfoot is defeated so easily."

Meet the neighbours. A young woman living alone, a old grandpa dwarfs and another dwarf about your age. There's maybe another neighbour who condemned his door and never left the building since the first week and the wife of the grandpa, too old to climb down the stairs. You clarify the situation, confirming the accusation on the thief, however they are afraid of this shift of power. Indeed, the man you broke the nose of was apparently ruling the community like a despotic barron but it somehow maintained order.

"Can we come to you if there is a problem, Torresak?"
"Please come with me to hunt giant rats, we will share meat with everyone."
"Did you find a way out of the Fortress?"

Are you a leader?
>yes
>no

Dorafra will use the coal to boil some water and wash Vozmoul wound, maybe the warm stove will help your family feel better. Especially your wife who lost the strength to cough and switched to a slow reduced breath, always smiling with her pale face like everything was alright. Only two problems left and it's only 3PM bell ring.

>take care of Harmoline, it's best to have her come back to her sense with this threat
>go seek a doctor for your wife, you can't waste anytime now
>>
>>3960249

>take care of Harmoline, it's best to have her come back to her sense with this threat
She is an engineer and probably well off, if she has a home she may have medicine or at least know someone who does and we will need someone taking care of our kids when we leave after the doctor

>yes but I need to take care of my wife now

>
>>
>>3960249
>>yes
Rise above, we're gonna rise above.
>>go seek a doctor for your wife, you can't waste anytime now
Cutting it close.
>>
>>3960249
>yes
We are a man of the fortress. We look out for our fellow dwarves and they do the same for us.

>go seek a doctor for your wife, you can't waste anytime now
We can worry about Harmoline later.
>>
>>3960282
>>3960306
before we hurry out and since we said yes ask the neighbors f they know how to treat wife
the older ones must have seen the disiese before
>>
>>3960255
>>3960282
>>3960306
>>3960325
"I have to take care of my wife but I won't let you down just as you won't let me down, I know."

The message was clearly understood. You house is safe as long as you act as their leader, how long it will take for your newly acquired responsibilities to contradict with your family interest, only time will tell. However, this is also a chance to rise above, become something more than a mere miner.

"What's the problem with your wife, Torresak?"
"She is coughing and has got very weak."
"Oh it's the White Death. May Vulcan protect her."
"Poor woman. The best you can do is feed her well."
"I heard opium could save her."
"No, she has to take a bath in the elven forest."
"I heard that bloodletting and enemas will do."

This is getting you nowhere. They all have their own superstitions on how to cure the disease. It's better to find a real doctor. You know there must be one in the Nobles Mansions, their house are very noticeable. Getting him here and paying him for medicine will prove to be the most difficult. First, the area is controlled by the Sons of Vulcans, so smuggling a Mystical Stone will be impossible. Then, a round trip will get you back home just before the "night" so you don't have any time to waste.

What should you bring with you?
>bring your pickaxe
>bring 10 meals worth of wheat
>bring 20 meals worth of wheat
>bring the healing potion
>bring your home's only light source:mystical stone

Also, considering yesterday unforseen detour, should you bring any meal with you?
>take flatbread, wait one hour for Dorafra to bake one
>just take crushed wheat, pretty indigestible
>no, you are fine, promise Dorafra you will get back before "night"

Anything else you would like you family to do while you are absent?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3960359
>>bring your pickaxe
>>bring the healing potion
The nobles will probably not be interested in wheat, nor the healing potion. I imagine they are sitting pretty. The pick has proven it's worth before already, but could make a valuable bargaining chip if all else fails, though I'd prefer to keep it.
>>no, you are fine, promise Dorafra you will get back before "night"
It's close enough already, things are looking bleak. Should make the use of all the time we can to see if opportunity rears it's head on the trip there.
>>
>>3960359
>>just take crushed wheat, pretty indigestible
>bring the healing potion
>bring your pickaxe
>>
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>>3960367
>>3960387
It's time to head for the Nobles Mansions. You don't bother bringing a Mystical Stones to trade for a doctor since you know it will be confiscated and smuggling is not one of your skills. If only you could find someone who could, like a master thief, a hobbit master thief... You also bring youur pickaxe and the healing potion, even if a man of science will show little to none interest to some magical item it's more useful to have it on you.

Dorafra watches anxiously as you gear up for this evening, she fears that you will abandon all of you once again. You are torn about asking for a meal or maintaining the illusion that you will be home soon enough? You trust you first intuition and exit the building.

"Have a safe trip, dad."

Outside, the cave has changed a lot since you were absent. People are throwing their garbage out of their window because the sewer system is not working any more. It just looks like a human city, absolutely disgusting. Some small groups are gathering around fire where they throw everything they can, books, doors, furnitures, tools... There's only 3 days left before the rations runs out. Some even started to hunt giant rats for food.

"Please help me..."

The Hobbit still cuffed in the pillory does not look well. His forehead burn is covered in pus, and he probably has not eaten since you met him.
>>
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>>3960536
As you progress toward the upper district of the Fortress, fire are replaced by dying trees, scavenger by the militia patrols and street are still clean. If it was not for the unattended gardens this place would not be far from what it originally was. You pass a few check ups and find yourself a doctor's house, someone is already answering your calls.

"Hey! Is anyone here?"
"What is it? No Mystical Stones. Already confiscated."
"No, I'm not here fo-"
"Beggar? No. Too well armed. Probably looter. By the way no more medicine here."
"No, I don't want to stea-"
"Militia too close. Highly unlikely. Asking for a doctor but no wounds. Intriguing."

The Dwarven Doctor is... thrilled by your visit. A beardless Dwarf with tiny glasses that he just can't stop adjusting. He said he had no medicine in his cabinet but you just can't give up like that.

"My wife is sick. She's coughing a lo-"
"Blood in her sputum?"
"Ye-"
"Tuberculosis. Commonly called White Death by proles."
"Y-Yes... Can y-"
"Great news! Follow me mister."

The enigmatic doctor invites you in his house. Walls are covered in bookshelves, the floor is littered with papers and some empty shelves have been broken. For a well off Dwarf, his house sure is lacking Mystical Stones, but you remember he said they were taken. Did the Sons of Vulcans also steal the medicine? You don't want to fight them, you already have another militia as an enemy. The doctor leads you to a courtyard where all sort of plants are growing... or more likely withering since there's no light.

"Behold, mister. Regina Noctis Aura."
"It's a plant."
"Very perceptive for a prole. I like that."
"Th-"
"Also called Ama Ahnvae Kess by the elves. It grows in their forest and only blooms once a month under the full moon. It's spores are highly toxic and I found out that this toxin could neutralize tuberculosis just like an antidote fight a poison."
"That's marvellous!"
"If only... The patients have a 53% survival rate because the toxin necrose the tissues. If only I could find a way to heal the damaged tissues as the toxin fight the disease. Also!... I don't have any Mystical Stone to imitate a full moon light so it will never bloom again."

That's problematic. You found a cure for the White Death and not only it is experimental and could kill your wife but you also have to find Mystical Stones to collect the medicine.

How can you bring a Mystical Stone to the plant?
>carry the plant back home, this will take some time since it's quite big
>maybe you can find a way to smuggle a Mystical Stone here
>write-in
How can you improve the survival rate?
>you have to collect lot of healthy food for your wife to fight the necrosis
>confront the Sons of Vulcan to find more medicine to fight the necrosis
>write-in
Should you go home for now?
>yes
>no
>>
>>3960537
Additional question to doctor: Would health potion help? If yes how and when we should apply it.

We would need to put our wife in separate room
>>
>>3960537
>>3960537
>>carry the plant back home, this will take some time since it's quite big

>write-in
WE can improve using the healing potion, but just to make sure ask the doctor if a healing potion would improve her chances of surviviong the necrosis

>ask him if he has anything to treat burns
we will go streight to our wife from here but after we drop the medicine on her we could try to help that halfling so we can use his skills

>yes
>>
>>3960555
>we could try to help that halfling so we can use his skills
Supporting this. Nice thinking. He will likely be less receptive to helping us than he would have if we had stepped in after he was initially branded, but he might still be thankful enough to be willing to help us. Maybe he could steal medicine from the Sons of Vulcan? Not a good idea to blatantly rise up and come to blows with them just yet. If at all, so the halfling would make a good proxy. If not, we could potentially liberate a Mystical Stone from an abandoned dwelling or something, and maybe offer it to the Sons for disposal in exchange for medicine.
>>3960553
If it won't help her recovery any, we could give it to the halfling assuming we could free him.
>>
>>3960555
>>3960537
oh, and invite the doctor to our neighborhood, its poor but we have light from the stones and he could help treat the people there since we will soon go giant rat hunting for food

and if he carry the plant we would go faster even if he brings all the food he has with him
>>
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>>3960553
>>3960555
>>3960565
>>3960572
The 6PM bell rings, it's time to head back home and keep your promise to Dorafra. You try to pick the pot of the plant, it's too heavy for one person alone. Maybe a strength potion will do the trick or have another Dwarf help you. Well, not the doctor but maybe a neighbour. If that fails you can risk helping the Hobbit and have him smuggle the Mystical Stone here. You failed to help him but treating his grave injury will surely change his mind.

"Do you have anything to treat bur-"
"The Hobbit? Third degree burn. Amputation recommanded."
"But they marked him on his forehead."
"Amputation problematic... Balm to cover the burn. Incision to evacuate pus. Life expectancy: one or two days."
"Ouch... I didn't think it was this bad."
"Yes. Miracle needed."
"Ah speaking of miracle, I have this healing potion. Could this help my wife if she received your experimental treatment?"

For the first time, the strange doctor did not interrupt you. He stares at the potion adjusting his glasses, processing a train of emotions you can't really keep track of.

"Using magic. Combine Science and Magic? Renouncing to the oath of a doctor."
"Y-Yeah..."
"Unconventional. I like that. Use it one day after the toxin injection. Expect condition to get worse meanwhile."
"Not before?"
"Aaaah... Bunch of Nobles spend fortunes on healing potions. Get better instantly. Lung necrosis cured. Then disease strike back even harder. Expensive lifestyle. Dangerous for other."
"Why don't you come with me, doc?"
"Ah! Never. Too much work. Come back when you are ready."

Without any delay, the doctor sits right on the floor, with his papers. This rises many questions, but you have a community to take care of. Tomorrow you will have to decide how to carry the plant or if you want to save the Hobbit. You let the busy doctor continue his work and open the door. On your way back you find the Hobbit unconscious but still breathing. The doctor said he will only last one or two days like that.

It's now the 9PM bell turn to ring. You climb the stairs with this pain that won't go away in your knees. Dorafra jumps at your neck like a little girl, she is so happy to see you and you kept your promise. Vozmoul fever has gone away now that his wound is clean and there is a lit stove in your home, he is playing with Novina. Nomalin, your wife, has a better position on the bed with a cushion of clothes under her back. Apparently the old couple came to give some advice to help her breath but they say she has not much time left. Harmoline is still motionless staring blankly at the stove.

How to spend the night
>Dorafra on watch first
>Toressak on watch first
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

(Optionnal) With the night you fall into deep thinking and speculations.
What do you feel about how the king is handling the situation?
Who do you think is besieging the Fortress?
What's the deal with airships and Mystical Stones?
>>
>>3960643
>(Optionnal) With the night you fall into deep thinking and speculations.
This is to help me write the story and help you explore some aspects of the Fortress.
>>
>>3960643
>>Dorafra on watch first

>try to talk with Hermoline while we are on watch, it will keep us awake and maybe we can snap her out of her stuppor


What do you feel about how the king is handling the situation?
I hope he has some sort of escape plan or passage because we are not faring well
Who do you think is besieging the Fortress?
must be those dam n humans, ingenious enough to use trebuchets and greedy enough to want the mountain to themselves
What's the deal with airships and Mystical Stones?
they said it would be needed a ridiculous amount, and even if an airship sails it will be shot down by the forces outside
>>
>>3960643
>>Toressak on watch first

>>Who do you think is besieging the Fortress?
Couldn't be goblins, if it was them, why not attack from the goblin caves. Or who knows if they could even manufacture trebuchets? Elves? Unlikely, why even besiege the Dwarves? and if the opposing army making trebuchets nightly as mentioned earlier, I doubt the Elves would be keen on the use of wood like that. Orcs and trebuchets don't mix. Couldn't be them. They got the horde thing going on it seems, but I doubt there are many Orcish siege engineers in this setting.
Must be humans behind it. Yup. Maybe another race in league with them, but I'm going to rule out Elves due to the consumption of trees angle.
>>What do you feel about how the king is handling the situation. Poorly. Likely pretty stressed by now, but still living the good life compared to the masses. It's chaos within the fortress, the nobles must have a plan or some way they'll get out of here, or kill themselves. Toressak rises to accept the new mantle.
>>
>>3960643

>Dorafra on watch first
As always we get the shit watch

>invading

The humans are the most likely, maybe with the help of some gnome engineers or something

>the king
He could hardly be doing a worse job, militias on the street and no guard to be seens, the people starve and he has his boars at the stable? What are the boars eating? Wheat that could go to the people?
>>3960656
I like trying to help the engineer while we are awake.

Come morning we should find someone to help us carry the plant.
>>
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>>3960656
>>3960673
>>3960712
With the 2AM bell, you wake up from a dreamless sleep. It's been so long, maybe seeing the end of the tunnel helped you clear your thoughts. Dorafra informs you that no real incident occurred during her watch. Actually, Boulderfinger's wife showed up apologize. She suspects that the woman was actually checking if you were out. You sit on a chair in front of Harmoline, just by the warm stove. Helping someone going through mourning, is not something you are really used to. Miners are strong people, they know lives only hang by a thread, literally.

>silently hold Harmoline hands
>talk about her father
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3960727
>hold her hand
>talk to her
He would want you to be strong lass, you have to come back, he was there defending our home and you need to be strong so we can survive this

Lend her a shoulder to cry if she needs it.
>>
>>3960727
Supporting >>3960734.
>>
>>3960727
>>talk about her father
Voting to just roll with this. Other option is too lewd.
>>
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>>3960734
>>3960740
>>3960759
The warmth of your big worker's hand spread to he, you feel her reacting slightly to the touch. You deliver an inspiring speech, calling on the memory of her father and the supposed feeling he had for her. However, you feel her hold loosen, and she lets go of your hand. Upper classes are hard to understand. Didn't her father loved her as much as you love your children?

The morning comes but Harmoline is still lost in the dark. It's time to elaborate a plan to acquire the doctor's toxin. You need to move his plant to your home or smuggle a Mystical Stone to him. You concluded that the best way to do this is to find someone to help you carry the pot or rescue the Hobbit thief. Both of these methods need even more planning.

If you choose to carry back the plant to your home
>ask a neighbour to help you carry the plant
>find meat to buy a strength potion from the alchemist

If you choose to rescue the Gnome with your healing potion
>scavenge for a Mystical Stone for the Sons of Vulcan to free him
>try to bypass the Sons of Vulcan patrols and free him

"HAAAAAAA"

Someone is screaming downstairs. You rush to the staircase but people from the building were already coming to you, their leader, for advice. They found a Dwarven arm with bite marks on the first flour. You remember the house of horror, just across the street, that gave you nightmares. There is also another Dwarf who keeps asking you to help him hunt giant rats.

What about your duty as a leader?
>I'm hunting rat this morning
>I'm going to investigate the house of horrors this morning
>It can wait this afternoon, I have to save my wife
>>
>>3960769
>>I'm hunting rat this morning
>>
>>3960769
>>scavenge for a Mystical Stone for the Sons of Vulcan to free him
Safer option. Would rather go into a potentially dangerous area once rather than lose an ally and piss off a faction that controls the only other route to the eastern portion of the fortress. We piss them off, and we'll have a fight on our hands, or will be completely cut off here.
>>
>>3960769
>>It can wait this afternoon, I have to save my wife
>>3960784
Other option slipped my mind. My vote goes to this. Hunting rat would get us points with the neighbors, but people are at risk of dying here.
>>
>>3960769
>ask a neighbour to help you carry the plant
Say that if he helps us carry the plant pot we will help him hunt, how is that?


>It can wait this afternoon, I have to save my wife
>>
>>3960787
On the way there we can try to free the halfling and leave him at the doctor, but only if no one is around
>>
>>3960769
What if we hunt rat, give rat to gnome, bypass vulcans.
If we were to fail we drink the steroid potion before or after and we bring the pain
>>
>>3960787
Supporting
>>
>>3960769
>>ask a neighbour to help you carry the plant

>try to bypass the Sons of Vulcan patrols and free him
but don't use the healing potion on him, we need that one for our wife

offer the hunter to help us in exchange for helping him hunt, he helps us carry and we help them hunt
>>
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>>3960775
>>3960784
>>3960785
>>3960787
>>3960788
>>3960792
>>3960799
>>3960801
2 votes to hunt
1 vote to scavenge
4 votes to go for medicine

You consider hunting giant rat for a while, it would get you meat and have a neighbour on your side, plus it's always better to thin the parasite numbers. However, lives are at stakes right now, so you choose to focus on getting back to the doctor. Actually, you could propose the one who asked you to go rat hunting to help you carry the pot. Maybe on the way there you could free the hobbit but there's no way you are going to waste a healing potion for that.

"I will take care of this later. Please understand, I have to bring back medicine for my wife."
"W-We have to prepare for tonight. There's a Dwarf eating creature roaming in the streets."
"Hey, you the hunter. If you help me carry medicine from the Nobles Mansion to my house I will hunt with you."
"Gladly, sir!"

This went surprisingly well. While preparing for today's expedition, you wonder how you are going to bypass the militia and free their captive. The poor halfling is at a pillory with a severe degree burn and is unconscious. You will have to carry him to the doctor and also break his chains.

What should you bring with you?
>bring your pickaxe
>bring 10 meals worth of wheat
>bring 20 meals worth of wheat

Since Dorafra calmed down a bit you can bring a meal without having her to worry and say it's just in case
>take flatbread, wait one hour for Dorafra to bake one
>just take crushed wheat, pretty indigestible
>>
>>3960828
>>bring your pickaxe
>>don't bother taking food
bringing crushed wheat will not be filling or give us a burst of energy. The flatbread would be a waste of time to cook, it would be optimal to take nothing, and not waste a meal's worth of grain that won't really do much. Don't even think we ate the wheat we brought along the last excursion into the fortress.
>>
>>3960828
>>bring your pickaxe
>take flatbread, wait one hour for Dorafra to bake one
>>
>>3960828

>take flatbread, wait one hour for Dorafra to bake one
We will do some lifting and we'll need the strenght, one hour is nothing.
I remember the crushed things slowed us down too and this time we may need to run if we grab the halfling so we better be prepared.
>>
>>3960859
And our trusty pickaxe.

Tell our daughter to hold Hermolin's hand while we are out, that seemed to confort her, but tell her to speak nothing, just confort the lass.
>>
>>3960853
>>3960854
>>3960859
>>3960861
Dorafra happily takes one hour to make you a flatbred, it could always be useful. The young hunter is waiting at your door step admiring your daughter cooking skill. He is staring a little too much to your taste. You only have 22 meal worth of wheat grains left, including the flatbread, that's enough for three days including today's lunch. He is not going to get his hands on you hard earned wheat. Or maybe he was not looking at the food?

"Dorafra, please take care of the poor lass. Hold her hands, that will confort her."
"Alright. Have a safe trip, dad."

You are now used to the road heading to the Nobles Mansions, the difference with the Workers Homes is always striking. It's cleaner, brighter, better and... there's now people hanging to the dead trees. You can't read the sign around their neck but recognize a religious symbol. The young Dwarf you brought with you feel very uncomfortable and cling to his spear. The pillory doctor's house is not far from the pillory where the Hobbit agonizing. Drool mixed with blood hang from his mouth to his hairy feet, there's even a vampire bat biting his shoulder, but he is still breathing. He won't last another day.

There's no patrol on sight, you only have two tools to free him. The pillory is held tight by a lock, there's no more bound on the prisoner.

Which tool do you use?
>use pickaxe
>use spear

And how to use it?
>hit the lock until it breaks
>break the hinge
>break the wood
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3960878
>use pickaxe

Iits what it's made for

>break the hinge
of if it's easier, the wood around the hinge so it comes loose
>>
>>3960878
Pick behind the hinge and then leverage it free like you would using a hammer to pull out a nail
>>
>>3960878
>use pickaxe
>break the hinge
>>
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>>3960938
>>3960915
>>3960891
"I-Is this what we are going to bring home, sir?"
"No, I just need to free him, because... that's what I do. I help people"

You use your adamantine pickaxe to pull the hinge using the flat of the tool in a leverage. It comes out with a creaking noise from the wood, not this unmistakable clear sound when adamantine meet iron. You actually have to chase away the bat with your hand since it was not frightened at all. His body is all limp, like a slime and you can carry him easily like a child. This uncanny feeling hits you hard, did you really have to let it go this far? Did he not deserve a healing potion?

