Welcome back one and all into a new part of our adventure. Our time in Muribel hasn't been overwhelmingly negative despite bumps here and there but things, unfortunately, changed rather quickly with the arrival of Shereen older sister... Whilst we've thankfully been able to heal some hearts, things are looking tense indeed. It is time to leave the capital!Previous Threads http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Lots%20of%20DialoguesTwitter for schedule updateshttps://twitter.com/TaleOfMonstersPerks and spells for our main character https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FFJHeWTu21_OktfrfYkJQhpV5HQw4PtFKav_QoMYjQY/edit?usp=sharingCharacters met by Arawn.https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ishEn1-U1A1i3FbZ-YiQd65xk2jXpLab1XnM2hTNZvs/edit?usp=sharingPeople from Muribel.https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u4hEEmOuqHF7cNUloB7Rw79JGVIEqJddOANDbmFrxI8/edit?usp=sharing
Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. The familiar noise of the clock resonated into the small empty room, each clicks marking a second that gently pulled your consciousness into another place, another plane. The clicks made you instantly understand where you were; hearing soft breathing and clicks of porcelain cemented your conjecture.Lady White room of velvet remained unchanged: small yet comfortable, with a big set of double oaken door firmly closed behind you and a large, thick, foggy window blurred the shapes of a forest to your right into an ominous set of blackened shape that'd far too often looked similar to an adult silhouette peeking inside. Of course, the usual round table full of pastries deliciousness and tea finished this ominously picturesque setting. ''Is it fair to be showing favoritism to one of your players?'' You said before opening your eyes, gazing at the lady of pale fluff with no end of mixed feelings. Not offering any greetings was petty, she deserved nothing less for dragging you into another one of these ''tea party''.Ama chuckled, stirring her cup filled with blood-red tea. ''Some spectators didn't respect their engagement, fairness is becoming a matter of perspective now.'' She calmly said. ''That incident with the little princess was a naughty thing indeed, it wasn't supposed to happen...'' Her cup clicked with the porcelain, her features softening into what looked to be lamentations. ''...I'd make for a poor witch if I couldn't adapt. Alas, forces from outside the game will be coming soon enough to break our playground. So few enjoy the sophistication of a slow burn.''Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. The ticks of the grandfather clock translated your mood with odd perfection. ''You're full of shit.'' You announced dryly.''Keehehehehe really, am I?'' Ama cackled, putting her cup on the table, making an obvious show of showing you her cleavage. You just stared in silent judgment, that was answer enough.''Alright alright, I do admit that even I don't have much of an idea how things are going to end now with that little princely mishap... but I am entirely truthful in saying that it was an unexpected event.'' Ama tails slithered in the air, curling in serpentine imitation to point their tips at you.''So you're saying that Ensan has no connection to you?'' ''If she'd been a player, your group would be trying to carve itself out of the palace right about now. Such a gamble makes for a terrible show and risk to bring our game to a premature end... that wouldn't do at all. Her only worth is in shaking things around. It's a good thing our game doesn't have any script.'' The irritated frown did reveal that, in this particular case, Ama might have been blindsided... or maybe that was just an act. Blessed Mother curse this fox.'What about Zerase?'' Might as well try to get something out of this fluffy granny.
''Hmm... wouldn't you like to know?'' Her bad mood made an upswing into teasing indulgence, Ama got out of her seat to walk next to you, hips and tails sashaying in this hypnotic sideway movement of feminine grace that -damn it all- managed to excite you. ''You'll need to trust your instinct about Muribel strange reclusive living goddess. I'll give her some credit: she's doing an adequate job maintaining that role, do you think I'd be able to wrap someone like that around my finger?'' ''I'd rather not think about who or what you wrap yourself around.'' Her white ears twitched at your remark. ''Tomorrow is an important day, if you're going to drag me into your little house for your fun I'd rather get back into getting what little amount of peaceful sleep I can get before-''A sudden force pulled you upward and shoved your face into Ama belly. ''Rude and boring, is stress enough for your intelligence to become little more than noisy vomit? You oughta understand by now how time works in our little magical realm, don't you have more interesting things to say instead of asking incessant questions without having the decency of offering a deal?'' The damnable shackle of steel-colored blood had materialized around your neck and a muzzle almost closed your mouth shut, of course, the vixen was holding onto the chain... your chain.Some sick part of you found solace in the softness of her kimono and the pleasant aroma of wildflowers clinging to her generous forms.Damn it!''What the hell do you want me to do then? Slurp fake tea while asking what poor soul you've tortured since our last meeting? Praise you about your sociopathic game and you're toying with people's lives?'' You growled, pushing back against her hold, your voice was muffled by her clothes. Despite your build, your height and the muscles you've had on her, Ama grip remained unmoving steel, locking you in place.''Hm... Piling stress makes Arawn into a dull and angry boy.'' Lady White remark was made in a soft voice and her grip loosened as she stepped back, her release of the chain dematerialized the item to nothing. She walked off a few steps, turning her back to you, tails coming to rest in a bush of white fur on her waist. ''Don't worry about your darling knight, destroying her is the last thing on my mind.'' Destroying her?. Yesterday reunion with the girls had been so very wonderful. All of them are healthy, all of them care so damn much about you and your blueberry, the way Klesiah suddenly disappeared had worried you a great deal, for Ama to mention your knight now wasn't reassuring. ''You say that but you've got her in the clutches of your followers who clearly don't share your magnanimous disposition.'' You growled. ''She's been stuck with your band of psychopaths for a year, how many of them will want to remove her now that she's going to become a potential threat?''
Cold pragmatism cooled your angry nerves into trying, despite the futility, to conceal information from Lady White. Leaving the capital will become common knowledge if you raise a big ruckus... she doesn't need to know that yet. ''My dear Arawn.'' Ama slowly turned around, tails slithering around her shoulders and arms as she revealed a small piece of parchment that iced your veins in stupefaction. ''Klesiah signed a contract, like every single one of my followers.''Letting the papyrus unroll, the vixen revealed words written within, burnt into the material in sizzling purplish magical lightning. My talents and loyalty; I give unto the witch. Below was another sentence in beautiful lunar luminescence. To heal your lord and friends do I swear with this ink of soul. This contract shall terminate. Upon meeting my Lord anew.Sudden whiplash assailed you with enough sensation to induce vertigo. Klesiah made a contract... Yet it will end that easily? ''Heeehihi.'' Ama let go of the small contract and it disappeared into the ether of her soulscape. ''A fair contract wouldn't you say? She'll be entirely freed from my influence once you meet her again... Klesiah has far too much potential; ruining her in some kind of tragic, inescapable fate would simply be too distasteful. Cling and struggle together with all of your twinklings stars, knowing that your triumphs or woes are your faults alone.''You could feel the sincerity of her truth inside your soul. Since you could embrace Ama aspect because of your contract, so too was she able to reciprocate by holding onto a part of your existence to make her intention known.''What do you want from me, Ama? Our contract... my father is the one who sold me off to you and what did it say again? That you wanted me to struggle? That's why you're doing... all of this? Dragging me into Muribel, making Klesiah into your agent and doing... Gods know what. Throne Town massacre wasn't enough?'' Your frustrated question was met by a moment of silence from your fluffed tormentor whose tails danced and almost twirled on themselves as she tried and failed to stifle a chuckle. ''Finally finding the courage to ask good questions.'' She approached again with that damnable seductive stroll. Bereft of options, you stood your ground and looked up as she stopped next to you, one hand reaching forward to rub your head. ''My labor is for emotions.''Stepping back, the foxy Mamono made a theatric giggle as you frowned in confusion. ''I hope you give Klesiah a good time -if- you see her. The poor girl has been stuck in limbo for so long, her loyalty to you and the burden of her past has been choking her for a long time indeed. Poor girl hasn't learned how to walk on her own yet, shouldering the crime of kinslaying without devolving is a great testament of will... Ah, I do wonder how stunning she'd look after embracing her happiness.''
And so one of your fears was realized. With each piling days that you were victimized by Lady White schemes, her interest grew like a spiderweb to envelop the people close to you. Yet why is she so obsessed with binding herself to seemingly ''fair'' contracts? Why this fascination?''Damn fox.'' Kitsune reputations were well deserved. ''Next time, make your tea party comfortable. I prefer vanilla to chocolate.''''Hmm...'' Her ears twitched. ''Noted.''--Your body stirred from restful sleep when something gently shook your shoulder. ''Oi.'' A whispery voice said, obliterating the small enclosure of Ama tea room like the bad dream it was. You woke up properly to find Zhu in front of you, her single eye half-opened, glowing a faint chromatic luster amidst the lukewarm darkness of dawn streaming into Shereen royal chamber from the odd circle opening of her roof. On your back was the weight of your little sun, using you as a living pillow, furred arm splayed on your pajama (something Banu insisted on, of course).''Are you feeling healthy?'' You whispered to your companion. Despite waking early no lingering lethargy affected your mind, likely because of Lady White intrusion. ''I oughta be the one asking that.'' She replied in a soft huff.''Just a bad dream.'' Not exactly lying, right?''Dreams don't change your colors like that.'' She replied angrily, still minding her tone to avoid waking the princess. That eye of hers really make you curious... would it be better to ask her or wait until she speaks about it in her own? This meeting with Lady White has been rather... unique. Perhaps she has one thing right: all the piling dangers of the last few days and the oncoming ones are affecting you in some ways. Can't be worrying about that now. Today... you'll have another meeting with Ensan, and then prepare to leave the palace; Anais fate is out of your hands.What should you do until Shereen is summoned into the main hall again?>Investigate the areas of the palace, its surrounding ports and the barrack for slaves for some hint about Ensan intentions. If you can anticipate something, maybe you'll be able to counter her machination somehow... or at least prepare accordingly.>Shereen won't take another ''punishment'' lying down. Banu's blood was supposed to be the equalizer for Ensan dead herald, she might prepare something even worse; you're likely to have a fight on your hands. Absorb this mindset, prepare and show this crazy sister that her sibling isn't to be trampled over anymore. (Focus on regular training to better your capacities or try to discover some utilities of your joined magic with Shereen.)>Free
>>4118332>Investigate the areas of the palace, its surrounding ports and the barrack for slaves for some hint about Ensan intentions. If you can anticipate something, maybe you'll be able to counter her machination somehow... or at least prepare accordingly.Banu would probably have a better idea of where to go looking inside the palace for Anais, or Ensan's local stash of Pearls we could probably use the red world to get around without directly arousing suspicion on our part, though we would have to fend off the inhabitants between the segments of investigation, if we don't time things right.We could also consider causing a distraction, like starting a fire or freeing slave in order to allow for the others to abscond, because an emergency will likely delay whatever Ensan is planning on doing.
I'll give this one a longer wait. Prepping or investigating are equally important so I'd rather not make this a one choice deal.
>>4118332Did Ama squeeze us between her ample funbags ara ara style back there? Dangling our health in front of Klesiah to rope her into signing a contract for a thing she was going to do anyway. Low blow you fluffy bitch, bet you enjoyed that little exercise in temptation and deception. Her desire for "emotions" is also a bit worrying. She could be feeding off of them and god help us if she is aware of our emotional state whenever she feels like looking into the matter.How long would asking Zhu how our colors changed take? It could be a hint as to who is under the influence of Bad Fluffy (as we sadly are) and/or who is getting fucked with on the soul level.
>>4118382>Did Ama squeeze us between her ample funbags ara ara style back there?Yup.>How long would asking Zhu how our colors changed take?I can add that during writing the next update, no time at all.
>>4118332>Investigate the areas of the palace, its surrounding ports and the barrack for slaves for some hint about Ensan intentions. If you can anticipate something, maybe you'll be able to counter her machination somehow... or at least prepare accordingly.I'm really tempted to vote for training,but one small session won't really make much of an impact, sadly.Besides, if it really comes down to it we can use the Weak Fusion to up our chances. Half of Arawn's reserves may be a steep cost but it should recover while we're traveling to Klesiah's location.>>4118327>''I'd rather not think about who or what you wrap yourself around.'' Her white ears twitched at your remark.*snort*Did Arawn -to put it crassly- just call Ama a slut? Our elf has quite a short fuse when it comes to the Witch, eh?I'd like to think that it hit a nerve with Ama, but more likely the fox simply had enough of Arawn being uppity.>>4118364Freeing slaves is not a very reliable distraction. For one, the slaves must not be truly broken yet, meaning we'd have to take a look at the ones Ensan brought with her - and there's no telling how long they've been under slave trader "care" before they were bought.Then there's the fact that we'd have to free a fair number of them, otherwise the guards will shut down rioting slaves fast.Therefore I think that setting fire to several boats or warehouses would be more effective.
Hm, two votes for investigations... I think that'll be where the wind blows.
>>4118396Damnit, our first time having our face planted into some cleavage just the way I like it and it just has to be hers of all people. Damn Bad Fluffy and I hope she burns in hell!As for the choice, I will go with investigation. Preparing for a fight we know nothing about isn't very smart. It *could* be combat, but it could also be a trial of wits. Hell, it could be Ensan rolling a dice and cursing whomever it ends up on with those pearls. Without knowing what's coming in any way we have no real way to prepare save for getting lucky with a guess. Would Banu know of any good places to start?
>>4118421Oh, and ask Zhu about how our colors changed as well. Might be a big help.
''What did you mean about my colors? You said I looked similar to steel right?'' This strange chromatic orb that replaced her single eye was gorgeous to look at; it seemed to shine, dim and change colors based on Zhu's emotions whilst somehow showing a rainbow variance.''Yeah, there was a change when I woke up.'' Zhu hard face translated her heavy mood. ''Right here...'' She scooted closer, being careful not to rouse noises from the heavy fabrics of Shereen blankets, her fist gently tapped your solar plexus. ''...A white sphere was glowing, a bit murky as if it was underwater.''''Reflection of the moon on water?'' This was more a reflection than a question, Zhu shrugged, evidently unable to know. ''Don't worry, I'm fine now. Are you healthy, Zhu? Today is going to be... well, our little sun won't lie down a second time.'' This statement returned the sharp, predatory smirk she first wore on her face during your first meeting and a stronger shade of red reinforced the magical eye. ''My guts don't feel tight and I'm not nauseous anymore. Taking it easy for two days did wonders. I'll believe little Rupert bought us that time and that ain't a debt I'll leave unsettled.''As you heard the door of Shereen room open quietly, you nodded to your companion, giving her cheek a rub and this time (unlike the two other times you slept in the same bed) she didn't try to push her luck. Her mind was set with the return of her good health.There will be blood if anyone give her the opportunity.--In the later stage of the morning, you and the girls gathered after a hearty breakfast (purified with droplets of blood from Shereen; you can never be too careful now) to understand today's stake. ''Gathering all of our stashed money won't be possible because there's too much thing, we should keep ourselves light with precious stones and gold.'' Banu said, already ready to get out of the hellhole that was this palace. ''You guys... I mean we'll have more than enough to spare, I doubt rebellious cultists are going to want for wealth much but you never know.''''Alright, let's be quiet with preparing the bags.'' Everyone was on the same page after yesterday's magical communication. ''I doubt Ensan will allow us to leave before her second little trial so I think it'd be a good idea to find out what's happening.''''Or.'' Zhu interjected, placing a hand on her sword. ''Sabotage her plans by causing a ruckus.'' ''Ruckus?'' Banu asked, stony face changing into a frown.''Light something on fire, free a slave, I dunno make something happen that'd force our administrator to look elsewhere.''''Sounds chaotic.'' Banu shook her head. ''But it might work, if we slip out in the chaos then her plot is as good as dead.''
''Alternatively, we can try observing the comings and goings in the palace.'' You added. ''Maybe keep a watch on the palace, maybe see where Anais is being located... I think asking questions will come back to Ensan quickly but Shereen has enough authority to do that, right?'' Turning to your little sun, you noticed that she wasn't paying attention. ''Shereen.''''Meh!?'' She jumped, flattered fluffy ears perking atop her head. ''Ah... I... I don't know what'd she'd want to do. Yesterday she... what she did to Rupert, what she tried to make Banu do...'' That wasn't what you were asking but now that she breached the topic, the mood changed into stony pragmatism worthy of Banu self-control. ''...She can't force to get rid of harms one of my Moons, what else could happen after Rupert?'' ''Whatever.'' Zhu didn't let things become awkward, she walked next to Shereen and gave her fluffy head a good ruffle. ''No lying down this time.'' A growl from the princess caused the swordswoman to giggle.Still, Shereen did raise a good thought... What would be the best way to hurt her? Answering that question while investigating could be helpful.First thing first, you have to decide on what to do, exactly. >Try to uncover Ansan plot, investigate the palace and its surrounding areas, keep the coming and goings and the gate under watches. Your manpower is low but you'll make the best of it to get any possible hints.>Disrupt the usual day-to-day living of the palace. Investigate what would be the best way to cause a ruckus and plan to cause it around early afternoon when Ensan is the likeliest to start her ''trial''. >FreeOne option doesn't completely remove the other, you need to concentrate your effort somewhere.
>>4118609>Try to uncover Ensan's plot, investigate the palace and its surrounding areas, keep the coming and goings and the gate under watches. Your manpower is low but you'll make the best of it to get any possible hints.if it ends up being some sort of takeover bid, getting the word if the plan to Zerase in advance may cause it to fail outright, so it may be a good idea to keep track of where she is, so we can turtle up if we get caught out, or lend assistance if we can..
>>4118609>Disrupt the usual day-to-day living of the palace. Investigate what would be the best way to cause a ruckus and plan to cause it around early afternoon when Ensan is the likeliest to start her ''trial''.I'll have to head to sleep now, need to keep some kind of a schedule for the coming weeks.Good luck Anons, hopefully leaving the palace goes as smoothly as possible.
>>4118636I didn't sleep enough yesterday so we'll stop here tonight. You won't miss anything, for now, good anon.
>>4118609Did Shereen just state that Ensan cannot force her to give up or otherwise harm her moons directly? That means she cannot just curse one of us with a pearl out of nowhere right? How about indirect methods? Could Ensan start hurting innocents in a bid to get Shereen to do what she wants? Can the royals just kill a commoner on a whim and get away with that scot free?
>>4118661>Did Shereen just state that Ensan cannot force her to give up or otherwise harm her moons directly?Yes>That means she cannot just curse one of us with a pearl out of nowhere right?Ideally, yes. She'd be within her right to demand a duel of Moons though, remember what happened with acquiring your gauntlet? Granted, that depend on if she'll respect common laws.>Could Ensan start hurting innocents in a bid to get Shereen to do what she wants? Law wise, she's the firstborn of Muribel living god. Take that as you will.>Can the royals just kill a commoner on a whim and get away with that scot free?Yes, this isn't the Allied Kingdoms where a king is not allowed to do that or Throne Town where no Supreme has the right to demand a life.
>>4118681Shit, well, I got two guesses as to what she's gonna do then and both are pretty damn nasty. The royalty can (and Ensan probably does frequently) kill commoners because they find it amusing. No wonder the country peasantry is falling in line behind an angelic demagogue preaching vengeance against the ruling class and their false gods. Zerase's probably in the dark about that. Ensan likely controls all the information that reaches mommy dearest. Damn bitch.It is possible to split our efforts but the choice is in regards to our primary focus right? Either spend more effort on uncovering the ploy of Ensan or focus on finding and engineering an adequate "distraction" as it were yes?
>>4118738>It is possible to split our efforts but the choice is in regards to our primary focus right?Yes.>Either spend more effort on uncovering the ploy of Ensan or focus on finding and engineering an adequate "distraction" as it were yes?Yes.Trying to do both will need a pretty good roll with chance of failing to accomplish anything. It's a gamble.
>>4118751That's do both "well" I assume. If we focus on one we'll get that done well with a small chance of nabbing the other objective if we get lucky I assume. I'll still need to think on it though. We got till tomorrow afternoon to vote yes?
>>4118771>We got till tomorrow afternoon to vote yes?Yup.
>>4118788Ok, about to sleep but I just thought up a good response. We focus on the distraction, but we ask Shereen and Banu in a very, very hushed whisper how likely it is that Ensan might have learned of our recent escapades in the capital with Fortune and the Vigil within a time frame relevant to our imminent trial (i.e. if given a night and this mourning to work with).What is the best way to hurt her if she cannot touch us? A ready answer right there given how you told us she can up and kill or worse commoners because fuck you she finds it to be hilarious. Again, small wonder a rebellion is brewing given that attitude of hers but I digress. Could answer the question of her "ploy" and thus allow us to focus on a disruption with an eye towards saving the soon to be victims of her petty sadism.Please may she die horrifically at the hands of Sieg. Actually, I vote they spare her so that we can use her to cure Sieg's vile corruption problem. She bound a demon to Shereen, we dump Sieg's nightmare-tier corruption into her. Fair trade, bitch has it coming, and it solves all our problems. Win-Win. Karma's a bitch you bitch. Alternatively, if Sieg needs to nom a soul to cure herself would hers do?
>>4119283>it is that Ensan might have learned of our recent escapades in the capital with Fortune and the Vigil within a time frame relevant to our imminent trial I'll answer this now without a story post because it could influence your tiebreaker.It isn't impossible that Ensan would know about the Vigil because Shereen wasn't exactly subtle being around with them and the squad was her security detail.
>>4119291My real question is how likely Banu and Shereen see that to be. If likely, and if they think that Ensan and Shereen are similar in disposition, than that's how Ensan will try to fuck us. Lizardgirl duo had a sick mommy if I recall and Banu/Shereen swore to aid her in exchange for them taking a vital part in operation baconator.It is all a very big gamble on Ensan's part now that I think on it. Banu is Shereen's first and most elder moon, an existence known to Zerase and likely trusted by her in some form. While we and Zhu are newer moons our words can back hers up in spades. With Horkus deader than disco Banu's free to engage in every level of fuckery she can conceive of. I highly doubt Zerase would approve of what Ensan did to Shereen. Bitch didn't see one relic from the age of the pretenders facing off against a lesser relic. Pig Daemon<Gardy. Granted, it took the dice gods favoring us hardcore but hey, we still beat that pig and that's what matters!
>>4119345Hm, asking them directly would deserve a little story post. I'll see about whipping up something, though having a true tiebreaker would be helpful.
>>4119362Depends on how long that'd take and how "hush hush" we could keep it. Going to sleep for real this time. Only ask them if we and they are pretty damn sure Ensan has exactly zero chance of eavesdropping.Above all, we do *not* want to give her ideas. How best to hurt Shereen? If she's drawing blanks we had best keep it that way. She's hopefully not the best at improvising given the fact she's a hardcore sociopath. They're pretty bad off once things stop going according to their plans after all.
>>4119377You can consider speaking inside Shereen chamber to be safe. Regardless, it's a good question to ask so I'll open tomorrow with that.
