In Scrimshaw Mount, all graves are shallow. Even on the Promontory, where nature, not man had placed the soil, the ubiquitous basalt of the Mount was never more then three feet down, commonly less than two. And while the sextons that ran the five different graveyards that were actually located on Mount understood that getting graves to the traditional depth of eight feet was impractical, some of the sextons were more understanding than others. The sexton of the South Burying Ground, creatively titled the South Sexton, who you were working for, requires all of his graves to be a standard depth of two feet, four inches, with plumb corners. For the particular plot that you are digging today, the bedrock was at two feet, three inches at the head of the grave, and two feet, one inch at the foot of the grave. Chewing away at the basalt would be miserable enough, even without the midday sun beating down on you, and even without the heavy canvas of the Spotted Cloak and the weight of your mask that you must wear at all time, under pain of death.But the misery you are mired in is born out of your worries, not your work. As of tonight, your father will be overdue, and you fear what may have befallen him. Four days ago, he returned from his nighttime prowling prematurely, and awoke you. At first, you had been alarmed, thinking that he was rousing you to flee. It had been eight years since you entered into the questionable safety of the Midden, but before that, your entire childhood had been spent in flight, staying one step ahead of the Inquisitors and their Cleansers. But father was smiling here, not skittish. In fact, you would go as far to say that he was giddy. Surprisingly, you could smell alcohol on his breath, which could only mean he had been meeting with a ‘professional friend’ at a public house, as he would only drink when propriety demanded it. He told you that he found something very, very valuable, and that he, along with his friends, were going to steal it. He spoke a bit more on it, as he outfitted himself, but you were still half-asleep, so you cannot recall these specifics. But you do remember what he said in passing.“I will return, in three days’ time – four at the absolute most. But if I am not back in a week, then something has gone seriously wrong, and for your own safety, you must leave the Mount. I will come for you, when or if I can. Fare thee well, Chlotsuintha”.Father had not called you by your real name in … you do not even know how many years. Hearing it said out loud like that, it was as if he cast one of his spells on you. You bolted awake – but he had already begun his descent. This was not the first time that he would be gone for a few days on a job like this, and even the part about ‘leave the city’ and ‘when or if I can’ was not an uncommon precaution from him. But actually saying your name, that marked this as something else entirely.
>>4931101You tried to chase after him, but by the time you made your descent, father was long gone, and you had no idea where he went. You scampered around a bit, looking for him in and around the Midden, but nothing came of it. Back up in your rooms, you took stock of what father had taken with him, hoping to find some sort of clue as to what he might be doing, from what was missing. That did not help, as he took just about everything – beyond the most basic of domestic sundries all that he left was two rusted stilettoes, very little food and absolutely no money. There was the Life-Loom, the Glyphery, and his Fetish-Foundry, all cordoned off upstairs, as well as a bench set aside for mundane crafting, but besides making the most basic of constructs on the Loom, those were all well beyond your ability. There were books that he had collected, and journals that he had written up there too, but the books were all in a language that you did not recognize, and his journals were all in a cypher that you did not know. Finally, there was his old remediation, cleansing and interrogation implements, but what was not absolutely useless to you was either seventeen years expired, or potentially hazardous to someone as Strange as you are.Finding yourself baffled, you simply retreated back to routine, waiting for father to return. And now as this, the fourth and final day drags to a close, your worry is becoming more and more akin to dread with the passage of each hour. It does not help that you spend your days digging graves and handling bodies. All you do is stew in your stifling cloak and your stifling mask, with only your thoughts and the dead for company –Which reminds you, you are supposed to have help here. Two other Spotted Cloaks, Vaclav and Smil, were assigned alongside you to the South Burying Ground for this week. There here somewhere, they helped dig up the topsoil, but the second you hit bedrock, the two of them loaded up their wheelbarrows and headed over to the exhume pile. That must have been twenty minutes ago now! Fray them! Today is payday, and if you are not able to get this grave at depth, square and plumb and mow the grass in the Old Section by the end of the day, then the South Sexton might just refuse to pay you for this week. Which is an issue, because you ate the last of what little food was left yesterday. With everything else ‘on your plate’, the last thing you need to worry about is starving.Your immediate impulse is to head over to the exhume pile and drag them back here. But you are worried that the minute you leave for the pile, the South Sexton, who is also around here somewhere will show up, see an unattended, unfinished grave, and throw a fit, which means that you will definitely not get paid this week. Alternatively, you could simply try to work harder and faster, to cover for the dallying duo until they get back. And if it comes to it, there are other ways to make money.
>>4931110>Please choose ONE of the following: >It is frustrating, but with an entire week’s worth of pay on the line, you cannot afford to take any risks. Work harder, work faster, and work alone. >You are worrying about nothing. Both about the South Sexton showing up … and about your father. All you need to do is run over to the pile and bring those idiots back to the gravesite.
>>4931112>It is frustrating, but with an entire week’s worth of pay on the line, you cannot afford to take any risks. Work harder, work faster, and work alone.
>>4931112>You are worrying about nothing. Both about the South Sexton showing up … and about your father. All you need to do is run over to the pile and bring those idiots back to the gravesite.