"Hey doctor, open up. I have a patient for you."
"Oh. Practical work. Worse than anticipated."
"Can you treat him?"
"Memory loss? Could be an effect of malnutrition. I said there's no medicine here."
"Can you do something?"
"Alleviate suffering. But, what the point?... Put him her."

Rescuing someone does not necessary means saving someone. The doctor help you position him in a comfy sofa and treat first his pressure ulcer caused by several days of stress position. He then applies a fresh wet on his forehead cloth after cutting some abscess around the necrosed flesh.

The doctor then details the procedure. Droplets of water on a Mystical Stone won't do, you will have to immerse it completely in water. This will of course destroy the stone, but the plant will bloom under its light and toxic spores disperse in the air. You will have to do this in an enclosed space, let her breath for one hour. This will get very ugly, she might drown in her own blood and you will have to administer a healing potion one day after the toxin was introduced. You will be tempted to give it sooner and you can but she will absolutely need another one day after the toxin was introduced, he emphasizes that point.

Any last question before leaving with the plant?
>If they took your medicine and food, what do you eat?
>What are you actually working on?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3960981
>If they took your medicine and food, what do you eat?
>>
>>3960981
>What are you actually working on?
>>
>>3960981
>If they took your medicine and food, what do you eat?

Also, we will be hunting for meat, so we might get another potion, ask him to try and keep him alive
>>
>>3961018
No guarantees tho
>>
Calling it now, if the doc is cannibalizing dead patients sk him for a piece to trade with the asshole alchemist lol
>>
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>>3961001
>>3961010
>>3961018

"Uh... Doc, what do you eat exactly? You are not canib-"
"Haha... saccharum officinarum. Dwarfs only know of sugar from beetroot. Ignorants. Didn't bother taking my sugar canes. Lucky."
"You have been eaten sugar this whole time?"
"Insightful."
"No wonder you are this excited... About your work."
"Yes. Compiling my work. So much knowledge to save."
"To save? You know a way out?"
"100kg per nobles, 50kg for commoners if you can pay the price. Foolish people asking for amputations. 50kg of papers is all I need."

The doctor turned back to his papers, carefully selecting the most precious pages of his notes, summarizing them with the tiniest possible handwriting. You fail to get more from him and only say aloud your wish to see the Hobbit live until you can help him.

Transporting the plant with the hunter proved quite easy, if you were at your peak physical condition you could have done that alone in on day with several pauses. You manage to get home for lunch and everyone is happy seeing you so early. You really made a good decision. Even Harmoline turns her head to your direction, the light in her eyes is nowhere to be found, but she reacted. Apparently the intense teasing of Novina and Vozmoul helped her forget about her father. The hunter is waiting for you in his apartment and you still have to cure your wife.

After the lunch
>go hunting, a long afternoon to find giant rats
>cure your wife, lot of things to prepare and a patient to watch

Maybe you can entrust Dorafra with something withing the community
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3961048

>go hunting, a long afternoon to find giant rats
Pay our debt and help her in the evening
>>
>>3961048
>>go hunting, a long afternoon to find giant rats
>>
>>3961084
>>3961088
rolld a 1d6 to hunt
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>3961116
You don't use crit overrides on a d6 right qm?
>>
Rolled 3, 5 = 8 (2d6)

>>3961116
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>3961136
Goddammit
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>3961116
>>
>>3961143
Rats for everyone!
>>
>>3961173
>>3961143
>>3961141
>>3961136
>>3961129
The hunter takes you to back alley where multiple tunnels have been dug in the cavern wall. You both joke comparing this to a giant whack-a-mole, except that giant rats have teeth. He spread some wheat grains on the ground and you wait behind a pile of rubbish. The stench covers your smell and you don't have to wait long before a bunch of giant rats get out of their holes. He charges with his spear, carefully avoiding the guts and directly stabbing the rat in the eye. You imitate him and make your pickaxe falls down on rodent skull.

You both acquire the equivalent of 6 slices of meat, from the thighs. Surprisingly for the hunter, they are much different from the deers, he used to hunt in the Elven forest with his dad. The thighs are the only large enough muscle to bother collecting, a good thing you did not spill their guts. The young man thank you for protecting his rear, he looks like a good person.

The 6PM bell rings and you have to arrange everything to for the treatment. However, the task is pretty straightforward. Everyone leaves your home except you, Dorafra and your wife. Your daughter caulk every potential leak while you prepare a recipient of water. After dropping the Mystical Stone in the bucket of water, it shines just like the doctor said and the flowers blooms, letting out a green cloud of spore. You both exit your room as fast as you can and wait for one hour on the doorstep with everyone and the food.

It's now 7PM and the apartment has been cleared from any toxin. Nomalin does not look any different, but the doctor said she could get worse. Without coal and a Mystical Stone, you will have to face your darkest night.

How to spend the night (this include monitoring Nomalin)
>Dorafra on watch first
>Toressak on watch first
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3961191
Does the hunter live alone?


>Dorafra on watch first
Focus on making sure wife breathes ok, both of us, keep her from chocking and keep her airways unobstructed.
Let the daughter get the first watch since the second will be more frightening to her due to wife being worse
>>
>>3961191
>Dorafra on watch first
>>
>>3961212
support
>>
>>3961212
Supporting.
>>
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>>3961225
>>3961219
>>3961218
>>3961212
You wake up to the dim light of outside lanterns, without any fire or Mysrical Stone inside, it's almost total darkness. Dorafra says the first shift was calm, Novina was very scared of the dark and wet herself, Vozmoul tried to make her laugh to help her and, surprisingly, Harmoline smiled. You take her place at your wife bedside, the healing potion in one hand, the pickaxe in another. Time passes with each painful breath of Nomalin piercing your heart, every cough is startling you as if it was her last. It must have been even tougher on your daughter.

"HEEEEELP ME. HELP ME."

It's the Dwarf woman on the first floor. You have been ignoring the house of horrors for too long and even with the clear sign of imminent threat you delayed the investigation. It's probably the same creature coming back and you have no idea what to expect. Dorafra wakes up after a restless sleep.

>go downstairs
>stay near your wife
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3961238
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
Alert the community! Tell your son, to rouse the neighbors, and then go downstairs! Have our two daughters stay inside. Don't open the door unless it's 3 knocks.
>>
>>3961238

>go downstairs

Wake daughter with a shout and tell her to take care of mother
>>
>>3961247
this
>>
>>3961247
+1
>>
>>3961265
>>3961264
>>3961247
>>3961245
Dorafra takes back the potion and replace you near her mother. You tell Vozmoul to alter the neighbours, but you can already tell that he is going to ignore Boulderfinger, and it's pointless to count on the old couple. This leaves you and the hunter who is already rushing downstairs ahead of you.

The woman who called for help is sitting on the ground, continuously screaming. Its far from hysteria, something in her brain was broken. Like you in the house across the street, she saw and unspeakable horror, something that should not be. Even when you try to tell her to calm down. You start to hear your children crying and Boulderfinger's daughter too, but the creature whatever it was is gone leaving only the woman with a leg partially eaten.

How do you calm her?
>knock her out
>let her scream
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

What about the creature?
>go outside after "it"
>stay in the building
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

"DAD?! DAD, COME HOME!"

Dorafra is calling panicked. You have to take an important decision, your wife health or your home safety. Maybe the time has come to trust your daughter on certain matters.

Rush back home
>yes
>no
>>
>>3961288
>>no
We chose leadership. Protect the flock.
>>
>>3961288
>let her scream

>go outside after "it"

>no
>>
>>3961288
>>let her scream
>>go outside after "it"
>no
>>
>>3961288

Shout to our daughter

"I'm ok, don't give the potion yet, stay calm.!"

>let her scream


>go outside after "it"

see if hunter boy is around
>>
>>3961288
>let her scream
>go outside after "it"
>no
>>
>>3961315
>>3961311
>>3961309
>>3961302
>>3961296
You try to shout something to your daughter but with the woman screaming and the children crying you don't know if she heard everything. With the hunter you go after the creature outside, leaving the woman to scream until she passes out or bleed out.

Immediately after passing through the exit, you confirm that it's a biped, but quickly lose its sight in the darkness between the lanterns' light. It was not going back to the house of horrors, if it even came out of here in the first place.

Since you trimmed the number of rats in the neighbourhood, you don't have to fear getting attacked by rodent and go deeper into the night. The hunter has found a trail of blood leading to a back alley where people throw their garbage.

>follow the blood trail
>go home
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3961332
>>follow the blood trail
came this far. might as well continue. cautiously.
>>
>>3961332
>>follow the blood trail
>>
>>3961332
>follow the blood trail
>>
>>3961332
>>follow the blood trail
>>
>>3961332
>follow the blood trail
also....bleed out? she saw the creature on the other house, she was not injured right?
>>
>>3961346
>>3961344
>>3961341
>>3961338
>>3961337
Closely following the blood trail, the hunter is on his guard, he knows a beast is the most dangerous when injured. Wait... It was not injured. And it was intelligent enough to hang people by their feet, it's nothing like an animal. What if it was actually playing with you? You feel a shadow looming over your back and the second after the bite of a knife in your shoulder. You fell in a trap.

The hunter turns around, thrusting his spear and chase away the creature hiding in the darkness. You are need bleeding a lot but your movement are restrained. You have to get back home. If you don't stop your companion he is going to run after the creature in the darkness.

>stop him
>let him continue
>>
>>3961379
>stop him
>>
>>3961379

>stop him

Its a trap, stop, the thing is i telligent
>>
guys, tomorrow we can propose a new policy, we sleep in the same house at night, that way we stand together, if we are separated it can pick us off one by one
>>
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>>3961393
>>3961388
>>3961432
Back home, the old couple is trying to stop the haemorrhage of the woman whose leg has been partially eaten, but her agitation is making things worse. On top of that, the fat Boulderfinger is laughing at you from his doorstep. This is a total disaster, except for your family who is happy enough to see you come back, even leaning on the hunter shoulder. There's Dorafra, Novina, Vozmoul and... Nomalin! No, there's also Harmoline!

"Hey, sir, I... I'm sorry."
"Why are you apologizing?"
"I should have realized sooner it was not a beast."
"Who could have thought. Was that a Goblin? I never saw one."
"I don't think so... The knife in your shoulder. It's..."
"Spit it out. What's wrong?"
"It's a Dwarven hunting knife..."

The first floor is a mess, but after a few hours you all managed to stop the woman's bleeding after a considerable blood lost and remove the knife from your shoulder. You won't be able to use your pickaxe well and you should find clean water to wash that wound, which means coal to boil dirty water. You climb the stairs to reunite with your family, you forgot how beautiful Nomalin smile was when it was not to hide pain. Whatever the doctor said about not giving her the potion immediately, you just want to rest.

Both Dorafra and Nomalin are preparing the meal
>use the 6 slices of meat for everyone
>no better keep them for trading

You can finally talk with Harmoline, what do you want to ask?
>do you have a place to stay?
>do you have resources to share?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

What should be your new first priority considering you cannot properly use your pickaxe?
>the creature, it must be dealt with
>you have no light source or fuel for the stove, you need coal
>you have to heal your wound
>you have to save the hobbit on the verge of death
>you have to find another healing potion for Nomalin
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Have one person of your household do one of the aforementioned lesser priority task
>Nomalin (wife, in remission)
>Harmolin (engineer)
>Dorafra (daughter, sprained shoulder)
>Vozmoul (son)
>>
>>3961461
>no better keep them for trading

>do you have resources to share?

>you have no light source or fuel for the stove, you need coal

>>Harmolin (engineer): you have to heal your wound
>>
>>3961461
What the fuck? Who gave the potion?
Confirm it for me qm
We did not give the potion right?

Fuuuuuck nothing goes rigjt? It was just supposed to not give the goddamn potion FUCK!

>no better keep them for trading
>do you have a place to stay?
>do you have resources to share?
She can stay with us no problem


>you have to find another healing potion for Nomalin
Simply put, there was no gpddamn reason to give the potion, why did someone give the potion? It was very clear that we shouldn't give, I call bullshit
>>
>>3961493
We can at least go there and back to trade for the potion during the morning that leaves the afternoon for scavenging coal and the mystical stone right?

Man that was bullshit, literally no reason to give it.
>>
>>3961493
>Confirm it for me qm
Yes, Dorafra gave the potion to her mother. It will be detailed in the next update. You have no more healing potion.
>>
>>3961507
Why? We told her not to?
Damn its one after the other, time to kill self.

>go trade the meat for another potion

Ask Hemolin how she is and where her home is, tell we are going to the alchemist and if her house is nearby we can stop there to grab some things but we recomend she stays with us for safety, things are crazy out there.

Ask the hunter if he has some coal to spare and suggest we bunk in the same room to use less coal to heat both our families.
>>
>>3961510
Change to this

Tell Nomalin to take care of our youngest, she misses her mother.
>>
We gotta heal wound save hobbit and exchange some rat for healing potion.

If the wife is healed she can take care of our house with the other girl. Then the hobbit (who I assume can sneak and spot) , us and the hunter kill the creature plus we have a potion if we fucked up
>>
>>3961510
I belive we told her but the woman was screaming
>>
How much meat do we have? Maybe we can afford two potions
>>
>>3961461
>>no better keep them for trading
>do you have a place to stay?
>you have to find another healing potion for Nomalin
>Vozmoul (son)
>>
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>>3961907
>>3961670
>>3961517
>>3961510
No matter how delicious these slice of rat meat look like it's better to keep them for trading you think. With Harmoline finally awake from her catatonic state you decide it's est to avoid personnal question and focus on survival aspect.

"I think we were not properly introduced, I am Torresak Flatfall."
"Harmoline Nobleforged, thank you for letting me stay here."
"Speaking of that, do you have a place of your own?"
"I fear that the Brotherhood of Battle is controlling the Forges now and my... my father worksop..."
"So you don't have any resource to share?"
"I... I can work!"

It's not like you have any complex machinery to repair here. The only thing that comes to mind is the central heating which is probably in the Forges area. Thinking about your next move, you judge that the best course of action is to acquire another healing potion, for your wound, the hobbit or Nomalin, you will decide later. Maybe you can do something else in the afternoon.

With such a big household and a community to manage you realize it's time to delegate some of your responsibilities. You hug your wife who has been bedridden for so long and tell her to take care of Novina who has been through a lot. She has a lot of questions but mainly complains about you wasting your only Mystical Stones and light source to save her and getting out of the house at night to pursue the creature, but in the end she understands the urgency. You can't help but notice the vast pool of blood around the bed and the stains on her clothes. It's time to clear things with Dorafra.

"Why did you give her the potion?"
"She... She suddenly started couching blood and..."
"I specifically told you not to, did you not hear me?!"
"You were not there, dad! She was literally drowning in her blood. Novina and Vozmoul were crying, I didn't here a thing and I called for you."
"But we have to find another one, now!"
"You were not there!... If you saw here eyes, she was begging me to end this. You were not there!"

It's true that the doctor said the toxin would necrose her tissues. Maybe the disease had already damaged her lung too much for her to handle this. Can you really blame your daughter? You never saw anyone dying, it was whether corpse already dead or sudden death and neither of them were close to you. You wonder how would you have reacted.
>>
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>>3962014
It's time to go find the alchemist and cross the Sons of Vulcan territory. Maybe you can stop by the doctor's house on your way there. Let's hope they didn't realize you were the one who freed the hobbit. On your doorstep, the old grandpa and the hunter are waiting for you.

"What was that creature?"
"How did you cure your wife? It's a miracle."
"Thank you for going after it even if you were injured."
"What are we going to do?"

You suggest that everyone bunk in the same room at night. A clever move, that get you everyone stock of coal, except Boulderfinger and you will have to help the injured woman to climb the stairs. Your shoulder and knees are painful, you will probably not last long in a prolonged fight anyway and your fat nemesis knows it. He is looking at you from his doorstep.

You currently have only 10 meals worth of wheat and no coal, everyone will have put heir resources in common once you come back but you don't know how much it is for now. What do you take with your on your way to the alchemist?
>bring your pickaxe
>bring 10 meals worth of wheat
>bring 6 slices of meat
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3962017
>pick axe
>6 slices of meat
>>
>>3962030
Seconding
>>
>>3962030
This.
>>
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>>3962030
>>3962044
>>3962110
With only your pickaxe and the six slices of meat you head for the alchemist. Your wife protest, saying she does not need any additional treatment and that the meat would be good for the children. Dorafra, who knows where this comes from is relieved. On your way downstairs you bump into Boulderfinger, the Dwarf you broke the nose of. This was clearly intentional, he was testing your strength now halved by your shoulder injury. The hunter who was carrying down his stuff convinced him by his mere presence to back of.

Alone, you don't have the upper hand against him. The message was clear.

Outside, the Mystical Stones lantern are now fully charged and you can see the trail of blood the creature intentionally created to lure you in a trap. There's only drop of blood where the "night" light sources are, it's really clever and scary. To thing that such intelligence could feed on Dwarfs send chill down your spine. You enter the Sons of Vulcan territory, but they stop you at the first checkpoint.

"Hey you! You're with the Boars, right?"
"No. I'm just on my own. Why?"
"Someone freed a prisoner."
"Ah?"
"Don't mess with me. I'm watching you."

You can feel their eyes on you, on this area you will no more do as you please. Before resuming your trip, you are startled by the sound of clinking chains. Someone is approaching, their leader judging by the religious deference they show to him. You recognize the clothes of a high priest of the Church but stained with blood. His own dried blood coming from his empty eyes socket.

"The End is nigh. The End is nigh, my child. Soon we will all return to the original crucible of Vulcan and be reborn anew."
"High Priest, you should-"
"Silence mortal. I see... I see a great dragon, waiting for a woman to give birth only to devour her child. I see the last angel sounds his trumpet for the last time before the darkness comes. A mighty beast, older than the god themselves and a flock of birds. I see..."
"Please have some re-"
"...an immortal trapped in hell among the little demons and I see you..."

The blind mad man was pointing his trembling finger at you. Not in your direction, but directly in your face, as if he was clearly seeing you. Bewildered by his revelations, you continue pass near the doctor's house, still with militiamen observing you from a distance.

>enter the doctor's house
>continue to the alchemist

(Optionnal)What do you thing of this prophet ranting?
>just a madman
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3962127

>enter the doctor's house

Tell the doctor what happened with our wife and ask if we would need a second potion, then we head off to the

>alchemist to get it

>opinion
I don't doubt its real, after that creature last night nothing is the way it should
>>
"The fortress has been under siege for a month now."

But tonight, tonight...we rape the WOMEN!!!!!
:)
>>
>>3962138
+1
>>
>>3962138
I like this anon's write in
>>
>>3962155
>>3962160
>>3962161
The door is not locked. You fear the militia already stormed his house to look for the Hobbit and you dreadfully find him lying on his back, eyes wide open on a wooden crat.

"Doc!"
"Can talk. Won't move."
"Are you hurt? Did they-"
"Of course not. Not yet. My work here is done. Waiting for someone to come pick my baggage."
"Huh... right... How is the hobbit?"
"Loss of blood pressure. Condition critical. Will probably die in the next couple of hours."
"Ow... I wanted to ask about my wife."
"Ah yes, the patient. You gave her the healing potion too early?"
"How did you gues-"
"Simple hypothesis. Advanced tuberculosis. Already damaged tissues. Less likely to support the toxin. You made the right choice."
"Do I need another potion?"
"Of course. I said one day after the toxin. Potentially another necrosis. Risk of pneumonia. But, tuberculosis relapse, unlikely."
"I will get another potion, then."
"Would like to check patient. But have to wait until guards pick up my researches."

You can barely hear the hobbit breathing on his couch. The doctor was kind enough to cover him and change the bandage on his wound. Or maybe he just did so to not hear his complaints. Without any delay you get your potion from the alchemist for the six slices of rat meat. The Gnome does not seem to complain.

"Hey, next time go the royal stables and see why they stopped delivering wheat."

You can go back home before the midday bell or check the royal stables and come back in the afternoon.

>just go home
>royal stabbles
>stop by the doctor again on your way back
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3962182
>>royal stabbles
let's see
>>
>>3962184
the reasoning is, if we grab more meat we might be able to save the hobbit too
>>
>>3962182
>royal stables
>stop by the doctor again on your way back
>>
>>3962182
>royal stabbles
And depending what we see and find we decide to go back or not
>>
>>3962226
>>3962215
>>3962186
>>3962184
You venture deeper in the Fortress. On the left, the Warehouses, territory of the Brotherhood of Battle, a hostile militia. On your right, the Banks area. Gold decorated pillars, oppressing store fronts, and after a while you find some guards transporting the precious content of a vault... only papers. You peek in the bank they left, there're tons of gold ingot just laying there unguarded. They did not bother to touch a single one.

This makes no sense. No sense at all. Deeper in the Royal Palace area, refugees are resting against the cave wall, separated from the palace by moats and a single bridge. The magnificent palace of the king was impeccably preserved, precious metal, priceless statues and even exotic gardens, except that the Mystical Stones were removed. A clerk guarding the bridge nonchalantly commands you.