It was when you and the girls pondered over a map of the palace that a sudden idea struck you. ''Say, Muribel royalty have the right of life and death over everyone in the country right?'' Banu and Shereen didn't like this question and their heavy stare made it known. ''That's the case.'' Answered the veteran Moon. ''Muribel gods are beyond anything and anyone, as supreme authorities they can demand what they want, whenever they want. It's...'' She briefly hesitated, single eye darting to Shereen who simply nodded. ''...one of the reasons why Zerase shows herself so rarely. Whenever she presents herself, it's almost assured that someone will die in some way.''That's dramatic, it might be a good idea to avoid relying on Zerase to rein in her eldest if that's how the mother operate. ''I see. I've been thinking. Since Ensan seems to have the idea of hurting Shereen...'' You ignored your little princess wince. ''...Then I've been pondering in a similar line, what would be possible for her to do since she cannot flaunt that authority on Moons.'' Taking a deep breath, you continued.''Shereen's made new friends recently.'' And that was the only thing they needed to hear to form the puzzle you were alluding to.''W-what!? You mean Fortune and the militias!?'' Shereen slapped the table. ''No way! That's... No way! Ensan wouldn't just do something so, so... I mean, she's never done something like that... And it'd make people hate her, she... our authority as Muribel gods isn't so readily abused! I think...''''You've never harmed one of her prized possessions before.'' Banu retorted and Shereen couldn't find the strength to protest. ''Nor did I ever publicly resist her. You weren't exactly subtle when confronting Naveed superior last week, you know? Their squad is our security details and since we were seen coming and going out of Marleon throughout the week, it wouldn't be difficult for Ensan to piece most of our coming and goings.''''I'd wager Fortune will be smart enough to smell a rat and dodge any summons but Naveed people aren't so lucky because of their position, didn't the lizardgirls mention an ailing mother?'' You continued, Shereen visibly abandoned the idea of trying to defend her older sibling. She almost looked similar to a beaten puppy, miserably looking at the table with flattened ears.She did keep a small ember of love for her sister, no matter how naive it is, this isn't something you can fault. ''Hopefully, Ensan will need time to discover that. People's family situation shouldn't be so easy to find out in the relatively short timeframe before her upcoming ''trial.''
''That's assuming she'll bring them here.'' Zhu interjected. ''Course, it's looking pretty likely but she might aim for something different.'' ''Yeah.'' You nodded to your companion. ''I think it's better to operate with that in mind at least, how could we go about disrupting Naveed and his squad arrival?'' You looked at Banu.''I honestly don't know.'' She responded, pinching her chin. ''If we're lucky and she summons them with a messenger then we could flex some of Shereen's authority to turn them back at the gate but things would likely get complicated if she used one of her Moons to directly escort them...'' Like that red-painted scorpion monster.''What if we caused a fire somewhere, like the ships?'' You offered.Banu shook her shoulders. ''Maybe it'll direct some of the palace guards to help contain the commotion but I doubt it'll stop that woman. She likes her drama.''So, a potential disruption would need to be rather important to put Ensan fun on hold... maybe setting the palace on fire? This doesn't change what you have to do; is it prudent to assume that Ensan would use Naveed squad to punish her little sister?>Keep trying to uncover some kind of hint about Ensan objective, it'd be helpful to put facts on this hypothesis. >Investigate your potential options for disruptions in deeper details, what kind of crisis would change Ensan plans...?>If you commit to this idea, you can try preparing another way; go back to the idea of training for a potential battle, perhaps have Banu and Zhu keep watch on the gates until -if- the younger folks are seen.>Free
>>4120426>Keep trying to uncover some kind of hint about Ensan objective, it'd be helpful to put facts on this hypothesis.I don't think that whatever Ensan is going to do, is going to be completely debilitating, if we can't stop it from happening. we should try and stay focused on the larger objectives while we still can.
This is rethreading a bit of old grounds but I feel like reaffirming our choice matter with this new hypothesis.
>>4120426>Keep trying to uncover some kind of hint about Ensan objective, it'd be helpful to put facts on this hypothesis.Hrn. I'm a little tired so I'll vote for what keeps us moving before I lock myself up with debate on what the best course of action is.
Alright, let's go that way.
>>4120426Big distractions required eh? That's gonna be hard to avoid getting that pinned on us I'd assume. Thus I guess we should go for investigation of Ensan's plot. If Ensan sends out a messenger or moon could Banu ask them what they're planning and compel and answer? Any way to stop her from killing them slowly if the worst case happens?Also, nice heartwarming pic. If only Ensan wasn't the exact opposite of that.
>>4120488Shit, meant to reply to this: >>4120468
The next few minutes were stifled in a heavy silence of hesitation. No matter what you did, your manpower was finite, making your chances of getting something done particularly difficult.''Let's try to find out for sure.'' Banu is the one who stepped up first, placing a hand on the table, she observed everyone else with her steely single-eyed glare. ''It'll be the best way to mitigate damages if we can.'' Nothing like proactiveness to avoid drowning in the stress of your situation.''Alright, let's reconvene at noon and share our discovery.'' You'll have an hour or two to prepare afterward... at least if you can. Here your investigative options open up. None of those greentexts are final and nothing assures you to find anything.>Someone should keep watch on the comings and goings at the gate. (Arawn, Banu, Zhu)>Someone will investigate the general area of the slaves and uncover the potential uses for the males that were brought in after Ensan raid. She announced a market for Moons, but will that be the fate for all of them? (Arawn, Banu, Zhu.) >Investigate today's general schedule with the palace servants and Ensan many Moons. (Arawn, Banu, Zhu)>Trying to gain access into Muribel inner sanctum will be risky, but it's the best way to find something tangible. This will cause a ruckus to be sure, but who can hope to gain anything without being daring? (Shereen presence is REQUIRED. Arawn/Banu/Zhu)>Have someone try to find out if the boats had some special cargo outside the slaves. (Arawn, Banu, Zhu)>FreeAnd finally, who should Shereen accompany? Her presence will reinforce her Moon authority and she refuses to stay put.
>>4120530>Someone will investigate the general area of the slaves and uncover the potential uses for the males that were brought in after Ensan raid. She announced a market for Moons, but will that be the fate for all of them? (Arawn, Banu, Zhu.)Have Arawn go by himself, if we can track the slaves down, we can see if we can find out what happened to Anais during the trip, and where she may be being held, also letting slip the fact that there may be an invasion coming soon to the right people, could have unexpected results.>Trying to gain access into Muribel inner sanctum will be risky, but it's the best way to find something tangible. This will cause a ruckus to be sure, but who can hope to gain anything without being daring? (Shereen presence is REQUIRED. Arawn/Banu/Zhu)Have Shereen go with Banu, and Zhu and see if they can find Zerase, and see what she thinks of Ensan's actions.In the absolute worst case scenario, we could try and have them reveal that an invasion is coming, that would probably throw whatever Ensan is planning into the trash, since a things are going to need to be organised in preparation for the attack.
>>4120530>Have someone try to find out if the boats had some special cargo outside the slaves.(Arawn)I'm honestly too tired to come up with anything else. Though I will add that compared to Arawn or Zhu, Banu ought to have the most leeway in acting alone given her experience with dealing with stuff inside the palace. Not to mention being Shereen's eldest moon.Anyways, I'm heading to sleep. Good luck fellow anons.
>>4120605>>4120608I suspect this will take some more time to agree on a course of action but that's alright, everything from here on out is fairly important so I don't mind waiting longer than usual. I might not have made it obvious but you guys can choose more than a single option for everyone here, we'll only get Arawn pov of course.
>>4120530Ok, Zhu cannot see faces or otherwise identify people visually at a distance nor can she read correct? If so than that limits her capabilities significantly. Still, her feedback on the color of souls would help us with interrogations.Is there a written itinerary somewhere in the palace? Any secretarial staff that might know what Ensan's up to without being one of her moons? Does Zerase have moons about the palace and does Banu or Shereen know where they tend to be or what they tend to do around this time? About those boats. Are the captains Ensan's moons, part of the military, or just freelance mercs? Would any of us having money on them help things along with the right people?Also, I'm not comfortable with letting slip that an invasion is incoming at the moment. Bad things will happen to our girls if they "prepare" to receive them as it were. Same with the inner sanctum. What might be in there that'd make it worth the risk to Shereen and whomever accompanies her?
>>4120655>Ok, Zhu cannot see faces or otherwise identify people visually at a distance nor can she read correct? Zhu remember how the souls of the militia squad look so she'll be able to identify them. Same thing with most of Ensan Moons she saw in the palace, though it's true that ''colors'' tend to blur together. She can't read though, yeah. >Is there a written itinerary somewhere in the palace? Any secretarial staff that might know what Ensan's up to without being one of her moons?That'd require investigating the palace grounds. Only bigger activities are written on an itinerary, at least usually. Of courses things like delivery and commerce is the main bulk of daily administration >Does Zerase have moons about the palace and does Banu or Shereen know where they tend to be or what they tend to do around this time?Good question. Neither Banu and Shereen ever saw Zerase have any Moons.>About those boats. Are the captains Ensan's moons, part of the military, or just freelance mercs?General military.>Would any of us having money on them help things along with the right people?Maybe>What might be in there that'd make it worth the risk to Shereen and whomever accompanies her?It's where the important things in Muribel tend to happen, it's where the small pyramid for Shereen blood ritual was located, it's where Zerase is most of the time, Ensan room is in there. Another important tidbit to consider about that place Ensan allow some of her Moons to enter, but this privilege isn't extended to Shereen. Of course, your little sun never contested that. Zerase never told her she couldn't go in there.
>>4120655The thing with telling them about the invasion, witch would be our very last card we could play. Comes down to how much Zerase values holding Anais captive, and if she doesn't even know, that helps out even more. over not having the capital destroyed, and worse.Basically she would use her influence to twist Ensan's arm into forcing her to release Anais, and turning her over to the incoming army, which should go a long way to mollifying them.Assuming that Ensan hasn't already used her, moved her off site, or handed her off to someone else.
>>4120669So there's a high chance of meeting Zerase if we go into the sanctum. Damnit, if only we had a better read on her. She might get pissed at Ensan about the Anais thing, or she could see it as a bold move and thus praise her for it. What do Banu and Shereen think her likely reaction would be to that info finding its way to her?How far is the city gate from the boats? I'm kinda tempted to have Zhu watch the gate while we and Shereen investigate the boats and Banu checks the schedules. Err, if we do split up to cover multiple objectives would anyone not paired with Shereen be at risk of a sudden honor duel to the death, poisoning, or general fuckery from one of Ensan's moons? Fuckers might wanna get proactive in seeking their master's favor. Also, just thought of this, but Zhu remembers how that nun we failed to incapacitate looks right?
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4120605>>4120608Rolling for Arawn destination, so far the girls will be trying to get into the sanctum and find things there.I'll give my roll a 20 minutes wait before locking things.
>>4120693>What do Banu and Shereen think her likely reaction would be to that info finding its way to her?Ensan is bringing major disruption with kidnapping Anais, they want to believe she'll be quite unhappy about that. Zerase is, unfortunately, too much of an enigma to predict for Banu and Shereen. Shereen doesn't really have much of a relationship with her mom, though she -does- insist that her mom can be kind.>How far is the city gate from the boats?Pretty much on directly opposing sides.>Err, if we do split up to cover multiple objectives would anyone not paired with Shereen be at risk of a sudden honor duel to the death, poisoning, or general fuckery from one of Ensan's moons?General fuckery can always be a risk, also people not caring about their authority as Shereen Moons. Banu is known at least, so that help.>Also, just thought of this, but Zhu remembers how that nun we failed to incapacitate looks right?Yeah, the woman left an impression
>>4120706So unless we're accompanied by Shereen or Banu we won't be able to reliably throw Shereen's authority around then? You'd think that news of her new elven moon would have traveled around a bit at least as a rumor by now. Pretty sure there's only one of our kind in the whole darn city, possibly even country. Banu got any pointers on how to try and throw our weight around without pissing people off or screwing ourselves and thus Shereen over?
>>4120724>So unless we're accompanied by Shereen or Banu we won't be able to reliably throw Shereen's authority around then?You might have to show yourself more aggressive than usual to get the message across. But yeah, it'll be difficult to be taken seriously.>Banu got any pointers on how to try and throw our weight around without pissing people off or screwing ourselves and thus Shereen over?Threaten people, backhand anyone who decides to challenge your authority, remind them who Shereen is and what's she is -and therefore you are- allowed to do. If someone challenges you to a fight, answer it; essentially be an asshole because it's the only message monsters understand in these parts.
>>4120706Since Ama didn't exactly deny that Zerase doesn't have a contract with her After all she somehow had the fortitude to manage a successful rebellion in the past, and i would assume that nothing would stop someone from signing a second one after the first. , how well integrated is she with those Nuns / the church that we raided and found the empty urns.This could be an elaborate trap to draw them in, then set off a magical nuke to take out a significant number of important /. powerful people. And how hard would it be to tell if they were preparing a ritual in the pyramid.
>>4120745>how well integrated is she with those Nuns / the church that we raided and found the empty urns.The church is believed to be semi-independent. They're subservient to Muribel gods authority of course but otherwise operate somewhat freely. The church is officially a place to worship Zerase and Mamono ancestors. Human women are employed as nuns because of the belief that female human makes good ''impartial'' workers and worshipers for this brand of Mamono faith. >And how hard would it be to tell if they were preparing a ritual in the pyramid.Entirely depend on the ritual itself. Everything is enclosed though, the inner compound is practically a different building than the palace. A big ritual like what Shereen needed to do to heal Arawn will be impossible to hide, but otherwise, most magical rituals can happen without you knowing anything about it. Unless I get some quick votes, I will go like this>Arawn will investigate the boats>The three girls will try to get some infos from the palace inner sanctum.
Oof, sorry about my delay, I'll be posting a short update soon. Wasn't expecting the boat option so had to dust off old notes.
''I... I don't think I like this idea.'' Shereen whined, clenching her fists. ''You're going to be all alone a-and we... I've only been inside the sanctum rarely...''''It'd send a strong message if we were to all go together.'' Banu added, also looking at you. ''But you've shown to have a strong instinct and I'd rather avoid sending Zhu and Shereen alone inside of there.'' ''I do need a leash.'' The swordswoman commented, teasing Banu exasperated glare with a wolfish grin. ''Perhaps I'll be able to find something related to Anais inside one of the boats but if Ensan has brought something suspicious and hasn't off-loaded it yet... It oughta give us a good idea about what she wants to do.'' Your blue gauntlet clicked sharply when you grabbed onto the metal handle of your shield. Your mace was also safely secure inside its leathery harness on your hip, you'd feel much better with a good armor too. You might get caught off guard but that doesn't mean you'll be helpless.''I... I want to see that princess.'' Shereen said, getting off her seat and gently trotting to you. ''But try to be careful, okay?'' ''Don't worry, my gauntlet is set to fire.'' You couldn't resist a toothy grin. ''If someone is stupid enough to assault me in a wooden ship then I've got the perfect excuse for a little distraction.''''You know... I -am- a leader of Muribel.'' Shereen huffed, crossed her arms and pouted her usual false frustration. ''Being so willing and ready to cause arson isn't something I'll encourage you know?'' Your answer was to raise your freed arm to headpat her fluffy head but this time, Shereen dodged with a backward step. ''Nuh huh!'' She wagged a furred finger. ''You be careful and good luck!'' ''You three will need it more.'' You answered, chuckling to yourself. ''See you at noon.''
--Stepping outside made you realize today was going to be a hot one. The sun bore cruelly on your brows the moment you exited the palace with a complete absence of clouds in the sky, the freshness of the nearby sea did little to freshen up what was going to be a harsh morning of Muribel. Mamonos of all sizes walked around, taking care of all the palace daily chores with groups of merchants and laborers transporting goods outside the gate that, from a cursory observation, looked calm, handling a small amount of traffic.No time to waste now. The dock of the palace was small, still fully occupied by the three warships of Shereen older sibling and a crowd of people still went about their days in this micro town ten minutes away from the palace.Reaching your destination wasn't difficult, the morning crowd wasn't stiffening, your lonesome presence did gather some stares because of the simple fact you were a male, nobody tried anything and the only thing that stopped you was the line guarding the anchored ships.Half a dozen lizardgirls equipped with swords and shields lined beside each other to guard -nay, close- the small port.''Sir!'' One woman said at your approach, interrupting your stride. Of course, that'd happen. ''Turn back, the docks are closed for the time being.''You pointed to your (deactivated) Moon color. ''See that?'' You asked, glaring down at the shorter Mamono. ''I am a Moon of the gods, my business is theirs business and as a servant of Muribel you're compelled to not get in my way.'' All the guards immediately began to look awkward and the woman you were facing looked clearly distressed now. ''I-I... yes, of course, we are all servants of our living gods.'' She hadn't expected your interruption. ''But I... I was ordered not to let anyone in, this boat is property of the eldest Blood...''''I directly serve the Blood.'' You answered, unmoving, motionless, simply glaring down at her. You honestly weren't enjoying this at all, your body was naturally broad and your height combined to effectively intimidate the woman, though the mental pressure looked much worse than your physical prowess. ''To stop me is to stop the Blood; I am not looking to shed anyone's blood but I will if my anyone decides to prevent me from accomplishing my duty.'' Banu had advised you to be, in no uncertain term, an asshole when it comes to handling Shereen authority and you could tell your brand of coldness was working.''Please allow me to fetch my superior!'' The guardwoman almost screamed after you finished talking. >''No. Now don't get in my way.'' (You don't have time to waste, you have Ensan boat to search. The other two will wait for now)>''Do it quickly.'' (It might be better to force a little compliance from whoever is leading them, that way you won't get interrupted during your search)>Free. Too late to continue now so let's do tomorrow. Now that we've got the ball rolling, I'll be able to update better.
>>4120956Deactivated? I thought it was a purely cosmetic collar now. If it *can* be reactivated that could cause a problem for us.
>>4120992Oh yeah, don't worry it's been deactivated completely. Arawn also learned how it worked so there's no chance of any remote activation.
>>4120956>''No. Now don't get in my way.'' (You don't have time to waste, you have Ensan boat to search. The other two will wait for now)We should try and get away from whoever is going to be tailing us as best we can, if they lose they will likely close their perimeter depending on what they are protectingAlso how likely is it that our gauntlet is waterproof, if it is that would give us the option of causing a distraction, then swimming to our objective.I would assume that the Guards are going to send a runner go and get their superior. (and they may even get sent onward to Ensan or Zerase, depending on who the superior is loyal to or the jurisdiction of the port) if they don't find us waiting for them when they get here there is likely going to be a search party formed.If we decide to wait for their superior, possible a excuse for us being here is that we were told to pick up a package from the dock's quartermaster that had arrived here, that should at least get us escorted by some of the goons here somewhere else, we take them out with our gauntlet which should deprive them of their leadership, and without it they should fall back to closer to whatever the reason they have for closing the port, or a least providing us with a chance to get inside the perimeter. if a fire was to start during this process, it would be such a shame.>>4120998Could we cause other collars to activate deliberately, either from a distance or with our soul arm.
>>4121002>Also how likely is it that our gauntlet is waterproof, if it is that would give us the option of causing a distraction, then swimming to our objective.Water isn't a problem unless you use lightning. That's where things can get dangerous.>Could we cause other collars to activate deliberately, either from a distance or with our soul arm.No. To make a short explanation, the collars work via a combination of an old dwarven rune of power enhanced with blood magic put inside an ingenious piece of magitek that causes interference with a person's soul when activated to force a state of compliance. (Hence why Arawn was forced to embrace Focus that one time. You still had free will before and after the activation but you -had- to embrace Focus when she wanted you to.) The design does have a deadly flaw with people who have good mastery over their soul (like Arawn) since they can get used to the jolt, anticipate it and eventually dispell it. For the one holding the ''leash' they use another piece of enhanced blood magic magitek operating with a similar dwarven rune that is activated with their blood and essentially allows the wearer intention to flow into it, thereby activating the collar. People call these wands. Wands can be attuned to different collars and there are a few ''high class'' ones that can work on collars already attuned to other Wands.So what the collar need to work is a verbal or visible order. Thankfully, long-term orders are impossible so anyone wearing a collar needs to be ''tamed'' into compliance... but ordering something like ''stabs your lover'' with the said person standing next to you will work. For hypnosis and geas, such an order is close to impossible.This information is given to you freely because of your good relation with Shereen! Aint she a good waifu?
>>4121035So, if we happened to find a spare collar that was already attuned to Ensan or we managed to rescue someone with one on / or even borrow one off a corpse, would it be possible to reverse engineer a way to deactivate Anais's collar if we find her, / or kludge together some sort of universal remote, and use it to interrupt Moons by telling them to stop. Assuming that a high security version doesn't exist.
>>4121046>So, if we happened to find a spare collar that was already attuned to Ensan or we managed to rescue someone with one on / or even borrow one off a corpseAttuning it to her would need a drop of her blood to work and a wand of course. There's also the danger that she'll striaght up resist the effect. >would it be possible to reverse engineer a way to deactivate Anais's collar if we find herThat would be very difficult without finding her wand. Shereen doesn't have a high-class wand, so Arawn has no idea how those functions. However, collars can be broken without side effects so you'd be able to free Anais that way.>or kludge together some sort of universal remote, and use it to interrupt Moons by telling them to stop.Tony Stark'ing a master remote in a cave will need some serious dedication on your part with learning how wands work. Possible, but difficult.
>>4121055So if I'm reading this right, they need line of sight to issue a command. What's the effective range of a wand with verbal commands if they use some kind of magic to "transmit" an order over a significant distance? Our girls are aware of the collars and what they do yes? Gwen and the Exiled Anubis should possess that info and would only need to be asked to share it with them.Zhu and Banu are also outfitted with defunct collars as well correct? Ensan would command them to stab Shereen or suicide lancer style if she could with a master remote that I just know she has. Can the collars force you to spill the beans with a direct question? Ensan cannot force Shereen to put one on can she? Please tell me Banu or Shereen thought about all this and prepared to counter collar fuckery.
>>4121084>So if I'm reading this right, they need line of sight to issue a command. What's the effective range of a wand with verbal commands if they use some kind of magic to "transmit" an order over a significant distance?Unknown.>Our girls are aware of the collars and what they do yes?Yup. Sieglinde and the Mebuchednazi know about them so the new has spread for people on the boat.>Zhu and Banu are also outfitted with defunct collars as well correct?Indeed.>Can the collars force you to spill the beans with a direct question?Only a short answer, limited to yes or no or a name. That's because the collar doesn't impose long orders on unwilling subjects (hence the needed conditioning).>Ensan cannot force Shereen to put one on can she?Absolutely not. For any of the Blood to wear a collar is preposterous.>Please tell me Banu or Shereen thought about all this and prepared to counter collar fuckery.There's no real counter collar possible, yours and the girls have been completely deactivated so it's impossible for any wands to do anything. The dwarven runes have been scratched off and the power supply keeping them activated is gone. Those things are 100% dead.