While we wait for a tie breaker, I figured that it would be appropriate to give some basic geographic references, so everyone has an idea where places are, relative to each other. First, there is Scrimshaw Mount, which is both the name of outcropping (imagine a much wider and stouter version of Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower, surrounded on three sides by the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and on the fourth, by the sea) and the port city that is being built on top of all of this. Most of the city is on top of the Mount, in what is called the Promontory, or the Prom, but there are two narrow harbors, on both sides of the outcropping; Cleanport and Stickport (commonly called ‘Stinkport’). Cleanport is reserved solely for merchantmen and passenger ships, as well as warehouses and cheaper accommodations, while downwind, Stickport is the Mount’s working waterfront, where the whalers, oilers and fishermen have their berths, where all of the cities heavy industry is remanded, and in a lonely corner, where the Midden is located. The Midden is a compound built around a cluster of ruins from an earlier, failed settlement, where all of the workers in unclean professions – sanitation, animal product processing, and those who touch the dead (excluding priests and undertakers, who are sanctified) – are forced to live, for the safety and comfort of the rest of the city. In the Mount, workers in these unclean professions are called ‘Lepers’, possibly because the first person the Port Authority, the governing body of the Mount, ‘compelled’ into an unclean profession was a Leper. Nearly everyone sent to the Midden either has some disease (usually degenerative, contagious or both), though some are sent there as punishment. The reasoning behind sending the sick and weak to work in unclean environments is largely theological; as the primary religion of the Mount, the Reformed Priests of the Patternmaker hold that deformities and chronic diseases are indicative of weak or compromised moral fiber, and as unclean professions are believed to compromise moral fiber (and the soul itself), the logical call was to protect the relatively unblemished by further sacrificing the all-ready compromised. Okay, so at the time of me posting this, it has been just about three hours. I'm going to go get dinner, and when I get back, if there isn't a tiebreaker, then I guess I'll just roll for it.
>>4931112>>It is frustrating, but with an entire week’s worth of pay on the line, you cannot afford to take any risks. Work harder, work faster, and work alone.
>>4931394>ISISWhat a fucking tag to land
>>4931394Alright, there is our tie breaker. Writing!
You are not one hundred percent certain that it is the best call here, but in the end, you decide to just keep working. And if you are being entirely honest, Vaclav and Smil are not that much help anyway. You are not sure what exactly is wrong with Smil beyond just being small and stooped, as he is a recent arrival in the Midden, sent there a fortnight past. Vaclav on the other hand, has been there for sixteen years, as long as you have been alive, making him one of the longest serving residents, and everyone knows he has the Masticating Pox. It’s a particularly nasty affliction; after it covers you in tender, bright scarlet pustules, each the size of an eighth-talent, it goes to work on all of the cartilage in the body, slowly but steadily pulping it into nothing. But despite the degenerative nature of the disease, Vaclav has always been a hard worker, and even though you have been working with him in the burial yards for years now, you have not seen any signs that the Pox is slowing him down. That being said, it is not like you are really looking for those signs. You and your father keep the rest of the Lepers at arm’s length to avoid catching anything … and to ensure that the none of the other Leper’s catch on that neither of you are sick, at least, sick like them. You and your father, are Strange – that is to say, you have the Strangeness, sometimes also known as the Magician’s Madness. Now to a magician, a magical object, or an inert material, like lead, the Strangeness is not a problem. To everything else, it is dangerous. An inanimate object or substance exposed to enough Strangeness can spontaneously change material properties, or in some rare cases, completely transmute. Your father, who had worked as a Cleanser and then as an Inquisitor before having his magic inadvertently activated by your mother, told you some horror stories about areas that had been so thoroughly contaminated by the Strangeness that the very air itself had become Strange, and how an entire Cleansing team had once been suffocated to death when the air in a room all at once turned to rolling yellow smoke. And while the effects might not be as dramatic on living beings, they could be just as dangerous. The physical changes were a real mixed bag; sometimes the body was just twisted and deformed with carcinomic growths, other times it would be improved – bigger and stronger, or sleeker and more comely. The mental changes on the other hand were all bad news; if it had a brain, the Strangeness could drive it mad. Sometimes into a vicious, aggressive frenzy, but more often into a pseudo-schizophrenic paranoia. But the worst part was that the Strangeness can spread itself, so wherever it is present, there is the risk of a runaway feedback loop forming, an endless loop that if left unchecked will chew reality into pieces.
>>4931627As one might expect, people, animals and objects affected by the Strangeness, especially magical people animals and objects are treated as ‘destroy on sight’ through out the civilized world. It is unlikely that Vaclav or Smil or anyone else in the Midden would ever catch on to you and your father’s condition, but the two of you have not made it this long by taking unnecessary risks. To tell it true, you really do not take any risks – as evidenced by your unwillingness to leave the gravesite to find those two slugabeds. You suppose you should not be that frustrated with them; unlike you they actually have serious medical issues. Even though you do this work daily, you have a hard time imagining do it with a debilitating disability … is that redundant? Father would probably know, but you do not want to peek into that pot of worms before – “Sty? You back here still?”You recognize that young, childish voice. It’s Ralx, the firstborn son of the South Sexton. His father is of a mind that he should eventually succeed him in his position, which is why he is at the South Burying Grounds right now instead of being tutored at home. Despite this gloomy upbringing, the boy is surprisingly upbeat, polite and pleasant; in short, he is everything that his father is not. It is to the point where you cannot help but wonder if the man’s wife gave him horns. The boy barely even looks like him. Still in the grave, you stand up, taking the opportunity to haul out another few handfuls of exhume. Ralx finally either sees you or he hears you, but either or, he hustles his way over to you. Not for the first time, you wonder if he knows you are a woman. Given your height, your voice is fairly deep, and getting deeper still; and muffled as it is by the gauze and the lead-lined mask that you wear over your face, it can pass as a man’s to all but the most decerning ear. He’s never addressed you as such, so you doubt it, but there are times where you have caught him looking at you inexplicably. While being stared at is part and parcel of being a Leper, you have never seen him glance at any of the others like he glances at you. It cannot be your figure – while it is continuing to become more and more distressingly feminine as you get older, wearing the Spotted Cloak turns everyone into canvas hogsheads. Perhaps it is your gait? You are not sure about that either. Hmm. “I’m just getting the foot of the grave to depth, young master.” “Oh, that’s okay, I’m sure your friends can do it. Father asked me to attend to the hedges by the rear entrance, but I can’t reach the top bits.”
