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/qst/ - Quests

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Welcome back one and all into a new part of our adventure. Myrtidal ugly secret has been exposed, the ambition of a cold merciless pharaoh came to light, we have made an unlikely alliance with our nemesis and we had to separate with two new companions... Is her game finally over?

Previous Threads

Twitter for schedule updates

Perks and spells for our main character

Characters met by Arawn.

People from Muribel.

The coming update is a long one but it's mostly info dump according to your wishes last time. Feel free to votes first. Also, happy new year folk. I'll make a little announcement once today's session is over.
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Transfering magical power into the gorgeous shard of Mother Earth was a slow, careful process because everyone involved -Shereen included despite her confidence in the witch- dreaded a potential evil trick that proved, thankfully, unfounded. Shereen radiated a quiet happiness when you asked to use the bulk of her magical reserve whilst Klesiah couldn't resist to let hints of dread travel into your spiritual connection. But, ever kind, your paladin kept her worries to herself and trusted your and Shereen's confidence... and perhaps she did have some faith in Ama word.

Had she been imprisoned? An unwilling apostle? Klesiah spent an entire year in Ama ''company'' and it left a mark. You've seen it firsthand: her heart had hardened considerably in Myrtidal. Sure, she'd always been cold to people outside your party but even in battle she always kept a layer of mercy.

You don't have any memory to back up that thought. Why did you...?

''Shall we?'' Sensing your discomfort, Klesiah shook her arms. All three of you were holding hands in a triangle with Mina in the center.

''Let's do it. Don't get distracted now, Arawn.'' Shereen warned with the barest hint of a friendly smirk.

Doing this thing right would take a while. You need to carefully measure the trickles of magic the girls sent into you and push it forward into Mina accepting embrace: thirty to forty minutes to internalize foreign wills or, as you've begun to think, bureaucratic magical activity. Measuring magical flow was becoming similar to crunching numbers, doing it in a hurry always led to a mess.

Slow and steady.

''It's done... ah, finally.'' Klesiah spoke with subdued elation. Relief flowed out of her as if a long chronic pain had been healed. With time flowing differently inside dreamscape it was impossible to accurately tell how long you took but the final result had been worth the effort and magic.

Mina hadn't moved from her spot inside the triangle formed by all three magic users and she was no longer this otherwordly colorful sprite and was back into the human form you briefly saw in the city... somehow looking genuinely alive instead of otherwordly.

Her hair was still this mixture of dark purple and gold with eyes of rainbows, she stood taller than everyone but yourself, perhaps, a vision of goddess Mother Earth herself. Staying serene inside the triangle, Mina had joined her hands together and looked over you and the girls with calm sympathy, rainbow eyes changed into a dark purplish hue, her skin looked soft instead of outright alienistic. This was a person, not a being.

''I think I remember a lady looking like you in a book about Mother Earth.'' Shereen was the first to break the silence. ''You're looking healthy!''
''The shards of our Mother Goddess are projections of her will and grant us the privilege of a similar appearance.'' Mina voice did not carry this otherwordly awe-inducing tone anymore, she sounded wholly organic and so much more pleasant. ''I would love to lead you two deeper inside the soul of my anchor for she has so many gorgeous sights to show.'' Klesiah horrified disbelief didn't match the sudden worried look she threw your way. ''But I'm afraid that I need to insist on us leaving this beauteous garden and continue our path. With luck, we'll reach that inn at sundown.'' Mina walked forward and gently broke the hold you had on your paladin, dismissing the now useless ritual.

''Yeah, just one thing.'' Shereen quickly asks, rubbing her furred hands nervously. ''Did any of you... was there anything suspicious with my magic?''

''It was good for me.'' You affirmed, sparing her an awkward silence.

''Your ritual broke magic down into its raw, purest form which allowed me to convert it into energy for my soul. Without a blood sacrifice or a pearl, I doubt even the mighty witch could sneak anything here.'' The shard of Mother Earth answered with a tone that matched her gentle smile.

''Okay.'' Shereen beamed with pride ''I was useful!'' was written on her face.

''Shall we?'' With Klesiah remark came a diminishing of sunlight and increasingly strong wind that, after you closed your eyes, proceeded to become the only noise you heard until familiar vertigo and a cold sense of loss heralded the return of your soul into its proper receptacle.


The first noise that welcomed your conscious return into Muribel hot temperature was a whistle.

''Prettiest colors I've seen, do you glow at night?'' You didn't need to wait the few minutes needed for your mind to settle in Mother Earth reality again to distinguish who could have said that.

Standing beside your paladin was none other than her spiritual guardian. Having forgone nearly all of her fey appearance, Mina felt more real than ever before, easily mistakable as being in real flesh for anyone that wasn't privy to her origin. Her long, gorgeous hair reached her ankles, combed into a tasteful braid from the middle point. Her colors had changed into a more organic brown and, with a careful eye, some hints of gold colored a few strands, conserving hints of her divine disposition.

Despite being clothed in a heavyset dress that looked far too warm for the climate she, similarly to Hildegarde, bore no discomfort.

''I take it there hasn't been any complications?'' The maid asked.

''None'' Your knight responded happily. ''It was the best use of our magic for today.''
''Mweh?'' Shereen uttered this noise when the new maiden of the group patted the spot between her ears. It quickly escalated into an outright caress of a fluffy vulpine ear, causing her equally fluffed tail to slap around happily. ''W-what brought this on?'' The princess took a confused step back.

''A desire that needed fulfillment.'' Mina answered after a little silence. ''Pardon me for succumbing to the allure of irresistible fluff. Shall we resume our journey?''

There wasn't any need for further explanations or loitering. Mina changed physique would avoid outright suspicion and her complete rejuvenation granted her better independence from her anchor.

With another complication over and the memory of the brigands truly behind you, the general awkward atmosphere that had settled in your party gradually vanished, replaced by the usual camaraderie that saw Mina become the center of attention.

''Say, is there actual divine magic?''
''Does Father Sky influence reach beyond Mother Earth web?''

Rather, Mina became the center of your and Shereen attention as both of you spoke over one another barely a foot on the road.

''Goodness.'' Mina added a motherly ''fufu'' as she gazed at the curious pair. ''I can say yes to both of your questions but let's proceed one at a time.''

Shereen cleared her throat, huffing at you with that annoying air of false imperiousness that you genuinely missed. ''You'll consider me first, right divine one?''

Contrary to this morning, the second half of your journey will be going quickly.

''Our Mother Goddess can bestow blessings upon her followers but they must be within her web... hence why my only worth yesterday was for battle.'' You nearly succumbed to the urge of telling her she was wrong, Klesiah sharp disapproval directed at her spiritual friend passed the message swimmingly. ''...Father Sky doesn't have this handicap but his influence is, unfortunately, weaker. Would I be right to assume that only Klesiah know the basic of divine magic?''

''I've heard tidbits.'' Hildegarde had to be louder because of her frontal position in the party. ''Mostly about the different kinds of clerics but I've heard that all divine practitioners need a talisman to make it work.''

''You're mostly right when it comes to practicing Mother Earth divine magic, Father Sky is a little different, though both share a mainly ritualistic nature. I've yet to witness anyone channeling Mother Earth will like a mage applying their gift... but a cleric of the goddess can -temporarily- imitate a mage if he has prepared enough.''

As she walked, Mina gently held a waterskin to emphasize her next words.
''Clerics are encouraged to possess one important item they can use as a focus to help them concentrate their prayers so they may commune with Mother wide, protective web and fill it with the potent magical power to create short-lived rituals -sometimes outright spells- to get the help they need to surmount our world trials. Though most of them use it to heal or bless people.''

''This energy is akin a mage natural resource?'' Your question was answered by your paladin.

''Indeed. Once a talisman is exhausted they need to return to a chapel or any strong connection of Mother Earth to replenish this magic. The Faith most important duty is to keep the web maintained, all the festivals and weekly masses help this endeavor. They strengthen Mother Earth and she, in turn, bestow her blessing...'' The violent pang she felt in her heart didn't translate into her voice. ''...Clerics practice minor miracles by using their talismans, this power can be expanded outside Mother Earth domain but not replenished.''

Hence why you needed an elaborate ritual to rejuvenate Mina because of her severed connection with the goddess.

This golden web was also shining above Throne Town... From the way the ladies spoke, it made you believe that Mother Earth primary gift acted as a magical fortress. It does help explain how humanity managed to endure the onslaughts and machinations of many Demon Lords.

''The Thirteen Heroes reactivating and reenergizing that web during the Great Crusade was a vital victory huh?'' Shereen commented, always one to add something about the distant past.

''That is but one side of our heavenly parent influence and even then, we've only introduced individual applications of our Mother generosity.'' Mina continued, gently sloshing the waterskin. ''Mine existence is naught more than an extension of Mother Earth will to help her children. She trusts her shards to think for themselves, my situation with Klesiah is extraordinary... but not unprecedented.'' She winked at your blueberry knight.

''Can Mamonos faithful to the goddess also make use of all these abilities?'' You spoke absentmindedly, with luck some of Zipangu reinforcement would have them...

''Alas, Corruption interferes the web influence, as does a regular mage magical pathways,'' Mina answered calmly. ''Our world isn't one of absolute, there have been cases of Mamonos able to employ Mother Earth gifts with their chosen artifacts, but they were rare exceptions born from grueling training or trials that surpass anything inquisitors go through.''

In all likelihood, those few Monstergirls have mastered their Corruption before employing divine magic.

Corruption, divine force, alchemy, magitek, magic... Much to learn!

''Now, we have another long subject, we haven't even touched the gifts of Father Sky.'' Instead of taking a gulp, Mina put the waterskin inside her bag. ''Good thing our road stretch beyond the horizon and the scenery doesn't deserve many mentions.''
The lack of refugees or more bandits along the road after yesterday events felt almost surreal. Perhaps people dreaded the pharaoh and weren't willing to risk asking for charity?

You couldn't blame them.


Unlike the first half of your journey, time went by quickly enough that seeing the familiar sight of the small roadside community surrounded by healthy fields basked in near-glowing sunlight of dusk surprised you. Your group had made good time, arriving for a late supper. By setting out early tomorrow you should arrive in Marleon at noon...

Mina had spoken with the grace of a practiced teacher without taking a break, lecturing your party about Father Sky side of divine magic. Where Mother Earth was represented by the sun, his image was tied with the moon and the stars. His influence was so subtle one could wonder if he has any magic at all.

Unlike his divine wife, Father Sky rarely takes action for he is stalwart against threats lurking between the darkness of the stars and, most important of all, make sure that no Pretender God emerges again for some of them had come from the abyss.

At least that's how Mina put it and she made sure that her words weren't to be taken as gospel despite her divine connection. Mina is tied to Mother Earth, not Father Sky - a vital distinction.

When it comes to practical applications of his divinity, one needed to operate similarly to Mother Earth by taking sanctuary somewhere filled with his influence (usually a Church) but unlike the good goddess, there was no need for a catalyst, one needed to operate at night and, preferably, alone. Father Sky was the protector of homes, the vigilant guard of the night that allowed children to sleep soundly, consequently, his divine magic demanded a heavy sacrifice of time and dedication.

Someone could be a mage and still wield his influence it seemed... if one was willing to permanently alter their very magical nature to become star mages. Wielder of the concepts behind the shining constellations - quite the gift indeed. Genuine practitioners of Father Sky tended to live lonely lives with only a few organizations favoring him, all of them military. The Rangers of the Watches guarding against the Cursed Swamp was one, another was the paladin sect with inquisitorial authority called the Exemplar (you were surprised to find out the Closed Fists inquisitors favored Mother Earth). Father Sky, it seemed, was an incredibly strict god. Those he favored however were elevated in strength and wisdom for as long as they shepherded good children and primarily lived in the night.

Too bad neither of them reached this land preyed upon by a woman whose delusions are far, far too grand for the good health of her people.

''Man, kinda felt like one neverending lecture.'' Zhu shrugged, rolled her shoulders, and moved her neck around. ''Not thirsty? Ya didn't even work out a sweat.''
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''Want my share?'' Teased divine shard.

''Only if ya drink first. I wanna bring about kissing a goddess.''

Mina looked genuinely surprised by this reply.

''Hm, it doesn't seem like there have been any commotions,'' Hildegarde commented, gesturing with her chin toward the large inn. A few people were coming and going, your group on the road attracted a few curious stares but nothing aggressive.

''What, you feel like skipping the place?'' Zhu retorted with an open grimace. ''Last time went good, no need for that much paranoia cmon.''

''Last time we arrived under different circumstances.'' The maid replied coldly without glancing back at the taller swordswoman. ''It's been more than long enough for pursuers to get here and after yesterday even, I've no doubt the pharaoh is feeling alarmed.''

''Ah.'' Shereen ears perked upright and her tail flapped. ''She's speaking... I... Hm, I won't have you imposing yourself now. You're indebted to me, remember?'' The collection of odd stares from your party made your little sun visibly uncomfortable. ''Witch says that she wants to enjoy the hospitality we ''all deserve'' and, well, I can agree on that point at least.''

Your supplies have been replenished, you have enough tents and firewood for a comfortable night so walking away is feasible, it might be a little difficult to find a hidden spot within the arid landscape but that won't be too much of a hassle.

On the other hand, the inn is more defensible and your party proved itself yesterday in Myrtidal. Today could be your last chance to rest... and you did have a good experience last time.

>Camp somewhere far and hopefully hidden. Can't take any chances, also vexing the witch is always a good thing.

>Yesterday was the most stressful day of your life. You've earned some rest, go make accommodations for your party.


Arawn Magical reserves: 70%
Klesiah Magical reserves: 10%
Shereen Magical reserves: 10%
You should post that you posted.