>>4120956>"I am the will of the blood. I am your superior." (You don't have time to waste, push past and search Ensan's boat. The other two will wait for now)
>>4120956Hmmm, just caught this. She said "eldest" blood before we cut her off. Zerase wouldn't be referred to in such a way would she? She would technically be the eldest but I'd think she'd have a more reverent title, something that differentiates her from her offspring.
>>4121159>She would technically be the eldest but I'd think she'd have a more reverent title, something that differentiates her from her offspringYeah, usually refer to her as The Supreme. The Blood is the general title for their godly family, eldest is Ensan polite title.
>>4121168Oh, because it couldn't hurt, we should ping with the aspect and see if we get anything. We don't exactly know what we're searching for but something radiating Ama's influence would be a good start.
>>4121178For now, Arawn hasn't embraced it due to potential conflict that'll need magic but once you're in the ship, it'll happen.Two votes for forcing ourselves past the guards, got a boat to catch damn it!
>>4121182One last little consideration. These ships are good and anchored in right? We don't want one to sail off all of a sudden with us on it. Say that happens, we do know how to swim and our current gear isn't so heavy that we'll sink like a rock correct? Soul arms could aid us in the water right?
>>4121193>These ships are good and anchored in right?Yeah, all the sails and ropes have also been removed, ships are empty of souls for now but full-blown maintenance will happen soon enough. You came at a good time. >we do know how to swim and our current gear isn't so heavy that we'll sink like a rock correct?Arawn has a case of doggy paddle but he knows how to swim. With your gears you won't sink... but it'll be a damn struggle keeping yourself afloat, especially with your shield. >Soul arms could aid us in the water right?Yup, especially two of them.
''I am the will of my Blood, your superior. I don't care what you do, I'm going where I need to be.'' Pushing the woman away, you took a few steps forward and stopped upon hearing the distinctive noises of metal sliding on leather and immediately embraced Focus, feeding magic into your gauntlet, wrapping it in dangerous blue tinted flame.Everyone but the guard you pushed past had almost taken out their swords and you understood quickly that it had been more of an attempt of intimidation than a genuine threat.''None of you wants to do that.'' You held onto your shield firmly to protect your flank whilst glaring the other way, the lizardwoman closest to you was quick to scamper off to make a prudent distance. ''The resulting damage will be on your heads.''You didn't wait for a response. Showing you could manipulate fire in a dock with three important anchored warships was more than enough to make them understand your position and -most importantly- what you were willing to do. You still kept yourself ready for battle, senses on high alert until you arrived near the middle ship that had been used as the centerpiece of yesterday showy arrival. One of the guards was gone, undeniably reaching her superior; you decided to bridge the remaining distance at a brisk pace while embracing Ama aspect before concentrating fully on magic.Nothing. No reaction anywhere in sight, your senses weren't stirred by the characteristic feeling of Lady White's influence. No vague sense of unease, nothing to stir you in a particular direction... Seems like this is another case of nefariousness that hasn't been touched by the witch. Maybe that's good. Walking up the wooden ramp and stepping onto the ship needed a moment of adjustment as you suddenly realized the simple fact this was your very first step into a marine vessel. Thankfully, being anchored removed any danger but the little unusual movement of the ships meant the ground almost feel like a sleeping, living thing that made you briefly wonder how you'd fare on the open sea.Probably badly.
The upper side of the ship itself was little more than a big, smooth deck with towering wooden poles for currently missing sails, two stairways led downward into the innards of the tall ship. You took the closest one whilst embracing Focus and magically reinforcing your body. Can't be too prudent now that you're alone. Down there was a surprisingly spacious general living area that had been recently tidied, the strong smell of soap lingered and much of the ground wooden was still damp from the sailors cleaning. Tables were emptied and with the sun streaming through gaps and small windows in the wood you could easily see one end of the ship to the next. Crates lingered about, majority open and empty, hammocks and beds lined the walls, fishing nets lied forgotten on the floor, a flight of stair led further down into what you assumed the cargo hold and a wall separated this general living area from what was either the captain quarters or the officer living space.>Try to find Ensan living quarters. If you can find something peculiar, it'd be there.>Go down into the cargo hold, see what you can uncover down there.>Investigate this general area a little more thoroughly, maybe there's something to find here. >Free
>>4122312>Try to find Ensan living quarters. If you can find something peculiar, it'd be there.Anything actually important is likely already going to have been moved with her to the palace.
>>4122307>Go down into the cargo hold, see what you can uncover down there.Dang. Arawn may not enjoy it, but he pulls off the asshole act quite well.I suppose all the recent stress helps wit hthat.Unrelated side question, Insert. How big of a weapon could Arawn realistically handle? let's say on a scale of "big but still sensible" to "shounen protagonist tier"
>>4122335Ahh for fuck's sake, I linked this to wrong post. was meant for >>4122312I need to pay more attention, sorry about that.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4122335>Unrelated side question, Insert. How big of a weapon could Arawn realistically handle? let's say on a scale of "big but still sensible" to "shounen protagonist tier"He's a well built six-foot-two lad who's starting to get pretty fit because of his active lifestyle (so much for lazy being a fault!). Two-handed sword/Zweihander is about the biggest you can aim for realistically. He's not Hao who used to being literally pulled b her weapon like the barbarian she is. >>4122346It's okay, no harm done. Rolling for tiebreaker. Will start writing in ten minutes.
>>4122353>Two-handed sword/Zweihander is about the biggest you can aim for realistically. He's not Hao who used to being literally pulled b her weapon like the barbarian she is.>>No Kirhammer tier blunt instrumentAw.
>>4122312>Go into the cargo holdI doubt she'll have kept anything noteworthy within her personal quarters if the aspect didn't ping anything on this ship. Why store it there when the inner sanctum is safer in that case?The cargo hold, however, might have a stowaway, something important that may be a bit too big or conspicuous to lug up into said personal quarters, or just have a hint in regards to her general plans for the new male slaves.
>>4122358Somewhat possible with soul reinforcement but it'll be pretty harsh to lug around since, unlike warriors, you don't have ''passive'' reinforcement that would allow you to carry this thing comfortably. >>4122359Cargo hold it is.
Downstair wasn't at all what you were expecting. The lowest point of the ship was a large open space aside from the needed poles keeping everything stables. You had to lit up a small controlled flame with your gauntlet to get proper vision because sunlight only peered in awkwardly through the single hole made by the wooden stairway. A small amount of empty small crates lined the wall, a few wooden chairs lay here and there and as you stepped on the ground proper the general dryness of the ground -alongside the smell- made you understand this space hadn't been touched by the sailors yet. About two-thirds of the room space was separated by wooden bars with one single door kept open where the captured slaves must have been piled shoulders to shoulders like animals.Quick perusals of the crates revealed rotten foods -all fruits- and investigating the small space before the cage only revealed some papers on a desk tucked in a corner noting down the amount of food spent and which slaves seemed to be ailing, with plenty of comments about the stubbornness of the men outright refusing to eat. Stained blackjacks and clubs also lined the wall.As you stepped toward the cage, you stopped briefly to grab a chair and jam it on the door to keep it open.In there a foul smell assailed your sense and the crass on the floor was downright criminal. Men had undeniably been forced to defecate here, old bloodstains on the walls, old hair, and a few teeth also told of the Mamonos harsh treatment. Scouring the length of this place yielded nothing interesting. The entire thing was one big empty, dirty, disgusting place with barely any hints of sunlight. You tried to find some kind of hidden space on the wall, investigate corners... didn't find anything.Normally that'd be frustrating but a strange feeling in your guts had replaced that with uncharacteristic dread. Of course, you had plenty of reasons to be on edge, what's with invading the personal ship of a murderous royal, but you've been on guard this whole time and would have heard anyone coming aboard because of all the cracks and vibration from the wooden vessel.Why this feeling? Is it simple paranoia? Is it unease because you're standing somewhere that people had been suffering for a while? You could almost see the marks all over the grounds and walls, there wasn't anything physical just... what? Are your nerves so easily rattled?>Try a second investigation, this time fixated on your senses and feelings instead of finding something physical. >This is a waste of time, go into the officer quarters. Can't waste time because of failing nerves>Free
>>4122415...How quickly can Arawn shift in and out of the Red World again? I'm not saying we do that, but it is an option for us.
>>4122415>Try a second investigation, this time fixated on your senses and feelings instead of finding something physical.The longer we take the closer we are to discovery so we should take the time to do this while we can.Also if Ensan isn't aligned with Ama, what was she doing with Horkus, and why.
>>4122428Roughly a minute for going in, around 30 seconds to go out.
>>4122415Damn, this is where red world or soul vision would really come in handy. Are either of those possible? How long have we been down here? A part of me is tempted to say that we know someone's there and that they ought to reveal themselves. In our leper voice because of who just might be down here and we want them to draw that connection.
>>4122436Oh, also, can our soul arms phase into the crates and feel if anything other than rotten fruit is in there without having to open em' and dig through it?
>>4122436>Are either of those possible?Maybe, you can't be using that now.>How long have we been down here?Maybe ten minutes.>>4122441No, your arms are tangible.
>>4122415>Try a second investigation, this time fixated on your senses and feelings instead of finding something physical.Ahh, if only we could do more with our magic or the Red World shifting. Necessity may be the mother of innovation but alas, so little time...
Well well, investigation it is.
>>4122444Awww, we did use one to pick a lock but I guess that had a focus of intent instead of a generalized "do something" mentality behind it. Could we run a weak one through the crates and see if anything gets triggered instead?>>4122454>That pic and file nameDid... did we just fuck up?
>>4122477>Awww, we did use one to pick a lock but I guess that had a focus of intent instead of a generalized "do something" mentality behind it. Could we run a weak one through the crates and see if anything gets triggered instead?Yeah, that'd work. Though for now, it's not happening in the upcoming update because Arawn is investigating the slaveholding area much more thoroughly and there are no crates there.
There were no other options than trusting your instincts. How, exactly, this surreal sense of dread came to cool your vein came about was unexplainable and while arrogant, you refused to believe you were simply scared because you were alone. Something was afoot, it had to be. You explored the length of this cage a second time, being much more careful to open all of your senses (and gagged a few times because of the awful smell). The noise of waves splashing on the wooden frame of the ship was almost hypnotic, your steps echoed against the wooden floor, no suspicious noises sneaked into your ears if someone had been hiding you'd have heard some kind of breathing... Sensations wise things felt odd, goosebumps erupted all over your body and a primal part of your mind rang bells of fear, whispering incessant reality that this cage for slaves was bad but in what way? Mother Mercy, you couldn't pinpoint anything of notes, only dread that demanded constant self-control.''Hm!?'' On your third back and forth you happened upon an oddity. A cold spot near the middle of the room lingered without explanation. Today was a hot day and even if you were away from the sun and drenched in shades, humidity alone was enough for sweat to slowly trickle down your face. Yet somehow you stepped through a spot of winter wind.Repeating this operation three more times allowed you to pinpoint the area, which was a simple spot near the far end of the empty slave pen. Not even a meter in diameter, you noticed strange skidmarks on the floor directly into this invisible spot of cool temperate that looked to be... burnt marks? Four of them? What the hell happened here? This obviously must be the source of your discomfort, though your unease wasn't going away despite that. What in the world is this?>Try prodding with a weak soul arm. Maybe that'll cause a reaction. >Shifting into the Red World will undeniably be dangerous because this place bore great, recent suffering, which would make a good feeding grounds for that accursed realm denizens. However, it might be your best shot at finding something tangible. >Free
>>4122450This spell isn't off the table, I forgot to mention that. Arawn just has no skill in doing it of course. It is possible to do.
>>4122502>Shifting into the Red World will undeniably be dangerous because this place bore great, recent suffering, which would make a good feeding grounds for that accursed realm denizens. However, it might be your best shot at finding something tangible.How likely is it that we are going to run into Horkus 2.0?
>>4122502>Try prodding with a weak soul arm. Maybe that'll cause a reaction.
>>4122502Do these burnt marks form any kind of familiar pattern? Do they form any pattern at all?
There are two lines side by side with a little space between them and the other marks are spaced a few centimeters away, at a similar but odd angle with tips touching. I'll make a quick mspaint to show.
Behold the length of my artistic skill. I know it looks like a face but that's a genuine coincidence, they're burnt marks on the ground under the cold spot.
>>4122528So this is in the middle of the room/cell correct? Where are those two lines "pointing" as it were?
>>4122537>So this is in the middle of the room/cell correct? Yeah, it's pretty much 2/3 the length of the above deck so there's plenty of space. >Where are those two lines "pointing" as it were?The walls on one side and the wooden bars for the other side. Doesn't seem to point anything peculiar.
>>4122538I meant that they kind of form an arrow, where's that pointing? You also said it was near the far end. That farthest from the bars or which of the walls?
>>4122546>I meant that they kind of form an arrow, where's that pointing?The door. Which seems normal at first glance. The chair Arawn jammed in there is still there.>You also said it was near the far end. That farthest from the bars or which of the walls?Near the farthest western wall, so the furthest away from the door. Gonna roll a tiebreaker in 10 minutes.
>>4122554Would it be possible to infuse a soul arm with a morsel of "bait" and then poke it? How long would poking it take instead of going for a red world shift? How dangerous would that be at the current time and how much of our reserves would that potentially cost?
>>4122565>Would it be possible to infuse a soul arm with a morsel of "bait" and then poke it?Yes. It'll be the price of a medium spell. >How long would poking it take instead of going for a red world shift?A few seconds.>How dangerous would that be at the current timeImpossible to tell.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4122513>>4122517Gonna give it another 10 minutes to finalize the rolled vote. Feel free to change your minds and/or say anything
>>4122581Can we try to poke it with a bait infused soul arm first? Max range with shield raised of course just in case we do pull out a nasty.
Rolled 5 + 2 (1d6 + 2)>>4122586Yeah, it's a choice that we can work with.Rolling for measurement.
>>4122590Err, isn't that supposed to be minus 2?
Rolled 4 + 2 (1d6 + 2)>>4122596Yeah, /qst/ automatically make it into a +2 for some reason. Gonna try again, the original roll will stay.
Rolled 3, 7, 16, 11, 12 + 3 = 52 (5d20 + 3)>>4122600Seems like I can't do minus. Oh well, no problem.
Rolled 8 - 1 (1d100 - 1)>>4122605dice + #d# +-#
Rolled 4 - 2 (1d6 - 2)>>4122610I'm a freaking moron. Pretty sure this was pointed out in a previous thread too!
>>4122605Ok, um, was that roll just for fun or is that something relevant to what's about to happen to us? It looks bad for us from my end.>>4122610God I hope that doesn't count. High is good here, so an 8 on a d100 is remarkably awful.
>>4122619I would love to say it was a relevant roll. But no, it was just a test, don't worry.
>>4122627See, I think you know that we cannot trust such statements. Therefore, you be playing us somehow.Geh, I got carried away. It's almost 4 A.M for me.I shall catch up with the rest of today's run when I wake up.
Medium spell used, your reserves remain nearly flawlessly healthy.Taking a few steps back and putting your shield protectively in front of you, magical energy flowed into you, materializing into a spell you knew well indeed. A fragile, flabby translucid arm wormed its way out of your spine with the addition of a glowing finger holding a spot of souls-like resource that'd send all Red World entities into a frenzy were you inside that accursed realm. Upon entering in contact with the general area of the cold spot... You promptly lost control with the spell. The arm and the bait completely disappeared without warning, forcefully pulled out of your control without any feedback. Normally, your arms had a perfectly adequate sense of touch whilst numbing any form of pain, after touching this spot it simply melted away, gone in an instant.What in the blessed Mother good name is this?Bracing for anything, you waited for a while, shield braced for impact and magical gauntlet ready to belch a column of flame yet after a few minutes nothing happened... outside a noise. It sounded like a soft, gentle wind, a thorough impossibility in the middle of the slave pen with today clear sky and calm waters and as the second passed, you felt a cold breeze gently grace your face. A good feeling to be sure in this infernal humidity.Something magical was afoot here, that's for sure. Of course, your feeling of dread wasn't going away but at least you could place the source of your discomfort now.>Try ''feeding'' another dose of your magic to this strange phenomenon, maybe it'll provoke a bigger reaction.>Wait for a while, perhaps something will happen. (Keep yourself mentally guarded/Try opening your mind to the noise, concentrate. Maybe there's a message here)>Step within range of the cold spot again and brace for anything. >Free>>4122643Glad to have you anon. I'll probably run for little longer since investigation means short answers.
>>4122656>Try ''feeding'' another dose of your magic to this strange phenomenon, maybe it'll provoke a bigger reaction.Do it again maybe the sound will get louder, after all what is the worst that could happen.
>>4122668Right, what could go wrong?If it's getting too late for another vote then I'll end here for tonight. I wanna push myself a bit by providing answers today because I won't be able to update tomorrow. I gotta provide free labor with helping another member of my family move, so I'll be far too tired to write.
>>4122693Would it be possible to partially phase into the red world and "peek" into that realm somehow quickly? Too bad we don't have Gardy with us anymore, he could just do that for us if I remember right.Say we stepped into that spot again. Could we get dragged into the red world somehow? How about possessions, is that also a possibility? If something is feeding on our magic about how much would it take for it to be able to cross over from the red world into our own right now?
>>4122711>Would it be possible to partially phase into the red world and "peek" into that realm somehow quickly?You can try. Might succeed, might fail, it's something Arawn need to exercise in. > Could we get dragged into the red world somehow?It is not entirely impossible, you'd be able to resist though. >How about possessions, is that also a possibility?Harkon situation was fairly unique, getting possessed can technically happen again but Arawn has very good mental defense against that. >If something is feeding on our magic about how much would it take for it to be able to cross over from the red world into our own right now?Genuinely impossible to say. Many different creatures need different dose of magic to cross over.
>>4122693Just got here. If you think I'm afraid of ghost blowjobs, well then. Woo woo! >Try ''feeding'' another dose of your magic to this strange phenomenon, maybe it'll provoke a bigger reaction.With the arm, of course.
Hm, I think we'll stop here tonight. Getting tired and I'd rather avoid continuing on a single vote
>>4122749Well then talk about coincidence. Let's see what happen! And if I'm able to update this late at night.
>>4122753Ghost girls tend to be nice girls right? Please let them be nice, we need more nice after Ensan's hefty dose of unmitigated malicious fuckery.
>>4122753Don't push yourself. If it happens tomorrow it happens. Threads not going anywhere.
Medium spell used, your reserves remain healthy.Now, something was going on with this phenomenon. You've learned that your magic can be used as general nourishment for entities that feed on soul energy and, of course, create spells. One can argue that nearly every spells in existence need a various dose of souls to functions, so if this spot -literally- ate such a thing... then either it is a spell or some kind of magical phenomenon that desperately need energy to manifest.''Let's see what happens.'' You whispered to yourself, feeling some amount of excitement to help shake off your dread. Before committing you made certain to investigate your rear and make sure nothing or nobody had snuck up on you; your course was clear on that front and with renewed purpose, you create another weak arm filled with free-to-use soul energy. Once more, upon contact with that cold spot hovering above ominous burnt marks, your spell completely disappeared despite an honest attempt at resisting. It was simply... absorbed, perhaps because of the fact your baiting spell was impossible to hold onto once it came into contact with anything that could eat it? You'll worry about that later. The noise of the wind started to grow intense and with this change came a stronger presence of this refreshing wintery temperature as it began to feel like a windy day inside the slave pen. Keeping your fire healthy with magic, you observed the previously invisible phenomenon that now appeared somewhat visible, something translucid yet with visible volume floated in the darkness. A circle? No, not quite, something oval-shaped, looking familiar...?''Portal!?''Something from within suddenly reached out, a pair of hands tore apart the subtle protrusion to create a hole within the ether Mother Earth reality out of which the entity slide out. It was a humanoid shape of darkness, a stretched-out silhouette reminiscent of an average shadow twisted by the angle of the afternoon sun. It floated in the air like a fish, legs separating and combining incessantly.The portal from which it emerged was of ominous darkness that seemed to eat the light of your fire but... but! There was someone in there! They radiated soft bioluminescence almost like living souls that burned in the Red World! Impossible to say who but someone was in there, someone alive! The temperature had grown unbearably cold, your jaw began to tremble, frost gathered on the planks near the fully open portal; the fire of your gauntlet wasn't enough warmth Another shadowy creature slithered out of the portal and, like it's predecessor, was immediately affected by the pressure of Mother Earth reality. Parts of its body began to peel away like dust but... it was a slow process and their attention was immediately settled upon the only living soul in range.>There's a fight on your hands! How will you proceed?>Greentext choices will come later if you guys are stuck. Continuation will be Saturday
The first course of action should be to hit it with a stick. We should not use fire inside the ship, especially since we don't know how this thing handles magic.How different do you think this quest would be if we decided that Arawn could not use magic? Would we have gained any new/different options that we did not have with magic?
>>4122886So there's now a portal to the red world in front of us and from what we can tell there's a living human/mamono just on the other side? Portals work both ways so we *could* jump in, grab the fucker, and jump back to realspace with them in tow right? Are these things slowly getting wiped out by the pressure of realspace? If they're here in reality we can bludgeon them to death right?Could we wreath our mace, gauntlet or shield in fire? I don't wanna burn the place down just yet but they seem to be ice based entities so fire ought to fuck em' up good. Red world entities aren't exactly combustible are they? Won't they just fade back into it or disappear completely upon soaking enough damage? Do we know how long that portal's gonna remain open? Can we extend its duration or shut it down early if we desired?
>>4122907You'd have to use different solutions to your problems, though honestly, soul magic is close to general mastery of soul manipulation so good solutions wouldn't be out of reach. It's a bit too difficult to tell how things could have gone had you chosen another type of class since Arawn would be much, much stronger on his own. >>4122915>So there's now a portal to the red world in front of usHard to say if its the Red World, it's looking totally dark inside the portal. >from what we can tell there's a living human/mamono just on the other side?That is correct. >Portals work both ways so we *could* jump in, grab the fucker, and jump back to realspace with them in tow right? Ideally, yes. Impossible to say how long the portal will last for now but it has eaten two of your spells.>Are these things slowly getting wiped out by the pressure of realspace?Yes, it's a similar process to being in realspace with a Strong fusion, though the process is much slower for those shadowy things. What Arawn can discern is that their bodies are slowly peeling away to nothing. >If they're here in reality we can bludgeon them to death right?You can try>Could we wreath our mace, gauntlet or shield in fire?You risk damaging them and making them too hot to wield. Remember that time when you tackled the poisoner during your investigation with Anais? Magic from the gauntlet can also affect you if you aren't careful. It's possible though. >Red world entities aren't exactly combustible are they? Won't they just fade back into it or disappear completely upon soaking enough damage? Who knows? You've yet to fight them in realspace right? >Do we know how long that portal's gonna remain open? No.>Can we extend its duration or shut it down early if we desired?You can try feeding it more magic to make yourself feel secure but there's no certainty on anything here, Arawn doesn't know the process of portals all that well.