"Next."
"Pardon?"
"I said next. Get on the scale."
"Here? Alright. Alright, but why?"
"85kg. That will be 41kg in Mystical Stones, plus an additional overweight fee of 20kg."
"Wait I don't understand, what is going on here?"
"Next."

He doesn't listen to you any more. After carefully examining the refugees; you notice that some are amputated, an arm, a leg, sometimes all limbs. Remembering the doctor's words, all of these start to make sense. The airships rumour, the wood crate that should not be over 50kg, but why Mystical Stones? Maybe you should ask an engineer how are they going to help the airships.

The guards who have pulled a cart full of bank documents are putting their boars mount back in the stables. You hear horrifying noise from their, famished boars are begging to be fed. There really is not food left or maybe...

You have to decide how you would get the boars' meat, even if you don't really know exactly how you are going to proceed.
>peaceful way (could be talking to an officer, leading a protest, trading...)
>illegal way (ambushing a guard patrol, have someone sneak inside...)

But most importantly, should you head back home?
>yes
>no
>>
>>3962240
>>peaceful way (could be talking to an officer, leading a protest, trading...)

try talking, they can't be fed and we can feed off of them

>yes
can't leave them unguraded
>>
>>3962240
>peaceful way (could be talking to an officer, leading a protest, trading...)
>yes
>>
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>>3962246
>>3962244
You are not a criminal. It's something you are absolutely sure of. Even if the king policy is terrible, you will not break the law. There must be another way out of this and you will plan it thoroughly. You are the kind of Dwarf who takes care of his family and his community, someone who just does not let an injustice goes unnoticed or at least most of the time... They have to butcher the cavalry and distribute the meat.

However, for the time being you have to get back to your home with that healing potion. Once again, you pass through the Sons of Vulcans territory under the suspicious glances of the militia, before getting back to your home on the 3PM bell.

Your family already had lunch and prepared a meal for you. While your wife dress the table just for you and Dorafra washes your wound with purified water, the grandpa starts detailing your new stock of food, coal and Mystical Stones.

-30 meals worth of wheat (9 peoples eating 1 meal a day)
-5 days worth of coal
-3 Mystical Stones
-1 Iron Spear
-1 Adamantine Pickaxe
-1 Steel Hunting Knife

And "your" people
-Vozmoul (child Dwarf, son)
-Novina (child Dwarf, daughter)
-Dorafra (young Dwarf, daughter)
-Nomalin (adult Dwarf, wife)
-Harmolin (adult Dwarf, engineer)
-Hunter (young Dwarf, neighbour)
-injured woman (Young Dwarf, neighbour)
-'grandpa' (old Dwarf, neighbour)
-'grandma' (old Dwarf, neighbour)

What should be your new first priority?
>the creature, it must be dealt with
>you have to save the hobbit of imminent death
>go hunting giant rats (needs two persons)
>scavenge other abandoned homes
>plan how to get the meat from the royal stables
>quest from the Gate commander:find a polygraph cylinder
>quest for the Gate commander:find Iceburst Stone
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

You can also choose to send someone on one of the aforementioned lesser task
>pick someone, pick a task, as many as you want
>>
>>3962303
>>quest for the Gate commander:find Iceburst Stone

did he promise a reward?

-Hunter (young Dwarf, neighbour)
>scavenge other abandoned homes

tell them to lock the doors and be on the lookout for the fat fuck, even if he wanders in, by sheer number they can control him
>>
>>3962303
>you have to save the hobbit of imminent death
We need him to help us smuggle stones.
>scavenge other abandoned homes
>>
>>3962314
how do you plan to save him? giving him the magic potion that would go to our wife? no way in hell
what do you plan to trade with the alchemist?
>>
>>3962303
Does the hunter still have his meat?
>>
>>3962317
sorry, forgot to add
-5 slices of rat meat
>>
>>3962303
>you have to save the hobbit of imminent death
We’ll just trade more meat for a healing potion
>>
>>3962318
Can we ask him for the meat to save the hobbit?
We will hunt with him as soon as our shoulder is better, or the hobbit can help hunt too.
>>
>>3962319
We change meat now for a healing potion, we can't risk wife dying, we go first to the alchemist and then to the halfling.
>>
>>3962322
>>3962321
if that works I'm alright with it, but wife's potion is off limits since we can't be sure we will grab another
>>
>>3962321
last time you had to trade 6 slices of meat for a potion, you will have to find a way to make him accept the 5 or find more meat if you choose this option
>>
>>3962324
He asked us to check on the stable, we did and no more meat will come from that, meat just got more expensive so 5 will have to do
>>
>>3962325
>>3962324
>>3962319
>>3962316
You finally resign yourself. That Hobbit will not die. Maybe it's because you have hidden motives, maybe you just don't want to admit you are at fault for not helping him but you have to get him a healing potion. Your wife's share is off limit however since she will have to take it in a few hours. You already see the effects of the toxin as black veins becomes apparent on her nose.

Asking the hunter to go scavenge abandoned home and entrust you with his hard-earned meat is quite challenging. He still feels guilty about leading both of you in a trap, and he knows his chance of survival is better if he stays with you, but... It's just too much. Somehow you will have to repay him that.

Still in recovery of your shoulder injury and with this constant pain in your knees your prepare for another expedition for the alchemist with the 5 slides of rat meat. You don't know if the Gnome will accept less than your previous offer for another healing potion. Also, with the 4PM bell ring, you fear there is not much time left. Maybe you won't make it home today.

About the meat
>go to the alchemist with your 5 slides of rat meat and bargain
>also go with the 5 slides and additional provisions to trade
>maybe you can hunt giant rats with the Hunter

If you choose to go to the alchemist, how do you gear up?
>10 meals worth of wheat
>1 day worth of coal
>2 day worth of coal
>Adamantine Pickaxe
>Steel Hunting Knife
>>
>>3962337
>>also go with the 5 slides and additional provisions to trade
>Steel Hunting Knife
we can't use the pick right now

no coal, we'll be back, whatever it takes
>>
>>3962337
>go to the alchemist with your 5 slides of rat meat and bargain
The question is: should we try to make up the missing side or not?
I'm leaning toward "no" because meat is about to become more valuable.
>Steel Hunting Knife
>>
>>3962337
>>also go with the 5 slides and additional provisions to trade
Bargaining with a gnome will not go over well. Sell your soul for a dime. Hunting rats would mean additional food, but the halfling would certainly die.
>>Steel Hunting Knife

As a side note, the hunter should probably get a name. He's pretty bro tier, him just remaining the hunter this whole time is a hell of a death flag.
>>
>>3962346
future son-in-law material right there
>>
>>3962346
>additional provisions to trade
which one?
>>
>>3962355
some wheat, but not much, I think he will take the deal because the alternative is going out of his house himself and that would leave his home exposed
>>
>>3962355
Probably 2-3 units of wheat grains. Maybe 4 just to be completely safe in case he ends up demanding more based on a roll instead of it just a fixed certain amount of wheat grains you have already decided.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>3962385
>Meat is only increasing in value as the stocks continue to dwindle. 5 cuts of meat is a generous offer already in these times, the grain is simply icing on the cake.
I don't see us appealing to the gnome's sense of morality, once we returned from the surface with Harmolin, we told him that she was about to be raped, and that Toressak had saved her. He responded with "I don't care. Here, take that and get out." Appealing to the gnomish sense of profit would likely work much better in dealings with this guy.
>>
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>>3962365
>>3962361
>>3962355
>>3962351
>>3962346
>>3962345
>>3962342
With just the hunting knife, all the meat and 10 meal worth of wheat you get back to the alchemist. The hourly bell ring one after the other but you are faster without the pickaxe. This hunting knife that was used with the intent to kill you is now a indispensable tool to your survival. But did the creature really had this intention? You wonder if there was some meaning in last night attack. If it was the same Dwarf eating monster who hanged its victim like meat bags, why would it eat someone alive?

The Sons of Vulcan are now used to your whereabouts back and forth, they keep a close watch on you. Hopefully they won't storm the doctor's house today, but you will have to find a way to get the Hobbit out of this. It's now the 7PM bell turn to resonate in the Fortress, just as you arrive at the Gnome's store.

"Only 5 slices of meat? Greedy Dwarf, do you know how much these normally cost?"
"Yes but I thought we could come to an arrangement."
"I sold dream potions, courage potions even a love potion for whole bags of wheat to the guards. They will do anything to ease their suffering but refuse to abandon their honour and give me their mount. And you..."
"I also have some wheat. Not as much as the bags the royal guards carry but some. Can I have a healing potion?"
"Why should I do that?"

>is there anything that you want and I can do in less than a few hours?
>appeal to his feeling and talk about the Hobbit
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>3962385
No more meat will come from the stables, and I'm the only one who know you trade, I can get more even but you can't get out of your mansion to seek new costumers in a time like this.
so do we have a deal for now or you will keep your healing potion that will do you no good to fill your belly?

if that doesnt convince him ask for a new favor
>>
>>3962400
>>3962405
I will take your write-in as your input unless you make another
(sorry for deleting post)
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>3962403
>"Meat'll only get more costly as the stocks dwindle. 5 cuts is a generous offer now and I'm offering you grain on top of it."
>>
>>3962406
Forgot to mention. I would like a combat system, combat is only going to become more prevalent in the times ahead, having something proper would be nice. Also, just to clarify, are we giving him all 10 units of wheat we brought? Or is that to be decided based on our replies/rolls, if those are still being taken into account?
>>
>>3962406
no problem qm
>>
>>3962416
my vote and write in was just for the 5 slices of meat, because if we gave it all we would be actually paying more than we paid before wich doesn't make sense

just the 5 slices
>>
>>3962425
>we would be actually paying more than we paid before
I think in setting, meat is just a generally regarded as a better meal for you than whatever flatbread that could be cooked up. Seeing as food seems to give you a burst of energy, in quest, I'd assume the QM would make it so meat would likely give the most out of what foods we've seen so far. Not only that, it's obviously highly desired, it could be a useful bargaining chip, or a single cut of meat could be regarded worth 2-3 units of grains in a trade. From our standpoint though, we need to watch our food stocks, so obviously trading away 2-3 meals in the stead of what was simply one meal (albeit, a better one), is a undesirable outcome.
With your 6 roll, I'd sure as shit hope that gets taken into account and we don't have to spare grain. I'd prefer it if we didn't end up as cannibals by the end of the quest.
>>
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>>3962425
>>3962416
>>3962411
>>3962400
It's obvious that meat will get more costly. You firmly believe you have the upper hand in this transaction, after all you are is only customer right? (Whatever he said about the guards). But more importantly you can get him more meat. This grumpy old Gnome on the rooftop does not seem to understand what is going on, this is really a generous offer.

"Look. I'm doing you a favor, th-"
"Ahaha. Stupid Dwarf. I bet you think the meat is for myself."
"Huh yeah... These potions are not going to fill your-"
"Wrong! Ahahah! Wrong again."
"Alright, listen. I only have 5 slices for now but I can get more, I'm one of your customer, right?"
"Hmmpf... You do have a point about my healing potions not really selling."
"Then, do we have a deal?"
"For healing potion yes. But I won't sell you combat or charm potions for less than what the guards give me. One full bag of wheat or 8 slices!"
"But I said it will bec-"
"Enough. Here, now get out."

Surprisingly he is the first to lower the potion tied to a thread before you throw him the package with the meat. Did you earn the trust of a Gnome? You were right to not use your emotions and talk business with him. You rush to the doctor's house where the Hobbit is lying unconscious. Without any delay, you pour the red liquid in his open mouth one drop at a time. The rotten flesh on his forehead slowly reverse back to normal, but blisters and pus are still there around the wound, and he does not wake up. The doctor comments the miraculous healing.

"Very unnatural. The body healed but does not know it yet."
"What do you mean? Is it too late?"
"Will need time. Don't know how much."

Great. Now you have an unconscious Hobbit, an hyperactive doctor who does not want to move from his wood crate and militia outside who will jump on your first misstep to arrest you. Plus, the "night" cycle of the Mystical Stones has begun, but this may be to your advantage.

>go home alone and risk the militia to search the doctor's home
>find a way to get the hobbit out of here right now
>sleep at the doctor's house
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3962442

>find a way to get the hobbit out of here right now

We walked this path several times now, and with the knowledge of the routes and the darkness we can reach home
>>
>>3962442
>find a way to get the hobbit out of here right now
>>
>>3962442
>>find a way to get the hobbit out of here right now
Blinded by seas of blackness, we do not have to be known.
>>
>>3962442
wrap him up in blankets and pretend he is a child kek
>>
>>3962488
if anyone stops us and asks to see the "child" we say we would let them but we don't advise, we too him to the doctor because he has White Death, it's highly dangerous
>>
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>>3962472
>>3962459
>>3962454
You consider your options to get the Hobbit out of here. The only thing you ever got out of the doctor's house was a pot but there's nothing remotely the size of him. If you were not that well known by the militia you could have disguised yourself in a fat Dwarf and hid him under large clothes like Harmoline dress... You curse yourself for not preparing his escape more thoroughly but you had to save him first.

The Brotherhood of Battle militia controls one access to your home, but they hate you, however the Hobbit is not a concern to them. The Sons of Vulcan on the contrary are trying to capture him but just want to monitor your activities. You realise that your most recognizable trait, your pickaxe, is missing, maybe you can try to fool the Brotherhood of Battle.

Which way do you take to go home?
>Brotherhood of Battle
>Sons of Vulcan
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

roll 2d6
first for night encouter note that this result will NOT impact militia
second for scavenging result of the Hunter

I think I will use d6 when a really random event from a totally independent system has to occur. I already decided the militia behavour and attitude, so it's not really random.
>>
Rolled 3, 4 = 7 (2d6)

>>3962493
>>Brotherhood of Battle
no pickaxe, no Harmolin and carrying a "child" and at night no less, they couldn't have taken a good look on our face so we will look like anyone else while the vulcans are activelly looking for us

and fuck I hate rolling
>inb4 snake eyes
>>
>>3962493
>>
Rolled 2, 3 = 5 (2d6)

>>3962519
>>3962493
Forgot my dice
>>
Rolled 4, 4 = 8 (2d6)

>>3962493
>Brotherhood of Battle
Anon raises good points.
>>
>>3962530
praise be your rolls anon
>>
>>3962540
>uhhhhh... this is a child and he has White Death, so... let me pass?
Wave him at them and scream about his cooties.
>>
>>3962540
>>try to escape them and run toward the Brotherhood of Battle territory

well if we didn't put a blancket on him even after I asked to we have to run I guess
we have to get this business over with quickly, we have being reactive and scrambling until now since we didn't really had a choice and had to save our wife, but now that she will get better we can start actually planning and preparing
>>
>>3962540

>try to escape them and run toward the Brotherhood of Battle territory

With luck the militias will clash with one another.

>>3962544
Yup, can't wait to get to strenghtening our community.
>>
>>3962542
>>3962544
>>3962546
alright, sorry everyone
as anon said I forgot to add a blanket on him
*rewriting*
>>
>>3962521
>>3962519
>>3962511
>>3962530
>>3962536
As soon as you step out of the house, two hooded members of this religious militia arrest you. They were clearly waiting for you to get the Hobbit out of here. With the pillory so close to the doctor's house they knew something was wrong. You are just carrying the Hobbit in your arms but he is tightly wrapped in a blanket so they can't really tell for sure it's a Hobbit unless they see his face.

>uhhhhh... this is a child and he has White Death, so... let me pass?
>try to escape them and run toward the Brotherhood of Battle territory
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

I said the roll would NOT impact the militia behavour. Hunter found an Iceburst Stone. You will make your encouter on your way home if you escape the militia.

(If you don't renew your input, I will consider your last post as your input)
>>
>>3962559
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
"You two fancy seeing a corpse that just died of the white death? You know what they say... Spreads through the air, it does. Won't do anything to me , I've already been infected once. Doctor asked me to take it away and burn it 'afore the whole district gets sick."
>>
>>3962559
nah the jig is up here, we can use the child card against the brotherhood of battle
>>
counting :
2 votes to run
2 votes to lie + a write-in
>>
>>3962559
Run

They know its the hobs
>>
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>>3962623
>>3962601
>>3962568
>>3962546
>>3962544
>>3962542
You choose to run before they get a chance to see his face. They were indeed waiting for you but you are close enough of the outskirts of their territory to flee. Using the night as your ally, you and the Hobbit disguised as a child explore the Brotherhood of Battle territory. Most of them are wearing uniforms but don't really bother about a father and his son.

It's your first time in the Forges since the beginning of the siege. An oppressing silence fills the atmosphere where, a month before, a symphony of hammers celebrated the making of the finest weapons in the country. However, lava is still pouring out of the lava castle to heat up the crucible and molten metal is still radiating in the dark. In this reddish dim light a flash of blue silver gets your attention.

"Psssst... Hey you... Bring the Hobbit here."

You perceived a whisper but nobody was close enough to be heard as clearly as that. This soft feminine voice was enthralling to say the least.

"Bring him... We can make use of him."

>listen to the voices
>nope, go home
>>
>>3962691
>>nope, go home
Fuck THAT
>>
>>3962691

nope nope nope nope nope hard nope on enthralling feminine voices at night
>>
>>3962691
>>nope, go home
Better hope to God there's some Thorazine in that bag.
>>
>>3962698
>>3962711
>>3962737
"He's afraid."
"You shouldn't have use that spell."
"Wait I know."
"Aren't all Dwarfs illiterate?"

There's now multiple voices but you try to focus on getting home, so you are really startled when an arrow plant itself right in front of you with a message. Panicked you take the scroll of paper attached to the arrow without thinking, nor stopping. The beggars complaints get mixed with the soft voices from before and you loose track of both as the distance with the Forge grows. Finally, you are home.

There's a Mystical Stone shining on your window and it's only midnight. Your apartment gets really cramped now with that many people. Only Vozmoul, Novina and the old couple are asleep. All the adults and your eldest daughter decided to stay on watch or sit at the table. Putting the Hobbit this last free space in front of the stove, your wife congratulate you for being a hero, Dorafra complaints about you bringing another mouth to feed and the Hunter informs you about his finding.

"Sir, I have found an Iceburst Stone in a house nearby. I know it's..."
"Wait... I'm sorry young man but I think we only got presented once when you moved it years ago. What was your name again?"
"Oh, no need to apologize, sir. I'm Durnryl Earthbraid."
"Alright. Torresak Flatfall. It's nice to have you around."
"Thank you, sir. I know it must be hard to protect a family this big. I heard your daughter really helped you when your wife got sick."
"Yes. Dorafra is a good girl. I'm not letting her go that easily."

The young man blushes and gets confused, trying to apologize for the result of the scavenging since he did not find food. But an Iceburst Stone will be just as good you think. It's 5 days worth of coal.

Do you want to be part of the people on watch tonight?
>yes
>no
>>
>>3962799
>>yes
>>
>>3962799
>>yes

give DOrafra some rest

when are we supposed to give the other potion to wife? when the simptoms return?
>>
>>3962799
Yes

Embrace our daughter.

"I'm sorry for having yelles at you yesterday, I was just really afraid of losing your mother. You are the best daughter a dwarf could ask for."
>>
>>3962803
>>3962821
>>3962825
As according to your instruction and the doctor recommandations, your wife took the healing potion exactly one day after receiving the toxin. There's no more black veins visible on her skin. You embrace Dorafra and congratulate you for helping you this far, it's time for her to get some rest.

"I'm sorry for having yelles at you yesterday, I was just really afraid of losing your mother. You are the best daughter a dwarf could ask for."

She holds back her tears and go quietly to sleep with her little brother and sister. Your children and wife are safe. You can be proud of yourself for going this far but it will soon be the fourth day since the last ration distribution. People who couldn't restrain them are already starving and you saw them on your way there. The crawler. People looking for the slightest sign of a wheat grain and instantly swallowing them without chewing. You have to prepare for the worst and most importantly escape.

Then, who takes first watch?
>Durnryl takes first watch
>Torresak takes first watch
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

(Optionnal) With the night you fall into deep thinking and speculations.
What do you think of the three legends of the Fortress which are supposed to be escape route? The Lava Castle with its Dragon, the Infinite Maze and the goblins and the Mystical Stones Cave with its Titan?
What's the deal with the airships, Mystical Stones and people obsessed with weight?
What would you like to do once all of this is over and your family out of the Fortress?
>>
>>3962865
>>Torresak takes first watch

What do you think of the three legends of the Fortress which are supposed to be escape route? The Lava Castle with its Dragon, the Infinite Maze and the goblins and the Mystical Stones Cave with its Titan?
the 3 are plausible, if we could find the mystical stones qwe would be able to get out of here

What's the deal with the airships, Mystical Stones and people obsessed with weight?
they are gonna use it to levitate, they weight you and see how many of the stones they will need to get you on board, it will be impossible to have stones for all our family and neighbors unless that cave really exists....otherwise we willhave to find some other way out of this hell

What would you like to do once all of this is over and your family out of the Fortress?
try to help as many as we can, with our family safe, that is our top priority, even if it kills us. and maybe get some help from some other place to come to the fortress....our people are being reduced to animals because of all thise desperation
>>
>>3962865
>You are the best daughter a dwarf could ask for
Novina BTFO
>>Torresak takes first watch
>>
>>3962865
Before she goes to sleep can we ask Hemolin to read the letter?