Ok so Ama wants us to go for the inn right? Is there any way we can scout the place to check if we got a bounty/APB on our party? I kinda wanna go for the inn but we need to not walk into a fight with our depleted reserves. Is it night yet? Can Ama scry/scout for us? Does she outright know if we're on wanted posters all over the place?
On Twitter? I have.
>Ok so Ama wants us to go for the inn right?
Yeah, so does everyone but Hildegarde. A bath after a long hit day of walking is mighty enticing.
>Is there any way we can scout the place to check if we got a bounty/APB on our party?
That's possible though you"ll have to mostly rely on guts feeling depending on what you see.
>Is it night yet?
Not yet, soon.
>Can Ama scry/scout for us?
Well now, you can find out if you want...
>Does she outright know if we're on wanted posters all over the place?
She'll be able to ''make sure.''
I don't like relying on our nemesis, but that seems to be the best option. She also ought to be able to scan for mystic pearl related or other such fuckery. I just know there's a nasty surprise waiting for us in there but she should be able to diffuse that particular bomb. At least, I hope she will. She would leave it be just to laugh at our misfortune.

Unless the bomb imperils our life. Hate to admit it, but I do trust that she doesn't want us to "break" thanks to a BS surprise attack. Also, I fear she may be favored by sky daddy. That's got all kinds of implications...
Well now, a witch makes her own power, it'd be downright shameless to have a divine patron!

What you're asking for isn't an outright commitment so I'll make a short update since you can afford the hesitation.
''Can that fox hear us?'' That damnable geas of tongue had whipped you in minding your language.

''Yeah.'' Your little sun answered, fluffy hands rubbing together nervously. ''She's anticipating you now. This woman is invasive!''

''All I want to know is if she can scout the inn for us, unless Mina can transform into a sprite again?''

The shard shook her head. ''I would need to expunge enough magic to revert into my previous state and remove my anchor in Mother realm.'' No such thing as solving a problem without complications.

''Fuck that, ain't no time for wasted labor,'' Zhu growled. ''Go fox around, what's the harm she can do anyway?''

''Zhu...'' Don't go saying that!

She shrugged your warning. ''If she does fuck around then she'll have a mighty boring time since, y'know, she can't play around with doubts anymore. I wanna eat some meat, so let's have her satisfy your quirk.''

''Huh, guess that's a yes?'' The only one to give her an overt answer was Mina. ''Okay, I need to enter Focus because... it seems she cannot use magic unless I do so but our reserves are still separated.''

''Wait, she'll use magic? That's not how someone is supposed to scout!'' You weren't feeling confident about this now! Unfortunately, the canine princess had already embraced her magical state and...

''Oh.'' Zhu remarked after a few minutes of awkward silence. ''Just saw something leave ya, a mixture of white, orange and red... Witchery fluff ain't here no more?''

''I can still feel that she's here, alive and healthy but we can't speak anymore.'' She answered, rubbing her fluffy hands nervously.

So, a situation that mirrors that of Mina and Klesiah and, to a lesser extent you and Gardy. The spiritual... squatter that was the witch could at least leave your little sun alone in her head.

''Anything happening?'' Hildegarde asked, keeping an eagle eye on the tavern. Nothing but ordinary activity on that front.

''I have no idea, she's gone to -and I quote- satisfy our mother hen.''


The next five minutes were spent in awkward silence and you began to worry if your party was beginning to be mistaken as bandits on an investigation until the double doors of the inn opening from the inside, revealing an individual that -definitely- did not belong there.
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''Ah, my friends you're finally here! I've already negotiated our lodgings!'' Announced a much too familiar voice inside a different body.

A lady fox had come out of the inn. Short in stature yet unrivaled in seductive presence, this person had six particularly large fluffy tails spreading from behind her, all of them similarly colored to wheat under the sin with paler long tips. A long bedful of violet hair cascaded behind her with two large pairs of fluffy ears proudly standing atop her head. A short, nearly open kimono welcomed any glances into generous feminine forms. This wasn't... who!?

Nobody answered her because nobody could, a strong enough disbelief induced collective stupor.

''Come, we've earned a fine respite.'' The vixen walked, tails a flutter, waving a familiar pipe out of which a trail of purple smoke trailed a line. The few dwellers around gave her respectful greetings, some people went inside the inn calmly, you saw a few tables being displaced from the opening with the familiar centaur lady behind the counter.

What in the world is happening?

''Huuuh... is it safe?'' Shereen asked the important question and, unfortunately, the witch little imposition was all the answers you'll be getting.

What in all the worlds is this witch thinking?

Choices remain valid, though things are a little more complicated now.
So Ama has assumed the form of a fox girl quite familiar to those of us who are "cultured" eh? Lacking a few tails but otherwise familiar. Damn, Ama has me read. She was one of my favorites in that game.

Looks like this is a persona that has some level of familiarity with this establishment (or she has assumed the form of someone who does). I don't like it but she's here now in the flesh. Let's play along and stay at the inn. I don't want to piss her off. Also ask her if she detected anything in the inn, our surroundings, or within Shereen. I just know her mommy put in an emergency override geis because she developed a "troublesome" moral code. Best undo that if it's there before we get within city limits.
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You'd be glad to know this unique looking fox is an actual person in the world. Ama know many people!

Gonna give this choice 30 minutes of waiting time to give anyone a chance to vote.
Hot damn, definitely going in now. I don't wanna piss off two fluffy ones. I now fear for our virginity from two sources now. Though it has been quite awhile but I remember that fox to be rather "assertive" if ya catch my meaning.

I wonder if there's something about us that awakens predatory instincts in fox girls. We never got much of a chance to check with Tui...
Wait, I didn't mean that this fox is actually someone staying at the inn for real, only that Ama assumed the physique of an existing person.
I still fear for our purity. She has to "act the part" in that case and I don't think she opposes the idea of defiling us. After what we pulled with Leena, well, she might have the hots for us in ways now unrelated to the joy she extracts from our suffering!
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''Have it your way.'' You grumbled, damnable fox forcing your hand. You could tell Zhu wasn't going to like any other option but the inn and would protest anything else, you're in no mood for an argument.

Ama stopped on the road and your party covered the rest of the distance, the joy on her face looked sincere. Not to you though, never. ''Welcome back my dear friends.'' She said, twirling her pipe on a thumb. ''This establishment truly is a welcome surprise, they've been expecting us, I made sure of it.''

''That doesn't bring me confidence.'' You growled your answer. ''Mind your volume, did you sense anything...?''

''Nay. I have a good nose for nasty tricks, the only treachery would be with exchanged words we haven't been privy to.'' Ama had no trouble with switching between moods, now she looked confident and composed. ''Last night to enjoy ourselves.''

''I'm not so-coff!'' Ama bluntly shoved one of her big bushy tail on Hildegarde face when the maid attempted a retort. Zhu grabbed her hand and pushed her along, forcing her toward the inn.

''Cmon, ya didn't even get a wink, just get to it, madame killjoy.''

And so Zhu was the first person of your party (that you cared about, damn fox) to enter the inn. You took one last moment to investigate the place and only met the comfort of boring end-of-day activity which in itself felt a little weird.

''They really have been waiting for us.'' Your paladin voiced your worries.

''Oh please my dear, they have.'' The purple-haired vixen answered with the smug confidence you knew. ''To be overly suspicious means growing ugly from stress, at least enjoy the night you've earned.''


The inn was the same as you'd remember. Spacious, comfortable, and homely with the spiral staircase leading upstairs, into a library you've yet to see. Behind the counter was the sporty centaur lady, greeting your party with an awkwardness you found endearing. Poor girl was stuck between feeling familiar at your return and guilty for not knowing anyone's names, having another prodigious guess -a six tailed fox this time- didn't help nerves.

''Your rooms have been booked and were in the process of making a healthy supper, I'm so sorry for starting so late!''

''Don't be.'' Hildegarde had taken the role of your party shepherd. ''Trusting this fox word is difficult, here.'' She placed the payment on the counter.

''Ah! That's alright, your friend already paid!'' The equine tomboy feet clopped excitedly.

''I insist, think of it as a reward for our last stay.'' The maid threw an icy look at the vixen who whistled joyfully and directed your party toward the main room.

''I-Is that loremaster gone?'' Shereen asked, voice half-smothered by the fluff.

''I'm afraid so!'' The centaur responded and that was the end of the conversation as she proceeded to walk outside, likely for the kitchen.

''Loremaster?'' Ama asked, ears twitching curiously.
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''What did you do to these people?'' You quickly interjected, better to direct her attention elsewhere. Armin doesn't need that kind of trouble.

''A harmless manipulation of memory, that's all.''

''Hypnotism?'' Shereen accused with a disapproving growl.

''Goodness, nothing so crude. Manipulation dear, that's the keyword. I haven't imposed anything untoward, I only made sure that everyone understood that I had been staying at this place for a few hours and expected friends to arrive soon. I did find out that they had to deal with a rather significant group of refugees yesterday, around 100 of them, and they sent them toward the capital with water and bread.'' The new appearance of your damned fluffy nemesis was... difficult to ignore. Her golden gaze shone with a light of its own and her purple-colored lips gave her the allure of a noble madame from some empire capital.

''Who are you impersonating now, Ama?'' Klesiah asked. From the corner of your eye, you spotted Mina going upstairs whilst Hildegarde went to investigate the bathing area now that all the employees were temporarily indisposed.

''Finally someone willing to say my name.'' Said the impostor, she put down her pipe, causing it to disappear. Shereen was the one with the genuine thing.

''She's an old friend... though I'm afraid the relationship is sadly one-sided.'' Ama audibly smacked her lips, looking irritated and sad. ''She's one of the ninetailed foxes, I decided that going with six would be.. better for our hosts. She's the firefox of Dragon Tooth, someplace very far from here that actually managed to stay independent from surrounding kingdoms and advances from the celestial empire of Zen, though I've she's got a few more homes, like the obsidian island in the Wildlands. That where we often meet. She's a passionate one.'' Ama huffed and two trails of fire exited her nostrils. ''...and I won't say her name, it'd be a little dangerous if you guys forgot who you were dealing it, hm? Can't go forgetting your newest friend.''

Her smirk was such a perfect expression of predatory amusement that your mind nearly juxtaposing Ama's expression next to this woman.

Ye gods, mercy on any soul who manages to catch the attention of two nine-tailed foxes!

After a few minutes of silence (where Ama demonstrated dextrous use of fiery breathing coming out of her nose and between her teeth), Hildegarde and Mina joined your table, neither of them found anything suspicious and Zhu, who had gone outside without you even noticing it, reported similarly ''no colors moved too fast to my liking'' she said, which meant that you had to trust her instincts.

''I'll go take a nap.'' Hildegarde suddenly said, grabbing the lion share of your party luggage. ''I'd like to be awake for tonight, I'll come back in three hours.''
''Goodness, you really could do without being so uptight my dear... But three hours isn't that long, I'll miss you!'' Hildegarde's pale presence disappeared upstairs with heavy stomps. ''Remind me to show her how I've safeguarded the life of her darling princess, she really could do with unwinding this massive ball of stress tightening her body.''

''Hey, she's trying her best.'' Zhu retorted and pulled another chair to rest her feets on.

''Can you imagine how she'd look when she's in love? Oh, I would love to see that. A gorgeous doll having to wrestle with more passionate emotions would be such a joy to witness!''

''I'm startin' to see why prince got such a tight ass around ya.''

A much more comfortable silence surrounded the party afterward, for once Ama existence didn't spoil the mood (once she stopped talking). There were so many important things to talk about, all of them hovered above your head like a mallet... How is Anais safe? How did the duel against Zerase go? How is Klesiah now, after being freed from her captors? How is Shereen feeling today? What will Ama do with her apostle, she can't be helping him now...

You shook your head and took a gulp of water. You've finally earned some free time and gods, if you don't try to enjoy yourself a bit, you'll turn mad.

The situation now is open. Everyone can be interacted with, each choice will consume some time from your evening.

>It's about time to have a heartfelt tête-à-tête with your little sun. She had time to cool off but, honestly, if you don't apologize sincerely your guilt might turn to aggression. You couldn't take the risk, you don't regret it -that- much... but it's still nagging at you.

>You've been reunited with two of your oldest friends. Klesiah and Zhu will obviously spend time together, why not join them? (Invite Shereen too?)

>Spend some time with Mina, try to learn more about her. How she is as a person, she's no automaton.

>Since your nemesis is here and amenable to talk... get a dialogue flowing with her.
>a) Concentrate on more immediate topic (could Zerase have imposed a geas on Shereen? What kind of things could she accomplish with her pearls? etc.)
>b) Bridge some personal topics. Why is Ama focused on you, why did your father sign a contract with her... These are dangerous discussions, it might be your best opportunity to get something out of the fox. You aren't inside her tearoom.
I'll keep things open for one more hour, I'd like to have more than one vote here since it's a moment to spend time with your many beloved. Otherwise, we'll continue tomorrow.
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Alright, here's the little announcement I hinted at during Christmas time. I've been thinking of adding another quest to my repertoire because I've been suffering from a lack of enthusiasm for our regular crew and I've been having far, far too many ideas for unrelated things (including a science-fiction quest) so I need an outlet, if only so I can safely proceed onto act 3 (we will finish act 2 no matter what, this I swear). This new quest will be another tale going in ToM and I'm only planning it to have 10 threads at most, I need to rekindle a bit of joy in my writing.

I'm not going to abandon anything here and if I have to juggle two quests until we finish act 2, so be it. Still, I think this new project will be a good one and it won't be too long if act 2 ends on a good note (meaning Arawn isn't dead) then I'd do a few episodic threads with our crew here while the new quest wraps up.

