Hello and welcome back to Synthetic Gods Quest.Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hivemind_ChanArchives: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Synthetic%20Gods%20QuestRules and gameplay mechanics: https://pastebin.com/jcac0p9DCurrent inventory: https://pastebin.com/gyZLMiNGCurrent infrastructure: https://pastebin.com/i42ACWMsPreviously mentioned individuals: https://pastebin.com/LUJ5fyqAPreviously mentioned SGs and Cups: https://pastebin.com/ThR1eYvcProject tracker: https://pastebin.com/BzmXGRhq_________________________________________________________ In the last session we started our journey to Elspen along with Haven and Rheia. We decided to take a slightly longer path to visit a couple of Ceno polises on our way. Our first stop was polis of Ligoriana, a city placed on the southern edge of the largest lake in Ceno territory. There we paid a visit to the local Academy to get some study materials for Rheia along with the Hall of Huntsmen to see if there is something happening around the area that we could help with.Our interest was caught by a report of some large flying invisible creature that was harassing settlements nearby by attacking and eating humans and livestock. We left Rheia to study and set off to deal with the threat. After visiting the town in the affected area, the search was narrowed to the village to the south- east near to the large river that was affected the most. After we arrived there, the decision was made to scout the forest that was the most probable home of the monsters. There we discovered a juvenile form of these invisible beasts: a griffon- like being the size of a large cat with a massive beak that is split into three petals. Then during the continued search, we were attacked by these creatures which caught us by surprise. This allowed us, however, to locate the nesting grounds of these griffons. We attempted to kill as many as we could and to collapse their habitat, but as they behaved too similar to animals we couldn’t continue for long. After slaying around a dozen adults and who knows how many of their children, we retreated in tears back to the polis.
>>4161066Haven didn’t really understand your reaction to these monsters, but you don’t blame her. You came from a much more peaceful and enlightened times and wholesale slaughter of dozens of animals is not something that you can really do. You barely managed to take the couple of heads that would be required for the task to be handed in. You can’t really let these creatures attack villagers either, so you decided to go for the second most efficient way to get rid of that problem, the way that doesn’t depend on you personally slaughtering animals. You would report these creatures to the Hall of Huntsmen and they would deal with them however they want.You clean up by the river since you don’t want to be seen covered in weird creamy white blood… and the fact that you’ve been crying. After this you set off back to the polis. The girl at the reception was very surprised by your quick arrival but seemingly decided not to question it. The entire trip took you a bit less than a day. You quickly filed in the report on the location, numbers and features of these griffons. You still get a pretty decent pay and while it was your decision to attempt to eradicate them, the task was mainly to scout out the situation if that was impossible. Receptionist ensures you that soon the Hall would assemble a group to deal with these things. Meanwhile, you’ll rent out a smithy to fix up your armor and take a dip in the lake while trying to forget what has just happened. Your memory now is perfect, but you should be able to store some things deeper than others so you hope that this won’t keep you awake at night.
>>4161070When you’re finished, you check up on Rheia who apparently ordered a room service off her own allowance. She made quite some progress with reading up on some famous philosophers. Ceno philosoply is in a state similar to early Western philosophy, but with some things different which are mostly focused on gods, monsters and afterlife. It makes sense, since gods are here, afterlives are real so you don’t have to ponder those much. Still, they do have such things as concepts for atomism, skepticism, a pretty whack theory of “microcosm” that seems to be remnants of the germ theory without empirical evidence, theory of forms, pretty modern understanding of logic, decent grasp on mathematics and so on. About a half of the concepts were absorbed from Teryian elves and carry their names, some concepts were given by Ceno pantheon directly and the rest were thought up by Ceno philosophers. Pretty fascinating. At this day and age philosophy is the mother of all sciences, and not just “hey if you work at Starbucks, do you really exist” joke generator.After getting something to eat in the inn you take a look at what you have left to do around here…>Leave for now, you want to save your money for Elspen’s market>Check out Ligoriana market street. They have to have something interesting, right?>Visit the Pantheon District and pay a visit to a few temples, you want to know a bit more about some of the gods before you visit them in person>Visit the docks, Ligoriana is a river trade hub so if there is anything new it is most likely there>Other ideas?
>>4161071>>Leave for now, you want to save your money for Elspen’s market
>>4161071I could go for>Visit the docks, Ligoriana is a river trade hub so if there is anything new it is most likely thereBut just to look since I want to save the money for Elspen too
>>4161071>>Leave for now, you want to save your money for Elspen’s markettell rheia and haven that they can order roomservice on our budget when we are traveling together, as long as its nothing massive that shouldn't be a problemthe trip with rheia i would say falls within her job description, so i find it appropriate
>>4161071>Leave for now, you want to save your money for Elspen’s market
>>4161106You decide to make a short visit to the docks, but you won’t be buying anything. You want to save up your money for Elspen markets that would most likely contain much more variety. Plus, you’d have to haul whatever you’d buy across half the country there and back again. Still, you want to do some sightseeing. The docks of Ligoriana are the commercial heart of the city and the main trading street directly falls into the docks which makes shipping much easier. The docks themselves are big and set up for dozens of large ships and numerous smaller anchorages for boats. You’ve seen several stores with tasty- looking fresh water fish along with a few trading vessels, but the main focus of attention today was the arrival of four large troop carrier and cargo ships. They are hauling people and materiel towards the nearby Great Fort which is a strategic foothold of Ceno military. This particular fort is very far in the back of the country so it mostly serves as the center of training for Ceno army, but it is still equipped much better than the smaller forts that you’ve seen at the border. A small city in of itself with layered defensive walls and huge compliments of military personnel and equipment. In any case, it is only about three hours by horse so military men frequent Ligoriana to unwind when they can. And now a bunch of them have just arrived here. Shops are rapidly preparing their goods in anticipation of increased purchases and the streets are busy with lots of various men in blue gambesons with a symbol of an owl on their chests.From some random soldier you found out that they’d be sent closer to the Valistrat border to replace the losses and rotate out some personnel from the east border defense army. Apparently, there is constant raiding on both sides trying to grab the territory of the border region, but there isn’t much else interesting that you could find out from him. Ceno military is “voluntary” by which they mean “professional”. Drafts happen exclusively in cases of emergencies and are relatively rare. This particular guy decided to join mostly for the money and the lack of family bonds, which is a pretty common career choice among the young men in Ceno.In the end you wrap up and head out with Rheia and Haven to retrieve your gondola to continue your flight towards Ceno capital. There are two thirds of the way to Elspen left and your passengers are not too tired, should you stop in the next polis or fly past it?Roll 1d20 and pick one option:>Fly straight to Elspen>Stop at Tilisos
Rolled 12 (1d20)>>4161160>>Fly straight to Elspen
Rolled 18 (1d20)>>4161160>Stop at Tilisos
Rolled 11 (1d20)>>4161160>Fly straight to Elspen
>>4161163>>4161166>>4161184Going to Elspen it is, writing
>>4161197You decide to skip Tilisos polis and head straight to Elspen to get there quicker. You doubt that you’d find anything worth your time in the smaller city but you still want to take a look at it so you’ll fly above it on your way. You’ve already been to two of the Ceno- built cities so the third one would allow you to see the general design choices that might help you with your own city projects.Tilisos is placed on both banks of the river that somehow flows from the Great Lake towards Elspen and the southern coast. There is another river offshoot that falls into the main river right where the city is placed giving it a Y shaped waterway in the middle. The city itself is placed on all sides of this junction being connected with several large stone bridges that are most likely built by the pantheon. It also has Pantheon District with the local headquarters in the shape of a weird three- sided smooth monolithic stela of an enormous size, temples and the academy placed centrally, but this city is much more radial than other polises. Other Ceno cities seem to be built with a 90-degree cross section of the main roads one of which is main and the other is slightly smaller. In Platania there are two parallel smaller roads on each side of the city while in Ligoriana the main road falls into the docks while secondary road is close and perpendicular to them. Here the city has three roughly equal main roads, one on each side of the river intersection that have offshoots leading to the stone bridges. The city, like others, is surrounded by a huge stone wall beyond which lies much more chaotic civilian sprawl.While you were passing by the spire you were intercepted by a group of Nike’s cup bearers. Two guys and a girl in shiny white armor, greatswords and those semi- transparent wings. You wonder how the pantheon makes those, probably through some kind of artifact since you doubt that they are a part of their bodies and Mina doesn’t have them. Since you don’t have anything to gain from fleeing, you tell them that you’re Agatha and Nike’ knows that you’re coming. The guy who you assume is in charge focuses for a few moments after which waves his allies off and tells you that you can keep going before leaving you to your own devices 150 meters above the ground. You find it quite amusing, being stopped by an equivalent of a police officer on the “road” so far up in the air. In any case, you slowly accelerate back to your cruising speed.