Take the 1st

I hope the legends are true, because picking up Mystical Stones is near impossible right now. We should look for another exit, is there any machines at the engineers house that could help us dig out of here?
>>
>>3962898
First thing we do when our family is safely out is to have a nice cold tankard of ale and maybe spend a week locked up with our wife to make a couple more children!
>>
Waaaaaaait!
The exhoust pipes!
The forges and central heating are not working right? What if we could climb the pipes out of here? I mean, all that smoke has to go somewhere and right now there is not much smoke being made.

We would probably need some equipment but this is not the sort of thing people are activelly looking for
>>
>>3962919
>>3962900
>>3962898
>>3962887
>>3962881
The morning comes with no incident other than the now usual screams and lamentations from the street. Some fools have tried to build a pyramid to reach the Mystical Stones lanterns and killed themselves. The injured woman had a nightmare about the creature coming back but her injury is healing, she will never walk again however. The old couple thanks you endlessly for ensuring their safety even if they can't do anything.

To answer you interrogation regarding Mystical Stones, Harmoline makes a demonstration by scrapping the slightest ever chip from one of your 3 Mystical Stones. A drop of water and it radiates light, but heat it and the stones levitates. It could be used in the airships, indeed. Regarding the Iceburst Stones, they can be used to improve mecha fighting abilities or start heavy machinery. While she was explaining all that she noticed the letter you came home with from the Forge, and being the only literate of the house she read it to you.

"If you ever find someone who can read that, please come back. We mean no harm. We just need this Hobbit to open a vault. You will be rewarded."
"Is that all?"
"No they signed with a cute bird drawing and... It's very well handwritten, almost looks like elvish."
"Say Harmolin... I was wondering if we could escape through the exhaust pipes."
"Hah. You are not the first with that idea, but all the pipes are leading to the central chimney and... let's say you have a better chance of fighting alone the army besieging us than climbing that, unless..."
"Unless?"
"Unless you have an airship of course... Or you would have to plan it thoroughly."

It's the beginning of the Fourth Day since the ration distribution. You should focus on getting out of the Fortress or tracking the beast. You also

What should be the new first priority?
>the creature, it must be dealt with
>go hunting giant rats (needs two persons)
>scavenge other abandoned homes
>plan how to get the meat from the royal stables
>escape:investigate the lava castle
>escape:investigate the infinite maze
>escape:investigate the Mystical Stones cavern
>quest from the Gate commander:find a polygraph cylinder
>quest for the Gate commander:bring Iceburst Stone
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

You can also choose to send someone on one of the aforementioned lesser task
>pick someone, pick a task, as many as you want
>>
>>3962950

>the creature, it must be dealt with
Bring hunter along

Ask Hermolin to nurse the halfing to health if the elves want the voult they probably know of a way outtocarry whatever is inside
>>
>>3962950
>>the creature, it must be dealt with

see if Hemolin can come with a plan to
>plan how to get the meat from the royal stables

hunter either helps us or
>scavenge other abandoned homes


but I guess if we hunt the creature we will end up scavenging homes too
>>
>>3962950
>>quest for the Gate commander:bring Iceburst Stone

We have the stone and I don't see any other use for it, no reason not to deliver it.
>>
>>3962950
>>the creature, it must be dealt with, Bring Durnryl along
heading out alone, while injured may not be the best idea.
>>Harmolin plans how to get the meat from the royal stables
>>
>>3963333
Seconding
>>
File deleted.
>>3963746
>>3963333
>>3963134
>>3963095
>>3963746
>>3963333
>>3963134
>>3963095
>>3962972
This danger has been looming over your community for far too long, it has to be hunt down. Everyone agrees and rejoices that your are finally doing something about it. You have one injured person who met the creature in the dark, the house of horrors to investigate and also the advices of the hunter Dunryl.

"So you say that there's house where it hanged Dwarf like in a pantry?"
"Yes, just across the street. Do you have any suggestions?"
"It's intelligent, I don't like the idea of venturing on its territory."
"Me neither young man, but we must learn more about it."
"Maybe we should build traps, but if you choose to go there I will come with you."
"Anything else?"
"I will try to ask his last victim."

The woman who slept for a day and a night has lost a lot of blood, but will survive. However, she will never walk again. She tells you about the creature, about the size of a Dwarf, extremely agile, used a Dwarven hunting knife and also... it smiled while eating away her leg. On your way downstairs for the morning inspection, you notice that Boulderfinger house is barricaded from the outside. Nobody is responding so you decide to force open the door only to ding the whole family hanging from the ceiling by their feet, throat slit. It leaves you and the neighbours downstairs who barricaded himself as the only survivor of this building.

>build a trap and focus on defence with Dunryl
>visit the house of horrors with Dunryl
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

While you were investigating, Harmoline was pulling her hair out of desperation. She has never been good at dealing with the syndicate in her father's workshop Actually, it's the first time a prole has been this nice to her. The only thing she can think of to help are what she is good at. And the only valuable things she has are unpattented plans in a vault of her father's workshop.

>restarting the central heating (will have to enter Brotherhood of Battle territory)
>bringing the Iceburst Stone to the mecha and reparing it (someone else will have to pass through Brotherhood of Battle territory or smuggle it accross Sons of Vulcan territory)
>sells the plan of her father's workshop to the escaping Nobles (will have to enter Brotherhood of Battle territory or the Hobbit have to go there to open it)
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Speaking of the Hobbit, he just woke up, painfully washing the remnant of his wound.
>>
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If it's smart, chasing after him it's gonna get us fucked up. Let's build a trap and set a bait, like a corpse or something
Also let's talk to the hobbit what was he doing when he got caught, what's the vault etc
>>
>>3963775
>build a trap and focus on defence with Dunryl
>bringing the Iceburst Stone to the mecha and repairing it
Have the Hobbit bring the Stone
>>
I'm not sure what to do about harmoline, selling plans to the nobles is useless they don't care about us, what would the central heating do. the mecha has no use if no one knows how to drive it and the military will steal it
>>
Did we looted Boulderfinger's house?
>>
>>3963787
Let's use boulderfinger's corpse as bait.
(Btw first quest I've ever participated in. Great job so far OP.)
>>
>>3963882
>>3963800
>>3963795
>>3963791
>>3963787
When you said Dunryl you wanted to make a trap, he already thought to take advantage of the staircase, maybe a counter weight could pull up a snare or maybe just use it as a deadfall hanging over the bait. However, he never handled this type of "bait". Both you and Dunryl have seen their share of dead body but using them for such thing is taking a huge toll of you. For Vulcan's sake, there's a dead woman and her child. Boulderfinger, whose body has already been eaten in some part was indeed a threat, but did he deserve to die? Did you really have to let him die and use his corpse like that? Out of mercy, Dunryl cut the wires and put a blanket over their corpse. Everything has been looted here, so the creature values coal and Mystical Stones. There's also the mystery of why the planks were nailed from the outside. Was there any meaning to this just like the hunting knife? You ask Dunryl.

"Maybe... Maybe it was a warning. Like 'don't enter my pantry'"
"Then how would he access his meat?"
"I don't know... the window?"
"And the knife? It was not to kill me?"
"I use this to skin animals and harvest meat. Maybe it was 'I am the hunter. You are the prey.'"
"Are you saying-"
"Look! I don't know, alright and I don't really like using corpse as bait but... you are the leader. Figure out these things yourself."

Dunryl has secluded himself beyond a veil of obedience. Using Dwarven bodies as bait was not a really smart move but let's do this anyway.

What trap?
>snare and counter weight
>dead fall and wire

Whose body?
>Boulderfinger
>Boulderfinger's wife
>Boulderfinger's daughter
>>
>>3963913
The Hobbit and Harmoline came with a plan to bring the Iceburst Stone to the mecha. The engineer will have to go through the SV territory with a final dash through the Brotherhood of Battle territory and the Hobbit through the Brotherhood of Battle territory with the stone. There are huge risks to this plan, first the fact that Harmoline may get caught, if not when running to the Gate, on her way back. Then the Hobbit will have to pass near the mysterious group that need him to open a vault. You remember how you wrapped the Hobbit in a blanket, maybe you can disguise Harmoline. There also this phonograph cylinder that might hide in the Bard Guild in the Guilds offices area.

>both of you wait before we set the trap, then we will come with you
>Harmoline can go alone disguised right now. Let the Hobbit face the people who need him alone.
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

You are not really sure about this plan, maybe you can spend the rest of the morning discussing with your people before the lunch. There's something that has been bugging you for quite some time. Even if you were facing it many times, you never paid enough attention to it but it's becoming too apparent. First, the weight obsession (Nobles amputations, paying half your weight in Mystical Stones) is clearly linked with the airships. Then, the doctor arranged a wood crate containing 50kg of papers, he could have brought something more valuable. Finally, you saw the guards only taking documents from the Banks and not a single ounce of gold. Maybe paper has more value than you think. That vault containing unpatented plans has piqued your interest.

>discuss with the Hobbit, who are you, why have you been arrested?
>discuss the unpatended plans with Harmoline, can you really buy meat with that?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>no, you are fine, let's not waste any more time
>>
>>3963882
>Let's use boulderfinger's corpse as bait.
No. I do not think that will work. Boulderfinger's corpse was strung up in the same manner as the creature's other victims. It already killed Boulderfinger. Stringing up the corpse of one of it's victims, will likely do nothing to draw it in, it will just likely become cautious and go into hiding, or redouble it's efforts to stalk us. Besides, The woman who was attacked described it as about the size of a dwarf, extremely agile, and the fact that it used a Dwarven hunting knife. Seems to me that this creature is some kind of fallen Dwarven hunter, it's physical prowess enhanced, but it is much more primal, and seems to have little humanity (dwarfity?) remaining, but still retains some degree of intelligence. Just how much remains to be seen. Point is, it will likely notice a trap as blatant as that as soon as it sees it, and to me, live bait seems it would do a much better job luring such a beast. But, while I do support the idea of making a trap, I'd prefer not to risk the lives of anyone within our flock, which is why I would prefer to use a more defensive sort of trap.
>>3963775
>>build a trap and focus on defense with Dunryl

>>>restarting the central heating
>>3963795
>what would the central heating do.
Fixing the heating would likely entail providing heat to the fortress once again, allowing us to have a lower reliance on coal, while also potentially filling the masses with hope, or getting more people into our fold. Maybe the nobles would even be glad with that and see us rewarded, though I am sure their district of the fortress has it's own alternative.
>the mecha has no use if no one knows how to drive it and the military will steal it
The military may do so, correct. The captain guy seemed to want it done and would likely see us rewarded, maybe some forces use it to break away from the siege and flee, maybe they fight on, revitalized against the siege, allowing us more time before they finally breach the gates. Nobles would certainly be happy with us if the latter had happened.
>>3963913
>>3963916
God fucking dammit. too damn late. posting regardless.
>>
>>3963919
>No.
write-in are alway possible and will be accepted with enough support, I will count your inputs for other plans as a discussion with Harmoline before lunch
>>
>>3963924
Glad to hear that the post will be taken partially into account, then. My thanks, OP. Hell of a quest you're running here, this caught my attention immediately. However, I will wait and see what input the others may offer on my post, before voting on yours myself, just to see if they take anything into consideration, or can heed my (late) warning and vote to change the plans for the trap to not include any corpses. Or, at the very least, corpses of the creature's victims.
As I finished typing that out, I realized a potential good choice for live bait we could feasibly coerce into actually being bait, would be the woman who was crippled by it. Though she will likely have some reservations going out to face what crippled her and was likely responsible for mental trauma, she seems like an excellent choice to draw the creature in.
>>
>>3963916

>both of you wait before we set the trap, then we will come with you

I want to talk with those elves and if he goes alone we will never see him again
>>
>>3963919
This is a pantry, lets search for the creature's possible entries there like the window the hunter mentionedand pur traps there, no bait, we just try to predict where it goes
>>
>>3963916

>discuss with the Hobbit, who are you, why have you been arrested?
This too

And discuss wirh Harmolin about the paper craze, that everyone is after documents, ask her what it could be.
On the way with the hobbit we might stop by her house to grab the papers
>>
>>3964026
>lets search for the creature's possible entries there like the window the hunter mentionedand pur traps there, no bait, we just try to predict where it goes
I like this. It's risky, but is a lot less gruesome than using a corpse.
How sad that only one in five will make it through.
>>discuss with the Hobbit, who are you, why have you been arrested?
>>
>>3964035
>>3964030
>>3964026
>>3964025
agreed
>>
also, disguise ourselves and hermolin while going to the forge, it's been days since we last saw those militia guys and they probably have a lot of other things to worry about but just to be safe
>>
>>3963919
>>3963934
>>3964025
>>3964026
>>3964030
>>3964035
>>3964040
>>3964041
There's an unsettling thought that has been making his way in your mind. And what if the creature was a Dwarf? All evidences point out this possibility, only its dreadful reality keeps you from accepting that fact. What could be scarier than a Dwarf eating another Dwarf? In this gods-forsaken Fortress that's turning into living hell, you have already seen famished people with only skin and bones. Maybe some have already falls into such savagery.

"No. It's too gruesome. We are not like him. Let's just trap the windows."
"If you say so."
"I... I said we don't need the body. Just put trap where it might enter our house."
"If you say so."

That discovery was really a shock for Dunryl, he will not forget your idea for using corps as living bait that easily. Once something has been said, it's hard to forget. Anyway, both of you set up a snare around the windows so that the creature will get collared once it steps inside. You also take the time to build defensive trap in the stairs, a wire here and there.

Back home, Dorafra can finally have some rest while her mother helped with the grandma prepare flatbreads for everyone. This more easily digestible meal will not make your stomach feels heavy and you have at least enough energy for one powerful attack. You can enjoy a nice lunch while discussing with Harmoline and the Hobbit before going with them.

"Harmoline, what benefit repairing the central heating will have?"
"Ah! I'm sure people will get thrilled seeing our marvellous machine working again. Some Dwarfs are unhappy about the rapid industrialization, but it's less tiring to have automated hammer than a dozen of blacksmiths, right?"
"R-Right... I was more thinking about being less dependent on coal."
"Sure, but you will have to feed it Iceburst Stone every day. I think that we can reduce the area of effect by closing some pipes and only heating the Workers Homes. But you will need at least 5 people continuously mining and shoving Iceburst Stones."
"About the Mecha, we are going to repair. Do you think they will use it to counter-attack?"
"Who knows what a warrior is thinking. Maybe they want to make a last stand. But a mecha could replace easily 5 miners, even slow down the Titan in the Mystical Stone Cave."
"The Titan?"
"Oh you didn't know? The legend is quite exaggerated but there is a huge golem, probably born from the Mystical Stone and we have to retard him with explosions when we want to mine the cave."
"I kind of want to talk with these elves who want to open a vault in..."
"My father's workshop? I'm sure they are after our unpatented plans for a small mecha."
"Is that a problem?"
>>
>>3964160
"I... I know my father died a meaningless death but... I have to warn you Torresak, I will not leave this Fortress without being sure my father plans are safe. The nobles can take it on their airship or the elves can take it too, I don't care. We can't just let them burn, you understand, right? Knowledge must not perish, no matter what!"
"Uh... Alright, I was also wondering about the paper craze. Why are they only bringing paper with them on the airship. I understand they have tu cut weight but..."

The Hobbit sharp ears twitch. He was listening to your conversation and jumped in as smoothly as if he was always there.

"I can answer that."
"Oh, we didn't get a chance to introduce ourselves, right? I'm Torresak."
"Conrad. Thank you for saving me. So... You wonder why paper cost more than gold? Let me tell you a little story, my story."
"I'm listening."
"Once upon a time, there was a Hobbit peacefully living in his hole. Then the iron horse of the Dwarfs came to his village. He was curious and intrigued and in no time found himself working as a train station clerk to check fake ticket. 'You should work in the Fortress' said the boss 'Ingothide&Son wil pay for your travel, just sign here' and he signed, overjoyed with the thought of working in a bank.
"You signed a bad contract?"
"The Hobbit got to work in a bank full of gold but each month his travel ticket price was deduced from his salary. As the years passed, he realized there was also interest rate and that he will never fully repay his employer."
"I'm not sure I get the moral of this story."
"Do you know how much money the Dwarven Kingdom loaned to the Humans? Don't even mention the elves with a one hundred year interest rate sleeping. In fact the true wealth of the Fortress weights in paper, not in gold."
"Is that why the Sons of Vulcan arrested you?"
"I... I stole a loaf of bread... I was hungry! It's not my fault... Also, I won't leave the Fortress without getting back that contract. I fear for my relatives if my debt end up on them."
>>
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>>3964164
That was a lot of information, you are not sure you get all of that. You will have to work hard to remember the essential. It's now time to execute the plan to repair the mecha and go back to the Gate. If everyone leaves and don't come back before the night cycle, your home will be vulnerable. However, there are things you can do on your way to the gate, talking to the elves, retrieving the polygraph cylinder in the bard guild, stopping by the stables.

There's two way sto the Gate with the Iceburst Stone
1) through the Brotherhood of Battle territory, hostile to you and Harmoline, points of interest : "elves?", Harmoline workshop vault
2) through the Sons of Vulcan territory then a short portion of the Brotherhood of Battle territory, hostile to you and the Hobbit, points of interest : doctor, bard guild

Who goes where and do you stop somwhere on your way to the Gate?
>disguised Harmoline
>Conrad, the Hobbit with the Iceburst Stone
>Dunryl the Hunter with the Iron Spear
>disguised Torresak
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

And choose your weapon
>Adamantine Pickaxe
>Steel Hunting Knife

Provisions:
-21 meals worth of wheat (9 peoples eating 1 meal a day)
-4 days worth of coal
-3 Mystical Stones
>>
>>3964165
can we use our pick again?

how deep into the sons of vulcan is the bard guild?

I would want to get the item from the bard guild through the least necessary path we can cover, either going through the front, grabbibng it and turning back or going through the brotherhood and then entering though the back and grabing it, whatever is closer and would make us spend the least time in the vulcans territory

then, with it in hand we go to the elves to talk and finally to the comander to deliver both the stone and the item we grabbed on the way.


who will go:
>we
>halfling
He can lead us through back streets and ways to not be seen, we will have to be very careful, maybe HErmolin can carry him like a child and we pretend to be a normal couple
and
>disguised Hermolin

I think the elves want to grab the papers from the bank that prove their debts, we can help them with that if they know a way out or a way to delay the titan so we grab mystical stones
>>
>>3964172
This and bring the hunting knife. We're less recognizable without the pickaxe
>>
>>3964165
>>disguised Torresak
Go through the brotherhood of battle, check out Harmoline's vault on the way.
>Steel Hunting Knife
>>
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>>3964557
>>3964480
>>3964172
Since wielding your pickaxe will make you highly recognizable and also be difficult because of your injury, you only take the hunting knife. Harmoline, Conrad and yourself exit the building. The Hobbit could have smuggled himself an Iceburst Stone but you choose to use his guidance in the Fortress and rely on his keen sight hearing to avoid enemies. You are all disguised as refugee family, all wrapped in blankets.

On the path to the Brotherhood of Battle territory, refugees are scattered in the streets, skeletal Dwarfs begging for food in agony, scavenger fighting for wheat grains found on the floor. It's the Fourth Day, only three remaining before food disappear. Upon entering to the militia territory you stumble on a curious scene which, thanks to the Hobbit, you are not part of.

"eeny meeny miny moe..."

A Dwarf with a mace is addressing a bunch of kneeling refugees supported by his militia.

"Please spare my wife, I will do anything you ask."
"Hahaha... A courageous fella we got here, right guys?"
"Wh-What is it that you want?"
"You realize I'm doing you a favour? I can spare your wife a horrible starving death, or... your son."
"No! Not that, please! The king... The king will deliver wheat again, I-"
"A the sheeple... Always so sure someone will come wipe their asses and change their diaper."
"The king... The king will-"
"I am doing a better job than the king. Did you think all of you can escape by airship? What's going to happen when they say there's limited place? That's why they gradually diminished the rations."
"Please..."
"I'm doing you a favour, for real pal. So... before the real chaos begins and you can't think of anything but yourself. Which one will you sacrifice?"
"P-Please..."
"eeny meeny miny moe..."

His mace stops in front of the wife that he beats up to a pulp under the complaints of his men who wanted to have fun with her before. The horrified screams of the men provide a cover for your party to reach the Bard's Guild. With only a quick detour, and the help of the two only literate person of your household you are able to find "The Defenders of Morghul" cylinder. All music scrolls are missing, just like the bank's documents.

It's 4PM as you just step back in the Brotherhood of Battle territory and you are immediately startled by the same whispers as last night.

"Already back?"
"The Hobbit looks better."
"We need him, will you help us?"