Finally, would you guys prefer to stay here on 4chan? I've been thinking of possibly trying out a new site with this new project.
So we can pick multiple choices right? We aren't fully locked into any of them as it just became evening I take it so we got a few hours before we gotta sleep yes? Is 3 hours enough for Hilde? We're gonna need her (and everyone to be honest) well rested before we all risk our lives in combat again against Mommy dearest and the sadistically evil elder sister. That's probably gonna be even harder/more dangerous than the Graz fight thanks to Pearl BS. Also, what's eating at us? Guilt over dragging Shereen out of Solemnval or allowing Ama to infect her? A little bit of both?

That sounds fine. I wonder what the other mini-quest entails. You can also do whatever you want in regards to site, but I'd stay here for this one.
>So we can pick multiple choices right?
One choice won't lock away your evening if that's what you mean. For now, you can only vote on one activity.

>Is 3 hours enough for Hilde?

>Guilt over dragging Shereen out of Solemnval or allowing Ama to infect her? A little bit of both?
Both yeah. Arawn is grumpy as hell about Ama. He's disliking the fact he's warming up to her ever so slightly, no matter how stupidly illogical it is.

>That sounds fine. I wonder what the other mini-quest entails. You can also do whatever you want in regards to site, but I'd stay here for this one.
Oh yeah, ToM isn't moving anywhere that's for sure.
The basic pitch is that it'll be a quest inspired by Rune Factory/Harvest Moon. You'll incarnate a lad or lass settling on a new area with his parent (a cleric of the Path and a lady elf ranger) inside a relatively newly founded town in Fallerin (only a few thousands inhabitants). The premise will be mostly comfy, offering an unbiased view of human culture since you've experienced the Mamono side.

Of course, there's going to be a ramping plot and a mystery (you'll acquire a slimegirl egg in the opening, she and the parents are my only ''imposition'') but overall the quest will be heavily customizable in how you guys want to operate. Train in combat? Learn how to be a ranger? Ask mom to teach you how to be a sneaky sneak? Explore the monstergirl ghetto and see the ''wheel of alchemical progress'' for yourself. I think it'll be a good change of pace.
Well, she hasn't done anything crazy or hurt people on a whim yet. Hopefully our collective hostility and suspicion protects us from any attempt at mind fuckery from her. She's behaving so far and seems amicable. I'm guessing this is part of her plan. Get us (and our party) to be "comfortable" around her. To not see her as so much of a villain. To maybe let our collective guard down a bit. That's when she's gonna royally screw us violently from behind as she cackles maniacally. I don't think she's gonna leave Shereen once this is over. She's going to like being in realspace too much. Especially since it's also in close proximity to us, her "favorite" toy. Plus that'll make us suffer and she's all about that.

I am curious as to what she ordered for dinner. Liver Pate? Liver and onions? Throwing a curveball and getting something not related to livers? Might be the first time in a century she's been able to incarnate in realspace. I doubt a Kumiho like her would resist the urge to indulge in a base desire but hey, could be wrong.

I'm gonna sleep on it but for now it's a toss up between catching up with Zhu and Klesiah (with Shereen) and having a serious discussion with Bad Fluffy. I am still worried about that potential geis on Shereen and I am a bit curious as to "why us?" in all of this. I'm guessing we could do one and then the other?
>I'm guessing we could do one and then the other?
Sure but you could always do something else too depending on how things develop. Hence why I wanna operate on one action for now.
Can Shereen feel Ama's emotions as if she has a soul link with her and vice versa? If she can there's no point in hiding it and we should bring her with us as we ask about the potential Geis. Willing to bet Porky was a key component that we thankfully fully eliminated (which sadly opened her up to getting infected by Bad Fluffy but hey, the devil you know and all that) but who says one can't use a death/astral pearl to "carry the 2" and make it work anyway? If I remember right Astral's are essentially "soul" pearls and they can be converted from death pearls at a ratio of 2 to 1. Thus, among other BS we will face, the "final boss" of this act has access to both types in abundance.

Full rundown in dreamscape about pearl BS if that's possible as well by the way. Dream time is way more flexible than real time. You can get hours worth of experience in minutes in dreamspace. We are about to land access to a cracked out party list. Knowing how best to split the teams will greatly depend on that kind of knowledge. Can't really avoid splitting the party for the final assault/suicide mission. Commander Shepard ain't got shit on this level of BS and it's kind of similar. I mean, Zerase does intend to essentially liquify and consume all the people in her nation to become a literal god. I wonder if you're referencing that in some way.

We should also ask about "dream training" as it were. Is it possible once we clock in for the night? We will need to have a good grasp of how to wield awakened pearls in combat ourselves as I do NOT want to just hand them over to Ama unless it's a case of handing them over to maybe not die vs. being stubborn and dying for absolute certain.

Also, out of curiosity, "awakened" pearls with willing souls are orders of magnitude more potent than those that aren't right? I bet Leena's parents are on our side 100 percent if it saves literally millions of souls and, if it's necessary, the soul/life of their beloved daughter. They want us to "use them" as they said. We will, ourselves. Ama doesn't get to do it unless it's a Hail Mary to not see our friends die horribly.
>Can Shereen feel Ama's emotions as if she has a soul link with her and vice versa?
Nope, best she can do is get a feeling for intent. She's a bit more separated compared to Klesiah and Mina.
>Full rundown in dreamscape about pearl BS if that's possible as well by the way.
We'll get there once it happens. The witch is a gracious soul, nobody else can match her knowledge of these things... be thankful!
>We should also ask about "dream training" as it were. Is it possible once we clock in for the night?
Hm... Something like that could be arranged. We'll see. Don't put your plans in stone yet, see where the evening takes you.

>Also, out of curiosity, "awakened" pearls with willing souls are orders of magnitude more potent than those that aren't right?
Nope, they aren't. In ancient days, awakened pearls were viewed as a form of torture. However, what makes them so special is the way magic evolved and how pearls can be used differently. You'll be able to fully synchronize with the pearls because the souls within agree to help you and that little detail... well, it change things.

But that will be infos for later. Concentrate on the girls now.
Well then, for now, before I sleep, I vote we get serious with Ama and ask her if Shereen's got an override geis on her soul and if our nemesis can and will remove it without significant consequence if it's there. Shereen will of course be invited to that discussion. For if I'm right and Zerase did put one on her, well, that upcoming confrontation gets way more one sided in a way I'd approve of. Real, good, loving parents don't put free will override geis's upon their kids. Shereen will be way more amenable towards familicide if said family intended to override her own morality with a geis inflicted upon her to prove it!

Granted, I fully expect there to be some kind of BS Ama could pull and we will try to be there to observe the proceedings so as to ensure we didn't give Ama an idea. If mommy dearest didn't do something like that, well, Ama might and probably will if we make the mistake of trusting her. A "thin veil of honor" as she put it. Fools we'd be for sure to trust in her sense of it completely!

Also, pearl BS. Geis's cast with pearls can be diffused safely somehow right? I mean, if anyone can, it'd be Ama (who also has access to pearls if I recall). I'd hope that especially applies for her anchor...
Oh, just thought of this, we should scan the upcoming meal for poisons and the like. Discreetly of course but Ama didn't say there were no APB's or wanted posters of us.

A six-tailed fox is no slouch in combat and I think Elina's obviously an angel right now I'd wager but, well, if your "god" says someone's gotta die or get captured you do your best to make it happen even if you think trying is a very, very dumb idea.
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Hm, still lacking a vote. I'll wait about 30 more minutes before I start to write.
Your attention briefly drifted toward Elina. She was sitting quietly in the corner. She had done her best to remain unassuming (going far enough to hide her wings by attaching them on her body with a pair of belts and wore a cloak over them) but the golden circle glowing on top of her blonde hair was, unfortunately, impossible to conceal. She had taken a book from Myrtidal mansion and sat not too far from Klesiah and Zhu, glancing your way.

Your soul link betrayed her nervousness, Ama was putting her on edge, and your feelings weren't helping.

''Hrm...'' You grunted when you returned your attention to the vixen. Her alternate appearance being so pleasing on the eye only fueled your irritation, identifying Ama with this sultry purple fox-woman was difficult. ''...There's more than a few things I'd like to ask you, fox. Probably no better time than now.''

Ama expression lightened as she finished her perusal of your quiet party. ''Finally time for a little intimate talk?'' She whispered, mouth curved into a smug grin.

''Guess so. You can stay, Shereen.'' You said toward your little sun, she was about to walk off.

''Are you sure?'' She asked you, lips tightening into an awkward expression. Both of you had been tiptoeing around one another far too much since yesterday... and that wasn't going to end by dodging each other.

''I am. I'd like you to hear whatever she has to say.'' The princess sat down curiously and the lazy fox straightened her spine, the nest of fluff behind her spilled out of her chair. This was a poor man attempt at trying to make Shereen feel better but hey, it's a start.

''What I want to know is if Zerase could have implanted a geas in Shereen.'' You whispered, eliciting a fearful ''huh?'' from the princess. ''You've got a sharp nose, right? Did you get any hints of that when you joined with my sun?''

''Hmm.'' Damn it, this witch was irritating. Her noise, her smile, even her smell annoyed you, and now that mocking look... ''I wouldn't put it past her.''

''What is that supposed to mean?''

''Me and your darling aren't joined close enough to allow a proper investigation of her soul.'' Ama finally looked serious. She leaned forward to join her hands together on the table. ''Now, I can at least say that you've nothing to worry about any sorcery on the surface level, I cannot uncover something deeply imbedded.''

''Arawn, you...'' Shereen ears twitched in disbelief.

''...Remember a certain pig?'' You answered her reluctantly. ''That might have been your sister doing, but something so grand couldn't have happened without your mother's knowledge. It was lurking in your soul, affecting your Corruption enough to deeply affect your mind and health.''
''I do agree with that. You've my thank for taking care of that big complication.'' Hearing Ama's agreement made you want to bite your lips. ''Finding a geas will need a little exercise in trust and I won't bother entertaining the idea since that's an exhausted commodity. Now, I don't know if there's one for sure, but I wouldn't put it past that lady...'' Ama paused, the look of betrayal on Shereen's face was downright heartbreaking because of the sheer exhaustion.

''...Though something strong enough to, let's say, make you walk beside your mother and become an empty puppet couldn't have been implanted because of the pigsy squatter, your soul wouldn't have been able to handle the pressure. Especially long term.'' The re-entrance of the inn employees briefly interrupted the witch, Mina went to talk with them. ''You are a piece in your mother's grand plan, darling.'' Ama stared gently at the smaller anubis. ''And the pig was a contingency, I don't know if she has any other, but she -did- ask me before our duel if you had stepped inside that awful village.''

''Ngh.'' Shereen grunted, grimaced, fiddled with her wooden mug, and settled down by shaking her head, fluffy ears completely flattened on top of her dark hair. ''There's... I don't think mom would go -that- far, my soul was all cleaned when we dealt with that demon, I'm... I don't believe it.''

''What would you need to find out?'' The vixen golden gaze strayed to you.

''Step inside our princess mindscape, much like you've allowed your lovers to gaze into your greatest intimacy.''

''Gods you're laying it way too damn thick.'' Ama happy giggle worked only to irritate you. Then, a sudden rush of emotion distracted you: Klesiah and Zhu were speaking in their little corner and it seemed their conversation was flustering your knight, slowly but surely unraveling the tightly woven ball of emotions that has been repressed for a very long time...

''Was that fear why you insisted on leaving yesterday?'' Shereen question forced you to look at her, she kept her gaze firmly planted on her fluffy hands, looking at the table.
''It wasn't the only one.'' You answered firmly. ''Everyone was exhausted when we entered Solemnval and the place existence was hurting Elina, but more importantly, neither you nor I had any strength to oppose your mother and I did -not- trust Ama to keep us safe while having to fend off someone who's had a long time to become a dangerous wielder of forbidden magic.'' Your metal covered hand clicked when you put it on top of your little sun furry palm. ''I want to help you confront your mother, you deserve answers, but I'm also your Moon. Your safety matters to me... more than what you want. I'd rather have you angry, even hate me, if it means you're healthy enough to do so. You wouldn't have been able to confront your mother on equal terms in Solemnval... What if she had a geas that would have made you walk beside her? What if she snuck a magical spell past the fox? I wasn't strong enough to confidently defend you inside her domain.'' You stopped to take a refreshing gulp, carefully watching Shereen. The fact that she hadn't shaken off your hand was... nice. You did your best to ignore Ama's goofy, lovestruck expression. This fox enjoyed her front-row seat to the drama.

''Hehe, guess I can at least say that I'm a good Sun, huh?'' There wasn't much strength in her answer but she at least shook off enough lethargy to look at you.

''I've always liked to believe that I'd be able to remain cool-headed and objective during conflicts with my friends, though I only had Banu and well, we know how in control she is huh?'' She chuckled, then heaved a sigh. ''I've read so often about powerful men and women ruining themselves because of a grudge, I don't wanna be like that... It help to know your mindset. I guess it's not just my sister that can't be trusted huh?''

Shereen nervously wiggled her body and looked back at the table, this time with a nervous rosiness coloring her tanned face. ''Hehe, actually it's kinda nice to forgive...''

''Now now, darling he shouldn't be getting off so freely, after all your other Moon was fully supportive of you.'' Damn it, fox! Shut up!

''W-what does that mean?'' Shereen looked at the foxy seductress in confusion. ''Why do you care?''

''You're such an interesting girl, Shereen.'' Dangerous praise. Far too dangerous. ''Arawn should at least earn your forgiveness, you're still an important princess'' Said the witch by leaning forward even more and dropping her voice to a whisper. ''Make him take you on a date or something, men cannot be allowed such easy victories else they'll grow complacent!''