>>4161340You can see Elspen from an enormous distance, a white shining jewel of the Cenophilan state. It just screams “pantheon designed” with a massive white central spire made entirely out of shining white marble and glassy reflective surfaces sculpted into a weird fractal and yet organic design. It is an enormous structure, the size of a whole building block at the base and about half a kilometer tall, which is close to some of the smaller arcologies that were just being built in your time. The rest of the city is made out of similar white stone and organic shapes from six story tall residential towers to decorative spires in the parks. Even city walls have organic wavy fractal patterns on them and they are roughly one and a half times taller than the walls of other polises. In the distance you can also see a large lonely mountain sticking out of the sea, that’s where the Valhalla is supposed to be, Ceno Pantheon’s main headquarters.The city itself is much more densely packed than other polises. Its roads are much wider and there are no buildings smaller than two stories within the city walls. Most people that live inside the main wall most likely inhabit large residential houses, but it seems that majority of residents lives in an expanse of smaller buildings outside of the main walls. Elspen sits in the middle of a river delta on numerous large islands connected by the bridges, but it seems like it was expanded mainly by adding districts around it surrounded by slightly smaller city walls and it happened again and again leaving it with basically three layers of towns creating overlapping patterns of hemispherical walls like entangled soap bubbles. The closer they are to the city center the more uniform they are while the furthest ones are mostly built out of much greyer stone and normal wood.You land in the outskirts of one of the outer districts and once again dump your gondola in some farmer’s place for a few coins. Then it becomes a bit of a slog since it literally takes hours to walk through the main street from the edge of the sprawl to the city center. But you do it and drop your stuff off in a pretty expensive inn close to the inner wall. You don’t want to walk everywhere with all of your gear after all. The inn does have running water and bathrooms with toilets that can flush so that’s nice. Now that you’re here, where should you start...>Main market street: Let’s do some SHOPPING!>Elspen academy: That’s your goal after all>Temples: you want to see that “arcology” up close>Hall of Huntsmen: You’re curious what threats could be found so far in the civilized lands…>Elspen docks: you can book a trip to Valhalla from there. You bet it is a great tourist trap>Other options? This is the capital, they most likely have everything
>>4161342>Temples: you want to see that “arcology” up closeLet's get Rheia set upAsk Haven if she has ever been here and what can she suggest us, if not, what does she have curiosity in seeing
>>4161342>Elspen academy: That’s your goal after all>Other options? This is the capital, they most likely have everythingCan we find some sort of guild where we can hire some young professionals that would be willing to live in Farsalos to run our manufactories and teach those there?
>>4161380Damn>Elspen academy: That’s your goal after all
>>4161370Our manufacturing currently is more advanced than that of Ceno. We'd have to teach them how to operate metallurgic equipment. We can look for certain specialists from the "Scholars" that could be taught more easily. We could ask around in the academy among the graduates and we could ask in the smaller guilds whether some of ther people would want to join. I bet that getting some early chemists to run a chemical plant would be possible for example. Would you guys like to do that? It would take some time and money.>Yes>No
>>4161342>Elspen academy: That’s your goal after allTreat the girls to a nice meal
>>4161390>Yeshire them, they can take their time preparing and then making the travel but it will be good to not have to micromanage everything there
>>4161363>>4161370>>4161384>>4161395>>4161405>>4161416Academy it is then, writing. And I'll make a separate hiring event that would allow us to hire people but would reduce the available funds for purchases due to the front payments.
>>4161454Can we get more funds while here? Maybe a hunting job?
>>4161487We took a bunch with us. We could find a hunting job but, I mean, you took 8 points with you and I was giving you another two for the sidequest. I don't want to overload the chices
>>4161454You decide to start with what you came here for, the Elspen Academy. It is the best place for Rheia to get education and you want to find out what is required to get into this academy. Stuff like study materials and so on. Plus, you want to see what the best academy in the country looks like. Thus, the three of you head straight for the Pantheon district ignoring the rest of the trading action that is going on the main streets.Apparently, the Pantheon district is that enormous spire. It contains all of the facilities that other cities have in a separate district in one package. There are temples, the Academy, specialized facilities required by the Pantheon’s servants and even living quarters for the people that study in the academy itself. It is an arcology. You wonder how it was actually built since a building of that size can’t just be made out of rock, it almost has to be high quality steel reinforcements and concrete, but it seems to be made mostly out of marble with not even a scratch on the superstructure. It is completely monolithic. Maybe there is something hidden inside of the structure that keeps it standing.As you go inside you notice that the first “floor” contains an expansive park area lit up by an arrangement of glow- quartz embedded into the ceiling. In the center is a massive running fountain and the temperature and humidity seems to be artificially controlled at a comfortable level. There are also some spots dedicated for sport or more likely training by the Hero Academy.The arcology is too tall for staircases to be viable, but it has four large tunnels running through the entire superstructure that have some sort of telekinetic field. On one side they pull you into the air while on the other they pull you down to the ground while a band on the sides appears to be a freefall zone. The pull accelerates you to a certain velocity after which it only maintains it without accelerating you further which is probably made to prevent injuries. Also, it seems that wishing to get off causes the device to push you sideways towards the floor that you need. Convenient, but most likely exorbitantly expensive and difficult to manufacture. You note that all female Academy uniforms have pants or shorts instead of skirts.
>>4161812You make your way to the floor with the reception to the Scholar Academy. It is closer to the top probably because it doesn’t require armored training rooms like Hero or Mage Academies. They do have a lot of amenities. You take a look at the book they had about that and ooh, they even have a planetarium and the recreational floor has an Olympic sized pool, there is so much stuff here. Regarding the subjects though, they are significantly more serious than other Academies. You’d actually have to coach Rheia with math for a month or so to get her to the level required. They don’t have as much requirement for history though, their motto is to enable education to the best and brightest so most testing goes on things like ability to think logically and understanding of mathematics and “natural philosophy” which is the predecessor of natural sciences. The rest they can teach on their way. Majority of entry students here are around 20 or older so Rheia would be one of the youngest students in the list, but not the youngest. She is becoming 18 next September actually and there are a couple very young and very gifted students here.You end up buying eight different books on the subjects that you don’t know enough about and look around for a bit with Haven and Rheia. You’re very grateful to Zosime for teaching you the proper Ceno Lingua which allowed you in turn to teach Rheia. There is a historically inaccurate notion that people during iron age weren’t literate. It is not true and it applies twice to Ceno. Here there is “Ceno Lingua”, the main official standardized language of Ceno people. All religious texts are written in it and you are considered literate if you can read and write on it. However basically everyone is functionally literate. This means that they know Ceno Lingua alphabet (which is very similar to modern English by the way, probably thanks to the Pantheon) and thus can phonetically transcribe what they want to say using it. Yes, they won’t have a great vocabulary and the writing would have only loose connection to grammar, but it is more than enough for daily lives. On average one person per household can read and write Ceno Lingua and everyone is functionally literate, which is a bit less in villages and a bit more common in larger cities. Similar situation is in other regions. Ceno Lingua is pretty similar to the Trade Language of Ethea and Valistratos Imperial of the Valistrat. The words and grammar are different, but the letters come from the same basis. They are even less distant than English and German, which is surprising for 2000 years of linguistic development. Maybe this entire region was colonized by people from a single starting culture? Questions for later, for sure.