>>4122886Force it sideways, hard, and go for the living soul.
Alright, nothing like providing free labor to feel sapped of strength and motivation. We'll continue tomorrow so choices will be open for the evening, I'll close things in a few hours so I'll know what to write.>>4123161A valid choice, will need 1d20 Pretty much everything will at this rate, it'd be better to agree on something before rolling... otherwise I'll take that 1. Here's a few more choices. >Unleash a medium-strength flamethrower out of your gauntlet, aimed at the shadows and the portal itself: it should prevent the boat from catching on fire. >Take a defensive stance and observe the creatures a little more closely. Strike at anything coming into range with your mace: it's important to be conservative with your magic. Work to remove the threats physically now that they are inside Mother Earth realm.>Retreat, this is way above anything you were prepared for. >Free
>>4124136Where are the creatures in relation to us? How far are we and they from the portal/each other? We've got strong reinforcement cast on ourselves right? Does it look like anything else, either more shades or something more threatening, is/going to come out of it? How brightly is that "soul" burning? Are we packing a healing potion? The red world seems to be a twisted reflection of the physical, so if it's "dark" here wouldn't it be dark there relatively speaking?
>>4124136>Take a defensive stance and observe the creatures a little more closely. Strike at anything coming into range with your mace: it's important to be conservative with your magic. Work to remove the threats physically now that they are inside Mother Earth realm.I don't to risk flame inside the boat - even if the portal catches the gout of flame, it still risks the creatures catching fire and setting the surrounding wood aflame.And ignoring these shades while going for the portal is also unwise since doing that would leave the creatures at our back. AND we *really* cannot afford to be pulled to the other side of the portal and risk it closing behind us.If Arawn were a bit more skilled and experienced as a fighter I'd vote for an aggressive approach to dealing with these things.
>>4124197>Where are the creatures in relation to us?3 meters>How far are we and they from the portal/each other?4 meters for you, the creatures just emerged out of the portal. You'd be able to reach it in a single round if you want to try.>We've got strong reinforcement cast on ourselves right?Yes. >Does it look like anything else, either more shades or something more threatening, is/going to come out of it?Outside the glowing soul, it's completely dark. Arawn can see some movements though but pinpointing it is impossible because the portal makes things murky.>How brightly is that "soul" burning?It's looking fairly faint, the only reason why it seem incredibly bright is because it's the only source of light amidst total darkness.>Are we packing a healing potion?Two.>The red world seems to be a twisted reflection of the physical, so if it's "dark" here wouldn't it be dark there relatively speaking?No. the Red World always shine red no matter the time. >>4124203Noted
>>4124207Alright, does the soul seem to be close to the portal entrance? If so that opens up an option for me.
>>4124225It's really hard to judge. Arawn would say that it's a fair distance away. It's like looking at something underwater so gauging distance is difficult
>>4124231Damn, I don't suppose we got a loose plank of wood or a nice long pole around us do we? Soul arms are instant cast and can reach around 2 meters right? Say we switch our element to ice. Could we make a long yet strong ice pole? Can we advance towards the portal while bashing the shades in with our mace, shield, and possibly soul arms?
>>4124238>Damn, I don't suppose we got a loose plank of wood or a nice long pole around us do we?Nope, it's smooth (dirty) ground and the nearest wooden pole is far too thick to be easily ripped apart. > Soul arms are instant cast and can reach around 2 meters right?Yup.>Say we switch our element to ice. Could we make a long yet strong ice pole?Yes, though switching element is a costly spell on its own that results in a strong attack.>Can we advance towards the portal while bashing the shades in with our mace, shield, and possibly soul arms?Yes. Ties into defensive option + making soul arms, which will give a positive melee modifier.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4123161>>4124203Alright, let's get this rolling. If 1, then roll me some 1d20If 2, roll me 1d20+2. I'll add the suggestion of using soul arms there, thereby making you use another medium dose of mana.
>>4124306So 2 means we'll be advancing towards the portal while dealing with the shades, while the first option would be us barreling past them and diving into the portal?
Rolled 9 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>4124306Let's see how badly this goes.
Rolled 4 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>4124306C'mon...
>>4124336>>4124333Well well... the plot thickens. I'll leave things open for one last roll for tonight, if nobody shows then I'll do it myself
Rolled 1 + 2 (1d20 + 2)>>4124306
>>4124346Guess I'll die?
>>4124346Guess tomorrow will start with a short update.
>>4124346Why? Why at this exact moment it time? Why now?>>4124351How dead are we? I mean, we're gonna die now, but how quick and such?
>>4124361Now now, Arawn can take a hit.
>>4124368A "normal" hit yeah, but that's a crit fail. Thus it's going to be a "serious" hit. Damnit, we should have stopped before it got this bad.
>>4124374Afraid and regretful? You want to run away? Good!
>>4124384Afraid? Yeah, because if we die it ain't just us going down. Not so much wanting to run away as I am just wishing to survive somehow. If we were to just book it now I doubt we'd get very far.After all, to run away entails moving in a straight line with your back turned towards whatever you're running from. This tends to end badly for the one fleeing in pretty much all circumstances. Can we project bait in the real world?
>>4124400>Can we project bait in the real world?Yeah
>>4124405Ok, just thought of something else, we have healing potions and the gauntlet is currently in flame mode. It'll probably cause another nasty looking scar but can we take a page out of this fine fucker's book and cauterize a serious wound closed?
>>4124472You're free to try. If you have the means and it's logical... Magic from your gauntlet does affect you if it touch your body.
SweetFuckingJesusWhat the hell did I just wake up to??I should never have voted for going off alone, dammit all.Arawn need more training, equipment and more Magitek toys. Maybe some alchemical tools too, like flash and smoke bombs.
>>4124474Might be one last resort way out of this now that I think about it. Pearl can restore our reserves if I remember and there's always the thought of "If I die here who will protect them from Ensan?" so we might be able to go for a weak fusion. It'll boost our combat abilities and give us access to his knowledge base correct?Damnit, if only he were still here we wouldn't need to spend half our damn reserves to gain access to that vast database of info he had stored in his memory banks.
Medium spell used, your reserves remain healthy.You barely had enough time to bring your mace out of its harness whilst conjuring a new pair of translucid arms -this time with more solidity- when the pair of creatures were already upon you, charging forward with predatory intent, swimming in the ether of the world like fishes which allowed them to move with eerie grace.''Shit!'' You growled, taking backward steps to avoid being outflanked. One of the creatures was rounding your right, shieldless flank whilst the other charged forward, stepping within range of your magical arms. It somehow ducked and weaved around your preventive strikes, it's slowly crumbling body looking much thinner than you thought, your arms weren't able to catch anything but dusty shadows as it effortlessly dodged but, at least, was forced toward your protected flank.At the same time, you struck with your mace toward the more dangerous enemy and it, too, dodged because you might have misjudged the distance with the darkness. It's entire body flattened itself like a slime and it jumped upward in a crescent moon, gaining sudden momentum -perhaps using the force of your swing to its advantage- and charging to collide with your body before you could react, timing itself with eerie perfection with the second entity that, thankfully, only collided with your shield.Despite their feathery, jelly-like disposition there was undeniable weight behind their assault. ''Guh!?'' You couldn't help this painful groan. Your body was beginning to feel extremely cold as the creature that managed to physically tackle you latched onto your body, wrapping its arms around your neck, its legs went your waist like a child, tendrils of darkness peeled off its back to wrap around your body. Everything it touched was frigid, breathing became almost impossible with how impossibly cold this damnable thing was, hells it felt like your skin was burning! A similar phenomenon was happening to your shield. The entity mustn't have expected that metallic barrier, the metal was growing colder by the seconds. To make matter worse a third shade floated out of the portal; the soul inside still shone its quiet light in the darkness...Getting closer?You are being grappled by two creatures, one is holding onto your body whilst the other is grabbing your shield! Arawn's is weakening by the seconds, growing colder and colder, you don't have much time to react...>Try to physically shake them off while making more distance with the portal. You still have your soul arms, put them to use. (1d20+2)>Muster your remaining strength and retreat toward the stair. Perhaps sunlight and Muribel heat will help. (No roll needed)>Use your magical gauntlet, now's a time of crisis. (A medium spell will minimize collateral damage on the ship but need a successful d20. A High-level spell will not need a roll for success, but one to ascertain if you'll set fire to the ship.) >Free
>>4126144>Muster your remaining strength and retreat toward the stair. Perhaps sunlight and Muribel heat will help. (No roll needed)Mmyep.Still regretting my vote for going off alone. The Dice may have decided my vote to be used, but I still should have know better.
>>4126144Would it be possible to make for the stairs while trying to get these things off of us? We still have the soul arms after all. Also, we have the gauntlet. Can we grab a shade's "face" and just light that on fire? Can we reach either of them with our gauntlet hand?
>>4126192>Would it be possible to make for the stairs while trying to get these things off of us? Going for the stair will also have Arawn try to shake the creature off. Standing your ground while doing the same is what will need a roll. > Can we grab a shade's "face" and just light that on fire?That will mean dropping your mace but yes, you can try.>Can we reach either of them with our gauntlet hand?The once grabbing you, yeah. Trying to burn that one won't require a roll since its close to impossible to fail in touching it, trying to grab the one latched onto your shield will need a d20.
>>4126198What about wreathing our mace in flame and giving it a nice hard poke? Could we do that?
>>4126208That'll work too. Need 1d20 though... though it shouldn't go badly. In theory
>>4126179Alright, I'll proceed with that in 20 minutes. So get to voting.
>>4126219Ok, last few questions. We can still project/lob a ball of bait away from us while we move towards the stairs correct? Could we throw/slide our mace towards the stairs if we did that as well? How far away is that third shade? How far are we from the stairs?
>>4126223>We can still project/lob a ball of bait away from us while we move towards the stairs correct?Yeah, I'll need to know if yo uwant a small, medium or strong bait. >Could we throw/slide our mace towards the stairs if we did that as well?Sure,though it'll need Arawn to get closer since his aim isn't stellar. >How far away is that third shade?Just got out of the portal, 5 meters away from Arawn. >How far are we from the stairs?Roughly 8 meters. It'll need a short run.
>>4126226Shit, one last consideration. Would the fucker currently latched onto us be able to eat our bait the instant we conjure or try to lob it? Could we "shoot" it out of one our soul arms to try and prevent that?
>>4126253Would the fucker currently latched onto us be able to eat our bait the instant we conjure or try to lob it?Impossible to tell.>Could we "shoot" it out of one our soul arms to try and prevent that?Yes. Will need 1d20 for aim and of course, what strength of bait.
Gonna start the update now. time for a tactical retreat. Unless I get a quick vote, to potentially change my course.
>>4126259Then it's not worth the risk right now. It gets strengthened now we're fucked. We fuck up and lob it into the portal we're fucked. Just head for the stairs while trying to shake these accursed things off. Could we pump a bit more magic into one or both of the arms to strengthen it as we go?
Fight or flight was a strong instinct and you almost succumbed to the latter as air felt frigid in your throat, almost impossible to fill your lungs as the shadowy thing hugging you just... sapped the heat away from your body. It didn't feel like it was eating into your soul but you honestly didn't have time to investigate that! With raw desperation as your fuel, you managed to shake off the creature latching onto your shield by giving it a good slap and took off running, bringing distance incredibly quickly because of your bodily reinforcement. The chair you used to keep the iron door opened nearly shattered when you kicked it out of your way, it crashlands on the nearest wall finished the job. Dark tendrils wrapped around your neck, the entity moved as it kept its clutch on your body, almost reaching your open mouth. You gracelessly stumbled around, slammed your shoulder on the wall and nearly stumbled up the stairs but, sweet merciful mother, you managed to climb up and be graced with sunlight that caused a strange noise to erupt out of the creature. Like a sudden wind filtering through a metallic opening, a strident and wholly inhuman plain came out of the shade body as you reached the general living area. ''Get off me!'' You screamed, finally feeling proper heat enter your body. Your mace slipped out of your hand and landed in a hollow thump on the wooden ground as you grasped at the weakening creature and food an odd purchase. Your gauntlet grabbed onto something slimy, difficult to pull off but it was thankfully drying quickly and a few seconds of insistence on your end removed the shade from your person. What resulting was a floating, ashen shadowy figure that curled on itself, trying and failing to reach your warmth. Pieces after pieces of its body peeled off and in the seconds, it took you to grab your mace again, the creature stopped moving and floated on the ground like a dead fish.It's decaying body soon melted into the ether of Mother Earth protective realm. ''Guess that answer a question.'' You grumbled to yourself, tapping your chest with mace. You didn' feel any pain, air and heat returned to your body; you'll probably need adrenaline to wear off to feel any wounds but from what you could tell, you remained in good health.
The way a single one of them drained your strength so rapidly was very worrying. These things are dangerous.Taking a cursory glance down the stairs revealed shadowy movements from the entities that were prodding the general area of you exited from and failing to make ground as they retreated when sunlight gave them a good scalding. What the hell did Ensan do down there? Who was that soul in the portal? >Get down there again and prepare to fight the creatures once more, you need to make your way into that portal! (Will open more choices for potential battle strategy) >Try and get some reinforcement from the guards, maybe they'll listen to you. Having more sword arms is needed here, if you get grabbed by more than one of them... >Abandon ship. This is far too dangerous alone and you can't rely on outside help.>Wait for a while, perhaps the portal will close on its own. Maybe... Something will happen? >Free.
>>4126329>Wait for a while, perhaps the portal will close on its own. Maybe... Something will happen?I'm not quite yet willing to bail, but I don't really trust the guards/soldiers to not give us grief after we muscled our way past.
>>4126329>Get down there again and prepare to fight the creatures once more, you need to make your way into that portal! (Will open more choices for potential battle strategy)maybe our actions are bringing the soul closer, we could open up holes in the roof in order to use sunlight against them.
>>4126349>we could open up holes in the roof in order to use sunlight against them.That'd be a full choice but... you've got a good mace. The ground is made of wood and you're heavily reinforced, so I'm not going to veto that possibility.
>>4126353If we needed to do it quickly we should swap the gauntlet to lightning then use it, trees that get hit by lightning have a tendency to explode since the water in them becomes steam then expands.
>>4126357You'll need to change the configuration of your gauntlet by using a strong fire spell first. Guaranteed to set the ship on fire but hey, it'll help.Are you voting for making holes in the ground?
Is the boat Ensan's direct property?If yes, then I'm not sure if damaging it is the wisest decision. "It was like that when I got here" will only work so far!
>>4126370>Is the boat Ensan's direct property?It is.Excuses can wait for later! Or not. Depends on you guys.
>>4126365Yes i guess, the only concern i have is that the portal may not be able to survive in direct sunlight.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4126340>>4126353Gonna roll between these. Unless that anon choose to making some holes, then I'll probably roll again.
>>4126388Misquoted. Meant this choice >>4126349I'll begin writing in ten minutes.
>>4126388Anything reflective on the deck? How Shiny is our shield? How thick is the deck? Could we punch a quick hole and then go back down there?
>>4126393>Anything reflective on the deck?Nope.>How Shiny is our shield? Surprisingly reflective, it's a big round shield (think greek) without any special decoration on the steel.>How thick is the deck? When Arawn slam his foot down, it sound pretty hollow. Might not be too thick.>Could we punch a quick hole and then go back down there?Hmm... I suppose I can allow it. Try to make a hole and see what happen?
>>4126398Oh, so we essentially have a mirror shield then? And we've just confirmed that these things are allergic to sunlight yes? Which direction is the sun shining? Please tell me it's towards our face if we were facing the portal. That's important.
>>4126409>And we've just confirmed that these things are allergic to sunlight yes?Yeah, the entity died in sunlight.>Which direction is the sun shining?Arawn can't see it from where he is now, it's probably too far up in the sky in this particular moment but a few windows to his eastern side are streaming more light than the other side.
After thinking on it, I can tie ''making a hole'' with waiting, so I'll update that way unless you guys want to commit with something else.
>>4126419Ok then, make a hole, then go back down there very carefully. The goal will be to try and reflect the light towards any shades who approach and making damn sure none of them latch onto us again.Maybe throw some bait to distract/gather them into one spot? Betting sunlight will close the portal as well. We can get more options after we make the hole and see what happens yes?
>>4126426Yeah, it'll be another short update.
>>4126433Back from gf's house, and regretting not checking on my phone to roll earlier. at least everyone's being smart.
I'll be heading off, need sleep. Cursed timezone differences...Good luck, Anons. Try not to get Arawn mauled!
''Fucking hell there was someone in there!'' You growled and resisted the urge to spit down there as yet more shadowy movements caught your eyes. It was hard to tell if another one of these things had emerged out the portal but... they were congregating toward the stairs in vain attempt to reach upward for the only living thing on the ship.Maybe it's better to call you prey.Hearing the hollow noise of your footsteps as you walked the length of the wooden hall planted the seed of an idea... Sunlight below the main deck wasn't particularly strong but many windows allowed more than enough lights for the full day to easily illuminate everything and as you've just experienced these creatures didn't need to be put in direct sunlight to be affected (maybe exorcised?).Grabbing hold of your mace, you walked at a midpoint on the deck to hopefully avoid shining light on the portal and swung your weapon down hard, letting your frustration and anger energize your limb. The mace crashed on the ground surprisingly loudly, splinter and powder flew in all directions, making a nice hole that wasn't quite deep enough to pierce through... but that wasn't going to be laborious to accomplish.The noise of your mace obliterating the wood resounded throughout the hall and a heavy chunk fell hard, crashing loudly on the ground below. This single hole wasn't enough to properly illuminate the slave pen but it was an adequate start that allowed your eyes to adjust much more efficiently and from this perch, you easily saw the new additional enemies. Four shades were moving around like scared fishes to avoid the small area you've just opened and from your angle, it was impossible to stare into the portal but it was, at least, still opened.Now, you could make a bigger hole and jump down there; your body reinforcement will prevent any wounds at this distance or maybe it'd be better to make bigger holes... At any rate, it's undeniable these things have a fear of sunlight now. >Open more holes, try to let sunlight stream fully into the basement of the ship to fully exorcise these creatures. >Make a man-sized hole to slip through, you need to get into that portal! (Will open more suggestions)>The shades seems to congregate toward living beings. Perhaps it'd be a better idea to move back toward the stairs and... unleash some fiery magic upon them? (Will use a medium or strong spell, you guys will need to choose.)>Free
>>4126480>Make a man-sized hole to slip through, you need to get into that portal!We don't know if it would close the portal to shine sunlight on it.
Hm, might be a little too late to continue. I'm still good for an hour, these short answers are a surprisingly different change of pace; first time Arawn is doing something on his own! But it might be too late for my regulars.
>>4126480How much light would a man-sized hole shine into the cargo hold? What seems to be the limit between "scares them off" and "sears their flesh"?
>>4126526>How much light would a man-sized hole shine into the cargo hold?Enough to illuminate things fairly well, you'll be able to see without needing a fire in your hand.>What seems to be the limit between "scares them off" and "sears their flesh"?Strong ambient light was enough to kill off the shade that was latching on Arawn.
I'll go with this vote >>4126497 in about 15 minutes.
>>4126534Can we smash a few extra holes and then smash a man-sized one open? How high can we jump when under strong reinforcement? Y'know, in case we might have to make a "vertical" escape if y'know what I mean. Could we throw some bait down there before we jump?
>>4126558>Can we smash a few extra holes and then smash a man-sized one open?Of course. This will stream enough light to potentially affect the portal. >How high can we jump when under strong reinforcement?Not too much. Maybe a meter. >Could we throw some bait down there before we jump?At the price of a medium spell yeah. Want it near the stairs?
>>4126567What about one extra hole then. Would that affect the portal? I just don't want the shades to have too much advance warning in regards to where we're gonna drop down. We still don't know much about them. They could have ranged attacks.I suppose it's wishful thinking but could our soul arms store some sunlight in them? Could our soul magic alternate fuel be used to make the flames emulate the emissions of sunlight? How far away is the current hole from the stairs back up to the deck?
>>4126584>What about one extra hole then. Would that affect the portal?No.>I suppose it's wishful thinking but could our soul arms store some sunlight in them? Nope.>Could our soul magic alternate fuel be used to make the flames emulate the emissions of sunlight?Nope.>How far away is the current hole from the stairs back up to the deck?In the middle of the room, so about 4 meters.Gonna start writing with making one more hole + hot drop into portal. Would originally need a roll but decided otherwise because the shades won't be prepared enough to touch Arawn because he reach that thing.
>>4126592Before he reach that thing*I think this might be a sign to stop, better to continue tomorrow. I think this could be a longer update do i'd rather call it now.
>>4126592Don't you mean hot drop into the cargo hold? I don't think the hole is right over the portal is it?
>>4126602Hot drop into portal sounded more exciting but yeah, you'll drop into the cargo hold/slave pen.
>>4126609Oh, one more thing. I don't suppose there are any loose ropes or poles near us are there? If so we might wanna grab it.
>>4127728Nothing like that. I'll do my best to post in an hour or two.
Seeing the erratic movement of the shades and their propensity to congregate toward your general direction sparked an idea. By now, the creatures were floating around the gentle stream of light you've created, evidently testing the new source of light. The low intensity allows them to traverse through the beam somewhat harmlessly but parts of their bodies still peeled away like old, ashen wood, creating a constant metallic whistling noise in the cargo hold. Taking your mace, you walked back a few meters, stopping near the stairs and carved a new hole with a few healthy bashes, the sound of breaking wood and heavy thunks might have resonated into the above deck but so far, nobody came to interrupt your activity. Once made, the new beam of light gave proper illumination to the cargo hold despite the lack of direct sunlight: clouds of dust mixed with the ashen peels of the agitated shades, making the air look dirty... but now wasn't the time to stop. Making a hole big enough to fit you will need some work and, in all likelihood, make enough light to affect the portal, it wasn't something you could do anything to mitigate.''Just hang on.'' You whispered to yourself, slamming your face into the first hole. The wooden floor was strong and solid, needing a few healthy thunks to start cracking but yield it did and your effort was rewarded with falling debris. ''I'll get you out of there!'' Whoever was trapped inside that portal didn't deserve such a fate, even if they couldn't help your situation... you can help, so you will.You retreated near the second hole, waiting for the shades to congregate again, bracing yourself and ran. Making the hole extra large to accommodate your shield had been wise, you feel what felt like three meters in such quickness that you barely registered the zipping world; you landed with ankle-breaking force but had thankfully anticipated this by using your magical arms to reach the ground first, your reinforced body easily endured the following landing. You took off running without looking back, all the shades behind you, putting your shield on your chest to fit through the opened door, you ran so quickly that you nearly collided with the portal itself. The soul inside had moved to stand right outside the entrance yet seemed unable to go through. The silhouette continued to glow its faint white bioluminescence and now that she was close, you could identify feminine forms that, at least, allowed you to put a hint of identity on this individual. She was trying to push through the portal opening yet somehow the damn thing was resisting with some kind of elastic, skin-like defense that stretched under the woman's effort without breaking. Behind this luminous silhouette were shades that, unlike you, weren't trying to grab onto her; she was being constantly whipped by the creatures, they kept tackling onto her back and retreating.