You suppose those voices belong to some elves, it's your own conclusion after seing the letter and your own intuition on that mystical whisper. Do you really have the time to help "elves" or whoever does not want to be seen in such a dire situation? Your people are dying here, what does this action imply on the last remnant of honour Dwarfs has? Not that you saw much "honour" while coming here.

>help them
>continue to the Gate

(Optionnal)What are your thoughts about the future of the Dwarfs?
Saving culture and economy before people, etc...?
>>
>>3964610
>>continue to the Gate
Why the fuck would we help a bunch of voices that have not explained any reason why we should do so. For all we know they want to plunder our home or let the Foe in.

New culture can be produced, an economy depends on its people. We need to save lives.
>>
>>3964610
Write in

Ask what they want and what they can do for us in exchange, if they are taking something from a vault how do they plan to leave the fortress with it? Do they have a way out?

Let's ask questions since this is an oportunity

If they wanted to harm us and steal the hobbit they could have just killed us with that arrow yesterday and stolen the hobbit from us so I don't think they are malicious.

Lets hear them out and see what they propose.
Then tell them we are making a delivery to the commander and after that we can see what we can do for each other
>>
>>3964737
support

or default to
>help them
if the write in is a no go, but only IF they help us back
>>
>>3964737
Support

I think the dwarves are doomed, having all that paper and bank notes won't to anything if you cannot enforce your demands, unless the airship is the key or they have a hidden advantage
>>
>>3964610
>>3964737
Support.
>>
>>3964737
+1.
>>
>>3965258
>>3965257
>>3965104
>>3964810
>>3964737
>>3964685
The hot air of the forge is dancing, one after the other shadows appear from nowhere. Tall cloaked rangers with bows and daggers. Your suspicion are confirmed when you the closest remove his hood, they are all elves. Six of them.

"Greetings Dwarf. I am Gaelin Magnelis."
"Torresak. Make it quick elf. I have a delivery to do."
"With such short legs? How courageous."
"Hey, show more respect. I won't lend you my Hobbit if you don't help us back."
"Quite right. Let's put aside our differences... We are the spies assigned to this Fortress and-"
"Wait what? Assigned?"
"Indeed. Your security is so low that each Dwarven Fortress has an Elven Commando closely monitoring your activity in case of a war against our people."
"Haha. And now your are trapped with us. How arrogant to think you are the only one who could attack us."
"Are you really in a position to boast about that."
"..."
"My commando, the Canaries is retrieving everything we can before the enemy take over the Fortress, but we are still looking for the loan contract of the Old Age. However, their vault at the Bank is stills sealed and they wait the very last moment to open it."
"So you want a master thief to open it... I want a way out of the Fortress."
"Have you hear about the three legends? This forge pump lava from a zone deep in the mountain where a dragon is sleeping. We can easily pass through with our invisibility cloaks and carry you."
"But we are 9... 10 including the Hobbit."
"We could also try to distract the dragon while more Dwarfs are escaping but there's no guarantee."

Arrogant Elves, always looking down on you. Now, it's confirmed they want the contract back and it will probably collapse the economy of the new Dwarven Kingdom if anyone escape. The Hobbit was strangly quiet about you discussing his fate and choose this moment to voice his opinion.

"Torresak. I am grateful that you saved me. But I can't leave the Fortress if my debt is still here. If I help them to open the Vault I also have to look for my contract. Since it's a lesser contract I will probably spend a lot of time looking for it."

It was the turn of Harmoline to voice her opinion. Hearing everyone speaking about a vault, she reminded the one in her father's workshop.

"Mister Flatfall. I also have things to do. I need help to open the vault of my father since I don't know the code. Please Conrad don't leave us like that."

It's time for a big decision, one that will impact both your companions and the future of the Dwarven Kingdom : fighting a dragon with elves or a titan with an mecha.

>the elves take Conrad, they will come back but Conrad will stay in the Ingothide&Son cault desperetly looking for his contract
>have Conrad open Harmoline father's vault, it will take one full day since it is a very secure vault made by an engineer and master blacksmiths

Also, should you do this after delivering the Iceburst Stone to the Dwarven Commander?
>yes
>no
>>
>>3965363
>>have Conrad open Harmoline father's vault, it will take one full day since it is a very secure vault made by an engineer and master blacksmiths
The elves can wait, this will only be a day, who knows how long it could take for Conrad to find his contract.
>yes
>>
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>>3965367
It's 7PM (77 hours remaining before famine revolt) when you reach the Gate. Less likely to arrest you since you are not carrying an apparent weapon, the child soldier just call his superior, Hungrar Warmbasher.

"Ha, I recognize you."
"Yes, it's me Torresak. I came with what you asked me."
"Percet, we the polygraph cylinder men will finally muster the courage to use the mortars, our mecha can finally get some rest... or is it Iceburst Stone? With some help of Harmoline we will be ready for a sortie. I could finally die in battle and maybe we can last one more day, a great story for the survivors."

It's time for another decision that might impact the future of the Dwarfs and your escape chances. If you choose to revitalize the men under his command with that song, they will fight and you may be able to move the mecha outside the Gate area. If you choose to repair the mecha, he will make a sortie trying to crush as many trebuchets as possible and become a legend for the survivors. Pride or survival? You can always use the escape route provided by elves but what will people thing about that?

What do you have in your pocket?
>here, take the phonograph cylinder
>here, take the Iceburst Stone
>>
>>3965426
>>here, take the phonograph cylinder
With this, we can endure longer. We can then have Harmoline repair central heating. We could move the mech to mine Iceburst Stone to supply it. A blaze of glory is an end that the Fortress is not ready for yet.
>>
>>3965426
>here, take the phonograph cylinder
And now I shall quote a legendary dwarf whose name was lost to the sands of time: "Fuck elves."
>>
>>3965426
>here, take the phonograph cylinder

After Conrad opens up Hermoline safe we have to let him go with the elves and take away his contract.

Make sure to move the mecha away from the gates we will use it to escape
>>
>>3965426
>>here, take the phonograph cylinder

>>3965561
agreed, but instead of wasting time looking for his contract he should just burn all the minor contracts, if they are all slave contracts like his they should burn, besides, I think most of the names on the contracts are dead already
>>
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>>3965578
>>3965561
>>3965543
>>3965525
As soon as the commander stopped talking, a loud detonation fills the cavern, followed by a thick cloud of smoke carrying the smell of gunpowder. Still dazzled but in once piece, you realize that the mighty oversized siege canon atop of the mecha just fired a round. Who knows what it can accomplish once freed from that responsibility.

"Here, the Defender of Morghul"
"Oh perfect!... Soldiers, listen up. You have been lost all hope, let me remind you how your ancestors defended their Fortress against the Demon King. Listen to this."

Hungrar excavate a phonograph from a pile of rubble, he just has to place the needle of the phonograph and ask the child soldier to turn the crank. A song, saturated with white noise slowly covers their moaning.

We will not break in the defense of our capital,
Our dear Morghul roads.
We’re an unbreakable wall, made of impenetrable steel
Crush, decimate our enemy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnNyJhqaf5Q

Their moans slowly turn into complaints for being awakened from their depression, those who only behaved like trapped animal regained a sense of dignity. And something unbelievable was born from that awakening, hope... or maybe fanaticism.

"For the Fortress."

The child shouts as the song repeat itself and all the soldiers slowly prepare their mortars on the tight arrowslits. The first round is quickly followed byt another, and another. The enemy response is faster than when targeting the mecha and its canon. Catapults throw their projectiles sometimes right on Dwarfs. Ignoring their dead, the Dwarf intensify the exchange. Fire camps that came closer from the Fortress while the siege canon was silent are now being extinguished. This counter offensive has the sae effect than the mecha.

The phonograph spring, now being fully rewinded, even the child soldier brings shell to the mortar servants before being himself crushed by a catapult projectile. You saved the last mecha, but at what cost. The Gnome piloting the mecha brings it right at the commander feet. He jumps out of the cockpit and from his small size grab the commander to his eye level pulling his clothes.

"You murderer. And I was ready to die to save as many of you as possible?"
"We don't need you any more Ronwin. We don't need Elves who will never come to our rescue neither. Go home, I have a Dwarf engineer with me now."
"Screw this. I'm going home."

The soldiers, still under the fire of the catapults and trebuchets combined, all agree with the commander.

"Please commander get out of here.
"Yes, commander, save my family with your mecha."
"You have to lead us out of here while we fight back."
>>
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>>3965592
You now have a mecha that can hold back the Titan in the Mystical Stone cavern, whether to mine more stones or to use the escape passage. Using the mecha you are able quickly fall back to Harmoline father's vault and Conrad spend several hours trying to unlock the safe. The engineer grabs the paper, folding them in an embrace as if they were the reincarnation of her father. You did something good, Harmoline will try her hardest to get out of here alive with the papers. She hugs the little embarrassed Hobbit who then asks you if his debt has been repaid.

Fate of Conrad
>yes you can go with the elves
>stay, we will get your contract later

How to get back home with the mecha?
>Sons of Vulcan territory
>Brotherhood of Battle territory

Or should you go another way?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Midnight, time remaining : 70h before hunger revolt
>>
>>3965596
>>yes you can go with the elves
he deserves it, the poor fella, and maybe,just maybe, if the elves have the contracts they need they will send help to the fortress.
It makes sense actually, they didn't send any help because they want the contracts gone, now that they have the contracts they can send their help

>>3965596
>>Brotherhood of Battle territory
the others are fanatics, they will probably throw themselves into the mecha, this guys are just thughs

we leave this place immediatly
>>
>>3965596
>yes you can go with the elves
Fair's fair.
>Brotherhood of Battle territory
>>
>>3965596

>yes you can go with the elves

>Brotherhood of Battle territory
Now that mecha will impress the shit out of our group
>>
>>3965601
seconding
>>
>>3965611
>>3965608
>>3965602
>>3965601
You bid farewell to Conrad, not knowing when you will meet again. He barely escapes another embarrassing hug from Harmoline that would have smothered him to death and disappear under the invisible cloak of an elf archer. Hungrar immediately gets startled by that, not knowing anything about your deal. You take a mental note to not tell him everything about what you did until now. He also voices his concern for his last pilot who apparently went back to the Alchemist Guild to reunite with his father. You wonder if the grumpy Gnome will have the slightest bit of gratitude for that.

The mecha loud steps echoes in the cavern through the night, getting carried miles away and passing between the dangerous blazing crucible where lava endlessly flows. Leaving the commands to Harmoline and Hungrar, you take a well-deserved inconsequential nap. Maybe the thugs will be more prepared if you take this route a second time. Before getting out of their territory, you wake up hearing the self-proclaimed king with the mace who brutally murdered a Dwarf's wife shouting at his men.

"I want this mech. A harem for the first to bring it down."

Your party finally arrives at the Workers Homes, a crowd of emaciated beggars has gathered, waiting for the next ration distribution that will never come. They are hard to look at, sick of drinking polluted water and almost loosing their teeth chewing on raw wheat grains. You throw yourself out of the mecha back into your building.

*CLANK*

As soon as you take a step inside a bear trap bite your foot. The immense pain makes you loos your balance and you curse yourself for letting a master thief and trap expert goes away like that. There are no sharp edges and you don't bleed, it just leaves a severe bruise making you unable to run. Hungrar and Harmoline help you stand up and thoroughly check the staircase before you can reach your home.

Dunryl, the hunter also stepped in a similar trap that night and now use his spear as a cane. The creature was caught in the snare you put at Boulderginger's window but managed to get out. However, this time, it left a real blood trail, its own. Dorafra and your wife jump at your neck, expressing their concern about your not showing up before night. Vozmoul and Novina just stares at the windows on the mecha asking you for a ride.
>>
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>>3965626
It's 5AM, time remaining : 65h before hunger revolt
What should be the new first priority?
>the creature, follow the blood trail
>scavenge other abandoned homes
>repair central heating
>meat from the stable:lead a protest with the mecha
>meat from the stable:sell the plans of Harmoline father
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Have one person of your household do one of the aforementioned lesser priority task
>pick someone, pick a task, as many as you want

What about the escape?
>escape:the lava castle, plan to escape with the elves
>escape:investigate the infinite maze
>escape:the Mystical Stones cavern, plan to escape with the mecha
>get Mystical Stones (half the weight of everyone) to pay for a ticket in airship?

Provisions:
-21 meals worth of wheat (11 peoples eating 1 meal a day)
-4 days worth of coal
-3 Mystical Stones
-1 Iceburst Stone
-1 Adamantine Pickaxe
-1 Steel Hunting Knife
-1 Iron spear
>>
>>3965628
>Provisions:
also Harmoline father's unpatented plans, the mecha and the two bear traps obviously
>>
>>3965630
How much meat will we get from the stable if we sell the plans, and bargain with one of the King's middlemen for the meat of all of the boars. He won't need them on the airship, and he can't bring them along anyways.
>>
>>3965634
enough to add 1 more day before the hunger revolt if shared equally among all the Fortress survivors
>>
>>3965628

>escape:the Mystical Stones cavern, plan to escape with the mecha

>lets kill the crature with the mech

>>3965634
If we sell the plans the Harmoline will hate us forever, we will probably have to kill her to do that even, since tjis is all she has from her father.
If we go to the stables I say we make a riot, but rigjt now I think we should escape while we have the mech and can move.
>>
>>3965628
>the creature, follow the blood trail
Leaving this alone will probably bite us in the ass.
>escape:investigate the infinite maze
>>3965638
The mech's too big. The creature would see it coming from a mile away and hide.
>>
>>3965642
Well ok, but we still should use the mech against the titan in the stone caves for us to escape
>>
>>3965636
Got it. Would rather protest then, make a statement and point, appearing as a beacon of hope, and becoming known to all within the Fortress within a single action.
>>3965626
>>meat from the stable:lead a protest with the mecha
The King does not need his boars, can't take them with them on the airship. Better to kill the boar now, like this rather than later in the food riots. We will be seen as a savior to the downtrodden and destitute, as well as bolstering our own food stocks.
>>Harmoline goes to repair central heating
Another action to help us personally, and to help with our reputation.
>>Dunryl and Vozmoul go to scavenge other abandoned homes
Vozmoul only if you're good with that, or would prefer only one person to do so. Dunryl has a good head, could be worth getting him to teach some things to Vozmoul.
>>escape:the Mystical Stones cavern, plan to escape with the mecha
Only to plan. More to do. Test the waters, see what we are dealing with. Consider using the Mecha to mine more Iceburst Stone to pump it up for the eventual confrontation.
>>3965638
I too, would prefer to keep the plans. I doubt we'd have to kill her however. OP mentioned earlier, she would be fine with things if the plans left with the King or the elves. She only wanted them not to burn or get lost within the food riots. I would prefer to keep things peaceful, if possible, with the distribution of the meat to the dwarves of the fortress. Riots would entail the meat becoming lost or damaged in the chaos, people could die. Lauded as a hero or a murderer.
>>If we go to the stables I say we make a riot, but rigjt now I think we should escape while we have the mech and can move.
I'd need more context from OP on this. We have made a lot of progress within a single thread. Seems like the quest will end at the end of the thread. I'd like to know if this is a One-shot or a thing that might have continuity. I think the Brotherhood is going to create problems for us and the Mecha later, we may even lose it, or it may become damaged. While it would be good to just say fuck it, and escape now so keeping the Mecha would become definite, I'd still like to know if the quest will continue for much longer once we are free before escaping it. More shit to left to do.
>>
>>3965642
>Leaving this alone will probably bite us in the ass.
It very well could. You make a good point. I don't think we should pursue it just yet, however I will change my vote, >>3965647 to remove >>>Dunryl and Vozmoul go to scavenge other abandoned homes due to the possibility of that. I'd like Dunryl to instead go with Harmoline to keep the trouble off of her within the Brotherhood of Battle's territory, due to her having trouble there alone before.
>>
>>3965647
To repair the central heating we would have to use the iceburst stone, and it would last for only 1 day.
I think it would be better to save that stone to juice up the mecha for when we escape this hell
>>
>>3965651
OP mentioned us being able to mine more Iceburst Stone. Good point though. I'd rather not get assaulted by the Brotherhood, having used our Iceburst. We could use the people that would come to know us from us setting up the protest, to mine more Iceburst Stone, saying they need to do so to sustain the heating. I still think repairing the heating should be in our interests, but I think we should delay that instead, after we potentially get another supply of Iceburst Stone. We need more than one either way, OP has already foreshadowed some kind of confrontation with the Mecha and the Brotherhood, and the escape. We might not need Iceburst to take on the Brotherhood with, but it is good to be safe. We certainly need more for the escape though.
>>3965647
Changing my vote again. No longer voting for Harmoline to go repair heating.
>>
>>3965654
>>3965651
>>3965648
>>3965647
>>3965644
>>3965642
>>3965638
A lot is going through your head, maybe it's the combined effect of your knee pain, back injury and now bruised leg. You think about repairing the central heating, but you will need to use the mecha to endlessly mine Iceburst Stone or find a lot of people to mine and fuel the boiler. Using the mech to lead a protest and delay for one day the Fortress collapse seems like an option, but you don't know if you are ready to commit yourself for the future of the Dwarfs. This uncertainty about the events that will follow your escape should remain.

However, you are almost already set on your escape plan. You just need to check the Mystical Stone Cavern and see that Titan you will face with the mecha. Harmoline also said that miners used explosive to slow it down while mining, finding explosive could relieve some pressure on the steam mecha shoulders. If only there was a way to find explosive in a bottle... An alternative would be to use the Iceburst Stone blast. But for now you focus on killing the creature with Dunryl commenting the blood trail.

"Wait... Something is not right."
"Since we hunted it down a few days ago I realized it was much more intelligent than a beast."
"And?"
"Even if it was injured, why leaving a trail like that. Also, these bloody footsteps we made by boots but..."
"Don't stop."
"I think it went back on it steps. Look how the trail end in nowhere."

You go back on your step after loosing some times for tracking it with your injured leg only to find the only logical explanation.

"How could I have been so blind?"
"Sir?"
">>3963775 the neighbours downstairs who barricaded himself, we never checked on him."
"Yes you are right! Once the creature was injured at Boulderfinger's window it jumped down the building right on this neighbour window."
"A... A cannibal? How could this be?"
"I'm sorry, sir. Maybe we knew all along it was another Dwarf and never wanted to admit the fact."
"I fear that the door and window are trapped, Dunryl. Didn't you say a cornered beast is dangerous?"
"I heard that engineer talking about explosives? Maybe we can use the Iceburst Stone to open his door. Or someone not injured like Hungrar could open it with your pickaxe?"

>Hungrar, the commander piloting the mecha use pickaxe
>use the blast of an Iceburst Stone to enter the lair
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

It's 7AM, time remaining : 63h before hunger revolt
What should be the new first priority?
>>
We have enough food for two days, the creature is injured and probably can't walk, so if we leave tomorrow we are safe.
I say we talk the mech and led to a protest for meat

>>Dunryl and Vozmoul go to scavenge other abandoned homes

We are not really a mech pilot are we? I dunno if we can take on the titan without the gnome

>escape:the lava castle, plan to escape with the elves
>>
>>3965710
>>use the blast of an Iceburst Stone to enter the lair
This will get rid of our Iceburst Stone, but using the pickaxe would give the dwarf plenty of time to escape. We can always get another stone before we leave, the trail may grow cold for good after this guy goes into hiding.
>>
>>3965710

>Hungrar, the commander piloting the mecha use pickaxe
>>
>>3965723
Good point, I switch to this
>>
>>3965710
We have a mecha, we need explosives.

I know where to find.
We just brought the alchemist's son back, he will have to give us some explosion potions.

Let's go there talk to him, maybe even invite him to the escape

Then we can use his potions to both heal ourselves, explode the monster and delay the titan
>>
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>>3965731
>>3965728
>>3965725
>>3965723
Carefully placing the Iceburst Stone at the doorstep of the presumed cannibal, Harmoline explain that subjected to the right temperature it will rapidly turn into steam and create a blast. Mystical and Iceburst stones are really something you think, levitation, explosion, lighting, no wonder the Fortress is under siege.

The blast propels the door inside the small apartment, you wait for the cloud of steam to dissipate and carefully enter the room. The door frame was obliterated, even a part of the thick stone wall crumble. What remains of the occupant looks nothing like a Dwarf body, blood everywhere, boiling flesh splattered on the walls. You will never know if the creature was indeed a Dwarf or something else and maybe you don't want to know.

"Hey look, Mystical Stones."
"There's no food however."
"You know where 'it' found its food..."

Searching in the furnitures you find 9 Mystical Stones, probably the loot from the house of horrors. Secretly you are overjoyed by this discovery. One stone is about 1kg, so with your total of 12 stones you have half the weight of Novina. Whatever comes, you are sure to pay a ticket on the airship of your youngest child.

It's 8AM, time remaining : 62h before hunger revolt

What should be the new first priority?
>scavenge other abandoned homes
>repair central heating
>meat from the stable (delay of 1 day the hunger revolt):lead a protest with the mecha
>meat from the stable (delay of 1 day the hunger revolt):sell the plans of Harmoline father
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Multitasking : Have someone do one of the aforementioned lesser priority task
>pick someone, pick a task, as many as you want

What about the escape?
>escape:the lava castle, plan to escape with the elves
>escape:investigate the infinite maze
>escape:the Mystical Stones cavern, plan to escape with the mecha
>bring Novina to the clerk with Mystical Stones
>get Mystical Stones (half the weight of everyone) to pay for a ticket in airship?