>>4931628What! The hedges? You trimmed the fraying hedges last month – it should be half a year before anyone needs to take a shear to them. Either the sexton has completely forgotten that you had already done it, or he knows, and is just trying to get his son out of his hair … and does not care at all if it means more work for you. It is a moot point though – if he ordered the hedges trimmed today, then you need to trim them today, even if they do not need it, and you’d be barely taking anything off. Ohhh ...this has become a problem. You were fairly certain that even with Vaclav and Smil on their sabbatical behind the exhume pile, you could finish this grave and mow the Old Section before the end of the day. But the grave, the Old Section and the hedge; now that is a tall order. It is certainly possible, but it will be difficult. Alternatively … if the hedge would not look any different after being trimmed again, then whose to say that you did not trim it again today? Just Ralx – and if you can convince him to pretend that the two of you did do the hedge, then that would be a massive load off of your shoulders. Another even more devious possibility would be to tell him to do what he could reach while you finished the grave, then you would do the ‘top bits’ yourself later … but in actuality, just leave it as is. >Please choose ONE of the following: >Attempt to do everything – finish the grave, mow the Old Section and now trim the already trimmed hedge by the rear entrance. [Requires Rolling]>Attempt to convince Ralx to lie to his father about having trimmed the hedge today. [Requires Rolling] >Tell Ralx to start on the hedge straightaway, and lie to him that you will take care of the ‘top bits’. I'm going to get some sleep. When I wake up, I'll close this, rolling for a tiebreaker if necessary. I know not much has actually happened yet in the quest, but I wanted to take some time to explain a bit about the world, and more importantly, I want to establish what a typical day is like for our girl. Anyway, good night, and thanks for playing.
>>4931640>>Attempt to do everything – finish the grave, mow the Old Section and now trim the already trimmed hedge by the rear entrance. [Requires Rolling]
>>4931640>Attempt to convince Ralx to lie to his father about having trimmed the hedge today. [Requires Rolling]
>>4931640Other: Convince Ralx to fetch your absent helpers to finish the grave, and then help him with the hedges once he returns
Rolled 3 (1d3)>>4931829Alright, I can accept that write-in. So, as I said, I'll roll for tie breaker. On a roll of 1: >>4931649On a roll of 2: >>4931816On a roll of 3: >>4931829
Okay, so now we need some rolls. For this Quest, I'm going to use a modified version of Forgotten's 3d100 system. >DC 21: Anything lower is a failure.>No Passes: He refuses outright, insisting that you do exactly he says. Perhaps he is his father's son after all.>One Pass: He refuses, insisting that you go to the exhume pile to fetch the two of them.>Two Passes: He begrudgingly accepts, though he is not particularly pleased about it. Or with you, for that matter.>Three Passes: He accepts without complaint, and you proceed exactly as you planned. >If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test, and as you are failing to convince him, his father comes looking for him.>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and you find a valuable bauble hedge. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure. >Please, may I have 3 rolls of 1d100? If you have rolled, and more rolls are needed, if you wait 20 minutes, you may roll again, as many times as needed.
Rolled 60 (1d100)>>4932021
Rolled 14 (1d100)>>4932021
Rolled 58 (1d100)>>4932021
>>4932071>>4932067>>4932028>Two Passes: He begrudgingly accepts, though he is not particularly pleased about it. Or with you, for that matter."Of course, young master. Just ... could you go to the exhume pile, and tell Vaclav and Smil that they're going to need to finish the grave on their own?" The boy looks confused, and a little surprised that you did not just immediately do as you were told. "But Sty ... when they come back from the pile, they'll know they have to finish the grave on their own because you won't be here, right?" He is right, of course, but the question is when exactly they plan on coming back. Already, they must have been gone for forty minutes. Did they fall asleep? Did something happen to them? You do not want to throw them under the wagon by telling Ralx that they are taking some sort of marathon break over there, but by asking him to go fetch them, you already sort of are. You try, and sort of succeed at stifling a sigh. If you keep this up, you are going to find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place - worse, you fear you will find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place without any money and a still-missing father. Just ..."Young Master Ralx, please ... I, uh - this corner, I'm almost done with this corner. Please just let me finish the corner, while you go tell them, and then I'll do the hedges with you." At this point, the boy does not look confused anymore, he looks suspicious. Suspicious of you - and while his suspicions have nothing to do with the true nature of your condition, having someone, anyone, look at you like that, especially someone who knows you, is always unnerving. For several seconds, you think that he is going to ask just what the Hell is going on, but thankfully, he decides against it. "...Fine." No doubt he does not appreciate being left in the dark. Or being ordered around by a Leper. But with a lick of luck, you managed to diffuse this situation without resorting to lying or taking any risks. Unnecessary or otherwise. You resume your work on the bedrock with renewed vigor, and the tooth-pick is a blur in your hands for the next minute and a half, as you do as much of the rough work of the excavating as possible, leaving the less-strenuous finishing work for Vaclav and Smil. When Ralx returns, with the two Lepers in tow, you cannot help but glare at the pair. Smil wears a mask, similar to yours, so you cannot see his expression, but Vaclav, who just wears a nose-strap over his missing nose has the good grace to look embarrassed. You step out of the grave as they climb in, and without a word, you are heading off.
>>4932237The silence remains unbroken as the two of you stop by the landscaping shed to pick up the shears, the little ladder and the tarpaulins necessary for the trimming. In fact, no one says anything until the two of you arrive at the rear entrance, when Ralx comments, seemingly to himself, that the hedge looks like it has already been done. Biting back several caustic remarks directed at his sot of a father, you just nod and get to work on the crown of the hedge. As you start your trimming, you remember how when you first started working in the South Burial Ground, you could not reach 'the top bits' of the hedge just as Ralx cannot now, even with the big ladder. But the hedge is only seven feet, six inches high - and you are already pass six feet, four inches yourself. You are not done growing either - perhaps one day you will be tall enough to trim the top of this hedge with only a step stool.It is a silly thought, but it is a pleasant distraction from your worries about food, money and your father's safety. And as you make good time, shuffling yourself down the length of the hedge, your mind and your eyes begin to wander. And from your elevated vantage point, you see ... >I'm going to take a quick break for lunch. In the meantime, someone please roll a 1d6.>On a roll of 1: Scavenging sea birds flocking to a nearby roof. Did something die? >On a roll of 2: Overhead, is that an Albatross? Quick, make a wish! (Bank one Reroll) >On a roll of 3: Sainted Spool, that's a Magcake! Maybe it will land nearby?>On a roll of 4: The Drunk Duck, a public house right across the street is closed. What happened? >On a roll of 5: A canteen wagon selling roast Pigeon. Pattern’s Peace, that smells good. >On a roll of 6: Was that a Swan that just landed in the pond behind you? You have always wanted to try Swan.