The outer protective edge of the portal -some kind of skin-like foundation of darkness- was starting to peel off and break under the increasing sunlight in the same manner as the shades. This isn't looking good. You didn't need to look back to understand the shades that had made it through were going to reach you within the next few seconds. >Reach inside and help pull the woman inside Mother Earth realm. (Drop your shield or use your gauntlet arm to do it.)>Go through the portal yourself, both to escape the shades coming for oyu and coordinate with this individual on the other side. >Stop worrying about collateral damage; the shades pursuing you will need to clump together as they swim through the door, it's your perfect chance to harm them... (Use a medium or strong fire spell)>Free.
>>4127889>Stop worrying about collateral damage; the shades pursuing you will need to clump together as they swim through the door, it's your perfect chance to harm them... (Use a medium or strong fire spell)>>Medium spellNEVER leave an enemy at your rear. Especially multiple enemies that can sap the warmth from the body with a touch.Besides, the ship is already beat up, we won't be able to excuse the damage to Ensan of all people.Most likely going to be my only vote sadly, gotta wake up early to catch a train.I sure hope we're not trying to pull a tricksy demon out of this portal.
>>4127900Always good to have you. That choice will obviously need 1d20... but I'll wait for more aggreements before asking for rolls.
>>4127889Can we put/hand our shield onto a soul arm, reach that hand into the portal, and fire our gauntlet at the shades at the same time? Does our gauntlet have sharp fingertips? How thick is this "skin" around the portal?
>>4127908>Can we put/hand our shield onto a soul arm, reach that hand into the portal, and fire our gauntlet at the shades at the same time?Yes.>Does our gauntlet have sharp fingertips? No>How thick is this "skin" around the portal?It's looking thin, more a membrane than actual skin. Yet the person on the otherside isn't able to go through.
Giving this another 20 minutes before settling. Using a fire spell will need a roll, so stay tuned for that... At least if we do it.
>>4127909Ok then, here's what we do. First, hand off the shield to a soul arm and use one or both of them to position it a meter or so away from us but in such a way we can fire over the top of it. That way if we "miss" we can at least delay them for another second, hopefully enough to try again with another shot from the gauntlet. If we're close enough to obstruct the door with our shield we do that. Question: What would be the difference between using one arm to hold the shield vs. both?As we do this we tell the soul to give us their hand and try to pull them through with our shield hand. The Gauntlet will be used to fire a medium spell at the bottlenecked shades.
Rolled 1 - 2 (1d6 - 2)>>4127955>What would be the difference between using one arm to hold the shield vs. both?Using it with both hands will be a guaranteed success to hold back anything crashing into it. >As we do this we tell the soul to give us their hand and try to pull them through with our shield hand. The Gauntlet will be used to fire a medium spell at the bottlenecked shades.I can roll with that. Tying two options together is possible in this case, aren't you glad to have additional limbs?Give me a d20, let's see how hot your load is going to be.
Rolled 16 (1d20)>>4127962
>>4127972Well well, not bad... I can wait a while longer, unless you guys want to stay on that number. Never know when a 1 can show itself.
I'll start writing with that 16. Let's see what happens!
>>4127972Thank God! We'll at least take a few of em' down with that. We also crit succeeded that measurement roll. I wonder what that does with our new gauntlet.
>>4127994Measurement rolls aren't too important, having a crit success here just mean you save mana by using the exact amount you need for your spell.
Medium spell used. Your reserve remains healthy (Thank that healthy crit on measurement.)There was barely any time to think, your body and mind operated on pure instincts.Your shield didn't have time to meet the ground when you let it go, your two serpentine magical arms held onto their respective iron handle and angled the protective cover toward your lower body because of your outstretched arm. Your open palm foreshadowed a dragon roar; now wasn't the time to worry about collateral! To hell with this boat, to hell with the heir property! Your second arm wasn't subjected to the protection of the portal. You threw your limb inside blindly and immediately met with a mixture of sensations: it was cold inside, extremely so, yet something very hot grabbed onto your strangely numb arm. You immediately pulled, meeting with an odd resistance that, thankfully, had no hope to resist a reinforced body firmly anchored inside Mother Earth supreme reality. As you predicted, the four shades had congregated together to pass through the open door. ''Burns!'' You howled, voiced trampled by the sudden loud interruption of a proper fiery geyser: out of your palm belched a spray of hot, bright orange fire with tints of blue. It slammed into the creature's wholesales, catching them all with different degrees of effectiveness, spreading onto the ground and nearby wooden bars. Two of them lit up in flames and flew off in opposites directions, crashing on the roof of the cargo hold whereupon flames took hold of the wood; the deck above was slightly damp from prior cleaning but that wasn't the case in this dirty, dry environment. Another shade lost its consistency and fell onto the ground, its entire head completely gone and the last charged forward in a frenzy, only to slam against your shield. You promptly lifted your weapon upward and the creature charged forward again, only for half of its body to be trampled under the metal as you slammed it down and before the entity could ascertain its new situation, you stepped forward to grab its head with your still flaming gauntlet and tore it right off.Only then could you spare a glance to who you saved, the woman was still clutching your arm that, you noticed felt a little painful, your skin has turned red in her grasp; burnt marks? The woman was a beautiful one. Semi-long hair fell around her face in an understandably wild haircut given her situation, piercing red eyes observed everything around her with a distinctive inner light and her body -naked, you were forced to see- was very pale, almost like a doll... her skin felt hard, almost glassy to the touch and something about her limbs looked odd...? Marbles? Porcelain? ''You...?'' Then the realization hit you. This is Hildegarde, Anais bodyguard. ''...Shit! Hold on to me!''
The poor woman looked too dazed to be standing. Two shades were already halfway out of the portal, now wasn't the time to linger! Grabbing onto her waist with your good arm and using a magical one to help your grip on her smooth, almost slippery body, you hefted her onto your shoulder (realizing that she was surprisingly heavy) and sprinted out of the room, running through the fire that was just beginning a deadly progress into an out-of-control wildfire. Your shield clanged onto every piece of wood imaginable as you ascended upstairs, you didn't wait to catch your breath and proceeded above deck properly, meeting the harsh sun and heat of Muribel as you knew damn well that fire was going to spread quickly. ''You! What do...What!?'' On the dock was a welcoming party. All the guards that had been forming a line to keep everyone away had now formed a double line deep of bodies to occupy most of the available space. the one who screamed was a lamia of pale red scale and a tasteful long braid of dark hair and sharp features that made her face look suitably serpentine. In her hand was a halberd glistening in the sun.Now... that was awkward. Here you stood with a naked woman on your shoulder, translucid soul-limbs coming out of your spine, holding your mace and probably looking a little too panicked for your own good. The fire hasn't progressed enough to cause smoke but that luck won't last. ''Our Eldest holiness made it particularly clear that nobody is to enter the confine of her property, even if you call yourself a Moon of our gods you cannot be... allowed to do as you please!'' Disregarding the lady snake, you gave the crowd a quick perusal and noticed a distinctive pair of scorpion women on the other end of the dock... and behind them, in the crowd was the waiting silhouette of a certain swordswoman who stood out because of her ponytail, pale hair, light complexion, and exotic face. Well... this is getting complicated at least there's a light in this tunnel. >Try to intimidate your way past again, before the fire starts to show itself. (Using a spell to make Arawn scarier can work.) >Be aggressive, the lizardwomen are all packed together; a medium fire spell will work wonder in that formation. >Trying to swim while holding onto Hildegarde and your equipment will be very difficult... but it's your only choice. Jump into the water. >Free.
>>4128103Does the opposing party have any ranged weapons with them?
>>4128103Holy shitballs the karakuri battle maid was in there!? Fucking called it on her being a mechanical lifeform/robogirl but damnit all why did Ensan's goons have to show up now fully formed up all of a sudden?That portal's still there and pumping out shades as we speak right? Is Zhu sneaking up behind everyone? Are these guards moons belonging to Ensan? If we tell them a shade swarm and a fire is starting below deck and order them to "fix" that problem with Shereen's authority while we interrogate this woman will they shut up and do as they're told?
>>4128126Also, how many guards are we talking here? Just in case it comes down to that.
>>4128126>That portal's still there and pumping out shades as we speak right?Yeah, but everything is on fire so honestly the shades are... not much of a worry. Especially since it's daylight. >Is Zhu sneaking up behind everyone?No, she's behind the pair of scorpion women.>Are these guards moons belonging to Ensan?Nobody is sporting a collar. There are no Moons here.>If we tell them a shade swarm and a fire is starting below deck and order them to "fix" that problem with Shereen's authority while we interrogate this woman will they shut up and do as they're told?You can try.>>4128128>Also, how many guards are we talking here?Eight lizardgirls, one lamia and two scorpion women on the far end of the docks.
>>4127885>slamming your face into the first hole.I hope our facial hair covers the splinters...>>4128103>"Assemble a combat squad and fire crew. Shadow creatures are flowing from a portal in the slave deck, and a fire has started in the same." Then push past as she processes.Overwhelming confidence and composure without flair is professional, and terrifying when done right.
>>4128139MaaaaaaceWords blur together too much.Giving your choice the usual 20 minutes wait.
>>4128139Alright, I'll proceed with that unless I get some quick votes as usual. No more excuse to post Booette now
>>4128181I can't think of much better. The other options incriminate us too much. This way we can BS Ensan by stating that we felt something was off in that ship (that we may or may not have known was hers) and that, since we were pretty sure that they wouldn't have let us investigate had we been formal or nice about it, we forced our way in.Damn good thing we did too by the by. Imagine what may have happened to her, her moons, and what have you had that portal opened up at night. We neutralized a threat before it even materialized as such. Frankly, she should be thanking us. Minor to moderate (repairable) damage to her ship is a small price to pay for avoiding that potential catastrophe.You can keep posting her if you like, she's a cutie.
Blast it, won't be able to post because of severe computer trouble, damn thing keep closing down by itself without warning. Lets continue tomorrow, I'll keep my laptop nearby in case this persist.
>>4128274Oh, just thought about this, but Ensan probably has a universal key in regards to the collars and will almost certainly utilize it now after all this.Please tell me Shereen and Banu have instructed us and Zhu in how to best fake a compelled response and also hopefully a successful resistance to an absolutely abhorrent order (i.e. an order to kill Shereen) or if it's possible to program the collar to not fully/fail to register such an order (as I doubt the more paranoid/downright logical and intelligent nobles will have failed to do exactly that with their own moons and the collars they wear).Basically, like I stated earlier, please tell me they thought about countering Collar fuckery in all forms. Also, please tell me we didn't just fuck up Anais's backup escape plan as this feels like we may have done that...
>>4128537Your and everyone else collars are deactivated. If Ensan tries anything with a master wand, she won't accomplish anything. Can't really ''fake'' a response, unfortunately. Nobody is a good enough actor to try that.
>>4128610I'm willing to bet that nobody was as absolutely naieve/trusting as Shereen to totally deactivate the collars of her moons. She has literally placed her own life within our collective hands given that decision to utterly deactivate the collars we bear.She's just too pure and good for this world. Fortunately for her that such a viewpoint isn't as dumb and stupid as the cynics might think. Shereen did a thing Ensan'd never even conceive of... Evil cannot conceive of good. Too bad for Ensan that she's evil to the core and is thus vulnerable to Shereen's pure heart.
''Assemble a combat squad and fire-.'' ''What? No! You're going to-''The lamia interruption rattled your composure. You pointed at the woman with your mace to impose silence and she thankfully got the message, perhaps because your weapon was still wafting a little smoke.''Assemble a combat squad and fire crew immediately. Shadowy creatures have emerged in the cargo hold, the Eldest magic has run amok.'' If the lamia was incredulous before, now she looked at you as if you sprouted a second head. And that wasn't a lie, this damnable portal must be connected to Ensan somehow. ''There's a fire in there as well, it just started, there's still time to minimize damage.''''W-what? No I... Her holiness messengers came, I, we are to put you...two under arrest and-'' She grabbed her halberd firmly as you touched the wooden ground of the dock, her soldiers braced at your arrival as you interposed your shield between yourself and their numbers. ''GET MOVING!'' You screamed right in the lady snake face. ''I will handle the woman, this is business beyond your ken, now go!'' Smoke began to waft out of the lower windows of the ship. ''Aaah fuck!?'' That finally convinced her. ''Gods damned Moons... Fine this boat is more important... come on, follow me!'' The woman dextrously slithered past you and up the wooden ramp accompanied by two-third of her squads, the others began running in the other direction screaming. ''Fire! Fire! Fire on the Eternal!'' Seconds later a bell rang throughout the small port while thick gray fumes slowly but surely flowed out of the boat.Hopefully, none of these Mamonos will fall prey to the damnable creatures with the fire growing stronger, they were only doing their jobs. ''Princess...'' Hildegarde groaned as you walked up the small corridor of wood leading the open space of the docks. ''Can you stand?'' You whispered, changing your stride to move towards a nearby shack as the port erupted in chaotic activities. Mamonos of all shapes and sizes, even a few harpies, were running toward the burning boat whilst a crowd of curious onlookers began to gather on the edge of the dock.The two scorpion women had begun walking in your direction. Each of their bronze legs stabbed into the wooden ground as they made their way -quickly- toward the both of you, pushing away anyone unfortunate enough to get in the way. Clad in an armor mixing gold inlay with steel (although helmetless) and armed with massives two-handed curved swords, these Mamonos meant business. Likely part of the royal guard itself; where they were during the weeks of your stay with Shereen is a mystery. As you let down Hildegarde, you offered her your shield. ''No, it's okay.'' She responded breathlessly. ''I'll do better without.''
''That was more for your modesty.'' You responded, doing your best to keep your gaze away. The glimpse you caught of her appearance convinced you now, Hildegarde body was... artificial or at least heavily modified. Her skin shone with the distinctive sheen of porcelain despite all the stains marking her all over. ''Let's worry about function for now.'' Replied the naked maid and that's when the duo of warrior species reached you, you threw a protective arm to cover Hildegarde as the heavy shadows of the two warrior-species reached you.''Both of you are coming with us.'' Said the one on the right. Her face looked to have been carved in rocks, all heavy features without an ounce of softness. 'Who you think you are, what you are and who you represent doesn't matter. You've stepped into her Eldest majesty personal domain; the only privilege you have is to await her punishment, delivered personally.''''You honestly think this is going to go as you want?'' You responded, hefting your shield and stepping in front of the exhausted maid. You could see it in her stance that Hildegarde was preparing for a fight despite her exhaustion. That wasn't going to work out, not after being stuck in that frozen hellscape for... almost a day by your most optimistic estimate. The only reason she isn't dead is because of her unusual body.''Yeah.'' The other scorpion-lady responded, looking prettier than her counterpart, gaze drifting toward the burning ship. ''It will. You'll get to explain yourself to your sun and we'll take this...stowaway in custody, The Eldest will be dealing with your mess.''''I've no intention of allowing anyone to take this woman away from me.'' You couldn't see Zhu anywhere behind the tall monsters, you'll have to trust she's getting closer. ''As a Moon of our youngest gods it is my duty to present her with people of worth, able to honor and serve her adequately.'' You spared a glance for Hildegarde, hopeful that she wasn't going to react strongly and... thankfully she didn't, her red gaze was firmly locked with menacing pair. This statement gave them pause. ''Whatever.'' The stone-faced scorpion retorted, armor clicking with her shrug. ''You're both coming with us or we'll make you. There's been enough bullshit today and it ain't even noon yet.''The girls must have raised a ruckus by going inside the palace inner compound. Unfortunately... It didn't seem like intimidating these two monsters is going to work. ''I can manage...'' Hildegarde whispered behind you but you shook your head. >Attack the two without warning. They've made their positions clear, your only hope is to grab the initiative. (Precise how)>Keep yourself on the defensive. Force them into actually attacking you, that'll give you a good excuse for self-defense once you need to handle the inevitable fallout. >Comply with their demands. Hildegarde is alive, that's all you need. You'll adapt to changing circumstances as they happen.>Free
>>4129435So we've got two scorpion girls who have been ordered to take us into custody so that Ensan can administer "personal" punishment? Yeah, not liking the sound of that. Bitch probably knows Shereen values us all as friends now, and now she's pissed to livid so now we're on the chopping block. We're dead, slowly, if we go with them.How hard are these things to knock out? Are they in full plate? How much damage can they take before they die/where are their vitals? How bad is the poison in that stinger of theirs? Would feeding Hilde some soul magic rejuvenate her?
>>4129468>How hard are these things to knock out?Warriors-species like Minotaurs and Girtablilu are especially difficult to handle. It'll be a struggle to knock them unconscious, especially since their biology make the human halves of their bodies quite high and thus, hard to reach. >Are they in full plate?Half plate. Torso covered, arms have chainmail and heads are uncovered. >How much damage can they take before they die/where are their vitals?Generally speaking, the human portions of their bodies is their weakness. The scorpion halves have a pair of pincers, a big stinger and six legs, everything covered in a thick brown exoskeleton. As for their general constitution, it's hard to tell of course, but you can expect them to take quite the beating.>How bad is the poison in that stinger of theirs?That, you don't know for sure. It has paralytic properties.>Would feeding Hilde some soul magic rejuvenate her?You can try. There's no certainty here, you don't know how her body functions.
>>4129435>Keep on the defenseI don't suppose we could blind at least one of them by reflecting sunlight off our shield?Oh, and perhaps we should switch our gauntlet to lightning once we have an opening.What other element besides fire and ligthning could our gauntlet do, anyways? IIRC it could do three in total.Damn real life obligations, I won't be abe to vote more!
>>4129481>I don't suppose we could blind at least one of them by reflecting sunlight off our shield?You can try. Will need a good roll.>Oh, and perhaps we should switch our gauntlet to lightning once we have an opening Don't forget that switching elements need a heavy spell so it can be used as an attack in of itself.>What other element besides fire and ligthning could our gauntlet do, anyways?Ice.It's alright, anon. Having you here even for a little while matters!
>>4129477Ok, so they can take a major hit and need one to get knocked the fuck out. Can we freeze/totally immobilize these bitches with heavy ice spell? They are part bug after all. Would that permanently harm/disfigure them? Would a heavy lightning blast/shock palm knock them out without killing them? Would getting impaled in the gut incapacitate them?
>>4129502>Can we freeze/totally immobilize these bitches with heavy ice spell?Might be possible, you'll need to spend a heavy fire spell first. >Would that permanently harm/disfigure them?There's always a risk when it come to battle!>Would a heavy lightning blast/shock palm knock them out without killing them? Maaaaybe. These things are so very hard to judge~>Would getting impaled in the gut incapacitate them?No, but it might be enough to force them to back off because it'll certainly make a mark.
>>4129488...hmm. alright, an idea. Blind one with sunlight, then switch the gauntlet to ice for a Devastating Blow!...I'm working on the assumption that scorpion ladies are somewhat less resilient to cold. I wouldn't mind switching the gauntlet to lightning.Okay, really gonna go now. Good night and good luck everyone!
>>4129517Hm, a dramatic choice but valid. Someone's is gonna get cooked. I'll give this one a longer wait because it's... suitably important, opening hostilities like that. You still have your soul arms active, too.
>>4129521I vote we stay on the defensive for a bit longer. Give them one last chance to back down. Once it looks like violence is a question and the answer is yes we can try anon's plan. Can we quickly try feeding Hilde some soul magic with an arm? How vulnerable would that make us?
>>4129540Oh, also, how good are Zhu's instincts in regards to dodging sudden attacks? It sounds like there's a non-zero chance that a sudden attack may hit her.
>>4129540> Can we quickly try feeding Hilde some soul magic with an arm?You can. How much? Small/Medium/High>How vulnerable would that make us?You won't have any trouble there.>>4129542She's good. You've seen her fight often. Both options are fairly different so I'll have to roll in breaking the tie.
>>4129556How good are our reserves? A moderate dose sounds good if we've still got ammo to spare.
>>4129574They still feel fairly good. Though it's starting to drain a little, you're still above 3/4
>>4129583Than dose her. I don't think our magic can actually hurt people unless we want it to.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4129588Alright, then your option is to stay on the defensive and give Hild a dose of pasty magic. >>4129517>>4129588Rolling
Rolled 6 + 3 (1d20 + 3)Defense it is. Give me 1d20.
Rolled 1 (1d20)>>4129607What an interesting result...Time to wait on my players.
>>4129611Oh shit, who crit failed?
>>4129611Damn what is up with these rolls. >>4129620You'll see.The severity will depend on Arawn roll!
If I didn't make it obvious, I need you guys to roll too.
Rolled 7 (1d20)>>4129628Let's see...
>>4129652Spicy...I'll wait for a longer while to see if another player make their roll. Around 30 minutes.
Rolled 14 (1d20)>>4129607
Rolled 20 (1d20)>>4129607>>4129628Please no bads
>>4129663Oh come on.
>>4129665It's ok, you'll get your chance some day.
>>4129663The Emperor protects!
Rolled 2 - 2 (1d6 - 2)Forgot the measurement roll for your bait spell.