Provisions:
-21 meals worth of wheat (11 peoples eating 1 meal a day)
-4 days worth of coal
-12 Mystical Stones
-1 Adamantine Pickaxe
-1 Steel Hunting Knife
-1 Iron spear
>>
>>3965778

>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Visit the gnome to get some explosion potions, bring some 3 or for stones to trade.


>escape:the Mystical Stones cavern, plan to escape with the mecha


With the explosion potions we can get past the titan
>>
>>3965778
>scavenge other abandoned homes
Who knows what we may find
>escape the Mystical Stones cavern, plan to escape with the mecha
>>
>>3965778
>scavenge other abandoned homes
>escape:the Mystical Stones cavern, plan to escape with the mecha
>>
Christ, man. You guys just seem to be pushing for escape now. We got more shit left to do. OP, as I mentioned earlier, is this just a One-shot and is over soon after we escape, or will the threads continue? I want to vote for escape too, but am reluctant to vote for it if this will be the case.
>>
>>3965790
>>3965778
this, we have to talk with that gnome about his son
>>
>>3965802
I know we have more things to do but we have children that depend on us, we have to get them out as soon as possible or all will be for nothing
>>
>>3965809
Very well. Good point.
>>3965790
Voting for this, and ask the gnome if he and his son would like to come along in our escape, he probably has a lot of food, we will sure as shit need it after the escape, who knows where we'll emerge from.
>>
>>3965802
>is this just a One-shot
I implicitly answered that question in a post. The uncertainty of this quest being a one shot or not is a bad thing in my opinion. It puts you in the same mindset as Torresak: it would be the safest to just escape right now, but at what cost and what would it means for the future?

Direct answer:
yes it is a one-shot, and as much as I'd like to say this will depend on the quest popularity I planned this as a one-shot and I am not confident enough to run the quest after the escape
However, whatever happens next, you will feel the consequences of all your actions.
I will write the story of every character who escaped the Fortress, known and unkown to you. And we will have an AMA if you want
>>
>>3965812
Thanks for the response and writing. You're an excellent writer, and this is the best thread on /qst/ I've seen in months. Did not want it to outright end so quickly, I was captivated by this as soon as I found it. But I am at peace with this, it is rare for quests to reach an actual conclusion.
>>
>>3965815
>>3965811
>>3965809
>>3965804
>>3965802
>>3965800
>>3965798
>>3965790
As Harmoline detailed, your options to escape through the Mystical Stone cave include collecting more Iceburst Stone as explosive or for repairing the mecha. Also, you remember about the Gnome whose son you just prevented from dying on the battlefield, maybe he can give you explosives or combat potions, he could even give you a healing potion for you injured body.

There's also the critical matters of how you are going to access the cave in the first place, both the Mystical Stone cave and the Iceburst Stone cave. Since it is in the Boars militia territory, you will have to meet them or fight them with the mecha. You are still in good terms with them, though. Finally, you can still scavenge some home, just in case.

Who should do these tasks and?
>negotiate with the Boars a passage for the cave (use the mecha?)
>scavenge abandoned homes

About the explosives
>back to the Gnome to ask for potions (use the mecha?)
>no, mining Iceburst Stones will be enough
>>
>>3965821
>>negotiate with the Boars a passage for the cave (use the mecha?)

first talk, say that we will stall the titan, and they can choose to either tun away too or stay and mine while the titan is distracted

>back to the Gnome to ask for potions (use the mecha?)
whose territory's is he?
if he is in the brotherhood territory don't go with the mecha and go disguised instead
if he is in the vulcans go with the mecha, but disguise ourselves too
>>
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>>3965825
He is in an unclaimed territory and you will have to choose a path going through either one or the other militia territory.

Also, if you don't choose anyone specific to negotiate or go back to the Gnome, I will consider that Torresak will do it with the necessary companions in that order.
>>
>>3965830
go through the vulcans with the necha
bring harmoline too, she is of noble birth and may be better to negotiate with the gnome

for the boars, we go alone first to talk and then we come back with the mecha if necessary
>>
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>>3965876
>>3965825
For the first time in four day you head back to the coal mines. You never thought a miner like you could spend so much time without actually extracting ore. The iron pits you used to work have been deserted, who know if the Goblins have not retaken them. As for the coal veins, Iceburst Stones and Mystical Stones sources they are all under the control of the Boars, a militia that is restricting the access.

You first encountered them while going back to your home and managed to peacefully negotiate. This is actually the friendliest militia to you. A bunch of young men with mithril mails wielding fancy looking adamantine hammers stops you.

"Hey, stop right there gramps. I see no rare item on you, where is your tribute?"
"What tribute?"
"Things have changed here. If you want coal you have to bring a tribute. All I see is that crappy knife."
"Listen kids, I..."
"Oi, what did you say old fart?!"

Apparently these non-drafted young Dwarfs are collecting "cool" looking items in exchange for coal, literally black gold in this collapsing Fortress without central heating. Maybe they haven't realized the end is near, or worse they expect to keep these expensive items in the unlikely possibility that order is restored. You only have your adamantine pickaxe to offer back home for a passage.

However, having been through all this traumatic events this month made you a different person, a hero, a leader, someone who keeps his promise, someone who knows when to not cross the line. Maybe you hammer some common sense in those young people. You could also repair central heating to make the coal business meaningless.

>go back home and plan to repair the central heating, potentially disbanding their militia
>trade your adamantine pickaxe in exchange for a passage later with the mecha and your people
>try to convince them with an inspirational speech
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

It's 10AM, time remaining : 60h before hunger revolt
>>
>>3965922

>try to convince them with an inspirational speech

Food is out, heat is out, and our forces outside are taking heavy losses, there will be no restoring of order, I have something to keep the Titan busy, you can either escape with us or use the time to colect mystical stones, what do you say? Do se have a deal?
>>
>>3965922
>go back home and plan to repair the central heating, potentially disbanding their militia
>>
>>3965963
“Look boys, coal is more valuable than mere trinkets. I managed to get my hands on a mining mech and an engineer. We can play nice and I can give you nice young men a cut of the ample coal supply to buy whatever baubles you desire, or we can all suffer. Ye Don’t eat your biggest teeted goat ye milk it.
>>
>>3965922
>>try to convince them with an inspirational speech
>>
>>3965922
>Try to convince them with an inspirational speech

Also point out that people are starving and the fortress is gonna fall. They can stay here collecting valuables that they can't eat, or they can assist us and we'll let them come with when we bust outta here.
>>
>>3965922
>>try to convince them with an inspirational speech
>>
>>3966321
>>3966291
>>3966138
>>3966118
>>3965963
You take your time to describe the dire situation of the Fortress but it falls on dead ears. They even laugh in the face of danger, a nervous laugh, like people trying to escape reality. Deep in their hearts they know you are right but don't want to admit it. As for your offer to collect Mystical Stones, they only partake in the coal business. Everybody knows that the Titan cannot be stopped anyway. You tried to scare them, then encouraged them to continue what they were doing. It was not very convincing.

You will have to find another way to pass, but for now you have to go to the Gnome through the Sons of Vulcan territory as you decided with the mecha. You loose a precious amount ot time from this round trip to the Boars territory. However, Hungrar pilots the mecha to the alchemist guild so you don't have to use your bruised leg or put more stress on your painful knees. As soon as you enter the fanatics' territory, they try to stop you.

"You... Don't think you can do what you want on our sacred soil."

The High Priest interrupts him.

"Silence mortal! Behold the mighty mecha. Dead matter moved by knowledge of Vulcan, life born out of nothing. Kneel down you fool, the last angel is here."
"But High Priest. He freed the dirty Hobbit."
"Silence mortal!... So... You, humble miner. I see you befriended the last angel but did not allow him to blow his trumpet and you met the birds. Ah... You choose to ignore the immortal, alright, alright... His fate is sealed then."

You take advantage of the confusion to get to the Gnome's place where he is busy on the rooftop to pack his stuff with his son.

"You, stupid son."
"Stop that, father..."
"I had to do business while you were playing soldier."
"Yeah... Making money on people misery."
"Trading potion for meat, and meat for Mystical Stone of already boarded people. It's genius!"
"That's not right."
"Shut up stupid son. I have our two ticket. You should thank that Dwarf who brought that cylinder."
"Ha look, father it's him."
"Oh, dear customer. Can I interest you in a free potion before we leave?"

You can ask for a free potion
>healing potion for your bruised body
>combat potion for what is coming
>one of the special mood changing potion prized by the guards (dream potion, courage potion, love potion...)
>explosives to fight the titan
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

(Optionnal)What do you think of the prophet ranting now?

It's 4PM, time remaining : 52h before hunger revolt
>>
>>3966357
>explosives to fight the titan
>>
>>3966357
>>explosives to fight the titan

(Optionnal)What do you think of the prophet ranting now?

>we befriended the mecha but didn't allow him to make the last stand and die, we met the birds meaning the elves, and the immortal we ignored? I don't know but the immortal seems to have it's fate sealed
>>
>>3966357

>explosives to fight the titan

Since he is on his way out let's loot his house too.

Whatever food or iceburst stones he has lying around he may have, he probably can't take with him since there is a weight limitation.

But specially, find something cool and shiny to trade with the Boars for passage, there should be plenty of trinkets in an alchemist home
>>
>>3966390
that seems good +1
>>
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In order to be absolutely sure to defeat the titan, you choose the explosive the Gnome has been throwing at the Brotherhood of Battle. He entrusts you with 4 bottles and explains that you have to very carefully handle them, the liquid being insatiable. It's a new formula called nitroglycerin he has not found a way to turn this into something as convenient as Iceburst Stone used in canons. You think that when he leaves the guild you will be able to loot other potion he can't carry with you but...

"Ah Ahahahah Ah... You thought that you could double-cross me?"
"Father... Please stop, this is embarrassing... really..."

The grumpy Gnome proceed to pour all his other potion down the gutter and carry with him only the most prized along with enough Mystical Stones for him, his son and his loot that will guarantee him a better new life. They head for the Royal Palace and the clerk. Inside the Alchemist Guild, you only find some boar's meat he acquired from other customers.

Should you loose one hour to loot another Guild?
>Adventurer's Guild
>Tamer's Guild
>no, let's not loose more time
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Also, you have the mecha, so you can try to lead a protest near the stables and demand the Boar cavalry to be butchered to feed the Fortress. This should provide everyone with one more day of ration, but you will have to convince the people there to help you.
>no, let's go home
>yes, to the royal stables

It's 5PM, time remaining : 51h before hunger revolt
>>
>>3966421

so is there any fancy equuipment or decoration we can trade with the boars around here?

take the boar meat too

>yes, to the royal stables
riot!
>>
>>3966421

>Take an hour to loot the adventurers guild

Likely they have some good stuff. More healing potions, weapons, armor, many possibilities.

>Yes go protest

But not mainly for the meat. What's just one more day of meat worth? It's another day of living with starvation and fear, of knowledge that everyone is doomed. Worse, it's incentive for everyone to stay here instead of fleeing. Instead we should tell everyone without a ticket that we need to escape the fortress, that we're going to make it past the Titan. The meat will be for the energy to make the trip out.
>>
>>3966421
>no, let's go home
What is one more day of prolonged suffering

Let’s ensure that our close knit group escapes.

Has the Doctor already gone? If not, we should visit him!
>>
>>3966469
This. We could use a healing potion so we aren't dead in the water outside of the mecha. The adventurers guild is most likely to have them.
We can rally the people, hold off the titan, and lead our flock to escape.
>>
>>3966421
>>Adventurer's Guild
>yes, to the royal stables
>>
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>>3966431
>>3966469
>>3966528
>>3966911
>>3966947
There's no food nor potions in the Alchemist Guild, you made sure of that, however some decorations were clearly too heavy for the Gnome. A large metal board where lead and gold fuse together covers the wall behind the counter, it's labelled the philosopher's wall. It could be art, it could be equipment, who knows. The mecha can easily carry this but will have to let it down in a fight. For the time being you take it.

Your party, composed of Hungrar, Harmoline and yourself in the mecha force open the Adventurer's Guild HQ. As you first supposed, this place was very early looted. You can even say that the most logical place to loot if the Alchemist's Guild was this well defended should have been the Adventurer's Guild. There're only corpses scattered over some sort of dining area: Hobbits, Gnomes, even Humans and Beastmen.

"P-Please help..."

Among the warriors a single voice rises, a Human female, apparently the receptionist girl. Long legs trapped in a pencil skirt, thin waist imprisoned in a shirt and slick long hair... Absolutely disgusting (for Dwarf standards), the absolute opposite of Harmoline. No matter how ugly she was, with your current companions would like to take her with the mecha but you will have to carry her in mechanical arm and that means no giant gold-lead philosopher's wall, regardless you listen to her story.

"Thank Prometheus someone came."
"What's your story long legs?"
"We ran out of food days ago, I had to sip on that healing potion each time my belly hurt. It eased the pain, but I could need some hot soup right now..."
"You said 'we'"
"Yes, the Adventurers who didn't want to fight at the Gate. We all waited here, except..."
"Except?"
"Except that guy. He went to the Goblins Caves. He said that when the Fortress will fall, surviving Goblins will thrive in the caverns and use it as a lair. He wanted to thin their number and retard this."

Hungrar was quite infuriated about what he just head, it's one thing to make plans to escape but already planning on the collapse was... insulting. The guild girl beg you to bring her to the Goblin Caves to see one last time the adventurer she mentioned before dying. She will probably starve to death when this healing potion will be over.

>keep the philosopher's wall in both mechanical arms and leave her
>take the guild girl in one mechanical arm and leave the philosopher's wall
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Also, about the loot
>take the healing potion for yourself, you will have to feed her a soup within one day
>let her continue to sip on it, if she does not ingest something her stomach can digest within a day she will drink it
>loot the adventurer's corpses, it will take one additional hour
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

It's 6PM, time remaining : 50h before hunger revolt
>>
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>>3967131
After all that looting, it is time to talk to someone about the boar's meat in the royal stables. You still have to decide if you want to lead a revolt with the amputated refugees trying to loose weight for a ticket or talk with the officers, as a last resort you can still force open the stables and let the boars loose. And you still have Harmoline with her father's plans, or Hungrar the charismatic commander and his frightening mecha.

>you will talk with the people
>you will talk with the clerk

also, you will have to find an inspiring/cinvincing speech
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3967131

>take the guild girl in one mechanical arm and leave the philosopher's wall


>take the healing potion for yourself, you will have to feed her a soup within one day
Can we do a soup with the leftover boar or some crushed wheat se have home?
If not then we
>leave it with her.


>loot the adventurer's corpses, it will take one additional hour
A weapon or something for us or to trade with the boars.

>you will talk with the clerk
Officers first, see if they see reason
>>
>>3967327
yeah, sure
>>
>>3967327
Fine by me. Seconding.
>>
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>>3967327
>>3967353
>>3967388
It's the second time you decide to save a non-Dwarf, this benevolent and open-minded act have you reflect on the future of the Dwarfs as a species. Will there be enough Dwarf to escape the Forterss? Sure there are some strongholds scattered across the kingdom and wanderers in foreign countries, but will this be enough? The last census proudly affirmed that almost 50,000 Dwarfs lived here. How much will survive?

Moreover, what resource will they have to rebuild another Fortress or settle somewhere else. This last thought felt particularly heavy, as heavy as the lead and gold board you abandoned. Let's hope the guild girl will be useful. Wait, "useful"? You are not that sort of man, you are a hero, right? At least, Harmoline and Hungrar thought so. But a pragmatic hero who knows that an adventurer corps should have loot. It's not the first time you handle a dead body, but looting take you one step further.

"I found a dagger on this Hobbit, does it have any value Harmoline?"
"Let me see... Damas steel, elk antler handle, silver decorations... I think it's quite expansive but as weapon I'm not sure it is as useful as your hunting knife."
"What about the armours? It's the only weapon I found."
"Not the right size for a Dwarf, sorry..."

Without further delay, you all head for the Royal Palace with the guild girl sitting on a mecha's hand. While passing near the Banks area, a gleam of gold catches your attention. The vaults are still open and unguarded. You know that the king hope to plan to rebuild his fortune with the loan contracts to other nations, but still... Not a single ingot is missing.

*zip*

An arrow hit your leather seat. It's the elves, they are signalling their presence. They should have finished retrieving their nation loan contract and are ready to escort you to through the dragon lair in order to escape the Fortress. However, you already choose to escape with the mecha, so it's just another option. Conrad must be looking for his own debt contract in a sea of paper.

As you approach the castle, the mecha has to be careful not to step on a refugee. Most of them are starving to death, there's even a child desperately trying to wake up his mother and not far from this living hell landscape, the royal mounted guards and their boars. They immediately encircle the mecha, someone was speaking to the clerk, someone very important.

"Yes, your majesty, the airship are almost ready."
"The numbers. Give me the numbers for Vulcan's sake."
"25,961"
"It's twice as much as expected! What are they doing?"
"The Vulcans removed around 500, almost all non-Dwarfs and the Brotherhood removed around 2,000 mainly male Dwarfs."
"If only Hungrar was still here..."

Provisions:
-10 meals worth of wheat (11 people eating 1 meal a day)
-3 days worth of coal
-12 Mystical Stones
-1 Adamantine Pickaxe
-1 Steel Hunting Knife
-1 Iron spear
-1 Damas steel Knife
-1 Healing potion

It's midnight, time remaining : 44h before hunger revolt
>>
>>3967398
The commander jumps out of the mecha as it makes its last step under the menace of the royal guards' halberds.

"My king, it is I, Hungrar Warmbasher, your loyal servant."
"Hungrar! I thought you died under a rock."
"Me? Never, my king. Your soldiers are doing miracle to maintain pressure on the front-line, so I was able to help this man. Let me present you Torresak Flatfall."
"So, it is you who was saved my dear commander... I will find a seat for you onboard, but for you alone."
"My king, with Torresak we think we can try to find the escape tunnel in the Mystical Stone cave."
"Myths and legends, my dear Hungrar. It is said that a long time ago a mage imprisoned an arch-demon in the cave. Even after his death, the demon's soul remained and poisoned this part of the mountain giving birth to Mystical Stones which in turn gave birth to the Titan. There's no mention of an escape tunnel."
"It's because it was too dangerous to stay in the cave for too long because of the Titan. But, please my king of unmatched wiseness, you understand that this mage must have dug a tunnel to this cave and escaped. Otherwise, we would have never heard about the cave."
"I know about this theory. There's also the possibility that he sealed the tunnel and choose to die there."
"It's a risk we must take, your majesty... However, we are not here to argue with his majesty. We have a humble request."

Request about the airships, test the king's reconnaissance
>please allow me and my people onboard (11 people)
>please, just me, my wife and 3 children onboard (5 people)
>please, just my children onboard (3 people)

Request about the boar's meat
>sell Harmoline unpatented plans
>write-in convincing speech

Something else
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
Don't hesitate to speculate on the king motives and hidden agenda.

Important note about the Mystical Stone cave : the tunnel they are talking about is a tunnel leading outside the mountain, the cave in itself was discovered by the Dwarfs when the Fortress was still expanding. So, in theory there are two access to the cave. One from the Fortress and supposedly one from the outside.
>>
>>3967399
>>write-in convincing speech

"My king, you managed to save half the dwarves here and I commend you for that, but please, give a chance for those not fortunate anough to have the necessary stones, give the meat to the people, so they may have the strenght to follow me into the caves, to have at least a chance before accepting death out of starvation"


ask the pilot how the mecha would fare against the dragon, at least on that passage we know there is a tunnel
>>
>>3967399
>>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

discuss with the king the matter of the brotherhood, they are rapist savages and responsible for the most attrocious acts we've seen in the fort since the siege started, recomend that they be dealt with as soon as he can
the pilot can confirm our story, their leader was offering a harem for whoever captured the mecha, which means he is enslaving, torturing and raping fellow dwarves in this time of crysis, the most despicable of our kind is the one who turns that kind of action agains our own
>>
>>3967399
>Sell Harmoline's plans for the meat

Remember she wanted them preserved by any means necessary. She would have given them to the king for free. This way all parties get what they want.

Also those elves are mighty decent.
>>
>>3967406
I'm not discarding using the papers but I think we should try to convince the king first, those papers will be extremely valuable outside, and they can be a new start for Hermoline and us too if we help her set up a shop. Otherwise we will be compleate distitutes
>>
>>3967631
There's no guarantee we even escape though.
>>
>>3967638
No, there isn't, but we are still going to try our hardest I imagine.
>>
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>>3967640
>>3967638
>>3967407
You consider that the best chance for those who cannot follow the king should be to go with you. If not in the Mystical Stone cave where the existence of the escape tunnel is uncertain, maybe in the dragon's lair where everyone knows there is an escape tunnel but guarded by a dragon. Fighting a dragon with a mecha is of course impossible, you would need to distract it with a series of well targeted hit from very fast moving shooters.