''D-da!?'' You and Shereen practically choked together. ''No, no no nothing like that. Hum... though I suppose you -do- have a point.''

''No she doesn't.'' You replied sternly. ''Honeyed words from a witch are naught but poisons.''

''Hmph, I'll think of something. Unlike Zhu, you did not act in a way befitting a Moon, yes that's an objective truth.''
Ngh... Damn fox. Her laughter sounded like the cackle of a demon, better change the subject before you're enthralled in her pace!

This talk with Shereen had been completely impromptu... but perhaps it was inevitable, there was so much tension that simply being next to her would have led to something like that.

At least you've cleared some much-needed air. Banu once remarked that Shereen was the only good thing Zerase ever did: you've never heard a truer statement.

>Choices here >>4590612 remain valid minus the intimate talk with Shereen alone. There haven't been many changes in the tavern.
Ok, so Ama cannot confirm that Shereen's got an override geis or not unless she allows a deep scan yes? Does that scan necessarily involve us linking with her and Shereen to make it happen or can she and Shereen do it by themselves? How long would it take? Sounds like something we can do before we go to sleep tonight or after we find a good safe spot in the capital before we confront Did Ama tell Zerase that Shereen had stepped foot inside Solemnval? That she would ask worries me greatly, it could have been the primer charge for the geis. Now that she's been in there the "bomb" is now armed and ready for detonation. I'd like it if she didn't know if it was for sure if this nightmare scenario is true.

Gotta say, if Shereen looks like that second pic than I must say she's quite the looker indeed. I am actually looking forward to that date she's gonna drag us on if we pull off another miracle and maintain our no party deaths streak. She might even become our waifu down the line. Stiff competition, but she can pull if off she gets serious about it. As could any of the girls. Hope we live to see the girls competing for our affections and our hand in marriage!
>Ok, so Ama cannot confirm that Shereen's got an override geis or not unless she allows a deep scan yes?
>Does that scan necessarily involve us linking with her and Shereen to make it happen or can she and Shereen do it by themselves?
They can do it themselves. Shereen actually want to let Ama do it. She wouldn't refuse Arawn presence though.

>How long would it take?
It'll be in dreamscape so probably only 30 minutes in the real world.
>Did Ama tell Zerase that Shereen had stepped foot inside Solemnval?

>Gotta say, if Shereen looks like that second pic than I must say she's quite the looker indeed.
It's honestly such a near-perfect representation that it startled me. Of course, there are a few different little details but overall that lady really does look extremely similar to Shereen.

>Hope we live to see the girls competing for our affections and our hand in marriage!
Dangerous words.
Now then, I'll give voting a longer stretch of time for now. I'd still like 2 votes at least since keeping up with your party matter.

Also talking with Elina is an option too, I haven't made that obvious but asking her about her boat trip, how her time in Zipangu went, what she think about Hadraniel being her big sister, etc is fine
Look like I'll be updating tomorrow. I'll take the first vote I'll get and probably operate similarly for a little while.\.
Damn you crappy internet! Ok, so it looks like we've essentially earned Shereen's forgiveness, but Bad Fluffy put a dangerous idea in her head so now it's forgiveness but with a "penalty" she's gonna think up later. I bet she does make us take her on a date in Throne Town. If there is a deep implanted geis just becoming cognizant of it doesn't set it off right? Again, not feeding you ideas but there's many things it could do and all of them are bad!

As an aside, can Ama feel Shereen's emotions as if she has a soul link with her? Just curious.

As for our next course of action, Hilde's asleep so that leaves Klesiah, Zhu, Elina, and Mina. Who seems more in need of our companionship right now? Also, I think the others are still shaking off their New Year's hangovers so don't feel too down.
>If there is a deep implanted geis just becoming cognizant of it doesn't set it off right?
Depend on the geas, some do, others don't.
>As an aside, can Ama feel Shereen's emotions as if she has a soul link with her?
>Who seems more in need of our companionship right now?
Hm... I'll leave that for your judgment.
Klesiah and Zhu are talking near the fireplace and it seems your knight has grown a bit emotional, her feelings are conflicted, but she's holding herself back for now.

Elina is sitting in a corner half reading a book, half watching Ama.

Mina seem to be preparing something with the innkeeper, no idea what but it seems the centaur lady has become a bit excited.

And yeah, Hildegarde is having a three hours nap so she can function for 48 hours again. Alchemical bodies are mighty useful huh?

Thank for the cheer, it`s okay I`ll wait for my regulars. I wanted to start on a new year symbolically anyway.
Oh, just thought about this. If it's there what you said means that the geis might get set off if Ama finds it. Before Ama does the scan later (and especially if she finds it and goes for a removal) make sure Mina's nearby and we got her restrained.

If I remember right you said that, if Mina is right there when it happens, she can heal soul damage. A quick and dirty tearing the geis out of Shereen's soul will likely damage her and it might come down to that if Zerase was a particularly nasty whore. I think Shereen's little spell she used to heal us is one of her own unique construction. That is, she's the one who invented it and thus is the only one who knows how it works (it may even be location locked to that pyramid thing in the palace). If she gets soul damage we ain't got any way to heal her.

I'm not opposed to asking Ama about that sharing of emotional data, but I don't want to get too dragged into it. Plenty of time to talk with her and I think we should grace the other girls with our company. Still gonna sleep on who though. Will Shereen follow us or is she going to try and get that scan over and done with? I'd rather she wait until we're prepared for the nightmare scenario so we should inform her of that. We care about her safety and that geis is both likely to exist and cannot be good. Plus Ama said the "pressure" couldn't be sustained "long term".

Well, from the looks of it Zerase's apotheosis plan was in its final stages when we arrived. Can't handle both Porky and the Emergency Override geis for a year, but a few weeks? Especially if you probably don't want them to stick around after you're done? Yeah, wouldn't put it past her.
>If I remember right you said that, if Mina is right there when it happens, she can heal soul damage.
There are no wounds worse than direct damage to one soul, the shards can indeed give it succor but they have to be quick about it...

>Will Shereen follow us or is she going to try and get that scan over and done with?
She'll talk with Ama unless you invite her along. She really doesn't feel like going on a soul venture now, if it has to happen, let it be later, after a good bath.
Like I said, they gotta be right there when it happens. Like, once the soul takes a hit she's got seconds at best to get in there and heal it and that likely requires the soul to be open and willing to such intervention. Y'know, like we were when we got well and truly re-infected.

I believe you implied that a shard sacrificed itself to prevent Ama from gaining way more authority over our soul than she ultimately did and that only worked because we welcomed her in. Shereen is, hopefully, of a similar mindset. If Mina wants in and needs sysadmin access for whatever reason she'll grant her that authority. I'm pretty sure Ama can't spoof that...
>I believe you implied that a shard sacrificed itself to prevent Ama from gaining way more authority over our soul than she ultimately did and that only worked because we welcomed her in.
Go reread what happened after you signed the contract.
More like we got tricked into signing that dotted line and Ama screwed over our ultimate benefactor most unfairly.

Gardy literally gave us his own body. He trusted us, an absolute amnesiac with a taint that he couldn't have failed to recognize, with absolute authority over his own fate.

I cannot formulate further implications as of now. I will still point out that Gardy trusted us for damn good reason and I intend to be worthy of said trust. Even he would have cooperated with Ama if it ensured the survival of his first charge and the elimination of a truly psychopathic pretender deity.

After all, no sane pretender wants the "winner" to be a crazy whore who eagerly nomm'd upon the souls of millions just to become a "contender" in the arena of divinity as it were...
Oh also, how flustered is Klesiah and how vulgar is Zhu acting? If she's quite flustered and Zhu is getting out of hand I vote we go intrude upon their conversation. If not than we ought to catch up with Elina. Either way we should invite Shereen along. If Ama wants to come too, well, can't really stop her. Like I said before, she's in the advantaged position. Nobody here's dumb enough to try and screw her over. Besides, might as well cultivate as much good will as we can with her.

Thin her sense of honor may be, but I suspect that she'll do us a solid if we play along with her whims for now. If only because it sets up another plot of hers down the line. Damn Tzeentchian villains...
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>Oh also, how flustered is Klesiah and how vulgar is Zhu acting?
They seem to be having a serious conversation actually, your knight is becoming a little emotional...

>Thin her sense of honor may be, but I suspect that she'll do us a solid if we play along with her whims for now. If only because it sets up another plot of hers down the line. Damn Tzeentchian villains...
How can a chaotic neutral individual be Tzentchian?

Gonna leave things open until afternoon.
>How can a chaotic neutral individual be Tzentchian?
Kind of the ideal alignment for one really. Dude plots for the sake of plotting and schemes for the sake of scheming. Of course his most favored followers would do likewise.

We can feel the emotions of Klesiah and Elina right now correct? What are they feeling?
Klesiah is hard to define, she's a mixture of excitement, a bit of anger, and strange happiness, she's trying her best not to make a scene.

Elina is calmer, resolute though also feeling a general sense of unease and worry.
Alright, thread open. Voting will be taken and locked in around 30 more minutes.
Elina's worried eh? We ought to relieve that somehow then. I assume we'll be having dinner afteward and then a nice mixed bath. I remember this place having mixed bathing.

Aww crap, that means Ama's gonna be in there. Shit. Welp, that's gonna be a "fun" time at least.
I've told you countless time that Ama was a good girl and nobody believed me.

One vote for Elina, I won't lock right away, giving it 10 more minutes.
We still don't believe you. Ama is a Bad, bad fluffy and it's only a matter of time before she shows us her true colors and reminds us why she's never to be fully trusted.
''I suppose my only choice is to believe in my Sun gracious sense of responsibility. I'll take my punishment dutifully.'' You moved to leave your seat, even with that statement, the feeling you were running away was biting into your pride.

''I'll have you earn that little... um... third of forgiveness. Yeah, that sounds good to me.'' Responded the fluffy princess while glancing at the fluffy tormentor whose answer was a simple wiggle of vulpine ears that somehow caused Shereen own appendages to twitch. Gods... they can't be communicating right?

You left your little sun with the witch and made your way toward Elina, silently pulling a chair beside her.


''I'll be better in a closed room, to be honest.'' Despite the grumpy atmosphere surrounding her, there was no hiding the little spark of happiness that affected your linked souls. ''Though you don't have to worry about me once we reach Marleon, Hadraniel taught me a little trick to camouflage my wings and halo.''

''Why not do it before entering this place? I doubt your glow went unnoticed.'' Looking at that circle of gold floating on top of her head always irritated your eyes.

''It's, ah...'' Oh? There she is looking away. ''...related to our link. We'll worry about it tomorrow, never know if I'll need to whip out my wings.''

Now you were curious, though you couldn't help a careful glance toward Shereen as she was having a chat with your fluffed nemesis.

''Kinda out of this world, huh?'' Elina said beside you, also looking at the witch. ''First Throne Town, then your kidnapping, then we play her game and now we're standing in a roadside inn with the biggest boogeyman of the human realms cause there's someone even worse to stop.''

''Devil you know...'' Nothing else explained your mindset.

''Yeah, I suppose that's the best way to look at it. Can't shake this feeling though, each time I look at her with Shereen... It's like a direwolf hanging out with a domestic dog. A predator like that should eat it whole, that's what the logic of nature dictate, yet...''

''Maybe that feeling is what she wants to instill, though I think she's genuine with liking Shereen.'' During your talk, the princess had taken out Ama pipe and the woman began to smoke without putting anything, she took this moment to glance at you and Elina and winked.

''Yeah? Hm... Well, that princess is an interesting one for sure. Do you care about her?'' That simple question was delivered casually but it sounded pretty important, perhaps it was the sudden anticipation dwelling inside the angel that misdirected her intention.

''Yeah, I... I've promised myself that she's someone worth protecting. Our first meeting wasn't a good one.'' You pointed at your deactivated collar. ''That thing wasn't for show, though despite all the chances she had to abuse the authority of her position, only thing she did is impose annoyances here and there. I warmed up to her pretty quick, so did Zhu.''
''I could tell, you surprised us by having her tag along inside your soul when we met again.'' Her faint smile and the gentle expression dwelling inside her gave Elina a warm, inviting aura. ''Been two months and you've managed to hold yourself pretty good huh?''

''What do you think about Shereen?'' You said leaning closer and bumping shoulders.

''Hm...'' She glanced once more at your little sun. ''I think she's a good person. I'll assume I wasn't seeing her best side yesterday but I can excuse her outburst given the fucking mess we were in and she picked herself up pretty quick, so that's admirable. She opened up to us surprisingly fast in the bath, too. Me and Klesiah were practically stranger and she only knew Hildegarde for a few days but she said some interesting things.'' There was an unnatural movement within her cape, signs of her wings twitching. ''Can't really blame how she felt, having a family like that is... sad.''

Family mustn't be an easy subject for Elina. She's been an orphan for her entire life and only recently found her only living kin with the Embodiment of Love...

''Say, how are you doing with Hadraniel?'' That was a question that gave you pangs of dread. You'll find yourself in similar shoes once you get out of this realm, too. Gwendolyn... You, Arawn Loukanos, have a Mamono sister.

''Ah, that is... well...'' Her sudden reluctance could easily be mistaken as you stepping on a bear trap but the bubbly, happy warmth making butterfly in her soul was unmistakably adorable. ''...she's playful. Far too much, though she's living up to her title that's for damn sure.''