>>4161815For now, you decide to visit some… “headhunting specialists” so to say. They are not called that way, but there is a special organ in the Academies that helps guilds in finding specialists that would be willing to work for them. Basically, all of the “applied” professions of the Scholar Academy get handpicked at the moment of their graduation which happens in May. You’re a bit late, but with the speed at which information and business circulates in these lands there should still be enough of the young graduates who might be willing to hop on to your offer. Especially considering that the best and brightest were handpicked already which means they are more likely to follow you out of the city. So, you’ll have to stay here for a few weeks and prepare some forward pay, but you hope that you’d leave with quite a few new faces. So, let’s see here… you have 10 total “funds”, all choices cost one fund and give different amounts of people (some are thus more expensive). Note that the more you hire the less funds you’d have available for the shopping later. Yes, you can ask for several of the same item from the list.>Managers (3 individuals): Recently graduated students with a local equivalent of a Master’s degree in management and economics groomed to be assistants in running various guilds and larger businesses. While not up to your time’s standards, they are capable of managing various aspects of working with people and making them do what you want, especially once you introduce them to modern motivation methods. Can do some accounting or manage merchant activity but less efficiently>Accountants (7 individuals): Recently graduated managers of a lower level that are worse at managing people and better at managing numbers. Ceno uses “modern” accounting methods so you don’t have to teach them how to do their jobs and they should make industrial processes flowing much smoother than they used to. Also, great if you want to open a bank and can manage your finances>Merchants (5 individuals): Recently graduated masters of turning goods into money. They can handle the process of managing your finances, purchasing what you need and selling what you produce as well as finding out what people want to actually buy>Architects (3 individuals): Recently graduated engineers- architects specialized mostly in how to plan various construction and seeing it through to its completion in ways such as managing workers and building materials. Likely won’t get you Sagrada Familia, but they could probably plan and build what you want without much oversight. Not good but capable at general engineering
>>4161817>Engineers (4 individuals): Equivalent of a mechanical engineer, these people are hired to build and maintain various engineering projects across the country such as waterworks, mills or other similar projects. They are also the people whom you need to assemble complicated siege engines, if you’re into that sort of thing. They’d require least education to get them running and maintaining factories>Chemists (6 individuals): Arcane masters of local equivalent of alchemy, but with some training they could be made into decent chemists that with some apprentices could run a chemical plant without your oversight in a couple months, hopefully>Medics (5 individuals): Non- magically gifted followers of Mortati. With sufficient supplies and facilities, they can probably provide Victorian level healthcare such as primitive surgery and disease control. They are not at bloodletting and leaches, they are more into soap and soup level of medicine… and some very horrifying looking bone saws>Healers (2 individuals): Psi gifted healers from Mortati’s Healer Academy. While trained in doing things without their powers, they are much more successful than their powerless counterparts. They don’t need sutures to stitch up wounds and they don’t suffer as much from such complications as sepsis>Officers (3 individuals): A group of military trained officers with a grasp on strategies and tactics. Useful if you want to get a military going, not as useful for just Farsalos defense>Battle Mage (1 individual): A person gifted and trained in some form of psi that makes them very deadly on the battlefield. You don’t know which one would be left, they are usually hired like hot cakes. Most likely not the best in their craft for some reason…>Monster Hunters (2 individuals): Some kind of gifted warrior that lived through pretty brutal Academy of Heroes, but wasn’t good enough to be instantly hired or picked up by existing hunter team.>Other? Maybe you want some other kind of specialist? Might require some manual searching…________________________________________________And on this note we’ll be closing the session for today. Feel free to vote in the meantime, we’ll continue next Saturday, hopefully a bit earlier. I apologize once again for my absolutely ducked sleeping schedule. I’m still around and capable of replying though. Feel free to ask questions, give suggestions and discuss and I’ll see you next time.
>>4161819>>Engineers (4 individuals): Equivalent of a mechanical engineer, these people are hired to build and maintain various engineering projects across the country such as waterworks, mills or other similar projects. They are also the people whom you need to assemble complicated siege engines, if you’re into that sort of thing. They’d require least education to get them running and maintaining factories>>Chemists (6 individuals): Arcane masters of local equivalent of alchemy, but with some training they could be made into decent chemists that with some apprentices could run a chemical plant without your oversight in a couple months, hopefullyengineer for the factories and chemists for the future chemical plants too.I would buy officers but I rather wait until the dark elves start integrating and we have a larger population to actually form a militaryin the time they prepare can we explore the city?I would like to visit valhalla to say hello to Nike and spend some time with her since we said we would stop by when we talked earlier
>>4161840Yeah sure, you're just stuck in the city's area since you'd need to pick them up on your way out and then screen the ones that you might not want if they are... special cases
>>4161817>Architects (3 individuals): Recently graduated engineers- architects specialized mostly in how to plan various construction and seeing it through to its completion in ways such as managing workers and building materials. Likely won’t get you Sagrada Familia, but they could probably plan and build what you want without much oversight. Not good but capable at general engineeringFor the buildings>Engineers (4 individuals): Equivalent of a mechanical engineer, these people are hired to build and maintain various engineering projects across the country such as waterworks, mills or other similar projects. They are also the people whom you need to assemble complicated siege engines, if you’re into that sort of thing. They’d require least education to get them running and maintaining factories
>>4161926+1, let's add managers to this as well in order to round it off. I see chemists as a long term requirement for a specific field, this will allow us to increase our infrastructure and build up industry.
>>4162796I've completely misread the chart, we have 10 points that earn one of each of these choices. Let's go withOne unit of managersOne unit of accountantsTwo units of architectsTwo units of engineersTwo units of medicsOne unit of tradersOne unit of officers (not really looking for officers, more drill sargent types)Blows all our money on people, but if this works, we can turn village improvement into a passive action
>>4162801I think we don't have where to put all those people to be useful really, I'd prefer to look at the market before blowing all money on them since we could get some very useful material for the village
well, now that I mentioned itQM: can we get a selection of the market goods too?that way we can plan how to spend our money during the week since shopping usually takes a long time for us
>>4162971As long as we build up more housing really quick this becomes viable, since after we do this, we can task people to build more things. Skilled people are going to be better in the long term than a temporary bonus from goods, although yeah, let's see the market goods.
>>4163216>>4162971Alright, I’ll write down the list tomorrow when I get the opportunity. What specific types of goods do you want? Since we won’t be hauling animals cross country and since we already have steel production, my guess is that we’d be looking for the following categories:1) luxury/exotic goods2) artifacts/psi enhanced items3) rare, preferably modified plant seeds with unusual properties(there are some)Please tell me if you want to look into something specific. We are in the capital, it is the most likely place to find anything that might not be sold elsewhere.
>>4163525Those wings the cup were wearing sounded nice for our companions to use if they have it.Aside from the modified plants (those would be awesome) we could see some exotic tamed animals like those griffins.I'm insterested too in some long range communication device, probably psi infused, so that we can be warned when shit hits the fan in Farsalos
>>4163525Alright, I’m going to post the list of what’s available on the market and then dress it up during the opening post on Saturday. I initially planned to drop some events into it, but I guess I miscalculated the need for full information for you guys and the fact that I can still get the events in later. Regarding the requests, we won’t be getting wings or telecom devices. Wings are solely the realm of Pantheontech and they are not sold to mortals. If there was a comms device, on the other hand, I bet that Nike’ would have given it to us instead of her Cup who completes the same function among others. So yeah, let’s get going. Remember, we have 10 points total spread over hiring and purchasing goods.Luxury goods:>Giant spider silk (2 points): Ethean export textile. Incredibly light and yet strong fabric gathered usually at a health risk by Ethean silk farmers in the giant spider crevasse which is the only Labyrinth Collapse in their territory. Used by the rich and powerful to display their wealth, but it is not the most expensive fabric around>Blessed Atlas (3 points): one of the more surprising ways of how Pantheon gathers money is by selling materials of incredibly high quality that locals can’t produce. Apparently, Elspeth disliked the idea of Pantheon taxes and taxation is left to the civilian leaders. This particular fabric is high quality copper- ammonia synthetics manufactured with satin weave. Used mainly by rich priests, but many semi- nobles also use it in their dresses >Ambrosia tea (1 point): another one of Pantheon luxury goods, this time a consumable. Some sort of high-quality tea. The seller has outrageous and nigh magical claims about its usefulness for anything from health to success in love life, but all you know for sure is that it has a rich and nice smell unlike any that you’ve experienced before…>Hisgial’s Strength (2 points): a sort of combat stimulator, judging by description. Imported from Valistrat and comes in the form of powder. Massively increases stamina and “gives one the strength of twelve”. Amusingly, it seems to have an effect similar to a bite of Brazilian Wandering spider, which makes it very awkward for male warriors to fight. Some consider it a good bonus though…>Statuette of Elspeth (1 point): a pretty statue of the head goddess of the Pantheon sold at one of her temples. Kind of looks like one of those extremely expensive toys of anime girls that otakus bought back in your days. They didn’t manage to get the shade of her hair quite right but eh, close enough