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>4932239
>>4932239… further down the street a flock of what appear to be Hook Gulls, coming and going from the top of a mansard roof. Seeing the odd seabird on a roof is not uncommon, especially considering how rare trees are on the Prom – but for so many to be so concentrated, that is certainly unusual. Your first thought is that perhaps they are nesting there, but the more you think about it, the less sense that makes. The house the roof belongs to, a handsome three story affair give every appearance of being lived in. Not only would the Gulls avoid laying eggs so close to humans, if you lived there you would not just let a bunch of winged, screaming shit-machines just move in on top of you. The first thing you would do would be to run off the birds and cook their eggs. Which means … are they eating something? But what the Hell would there be on a roof to eat? A bird or a rat, or something, but that would not draw a crowd like this. What would be big enough to draw -A body. Your father’s body.That unbidden thought shocks you so much you actually drop the shears, and they fall between the hedge and the cast-iron perimeter fence. You have to climb down off the little latter, then get down on your hands and knees to reach under the groomed bottom of the hedge to grope around for them. You need to focus – you are letting your fears get the best of you. Even if it is a body, and that is a big if, then what are the odds that it would be your father’s body? He is not even overdue yet, the only reason you have let yourself get this worked up is because he said your name. Your real name. Keep this in perspective. Keep everything in perspective. Father always said that you think and act like a man, and this – this is not the time to prove him wrong. Suddenly you manage to find the shears, and the bit of effort required to draw them under and then through the hedge provides a welcome respite. Standing up, you take a series of deep breaths, as deep as your mask and the gauze around your face allows. You move the ladder a few paces ahead, mount it once more, and resume your needless pruning … as well as your worrying, though it feels less desperate and more constructive this time. Setting aside any personal fears here, there is objectively something odd happening on that roof. Just so you do not needlessly worry about anything, you would like to find out what is going on, and you can think of several ways to do that. The most direct would be to convince Ralx that all those Gulls nearby could soil the South Burying Ground, and that the two of you should proactively look into it. You could just wait until you get back to the Midden, and then ask the Lepers assigned to Animal Control what it was – but that is making the assumption that they are going to be called out there. If they were not, then you know where the house is … and you know how you father sneaks out of the Midden.
>>4932515>Please choose ONE of the following:>Try to convince Ralx to investigate the mysterious flock of Hook Gulls [Requires Rolling]>Wait until tonight to ask the Animal Control Lepers about it, and if they do not know, or are unable to provide sufficient intelligence, then consider sneaking out to see it yourself.
>>4932517>>Wait until tonight to ask the Animal Control Lepers about it, and if they do not know, or are unable to provide sufficient intelligence, then consider sneaking out to see it yourself.The kid is already upset with us, best to leave this alone since that roll might be pretty difficult. I don't see much risk in it, but you never know.
>>4932899>>4932517So I'm going to bed, but I'm not going to close the vote yet. I'll leave it up until morning. And if it turns out to be a tie, then I will roll for it.
>>4933092good night brother, coke anon reporting inthanks for running, i hope things are going okay for ya and am looking forward to collapsing coming back
>>4932517>Wait until tonight to ask the Animal Control Lepers about it, and if they do not know, or are unable to provide sufficient intelligence, then consider sneaking out to see it yourself.
>>4932517>>Wait until tonight to ask the Animal Control Lepers about it, and if they do not know, or are unable to provide sufficient intelligence, then consider sneaking out to see it yourself.
Writing. Also, good to have you back, cokeanon.
>>4933439Are we HUEG or is our height quite normal in this world?
You continue to watch the Hook Gulls coming and going from the roof, as you try to come to a decision. At least a minute passes before you resolve against trying to get over there right now. After all, it is not just a matter of convincing Ralx that your sepulchering duties extend to the roofs near the South Burial Ground, you would need to convince whoever lived there that they did too, which would presumably be a harder sell. And of course, you could see the South Sexton getting upset at you taking that sort of initiative with his first-born. So, then the smarter play would be to wait, to wait until tonight, when you are back at the Midden, and ask the Lepers that are assigned to Animal Control what they know about the birds. Even if the people living there were not home, or for whatever reason did not want to draw attention to the situation on their roof, no doubt one of their neighbors would request aid, worried about the birds soiling and otherwise blighting their houses. And if no one knew, or if you were satisfied with the answers that you got, then you always have the option of sneaking over there.Having resolved yourself to a course of action, you feel better about everything – not that much better, mind you, but better. The rest of the hedge trimming does not take long, as you expected, and before you know it, you are finished with the mowing in the Old Section. As you head over to the gravesite, to see how those two slackers have made out, you cannot help but notice the generally ‘scruffy’ condition of everything around here. The grass is seriously thinning, and the old-style tent graves, while still standing, seem to all be in a state of disrepair, with gaps showing in between the slabs and their headstones askew. You feel almost obligated to say something about it, but you know that it would upset the South Sexton, and that if he did decide to resume proper maintenance of this area, it would just be a lot of work for you and everyone else assigned here. You are pleasantly surprised to see that Vaclav and Smil are almost completely done with the finishing work – it seems your focus on doing the more strenuous rough work was the right call. While you are still sore about their sabbatical, at this point, you just want to get this done and get back to the Midden, to ask around about those Gulls and wait for your father to return. With your help, what little remaining work goes by quickly, and you are able to complete everything asked of you by the time that Giotto rings in the seventeenth hour. Once you get all of your tools secured in the shed, the three of you make your way to the back porch of the Sexton’s house, set just to the side of the main entrance.