''...'' Her colored eyes -this mixture of gorgeous blue and green- threw you an accusatory glance. ''She was asleep for twelves years so it make sense, still for someone who's been created to embody the concept of love itself, she's got no ounce of jealousy. The man she loves had a kid with two different women and she pretty much adopted them a few days after walking around while rekindling her old flame with Siegfried and his bodyguard. Like damn, just like that.'' She giggled. ''Combine the utter mess that is Daiyu and her daughters love life together and you'd only get half the complication running around Zipangu inner sanctum yet I've barely seen any negativity. You'd think Hadraniel reawakening would bring some kind of complications but it did the opposite, the harmony between them strengthened.''

''What's odd from an outside view isn't for people in the middle of things... Though I suppose the trials that led them all together sorta created a chaotic web of relationships.'' Elina scoffed amusedly. ''Hey, I didn't see how they do things out there, I can only try and offer an outsider opinion.''

''We won't be so ''outside'' soon. We've already threaded a similar path and what do you know? Mister Protector here got ties with four pretty ladies and there's a fifth to think about now. Maybe six?''
''Hold on now.'' Woo, now that's one hell of a rush! Your face must be getting red. ''I am not and will not be... so greedy, shouldn't an angel believe in her friend integrity?''

''What if I tell you it's all or nothing?'' Her smirk grew into an outright smug grin when you looked at her in silent disbelief. ''Aaah, you're tempted, you're tempted.'' She leaned forward and the undulation under her cape showed her moving arms, the angel stopped before completely revealing the rosy-red plumage of her wings to the tavern. ''Well, whenever you can, ask some advice from the Embodiment of Love. You'll need it.''

''I'm... not so sure.'' The way Elina described her made for a rather chaotic person.

''I insist.''

Some activity in the tavern directed your attention elsewhere. A group of Mamono entered to put a large harp inside the main room. The instrument looked plain and obviously recently cleaned, Mina walked next to it and tugged a few strings, creating an agreeable noise.

''Hmm, still well maintained... Some minutes to clean and inspect it and you'll hear a fine melody.'' Said the shard, tugging a few more strings.

Ooh? A harp player? Now that's a godly hidden talent!

A sudden rush of strong emotions constricted your throat, nearly making you choke. Elina felt the ripples and nearly smashed her head against you as she jumped in surprise.

''Stop! Just, stop!'' This sudden outburst came from Klesiah. Your paladin had risen on her feet whilst Zhu remained sitting. ''How can you...!? How did you even dare!?'' You didn't need a soul link to see the anger and betrayal on her face, more profound, however, was an ugly, tightly woven ball of emotions threatening to burst wide open.

Finding herself in the middle of a very silent tavern, Klesiah yelled a choked out ''Fuck!'' and loudly walked outside, forgetting her glaive. Zhu finished her beer mug, got up, shattered it in her reinforced fist, and followed silently, face neutral showing no hints of emotions.

''Oooh my goodness! Drama!'' Ama was the first to rise from her feet.

''Don't.'' And Mina pushed her back down. She reached to grab your shoulder when you walked next to her. ''Go see them, what's happening concern you too.'' Said the shard, looking deadly serious.

''I'm coming too.'' Elina proclaimed and not only glared right back at Mina but stepped beside you in defiance. ''I can't say Klesiah is my friend yet but I wanna start somewhere and if that means rubbing my face into her personal life, so be it. You know our connection, fuck you if you think I'm overstepping.''

''So you aren't that indifferent after all.'' Mina not only relaxed under Elina aggression but looked at her with sincere positiveness. ''Please don't make the mistake of thinking this... situation is bad. I've given our sword mistress a little advice and this is the result.''

''Oooh?'' Ama chuckled, crossing her legs far too slowly for your liking. ''So that's your angle. Your Mother is sneaky.''
''I say...'' The shard retorted, audibly cracking her fingers. ''...Shut up and listen to my song, fox. I want to offer a little something to our host.''


Outside, news of a musician had spread throughout the community and the tavern was looking to house quite a few people soon. The sun had disappeared behind the horizon but sunlight still glowered heavily, drenching the world in this beautiful familiar shade of dusk that revealed the Hour of Lullaby. Klesiah had walked into an empty field, facing Zhu. Both stood silent, knowing you were approaching.

Your knight looked fine outward, if visibly angry but inward... You could barely make sense of her turmoil. Anger, sadness, disappointment, betrayal, guilt, fear, so much fear all mixed together tightly enough to break.

''Klesiah...?'' What's happening to you?

''Angel too huh? Didn't expect that.'' Zhu was also clearly worked up, her body was wracked by nervous trembling.

''We're joined with the same man, it's about time to stop tiptoeing around that. If that means overstepping boundaries so be it.''

''This doesn't concern you, Elina nor... Tsk!'' Klesiah boot scratched the ground like a nervous horse. ''It's Zhu! That's all, just... fucking around bringing up the past!''

''Yeah, literal fucking an-'' An audible pounding combined with Zhu reeling back interrupted her, Klesiah had just punched her on the shoulder. ''Fuck!'' She yowled, then grinned, opening her singular eye to look at her blue-haired friend. ''You've got some weight to you huh, blueberry?

Whatever guilt Klesiah felt was swallowed up in a sea of ugly, ugly negativity burning hot enough to be molten.

''Oh... I get it.'' Elina tranquility was a vital pillar to help you cling onto the raging sea that was Klesiah spilling turmoil. Her gaze filtered to you without prejudice, in fact, she felt even friendlier.

''Y-you just... you just...! Always do whatever the fuck you want! Back then and even today, you're an insufferable child! A horny whore! What the FUCK Zhu!? You'd go far enough to betray Hecate too!?''

''You've built up this annoying little retreat in that mind of yours, that fucking poisonous martyrdom from the Kingdoms always infected ya and now it's worse than ever!'' Zhu took a few quick, dangerous forward steps.

''What are you even saying!?''

Zhu first answer came in the form of a punch in your knight's chest followed by a shoulder tackle that would have sent anyone but a trained warrior on the ground.
''Quit assuming shit! So what if I fucked Arawn back then, huh? That ain't no betrothal, sure as shit doesn't remove Hecate or you from mattering or becoming second place. Always so fixated on being the perfect knight, to live below people, to obey whatever the fuck nobles told you cause it's ''befitting'' a knight, assuming that being in second or third place is okay. Fucking hell, Klesiah! None of us gave a shit about hierarchy back then and it sure as shit ain't gonna start now! Not with Shereen, not with me, and not with those girls you're sharing a fucking soul with!'' Klesiah threw another punch, Zhu defected it but the strength behind your knight's rage made her take a step back. ''Where's your lord in his high castle huh? How many other knights does he have? What makes you even think he wants you to be below him!?''

Something incredibly ugly was spilling out of Klesiah soul, that deeply woven ball was unravelling letting out a torrent of traumatizing feelings that motivated an enraged punch on Zhu nose, causing a painful splash of blood to fly out of her face.

This can't go on!

''I think you should let them fight.'' Elina grabbed your hand as your two friends erupted into a genuine fistfight.

''I... that's...'' Was heartbreaking, goodness, Klesiah this is... Urk!

''When we took that bath yesterday, Klesiah took a moment to look into the room.'' What?...Oh. Damn. ''Something naughty happened?''

''No... I mean, Zhu tried to force it but I said no, I've constantly rejected her since our reunion.'' You didn't know if that was helping what was happening between them. ''I've done things in the past... and I've got to own up to them.''

''I don't think it's a sin or something to regret, I mean you kinda died.'' Elina said, forcing you to open your hand as she forced a handhold. ''Relationships are a mess, life and death struggle now combine them and, well... Listen, there's a saying among monsters that feel pretty real now.'' The angel grinned, winked, and took the chance of giving you a thumb up, briefly opening the cape that concealed her attached wings. ''Family is what you make.''

>Let them fight, Elina is at full magic, she'll heal them after the worse of Klesiah emotions had an outlet.
>It'll be better to stop them, maybe talk... Klesiah emotions are a raging inferno of negativity, it could be dangerous.
Next answer could possibly be another long one... Ah well. Gambatte, knight-chan!
Ok, that was sudden but also kind of foreshadowed. I knew Klesiah secretly had the hots for us but damn, I didn't think it went back as far as it did. We're now talking years of repressed affections that started coming back after our reunion. Which, because our amnesia made us softer and kinder, only made them intensify as she admitted internally that she liked us better that way. Then it gets ugly as her friend, well, admitted that she got to us "first" and then apparently didn't diffuse her suspicions after she saw us get tackled, pinned down, and passionately tongued by Zhu back in the mansion. We "liked it" when Zhu kissed us, and that's all a girl in this situation needs to know. I don't think she's buying our story about retaining our chastity.

This is why I said not to get down and dirty with anyone right now. Those feelings welling up in a combat encounter or infiltration attempt will cause them to fail that critical dice roll and that gets them dead. We like the girls, we want them alive and that means not indulging in our base desires until we've worked it out with everyone.

Errr, how seriously is Klesiah fighting? Has she embraced focus? She's still got 10 percent and that may be enough for a lethal spell. How horrific is this cocktail of emotions coming out of her? If I'm right I'd imagine it's really, really bad. Zhu just broke her fragile heart!
>Errr, how seriously is Klesiah fighting?
Blinded by rage, she's very serious but also a bit clumsy given her emotion and lack of fist fighting training.

>Has she embraced focus?
Thankfully, she's too worked up for that. The sheer ugliness spilling out of her is really overwhelming, Arawn wouldn't be able to enter Focus either if Elina wasn't here to help him keep a clear head.

>How horrific is this cocktail of emotions coming out of her?
Taking time to piece her emotions into something logical is a potential choice.

What I want to know is if Arawn should act or let them work out these feelings in a good brawl. I'd still like more votes for this since it could be important...
So right now it's us, Zhu, Elina, and Klesiah in an open field. Was it Klesiah or Zhu that Mina gave some advice to? Because if it was Zhu than that means Mina planned on this. She would know about those repressed feelings I'd wager and she's basically her guardian. She's rooting for her, but you can't win the game of love if you're refusing to play because "muh oaths/honor" or some other BS. I think Mina wants us to end up with our blueberry!

I'll have to think about this one a bit. Letting them fight is an option but I'm not sure if it's a good idea. Klesiah's mad enough to seriously injure Zhu and Zhu doesn't really "hold back" in a fight given her Khornate nature. Is there any way for us to broadcast emotions to Klesiah or is this dark storm in her heart so strong that she can only send and not receive? Could we take the approach of letting them fight but stepping in if it looks like someone's gonna break a limb off or something?
>Was it Klesiah or Zhu that Mina gave some advice to?
Zhu. They found time to talk yesterday evening despite Mina very weakened state.
>Is there any way for us to broadcast emotions to Klesiah or is this dark storm in her heart so strong that she can only send and not receive?
You can try to help her calm down. No certainty it'll work but... maybe you can pierce through the maelstrom.
>Could we take the approach of letting them fight but stepping in if it looks like someone's gonna break a limb off or something?
Yes. Elina is here too, don't forget that.
I wonder where the others are, but I guess I've just been picking the options they would have went with.

Oh well, as I'm apt to do, "why not both?" is the option I'm going with. We let them fight, but we remain ready to step in the moment it looks like one of them is going to launch an attack that'll deal lethal/aggravated damage as we try to broadcast to Klesiah some kind of emotion that'll get her to calm down. Don't care if Elina's capable of healing something like getting impaled if she's right there, friends don't let friends impale each other or literally crack their skulls!

We don't like watching our friends/allies fight, and this has got to have Ama cackling with glee internally. I think fox girls of her level can manifest what amounts to drone sprites of fox fire. She could easily be listening to Mina's performance while watching this whole debacle discreetly with a flame sprite colored similarly to the dusk light. Does she really want to satisfy that fluffy wretch with this spectacle?
>wonder where the others are
So do I, I think I'll keep things to a 1 post/day for now until I get another regular to be as fair as I can be.
>Allow them to fight but remain vigilant to avoid any serious wounds.
>Concentrate on projecting calm emotions into Klesiah to lessen the intensity of that unbelievable maelstrom of negativity.
These are your choices that can be safely combined into one.
I' m currently in transit / travelling and don't have a stable internet connection and so, will be stuck lurking for the next few days.
Duly noted. I've learned my lesson, no more holidays threads!
It will only be the next day, maybe two,if the flight gets cancelled and so i miss the connecting flight(s) / ferry so it isn't worth canning a thread over.
Oh, I won't can things yet. I'll just keep a slow and steady road, what's happening with Klesiah is important, I just hope players won't feel robbed because there's only been one person participating.
They are doing well enough, though hopefully we won't have to roll for something, too soon.
Not yet.
When it come to your party, I'll avoid non-combat rolls as much as I can.
Coming update will, in all likelihood, be another long post and/or be one I gotta think a little harder on so I'll probably end up posting tomorrow.
That's fine, but I just thought of one more thing. Can we broadcast emotions while trying to piece together the one's we're receiving? I mean, if we could deduce why/how she's feeling the way she is the "antidote" emotion would be perfectly clear for us and thus we'd only need to broadcast it to get her to calm down.

I doubt this is possible as the strength of the negativity flowing from her is so great and thus forces us to "make a guess" instead of being deductive and logical but hey, I gotta ask. Dig that dress on our blueberry by the way. Criminally sexy and that expression isn't helping matters. I bet she dreamed of us confessing our undying love for her in a dream with that get up or something similar. Like she was already our Queen and all that may entail in Elven culture...
Witnessing two companions having such a bitter fight was heartbreaking. Seeing (and feeling) Klesiah rage directed at her best friend squeezed your heart, each punches pierced it. Your first instinct was to separate them, force them to calm down, talk things out but... that would be far too naive.

''Elina, I... I could use your help.'' You whispered at the angel who made you take a few steps back to give the two women better space.