>>4165530Artifacts:>Holy Light (4 points): an artifact steel greatsword acquired from a fallen Holy Nation “Champion” and taken as a trophy by a Ceno officer, who now requires money and thus is selling it off. A bit shorter and thinner than your blade, it has a white glow-quartz rod going through its middle and the metal appears to lightly glow as well. It is mainly decorated with white ivory and gold. These people are known of producing blinding flashes of light from their swords and fighting without tiring for days while their swords leave charred and difficult to heal wounds. If you buy it and meet Holies, they might have a few questions…>The Orb of Attraction (3 points): a strange item, it is an icosahedron the size of a bowling ball made out of a monolithic transparent crystal that seems to attract objects the closer they are to it up to the point of one and a half times the Earth surface gravity on the very surface. You can’t see what’s inside it, but the deeper you look into it the darker it becomes almost as if it is bigger on the inside…>Golem’s Heart (3 points): an item extracted during a daring raid into the depth of the Labyrinth. A group of adventurers (yes, adventuring scoundrels, not glorious monster hunters) destroyed a “Golem” and retrieved what seemed to make it tick. Golem in this case is a colloquial for a type of creatures common to the lower first Labyrinth layer that consist from obviously manufactured materials like sculpted stone or metal, some of them are monsters while others are a type of deep labyrinth settlers. It is a large spherical gem about 10 centimeters in diameter that glows dim orange and slowly pulses. It has a case made out of heavily engraved brass in the form of numerous belts each with series of hemispherical indentations that you presume to be slots of some kind. One of the slots is occupied with a mechanical “eye” made from the same gem material and a brass “shutter”. It looks at you, focuses the shutter, moves the eye from side to side and slowly blinks…
>>4165531>Hippogriff cub (4 points): a mostly tamed child form of an exotic animal you’re yet to encounter. A weird hybrid of a horse with a bird’s head and wings. According to Haven, it comes from the nation far to the East beyond even Valistrat. It is one of the two naturally flying creatures that can carry a man and be tamed that she knows of (the other being a Roc- like bird from the far north and technically dragons, but they are excluded due to danger and pickiness regarding owners). It is almost completely carnivorous and requires a significant amount of meat to feed it daily making it very difficult to maintain. They are also difficult to train, but they are not as picky as the dragons which means that few lucky and rich enough to afford them can rank up quite a fortune hauling messages between cities faster than anyone else. In fact, there is an international guild that oversees deliveries of messages and small packages rapidly with those things. Apparently one of the animal trainers from that guild had an unwanted cub and he tries to sell it as plan A. Note that it would take years to grow up…>Mechanical owl (2 points): shady merchant decided to show you something you didn’t expect, a clockwork great horned owl made of gold and gems almost a meter tall. It keeps its eyes on you, puffs up its wings if you approach it and hoots if you talk to it. Apparently, it was a gift of Elspeth to one of the smaller shrines of her and Pantheon replaced it once it was stolen. It is a miracle how it was acquired considering its size, but apparently it was impervious to attempts to smelt it for the gold it contains and the owner wants to just get rid of it in the quietest way possible and the cost of it is to cover up the losses.
>>4165532Plant seeds:>Silph (1 point): A relatively common plant that seems to have incredibly potent birth control properties cultivated in small quantities across all four nations and beyond. A blend of its leaves is used in the form of pills or basically herbal tea and it seems to both prevent conception and aborts existing pregnancy if it doesn’t pass beyond 1,5-2 weeks. Causes birth defects if taken at later stages of pregnancies. It appears to be one of the main reasons for a much more widespread integration of women into the military and workforce compared to historic records.>Tuefilm (2 points): a type of fern with thick meaty leaves somewhat reminiscent of aloe plant, but even larger, without spikes on the sides of the leaves and of a more emerald green color. Contains succulent slime with anti-inflammation, antitoxin and antibacterial properties that has a variety of health benefits and is used as a base for many types of local creams. Widely used to treat burns of both thermal and chemical nature. Seems to be basically a type of buffed up aloe from the description alone>Momicasa (1 point): an interesting plant in the form of a flower with three huge petals taking up almost half a meter squared of space in its adult form. These large petals are one of red, one of green and one of blue color, but there are many tiny petals in the center that contain a mix of those colors resulting into a very colorful plant. The petals are pretty thick and mainly store pigment which is extracted, dried and then used in textiles and paints by the people. Very obviously engineered and the reason why purple paint is not exorbitantly expensive in Ceno>Cylias (3 points): called Cure All in Ceno, a pretty rare and hard to cultivate plant that requires constant warm temperatures, lots of fertilizer, high amounts of water and a lot of sunlight. Not grown in Ceno and imported by Etheans. Looks a bit like cattail, but with the thick brown sausage- shaped spike replaced by a yellow sponge- like organ that slowly drips out honey- like substance. This material appears to have a host of medical uses with descriptions bordering on a host of strong industrial era drugs. It is dried, turned into powder and then used to disinfect and treat wounds, ingested to treat common ailments and so on.>Voyvufilm (2 points): another type of fern, but with different uses. Its thick brown leaves are mostly filled with caoutchouc, which is a type of natural rubber. It is used mostly as a waterproof adhesive by Ceno people in the areas where it is grown, but you know its industrial potential. One of the only ways to get decent insulators for cables and airtight seals without lots of petrochemical industry
>>4165533>>Voyvufilm (2 points): another type of fern, but with different uses. Its thick brown leaves are mostly filled with caoutchouc, which is a type of natural rubber. It is used mostly as a waterproof adhesive by Ceno people in the areas where it is grown, but you know its industrial potential. One of the only ways to get decent insulators for cables and airtight seals without lots of petrochemical industrythis is a must!I want this too>Momicasa (1 point): an interesting plant in the form of a flower with three huge petals taking up almost half a meter squared of space in its adult form. These large petals are one of red, one of green and one of blue color, but there are many tiny petals in the center that contain a mix of those colors resulting into a very colorful plant. The petals are pretty thick and mainly store pigment which is extracted, dried and then used in textiles and paints by the people. Very obviously engineered and the reason why purple paint is not exorbitantly expensive in Cenoseems very useful for our future textiles and metalsthe other stuff didn't get much my attention but let's see>Architects (3 individuals): Recently graduated engineers- architects specialized mostly in how to plan various construction and seeing it through to its completion in ways such as managing workers and building materials. Likely won’t get you Sagrada Familia, but they could probably plan and build what you want without much oversight. Not good but capable at general engineeringfor buildings>Engineers (4 individuals): Equivalent of a mechanical engineer, these people are hired to build and maintain various engineering projects across the country such as waterworks, mills or other similar projects. They are also the people whom you need to assemble complicated siege engines, if you’re into that sort of thing. They’d require least education to get them running and maintaining factoriesfor our manufactories>Merchants (5 individuals): Recently graduated masters of turning goods into money. They can handle the process of managing your finances, purchasing what you need and selling what you produce as well as finding out what people want to actually buyto start up our economy and sell our stuffso that's 6 wealth spent.I want to spend the rest but here are some questions before thatBefore we left we asked Sig to investigate that healing plant we heard about...could that be cultivated instead of the one we find here at the market?That spider silk, is it similar to the one we found on the labyrinth near the dark elves settlement?About that owl, I want to deal with it differently, simply informing Elspeth of it's existence and aprehending it in her name, if she let's us have it we keep it, otherwise we give it back to her
>>4165612Well, regarding that healing plant near to Farsalos, Ceno people were unable to cultivate it. And no, it is not the same type of silk as the one we encountered in the Labyrinth. The one we discovered was weirdly grey and thick, this one is soft and white with much finer strands. We didn’t get a good look at the one that we found though.