Medium spell used. You're starting to feel a noticeable emptiness in your reserve now.When silence fell, tension grew. The surrounding noises of busy crews containing the rapidly growing blaze and the constantly ringing bell almost sounded far away; the two monsters looked to each other silently, then back to you and Hildegarde and you understood that hostility was inevitable. Nobody was willing to budge, compromise or negotiate. Grasping your shield firmly, you shook your head when you crossed eyes with both Mamonos who stood tall above you, their initial body giving them height and reach.The one on your left -Stone Face- suddenly charged you, swinging her crescent greatsword with strength and speed proper to her race: you barely had a second to brace when her blade collided with your shield at a sharp angle, causing a genuine inward protrusion with an infernal noise of scratching metal. Your entire body would have been carried by the blow had you not been reinforced! On your right flank, Hildegarde ran forward but was quickly forced back by two snaps of her opponent pincers, the creature almost slithered forward, carried by her six strong legs to swung her blade in a murderous downward slide toward the maid that hadn't quite gotten out of the way! ''Hild!'' you managed to shake off your foe by slapping your shield right in her face, raw desperation fueling enough strength to overpower her. This bought you only two forward steps but ti was enough for your soul arms; you rushed out with the one that wasn't enchanted by your magic and somehow colliding with the side of the blade, deflecting it out of Hildegarde way, giving her the precious second she needed to retreat safely beside you where you touched her with your magical bait, the entire spell disappearing inside of her body.''Wha!?'' She choked in confusion but there was no time to talk because moving shadows and you brace for another assault...''Yeeeeeeeah!' ...Zhu suddenly landed not too far from you, having climbed onto the roof of the nearby shack and jumped from it. Her bright golden blade slashing in a wide arc that completely whiffed its mark as the enemy she aimed for -Stone Face- showed impressive agility by walking back then lunging forward with her deadly tail!''Duck!'' Was all you could scream and thankfully your companion well-honed reflex had her trust your command. Draping your shield over her back, the deadly stinger of the scorpion stabbed the metal uselessly.That would have entered her spine otherwise.''Wew, guess that's a strike against doing cool things.'' Zhu laughed as she snuck past your shield to stand further back, next to Hildegarde. You quickly imitated her as the two Girtablilu regrouped, standing side by side instead of their previous stance, likely intimidated by the swordswoman dramatic (and failed) arrival.
''Ladies, ladies, we've got a godly sun waiting near the gate. What the fuck do you think you two be doing by raising a ruckus?'' Zhu said, cackling and taunting the pair of warriors. People had begun to congregate around the fight now, both fearful and curious to see what was happening''You okay?'' You asked Hildegarde who wasn't tearing her gaze away from the scorpions. ''Better than earlier, whatever you did helped.'' She replied sternly. ''I've got an idea of their speed and reach now...'' ''Just come along quietly you fucks.'' The pretty-faced Girtablilu growled. ''Anyone who so much as touched her ship before setting it on fire will need the Eldest personal attention and that's final!'' ''You bitches are looking to get carved right and proper huh? You weren't there to listen to what our shiny little one said to your fellow bug-people who tried similar shit.'' Zhu spat, giving the two royal guards genuine pause. The way she tapped your arm made you realize she was lying, buying time for you to form a plan. ''Making a big opsie right now, The Supreme is gonna have to handle your bullshit at this rate.'' ''Our lives already belong to The Blood. They'll dispense it as they see fit.'' Replied the stone-faced Mamono (her companion didn't look so confident), Zhu was speaking loudly enough to be heard by the crowd that had now erupted into tense chatter, several voices even began to scream ''Don't awaken our Supreme!''.Zerase was equally feared and revered, no doubt about that.''Stubborn fools... don't worry I fight without weapons. Those swords aren't as sharp as I thought now that I saw the damage on your shield.'' Hildegarde said, looking to be... skipping in place? She was bouncing gently, avoiding stepping on the same wooden plank that, you realize, were starting to bear distinctive blackened marks. Her entire body was also starting to feel hot, extremely so in fact, without a single droplet of sweat. Her worsening temperature made standing next to her genuinely uncomfortable, she might start another blaze by simply standing there at this rate! Guess that explain how those burnt marks in the slave pen.''Can you do magic at a distance?'' You asked, she shook her head.''I don't do magic.'' She replied simply, keeping her gaze on the scorpions. ''This is your last warning!'' Stone Face swung her greatsword with enough strength and speed to cause an audible strident noise of steel. ''Come along to see her majesty or die.''
>Continue fighting defensively and send someone back toward the gates to warn Banu and Zhu. That'll be the best way to avoid killing someone... (Hildegarde/Zhu) (Keeping you entire trio on the defensive is also possible)>Launch an all-out magical assault to preface your companion's own offensive. Those scorpions are clearly expecting to be the aggressors, teach them otherwise. (Precise what you want to do).>There's an opening now, the pair of royal guards are on your eastern flank, you can run away northward and hopefully meet with your little Sun.>Free.The success of your roll has been amplified because you acted in a defensive/protective manner You have acquired the perk Shield Adept.Grant a permanent +1 modifier to any melee or defensive rolls when equipped with a medium-to-large shield. Probably too late to continue today, really want to keep my average of 3 answers/day though... But I think we can do our rolls and choices tonight. Really wanted to end our thread after Ensan trial but events... might swing in another direction so we'll see how things go!
>>4129887Zhu crit failed again!? That's three fucking times in a *row* now! I think she needs to go back to working on the fundamentals. She clearly needs to practice actually not fucking up and dying on us!
>>4129902Now now, don't bully her too much.
>>4129906So if I'm reading this correctly Banu and Shereen are at the gates to the city? Looks like whatever they found in the sanctum has forced them to try and escape early and they sent Zhu to get us. I'm betting Ensan intends to sacrifice one of us in a blood ritual, have us duel another Greater Daemon by our lonesome, or worse.Are we and the ugly bug bitches currently over the water on this dock? How good are these scorpions at swimming? I'd bet not very. Is Hilde's condition improved enough to fight at full efficiency?I'll bully her all I like because she's actively *trying* to die at this point. Three, three crit fails in a friggin' row damnit. For a supposed badass Khornate Berserker she's decidedly unimpressive as a combatant. She'd be a paraplegic now if it wasn't for us rolling 20 for fucks sake!
>>4129945>Banu and Shereen are at the gates to the city?Technically, the gates don't lead to the city proper since there's still a good 10 minutes of walk before going into Marleon but yeah, they're waiting there.>Are we and the ugly bug bitches currently over the water on this dock?Yeah, the wooden ground is fairly extensive.>How good are these scorpions at swimming? Let's say they are heavy. >Is Hilde's condition improved enough to fight at full efficiency?She look confident. Can't deduce anything else.Please, Khornate Berserkers are the biggest jobbers around. They die too fast to matter, Zhu is better!
>>4129953>We're over water and they're in half plate and heavy to boot.Hehehe, how very interesting. How much space are they taking up currently? How far away from us are they? What element is best for outright destroying the very ground they stand upon to send them plummeting to the depths of Davy Jones locker before they can react? How close are they to the edge of the dock? Would a nice hard shove or area denial attack result in them becoming painfully aware of their lack of buoyancy?At least the Berserkers can actually land a hit in melee without hurting themselves. Something Zhu has yet to do when it counts.
>>4129988>Hehehe, how very interesting. How much space are they taking up currently?About 2 meters side by side, being generous here since they have quite a few additional limbs.>How far away from us are they?3 meters, they'll be close enough to strike in a few seconds. >What element is best for outright destroying the very ground they stand upon to send them plummeting to the depths of Davy Jones locker before they can react?Lightning but you're stuck with fire for now. Remember the gauntlet rules! >How close are they to the edge of the dock?A good 12 meters, this is a pretty damn big dock despite the fact it can only anchor a small amount of ships. >Would a nice hard shove or area denial attack result in them becoming painfully aware of their lack of buoyancy?Hm, I'm a bit reluctant to give suggestions as a qm. I think you can be inventive with your capabilities.Zhu solo'd the herald. Apologize right now!
>>4130002I assume we have until tomorrow afternoon to vote but for now I've hit fuck it. If lightning is the best option we switch to it and use the resulting heavy blast to utterly obliterate the ground they stand upon. Hell, if we can manage it, just blow that whole section out for a guaranteed bug dunking. They're also guaranteed to be hit by the AoE of that so they'll get tazed at any rate. Err, how big of an AoE are we talking with a heavy lightning spell? Can we use alternate fuel to do something interesting? What would a "homing" heavy blast do to these favorite survival food entrees?I'll apologize if and when she manages to actually kill something of note without dying or being disabled for a few days. Popping off some gang bangers and Ensan's personal bitch boy ain't all that impressive if I'm being honest.
>>4130036I'd like to resolve the choice tonight but if it happen tomorrow, so be it.> If lightning is the best option we switch to it and use the resulting heavy blast to utterly obliterate the ground they stand uponYou need to sue a heavy magical fire spell BEFORE the switch anon, so in this case you can try to obliterate the ground the stand on with a big ol fireball. >Err, how big of an AoE are we talking with a heavy lightning spell?Depend entirely on what type of spell you make, if you really concentrate on aoe you can make tendrils erupt out of your fingers for a controlled burst. Or just launched a big bolt to cause an equally big boom. >Can we use alternate fuel to do something interesting?Not in this case, not trained with the gauntlet well enough. And you don't have any material. >What would a "homing" heavy blast do to these favorite survival food entrees?Please don't eat the good scorpion's ladies. As for a homing blast... it'd just be redirecting your magic mid-flight somewhat. She's not at fault, the dices are. Being wild and unpredictable has its highs and lows. You don't want her believing Arawn thinks poorly of her capabilities right?
>>4130050I thought switching resulted in a high energy build up (i.e. a heavy spell) that has to be released quickly and what is released is the new attunement. When Zhu pressed the button a few threads back we went from lightning to fire with us having to vent a fire blast into the open ceiling. Same when we switched it back to lightning later with a lightning blast.Oh Arawn still thinks highly of her, but I don't. I'll honestly be surprised if she manages to survive this encounter with her ability to walk intact.
>>4130066Fuck me, rereading my notes prove me wrong. The gauntlet enters a sort of overdrive state after pressing the button and need a heavy spell to ''settle'' into an element. You're right, you CAN switch into lightning right now.At this rate she'll rape Arawn in bed. Rolling a few 1s mean nothing, she got out of them fine!
>>4129887My opinion of Ensan lowers even more as we interact with her moons. Not even an attempt to settle things with words.>>4130050What about a wave of fire instead of a fireball? push them back so we can hit them with potentially non-lethal attacks.
>>4130093>What about a wave of fire instead of a fireball?You can always try anon. If you think it'll be effective, go for it. Making a wave is possible with the gauntlet.
>>4130087Oh, then aim the lightning bolt for their legs like >>4130036 said. If we hit then they can't move well, if we miss the ground explodes underneath them.
>>4130087She'll roll a 1 like she always does and fail at that too.>>4130106That's another possibility. Say we wanna make a flamethrower spell. How long can we keep spraying hot napalm death per spell tier?
>>4130116>Say we wanna make a flamethrower spell. How long can we keep spraying hot napalm death per spell tier?1 round for a medium, 2 round for a strong spell.1 round = 6 secondsNot marking weak because it won'T be enough to do anything. So far you guys are leaning toward a crackling bolt.That's it. Arawn is getting raped.
>>4130118Not with those rolls he's not.
>>4130431Ouch.Not gonna lie, I'm kinda miffed about those jobbing rolls because that's starting to break Zhu character by now. She's supposed to be much more ferocious and deadly in battle, I tried to keep that during the pig fight despite those fails but for that to happen again now... Well, good thing you guys had a crit because I don't like to make people suffer! I might rethink a few things when it comes to rolling for her cause that consistent bad luck is feeling invasive.Oh well, for now we'll continue tomorrow. I think we got one hard vote for a lightning bolt.
>>4130449>I don't like to make people sufferLies, damn dirty lies. You love suffering and we all know it.In some systems crit fails actually result in XP (provided you survive the result). Perhaps Zhu is learning something from all this. That she's survived 3 in a row during extreme danger may also qualify her for a fate point.I'm betting the armor these bugs are wearing is enchanted to resist magic somehow. So I guess my plan is the best option. We stand in the full light of the heavens, time to open the gates of hell!
I'll support blowing out the pier(?) from under the scorpion bitches.I had an idea myself but it'd probably take a bit too much set-up and the scorpions are probably strong enough to not be too bothered by it.>>4130118>That's it. Arawn is getting raped.*Oh no?!*Maybe we'll FINALLY get a room with a lock on the door.
Rolled 3 - 2 (1d6 - 2)>>4130985>>4130518Bolting it is. Give me 1d20 Might be unable to post today due to a bad bout of insomnia, I'll try though.There won't be any doors where you're going.
>>4131017Wait aahh shite, I'm using the 4chan app Mimi which, for SOME reason I'll never fathom, doesn't support dice rolling.Gimme a moment, I need to swap to mobile browser. IP change, hooo!>spoilerThe god of doors has betrayed me.
Rolled 11 (1d20)>>4131017Okay here we go.Please no whammy
>>4131055A disgustingly average result! I guess I can wait a little while for more rolls. I'll give it another hour.
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>4131017Swing and a miss!
>>4131102Zhu isn' the only jobber huh?
>>4131102I'm gonna just stop rolling for a while, the monster hunter threads sucking all the luck outta me.
>>4131110Now now, don't be like that.Giving it another 20ish minutes, part of me wonders if I should make the last of Arawn rolls but I think it's better to just take the highest available.
Rolled 18 (1d20)>>4131017This ends now!
>>4131135Saviour! Thor be praised!
>>4131135Fuck yeah! Indignation!
I should have stayed in bed. Heavy bolting the wooden ground it is.
>>4131144Y'know, I'm starting to get the distinct feeling that all DC's for combat with our elf are 15 and above. With all the desperate fights he's been in so far you'd think he'd have gotten better at violence by now.
Heavy spell used. A noticeable chunk of mana is gone.''Don't rush out yet.'' You whispered a warning at the women beside you. ''I've got something to deliver first.''There wasn't time to explain yourself; the pair of scorpions were steadily approaching after their warning, showing impressive synchrony by walking at a selfsame speed, holding their blades similarly, pincers forward. The addition of Zhu as a menace had slowed their aggression but they weren't going to stop either, nobody wanted to back down...Pushing a certain button with your nose caused an immediate reaction. Your gauntlet began to vibrate as it automatically began to absorb magical energy, the gems on your palms glowered as your power flowed into them, filtering into each element that needed to be settled by your conscious mind. by the time you stretched out your hand toward your enemies, blue lightning crackled along the length of the metal and a fearsome, thick loud bolt of raw energy surged forward in a perfect replica of nature rage. The scorpions were quick on their feet and jumped away in separate direction upon seeing the flash of light but the sheer devastation of your spell wasn't going to be mitigated so easily. The ground exploded upon meeting with your thunderous bolt. Bits and pieces of hard wooden plank treated to resist water and foul weather flow in all direction, jolts of lighting spread in a brief circle that ate into the fabric of the wood itself as the magical ''sticky'' thunder lingered for a second, long enough to significantly weaken the area beyond the hole where both Mamonos landed clumsily, half their body slipping in the water as the shockwave from the thunder had broken their balance.''Shit!'' One greatsword went into the water as the prettier scorpion heavy pincers grabbed onto the wooden floor and broke right through, she went down like an anvil, swallowed by the beautiful blue ocean. Her partner fared better because her human half landed on more solid ground, her stinger was stabbing the deck for more purchase but all the heavy splashes of her weightier lower body made it obvious going out would be a struggle. ''My head is ringing.'' Hildegarde deadpan delivery was almost worthy of a chuckle. ''Let's go for the gates!'' That was a little -too- effective. The nearby crowd had erupted into a small panic after your spell, the open violence combined with the ungodly loud clap of thunder (that had definitely reverberated into the palace) had been enough incentive to make Mamonos understand to get out of the way as you and the girls ran.You wondered, briefly, how Throne Town Mamonos would have reacted to this mess.--
Getting out of the port allowed you to witness a worrying sight. Regular palace guards lined the entrance and a few wordlessly crossed paths with you to assist in curtailing the chaos alongside helping stop the rapidly quickening blaze engulfing the Eternal, growing beyond the cargo hold to affect the second deck now. The gate itself was, thankfully, looking normal. A small line of caravans was being inspected and the heavy iron door remained open as business continued at an understandably slower pace. Shereen and her veteran Moon stood away from it all in a spot that wouldn't bother anyone, Banu had a backpack strapped onto her back. ''See?'' Shereen said as you approached. ''I told you bringing one of those things would be useless, now's not the time to be run...W-who!? Why is there someone naked? What in the world have you been up to you dirty, lustful Moon!? Fire and nakedness!?'' Seems Hildegarde was pretty good at hiding behind your back.''Long story.'' You said, glancing at the pale, doll-like naked beauty. ''She was imprisoned inside Ensan boat, did you two find anything of worth?'' ''Awawa... She needs clothes!'' Your little Sun completely ignored your stress and ran toward a caravan. Bless her heart; even if things are liable to grow out of control fast. ''We found the princess.''''Anais is here!?'' Hildegarde interrupted the older woman and would have taken off running toward the palace had Zhu not grabbed her arm. Whatever heat phenomenon that had inhabited the pale bodyguard had lessened, thankfully.''All you'll earn by going there is misery. Your small treasure is inside the heart of the palace, even the queen keeps tabs on her so don't be stupid.'' Zhu words alone might not have been enough to stop the maid but the sudden emergence of six Girtablilu in full armors (and helmets) all but bursting out of the palace grounds. None of them were painted red, where is Ensan favored scorpion-woman...?
''Kicked the hornet nest.'' Banu commented with admirable placidity. This woman is made of stones.''Would the royal guards dare strongarm one of the Blood so openly!?'' You didn't have any time, this group of scorpions will be upon you within minutes! ''Zerase favor her eldest.'' Banu calm was an oasis, a splash of vital cold water to soothe your nerves. ''There won't be a better chance for our escape. To avoid unneeded agony for both princesses and to save this new arrival life, we need to leave ''Shit...Shit! Shereen has worked up enough courage and guts to confront her sister publicly, you can't... you shouldn't rob that opportunity from her. Escape is also going to cause unknown repercussions in Throne Town, won't that put Fortune in danger? Won't that make Sieglinde job that much harder!?But... Staying will put Hildegarde in untold dangers. She was inside that shadowy realm for a reason, Ensan is going to put her inside again or do something even worse. And what is she going to do to her little sister now that you've set her prized warship on fire? Shereen must have stood her ground while going inside the inner compound of her home, even Ensan must understand her kin newfound resolve now... Right? Sending Hildegarde through the gate won't give her any chances. She'd be completely naked, alone, in a foreign land with a mission to go back into the palace...''Here!'' Shereen stepped next to you with a noticeable red spot on her cheek and faced Hildegarde. In her furred hands was a long red curtain; the merchant she'd taken it from was kneeling in what looked to be gratitude with a pair of guards looking on in disapproval. ''We should be able to make a toga by folding it around.'' Gnnnh...! What now!? What now!? >Leave. Now. The gate is open, you've got to save Anais bodyguard! Join with Klesiah>Stand your ground with your little sun and confront Ensan. This isn't something you should run away from.>Something else...? No, there's nothing else you can do! (Free)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cwaWybHkuEChoose carefully. You need to act on the information you have right now.
>>4131342>>Leave. Now. The gate is open, you've got to save Anais bodyguard! Join with KlesiahUnless they decide to kill her, more help on that front is coming soon so we should stick to the plan.Though we could possibly send Hildegarde to Fortune, with a note explaining what we are doing and why she is there.
>>4131351You won't have enough time to do that before the scorpions are upon you. Giving her that note can happen later.
>>4131342So we consigned the pretty scorpion to death by drowning? Damnit, the stone faced bitched deserved to die horribly in the depths not her!So Zerase favors Ensan? That means she'll back whatever play she makes in regards to Shereen's suffering. This also means she's aware of who Anais is and clearly gives no fucks about the painfully obvious implications. Hilde probably tried a surprise attack on the cunt and ate death pearl magic for her trouble so if we stay she is most definitively dead.Are we going to have to fight *six* fucking elite guards if we try to run? Will we have time to stop by the Vigil and Fortune's place to warn them about all this BS? I'd hate to leave her and her crew to be blindsided by the combined wrath of Ensan and Zerase after her help with Porky.
>>4131363>So we consigned the pretty scorpion to death by drowning?They're more resourceful than you think. Not exactly swimmer but... they'll survive and there's plenty of sailors around. >So Zerase favors Ensan? This is what Banu said and you know her disposition toward Shereen family.>Are we going to have to fight *six* fucking elite guards if we try to run?No, you'll be running. The caravans are all lined up, the scorpions are too big to fit on the sides so it's genuinely your best chance to run away. >Will we have time to stop by the Vigil and Fortune's place to warn them about all this BS?You'll get to decide that later.
>>4131375Banu has disdain for Zerase and Ensan correct? Did they try to inform mommy dearest of who Anais was? Like I said, obvious implications/consequences to kidnapping and enslaving the heir to a foreign throne. If Zerase was cool with that than she's behind Ensan 100 percent and thus we have nothing to gain by staying save for failing to wound Shereen's pride.I'm a pragmatist, honor and pride can suck it in a pinch. About how fast will news and orders propagate from the palace after all this shit gets resolved? Like I said, we got a few things to do before making our way to the blueberry. Hopefully Hilde can be convinced to help us. She's an anti-eldritch horror humanoid weapon system I gather. That should be a match for a disciple of Ama and we need those to even the odds on this suicide mission.
>>4131390>Banu has disdain for Zerase and Ensan correct?Yeah.>Did they try to inform mommy dearest of who Anais was? You don't have time to ask that.>About how fast will news and orders propagate from the palace after all this shit gets resolved?It entirely depend on how the new itself spread. Something like Ensan boat being on fire is impossible to contain but whatever else will entirely depend on what the royals do and if you also say anything about that. I'm starting to run out of steam so I'm unsure if I have enough fuel in me for another update today. This is an important choice too, so I'll leave it open for longer; our thread will end soon. I'll need a little breather!
>>4131406My question is more in regards to the city. Thanks to a lack of radio or telepathic communication all orders will have to be relayed by runners and that takes time to propagate.How much? If we run we'll be getting an APB on our ass and we'll want to be outside the city walls with any allies who're willing to come by the time the whole damn city's looking for us. Thank God the commoners like Shereen because that'll give us a bit of extra lag time as they won't be as eager to rat her out and/or more likely to trust her.Also, we got a minute or two before the scorpions are on us right? Could we ask them a yes/no question like "Did Zerase care about who Anais is?" Finally, if we decide to run, assume that red scorpion bitch is waiting in ambush either within or on the way towards the city. Ensan's a sociopath, an intelligent one I'm afraid and that's very bad for us. She may have anticipated an escape plan.Hot damn can that girl rock lingerie. Truly some top tier civilization.
>>4131439And if we absolutely can't get out i'm sure that fortune would have some ideas that we haven't thought of.
>>4131439>How much?You'll have to find out. >Also, we got a minute or two before the scorpions are on us right?About a minute.>Could we ask them a yes/no question like "Did Zerase care about who Anais is?"In all honesty, you don't. It might sound unfair, but this is really a moment to act first before speaking. Asking something like that will cause... interruptions in the group and you can't afford that.I do wish I had more excuses to post Altera. Oh well, she'll be fitting for another heroine for another quest I'd say.>>4131448Sound to me like we'll be running away. I'll aim to update tomorrow, lacking a bit too much energy today. Lots and lots of things have happened so far, got into lots of fights!