''Best way to help her is by remaining calm, it'll be alright.'' Elina didn't show hesitation inside her soul. Her hand squeezed yours when Zhu landed a bitter blow on your blueberry stomach, feeding into the passionate strength of her rage.

Zhu was the better fighter, time spent practicing hands-to-hands with Banu combined with her natural talents made her someone that could, maybe, give Hildegarde a struggle. Despite this skill gap, Klesiah made up the difference with sheer, undiluted passion, the minutes that followed ring with the hollow noises of bitter blows without any attempts at dialogue.

Klesiah suddenly shoved her friend after a bitter kick on the leg. Zhu kept her balanced, used the momentum to spin, and slam a foot on Klesiah flank who managed to brace and endure, she got closer only to earn a bare-knuckled jab on the face yet that didn't stop a kick from landing on Zhu stomach, making her grunt.

Keep calm... Keep calm now, Arawn. Trying to spend time unraveling the bitter core of negativity that constantly unleashed this torrent of aggression out of your knight will just make you sink further into her feelings. With Elina help, both of you could become rocks, a pair of strong pillars standing undaunted by the raging typhoon of Klesiah feelings.

''No matter how ugly you think you are right now Klesiah, I don't hate you..'' You held onto this sentence like gospel. Words do not travel through soul links, only intent, and thankfully -with Elina help- your sincere feelings weren't polluted by your paladin, the only thing you could do is to hope the osmosis would do its work and slowly bleed into your beloved knight.

Meanwhile... your two oldest friends had issues to work out.

It took ten more minutes of bitter fighting for the combatants to make space and breathe. Klesiah and Zhu faces showed an equal amount of wounds: reddened swelling, blood coming down from their noses, scratching marks here and there... you could only wonder about the wounds on their bodies as that had been where the majority of blows had landed.

The intensity of Klesiah feelings was diminishing because of the pain and today's fatigue.

''Gotten the worse out of your system now?'' Zhu growled and took a chance to take a backward glance at you and Elina. ''Little bit of pain feels good doesn't it?''
''Shut up, shut up!'' Klesiah shook her head, her long, beautiful blue hair cascaded from the movement. ''You trai-'' The word didn't fully leave her mouth, enough good senses remained for her to bit her lips. ''You've... damn it, Zhu! You knew that I've... You're making me look horrible in front of my lord! Do you know what that means to a knight!?''

''Always assuming shit!'' Zhu yelled back, throwing a rock at the blueberry feet. ''You don't even need to look at him to know his feelings, quit believing the worse!''

Klesiah grimaced in anger at her friend.

''You already had your doubts about what we've done back then anyway, gal.'' Zhu continued, taking a large breath to regain her composure. ''So yeah, me and Arawn fucked in the old days.'' Klesiah winced, another flow of anger followed. ''And I don't regret it, it ain't no betrayal.''

''What!? You're gonna say you love him now?'' Spittles flew out of Klesiah mouth.

''Probably, I dunno. Love constraints ain't high on my list.'' A declaration delivered so casually left Klesiah completely dumbstruck, you weren't any better. ''I ain't ashamed of it, even after-''

''No, no! Don't say anything else!'' Klesiah bridged the distance to deliver another punch and Zhu blocked, both women went into a flurry of blows that resulted in painful new bruises until Zhu landed a knee on Klesiah stomach, forcing her back.

''Urgh, you... I've...'' The paladin grunted, massing her stomach. The pain that radiated out of her was telling, that particular blow was a nasty one.

''There's no fooling me, blueberry. Your colors have been ugly ever since I saw you again. You've been swallowing up and holding your emotions for fuckin' years and it's about time to let go. That little side of ya will never change huh?'' Klesiah disbelief was simple denial. Back in Throne Town, you didn't have many chances to spend time with her but even then, she had been such a tightly woven ball of stress that her insecurities leaked when you had a little calm moment with her. Being reunited with her lord and separated so quickly, then forced to spend a year in Ama clutches must have made things so much worse.

''I, I don't...'' Pained and exhausted from the fight, Klesiah radiated a sudden fear that managed to dilute her rage. Perhaps your silent, unassuming calm was helping, she was throwing you more than a few fearful glances.

''Is your lord inside his high castle now?'' Zhu extended her arms beside her. ''How many other knights does he have? How many noble houses want to ties their spawns to him? How many people served our little party when we were running from those stormy fuckers?''

''My lord worth isn't measured in wealth and influence!'' The knight yelled back.

''What about YOUR worth!?'' Zhu pointed a finger at her friend. ''Ya told me, all the time, that you had no idea how to do your ''duty'' and elevate your ''lord'' as if-''
''What do YOU know about being a knight you... you vagabond!?'' Another surge of rancor wracked your companion's body and she stomped the ground, eliciting sharp metallic noise from the metal leggings she still wore. It was a good thing she'd donned off most of her armor during the hot march.

''A knight represents their lord after being sworn into his service! For the common folk, for everyone else at large, a lord knights are part of his essence, his image, his reputation...'' Klesiah blue gaze lost some of its intensity. ''Honor is all; your failures are his, that's why a lord only right of life and death are toward his knights. I've... My only freedom was to choose a lord to serve wholeheartedly, why must you tarnish my image in front of him!? Don't you know what this means, Zhu!? Mother's Mercy! I... I've grown so path-''

''I don't want my bestie to be a martyr cause of a fucking title! That knighthood is a fucking noose, girl! You've always been in the slow process of killing yourself! Arawn told me how you met again, Mina told me how you felt back then too! Looking for a cause to die!? What the fuck Klesiah!?'' Anger wracked Zhu body with trembling and the only outlet she found besides punching her friend was to clap her hands and stomp the ground. ''What YOU want matters! What YOU wish for matters! If ya were a real good knight, girl, you wouldn't be so fuckin angry at me for confirming what ya already knew.''

''I-I...'' Realization dawned a stupefaction strong enough to relent her torrent of rage, giving you some breathing room to settle your own emotions.

''You're friend with the woman your lord fucked. Your soul is tied to your lord -literally- and you've been beating my ass for thirty minutes cause you're a girl who wants things too, blueberry.'' Zhu took a long breath and it comes out in a long, shaky ''raaaugh'' that could be attributed to a goat cry. It was so jarring with the serious situation that you might have laughed if you were an outside observer. ''I kinda deserve a few punches, I'll give you that.''

''You're a knight, Klesiah.'' Elina spoke, her spike of hesitation perfectly hidden. ''Maybe not the one you want to be, but from what I've seen since I've known you, you've all the gallantry of one.''

''Klesiah...'' Her emotions were changing, the output hadn't lessened but the mixture of nigh murderous negativity had enough different spices to allow you to speak. Time to give her some of your honesty. ''I've given your headband back to you when you gifted it to me because I'm honored to have you as one of my two knights and I do not want you as my lesser! I asked you to rise, didn't I? When we were in that tent? That's what I want, Klesiah. Always. Rise and stay on your feet. You aren't any better or worse than Elina, Hao, Sieglinde... don't feel ashamed to tell me anything, Mother's Mercy, don't try to always be perfect.''
''I've... Zhu, why did you... Why'd you have to make me...?'' Gods! Her breaking voice, the tears in her eyes, and the rush of sadness combined into so much raw vulnerability that Elina had to squeeze your hand for you to remain still.

''Mina was mighty worried bout ya. Nobody else could see what you were going through after yesterday night cause you've grown pretty damn good at hiding things.'' Zhu took one step closer, her fog of passion had dissipated enough to make her think clearer.

''That's... That damn vampire, she forced me to shield my emotions I'm... I was, I'm fine.'' Is that so? She's been guarding her feelings ever since yesterday? Not a single instance of weird bleed through to make you worry for the entire day!

Not even during your soul ceremony...

''Fucking hell girl, your lady guardian was right. You were about to blow.''

''I...I've... I would have been okay. I'm okay.'' Her blue gaze despite her gaze firmly rooted on the soil, she did not need to see any head shake to understand nobody believed her.

''Klesiah, I can't recall you ever asking anything of me, nor ever refusing me for anything.'' You said and directed your attention to Zhu. ''Was there any such instances during our travels?''

''Only time she stood her ground is when it came to putting you in harm's way.''

''Tell me, tell us something you've always wanted, Klesiah.'' Her tears had already dried, her face had gotten pale as she couldn't find the courage to look at you, she constantly imbibed her lips as emotions constricted her throat hard enough to make you choke.

''I've... You know? I...'' So much hesitation, almost like a little girl but that shadow came and went, leaving behind raw vulnerability. She gazes at the trio before her to distinguish something -anything- that could give her an excuse to run away but... your joined souls allowed no lies, Zhu cared about her passionately and Elina was as close of an outside observer she could get.

''I've always wished to learn how to play music.'' Such a harmless phrase should never be wrapped in so much culpability. ''When I was training in the fortress, I thought that it'd be a good way to soothe my lords and his house moods from all the world trouble but... music belongs to troubadours, bards, people whose hands aren't stained in blood and who won't give people the wrong impression, knights aren't peaceful tools. I don't know how to start! I don't know if I even should yet it always... remain in my mind, whenever a song comes out of a tavern.''
Then, finally, her dam opened. ''You really know how to get under people's skin Zhu. Wanna know something else, Arawn? I don't know when this little thought came into my head but in the past, in our moments of peace, I'd often think that'd be standing beside you inside some castle I couldn't identify at night, I'd hear people laugh, sing, people we could trust, I'd be playing the flute to soothe Hecate worries who'd be sleeping on your knees while Zhu sat quietly -for once!- beside me.''


''I have no idea how to be peaceful. I've been hurting people all my life, even more so during that year because of that witch!'' Your knight shook an angry fist at the tavern. ''But I held on! She promised you'd be healed, all I had to do was endure till she finished preparing, play with her apostles, b-but you know... Zhu's right.'' Leather-clad fingers interlocked in prayer. ''If I was a knight, I wouldn't have been so upset by this... indiscretion.''


You didn't know how to describe Klesiah feeling now. No more barriers, nothing holding her back. That intense maelstrom had finally subsided, replaced with clarity of mind and purpose. Warmth radiated traveling the battered pathway of your joined souls as if healing everything on the way.

''There's a cowardly, foolish little girl in love with a man she shouldn't be. She'd often fantasize about revealing it inside Mother Earth church with the dear goddess as a witness. They would bridge the disparity between noble and knight together, stand as one against all the troubles...'' And a liberated smile. ''...That's right. Klesiah Zaheed has been in love with Arawn Loukanos for a long time despite how foolishly stupid such a union could be, I've always held that little selfish hope!''

You were drowning in different feelings. No matter how obvious, hearing those words delivered with such radiance was... so overwhelmingly moving that your eyes irritated with tears. Perhaps Elina stalwart presence was the only thing allowing you to keep your composure.

''This is not how I wanted my confession to go!'' Klesiah continued, giggling. ''Beating on my best friend the day before the most important battle of my dear lord's life... But that's how things land, huh?''

''Yeah well, shit happen. I still wanna work out that year of bloody frustration you've got in ya and there's a lady healer full of juice.'' An ominous grin graced Zhu's face. ''Feel like indulging, blueberry?''

''Maybe after we can reminisce about the good old days.'' Even the soul link couldn't properly translate the immensity of Klesiah weights that's been lifted off her shoulder. She felt a mixture of playful aggression now.
''Klesiah, I... I'm...'' What can you even say?

''I don't need any answers, Arawn. Telling is... it's enough.'' Your paladin breathed in and out calmly, her good spirited smile looked almost boyish, her reddened cheeks, mischievous.

''I feel like he really does need to have a few words with my sister.'' Klesiah and Zhu glanced at Elina curiously as the angel stepped closer, body glowering in gold. ''Embodiment of Love. Short story, let's not worry about it.''

''Oooh? Now's the perfect time for hearts to be laid bare ya know.'' Zhu teased, wiggling her eyebrows as Holy energy washed over her face.

''Yeah sure, start with yours.'' Elina huffed. ''There have been enough emotions today he's gonna die if he's piled in confessions. I can feel it.''

''Hey, I've been trying to fuck him since we reunited but he's one stubborn virgin. Will I get special privilege tonight for being a caring friend?''


A new wave of anger emerged out of Klesiah as she began to audibly crack her fingers.

''I'm going to shut that mouth of yours.''

These two... aren't done. Maybe you should stick around for a while longer.

This entire argument had taken long enough for the sky to turn into a darkened gray that would quickly change into total darkness. Hunger pangs cramped your stomach now that you could afford to worry about something else.

''I've heard that men go bald because of stress, how come Arawn still has enough to cover his ears?'' Elina commented with a teasing chuckle.

>Stick around for a while. Things might get a wee bit awkward but... This atmosphere is nice, too. (Any peculiar subject to talk about? Klesiah certainly said more than enough to make you think for an entire week, let alone a few hours!)
>Go back into the tavern, see what ama is up to. You can never trust that fox.

I'm pooped. I might need to take tomorrow to recover. Emotions can be hidden for only so long... especially around Zhu! This is a time for Arawn to give serious thoughts about relationships, baby steps.
Take your time, we can wait for quality and we don't want ya to burn out.

Well now, didn't think I hit that nail on the head as squarely as I did but go me I guess. The blueberry's been deeply in love with us since before we died. Man, it must have really hurt knowing deep down that we were shagging Zhu and not her. Macking out wouldn't have been an option though as I bet Hecate was hot for us too and I think Zhu's the only one remotely comfortable with the prospect of "sharing" her man with others (though I still think she want's to be "first" in our hearts I believe). Still, two confessions at once and likely more to come. Damn aren't we popular!

I still think we should recover our memories and restore Gardy before we start thinking commitment though. I want Best buddy's opinion on all this and now that we know she loved us it'll put a lot of our past into a greater context.