>>4165612>>Voyvufilm (2 points): another type of fern, but with different uses. Its thick brown leaves are mostly filled with caoutchouc, which is a type of natural rubber. It is used mostly as a waterproof adhesive by Ceno people in the areas where it is grown, but you know its industrial potential. One of the only ways to get decent insulators for cables and airtight seals without lots of petrochemical industryit'll be handy, iirc only reason people stopped using natural rubber over petrochemical rubber is the rise of demand in ww2.. we shouldn't have that problem, >Momicasa (1 point): an interesting plant in the form of a flower with three huge petals taking up almost half a meter squared of space in its adult form. These large petals are one of red, one of green and one of blue color, but there are many tiny petals in the center that contain a mix of those colors resulting into a very colorful plant. The petals are pretty thick and mainly store pigment which is extracted, dried and then used in textiles and paints by the people. Very obviously engineered and the reason why purple paint is not exorbitantly expensive in Cenoguess it would be handy for trade? Still would like to blow the rest of our points on people, what do you guys think about these 7 remaining points?3 Managers7 Accountants5 Merchants3 Architects3 Architects4 EngineersOne remaining slot, was initially going to ask for officers again but I figure we'll be fighting non humans for the most part, so I'm now leaning towards monster hunters. I don't really care which, I just want some kind of defense advisor
>>4165533>Managers (3 individuals): Recently graduated students with a local equivalent of a Master’s degree in management and economics groomed to be assistants in running various guilds and larger businesses. While not up to your time’s standards, they are capable of managing various aspects of working with people and making them do what you want, especially once you introduce them to modern motivation methods. Can do some accounting or manage merchant activity but less efficiently>Merchants (5 individuals): Recently graduated masters of turning goods into money. They can handle the process of managing your finances, purchasing what you need and selling what you produce as well as finding out what people want to actually buy>Architects (3 individuals): Recently graduated engineers- architects specialized mostly in how to plan various construction and seeing it through to its completion in ways such as managing workers and building materials. Likely won’t get you Sagrada Familia, but they could probably plan and build what you want without much oversight. Not good but capable at general engineering>Engineers (4 individuals): Equivalent of a mechanical engineer, these people are hired to build and maintain various engineering projects across the country such as waterworks, mills or other similar projects. They are also the people whom you need to assemble complicated siege engines, if you’re into that sort of thing. They’d require least education to get them running and maintaining factories>Golem’s Heart (3 points): an item extracted during a daring raid into the depth of the Labyrinth. A group of adventurers (yes, adventuring scoundrels, not glorious monster hunters) destroyed a “Golem” and retrieved what seemed to make it tick. Golem in this case is a colloquial for a type of creatures common to the lower first Labyrinth layer that consist from obviously manufactured materials like sculpted stone or metal, some of them are monsters while others are a type of deep labyrinth settlers. It is a large spherical gem about 10 centimeters in diameter that glows dim orange and slowly pulses. It has a case made out of heavily engraved brass in the form of numerous belts each with series of hemispherical indentations that you presume to be slots of some kind. One of the slots is occupied with a mechanical “eye” made from the same gem material and a brass “shutter”. It looks at you, focuses the shutter, moves the eye from side to side and slowly blinks…I want this because it seems that studying it or using it would allow us to make some construct for ourselves.
>>4166612>>Voyvufilm (2 points): another type of fern, but with different uses. Its thick brown leaves are mostly filled with caoutchouc, which is a type of natural rubber. It is used mostly as a waterproof adhesive by Ceno people in the areas where it is grown, but you know its industrial potential. One of the only ways to get decent insulators for cables and airtight seals without lots of petrochemical industry>Momicasa (1 point): an interesting plant in the form of a flower with three huge petals taking up almost half a meter squared of space in its adult form. These large petals are one of red, one of green and one of blue color, but there are many tiny petals in the center that contain a mix of those colors resulting into a very colorful plant. The petals are pretty thick and mainly store pigment which is extracted, dried and then used in textiles and paints by the people. Very obviously engineered and the reason why purple paint is not exorbitantly expensive in CenoI also want to bust the owl thief and maybe convince Elspeth to let us keep it.
>>4166613>>4165612Just so you know, the shady merchant is a reseller and wants to get back what he paid to the thieves for the owl. Just in case it changes your decision. Also note that you likely won't find him if you don't buy or take the owl by force immediately, he won't wait for you to come back with cops/ ask Elspeth. So do you want to buy it, just take it by force or give him in to the guard which means losing the owl since it would go back to the temple? Or maybe some other approach?
>>4166612>>4166613I'll go with this too
>>4165533To hire people you need an incentive, in this case a forward pay that would convince them to follow you across the entire nation. You’d still pay wages, but that can be relegated to your metallurgic manufacturing. This all means that you have a limited amount of money to spend on both the purchases of goods and acquisition of workforce. And considering that this is the capital, there might be rare items that you might prefer over some extra workforce. So, you decided to see the marketplace before you pay the headhunters.Elspen biggest market is located on the main street that goes from the docks towards the arcology. Even though other large streets often have their own shops and marketplaces, the main street market is the most famous and thus the spot of concentration for the majority of the more interesting goods. In general, in Elspen you can find anything that you could find in other cities, from livestock to bulk goods. However, you are pretty far away from home and you won’t enjoy hauling cows or giant bags of wheat across the width of the country for little to no reason. This means that you will focus only on rare goods that you can’t find elsewhere such as artifacts, rare seeds, certain luxury items and so on.After several hours of browsing shops, you decided to ditch the idea of luxury goods. While they sold stuff like tea produced by the gods or fine giant spider silk, you decided that other things would be more important. And indeed, for the price of a single large bag of ambrosia tea you could afford forward pay to hire several young specialists. You’ve also found several interesting items that would be great to have if you had spare cash, but in the end, you narrowed down your choices only to a particular list of items:Out of numerous different artifacts your eyes were caught by a “Golem’s Heart”. This is an item extracted from the depths of the lower first Labyrinth layer either from a type of local monsters or some of the inhabitants of those areas. It represents essentially the “brain” of these mechanical creatures. It is a perfectly spherical orange gem that slowly pulses with dim light. The gem is surrounded by a casing made of multiple belts of heavily engraved brass that have an array of round housings that appear to be “slots” for attachment of various parts like mechanical eyes, judging by the attachment mechanism and a small surface of orange gem that might be the contact point. One of those slots is occupied by a single mechanical eye that is made out of the same orange gem material and movable brass casing.
>>4174437The Heart appears to be “alive” as the orb is capable of freely spinning inside of the housing by its own will and the eye blinks with its brass eyelids and tracks the surroundings. You wonder if it would be possible to somehow reverse engineer it to produce artificial people. It might be beyond your abilities right now, but if it was made it should be possible to repeat the process, and this item has to be the key for it. Deep inside you hope that it was a monster and not some unfortunate person who got on the wrong side of an adventurer party…Then you take a look at the various rare plant seeds that you could find. First of all, you are instantly interested in a plant called Voyvufilm. Film means fern in Ceno language and it is probably a type of gene modified aloe or blue agave plant altered to produce vast amounts of organic rubber. While aloe naturally contains caoutchouc, it doesn’t produce it in sufficient quality and quantity to be exploited industrially, but this plant would unlock the potential to produce rubber insulators and watertight seals that don’t involve welding which is a massive advantage.The other interesting plant is Momicasa. It is a kind of flower modified to the point that you can’t tell what was the original plant like. It is basically an organic factory that produces cheap pigments that are useful for paints and textiles. It might be very useful if you wish to build your own textile factory later down the line. Also, the seeds are pretty cheap so you can afford more than you really need for a relatively low price.While other things could be very valuable, you wish to grab a lot of specialists on your way home so you need to decide whom to take. You decide that architects and engineers are a must. Former would allow for more organized construction without your personal involvement and latter would allow you to finally get the metallurgic plants running full time without your presence. Then you want to get some merchants. They would manage your business incomes and expenses and they would take the trading of materials on themselves which would be very nice. Then you’re thinking of maybe taking some managers to organize the people… and maybe even a chemist? Maybe you could also take several of those, but you’re running out of your money. You’ll have to ditch something…
>>4174438Clockwork owl is moved into an event in the next turn>Take the seeds and the heart (6 points) and take a group of engineers, architects, managers and merchants for the general kickstart and control of your business>Take the seeds and the heart (6 points) and take two engineers and two architects to get the industry going>Take the seeds, the heart (6 points) and 4 points of workers of your choosing>Take only the seeds (3 points), managers, accountants, merchants, two groups of architects, engineers and a monster hunter to maximize variety among the employees>Take only the seeds (3 points) and 7 points of workers of your choosing>Other?