>>4131342>>Leave. Now. The gate is open, you've got to save Anais bodyguard! Join with Klesiah
>>4131460Well, my instincts say cheese it then. The fallout from running is better than even the best cases for staying. Not the least of which is Hilde's guaranteed death. Likely slow and in front of Anais who will be made to watch so as to break her spirit. She's got lots, but I bet she loves Hilde like an aunt or a big sister. You can't just shrug off that level of trauma no matter how tough you are emotionally.Warn the vigil, warn Fortune, and tell them that if they want to continue to serve the only good thing about the blood they're welcome to come along. We've got a rebellion to stop and a Poison Fox's plans to thwart. Likely stops Fortune's prophecy of doom if we succeed too so hey, bonus.
So we run.
Yyeeaah, I can't think of any good resons to stay. It sucks for Anais but were in no position to help her. Time to get the hell out of Dodge.Also, this classic is exceedingly fitting right now:https://youtu.be/5FjWe31S_0gZerase doesn't necessarily know who Anais is. Her favouring Ensan just means that the Supreme will accept whatever bullshit Ensan's fed her at face value.I hope that is the case, but it is still guessing. Nothing to take risks for.Does anyone in Arawn's friend group think that the elf is a trouble magnet yet?
Putting your mace into its harness dangling from your waist, you exchanged a nod with Banu and she wordlessly understood, setting forth near the caravans to create a path, something she must have wanted to do for a long, long time indeed. Hildegarde barely had enough time to grab the curtain offered by your little sun when you grabbed the Anubis by the waist.''Waaauuugh!? What are you doing!? Let me down!'' She immediately resisted the moment you touched her, hefting her over your shoulder remained easy even as her legs swung a little too wildly, knocking your face and chest. ''What's happening? What are-!?'' You and the other two women were already moving when Shereen saw the rapidly approaching squad of scorpions. Forced into a file, everyone ran into the makeshift corridor and exited the open gate under the befuddled expressions of nearby guards who, unlike the Girtablilu, weren't keen on trying to stop one of the Blood and her entourage no matter how silly or suspicious things looked. The caravans were going to make an excellent roadblock. With soul reinforcement affecting everyone, running outside and down the road happened quickly enough to force a momentary silence out of Shereen as she realized she wasn't about to get some answer now that everyone was sprinting feverishly. You and the girls set out into the long, lonely road of the palace that connected with the capital. --''Damn it let me down!'' Shereen wiggled her butt in a vain attempt to squirm out of your grasp, slapping your face with her fluffy tail. ''What do you all think to be doing!? We've gotta go back, nobody would dare do anything to one of the Blood! And we can't just ignore my sister's second trial!'' By now you've run for a solid 5 minutes of uninterrupted, desperate sprinting. The oppressive heat of noon was bearing down on your like a blanket, sweat poured out of every inch of your body and while you could continue, pausing for breathing was going to be... a welcome respite. There was also the fact there were no visible pursuers, possibly because you've made good grounds already.''Phew, shit.'' Zhu wasn't faring any better than you in term sweat. ''Dunno who you are but man, not even a hint of puffing?'' Hildegarde was folding the curtain around her body(it wasn't going to be adequate clothing by any means but it was much better than nothing), looking dirty because of the nearby sands but also fit as a fiddle. Even Banu needed to catch her breath. ''I need to know what happened to Anais right now.'' She ordered, glaring at the one-eyed swordswoman. ''I have no idea what's happening but I can at least deduce that she's in that palace, it's my duty to-!''''We don't have time for that.'' Banu interrupted. ''Ensan and Zerase have some kind of interest in her. At the very least, you can be assured that her life won't be wasted.''
''Arawn let me down damn you!'' Shereen slapped your face again, almost causing a sneeze when her tail tickled your nose. ''You Moons need to listen to me! Let's go back, we have to! I won't... I won't let Ensan think Rupert murder was free, damn it!''''I'm sorry, Shereen.'' Banu dropped all pretense of calling her ''your majesty'' now. ''We won't, maybe our lives will remain to us because of our connection to you but this newcomer will not enjoy such privilege.'' ''Then make her a temporary Moon! How could you not figure that out so easily!?'' That trick won't work twice. ''Damn it let me go! This is... overreaction! Insubordination!'' Hopefully, she won't come to regret your deactivated collars. ''People coming!'' Zhu suddenly yelled and that would have been enough to send you all running but the coming group was coming from the front, out of Marleon, rounding the blindspot of a hill, instead of coming from the palace direction.Walking ahead was the Mamonos you assumed to be Ensan favored agent, the red-painted Girtablilu armed with a big shield and a halberd she held in one hand. Behind her, walking at a brisk yet uncomfortable pace, was Naveed entire squad of militias.''So that's what she was aiming for.'' Banu stated. It was undeniable now, Ensan ''trial'' was going to use people Shereen had been friendly with. The Anubis on your shoulder awkwardly twisted her body to observe the coming group, sincere horror completely dousing her anger. The young man walking in front of his squad waved in friendly acknowledgment as they came to a stop when the scorpion stopped walking and, without warnings, the red-painted woman jumped out of the way and ran into the dusty plain with amazing speed, carried into a dizzying momentum by her six legs.''What the hell is she doing!?'' Zhu barked, waving her deactivated weapon in the scorpion general direction.''Something smart.'' Banu responded. ''Let's not waste more time.'' Running after that woman and killing her would remove an important enemy... but you can't risk chasing her. Your group quickly joined with the suitably upset squad of militias.''What's happening?'' The lamia who was normally so quiet and composed demanded. ''I had a very bad feeling when a representative of the Eldest demanded our presence and for us to gather by noon, seem like it was warranted. As always.'' ''Simin.'' Naveed interjected sharply. ''Show respect to her shining majesty. The Blood business isn't for us to know.'' ''I'm afraid you'll have to worry now.'' Banu responded, glancing at Shereen who had grown completely silent. You decided to hand her to Zhu, your equipment made it much more difficult for your little sun to get comfortable. ''Your association with Shereen has put you all in great danger, I'm truly sorry.'' Banu bowed her head, her stony demeanor made it difficult for her sincerity to show.
''Knew it.'' The lamia shook huffed exasperatedly. ''Moons and their bullshit always ruin everything their touch, I told you Naveed, one of the Blood is BAD news!'' The young man promptly backhanded her in the face.''You were free to leave that night Simin, I gave you the choice to accept the responsibility that came with associated with her youngest majesty or leave.'' A welling up of tears shone on the snake-lady pretty face as immediate regret filled her but frustration also remained and she huffed in anger, turned around and slithered near her female friends who looked horrified at what was happening. ''I'm sorry.'' Shereen whispered in such a quiet, broken-hearted voice that it was unlikely anybody but you, Hildegarde and Zhu heard. ''Today meeting is adjourned then?'' Asked Naveed.''It is, we've got to go into the city... perhaps separately, it might be wiser.'' Banu continued.''Is that so?'' ''Everyone whose seen with Shereen now will be... endangered.'' Banu answer was delivered with such cold firmness that no retort was possible. ''Maybe it'd be best to avoid seeing Fortune in person but she also needs to be informed.''''It'd be possible to avoid crowds by using the alleys.'' Naveed responded, casting a glance at his people and giving them an encouraging smile. ''We've already triumphed over a crisis, I'd like to continue that trend together.'' A dependable young man makes for a precious ally... There's no time to waste. The royal guards likely didn't pursue any furthers because of a need to receive some kind of instructions after exiting the gates but that doesn't mean Ensan wouldn't be reacting swiftly. >You should find Fortune right away, she as to be warned of what's about to happen, perhaps you can strategize something... Speaking to her face to face should help.>It might be heartbreaking, but you can't afford to waste any time. You can inform Naveed and his squad of what happened today in the palace and he, in turn, can see to his people safety with Fortune help but you need to buy provision and leave the capital, NOW. >Free
>>4133008>You should find Fortune right away, she as to be warned of what's about to happen, perhaps you can strategize something... Speaking to her face to face should help.Fortune should have a good idea of the area so she should be able to help simplify the search times, and what we would need to get to wherever we are going and back, the last thing we would want to do is run out of supplies in a desert while there are people looking for us.
>>4133008>You should find Fortune right away, she as to be warned of what's about to happen, perhaps you can strategize something... Speaking to her face to face should help.
>>4133008I fucking called it. Hope this douses whatever love Shereen had left for Ensan. In what direction did the red bug run? Was it towards where Fortune's base is? Damn I was hoping we'd get to kill her. She may have had a universal wand on her and that'd be most useful.I'd assume any merchant we get seen purchasing wares from will get fucked along with their whole extended family because Ensan's that much of a cunt. Since Fortune's fucked no matter what we do now I'm leaning towards going for her using the back alleys Naveed mentioned. She's got access to the black market, so covertly acquiring provisions would be possible with her help. Also, she might know a secret way out of the city (her gang's focused on mercantile/white collar crime, smuggling's a part of that).If we leave through a gate they'll send harpies in that direction and catch up to us fast once they nab our location and direction. Naveed's only a soft counter and that's only so long as his ammo (we can be too, but lightning blasts broadcast general direction for miles). We'll need Elina to truly be safe from them and she's not gonna be here for another day or two I believe. How much provisions did Banu pack by the way? She must have at least brought camping supplies and a few bags of gems right?Also, this may finally give me confirmation as to my conspiracy theory about Fortune. No more use in keeping a disguise now after all.
>>4133072>In what direction did the red bug run?Palace.>How much provisions did Banu pack by the way? She must have at least brought camping supplies and a few bags of gems right?Mostly cash, acquiring provisions in the palace would be far too suspicious so she brought enough money to start a new life.What theory is this?
>>4133091Ah, so she's off to inform her master that shit has officially gone south in yet another way. Damnit, that APB is gonna get sent out faster than I'd have hoped. Cowardly bitch, she should have stood her ground and died in glorious combat with our party!To put it bluntly, Fortune is Deruella. The timeline fits and blood magic likely allows for disguises that pass even the most rigorous of screenings. After all, to fool your enemies, you must first fool your friends.
''Alright, lead the way, young man. We've got plenty to unravel and very little time, let's hope Fortune isn't busy because we'll need to leave quickly.'' He nodded and pointed down the road his group went through. ''Oh, Simin?'' You continued before people set out. ''I do not speak for my sun, but I understand your frustration. I'm sorry that we've... imposed this situation on you and those you cherish, I'm sure we'll be able to work something out with Fortune.''''Ah...'' Your frankness took her aback. ''Sorry for that slap.'' Naveed added, offering her his hand. ''Things got heated but that's no excuse. Find a way to punish me later, alright?''That extracted a snort out of the lady snake who took his hand, together both of them lead you back into Marleon at a running pace. -- No problems arose from your arrivals. The Blood authority still held outside the palace; no superiors of the militia tried to stop your friend's unusually quick return. Naveed proceeded to lead you down the closest alleyway and through a serpentine amount of roads that easily took a dozen minutes but, outside people living on rooftops, Marleon immense noon crowd was easily dodged. Reaching Fortune area of influence eventually happened after crossing the main road, catching a glimpse of the squirrel motherly tavern keeper at the market briefly squeezed your heart. Surely... Ensan wouldn't do anything to people who provided you a legal service right? Luckily, Fortune was easy to find. Entering the market outside her main administrative building had her people fetch her and you met inside the familiar bar-like second floor. People immediately began to vacate, leaving behind a certain maidenly slimegirl and the tall Manticore beside the sultry, richly vested Fortune.''So is the time of crisis, much sooner than I anticipated; I pulled a crumbling tower thrice today. How quickly do you need to move?'' Her expression remained mystical with almost all of her face hidden behind an opaque veilWere you a believer in fortune-telling you'd be impressed but one doesn't need to be a genius to understand your attitude and deduce your circumstances. ''Up until we get enough provisions for a trip to Mirtydal'' You responded, Fortune leaned toward the manticore beside her.''Right away.'' Said the tall, powerful woman. ''I'll get bags, foods and camping supplies. Give me five minutes.'' Her heavy stomps shook the tables as she disappeared downstairs. In the same moment, Banu handed a handful of precious pearls and cut stones on the table. ''I have no intention of starting the bad habit of cheating allies.'' Responded the graceful gang leader.
''That'll be for all possible expenses in return of services.'' Banu insisted, taking only a second to glance at Shereen who had gone back into her habit of retreating inwardly. Your little sun was completely overwhelmed by current events now. ''Naveed, his squad, their families will need secure locations. Likewise, for that family handling the inn we stayed in; I have no idea if the Eldest intends to systematically eliminate everyone Shereen talked to or simply... piece together her activities.'' That speech convinced Fortune to slide those precious items into her hand, which she extended at the slimy maid who calmly slithered out of sight and into a room. ''I have no idea who anyone is and what's about to happen but there's something I need to make clear to you, at least, Arawn.'' Hildegarde chose this moment to speak, inevitably reducing everyone else into silence. ''Wherever you intend to do, I stay. Princess Anais is in the palace and I will not put more distance between myself and the girl I am sworn to protect.'' ''Hild...'' Your protest felt weak but you had to. ''... You're likely the person in the most danger in the entire country right now. I found you inside Ensan personal boat.'' A little willing slip of information to hopefully help your allies. ''She'll want you most of all, remaining inside Marleon is a terrible idea.''''No, I agree with her.'' Banu inserted herself in the conversation. ''You have to go to Myrtidal and do something about that cult, right? If Hildegarde follows, so will Ensan eyes and, in all likelihood, Zerase. That'll mean an armed contingent at the very least and the Supreme presence at worst. You won't be accomplishing anything then. Marleon is big, one can easily lose themselves here.''Not a single use of we? Interesting use of language there, Banu. ''I know our meeting has been short.'' Banu turned to Hildegarde. ''Making you into bait in keeping Ensan attention is likely the best thing you can do to alleviate your princess suffering. Help for her is already on the way, getting yourself killed uselessly won't help anyone.''''Hrm.'' Hildegarde growled, crossing her doll-like arms and jumped in surprise when the slimegirl returned with proper clothes. ''Sound to me like staying here would be a bad idea for us all.'' Naveed said. Mirtydal is about two days from here...'' ''I think you'd best remain in the city.'' The one-eyed Moon interrupted. ''Help your friends remain safe and your skills will be put to better uses in Marleon. I've heard from people around here that you know theses roofs better than anybody, right?'' ''What the hell are you doing, Banu?'' This time you had to interrupt her. ''We should get away from Marleon, not separate and remain in there!''
The tall woman walked to you with heavy steps, grabbed your collar and leaned close to your ear, whispering carefully to avoid being overheard. ''They aren't prepared to handle Mirtydal situation, especially if an ally of that fox is causing trouble. Their performance against the swine prince was a fluke, Naveed has the best potential out of all of them to handle trouble, but facts remain they'll be more useful in Marleon despite the dangers of being known to Ensan.''''Facts, what facts?'' You retorted. ''Have you so little faith?''She looked at you with her single stare, an icy glare of unshakeable will. ''No meatshield.'' She replied.That... made you wince. You had to admit, that had been the thought you had for Naveed and his squad even if you didn't want to accept it. ''Got two bags.'' The manticore booming voice traveled upstairs, her heavy presence easily announcing itself. She held onto a pair of big backpacks. ''All kinds of good food, water, blankets in there. You guys will have to share one tent though. If you give me another few minutes I can get another backpack.'' Banu shook her head. ''We should move before the Eldest gets into the city, this is more than enough.'' Things were moving fast, no time to wait, no time to relax. Banu took charge so quickly it was dizzying. What in the world happened inside the inner compound? >Banu has the right idea nonetheless. A small group exiting the gates won't attract that much attention, it should give fewer excuses for Ensan to follow you into Mirtydal if Hildegarde isn't with you. >Protest. But say what? Should you bring more people along? Wait longer for more provisions? Try to convince Fortune to lend you some of her people? Surely... she'd have offered that herself.>Free
>>4133367>Banu has the right idea nonetheless. A small group exiting the gates won't attract that much attention, it should give fewer excuses for Ensan to follow you into Mirtydal if Hildegarde isn't with you.Could we at least let Fortune know about the incoming Assault team, so she can prepare ahead of time for them and then head off.
>>4133415Yeah of course. The smaller details can be exchanged quickly, without needing much precisions.
>>4133367Ok, ask Fortune if she knows any smuggling routes out of the city. Like I said, if any actual guards see us leave through a gate, regardless of party composition, we'll have pursuers with a good idea of where we're going.Ensan's got a ton of moons if I remember, she won't exactly need mommy's permission to dispatch a dozen or so of her best to assassinate or capture us. After all, Shereen's likely the only one Mommy would forbid her to kill. The rest of us are fair fucking game.The fact also remains that our current party is woefully underpowered to face multiple Apostles and the horde of peasant rebels they command. Not to mention the fact that the countryside is hostile to the royalty. That Angel will have told them what the royals look like and the bounty is almost certainly "dead or alive" (with alive being worth more for ransom and "lesson teaching" reasons but still). We need more people, strong people, if we want to actually stand a chance to survive this.Also, could we mention that Hilde may have a chance to return a favor? Klesiah and ourselves did help during that moot last year, and this is all almost certainly the fault of that Fox. Fucking up her plans is adequate service to her liege right?
>>4133420Hehehe, actually, if I remember right Ensan and Zerase have no idea how bad it is outside the city for them. Maybe we want Ensan's goons to come after Hilde. Anyone obviously aligned with the royals and nobles will be a prime target for the rebels. The two groups can grind away at each other mutually helping both the cause of us saving Klesiah and Sieg and co. in rescuing Anais.
>>4133420>Ok, ask Fortune if she knows any smuggling routes out of the city. Like I said, if any actual guards see us leave through a gate, regardless of party composition, we'll have pursuers with a good idea of where we're going.She knows about an abandoned house that lead beyond the wall, you'll be able to exit without anyone seeing you. >Ensan's got a ton of moons if I remember, she won't exactly need mommy's permission to dispatch a dozen or so of her best to assassinate or capture us.From what you've seen, most of them are non-combattant. None of the Royal Guards were Moons. (Still afforded special privilege though).>The fact also remains that our current party is woefully underpowered to face multiple Apostles and the horde of peasant rebels they command.Do you trust Ama to make things fair?>Also, could we mention that Hilde may have a chance to return a favor?You can try to convince her... No promises of success.>>4133437Granted, you have no idea what's happening outside and Fortune doesn't have much information about what happened outside her area of influence in the city, let alone stuff happening out of the capital. You're operating blind here, with Banu being rather insistent on getting out asap.
>>4133437Another thing we could do would be stow the collars in the bags for our return if things haven't kicked off by then. , and have Shereen dress down, once we get outside the city limits.
>>4133447From what we've seen, and that's the rub. We haven't seen em' all and you just know she's got more than a few combat monsters at her beck and call. At the very least Mercs are a thing and she's got personal funds for days. Don't need permission to spend one's own fortune after all.So we have a way out without being seen? Good, then we're free to try to convince Hilde and ask Fortune if any of her combatants are up for some mercenary work. Again, we need more fighters if we hope to stand a chance. Ama may be fair in her own personal dealings, but her Apostles are another matter. They can and will stack the deck hard just like they did in Throne Town. We need to counter-stack that shit if we want to win without people dying pointlessly.Could we also give the militias a choice in this? Ask them if they wish to come or stay? I'm also kinda tempted to spill some beans to Fortune. Y'know, in case my conspiracy theory pans out The disguise won't drop unless info pertinent to Deru drops as well. Deep cover blood disguises need triggers to reawaken the original personality if I'm right about them.
>>4133479Hm, so your choice is to linger a little more and try to convince people to follow? So you're essentially doing the second choice. Any special argument you want to put forth in hopefully convincing anyone?>Could we also give the militias a choice in this? Naveed is the only one willing to tag along but he also understands the responsibility to his squad, who would rather stay in the capital.
>>4133500The basic argument is simple yet compelling. There is a rebellion brewing in the countryside led by the Apostles of the Fox of Poisoned Knowledge. Our dearest companion/knight Klesiah is also within their clutches. We intend to stop this civil war before it starts, save our friend, and hopefully thwart the Fox's machinations in the process.There will almost certainly be violence and her Apostles are all top tier combatants. We are strong, but so are they. We need help to make this anything other than a Hail Mary, and any who come with us can be assured of great rewards should we triumph and a death worthy of song at least if we fail. Also, we have an angel inbound a few days out if they're worried about heals. Y'know, might tip the scale with that.
Hm... Kind of wanted to potentially end our thread today because I'm feeling fairly good and I'll be a bit busy tomorrow so but this development is interesting too so I'll give it a wait until tomorrow.If you guys want to add more potential agreement in convincing Hildegarde and/or Fortune then I can count that as a vote. Might be an opportunity for Arawn to sho some eloquence... and maybe break Shereen out of her shock.
>>4133533Oh, just thought of one more pertinent thing. Does Fortune have a change of clothes or some cloaks for all of us? The fact Hilde is now in decent clothing is a big help for her and one of the best ways to throw off any potential tails is to duck into someplace they can't see you real quick (e.g. a bathroom), change your clothes significantly (e.g. dress up or down, change shoe style/type *and* alternate what parts of your outfit are light and dark, etc), and walk right out like you own the joint.People recognize each other at a distance through things like style and color of clothing. Change that someplace they can't see you do it, and they'll lose track of you pretty quickly. We just gotta be sure to hide anything particularly unusual with a hat or something (e.g. our pointy ears, Hilde's white hair if such a color is somewhat unique here, etc).Also, just out of curiosity, does Hilde kinda look like a doll? Y'know, with ball joints and such?
>>4134315> Does Fortune have a change of clothes or some cloaks for all of us?Yeah, those will be coming when you leave. A few cloaks to throw around your heads to help mask your identity s going to be important.>Also, just out of curiosity, does Hilde kinda look like a doll? Y'know, with ball joints and such?No ball joints, her skin has this smooth, porcelain hardness to it that, coupled with her beauty, make Arawn think of her like a doll.No new votes so far. I should be free to write in about two hours so that's when I'll roll a tiebreaker but it'd be helpful to get an actua lvoice. Either get out fast or try to convince folks to follow you into Mirtydal
>>4134460A little tweaking to my little speech then. It'd only take a minute or two to deliver as we *are* on a time crunch I'll admit. If they ask us how we know all this we tell them that Shereen can back us up on all fronts and if they want the whole story they're welcome to come along to hear it on the way to our destination once outside the city (using that secret route so we don't have guard issues). 2-5 minutes tops. Given the shit we pulled, we should still get out of here well before Ensan's goons show up or the APB catches up to us.
I suppose I can try fusing both options together. Updating might take a little while cause I'm not in the best shape but... we'll see. Operating without notes now!