Ok, so what does each option entail? How does that tavern look? How much did this little exercise cost Elina's reserves? How long is dinner served for and when does everyone feel like taking a bath? Zhu and Klesiah will definitely need one now. About how long will they keep fighting? Can we quickly embrace the aspect of Ama and see if we get more than 2 pings? Will the strength of that one, obvious, nuclear ping drown out anything else?
>Ok, so what does each option entail?
Mostly another way to spend your free time. This sudden explosion of seriousness has calmed down.
>How does that tavern look?
Seems a few people from the community went in to listen to Mina playing the harp.
>How much did this little exercise cost Elina's reserves?
Next best thing to nothing.
>How long is dinner served for and when does everyone feel like taking a bath?
Insisting on the girls getting some food is possible so the stop brawling it out. Too early for a bath yet.
>About how long will they keep fighting?
Until they'll feel satisfied.
>Can we quickly embrace the aspect of Ama and see if we get more than 2 pings?
You actually can't reach into it as usual. It's like grasping spiritual mud, all you get are stains that are washed off by your ego.
Aww crap, does that mean we've lost the aspect or it only functions, ironically, when we're not in the direct presence of Ama? That thing was useful too.

Dang it, no way to attempt to detect Fluffy fuckery at range then. Wouldn't them fighting preclude them from talking to us? Could we go fetch them some food while they fight? How long until Hilde wakes up? I know Zhu wanted to fight her a bit and if light bludgeoning damage is next to free to heal than this could be her only opportunity before we're all collectively dick deep in the shit again.
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>Aww crap, does that mean we've lost the aspect or it only functions, ironically, when we're not in the direct presence of Ama? That thing was useful too.
Well, you can't access it now for some odd reason...
>Wouldn't them fighting preclude them from talking to us?
Yes and now, having you around will mean a rather strange discussion in the middle of a fistfight but hey, call it bonding
>Could we go fetch them some food while they fight?
Nah, they'll just stop if you do that.
>How long until Hilde wakes up?
Hmm, bout one more hour.
I think we should stick around and see what happens with that. Maybe another memory will resurface. Would it be possible to send Elina to check on Shereen without disrupting this situation? Just a quick check, she can come right back if she wants.

If it will disrupt then she stays too. I want to see what happens now with all this. Again, these two just confessed to us. I... don't know what to do with that.
Duly noted. Arawn doesn't need to do anything special, it's quite a shock! I'll try to update later tonight but I'll admit, I'm losing my motivation.
Take your time. If you need a break it's ok. Like I said, we can wait for quality.
Hey, it's 2021! Take that time, do the thing you like, rest those writing fingers!

We like what you do but don't push yourself too hard. We don't want you getting sick from stress, or totally losing your inspiration for the world.

After the current story line plot is finished you should focus on something different, and leave this story to percolate in the background. I like to do something else to let inspiration strike me for a project before continuing again.
Thank frens, I've already got most of what I want to write figured out, I haven't gotten tired of this quest at all, it's just that I have a surplus of inspiration distracting me that need evacuation, hence my thought about starting a new shortish quest to take care of that so I can think a little clearer for Arawn tale. What had me a bit downhearted and hurting my motivation this week was the lack of my players, but I think that was because I chose a poor time to run.

I do think I need a bit of a restructure for our tale, writing up an inefficient summary should be something I aim to do.

Anyhow with Klesiah confession out in the open and with the vote of sticking around some more, the next few updates will be on the shorter side to allow more interactions. I'll post soon.
''Oi, don't go saying whatever you want now, angel.'' You felt like running into the tavern now that your mind could process what happened. Was that a double confession in the middle of a fistfight?

''Oh? Will you discipline me if I don't?'' She replied confidently, letting out one last pulse of white fog out of her hand toward her two companions.

''I'd prefer hearing well-earned compliments.'' It was a weak retort, goodness were you feeling very distracted. Klesiah constantly snuck glances your way, face alight in a gorgeous blush that made her look almost mystical in the golden glow of Elina's magical projections.

From her myriad of sincere, intense feelings radiated into your links. A sense of liberation had completely refreshed the overwhelming storm of her rage, oftentimes touched by sudden spikes of warmth when she looked at you.

There is no playing the fool here. ''I-I'm sorry all of this, this situation I've been so worried about you Klesiah, I... I'm not sure how to answer, or if I should.'' Despite how much you've trained in keeping stoic self-control, words nearly smashed into one another, far too eager to escape the furnace that was your face.

''It's okay.'' Answered your blueberry while tugging on her leather gloves. ''I think... I've been a little too self-centered with my knightly wishes, my prince.'' Prince? Did your heart skip a beat? First time!

''I suppose it took an old friend to make me see it.'' Klesiah redirected her attention at a grinning Zhu. ''You've really, really pissed me off you know that?'' Despite the gentleness of her tone, Klesiah suddenly rushed forward to deliver a sharp kick on Zhu flank. This effort was blocked flawlessly yet your knight quickly regained her balance and went into a fluffy of punches, parried Zhu counter, and slammed a shoulder on the taller swordswoman hard enough to make her step back.

''Wew! Now that's it, little more of that precision!'' Zhu praised while laughing. Her upper body had endured some solid connection yet the pain was a source of mirth for her. ''You're doing better than throwing your fists like a wild animal at least, had some hands-on training when I wasn't looking?''

''I'll show you wild.'' Klesiah didn't hide her sadistic glee and pressed on with another calculated assault, landing bruises after bruises on her friend's arms who began to return the gesture in kind, soon enough starting another brawl that, thankfully, didn't hold the rancor of the last one. Punches, kicks, shoves, feints... even a few solid connections on their faces, they weren't holding back. Eventually, Zhu roughly slammed your paladin on the ground after a grapple and follow with a kick to the rib that, thankfully, Klesiah blocked with her arms and promptly swiped at Zhu leg, making her fall. Both combatants proceeded to roll away for some distance and quickly committed into another clash.
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''You two are indulging a little too much.'' Elina grumbled once the girls separated again, showing new collections of wounds. ''No third time, if any nose gets broken you'll endure the whole evening.''

Calling this situation childish was an understatement, yet it was strangely fun to get pulled into Zhu pace. This fight was her clumsy way to help her best friend. Because of your soul link, you felt confident in deducing Klesiah state of mind and general well-being and... This lashing out, this catharsis (to take Ari'el overused expression) was something that -did- help your dear paladin. That year spent in Ama custody had constricted her feelings into such a tight ball that only the weakness of love began to unravel it... and it took a bitter emotional betrayal to make it explode.

Calculated? Definitely. Unforgivable? Not from where you're standing. Zhu confronted her friend with the grace of a bull, but it worked... You're very curious about her discussion with Mina yesterday.

''So angel is a nanny?'' Zhu taunted while wiping a drop of blood out of her recently healed nose.

''I think you've had enough indulgence.'' You added your support to Elina. ''It's getting completely dark now. I'm also hungry.''

Leaving Shereen alone with Ama was starting to make you paranoid. Mina was a trustworthy soul no doubt about that... But the fact you couldn't grasp at Ama aspect was worrisome. You could still feel your connection with the fox, like sticking your hand in muddy water, you felt the energizing flow of your soul stained with the vixen influence... It was fleeting, like water, it went through your fingers instead of becoming the usual knot you could hold onto.

''I think... Phew.'' Klesiah straightened her stance and ran her fingers (after removing one glove) over her face and hair to replace wild strands. ''...it's enough for one day.'' Sweat poured down her face despite the refreshing night, added with those constant glances your way, a dangerous temptation burgeoned in the back of your mind.

''Aaaw come one.'' Zhu reluctantly relaxed her stance. ''Things were getting good!''

''Let's have another brawl after we win this mess we're in.'' Klesiah knew exactly what her friend wanted to hear and, in a complete reversal of what's been happening for the last two or three hours, Zhu walked next to Klesiah and put an arm around her shoulders.

And that, for some reason, sent your heart racing. Maybe it was Klesiah smile, maybe it was her feelings finally settling into something calmer, maybe it was suddenly remembering her confession... This entire situation was surreal. You always expected romance to go differently, that a declaration of love would need some kind of immediate response. Mamonos saw indecisions in matters of the heart as one of the worst cowardice a man could do and that was a mindset you agreed with wholeheartedly.

But... always a but. It didn't feel wrong to wait for now. How should you spend the rest of your evening?
>Try to get something personal out of Ama. The fox is an irritating mystery, you need to try and extract something about your past from her if you can. Why has she been ruining your existence since before Throne Town? Why you, specifically? (Free/add. Pick and choose around two questions)
>Spend time with your friends while forcing Ama to sulk in the corner (where she belongs). Reminisce about old-time, perhaps... you could grasp at a memory of your time with Klesiah, Zhu and Hecate?
>Aim to try and do something casual, relax for once in your life. (Spend time with your party leisurely. Even Ama.)
>You need to have a little talk with Klesiah alone... It'll probably get awkward but you have time to spare and perhaps you should try clearing up a few things with her.
Well now, that's quite a few death flags getting raised. At least we have an actual healer now so we should be able to mitigate that.

Could we ask Ama a question and then just relax with our friends or are the options mutually exclusive?
Sorta exclusive since Ama could lead to a serious discussion, but the option of backing out will be possible. It's mutually exclusive for now but not a ''hard'' commitement.
Will we have time to talk with Ama later or on the road? Is Hilde here yet? I kind of just want to relax with our party and Hilde ought to be a part of that. Girl is way too damn serious all the damn time. We need to get her to loosen up!
>Will we have time to talk with Ama later or on the road?
If you can find some time for it, yeah.
>Is Hilde here yet?
She'll be awake soon yeah, so she can be included in the casual option.

I'd really like to wait for one more player this time at least. I'm not feeling too hot today, so there probably won't be another answer. I'll open a discussion if I close the thread tomorrow.
Then for now I will go with the casual option. Everyone's about to get stuck right back into the shit. De-stressing right now sounds smart to me.
Duly noted. Thank you for being here anon.

Everyone earned some downtime. How does a double confession feel?
Anytime. I gotta see how this all turns out.

A little overwhelming to be quite honest. I mean, I know all the girls we know save for a few have the hots for us, but them just coming out and declaring it puts us on the spot.

I'd rather we be able to just restore Gardy and our lost memories before we did the romance thing but the girls might not give us the chance. We *are* a hell of a catch no doubt, but damn, what with the monstergirls and all this is really complicated!
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Sharing is caring.
For now, you have the luxury of waiting at least. Though who knows what might happen...
>That spoiler
What, do you want us to go for a full Harem end? I don't think we got the endurance for that. Plus I'm pretty sure Klesiah isn't OK with sharing us. We saw what happened with Zhu. She'll likely beat up any other girl we get down with!

Then there's the fact we're royalty. Whom we marry has potential political ramifications!
>What, do you want us to go for a full Harem end?
I'm not advocating anything!
> I don't think we got the endurance for that.
I'm sure he can be motivated
> Plus I'm pretty sure Klesiah isn't OK with sharing us. We saw what happened with Zhu. She'll likely beat up any other girl we get down with!
That's honestly an inevitable subject for her given the fact that Arawn -is- in monstrous company that do operate on the concept of sharing, making some really big family units. You might need to know her stance on this.
>Then there's the fact we're royalty. Whom we marry has potential political ramifications!
True. In fact, being monogamous or not also could have ramifications.
Am this Anon>>4593439
having finally returned to proper internet having place, I know it's probably a bit late though.

Should we arrange for an official letter, to be sent to the elven sanctuary, once things calm down so Armin has something to back any potential claims he makes with?

We might need to do our duty continuing / expanding the Royal line at some stage assuming things don't get worse, in the meantime.
Welcome back.
Without presenting yourself in person, it'll be close to impossible to have a letter like this hold any weight. It also remains to be seen if Armin will say anything, too.
We should go see Not-Merlin once this is all over and inform him that Solemnval likely no longer exists thanks to Divine Intervention. I almost regret not dragging him along, but unless he literally was a Not-Merlin (i.e. a grandmaster illusionist) he would have been dead weight in the party and probably would have died. Too bad he never got to see the thing he was looking for.

It doesn't have to be us who ends up with Shereen, but we will try ensure it's someone worthy of such a good girl. Only the best for those we care for.
>Aim to try and do something casual, relax for once in your life. (Spend time with your party leisurely. Even Ama.)
You almost braced for an incident when you opened the tavern door but, heralded by the muffle noises quietly filtering out of it, the atmosphere inside contrasted your friends conflict as literally as the night freshness and the darkness obscuring what was previously an unobstructed view of the horizon.

Mina was at the end of playing a gentle tune that had gathered an audience besides your party. A few lady snakes, another older centaur, and a pair of lamias child with their father were hanging around politely, listening to your companion extracting a nice song out of this harp.

Sitting on the largest table were Ama, Shereen, and Hildegarde who looked midway between groggy and grumpy, slowly but surely stabbing into her supper and bringing it into her mouth.

''Sorry about that, we've been gone a little too long.'' Your stomach growled when you took a seat, followed by your three companions, filling the table. The way Zhu forced Klesiah to sit next to you

''Mmmh, it's fine it's fine. Little matter needed to be settled yes?'' You didn't like the way the fox said that at all, what's up with this smile of hers?

''Hrrrm.'' That growl came from your little sun who bit her lips awkwardly. A rather unbefitting expression for the music in the background. ''Listen, guys, I've... That fox here sorta spied on what happened between you. And made me listen.''

''W-what?'' Klesiah, who had been keeping her attention on Mina, bumped her knee on the table. You didn't need to look at her to know she was red all over now, you felt it.