>>4933483None of you are allowed on the porch, let alone the house, so you just stand around waiting for him to come out. It is a good while before the Sexton pokes his head out a window to scowl at the lot of you. And then ten minutes pass before he actually leaves his house … to go out and check your work. After another ten minutes, and having found nothing worth complaining about, he finally returns to pay you. As is customary when giving money to anyone in an unclean profession, he does not directly hand you the money – you must hold out your cupped hands, and let him drop the money in. While he is paying Vaclav, he speaks to the three of you for the first time today. “There will be an internment tomorrow – and I personally knew the deceased. I expect you all to look as presentable as you possibly can.” He counts out your weekly wage, drawing the eighth-talents from a pouch, and then drops them in to your hands. The copper shine of the thirty coins cheekily winks when they shift in your palms as you draw them to your chest for a closer look. But as he moves to pay Smil, a thought crosses your mind. Your father was assigned with you and the dallying duo to the South Burying Ground this month, and before he left on the job (or as far as anyone else knew, ‘fell sick and retreated to his room’) he worked two days this week. Should you ask the Sexton for another ten eighth-talents, your father’s pay for two days work? >Please choose ONE of the following:>Ask for his money, as he is ‘sick’. [Requires Rolling]>Do not ask for his money.>>4933483Average height for a fully grown man is five feet, six inches (as it was during the 1600's - early 1800's). As our character is a fifteen year old, still growing girl, already at six feet, four inches, I'd say she qualifies for HUEG.
>>4933510>Ask for his money, as he is ‘sick’. [Requires Rolling]A bit of a risk but if we have to go on the road soon we'll need all the money we can get>fifteen year old, >still growing >already at six feet, four inchesHoly shit that's HUEG even by today's standards
>>4933510>>Ask for his money, as he is ‘sick’. [Requires Rolling]
This is going to be a tough one, so only take your best shots!>DC 41: Anything lower is a failure.>No Passes: For your insolence, he docks your next paycheck the ten eighth-talents, just because he can.>One Pass: He does not even acknowledge that you said anything, and just moves down the line to Smil.>Two Passes: He pays out, on the condition that you and your father agree to do unpaid overtime work in the Old Section once he returns.>Three Passes: He begrudgingly gives you what he owes your father without any conditions whatsoever. >If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test, and he demands to see your father tomorrow.>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and he accidentally overpays you. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure. Please, may I have 3 rolls of 1d100? If you have rolled, and more rolls are needed, if you wait 20 minutes, you may roll again, as many times as needed.
>>4933510>Ask for his money, as he is ‘sick’. [Requires Rolling]Pay the man his due!
Rolled 53 (1d100)>>4933826
Rolled 72 (1d100)>>4933826
Rolled 55 (1d100)>>4933826
>>4933867>>4933855>>4933838>>4933826"Begging you pardons, Master Sexton, but my father - he worked two days this week before he fell ill."The look he gives you is sour enough that without realizing it, you take half a step back, and start holding your breath. He looks like he is about to say something - in fact, he looks like he is about to start yelling at you - but instead, he just huffs once or twice, counts out the ten eighth-talents, and drops them in your palms. He moves along to Smil, repeating the process for the last time, then he stomps off, quite clearly still aggrieved. Perhaps you should be worried that you have clearly upset him, but you are so shocked that he paid out that you cannot find it in yourself to worry - about that, at least. Fraying Firmament, you have forty eighth-talents! You know that it is not that much, but not only is it more than most Lepers make, it is more money than you ever have had personally at any one time. Father's work is expensive, between continuing it and feeding and clothing the two of you, he needed your weekly pay and tips as well as his own. He did let you keep any money you found - but when he left this time, he took what little you had managed to save that way too. Still flying high from your unexpected success, you, along with Vaclav and Smil leave the South Burial Grounds by an access door just to the left of the cemeteries main gate, which has already been closed, locked and barred for the night, as is required by law. The same law establishes curfews, and the curfew for everyone in a Spotted Cloak is the eighteenth hour - which is fairly soon, considering how long you had to stand around waiting for the South Sexton to pay you. Not soon enough that you need to run, or that you could not squeeze in a quick detour to pick something up - after all, this is one of the few small windows of time where you have freedom of the city. Even the food that is left in the markets at this hour is better and liable to last longer than the food that the Port Authority puts up for sale in the Midden, and after a long day, you could really go for some proper food. Or, if you wanted to surprise father when he ... hopefully comes home tonight, you could buy a whetstone and oilcloth, fix up the stilettoes that he left behind. Beyond that ... you really cannot think of anything else you would want to do, besides seeing father, of course, and perhaps finding out what was going on with that roof. The best way to do either of those things would be to head straight home. Anything else? Oh, you could take the opportunity to ask Vaclav and Smil just what the fray they were doing behind the exhume pile for the better part of an hour.
>>4934009>Please choose ONE of the following:>Swing over to a real market, and see what is still left. [Prices Vary]>Find a hardware store, and buy the whetstone and oilcloth to repair the stilettoes. [1 to 3 eighth-talents]>Talk to Vaclav and Smil, and ask just what the fray they were doing behind the exhume pile.>Hurry home - for all you know, father could already be there, waiting for you.
>>4934011>Find a hardware store, and buy the whetstone and oilcloth to repair the stilettoes. [1 to 3 eighth-talents]weapons might come in handy soon
>>4934011>Talk to Vaclav and Smil, and ask just what the fray they were doing behind the exhume pile.
>>4934025>>4934023As I still have time to write tonight, I'll give this vote another thirty minutes before closing it and rolling for the tiebreaker.
>>4934011>Swing over to a real market, and see what is still left. [Prices Vary]but if it ends up being a three-way tie,>Find a hardware store, and buy the whetstone and oilcloth to repair the stilettoes. [1 to 3 eighth-talents]
Okay, so as it is a three-way tie, Hardware it is.