>>4174439>>Take the seeds and the heart (6 points) and take a group of engineers, architects, managers and merchants for the general kickstart and control of your business
>>4174439>Take the seeds and the heart (6 points) and take a group of engineers, architects, managers and merchants for the general kickstart and control of your business
>>4174439>Take only the seeds (3 points), managers, accountants, merchants, two groups of architects, engineers and a monster hunter to maximize variety among the employeesBut change that hunter for medics
>>4174440>>4174443>>4174448Time's up. Option 1 wins it seems. Writing
>>4174450After some consideration you decide to purchase the Golem Heart and the seeds after which you’ve returned back to the Arcology to file in the papers. The process would take some time, probably a week or two meaning that you won’t be able to leave Elspen for long. You’d have to return at a set time to finalize the hiring process, screen and brief your new employees and to haul them all the way back to Farsalos. Until then, you’re free to wander around, visit pantheon’s headquarters and probably do a few tasks for the Elspen Hall of Huntsmen.As you were walking towards the inn to dump your new purchases and the copies of your papers, you were called over by someone from a dark alleyway. The stranger in a robe probably saw the elements of your armor and asked if someone like you was interested in acquiring rare and interesting artefacts. You were intrigued and it is not like there would be any human in the world who could mug you, so you followed him. Unfortunately, he didn’t allow your companions to join so you’ve asked Haven and Rheia to meet you back at the inn while you investigate what the man has to offer. You don’t really have any significant quantity of money to spend, but who knows, maybe it would be interesting enough to do a few quests for.The stranger leads you through the small twisting street to a tiny and poorly maintained inn at the basement of one of the residential buildings. It looks VERY shady, but you have nothing to fear because… well… being a Synthetic Goddess. The contingent of people inside is not that savory either, it is one of those lower-class adventurer gathering spots. Here so- called adventurers chill waiting for a request worth their time. Considering their reputation, it can be anything from guarding caravans and small monster hunting to illegal things like criminal protection or even minor banditry or theft.And theft it was in this case. You were led into a small room where behind some barrels and under a dirty sackcloth lied a meter-tall statue of a great horned owl, the symbol of Elspeth. It is made out of some kind of golden alloy and its eyes are encrusted with orange gems that are suspiciously similar to Golem’s Heart. The work is of an excellent quality, each golden feather is made with incredible precision and detail. Once the drape was taken off, the owl focused its eyes on you, fluffed up and clicked its beak. The golden bird’s “handler” starts speaking: “Greetings, Bird of Wisdom”, to which the golden owl looked at him with what looked like a tired expression and produced an audible “Uhoo!”.
>>4174493“It is Elspeth’s gift to one of her minor shrines. It is said that once you speak with the owl it can reveal its wisdom to you. It was stolen by a group of thieves that wished to remain anonymous and I was stupid enough to purchase it. But it seems to be protected by the goddess’s power and won’t let itself to be disassembled or melted down. You seem like a person with the wisdom to value it and the money to back it up. If you compensate me the money that I’ve spent on it, I’m willing to give it up in your possession. This is the only offer, if you refuse the owl will immediately leave this place.”Interesting, so basically the man is a reseller of stolen goods, but he has bought something that he can’t resell or get rid of one way or another. Thus, he’s willing to try and sell it for a much lower price than he tried before. However, if you refuse to purchase it immediately, the man would flee and hide its owl once again making it near impossible to find him, so you can’t even afford to tell him to wait until you get the money. He’s aware of the risk that if he waits for you, he might be caught by the guards. Now, how should you approach this…> ”Fine, I’ll pay.” Pay him the sum from the cash you intended to use to hire people, you’ll have to go and do some tasks for the Hall of Huntsmen to get the money back within two weeks.> ”I will take it off your hands for free and no one can stop me. This is MY final offer” take the owl and force your way through any resistance, you’re taking it with you and not paying anything. Seller will remain free> “I’m taking what’s mine!” attempt to impersonate Elspeth. Float up, tie your hair into a ponytail with telekinesis and you’ll probably face no resistance. Seller will remain free> “I am confiscating this in my name!” reveal your godlike powers, similar effect to previous choice> ”I am confiscating it in the name of the law!” take the man along with the owl and bring him to the justice system. The man would most likely be executed and you won’t be able to keep the owl> Other?
>>4174494>> “I’m taking what’s mine!” attempt to impersonate Elspeth. Float up, tie your hair into a ponytail with telekinesis and you’ll probably face no resistance. Seller will remain freeOh this is glorious! do our best elspeth performance!
>>4174494> ”Fine, I’ll pay.” Pay him the sum from the cash you intended to use to hire people, you’ll have to go and do some tasks for the Hall of Huntsmen to get the money back within two weeks.
>>4174504>>4174500>>4174496Impersonating Elspeth it is, writing
>>4174514You look at the reseller and a smile forms on your face as you come up with an idea. “I’m taking what’s mine.” You tell him as you float up into the air while tying your hair into the ponytail behind you with telekinesis. The man gasps and falls on his knees: “Elspeth the All Knowing! Please forgive this sinful servant of your will…” and he continues his prayer. It is a little awkward, but you’ve committed yourself to this. Does Elspeth enjoy such brown- nosing? You’ve seen Elspeth and her mannerisms so it is not too difficult for you to replicate them. Your hair is significantly shorter and are of a different shade of red, but people don’t often see her so they don’t know that either. But just in case you still replicate her “kind smile” and voice tone, no need to be caught on something minor. Maybe a ponytail would even look well on you, but you don’t feel like ripping off other people’s looks.You touch the guy’s head and tell him “For now I’ll let you go, but don’t ever do anything like that again.” He nods and scutters away from the room allowing you to pull the owl out from behind the barrels and boxes with some more telekinesis. The owl puffs up to look bigger, clacks its beak and starts aggressively hooting. “It will be okay, little guy” you tell it, take off your cape and wrap it up in it.As you walk out, basically everyone is gawking at your presence. Looks like the reseller told everyone what was going on. You sigh and quickly float to the exit of the inn and get out. There you rapidly float up to the roofs and get out of sight as fast as you can so you won’t get followed. You can’t get back to the inn with this thing, it is too big. But you do manage to sneak out of the city by hopping over the rooftops and above the wall in the poorly defended areas while being low enough under the radar not to trigger the cup bearers. As Elspen is so far in the civilized territories its guards are a bit lazy.
>>4174617You managed to make your way to the gondola. It is placed somewhere outside of the walls on the property of a farmer who allowed it for a few coins. There you finally placed the owl into the gondola and unwrapped it to take a look at what you’ve just scored. You even feel a little bad of how well it went. The owl reacted by eyeing you while fluffed up but no longer actively showing itself to be bigger and clacking its beak. “Hi there, little guy” you tell it, to which the owl replies with a resounding “Uhohoo!” Its design is amazing, when it hoots the feather below the beak mimic what it would look like on a real owl.As you try to pet the owl, it hisses and starts tracking your arm finally managing to land a bite on it after a few attempts. The bite is not that powerful, but it would be more than enough to painfully pierce the skin and feels like putting your finger in the door and slamming it shut at full force. That’s one strong hoot. It shouldn’t be surprising for an owl, they eat small mammals and a real great horned owl is capable of doing such things as piercing through the man’s hand with its claws and tearing the skin with its beak, they are very dangerous animals to try and keep at home if you don’t know what you’re doing.You give the mechanical owl a smile and put it into a crate you’ve brought with you to carry valuables since it is now empty of its coins and precious metal bars. You’d be carrying people in this thing, so it might be a good idea to keep it hidden from them. The theft of this owl was probably fresh in the minds of the Elspen citizens. Speaking of which, you plan to ask Elspeth about the bird. If she wants it back, you’d give it to her. If not, maybe you could study it? It seems that the owl is very similar to the Golem Heart that you’ve bought…The return to the inn doesn’t take you nearly as long as it doesn’t require any stealth. You quickly explain what happened to your teammates who for some reason expected something to go wrong. Gee, thanks for the support guys. In any case, maybe you should finally head to the Valhalla and meet the gods? Or then again, there is the Hall of Huntsmen to see…>Hall of Huntsmen: you want to fight something!>Docks: you’re heading for Valhalla! The gods will Witness You!>Other?
>>4174619>Docks: you’re heading for Valhalla! The gods will Witness You!Let's greet Nika and say hi to the others.
>>4174619>Docks: you’re heading for Valhalla! The gods will Witness You!
>>4174619>Docks: you’re heading for Valhalla! The gods will Witness You!does lowly have a name inscribed somewhere?
>>4174630The mechanical owl has small golden rings around one of its feet and on one of them you can read "Pine" in plain english
>>4174619How long is the trip to Valhalla?