''Oh yes, it was a clumsy start but still adorably awkward,'' Ama said, leaning on the table, looking proud. How did she...!? Bah! Of course, she'd spy on you!

''I... huh, I just wanted you guys to know. Things are still good?'' It seemed that Klesiah emotions were infectious because your little sun was slowly but surely growing embarrassed.

''Totally,'' Zhu answered, looking genuinely comfortable despite sitting next to the evil witch. ''Cleared some air, got some excitement, now time to eat before I bloody drop.''

If Hildegarde was wondering what happened, she didn't put a voice to it. Her only form of acknowledgment was to nod every time she crossed eyes with someone and Elina kept firm surveillance of the fox.

Unlike her, you wondered if it might be best to simply... stop the vigilance. Ama is playing around, she knows everyone is waiting for an excuse to validate their suspicions so keeping herself honest was a simple enough way to toy with your party expectation.

''Tell me, good maid.'' Like the devil she was, the witch had to speak when you thought about her. ''Do you have any special talents?''

''Huh?'' Said maid frowned in response. ''Trying to be a friend now?''
''Goodness, yes. Let's at least try to entertain an illusion of solidarity otherwise, this evening truly will be dreadfully boring.'' The purple-haired seductress leaned back on her chair, tails spilling out all around her in a way that was far, far too pleasing for the eye.

''Best you can expect from me is some juggling.'' Was that a concession?

''Really? I've always believed you had what it take to throw sharp knives into apples standing on top of people's heads.'' Shereen, of all people, said this and earned a deadpan glare from the maid as a result.

''Is that the impression I give? A circus show?''

''A talent show! An important distinction.'' Your little sun continued and despite her doll-like demeanor, Hildegarde -briefly- looked self-conscious.

''Hm, a few pints oughta break this ice wall around us, for a firefox you're making things fucking awkward y'know that?'' Zhu measured her tone as Mina melody came to an end and she earned a brief round of applause, starting the beginning for the rest of the patrons... or rather, the community inhabitants, to leave.

''Oh? My dear, all I ask is for a little doubt to plant the seed of friendship among us.'' Ama huffed, letting a new pair of fiery trails out of her nostril. ''I could give some story about the time of old, what few things I've seen during my youth. It's a little difficult to remember since it's been so long but...'' She grinned at seeing Klesiah straightened ears. ''...I was still rather young when the time of Pretenders ended, I can try jogging my memory.''

That was genuinely tempting.

''I feel like borrowing dices from the in-keep and wagering Arawn virginity.'' Klesiah promptly choked on her food and Zhu exploded in a guffaw.

''Elina!? What?'' You nearly screamed. ''You're skipping steps here!''

''Sure, we can go for a kiss.'' The angel continued, the more discomfort you felt, the sadistic pleasure radiated out of her.

Damn, this angel is dangerous.

''I'd rather aim for something a little less... hedonistic, thank.'' It's only after you finished your sentence that you realized you really could have used a better word. Being surrounded by women did not... Well, it did make you feel excited but that's normal.

''Or a repeat of what we did in that tower, maybe?''

Wait, hold on.

''Don't you still owe me something for your dice loss?'' You couldn't quite remember clearly. The memory was foggy, one precious little event inserted into a monumental crisis, and... one year of coma didn't help. Though you -do- keenly remember losing to Hao!

''What?'' Shock and horror disturbed the angel. ''Really? No way I...'' she was in an even worse spot than you when it came to remembering. ''...Really? Nah you beat Siggy, beat me too, and only Hao...? I remember Belph squealing, tail squeezing, table getting punctured... Hm.'' No matter how much she thought about it, the truth was murky.
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''What's this about now?'' Klesiah tried her best not to glare her disapproval, all the other women (even Ama) were leaning closer for juicy, juicy details.

''Nothing!'' Elina blurted out, flustered. ''Just... old history, yeah. Lost an old game of dice.''

''Meaning you owe something to mister here?'' Zhu leaned a little too close to Elina, almost getting into her personal space.

''Oi, I don't remember that well and neither does he anyway!'' Instead of backing down, Elina got closer to Zhu face, glaring into her single eye as she desperately tried to camouflage embarrassment with frustration. Zhu wasn't about to let up and bickering was going to start in earnest.

Seems like your teasing has backfired this time, angel... Though you couldn't shake off the impression that some dirty laundry got aired. Shereen and Klesiah seemed to radiate constant disapproval, your knight also was veeery curious about this game now.

>''You -do- owe me a little debt for my victory, Elina and I think tonight is a good time to collect.'' (Now this might not be the truth but there's no harm with bending reality a little... and insisting on it sound delightfully fun.)
>''Since both of our memories are lacking, how about one little game to put this matter to rest?'' (Finding some dices shouldn't be difficult.)
>''Let's call the previous game a draw.'' (It might be better to put this matter to a close swiftly.
>A) Have the vixen regal your party with some tales of old, since she offered. (Anything in particular)
>B) Have Klesiah and Zhu share some stories about your travel. There must have been some moments that weren't miserable... right?
>C) Hildegarde is looking satisfied to have faded in the background again, can't have that! (Should you ask her about her personal life? Her time as a bodyguard? Free)
Crap, sorry I'm late. I believe Hao didn't even participate in the game and it was Vilma who beat us (she wanted to munch on our soul and we let her). Teruko (that's her name right) was of the same race and we beat her too.

I say we touch fluffy wings. Elina hoped we'd forget, but when it comes to a chance to enjoy exotic monstergirl bits our memory shall never fail! Can we invite Hilde to indulge as well? Shereen? How about the whole party? Ama is a hard no though unless she's willing to part with a pearl for the privilege. Or does she want to go double or nothing with party indulgence on the line?
Don't apologize for being late. I've been feeling pretty woozy due to some antibiotics I'm taking to remove an infection so my progress will be slow regardless.
Mmhm, these muddled details are on purpose because both of them have trouble remembering.
How odd
Touching fluffy wings will need to happen inside one of your party rooms but it's a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
>Or does she want to go double or nothing with party indulgence on the line?

Arawn hasn't imposed the motion but the moment collective enjoyment of fluffy bits is possible you can bet your soul Ama wants in.
We took heavy soul damage, so memory's gonna suffer as a likely result. I just hope Gardy isn't a full amnesiac now if I'm right about that.

Ama wants in? As in, she wants us to touch hers or she will want to touch Elina's? Would she want to throw dice in regards to enjoyment of her fluffiness? That'd be a dice roll we'd aim to lose but I bet Ama can "cheat" at dice with her magic.

Not sure if she actually would though. I remember people saying she's an avid gambler and part of the excitement of gambling is the chance you could lose.

Either way, if we insist on the fluffy wing touch that won't eat up much time will it? It can always be done later tonight so if we go for that can we pick another option from the list above?
Oh, and if Elina tries to worm out of it bring up the offer of double or nothing. Her reaction ought to be hilarious!
>Ama wants in? As in, she wants us to touch hers or she will want to touch Elina's?
>Would she want to throw dice in regards to enjoyment of her fluffiness?
>Either way, if we insist on the fluffy wing touch that won't eat up much time will it? It can always be done later tonight so if we go for that can we pick another option from the list above?
There's still the coming trial that is taking a bath and dodging Zhu
I get that, but is that a potential way to play this? I want to touch fluffy wings but I also want to get Hilde out of her shell.

Also, dodging Zhu? I thought it was a mixed bath so everyone goes in at once. The other girls will ensure we do not get raped by Zhu. Who we will sleep in the same room with will be an issue of debate though. I doubt they got a room/bed big enough for us all.
>I want to touch fluffy wings but I also want to get Hilde out of her shell.

You can try, but that'll require a good idea on your part because Arawn doesn't have much of a clue. Let's just say that even Hild family has some trouble with that shell... There's a reason why princess AnaIs is a special girl!

>I doubt they got a room/bed big enough for us all.
Yeah, party is separated in two rooms.
Well, how is that split going to happen. Has it already been decided or is it still up for discussion? I'm not sure if we'll be able to dictate who goes where. Will we all throw rock paper scissors, flip coins, or roll dice to decide it?

Pretty sure nobody will want to share a room with Ama save perhaps Shereen and we don't want to be alone with Zhu because there's no way she'll be denied if given that opportunity. She *will* pin us down and have her way with us if given that golden opportunity!

Yet I'm not sure we can pawn her off on Ama and I fear if we did that'd open up another option. Don't want to give you ideas here but I'm sure Ama would allow a contract to be signed and that could grant Zhu's wish somehow. Hell, because it's fucking with us she might give in to Zhu's request "on the house" as it were as our suffering and the emotional turmoil that'd cause in all the girls would be all the payment she needs! Damn you bad fluffy!

Also, could we insist on the wing touching and then decide how that's going to go? Y'know, as in now or later. Once we're all in the bath will we have more chances to talk to our party?
Zhu, Shereen and Ama are okay with sharing a room together. Of course, there's going to be some complaining but that's the ''default'' option.
>Damn you bad fluffy!
Zhu might be hot-headed and impetuous but even she understand not to enter a contract with bad fluffy, even if it means bullying Arawn. No need to worry there.
>Also, could we insist on the wing touching and then decide how that's going to go?
Sure, whether you'll be able to decide there remain to be seen but bullying Elina into compliance should't be too difficult.
So that leaves us shacking up with Elina, Klesiah, and Hilde right? Thank god we're with Hilde. If it was just Klesiah and Elina I'd fear Elina would hold us down and Klesiah would have her way with us! Or perhaps the two of them would flip a coin or something and the winner gets our V-card. Either way, we'd still get raped!

I want to avoid getting laid right now because:
a)it will screw over the emotional state of any girl who is linked to and "fuck" our party cohesion
b)we want our first time to be lovey dovey vanilla love making
c)it's a *major* death flag for both us and the girl we get busy with.

We've collectively raised a lot of those up to this point and that compounding fate isn't something I wanna keep testing!
I do wanna keep testing it though...

So your vote is to
>''You -do- owe me a little debt for my victory, Elina and I think tonight is a good time to collect.'' (Now this might not be the truth but there's no harm with bending reality a little... and insisting on it sound delightfully fun.)
Indulge in wings.
Of course you do. After all, your wish is to REJOICE you suffering addict! We've denied you so far, and will keep trying to deny you, but as any player knows suffering is only one bad dice roll away...

And yes, that is my vote. I was just trying to work out the finer details of the matter. Y'know, now or later or if more than one of us will be allowed/able to indulge in her fluffiness.

No enjoying Ama's fluffiness though. Not unless we get something out of it. And no, the enjoyment of fluff isn't enough when it's *her* fluff. I fear she may well force it though. Y'know, walk past us and then stop and wrap them all around us. I'd think they're remarkably strong for what they are so she could restrain us with them...
I'll vote for touch fluffy wings too. And avoiding playing dice because bad things happen when we lose.
To be fair our record when playing dice as a game is actually pretty good. We even beat Ama one time and that was wagering a memory she wanted to experience.

Best not to gamble with those unless absolutely necessary. One of the ones she's interested in contains the fact that Elina and Hadraniel are sisters. Please tell me her spying on us during that exchange didn't catch that slip of Elina's tongue. We were trying to hide that from her!
Update coming soon, sorry for the delay. I'll probably have to end tonight due to my health being less than standard for the past few days, we'll have a little discussion afterward.
Hmmm, just remembered something. We managed to become enamored by Anais if I remember correctly. Hilde even said that she mentioned us in a significant sense after that encounter. Something about good deeds becoming significant even if they weren't immediately or somesuch and thus the "tipping point" in regards to her decision to accompany us to Myrtidal over opting for a suicide mission to retrieve Anais.

That's a potential in. Hell, it was that in that got Hilde to come with us in the first place instead of suicidality charging right back into the palace because of her oaths. We, for some reason, matter in the mind/heart of Anais if my deductions are correct. I add unto my vote that we try to get Hilde to open up from that angle if the situation flows into that.

Worst case we inadvertently landed another potential human lover. Best case we get Hilde to open up for next to no cost. Win-Win!
I wouldn't go far enough to call it enamored but you did leave a great impression.
>I add unto my vote that we try to get Hilde to open up from that angle if the situation flows into that.
Hmm... I'll see what I can do. No promises.
Sorry for not updating yesterday, I'll remedy that.
Take as long as you need.
Take your time dude. Like we've been saying, we'll take it when it's ready to come.
Still alive, just suffering from some malaise. I'm determined to give one last post before ending the thread so I'll probably be able to get things done early tomorrow.
I'll aim to make a new thread next week, having trouble focusing, nothing dramatic, just stressing out about something dumb. Dentist appointment always scared me since childhood and I gotta get two teeth pulled out, so I'm suffering more insomnia than usual. We'll continue to have our good time, so I'll speak about the new sidequest I wanna do afterward.

I'm thinking of doing it into that fiction.live site that's been around for a few years to test the water, would you guys be okay with that? Or prefer to stay on 4chan?
Would prefer not to move but I am willing to accommodate the move, if you feel like it.
Duly noted. I'm planning a relatively short quest so that's why I think it could be a good idea to test somewhere else but my players wishes take priority.
If you think a short quest somewhere else will work go on ahead. While I'd prefer you remain here as I know how this site works and all I believe you've garnered some note of notoriety because of the quality you've presented.

I bet someone over on whatever other site you try to go to will at least know of you and that could snowball somehow. Just, eh, make sure some grognard can't spam the vote system somehow and thus make it a QM vs. 1 player quest if ya catch my meaning.
Oh, don't worry. I've been at it long enough to know when to put my foot down. Either way that's not happening soon, I'm aiming to continue our quest in the weekend with a new thread.
If you move to fiction.live, I'd definitely follow you there.
new thread

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