Rolled 3 (1d3)Your wide strides soon outpace your two fellow Lepers, and soon they disappear behind you as you draw closer to the Mount’s perimeter fortifications and the Landward Crossroads. For today’s descent, you take the Chip, a natural and relatively gentle valley in the Mount which has been graded and terraced, to allow people and carriages from the ports below to make their way up to the Prom by switchback. Nearly all of the terraces in the Chip are developed, filled with the buildings, shops and homes of artisans and merchants who are unable to afford property on the Promontory but can afford something nicer than the accommodations offer in either of the harbors. You have decided, that as a surprise to your father, you will restore the two stilettoes he left behind to good working order. To do this, you will need to buy a whetstone and an oilcloth, and while you could probably find one cheaper elsewhere if you looked, at the moment, you do not have the time, not if you want to get back to the Midden before your curfew. There is no way to know for sure just how much time you have, but you would guess that you have about thirty minutes or so left. But to your surprise, it is actually a bit more difficult to find the kind of store, at least without leaving the switchback and venturing down one of the terrace streets. You are already halfway down the notch before you find a store advertising any hard wares, but it appears to have gone out of business. And then the second store you find that looks promising slams and bars its door in your face as you approach. You are almost all the way to Stickport before you find a third store, and once you make it clear that you will stay outside and well away from their merchandise, they are willing to take your money – considering that you are a Leper, that is far from a given.As you wait, you overhear snippets of conversations and gossip coming from visitors waiting for an outdoor roastery to get tonight’s meat on a spit. There is nothing in all of their talk about those Gulls, and for that matter, there is nothing that could have anything to do about your father. Really, most of it is just personal affairs, but there are some interesting nuggets about ships arriving and departing in the ports, news about Cimmaroon raiding parties attacking mining and logging camps on the frontier and possibly threating settlements, and how one frontier-regional governor, Prince Heydrich II Boiohaemum continues to ignore Imperial edicts and tradition as he prepares a military response against them. Also, there was a royal kidnapping, which would be much bigger news if the Principalities were not absolutely lousy with royalty from all over the Empire … and shocking news if royal kidnappings were less of a yearly occurrence then they are. Still, it is kind of sad – the girl, one of the royal Prunuses, is just twelve years old, and royal kidnappings typically do not have happy endings.
>>4934662While he might not be personable to those wearing Spotted Cloaks, it is good to know that there is a merchant willing to do enough regular business with Lepers that he needs his own purse for all of their money. The rest of the way back to the Midden, you preoccupy yourself by trying to figure out what exactly all of the other Lepers are buying from him. By the time you have walked through the planked over morass that is the Stickport and entered into the Midden, you still do not even have a guess. Setting aside further speculation, you head over to the plaza, where the Port Authority has set up their open-air market and cafeteria. The redolence of greasy, warm food in the air really awakens your hunger, and you are thankful that for the sake of your budget, you concluded your business with the merchant before roasters got any meat on that spit. Of course, with a communal meal like that, odds are they would not sell to you anyway for fear of upsetting their other customers, but still … As you look around at the offerings, as well as the relatively limited selection of groceries made available to you, you notice a Leper with a red Animal Control sash, leaning against the plinth for a statue long since destroyed. As you think about making your way over there, and introducing yourself, you notice Vaclav queuing up for the clam chowder. If you were so inclined, you could get in line behind him, and pester him for answers. Or, you could just get in line somewhere else, and actually buy food. Then again – maybe you should go home, and see if father has come back yet. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Introduce yourself to the Leper with the Animal Control Sash [No Cost]>Interrogate Vaclav as you the two of you queue for clam chowder [No Cost]>Take the time to purchase some food [Prompts Secondary Vote]>Head home, hoping father has returned [No Cost]
>>4934722>>Introduce yourself to the Leper with the Animal Control Sash [No Cost]
>>4934722>Interrogate Vaclav as you the two of you queue for clam chowder [No Cost]yummy clam chowder!
>>4934722>Interrogate Vaclav as you the two of you queue for clam chowder [No Cost]Food and news
>>4935005>>4934782>>4934765Closed and writing.
You queue up right behind Vaclav in line. While you do not have much of a reference for these things, you have heard it said around the Midden that what is served here is closer to gruel with chunks of clam in it than a proper clam chowder. That being said, this is the only semi-regularly offered free meal that has any meat in it, so it is predictably popular. Once the line starts moving, you loudly clear your throat to get his attention. He shuffles around to take a look behind him – perhaps his neck is too stiff to turn?“Who … oh. Sty.” For now, all you do is stare at him. Or rather, you just point your face at the man, and let your mask do the staring for you. After a moment or so, he shuffles back, to face front towards the vats of the questionable chowder. But surprisingly, he is not saying anything. This is not typical for him – usually you cannot get him to stop talking. Just as you are ready to worry about something else, Vaclav finally decides to explain himself.“I was a real cur today, wasn’t I Sty? I’m sorry. Smil had some questions for me about the Midden, and other Lepers, and I just started rambling away.”You can believe that easily enough; Vaclav is overly talkative and Smil is still a relatively new arrival. He’s been here what, less than three weeks? No doubt being condemned to a life of unclean and strenuous labor is a serious shock to someone. Maybe he just now got to a point where he is comfortable asking Vaclav questions. As you are pondering this, Giotto and his baby brothers ring out for the eighteenth hour, and the guards by the palisade gate stir – they will not close the gate until the servers and grocers are done here, but the curfew is now in effect, and Lepers are not allowed to leave or be outside of the Midden. You turn back to Vaclav to see him shuffling around once more. “I know this is not much, but your father is sick, and you deserve it for picking up my slack.” He extends a copper eighth-talent to you, which you accept without hesitation. A lifetime of hard living has taught you never to refuse or question the charity of others. But as you gently pluck the coin from his outstretched hand and put it with the others in your pockets, bringing your total up to thirty-eight, something he said begins to bug you. After brusquely thanking him, you ask him something. “When you were telling Smil about all of the other Lepers, what did you say about father and I?” “Ah … only what I know. That he is a big, quiet man, raising a bigger, quieter daughter.”