''I know what I'm about to say will sound selfish but please, before we go, hear me out. I won't need more than five minutes.'' Everyone knew that these moments were undeniably critical. Ensan could be delivering messages via harpies to inform Marleon leaderships right now and those flying girls won't need much time to travel between the palace and capital. ''There's a brewing rebellion in Myrtidal caused by an agent of the Fox of Poisoned Knowledge.'' Good thing Ama operate with so many titles, you can dodge her geas fairly easily. ''That's where my Sun and her Moons will be going now, despite the trouble in the palace. We... have a duty to stop it if we can.'' Shereen, who remained motionless next to you, twitched to life, furred ears pointing upward as if she'd heard the rattle of blades and the young militias folks stood at attention; that vixen title carried dreadful importance...''I'm not confident in our chances without help.'' You put it bluntly. ''I have a friend in the clutches of that fox who will be able to help us when we get there but I think... I have no idea how bad things are going to get. I was present in Throne Town assault, I know those people have access to dangerous resources.''''Another bloody rebellion would be disastrous.'' Surprisingly it was Naveed who spoke, his usually friendly face showing unusual ferociousness. ''Nobody can afford a repeat of that conflict five years ago if there's another one brewing why is it that nobody in Marleon is saying anything!?'' ''Nobody cares what happens outside the capital.'' Fortune imposed herself, sliding a finger along the heavy silk covering two-third of her face. ''I can see the fire in you, young man, but I'd advise you to remain with us because your help will be vital as insiders of the militias and competent people who also know how to maneuver in Marleon. I'd like to lend you some of my friends, Arawn.'' Not agents but friends. It did not sound hypocritical either, Fortune truly did care about her people; at least those closest to her. ''However, things in Marleon will likely grow out of control. The nuns have been up to something so I've put them under surveillance and I have to maneuver to take down my rival quickly with the Eldest upcoming powerplay and, in all likelihood, increased pressure from the Vigil.''''People from outside Muribel are coming. Strong folks, friends of mine who would undeniably be willing to help. I'm sure Kreszenz response will happen similarly...'' Fortune bright green eyes looked at you with unwavering spirit.''I have to use all of my resources Arawn, I'm sorry. The Eldest potential violence cannot be predicted; she'll either wear a velvet glove or a spiked gauntlet.'' There was no convincing her and, in all honesty, you didn't know if you should. Fortune wanted to help her country of course but her true priority remained in keeping her people alive: you can't fault that.
Plots were starting to unravel in Marleon now and the ones to handle their climax will, in all likelihood, be the people here and your coming friends.''It's okay.'' Shereen's small voice imposed a respectful silence. ''We will manage, I trust my Moons and I also trust you, Fortune. My sister is... not a good person, I hope you'll be able to do what you need here in the capital.'' There was a fatalistic mood hovering around her, almost like a criminal walking to her execution. ''The kidnapping of princess Anais has... opened such a nest of trouble, I'm sure Ensan will want to keep the capital under control. You're... Anais bodyguard right?'' Her small frame turned toward the almost statuesque Hildegarde who acknowledged Shereen with a nod. ''My meeting with Anais wasn't long but I've realized that she is a strong girl. Despite how my sister toy with her she's... She still has the resolve to be kind and polite, not to lament her fate and believe that not everyone is out to torment her despite her position, despite how my sister must be toying with her mind by using kind servants that'd turn out mean after she let down her guard...'' Hildegarde winced, crossed her arm and frowned with the hostility of a growling wolf as she outright glared at your little sun. ''...but she'll be fine. My mother has some kind of interest with her and she'll never allow my sister indulgence to be too unreasonable. ''You're trying to convince me to tag along.'' Hildegarde's cold voice made Shereen wince. ''I... have a duty to milady.'' ''I know, the first thing she asked me is if you were safe, I had no idea who you even were but... Anais believes you're alive no matter what happened inside that boat.'' Shereen smiled awkwardly. ''I'll admit, I share Arawn's opinion that our chances are likely to be... low in Mirtydal. You'd be helping Fortune if you stayed here, or maybe remain hidden for a while; nobody here will be able to get close to Anais even after infiltrating the palace.''''Making it appear that a white-haired woman is in the city won't be difficult.'' Added the fortune teller''Hrm... You're the youngest princess of Muribel right?'' Hildegarde asked, walking closer to your little sun.''Yes... princess, not a god.'' Naveed noticeably jumped. ''And just now you've become a fugitive, your servants brought you here against your will.'' Hildegarde sounded almost accusatory.''My Moons aren't servants.'' That was one of the sternest replies you must have heard from Shereen. Despite her naturally weak and soft voice, she imposed silence on the grumpy bodyguard. ''I don't understand why either, I think I'd be able to... impose some authority or make my sister listen to me but were here now. This might have been the best way to save your life, Hildegarde. I trust their wisdom, so should you.''
Not getting a final answer on Ensan would likely eat away at her continuously. Of course, from your point of view, it was easy to chalk that bitch as pure evil but Shereen had enjoyed a calm gilded cage up until ambition slowly, but inevitably, brewed in her bosom. She was starting to be imbued with little sparks of charisma now, everyone listened to her words with something more profound than politeness.Hildegarde looked at Shereen for a surprisingly long while, enough for your little sun to grow intimidated. those upright ears flattened adorably and she pawed the air around the maidenly bodyguard awkwardly.''You've left quite the impression last year on milady, Arawn.'' This prompt had you blink in surprise, Hildegarde continued. ''You, a man -an elf- amongst monsters trying his hardest to help a thousand Mamonos he couldn't even speak with; only to somehow reunite his sworn knight in a Moot blessed under Father Sky wisdom...''You'll always wonder if this had been a genuine coincidence or something engineered by Lady White. ''...Milady started to believe kindness can pay itself even if you don't see it happen.'' Hildegarde grunted and shook her head. ''I can't rescue her on my own, might as well do the next best thing.''''You mean?''''Kreszenz is at war with the witch and it seems that Muribel is the battleground.'' Hildegarde shook her head as if disbelieving herself. ''Let's go before I change my mind.'' ''Okay.'' Banu promptly handed her a bag and a shawl. ''Conceal that hair, also Arawn? Catch.'' She threw a heavy bag jingling with coins and precious stones toward you. ''Not everything should be in a single place.'' She pointed to her baggage.''Should I show em the passage out?'' Fortune nodded at the manticore question. ''Aight, got more tissues for those faces and hairs for you guys, maybe it'll fool the harpies.'' ''You guys be careful.'' Naveed said slapping his heart with his fist. ''We haven't been able to know each other yet, but I promise to do my utmost to help take care of her majesty problems here in the capital. Things are growing out of control... and I can assure that the Vigil isn't to be trusted, so we'll have to handle things ourselves.''''Don't die. I promise to help your mother, Yasamin, and Zulaika and I'd... I don't intend to break that promise. I'm sure there will be an opportunity.'' The lizard women didn't say anything, their heavy gaze lingered on Shereen, making her fluffy ears twitch nervously and that was it. The manticore ushered your group of five out of Fortune headquarters and directed you into the back alleys, leading into the southern parts of Marleon. --
An abandoned house near the city wall deep inside one of the many streets that blurred together was the aim of your guide who, producing a key out of her pocket, opened the surprisingly heavy metal door and directed everyone inside and into the completely dark basement. Producing a few lamps out of your baggage allowed you to see the room in detail, which was little more than a big empty square full of debris, fallen bricks and a big piece of discarded concrete that Sonja managed to lift on her own, revealing a hole that led into an underground tunnel. She gently deposited the ''plug'' on the ground without breaking a sweat. ''That path is gonna lead you all outside into the barn of an abandoned farm.'' It wasn't a long drop, Zhu promptly went in first, having no need to fear the darkness. Her boots echoed upward as she touched the ground.''Aight, it doesn't stink! It'll be good for her little shining majesty.'' Hildegarde, holding onto a lamp, silently went in next. Her unusual body produced a noise that reminded you of breaking glass when she landed but, thankfully, there was nothing to fear. ''Whoa, I didn't even hear you fall!'' Zhu commented, earning a satisfied snort out of the maid who was undeniably wanting to press on and swallow whatever regrets she had with tagging along.''Hyack!'' Shereen yelped as she dropped and landed safely on Zhu's arms.''Go in.'' Said the elder Moon, with that usual matronly face that demanded obedience. ''I oughta close the march.'' You gently knocked your shield, this thing had borne quite a bit of damage yet remained more than sufficient for your needs, whoever forged it was a pro. Banu didn't answer, she walked toward the hole and peered inside... Then she grabbed your arm and before you could react, pushed you inside.Thankfully her hold onto your limb prevented any dramatic landing and she let you go the moment you gauntlet lit up with buzzing lightning. ''Banu!?'' ''What the fuck!?''''Granny?'' The only ones who didn't speak were yourself and Hildegarde who stared at the veteran moon with murderous eyes of shiny redness. It'd be easy to get out of this hole by using one another as makeshift ladders, that wasn't the problem. ''Sorry, don't believe me a turncoat, I can't accompany you guys.'' She looked at the manticore who, while impossible to see from here, sounded hostile with all the stomps and growls she kept emitting. ''What do you mean!?'' Shereen voice had this broken shrill to it that made it hard to listen, both physically and emotionally. Especially in such confined grounds.''Nobody else knows the inside of the palace and how your sister operates better than me, Shereen.'' Banu slowly unwrapped her bag and let it down gently. ''Arawn allies will need a liaison, someone who can join them with Fortune forces quickly and avoid any misunderstanding, that way we'll be able to plan Anais rescue.''
''That doesn't matter! Arawn has enough magic for another communication, we can inform them all about Fortune in better details later tonight!'' Shereen tried to fight her way out of Zhu grasp but the swordswoman remained ironclad, her single chromatic eye wide open, glowing a faint luster in all the darkness. ''Hey, grandma, why is it that you've got this... white glow in your chest?''!?This took Banu aback and she went to pat the general area of her solar plexus. This silence also made Shereen calm down somewhat, confused by the sheer strangeness of this statement. ''I'm under a contract, I can't leave the city.'' Banu tone was firm, yet soft. Her expression looking peaceful and warm in the orange glow of the lamps, her smile was genuine... ''Only dark forces answered my prayers and I decided to help set-up her game in exchange for a roundabout solution to my woe.''You awoke directly inside Muribel mansion of slaves and almost immediately met Banu, of course, that wasn't a coincidence. Who else could have delivered you inside the palace after being smuggled out of Zipangu? A rare elf with unique capabilities delivered to Shereen, a gamble to help her desperate situation... A way to heal your wounded soul.Oh, Ama... It did pay off, huh? Everyone, EVERYONE around Shereen is just... playing with her! Be it cruelty, desperation or necessity she's just being used like a doll! ''T-that doesn't matter!'' Shereen's voice was nothing more than a quiet whine now. You exchanged a glance with Hildegarde and she shook her head in turn. It would be possible to get back up here and maybe force the old Moon down... but Hildegarde wasn't going to trust Banu now.''If you can't do anything about the Apostles... just live, Sherren. That's all I ever wanted. Be safe.'' She looked at the Manticore. ''Close that hole.''Once more, Shereen retreated inward in silent shock.''But...''''We'll open it again in a few days. You guys need someone who knows the palace and how the royals operate now that they'll start cracking down in Marleon.''''Ffffucking... Aight.'' Then came rumblings and heavy scratching noises as she moved the heavy block on top of the hole. ''No hard feelings guys. Let's have another party to celebrate that pig death, yeah?''Three lamps were enough to chase most of the darkness surrounding you. Shereen quiet sobs began to echo as she held onto Zhu tightly.''Hey, it's okay. Banu's no traitor.'' She'll only be consolable when her tears run dry and Mother mercy was it heartbreaking to hear such quiet, yet open wails. ''I'll withhold judgments about that woman after we return.'' Hildegarde said, grabbing the leftover bag. ''I'm feeling better about tagging along at least, shall we?'' ''Yeah...'' Your voice sounded dry and hoarse with all the emotions straining your throat. ''We've got a long way to go.''>A Tale of Monsters - A game of Witch- End https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ7Tw1FAXCM
Not the ending I expected but a welcome change nonetheless.
>>4135099Well... I have to admit, I honestly didn't see Banu as the type to cut a deal with the devil. At least we didn't have to kill her as a result of that but still, damn that Fox to hell for always being three steps ahead of us!I was counting on her as a combatant too. New pertinent question, is Hilde an upgrade from Banu? Please tell me we at least exchanged one party member for a more lethal one. At least we know a way to tell who's under the influence of the Fox now. If Zhu says there's a white glow, kill em' with a fatal blow.Also, we're now without our cultural guide. Do Shereen and Zhu know how one is supposed to behave around peasants in the countryside? How one can tell if they're going to be nice and give you a lodging for the night or if they'll rob you blind/murder you in the night? Where bandits are likely to camp out in case we need to acquire more provisions? Where merchants tend to travel in case we want to be nice and buy shit instead? News of bounties for us should take at least a day or two to propagate out into the countryside and even then their reach won't be ubiquitous. After all, that's the reason many a wanted man was able to escape in the Old West. We're in a desert biome right? Might have to channel our inner outlaw and break out some western music.
>>4135144>is Hilde an upgrade from Banu?Yeah, Banu is honestly the weakest of the group (beside Shereen) combat wise. She lacks endurance. Hilde is... well, I'd rather not say for now, better wait for the next thread. You'll get plenty of time to talk on the road! Or will you?>We're in a desert biome right?More Arabian landscape than an outright desert. Think Egypt along the Nile, the sandy path between the palace and Marleon wasn't natural. There's a good amount of farms and vegetation, although very few trees
>>4135154>that spoilerOh come on, that exchange took less than five minutes! They can't have a bead on our position already!Damn. Still didn't answer my question about the cultural stuff. Shereen's a bookworm, she knows about the culture of her own country at least in an armchair sense right? Zhu's familiar with underworld types too I'd hope so would she know where to go looking for bandits to knock over for supplies? How about trade routes? They likely to get patrolled by royal agents?
>>4135265The cultural stuff will be something to experience more than anything, so it's not something I feel like straight up answering. >Zhu's familiar with underworld types too I'd hope so would she know where to go looking for bandits to knock over for supplies?I wouldn't say familiar, she just gravitates toward aggressive/violent people to fuck them up. Also you set out with more than enough supplies for the trip, Myrtidal is only about two days away on foot. (Was it two? I'll need to review a bit)>How about trade routes? They likely to get patrolled by royal agents?That'd usually be left to the nobles nearby since they'll be the one making profit off trades.That little surprise with Banu was a blindside huh? I'm surprised... But happy. Bringing Hildegarde along was not at all in my plans either, so you'd better be happy about that.
>>4135271Yes it was, but hindsight is 20/20. Banu's reactions when we spilled the beans are now understandable as her becoming painfully aware of just how raw of a deal they ended up cutting.Hilde coming along makes me happy yes, but only because it lessens the severity of the fucking we're about to receive. We're still quite fucked sadly. Well, unless Hilde lives up to my suspicions about her nature as an anti-horror humanoid weapon system (a.k.a. Fantasy KOS-MOS). If she's that good then we might well stand a chance...
>>4135449Not exactly fantasy KOS-MOS... but she'll live up to her title. After all, it takes a special someone to handle a girl that attract all type of nasty creatures because of her blood.I've been really wanting to run a sci-fi quest too. Mentioning my favorite robogirl is nice.
>>4135455What, the title of "Anti-Horror Humanoid Weapon System" that I mentioned? I'd certainly hope so, because we'll probably have to face a horde of those thanks to the likely presence of that blue bastard. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and it's a terrible idea, but if it comes to that, can a blood mage use a corpse to prevent a necromancer from doing the same or otherwise fuck them over/beat them at their own game?A fellow man of culture I see. She is indeed a wonderful robowaifu.
>>4135460>can a blood mage use a corpse to prevent a necromancer from doing the same or otherwise fuck them over/beat them at their own game?It'll be possible if they throw bits of their blood in the body and concentrate on ''claiming'' it with their magical authority. Shereen might be able to prevent ''quality'' rise but not quantity.That she is. I've been lowkey planning a potential Battletech quest in the years we've been running ToM
>>4135470So she can stop a "death knight" from rising but not a horde of trash tier zombies. Damn. Well, at least a battleground full of blood should give her offensive options. Very bad idea to use options but hey, raving cultists can't exactly be reasoned with. I just hope she can "direct" the blood horrors towards the enemy and their shambling corpse army long enough for them to get nom'd and for us to clear out before her mana pool depletes and reverts them to their normal state of "nom everything that moves".Don't fuck with the Comguard or Steiner Scouts.
>>4135486You haven't investigated the length of Shereen talent with her magic so what she can and cannot do is rather murky for now.Degenerate technological cultists deserve to be fucked with. Steiner, not so much. Their incompetence does it for them. I'll admit to be a bit scared of potentially running it because I won't be afraid of breaking the setting on my knee.
>>4135490Well, like ya said, plenty of time to talk on the road. Two days, hours of walking, plenty of time to get to know each other better, form bonds of friendship, and strategize on how to best take down the Apostles, evade royal/noble pursuers, pissed off peasants, etc.We do get a radar on what direction Klesiah is in/going right? I doubt the fuckers are going to just stay put and wait for us to arrive (and if they do that's a major red flag as that means a prepared defensive position/trap).Eh, don't be. So long as it's fun nobody's really going to care too much. Just... finish this one first eh? By the way, where are more of those pics? I am intrigued.
>>4135500>We do get a radar on what direction Klesiah is in/going right?Somewhat, it's not active, it gives you a general feeling of where she is, which in this case is in Myrtidal direction. Oh I do intend to. At the very least we'll finish act 2 before I look for a potential change of pace, I just plan out ideas I get here and there. I want to introduce an AI/sentient android in Battletech which is a major change for the setting, but I also want to run a potential sidequest in ToM universe so, for now, we'll see what happens. Finishing arc 2 remains a priority. I found these pics randomly online, dunno where they originated from.
>>4135507Bummer. Er, just out of curiosity, what was the "trial" that we kinda dodged by fleeing when we did? What horrific thing was Ensan going to do to the militia bros? Would Zerase have gotten involved if she got carried away with it?
>>4135620You'd have figured out things were getting bad once the militias arrived at the gates and got an opportunity of having the girls return and keep Naveed around, or bring the whole group. Redscorpion would have tried to impose herself but given that she was outnumbered 5 to 1 she'd back off.Ensan second trial was something I shaped to be a big, big moment for Shereen character development so I'm not willing to divulge too much information. Something similar happened with her helping Arawn to convince Hildegarde, but let's say that a repeat of Rupert wouldn't be happening.... but the fact that Zerase support Ensan would inevitably tip the scale in the older sister favor and, if you were to stand by and do nothing in order to protect your general situation, all the militias bros would have gotten slaughtered. Of course, that's assuming you, players, actually stand by and let it happen. It'd be pretty obvious Shereen can't do a damn thing by now and ultimately if you started killing guards, Zerase would stop the trial herself since her daughters in open conflict is a very bad image. Suffice to say, after the trial, Shereen would have gone to Mirtydal in a very different mood.But then you guys went and freed Hildegarde (who was a lynchpin option for the path where you decided to remain inside Marleon to save Anais) so things went off rail real fucking fast.
>>4135645So, nabbing Klesiah while skipping the rescue mission, slaying porky outright and thus saving Banu's life, and now saving Hilde despite choosing the route that essentially guaranteed her demise and getting her into our party. That's three derails so far by my count. Good for us. Especially the last one, as otherwise it'd be just us, Shereen, and Banu vs. the Apostles.Now the last question I always ask at the end of a section like this. What was our "rating" for our time in Marleon? Y'know, how good did we do overall in the face of your attempts to make us suffer most horrifically?
>>4135874>What was our "rating" for our time in Marleon? Y'know, how good did we do overall in the face of your attempts to make us suffer most horrifically?It's a bit hard to say. On one hand, you didn't accomplish much in terms of ''objectives'' in Marleon. You have no idea what the nuns are up to and you haven't dealt with the rival gang leader. On the other hand, your ally has been greatly strengthened by the bonds made after Horkus battle and now Banu impromptu recruitment and will be reinforced by your friends quite soon. I'd say it's a solid 8/10. Short of actually dealing with the troubles yourself, you've left your allies in an excellent position.
>>4136097Then a final question remains for Shereen. First chance we get we ask her if she's willing to resort to desperate/horrific uses of Blood Magic now.If she is, we ask her what she considers to be desperate measures. We can build from there. Like I stated, it's a bad idea and probably morally horrific, but if it comes down to a horde of red world horrors and zombies vs. the potential counter of Eldritch "beyond the veil" horrors that flat out outclass them that have an "IFF" so long as her mana reserves hold out than, well, that's yet another thing that tips the scales in our favor.Blue Bastard may be contracted to a blood god, but said god loves it when their expectations get subverted I'd wager...
>>4136097>I'd say it's a solid 8/10. Short of actually dealing with the troubles yourself, you've left your allies in an excellent position.Ahh, I'll be honest and admit that leaving so many loose ends untied has gnawed at me for a bit but what can ya do. It happens.Especially when your're stuck in strange lands with few allies, in a shit position with restricted options. Sometimes you just gotta play with the hand life deals you.Losing Banu from our party hurts. I just hope she'll be able to convince Sieglinde's group that she's there to help.>>4135068>''You've left quite the impression last year on milady, Arawn.'' This prompt had you blink in surprise, Hildegarde continued. ''You, a man -an elf- amongst monsters trying his hardest to help a thousand Mamonos he couldn't even speak with; only to somehow reunite his sworn knight in a Moot blessed under Father Sky wisdom...''Heh, Hilde figured out the connection between the leper and the elf pretty easily. Admittedly the disguise became paper thin once Hildegarde had time to compare overall build, height and voice - the gauntlet was probably the biggest clue.I wonder what caused Ama's pet angel to cause a brewing rebellion. I highly doubt Ama directly told him to exactly that.My personal guess is that the feather bag couldn't and wouldn't stomach Muribel's ruling family claim to be gods. "Yo wtf that is heresy this is not cash money" Great thread Insert, thanks for running. Looking forward to the next run!
>>4139666>Losing Banu from our party hurts. I just hope she'll be able to convince Sieglinde's group that she's there to help.You could always try to reach out to them during the night with Shereen help.>Heh, Hilde figured out the connection between the leper and the elf pretty easily. Admittedly the disguise became paper thin once Hildegarde had time to compare overall build, height and voice - the gauntlet was probably the biggest clue.Yeah she ended up figuring you out rather easily. Wearing the same bright blue gauntlet doesn't help in obscuring your identity! That and Arawn height and general build inevitably make him stand out. He's no fragile elegant elfling after all. >Great thread Insert, thanks for running. Looking forward to the next run!Always glad to have you! Not too sure when the next one will be. I'll aim for this week but I won't promise yet, we live in interesting times right now so I can't predict my week.