"My king, you managed to save half the dwarves here and I commend you for that, but please, give a chance for those not fortunate enough to have the necessary stones, give the meat to the people, so they may have the strength to follow me into the caves, to have at least a chance before accepting death out of starvation"
"And follow who exactly? A commoner like you?"
"Y-Yeah..."
"Don't misunderstand me. Your efforts to escape the Fortress are admirable, but there is only one way out of this Fortress and it's the central chimney which we will ascend with our airships."

The clerk interrupts the king to whispers something in his ear.

"Hmmm... Yes, I see... Listen Torresak Flatfall. I will give your permission to lead half of my people into this so called escape tunnel as long as it is deep in the Fortress."
"Thank you my king"
"However! I cannot give you my royal guard. I need them to restore order and guarantee the departure of our airships."
"But, your majesty, this people have not the strength to move on. They need some food to-"

The clerks whispered something again to the king.

"Yes... These are the last figures? Right... For the great journey, I shall give you half of my boar cavalry. Stew them, use them as mount, do as you please."
"Thank you!"
"But only once the airships are ready to leave."
"Your kindness knows no bound my king."
"Kindness uh? I wonder how History will remember me, though. Now, Hungrar I have one last thing to tell you before you take care of half of my people with this commoner."

You nervously wait for the commander to come back. More than receiving a favour, you feel rather more like you removed a pebble in the king's shoe. Hungrar tried to discuss the matter of the militia he met with you but the king seemed more preoccupied by his escape and the safety of this area. He also told some things to the commander that should be kept a secret from you and details about this deal.
>>
>>3967779
In short:
24h from now 10,000 Dwarfs will board the airships, half of the boars will be at your disposal in the stables.
44h from now 10,000 other starving Dwarfs will gather at the Worker's Homes and you can lead them through an escape if you feed them

What about now? Any point of interest left?
>directly go home
>try to sell the plans anyway
>stop by some place on your way home
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

It's midnight, time remaining : 44h before hunger revolt
>>
>>3967782
>>stop by some place on your way home

can we speak to the elves without the commander knowing? otherwise we should go directly home for the night
>>
>>3967802
In order to discreetly communicate with the elves, you ask Harmoline to write down something on a piece of paper using the manual of the mecha. She will then attach the paper to the arrow you just received and throw it on your way home. The elves will probably pick it up.

What do you want to say to the elves?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

The trip back home is calm and without incident, the Fortress is really dying there. You decide to imitate the guild girl and sleep in your seat while Harmoline and Hungrar change in turn to get some rest and keep the mecha moving. You wake up near the Sons of Vulcan territory, their prophet is blocking your way with his body.

"Oh mighty mecha, dead matter on which Vulcan breathed life into, will you listen to this old man request."
"High Priest, get out of here. This is dangerous, they are going to crush you."
"Silence mortal... We have to save the Holly Relics."
"No, you don't mean."
"Yes! Yes! YES! Mighty mecha, bring with the Anvil of Vulcan, the Dwarf most sacred relic that the king refused to take in his cursed flying machine."

The mecha is only transporting a tightly wrapped Human female in one harm, transporting that huge ugly iron anvil will probably not change anything for now. Harmoline not particularly enthusiast at the idea of transporting this dead weight, but the zealous commander does not hesitate one second and use the last free harm to take it.

Provisions:
-10 meals worth of wheat (12 people eating 1 meal a day)
-3 days worth of coal
-4 bombs
-12 Mystical Stones
-1 Adamantine Pickaxe
-1 Steel Hunting Knife
-1 Iron spear
-1 Damas steel Knife
-1 Healing potion

It's 8AM
16h from now 10,000 Dwarfs will board the airships, 50 boars will be available at the sables
36h from now 10,000 other starving Dwarfs will gather at the Worker's Homes
>>
>>3967905
Vozmould and Novina happily cheer at you from the window, they are really enthusiast about your mecha. In the stairs, Dorafra and Dunryl are welcoming you and they seem strangely agitated. The old couple are taking care of the injured women whose leg was eaten by the first floor occupant. Finally, Nomalin jealously clings on you for spending the night with this Dwarf engineer lady and you even came back with an exotic long-legs! It feels good to be home, however... You now have 12 people to feed before getting the boar's meat, including one starving person who will need a healing potion if she doesn't have anything to eat.

Who get the healing potion?
>Dunryl, severely bruised leg
>Inured lady, amputated foot
>Guild Girl, starving
>Torresak, knees pain, stab wound, severely bruised leg

Pick two persons who should skip meal and will have an (effect)?
>Harmoline (Hunger)
>Hungrar (Hunger)
>Nomalin (Inanition)
>Torresak (Inanition)
>Dunryl (Inanition)
>Injured lady (Inanition)
>Guild Girl (Death)
>Dwarf 'grandpa' (Death)
>Dwarf 'grandma' (Death)

Alternatively, you have 6 hours to find food but you are unable to hunt and with this many scavengers in the streets it is highly unlikely to find food in abandoned homes.
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3967909

>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
Can hrungar and the hunter hunt?

Toressek takes the potion and offers to not eat because of that

We go hunting with the hubter to guide us and Hrungar and us as the hunters since we are healthy.

If no food is found we ask for a volubteer to not eat, if no one volunteers we draw straws.

Toressek volunteers automatically.
>>
>>3967909
As for the letter, describe our deal with the kong, tell the elves we would be in their debt if they helped us save the most dwarves we can, but we understand if they can't risk it, if that happens we will try our luck at the titan cave.
>>
>>3967923
Oh, if we end up going for luck those who risk death by not eating are out of the pot.
Just those who can go without a meal participate
>>
>>3967909
Poor wife, we moved mountains and spared no resources to make sure she is healthy and she still gets jealous, she truly loves us.

>>3967923
Support
>>
>>3967938
>>3967947
roll 1d6 to hunt
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>3967962
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>3967962
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>3967962
>>
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>>3968052
>>3968020
>>3967974
After drinking the healing potion, your wounds disappear and you are ready to go hunting with Hungrar. Dunryl's leg is too painful for him to help you. However, a couple of giant rats fighting over a source of dirty water can be found not far from home. The soldier instinctively throws the iron spear that pierce the first one right in the skull. Before the second one can even realize what is going on, you throw your pickaxe at full strength and crush the second one's head. You spend some time retrieving the meat, the equivalent of 12 meals.

Overjoyed with the idea of tasting meat for the first time in days, Dorafra and Nomalin try their best at making a stew for everyone. You can fully commit yourself to the tasks ahead. First, even if only you and your household want to escape, you will have to negotiate with the Boars militia an access in the Mystical Stone cavern. The last time you tried to scold them in their escapism it failed and you misinterpreted their eagerness to collect rare items for an interchangeable thirst of Mystical Stones.

Access the Mystical Stone cavern
>offer them an item
>convince them you are on a mission given by his majesty
>you will force open the passage in due time
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

The stew is served for everyone and Harmoline starts to point out how difficult it would be to bring the boar's meat to the masses here. They can barely walk, so butchering and cooking would be quite difficult. You will need to find the manpower and the fuel to cook the meat. She proposes to use the forges and their continuous lava flow as a heat source, but they are still under the control of the Brotherhood of Battle. So maybe you can just Iceburst Stone with the mecha and steam the meat. And speaking of militia, even if the Sons of Vulcan were ready to let you pass, despite what you did, upon seeing your mecha, it will be something else to let 50 boars pass.

If you choose to help everyone, how to escort, butcher and cook the boars?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Finally, even if you were growing more confident each passing hour in the escape route you choose, there are still things that can be done. For example, you have to decide what to bring in your exodus, will it be loot, relics, valuables? Also, there might be more people that could need your help, Conrad, that adventurer fighting Goblins, the Doctor...

Anything left to do?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

It's 12AM
12h from now 10,000 Dwarfs will board the airships, 50 boars will be available at the sables
32h from now 10,000 other starving Dwarfs will gather at the Worker's Homes

Provisions:
-10 meals worth of wheat (12 people eating 1 meal a day)
-2 days worth of coal
-4 bombs
-12 Mystical Stones
-1 Adamantine Pickaxe
-1 Steel Hunting Knife
-1 Iron spear
-1 Damas steel Knife
-Anvil of Vulcan
>>
>>3968106

>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

Send the hunter to grab the doctor since he is not wanted by anyone

We and the mecha can go after Conrad, he may be useful in a fight against the titan or the dragon.

For cooking, we could recruit the help of the boars, offer them meat too if they defend the boars with us, then we use the iceburst stones to cook it.

If they don't accept we can make the same deal with the vulcans, their leader seems to like us and we say that this help will allow us to take the anvil out, they can defend us while we cook the boar at the lava.
And if the brotherhood attacks all the better, both of them can kill each other.
>>
>>3968106
>>offer them an item
The dagger from the hobbit.
Use the iceburst stones + mecha to steam the boars
Check up on the doctor and ask him if he wants to escape with us.
>>
>>3968175
Isn’t the Doctor going on the airship...?
>>
>>3968316
I think he used whatever he had to save his research, not himself
>>
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>>3968317
>>3968316
>>3968306
>>3968175
After the best lunch you had in days, Hungrarn, Harmoline, Dunryl, you and the mecha go back to the stables to guide the boars back to the Workers Homes. On you way you drop Dunryl to check on the doctor. Near the Banks area a fire has started in the personal contract vault that the last remnant of the royal guard are trying to put off. As you approach the stables, where a crate of carrots with a note from the king awaits, you can spot in the airships in the distance. Behind the castle, rising in the central chimney in a column of light, as big as clouds, ten gigantic Zeppelins carrying 10,000 Dwarfs to part unknowns.

It was the safest escape out of the Fortress, but instead of bargaining to save only your the live sof your little family you stayed for everyone. Harmoline makes a fishing line with the carrots in order to guide the boars back home. For a moment you think about asking the royal guards to join you, but upon seeing the airships departing they rush toward the central chimney, dismounting their boars which now unguided and hungry, fall into a giant rift.

The trip back home is without incident, or at least not any that the mecha can manage. The fire from the Banks is too intense and almost roast some boars alive. The Sons of Vulcan let you pass for the last time as you pick up a starving doctor and Dunryl. The savant indeed sacrificed everything to save his research. Your final trip brings the boars to the Boars, what a fitting end.

"Listen kids. I get it, you are scared. You want your fancy weapons, you want to keep playing soldiers."
"Oi, who are you calling a kid, gramp?"
"But here I have 50 boars from the royal stable, the finest meat you will ever taste in your life. Let me mine Iceburst Stone to cook them and help me to distribute them to the population."
"You got balls gramp... You have a deal but me and my men will eat first. Nice knife you have here, I hope you can sell it once you escape the Fortress."

Spending the last hours before the hunger revolt you mine enough Iceburst Stone to both cook the meat and fuel to mecha to full power. The smell from the cooking, so close to the Worker's Homes brings a crowd of around 8,000 people but only 7,000 get enough to eat. Since a hungry stomach has no ears, you made sure that everyone could understand the plan.

It's 12AM again
24h hours before people start to get hungry again

You are on the home stretch, it's your last chance to do something before leaving the Fortress and you have to make sure your "people" can go with you, including the unconscious doctor and the lady without a foot. You also have to choose if you want to load anything on the mecha until you have to fight the Titan and who should pilot it?
>>
>>3968642
Anything left to go or to loot?
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

How do you load the mecha (pick 2)?
>unconscious doctor
>lady without a foot
>Anvil of Vulcan
>12 Mystical Stones

Who pilot the mecha (pick 2)?
>Hungrar
>Harmoline
>Dunryl
>Torresak

Provisions:
-4 bombs
-12 Mystical Stones
-1 Adamantine Pickaxe
-1 Steel Hunting Knife
-1 Iron spear
-1 Damas steel Knife
-Anvil of Vulcan
>>
>>3968645
We load doctor and 12 mystical stones

Hungrar and harmoline pilot the mecha
>>
>>3968872
This.
>>
>>3968645
can someone carry the lady with no foot?

if not put her and the doc on the mecha
>>
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>>3968919
>>3968902
>>3968872
It was the last supper, or at least the last one in the Fortress. You are confident that there is nothing of value left in the Fortress, the gold can stay here even if the enemy might take it, the sacred relics of your people do not matter when considering the wounded. Well not all wounded, the doctor and the Mystical Stones are more important than the lady with no foot, she will have to use a stick in order to walk, but she resigned herself. Even the old couple understand that with their speed they might not make it to the exit.

About 7,000 Dwarfs showed up near the Boars territory, waiting for you to bring more food or lead them out of the Fortress. The Boars guide your small group first with the mecha into the Mystical Stones cavern. A narrow corridor, wall made of the crystal like Mystical Stone and many excavation engine leading to a larger geode. Making the whole area shake with each step, the Titan wander aimlessly, still unaware of the thousand of Dwarf ready to flood his cavern from that tiny corridor.

The final fight is near, but you still don't know if there is really an exit. Novina clings to your leg, scared of the colossal monster. You are armed with the Damas steel dagger, your pickaxe and the 4 bombs while Dunryl has his spear and the hunting knife. The mecha put the unconscious doctor on the ground with the Mystical Stones before the fight.

How to find the exit?
>everybody rush in the cavern and look for the exit
>only small strike force of you, Dunryl and the mecha

How to fight the Titan while you are looking for an exit?
>throw 1 explosive at the Titan
>mecha body slam the Titan
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3MoKDa-Lzs
>>
>>3968944
>>only small strike force of you, Dunryl and the mecha

the mecha distracts
we look for an exit to be sure it exists

start with a explosion pot since Hermoline said that explosions stun it so that we have time to look for it

as soon as it is recovering we mecha slam
>>
>>3969003
roll 2d6
>>
Rolled 1, 1 = 2 (2d6)

>>3969008
>>
>>3969021
HAH
>>
Rolled 1, 1 = 2 (2d6)

>>3969008
>>
Rolled 3, 2 = 5 (2d6)

>>3969008
>>
Rolled 1, 6 = 7 (2d6)

>>3969028
>>3969021
holy shit
>>
Damn, everything we did undone by the dice, let's hope our family makes it out after our death
>>
END OF THE RIDE
>>
>>3969036
>>3969035
>>3969034
>>3969030
>>3969028
>>3969022
The first grenade hits the titan's leg while it was moving it forward, the blast makes it loose balance. Your whole party use this precious delay to look for an exit on the cave's walls. Before your even start your search the titan assures a new stance and dash toward the mech, it was the monster doing the body slamming, much to the surprise of Hungrar and Harmoline. They barely manage to use a mechanical arm as a support while falling, damaging it beyond repair.

However, this time, the precious delay provided by this clash enabled your team to look for an exit, but... nothing on this part of the cave. You have to continue looking for an exit, no matter what, right?

"Torresak! We can override the steam engine and punch into submission with absolute certainty! But we will lose that arm."

How to find the exit?
>everybody rush in the cavern and look for the exit (more rolls to look for an exit)
>only small strike force of you, Dunryl and the mecha (on roll per distraction)

How to fight the Titan while you are looking for an exit?
>throw 1 explosive at the Titan (3 remaining)
>mecha body slam the titan
>mecha use the last arm to punch the titan (no roll)
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5HBuZCc3us
>>
>>3969051

>throw 1 explosive at the Titan (3 remaining)

Save the arm for after we find the exit, that way we can delay it long enough for people to leave.

Ask for an aditional group of volunteers to get in here and look for it. Just an extra roll worth of people, we don't want this place flooded with dwarves and they getting stomped or getting in the way of the mecha
>>
>>3969061
Voting for this.
>>
>>3969061
>>3969074
roll 2d6
>>
Rolled 4, 5 = 9 (2d6)

>>3969075
>>
Rolled 2, 5 = 7 (2d6)

>>3969075
Aaarg
>>
Rolled 1, 6 = 7 (2d6)

>>3969075
>>
>>3969080
Lets hope that 6 can offset the 1
>>
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>>3969080
>>3969077
>>3969076
Witnessing that fight had a huge impact on everyone hiding in the narrow corridor. You can hear Vozmoul and Novina crying as well as all the other children. And all of them will need their parents to take care of them after this, but looking for the future is meaningless if you can't even find an exit. There are about 3,000 adults and you will need 1,000 of them to explore another part of this gigantic geode. But why should they listen to you? What did you do for the community beside bring meat just before the collapse? You didn't repair the central heating, you didn't fight the militia, nothing.

This time the grenade lands on a floating Mystical Stone just in front of the Titan. It seems that the heat from the explosion made them levitate, the same principle as in the airships. One thousand adults rush in the cave and you can only summon another additional one thousand of them to explore simultaneously another part.

Your can't use the blast as a diversion to find an exit, however...

"That way!"

The refugees found the exit! Their cheers quickly turn into scream as they realize the Titan is heading on them. Most don't want to escape since their children are still in the entry corridor. You have to stop the Titan.

How to stop the Titan while 1,000 out of 7,000 escape?
>throw 1 explosive at the Titan (2 remaining)
>mecha body slam the titan
>mecha use the last arm to punch the titan (no roll)
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3969093
>mecha use the last arm to punch the titan (no roll)

we got the exit!

let's rush everyone there
>>
>>3969096
Harmoline pull a lever on the titan, the steam engine crush all remaining Iceburst Stone and the resulting steam pressure generated allow the mech to throw a powerful punch in the monster's face. Under Hungrar skilful piloting, the mecha used its whole body for this attack, everything in its stance screamed "I will protect you."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vU7XqToZso

The monster falls on its back, creating a small earthquake, the steam starts to condensate on the levitating Mystical Stones, projecting beams of light on the geode. An arena befitting a fight between two giants. The most body-able refugees escaped with their children, about one thousand Dwarfs, leaving 6,000 more, including the injured. Hungrar stares at the mecha's arms, one damaged crushed under the machine own's weight, the other blowing off steam from multiple broken pipes. He ejects both and prepare to charge the Titan so it will no get up from the ground.

How to stop the Titan while 1,000 out of 6,000 remaining escape?
>throw 1 explosive at the Titan (2 remaining)
>mecha body slam the titan
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

In the confusion, you hear your wife, Nomalin calling you. She was at the escape tunnel refusing to leave without you. Your children are safe, but the old couples, the doctor and the injured lady are still trying to reach the exit. You reflect on what you did until now, saving strangers, facing unspeakable horrors and barbary, commiting yourself to the community before your family. Have you done enough?

Have you done enough?
>stay for one more round
>escape
>>
>>3969113
>>mecha body slam the titan

>stay for one more round
blow our wife a kiss and tell her to get the kids to safety, we will go soon
death flag raised kek
>>
>>3969114
+1

At least the titan is not paying attebtion to the escapees anymore, kite the thing away fron the exit
>>
>>3969114
>>3969116
roll 1d6
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>3969121
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>3969121
>>
>>3969121
question, this cave has iceburst stones too? can we pick some up while the mech is distracting the thing?
>>
>>3969127
>>3969124
>>3969122
When Nomalin accompanied you on your first day to the dangerous iron pits, she begged until the last moment for you to refuse that job. Vertical mining was dangerous and you both knew it, but you needed to put food on your family's plates. You just pressed your thick miner's hand on your lips and waved it back at her while the elevator was taking your group down.

This time as well you have to do what must be done, but not as a father, just as a decent person. With Dunryl you stay to encourage the mecha's crew and prepare to enter the fight. Hungrar crushes the pedal under his seat and throw the whole metal giant on the Titan. Another powerful earthquake resonate in the geode while one thousand more refugees escape.

How to stop the Titan while 1,000 out of 5,000 remaining escape?
>throw 1 explosive at the Titan (2 remaining)
>mecha body slam the titan
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)

>>3969127
Mystical Stones, yes. The ones that levitates when heated or glow when wet. You can carry only one per person.
>>
>>3969128
Also
>stay for one more round
>escape
>>
>>3969128
>>throw 1 explosive at the Titan (2 remaining)

time for explosions

we still have two pots we can help in the fight with them
>>
>>3969128
>Mystical Stones, yes. The ones that levitates when heated or glow when wet. You can carry only one per person.

can we weponise this thing somehow?
>>
>>3969133
The Titan is made of Mystical Stones, I will let you reflect on that.

>>3969131
roll 1d6
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>3969136
and when wet enough they kind of consume themselves don't they?
hmmmm

maybe the explosion can heat it enough to get it off the ground too


can we find some place with water nearby? we could dissolve some parts of it with enough water
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>3969136
>>
>>3969148
>>3969143
You signal to Hungrar that you are ready to switch in order to relieve pressure from them. This time, your grenade just has to land on the Titan which is lying down, an easy target. You aim for the torso and as soon as it tries to stand up, the impact blast the monster back on the ground, allowing one thousand more refugees to escape. Only one grenade left and still 4,000 refugess.