>>4935170Something about all of this is seriously beginning to rub you the wrong way. You look around the plaza, but you don’t see Smil – or for that matter, the Leper with the red Animal Control Sash that might have known something about the flock of Hook Gulls on that roof. So as the two of you reach the front of the line and are served, you cannot help but ask the aging Leper another question. “Do you know where Smil is? I … want to let him know that there aren’t any hard feelings.” “Mm mph mm.” Once Vaclav finishes swallowing his first few mouthfuls from the earthenware bowl, he takes another shot at answering you. “I don’t actually. While we were in the Chip, he went off on his own – said he needed to pick something up. But it’s the eighteenth hour now, he has to be somewhere around the Midden.” >Please choose ONE of the following: >Look around the Plaza and the Midden for Smil or the Animal Control Leper. >Even if the Grocers have not left yet, they might be running out of things. Head over there to take a look at there offerings. >Head Home, hoping father has returned.
>>4935171>>Even if the Grocers have not left yet, they might be running out of things. Head over there to take a look at there offerings.
>>4935171>Look around the Plaza and the Midden for Smil or the Animal Control Leper.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4935540 roll of one>>4935180 roll of twoOkay, I'm going to roll to the tiebreaker.
Alright – going to do another roll, and then I’ll have this one up for an overnight vote, a relatively difficult one. >DC 51: Anything lower is a failure.>No Passes: You do not see Smil or the Animal Control Leper - you will have to continue your search later. >One Pass: You see an Animal Control Leper (you are not certain if it is the same one you say eailer) talking to one of the guards by the palisade gate. >Two Passes: You see someone you are almost certain is Smil leaving the plaza, very, very quickly. >Three Passes: You see both an Animal Control Leper and Smil. You have to choose who you talk too. >If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test, in a way that wastes quite a bit of time.>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and you may speak to both of them. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure.
Rolled 45 (1d100)>>4935680
Rolled 52 (1d100)>>4935680
>>4935792>>4935774If either of you two are still around, you can roll one more time, if you like. I guess I should put that with the explanation of the rules on Criticals.
Rolled 9 (1d100)>>4935680I'll sacrifice myself and roll this die, even though I havn't particiapted in this quest
>>4935907Nice to have you along, anon.Okay - you will have the chance to speak to the Animal Control Leper. It is much later than I expected, so I'm going to just outline this one, and I will have the next post up in the morning.
Vaclav bids you farewell, and moves off towards the grocers, slurping down the questionable chowder as he goes. You have yet to touch yours, because despite feeling ravenous a few minutes ago, your nerves are coming back and your appetite is leaving. Before you invest the minute or two necessary to choke this grisly gruel down, you would like to clear a few things up – and that means talking to Smil or to an Animal Control Leper who knows something about those Hook Gulls on that roof. If at all possible, you would like to talk to both of them, but you do have limited time before the grocers run out of food. Unable to get a good view from the center of the old plaza, you move to the edge and start walking around the perimeter instead, scanning the crowd. There are not a lot of Animal Control Lepers, and even though you have spent eight years here in the Midden, as you spent the whole time in relative isolation, with father, you do not know any of them personally. And as Lepers may remove their Spotted Cloaks once they are inside the Midden, that means that most of them are no longer identifiable to you by their red Animal Control sash. So, finding one of their number at the drop of a hat is a fair tall order. But finding Smil would be an even taller order, for the exact opposite reason. Smil is still a relatively new arrival, and you have never seen him not wearing the Spotted Cloak and his mask – which is not that uncommon. You would say that about a third of all of the Lepers never remove their cloaks in public, and that most of the ones that wear masks – like Smil – never remove them in public either. Which means all you have to identify him by is his slight, stooped frame, which is not that uncommon amongst Lepers either. Still, you are determined to find some resolution to something today. It takes two circuits around the plaza before you notice a Leper wearing the Animal Control Sash in a quiet conversation with one of the guards at the palisade gate. At this point, you have given up talking to Smil tonight, so you sit down to wait until you have the chance to speak with this one. Realizing you still have the chowder in your hands, you pull up the hood of your cloak to completely conceal you, then you remove your mask and enough of the gauze wrapped around your face that you may eat. By the time you have licked the bowl clean, the discussion between the guard and the Leper is clearly winding down, so you reaffix the gauze and put on your mask, once more. But you draw towards him, your eyes suddenly and unexpectedly get blurry – and then when they clear, he is covered in Strange Stains.
>>4936475‘Strange Staining’ is typically the first scarification glyph that a Witch performs on themselves or receives from their master, and arguably it is one of the most important and useful bits of common magic. Your received yours from father, who being excellent with glyphs, managed to etch it subcutaneously, on the muscle instead of the skin, so it cannot be seen or detected with any standard dosimeter. It hurt like all Hell, but as the first step of standard procedure for investigating a suspected Witch is to strip them naked and inspect every square inch of them for anything suspicious, the pain was worth it to hide your glyphs. If you ever do get caught, it could be the difference between life and death by mitigation. The glyph itself is very, very simple. If you are within six feet of something that is Strange, or that has been contaminated by the Strangeness, it will appear to you – and only to you – as if it was covered in stains, stains that change color from white to gray to black and back again. The glyph is one of the few scarification glyphs that is always on; it can be temporally dispelled by focusing on the stains, but as soon as you stop focusing on them, the spell resumes, and the stains will reappear. For a spell that is always active, it is relatively low cost. When active, the area around the glyph becomes a little more sensitive than it usually would be, and the strain of it running constantly in the background, siphoning your magic might take a few months – a year at most – off of your life. There were supposedly ways to externally power scarification glyphs, so they do not shorten your lifespan, but those techniques had been lost in the early purges, shortly after the Strangeness appeared two hundred and sixteen years ago. Rediscovering these techniques was one of the things that father was working on, actually. As you get the Lepers attention, you take a minute to look closely at the distribution of the Strange Stains – but not to closely, or you will accidently dispel them. As far as you can see, it limited to his boots and his gloves, and a little bit on the forearms of his cloak. Thankfully, the contamination does not appear to be strong enough to spread any further, as his boots, which judging by how quickly the colors are changing on the stains are the most contaminated, are not staining the ground underneath him. “Excuse me, you’re in Animal Control. Were you called out today, to a house by the South Buring Ground, on account of some Hook Gulls?” The man is cloaked, but not masked, and you can see surprise plainly on his unmarred, thoroughly normal looking face.“For sure – for sure I was. What do you know about those Gulls?” “I’m a gravedigger, assigned this month to the South Burial Ground. I saw those seabirds flocking over there while I was trimming a hedge for the Sexton, and I was wondering what possessed so many of them to go to that one house.”