>>4174645Well, no matter.>DocksWe can hunt later
>>4174645A couple hours considering that it is done by wind power and rowing. It is about... 25-30 kilometers off shore
>>4174658Your next stop is quite obviously the Pantheon’s HQ, the “Valhalla”. Terrible name by the way, considering that is one of the Norse Mythology afterlives and afterlives are a thing in this world. You wonder why didn’t they try to go for Asgard or something. Maybe it was named before the existence of the afterlives was confirmed, or maybe it was taken, who knows. All you know is that it was Elspeth’s idea.Thanks to Nika you knew the rough schedule of the ferry service between Elspen and Valhalla. There is a ship that hauls pilgrims and tourists thrice a day at regular intervals and you are just a bit early for the last haul of the day around 7 PM. The price was quite hefty but then again, for these people it is not a matter of business. They come here to pray or to see the glorious city of the gods. Still, it is not like you were out of money, you were only out of useful sums of money for large purchases. For this trip you easily had enough for you, Haven and Rheia. Amusingly, back tickets are free since no mortal permanently lives there.The Valhalla is a lone artificial mountain on an artificial island with a plateau on top of it. The mountain forms a circular wall around the “holy city” itself and it has some structures built into it either for defenses or aesthetics. From one side of the mountain a river pours from the upper level downwards at a rate that suggests that it is probably that hydroelectric dam that Nike’ mentioned. The mountain doesn’t just stick out of the water, it has a bit of land area around its base which is where the dock and the tourist village is placed. The village itself is pretty big and it is like… 40% temple stuff that takes care of all the pilgrims, 50% tourism-based industries like inns and the rest can be thrown to a tiny amount of housing for the local workers. Like in Elspen they have sewers and running water plus according to the guide on the boat all of the recreational facilities are monitored for quality by government officials. To be an innkeeper here you need to be the best of the best.
>>4174929Once you arrive at the Valhallan dock you noticed a long and winding staircase that goes up the mountainside. It is not an insurmountable obstacle, but you can hear Rheia groaning as she notices it. You jokingly tell her that if she’s tired you can carry her which causes her to pout slightly and laugh. There are quite a lot of small shops around here selling various trinkets somehow connected with the Ceno pantheon like tiny replicas of symbols, small figurines and so on. Tiny bronze owls seem to be very popular, but the stuff of other gods is also selling pretty well such as Sam’s decorative coins. You pass all of that and head straight for the stairs.At the base of the stairs stands a massive gate made completely out of steel and it has a massive symbol of Elspeth’s owl surrounded by slightly smaller symbols of all of the other gods of Ceno pantheon. The surrounding gatehouse is made out of that weird ceramic material that most of the buildings in Valhalla holy city are made of with no seams making the entire gatehouse almost completely monolithic. In front of the gates stands a massive man almost four meters tall clad in shining heavy armor and wielding a one- handed mace and a kite shield with the symbol of Tyrael, the god of law and justice. Due to the armor you can’t tell who is below it all, a human giant or a machine, but you approach him.With the booming and echoing voice he asks “Who goes there?!” as you approach him and the gate which causes everyone on the street to look at you. “I’m Agatha” you respond, “Please let me in, I should be on the list…” The guardian almost instantly replies with: “No mortal is allowed inside and I know nothing about your “lists”, step back” which confuses you. Luckily the door slowly opens behind him just enough for a thin woman with black hair and in a blue and white dress decorated with some patterns and, of course, owls, to pass through who says in a slightly echoing voice “It’s alright, Ijord, let them in. We just now received the orders.” The giant grunts and takes a step to the side.She turns to you and says “You must be Agatha, right? I’m Maia, nice to meet you. I’m one of Elspeth’s Lower Cup Bearers and I’m in charge of managing the gate and this… “tourist trap”, as the Mistress calls it. My orders are to let you in and guide you to the Capital Complex. I’m also here to inform you of the simplified procedure for your next visit.” You nod and the three of you walk through the gatehouse.
>>4174932As the door closes behind you, the four of you float up into the air. Maia says: “Please don’t be alarmed. Have you already been to Elspen’s Pantheon District? This is a very similar system. By focusing on moving you should be able to propel yourself forward, backward and to the sides, similarly you can tell yourself to lower to the ground to walk normally or to float back up to fly faster. All main external roads here are made this way which should allow us to reach the Capital Complex quickly. It is a relatively new addition, Mistress Elspeth claims that they are expensive even for the gods.”As you move up the stairs, your guide continues: “The entire City is closed in a protective bubble that controls its internal weather and protects it from possible external attacks so it would be impossible for you to just fly in. For the future, there are three landing spots at the north, south and west edges of the mountain walls plus one sea access spot on the east that is almost never used, which is right here. The aerial access is somewhat… “automated”, I believe it is the correct word. You need an identification system to enter through those since they are also… “bubbled”, as Master Yawgmoth calls it. If I understand correctly, you are one of the Outsiders and you plan on becoming a goddess, so I assume that you would be given an identification artifact today.”You thank her for the information and the four of you head to the Capital Complex. You don’t see much… godly activity around the place. You pass some park- like areas, servant settlements that look similar to the ones in Elspen, they are just made out of that magical ceramic and not out of marble, as well as what you assume to be one of the access points to Yawgmoth’s underground facility… or his “mad scientist lab”. You can see some of what you assume to be Cup Bearers flying higher in the sky, but you can’t identify any of the gods. They are probably busy with their own stuff, or maybe they are waiting for you to arrive?>Roll 1d20 to help Elspeth decide!
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>4174935Decide Elspeth!....wait....decide what?
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>4174935
Rolled 5 (1d20)>>4174935
Rolled 2 (1d20)>>4174935I guess she'll take the owl back :(
Rolled 18 (1d20)>>4174935
>>4174967Decide on how to meet Ag mostly
I wonder if Elspeth heard about her recent appearance at the city lol
>>4175033You approach the main entrance to the Capital Complex and the first warning flags started when after approaching the door your guide tells you that from here you can proceed on your own and peaces out in the direction from where you came with, which was a little weird. You end up shrugging it off and starting to pull the large doors open with telekinesis. The door doesn’t budge at first, but then starts to slowly open with an awful squeak. Damn guys, don’t forget to lube up the hinges, bloody hell.Inside you see a large entrance hall with a twin staircase at the back leading to the two doors on the sides and one door leading forward below the bridge between the two stairs. The room has a lot of various decorative clutter like small trees, bushes and flowers in large ceramic pots, fancy benches and so on. The ceiling is a mosaic made from various glow- quartz shards that looks pretty great and gives off light but is probably a huge pain to make. In the very middle of the room you can see one out of place short column that acts like a table for a single item that is floating an inch above its surface. It is a halo similar to the one that you’ve seen on Elspeth, Nike and Yaw. You approach the halo and note that it seems to be made for you. Its circumference would fit the size of your head perfectly and it has your symbol electroplated with various metals to make it fit the colors of your banner placed on both sides of that central gap that all of those halos usually have. It also has a thick spot on the back that only has your symbol engraved, not etched. Somewhat simple compared to the other halos, but still it’s nice that you’d have one of those. You’re not sure how to use them, but it must be important if every deity has one.Speaking of which, where is everyone? You can’t shake of the feeling that you’re being watched this entire time. Also… it is kind of weird that instead of giving it to you personally they just left it on the pedestal here. Do they not care about you being here? Do they not want to give it to you personally? And where is Nike’? Didn’t she want to meet you? You hesitate, is this some sort of a test or a trap? Or maybe taking it would mean joining them or their side? That doesn’t seem likely, Elspeth promised to leave that for you, so you should be able to refuse if it is the case. It can’t be just your godlike ID card, right? And what should you do with it? The options are kind of obvious…>Take it>Leave it
>>4175292Oh right, due to running out of time and not wanting to leave on a cliffhanger, the reply to this post would be ready tomorrow after I wake up. Feel free to vote until then and probably discuss what is going on.
>>4175292They have a prankster god and this thing screams prank to me.Take it with TK and inspect it, probe ot with tk and try to see what's inside and what isn't sense its mechanisms if there is any.If we can't take it with TK leave it at the pedestal and search the room for an exut to continue
>>4175317There doesn’t seem to be anything in or on the pedestal as you probe it and nothing appears to prevent you from TKing this halo from half the room away. Do you take it or leave it?
>>4175416with TK, take it
>>4175292>Take itI trust her enough to believe this is nothing dangerous, and I wish to show her that trust."Ok Elspeth, I'll take it, I trust you enough to not fear some kind of prank."It has our symbol so why not, we can return it to her if it's not meant to be taken from here.