"Harmoline, is there another way? We can risk making a wrong step and let chance decide our fate."
"What are you thinking about?"
"It's made of Mystical Stones, right? Can't we heat it up and make it float in the air?"
"Ha? And with what exactly? The explosion does not spread the heat evenly on the monster."
"What about water?"
"I don't see why you want to make it all shiny. Beside, there's no water her-"
"The steam!"

That's right, Harmoline is basically sitting on a walking steam engine, maybe the boiling water from her tank can spread enough heat on the Titan to make the Mystical Stones levitate. It that works, the mecha will obviously shut down, but you may win enough time to make everyone escape.

How to stop the Titan while 1,000 out of 4,000 remaining escape?
>throw 1 explosive at the Titan (1 remaining)
>mecha body slam the titan
>mecha flushes its water tank on the Titan and shut down, then everyone (4,000) escape
>write-in (write-in are always available but I may or may not choose them)
>>
>>3969181
does the steam requires a roll?
>>
>>3969187
yes, high risk, high reward
>>
>>3969190
oh fuck, what to do, I can't commit to this, I know for a fact I'll roll a 1
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>3969190
>mecha flushes its water tank on the Titan and shut down, then everyone (4,000) escape

let's do it, I see no other way, we will eventally roll a 1 if we try to keep stalling it
>>
>>3969197
jumped the gun on the roll, good thing we spent the one before it mattered
>>
>>3969197
there's no need to roll while the option is not chosen, does not count
>>
>>3969181

>mecha flushes its water tank on the Titan and shut down, then everyone (4,000) escape

Tell them all to flood the tunnel, even if it doesn't work maybe a good number of them can escape while its busy chasing the others. This is gonna be a bloodbath
>>
>>3969197
>>3969204
roll your 1d6 now that the option is chosen
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>3969210
aaaaaaaaaaaa
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>3969210
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>3969210
>>
at least is not a one

and we still have an explosion pot to help whoever stays behind I guess
>>
>>3969244
you are a Vulcan sent anon, all praise go to you
>>
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>>3969248
>>3969246
>>3969244
>>3969226
>>3969218
Hungrar pulls several levers back and forth while switching of pedals on his seat, the mecha turns its back to the Titan about to get up. With a powerful roar, he then breaks a lever and jump out of his seat to stab the main boiler.

"I have crushed giants with only a warhammer. I am not going loose to some shiny golem!"

A geyser of boiling water erupts from the crack he just made in the tank, it spreads on the Titan but it will burn all of Hungrar right arm. The steam fills the geode, lighting up the Mystical Stones. You can only hear Harmoline desperately calling the commander name.

With Dunryl you rush to the now inanimate mecha, not noticing the thousands of refugees escaping the geode. The poor commander is resting in the engineer's big arms. You look at his right arm that is probably nothing but steamed flesh, he passed out from the pai-

"That arm... I lost it a long time ago already."

Hungrar wakes up, pulling his glove to reveal a mechanical arm. When the steam dissipates, the Titan is nowhere to be found so you just hurry back to the narrow corridor to grab whatever you can left before leaving. It's when you are about to leave that you notice, a giant form floating in the geode, waving all its limbs to try to cool down and touch ground.

What or who do you take with you on your way to the exit?
(Harmoline and Dunryl will pick what you left)
>the doctor
>the injured lady with a missing foot
>a Mystical Stone

Final inventory:
-1 bomb
-1 Adamantine Pickaxe
-1 Damas steel Knife
>>
>>3969261
>the injured lady with a missing foot
or whichever is heaviest
>>
>>3969261
>>the injured lady with a missing foot

let's get the fuck out of here
>>
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>>3969264
>>3969269
After a long walk in the escape tunnel, you finally reach the exit. The smell of pine trees, singing birds, the setting sun... Your wife embraces you, as well as all your children. You made it out of here alive and in one piece. Life is so beautiful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYC-fIpj778

In the distance, you can see black smoke from the Gate, the enemy has entered the Fortress since the defenders ran out of food and lost all will to fight. Good luck with the militia still inside you think, but ultimately they will take the Fortress. Yes, the Dwarven Fortress has fallen, but life still goes on.

-END-

I will now work on a detailed epilog for every character taking into account all your previous decisions and their consequences. The game is over but you can stay or come back later to read them, also AMA.
>>
>>3969279
The refugees

You led 9,476 survivors out of the Fortress. Well-fed and protected by the Boars militia they all made it to the neighbour Human Kingdom. The Guild Girl you saved played a huge part in negotiating with the Human authorities, but after a while all Dwarfs found a place to stay here, in another country or went back to the Dwarf King (see below). Most felt nothing but distrust toward you.

"Why did we not escape sooner?"
"Who is that Torresak?"
"I won't follow someone who just cared for his little world, leaving hundreds dying of starvation."
"He had an engineer, why he didn't repair the central heating?"

But around a thousand of them will forever be grateful for what you did and understand your choices. You are somewhat a model as a Dwarf for them. There is even a bard who wrote a song about your party. Anyway, your family can alway count on them wherever you decide to go.

The Flatfall family

Torresak and his wife rented a room at an inn the first day they arrived in the Human Kingdom, selling the Damas steel dagger. The humble miner had to do some work, but he was quickly hired as an apprentice blacksmith and managed to earn way more than his salary as a miner. They are now living in a house with all their children. Vozmoul has grown up and want to be a mecha pilot, so he will have to settle in the new Dwarven Kingdom (see below). Novina has stopped wetting her bed and making nightmares, her loving mother helped her to become a wonderful young lady. Dorafra... she is waiting for your permission to marry Dunryl the hunter who enlisted as an adventurer.

cont.
>>
>>3969279
just want to say that this was an amazing quest and quite the ride, I hope to see another adventure from you soon
I'll wait for the epilogue to throw some questions around

thank you very much for running
>>
>>3969280
Harmoline Nobleforged

Using her father unpatented plan to bargain for a master blacksmith position, she managed to open her own workshop. Torresak started as an apprentice here and even learned how to read, he can live whenever he wants to become an independent blacksmith but realizing his dream of working on advanced machinery is binding him to that place. She spends a lot of time repairing the arm of the Dwarf commander with the crude tools of the Humans. The combined effects of promiscuity, the guilt of the commander about her father and their unbreakable bound as pilot and copilot led to the inevitable.

Hungrar Warmbasher

Taking also a huge part in the negotiations, he ensured that not a single Dwarf died of starvation and insisted on giving everyone a job while patiently waiting for his arm to be repaired. He gradually won respect and influence in the Human city the refugees settled in and is currently advising the Bailiff. His marriage with Harmoline will takes place next summer.

Durnryl Earthbraid

Durnryl made a full recovery of his leg injury. He spends a lot of time playing sick to get Dorafra's attention but ultimately his pride compelled him to prove his worth as an adventurer. They both experienced the bliss that is awkward first love and are now secretly engaged. He is still trying to accomplish something that will make him worthy of Dorafra's hand, but it's mostly because he is too intimidated by her father.

cont.
>>
>>3969284
>They both experienced the bliss that is awkward first love and are now secretly engaged
motherfucker!
>>
>>3969284
The injured lady

She needed time. A lot of time to go through her traumatic experience. After Harmoline made her a prothesis she worked for her as a maid even when it was completely free of charge. She is torn between the new Dwarven Kingdom (see below) and staying in the same town as the man who saved her life, the hero Torresak Flatfall.

The doctor

After discovering and recovering from a new illness he called "diabetes" resulting from his sugar consumption, the good doctor immediately resettled for the new Dwarven Kingdom. There, he spread the treatment against tuberculosis combining alchemy and pharmacology, magic and science... He become an international reference and contributed to the renown of the new Dwarven Kingdom.

The old couple

At first, they didn't believe they had made it out of the Fortress. An old Dwarf who can't even hold a hammer and his poor wife? They always thought they were going to die, from hunger during the siege or from poverty before the siege. However, the new solidarity between the refugees strengthened the workers community. They found a home and an occupation: guarding Dwarf children while their parents are working in their new life.

The Guild Girl

She quickly found a new job at the local branch of the Adventurer's Guild. However, without her goblin-obsessed friend you abandoned in the Fortress she fell into healing potion addiction. Her long period of starvation only using healing potion to cure her internal organ and soothe the hunger pain damaged her mind more than her body.

Conrad Noakesburrow

"For the Shire!" were his last word as he set ablaze the vault of personal debt or 'slaves contract'. He managed to open the vault for the elves but couldn't find his own in the sea of paper. Cornered by the royal guard his choose death over slavery, even office work slavery. His mother in his home town will never be troubled by Ingothide&Son's bailiff.

cont.
>>
>>3969298
>"For the Shire!"
Fucking badass
>>
>>3969298
The canaries

The Elven commando made it out of the Fortress alive through the dragon lair with the debt contract of the Elven Kingdom toward the Dwarven Kingdom. Without that thorn in their side, the elves' attitude toward Dwarf changed. They became more arrogant and aggressive.

The defenders of the Fortress

The heroic last stand of the guard had a huge impact on Dwarf culture. It was not thanks to an advanced mecha or a mighty canon that they hold the line, but with their own blood and sweat. Never again the Dwarfs will be treated as weak.

The Boars

The militia of young Dwarf armed to the teeth escaped the fortress with the refugees. They immediately sought how to make a good use of they newly acquired rare weapons and armours. Most enlisted as adventurers using the reputation of the 'defender of the Fortress' and most died on their first day. Those who survived became expert adventurers and went to the new Dwarven Kingdom to serve the king.

cont.
>>
>>3969311
The Prophet and the Sons of Vulcan - a short story

The High Priest was informed that the enemy encircled the temple. Guided only by fate, the blind man managed to face the invader right on the temple's stairs. He will not allow them to desecrate such a holly site. There're enemies everywhere around him, he is probably the last one alive.

"Soon we will all return to the original crucible of Vulcan and be reborn anew."

Probing the darkness with his hand, he finds a chain hanging from the temple rooftops. As he pulls on it, a crucible installed on top of the temple discharges tons and tons of molten metal on him, the temple and the nearby enemies.

"You shall not pass."

At least he can die in peace knowing that the Anvil of Vulcan is safe. It is safe, right?

The king of the thugs and the Brotherhood of Battle - a short story

Nagen, a street thug who earned his life by fulfilling dirty jobs for the nobles, thought that his time had come. He was too intelligent to delude himself into thinking that he could rules on the ruins of the Fortress. But he had a deal, or so he thought.

"Nagen! The airships are leaving?"
"What?! That dawn king! He played me like a fiddle."
"How are we going to leave now?"
"It's alright, we can probably escape. We can sneak our way out or even hide until they leave."
"But we are too many!"
"Then we will be doing what we have done until now."

The thug place a reassuring hand on his underling shoulder, wait for him to breath his anxiety out and then stabs him in the guts.

"We will just thin the number so that few can escapes."

Goblin Slayer - a short story

How long has it been since he walked into that maze? Days? Weeks? The adventurer came here on a request from the Dwarf King to hunt Goblins in those tunnels. When he heard about an enemy coming to kills the Dwarfs, he didn't even think about leaving. Even after the receptionist, who travelled with him, urged him to leave.

"Goblin Slayer, please come with me. They are still far away from the Fortress."
"I am hunting Goblin."
"Stop it with your obsession. You have done enough!"
"Is that so?"
"Yes, it is. There will always be Goblins wherever you go and I will always... be at your side."
"The Fortress is huge."
"Huh?"
"It's very big... When the enemy will leave after exterminating the Dwarf, the Goblins will use this Fortress as a new base. I can't let that happen."
"But you can't kill them all."
"Yes, but I can trim their numbers."

'Maybe the Guild Girl was right' That was his last words, lost in the infinite maze among the Goblins... But that were not his last thoughts. After drinking down a stamina potion, he stood up and the only thing in his mind was 'Goblins. Goblins. Where are the Goblins?'

cont.
>>
>>3969325
let's hope the goblin slayer made it out at the other side of the maze
>>
>>3969325
30 years ago - the current king's father

The Dwarf king followed his royal guards deep in the mountain. He tried his best to hide his fear, that would his first time in the same room as a dragon. Few days ago, engineers who installed pumps in the magmatic chamber found this huge beast. And it spoke. It spoke! Actually, it demanded to see the king.

"Haaaa... His majesty, the king of the Dwarfs?"
"A-And who am I speaking to?"
"My name is unpronounceable for mortal like you. I am the king of this mountain."
"W-WHat do you want lizard. I-I could end your lif-"
"Don't try to look tough on me little man. I was there when the concept of life and death was invented."
"State your business."
"Haaaa... Finally. This is what I like with Dwarfs. Like I said, this is my mountain. And all the gold you will ever mine out of it belongs to me."
"B-But we nee-"
"I was here first. And I will still be there when you will be nothing but ashes. If a single ounce of gold gets out of here. I will burn every single Dwarf under the sky... Now leave me. I'm going to nap for a few centuries. Whoever disturbs my sleep shall get a taste of my wrath."

With that warning, the king had to listen to the advice of a young noble called Ingothide who proposed to create banknotes representing physical gold which will never leave the Fortress. You could even loan this paper money to other nations, multiplying your fortune.

First Day of the Sieve - the current king

The Dwarf king just read a report from his guard commander. The army besieging the fortress is just too big. For every trebuchet destroyed by a canon, a dozen were built in the night. The only solution was escape by airships but there is not enough Mystical Stone for 50,000 Dwarfs. At this very moment, the old Ingothide from Ingothide&Son bank voiced his opinion.

"My king, how is that exactly a problem?"
"We can't bring this many people. There will be a revolt when we board the ships."
"Then, just trim down their number. I know a few trustworthy men who could take that burden from the guards."
"I... can't give that order."
"You don't have to my king. We will also stretch the ration over a month. That way you will appear as benevolent king and in the same time they will grow to weak to protest."
"That's..."
"Shhhh my king. We only need the debt contract from a dozen nation and a living heir to recreate the kingdom."
"W-What should I do?"
"Just live... Or make sure your son lives."

The sinister Ingothide then met with his trustworthy Dwarf, a certain Nagen, who will regularly trim down the number of survivors within the Fortress to acceptable levels.

cont.
>>
>>3969366
10 years later - New Dwarven Kingdom

The airships set sails for the Human Kingdom capital. After cancelling the debt of the Human, the Dwarf were given a whole border region between, the Human Kingdom and the Elven Forest. A flat land. If they had the Elves debt too, they could have negotiated a mountain somewhere far away.

Anyway, without the personal debt contract, the new Dwarven Kingdom did not have the manpower to create a new Fortress in one night. They will have to rebuild their fortune and glory. Without the sacred relics or the High Priest, the Church of Vulcan split into several sects and made it even harder for the king to bring everyone together.

However, the Guilds documents were saved and many Dwarfs refounded their Guilds in the Human Kingdom or across the world. The stonecutters, the jewellers, the brewers, the boars tamers... All contributed to make the new Dwarven Kingdom prosperous.

A very prosperous nation where money is the new god, cornered between two powerful Kingdoms. As the king who led the heroic exodus from the Fortress suicided himself, his son will have many challenges to face in the upcoming years. But rumours spread about a small Dwarf community in the Human Kingdom which might bring them hope.
>>
>>3969371
Do we get to know wjat happened to the army and dragon?
>>
ok, I guess this is over now
I will stay around for some time if you have questions

Thank you for playing. I am very grateful of your investment, the wrire-ins were very creative and you roleplayed/put yourself in Torresak shoes very well. It was a real pleasure to explore this universe with you all. I wish you happy holidays in advance.

I am very bad at this, so I will just say thank you again.
>>
>>3969379
first question is this
>>3969375
who was actually attacking the kingdom? other humans? orcs? something else?


what would have happened if we tried top escape from the dragon cave? would he wake up? would we have a chance to escape with everyone?
>>
>>3969375
>>3969387
I never really thought into too much details about the invading army. I initially wanted to offer a Sarajevo/Survival experience as a civilian, so I thought that a nameless and faceless army was good enough since I didn't want to explore this part. As the story developped I realized they couldn't be Human, Gnome, Hobbit, nor Elves.

The dragon is still sleeping, if I want to be true to what I imagined about his deal with the Dwarf King. I think that this is closely related to the fate of the Fortress and that is something I never really thought about.

In my mind, the Fortress had to fall, it was the whole purpose of the quest. But because of the dragon and the strategic resources in the Fortress, what happens next should be addressed, indeed.

What do you think about this :
After the enemy conquered the Fortress, they became its new occupant and mined gold that they could never get out of the mountain, just like the Dwarfs. They had to learn about metallurgy and steam engine and ditched their trebuchets and catapults for canons.

Also, you could have escaped through the dragon's lair but only with the Elves' help. I imagined something similar to what you went through in the Mystical Stones caves, plus dealing with the Brotherhood of Battle.
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>>3969379
My thanks for running, OP. This was a great quest.
I'd like to ask what would happened if we had repaired central heating, and carried the Anvil out.

And, will you ever be running another quest? It'd be nice to see what else you could run here.
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>>3969407
Repairing central heating would have made a huge impression on the comunity. It would have influenced the number of survivors and the number of people ready to die to find an exit. You only had to call 1,000 people but you could potentially have called much more. Then it would have influenced Torresak position in the survivors community. Maybe he would have become the Human Bailiff advisor instead of Hungrar. I also wanted the king to give him a title if he did well in battle and united the community.

The Anvil would have united the Church of Vulcan. It was something I came up with very late but it made sense considering Bankers were in charge of the inventory of the airships. Leaving heavy religious artifact was a given for them, it weakened the Church so they had more influence on the new Dwarven Kingdom which turned out more like an Industrial Complex/Financial Center than a true new Dwarven Kingdom.

>And, will you ever be running another quest? It'd be nice to see what else you could run here.
I am new at mastering quests, this is my 4th attempt and I still have much to learn. At my 3rd attempt I thought I had enough experience but it was a disaster. This time I tried to focus on my previous errors :"how to make a decent OP, how to avoid dead flags and be ignored, how to get people interested".

Now I will focus on what I did wrong in this quest and improve that in the next one. Maybe something with more rolls and a better combat system, or a more original main character. I think I should stick to one-shot format but there's nothing new in the box right now.
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>>3969473
I think you did splendid job. Way you described the city actions and events definitely reflected feeling of desperation and up and coming doom
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>>3969473
Looking forward to it once it comes then. I'd be interested to see what improvements you could make going off of this.
>Maybe something with more rolls and a better combat system
Or maybe the combat system, rather. This was ran with very few rolls, a quest where our own decisions made or broke it for us later. It was nice to see, and was based on more than probability. I liked it quite a bit, but it would be nice to have some more combat rolls in place. Not a lot of confrontations here.

While typing this, I was thinking about the combat rolls within the quest, and came to the thought of the creature. Would you care to elaborate on him? Who he had been, what he would have been like if we had confronted him, what would have happened if we had Hungrar use the pickaxe on the door rather than the Iceburst, basically everything associated with the creature, it was an interesting subplot.
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>>3969508
Thank you. I tried to give some motives behind every action and event as gruesome as they could be and without exaggerating. I did my research before and I had to confess watching Germinal and playing This War of Mine was very inspirational. Thank you again, your words of praise and appreciation confirm me that I didn't cross the line between unsettling and edgy.

>>3969517
This was an interesting experiment as a QM in training. The creature was hiding in one of the apartments of Torresak's building. I only mentioned one time that there was someone who shut himself behind his doors and then let you forget about it. An experienced QM told me that if you don't highlight the important parts, then the players will not notice anything since there are not in the QM shoes. However, if I had put too much attention on that apartment I would have resolved the case for you. So, here, I experimented with the investigation aspect of a /qst/.

I think Torresak couldn't imagine that this creature was a neighbour, and that's why I didn't insist and relied heavily on write-in. This is also why I kept it vague. Nobody wanted to accept that fact despite the proofs of its intelligence. Even in their subconscious, such thing could not be possible and every time anyone was close to the truth their mind snapped. I am making this up right now, but I think that if Hungrar entered the room and saw a perfectly normal Dwarf feasting on someone else arms he would have lost all hope. The creature was supposed to be extremely agile, so a fight would have also ensued.

What do you think about this:
A Dwarf with a relative barricaded his door on the first week. He was a very cowardly person and preferred to die of starvation rather than opening the door. When his relative died of hunger, it took him a few days to eat him. Then, he stopped viewing his neighbours as a threat and considered them as preys. That's how the power of fear turned a coward turned into a predator.

In the end, I think the creature was here to balance the dynamic between home defence and adventuring. In /qst/, the more you go to adventure, the more items you collect and the more powerful you become. I wanted to balance that.
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>>3969674
Very neat stuff, thank you. Was an interesting idea turned plot point. Seems like we had made the right call with the Iceburst. It would have been interesting to see what the confrontation may have been like, but ultimately it seemed like the consequences would have been devastating.

Are your other quests archived anywhere? You say you're a QM in training, yet I think you've got this nearly down. I'd like to read more of your work.
Maybe try experimenting more with combat in your next quest, you seem to have the writing down, consistently update, but still have a light focus on rolls. Not explicitly necessary, I'm not saying a quest should be full of them, just saying maybe try a heavier focus on them for your next quest to see what works for you.
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