>>4175467>>4175438>>4175329I guess we're taking it since 2/3 posts want it. I have some emergency stuff to do and I'll write the reply as soon as I can
>>4176938As weird as it is, you decide that you trust Elspeth not to harm you. On the other hand, you don’t trust the pantheon quite enough not to expect some kind of trick here. After all, they have a god literally focused on mischief. It would be lucky if there is just a confetti gun hidden somewhere in the pillar. Not that you can sense anything. In fact, you’ve been probing the room with everything you had and you couldn’t find anything of note. The pillar is completely clear, it is just a simple piece of cut stone and there is nothing in the room except of you, your companions, the halo and random clutter to make it feel less empty. However, you still can’t drop the feeling that you are being watched. You can’t tell how or from where, but that’s the first time you’ve had this sensation. It is almost like playing a good horror game at 3 am without the lights on, but stronger. Your companions also seem to feel it. You decide to pull in the halo with your telekinesis. From several meters away you extend your hand towards the pillar and lightly pull the object off its pedestal and into your hand. For a moment nothing happens, but then you feel it. It was true that you were being watched. The sensation almost paralyzed you as the memory from the last time you’ve felt something like that rushes into your mind. The weird pulses of energy similar to your own that accompanied that four- dimensional parasite, like ripples from lightly touching completely still water, but propagating through the fabric of space at weirdly slow rate. Your companions don’t feel it, but in the few milliseconds before something happens you at least get a little warning. There are ten locations where the manifestation would take place, all surrounding your group at roughly equal distance of four meters. You can’t really do anything with this, you just have to wait and see.For your startled consciousness the process that is instantaneous is extended to several seconds as you observe people appearing from nowhere all around you. Looks like most of the pantheon decided to come here to see you, with the exception of Ignis and Marco, probably for obvious reasons. Right in front of you appears Elspeth wearing the armor she is usually depicted with as well as her halo. To the left and right of her appear Yawgmoth and Verdandi, but they both wear what they wore last time when you saw them. Vera’s halo is special in that it is the most transparent of them all, being made mostly from a single piece of some kind of light blue glass or crystal with some glowing energies flowing through it. Nike’ appears to the left of you in her shiny armor that she used to spar with you once along with her massive sword. Her halo is similar to her armor design in that it is mostly polished steel and bronze, being one of the most modest designs out of the entire roster.
>>4177822On the other side of Nike’ stands Tyrael, luckily in a slightly less shiny armor. This time he looks a bit like those fantasy paladins in chromed up full plate that has some cloth over it displaying his symbol in the form of the “Scales of Justice”. You’re not sure how that piece of clothing is called, a type of tabard should be pretty close, or maybe altered monastic scapula. His halo is the shiniest of them all, being made out of chromed up metal and parts that glow in bright white light. Luckily, he tones it down pretty quickly after the entrance effect is gone not to blind anyone.To the left and slightly behind you appears Samael, the goddess you haven’t met yet. She is the shortest out of all of them, being around 165 centimeters in height (roughly 5 foot 4 inches), which is comparable to a 14-year-old. In fact, Rheia is taller than her. Her proportions look childish which is why you thought of her as of a mid- early high schooler. She has Caucasian skin and blonde hair tied in two drills on the sides of her head and she has that smile that just somehow tells you that she is a brat. An incredibly smug smirk, basically. She is wearing a weird dress that seems to be a combination of a common merchant clothing in Ceno and a tuxedo that was common in your time, borrowing the shape from the former and the design from the latter. Her halo has the highest amount of gold on it along with some very precious- looking gems. In fact, in the very middle of the central gap she has an oval cut diamond of huge proportions (for a diamond) floating suspended between the two sides of the halo.On the right symmetrically from Sam stands Valentina, the other controversial goddess. She is wearing a different dress from the one you’ve seen her in, but it is also an expensively made satin white dress with cut out sections on the left side exposing her thigh and leg. The dress this time has a bit more detail in the form of pink fabric and she is also wearing high heel thigh high boots and gloves. Her chest once again is displayed through a pretty deep cut. Her halo also has gems, but not in the quantity that Sam has, instead it is shaped to look a little bit like a crown and it is made mostly out of what you assume is rose gold with some silver highlights.
>>4177823Far behind you to the left stands Ninmah, the goddess of harvest. Nike’s description of her is somewhat accurate… She has long curly oak brown hair and brown eyes. She is the most… normal- looking girl of all of this gang with decent body that you’d expect an average person of your time to have. She is not noticeably fit like you, Elspeth or Nike’, nor she is plain and “cute” like Vera or as …curvy as Valentina. Her facial features tell you that she is most likely central European, German or maybe French. She is wearing a green and brown dress with obviously plant inspired features. Her halo is the most organic inspired out of all of the gods, being made to look like diadem of flowers and bent branches.On the right side symmetrical from Ninmah comes Mortati, the god of health. He is the oldest looking man in the group in his early forties. He is north European with light brown hair in a neat combed cut and he is clean shaven. He is also tall and somewhat skinny. His clothes can be described as a weird combination of a doctor’s outfit and a clerical robe, but mostly leaning to the medical outfits. He is using his caduceus as his symbol and it is depicted on the right side of his coat in golden thread. His halo is made mostly out of glossy white ceramic with next to no other features. A bit spartan maybe. Unlike the rest of the people here, he’s stoic and not smiling.The last person who appears right behind you is Belkh and he’s honestly the weirdest- looking being in the room at the moment. It is hard to describe what he is… he has a large golden disk for his head that has two spires coming to the center of his head which is where the T-head description comes from and it appears to be his halo, since you can’t see anything else on him that might qualify. The rest of his body looks like a weird mix of armor and doll joints and it consists from these golden spheres in the joints and weird purplish- grey material plates with a pattern that is constantly shifting. The armor pieces look like they are floating millimeters away from each other with no connection and there are no real hinges anywhere. The probably last remaining piece of him that stays human are a pair of large hair strands coming from the base of that golden head and tied up into two braids. He is also very tall, four or maybe even five meters but for some reason it is very hard for you to tell.
>>4177824All of them in unison say: “Welcome, Goddess Agatha, we wish you the best in your path to become equal to us in power and skill.” Then only Elspeth continues: “We grant you your first Halo and we hope that it serves you well. Congratulations, we all wish to officially recognize you as a goddess.” This phrase is accompanied by an applaud from everyone present, but the process is interrupted as the door on top of that bridge on the second floor bursts open and a parade of people marches through playing strange cacophony, mostly because they are very bad at it, on a variety of wind instruments from horns to vuvuzelas. You hear numerous pops high up on the ceiling and confetti starts raining down on everyone as a huge banner is quickly tied to the bridge’s fence by two guys and flipped over revealing a message of “Welcome, Ag!”.This seems to startle even the gods around you. Nika and Mort facepalm, Sam laughs and everyone else just looks in astonishment to how the very serious event is reduced to this clown show. Just above Elspeth in midair appears a giant figure of another four-dimensional god, who is very obviously Marco judging by the shenanigans. He looks like a frail man with massive pair of horns stuck to the front of his face. Not growing out of it, but stuck in front of and instead of his face, the rest of it being blank and featureless which is a little creepy. He is wearing a red robe of sorts that covers his weirdly grey body and he rapidly shrinks from “scraping the ceiling with the horns” to a normal human scale. “What, you didn’t think that I’ll simply let you do this on your own? Hi by the way, Ag. Welcome to our humble abode! Let’s get the official stuff done already and go PARTY!” His voice is strange, as if several different people are talking at once from different places of his body.Well, this surely is a warm meeting, right? Your companions are still trying to process what’s going on while you smile and look at your halo. “Thank you, guys” you say and levitate it over your head. It wobbles for a few moments after which it almost clicks into position which slightly startles you. You quickly check that you can indeed remove it before you are content with halo floating above your head. It doesn’t feel like it is weighting you down, in fact you can barely feel it at all. Interesting…_______________________________________________________And on this note we will wrap up for the week. Thank you all for joining the Synthetic Gods Quest. As usual, I’m here all week. Ask questions, give suggestions and discuss. I’ll see you all next time.
>>4177832thanks for runningthat was fun. make sure Haven and Rheia don't freak out to much lol.
>>4177966the guy who is mising is the fire god right? it may not be safe for him to be around mortals I guesscan we get some pics of the gods present?
>>4177832Is that band some kind of summon or actual people he brought here?I want to grab more seeds with the plant godess, she must have some very useful ones.
>>4178589They seem to most likely be local servants recruited by Marco for the event, judging by the outfits. They are real people. Regarding the seeds, you'll have to ask the goddess directly. Maybe she could give you something. But keep in mind that domesticated plants modern to your time require massive quantities of fertilizer, else they would suck the fields dry from nitrogen and phosphorous within years. You need chemical fertilizer production set up to grow those.>>4177972Yes, Ignis the fire god is missing. Regarding artwork, I didn’t use references to existing art to depict the gods which means I don’t have fitting art for everyone. For example, I don’t have anything that looks similar to Ninmah in my 15 gigs of unsorted mess of a library. Sorry about that. Once I find a pic that fits the description, I post it in the thread during the game. Here is something close to Val.
>>4177832Next thread is live:>>4189077