>>4936477“I wish I knew. Was the oddest call I’ve been on in a long while. And it wasn’t even on account of vermin, either. The family that owned the house was renting rooms on the third floor out to some University student. But when we knocked on his door – the only way through to their attic and roof was in his rooms – the place had been completely cleared out. And apparently, he had all sorts of books and chests and whatnot. The owners had no idea how he could’ve managed to sneak all of that out without them noticing. When I finally got up to the roof, the buggers all just took off. They weren’t nesting, they weren’t eating anything – they were just there sitting and shitting and squawking. It’s … I don’t know. Something is not sitting right with me. I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is, it ain’t right. The whole place just felt wrong, somehow. Honestly, I’m thinking about mentioning it to a priest during Ablution tomorrow night. It sounds crazy, but maybe they need to get an Inquisitor over there to take a look.” A University student? You know that father has professional friends at the University, but you don’t know if they are also Witches, or he is just selling them things and bodies he steals. The presence of the Strangeness in an alleged University student’s rooms could be evidence for the former, but it just as easily be a complete coincidence. But before you do anything else, you should decide what if anything you should say to this hapless fool. If he does get the Inquistors involved, then you have no doubt they will properly mitigate the room, eliminating any further risk of contamination – though they would inevitably mitigate him as well, which even at the low level of exposure that he received can be fatal. If he says nothing, then … well, you are not exactly certain what will happen. It would depend on how Strange the rooms and the roof has become. And the Gulls. You really do not have much of anything to go on here, but you would be willing to bet that whatever magic was happening there in the rooms was being performed on or dangerously near those Hook Gulls. The Gulls could be Strange already, potentially spreading the Strangeness all over the Mount. That would be bad on its own, but what would be worse is if the Inquisitors started a Hunt, combing the city for Strangeness. If they did, then there is a chance that they would somehow accidentally find you and father.
>Please choose ONE of the following:>Do not say anything to direct him one way or another. You MIGHT have a CHANCE later to advise him either way. Or your might not. >Tell him to trust his instincts and tell the priests tomorrow during Ablution. The Strangeness will be contained, and the Inquisitors will only be searching for the mysterious University student. However, the Animal Control Leper may be killed or seriously injured by the mitigation process. >Shrug it off and downplay everything. There is a chance that contamination from the rooms or the Gulls continues to spread around the Mount, and with it a chance that the Inquisitors mobilize into a Hunt. But there will be nothing to tie you to the rooms or the Gulls if the Inquisitors get involved.
>>4936484And I noticed that I am getting it wrong a lot, so in case anyone cares, the name of the cemetery is the South Burying Ground. Sorry for any confusion.
>>4936484>Shrug it off and downplay everything. There is a chance that contamination from the rooms or the Gulls continues to spread around the Mount, and with it a chance that the Inquisitors mobilize into a Hunt. But there will be nothing to tie you to the rooms or the Gulls if the Inquisitors get involved.ACAB, no sense in getting the poor sap killed.
>>4936484>Do not say anything to direct him one way or another. You MIGHT have a CHANCE later to advise him either way. Or your might not.contaminated birds sounds bad but I also don't want to send the poor lad to his death. Let him make the call.
After rereading the update (and finding about half a dozen typographical errors - whoops) I realize that the language that I used to describe how the glyph works might be kind of confusing, so I figured I'd put out a clarification. When I say that 'the glyph is always on', it would have been better to say that 'the glyph is constantly drawing power'. And when I talk about the glyph being 'active', I mean that you are within the six feet of whatever is Strange. Just figured I'd make that distinction - so no, the area around the glyph is not always a little more sensitive then it usually would, that is only in the when the spell is active. Going forward, in describing spells, I will try to keep the language that I use consistent and clear. Also, and I really should have mentioned this in the actual update, as the spell is being cast on the eyes, it can only work if you can see the Strange object. Reflections are okay, but otherwise, you have to be looking right at it.
>>4936484>Tell him to trust his instincts and tell the priests tomorrow during Ablution. The Strangeness will be contained, and the Inquisitors will only be searching for the mysterious University student. However, the Animal Control Leper may be killed or seriously injured by the mitigation process.
Rolled 2 (1d3)On a roll of 1 >>4936524 On a roll of 2 >>4936735On a roll of 3 >>4937085
You really do not know what to do here. The room, and the Gulls should be mitigated to prevent further contamination, and to eliminate the risk of a feedback loop from forming. But from what you have seen, you do not believe it is necessary to mitigate this man, as it looks as if he never even made direct skin contact with any Strangeness. You doubt that he has more than two of three times the typical background dose of the Strangeness, if even that. Such a low dose can dissipate on its own over time, and while the exposure might have placed this sap at a moderately increased risk for some types of cancers years down the line, any Leper worth their sale should have made their peace with the prospect of health issues soon after donning their Spotted Cloak. Of course, if the Inquisitors got involved, they never just leave him alone, and settle for throwing his contaminated clothes into a Leadfire. No, they would insist on a mitigation, for him, and probably the family that owned the place as well. Mitigation is a brutal process, and it can be fatal even with just the background dose of Strangeness that most things naturally have. You do not want any part of sending that man, or that family to their deaths at the hands of those zealots. So, you cannot just tell him to talk to the priest about it. But you do not want to be responsible for those Gulls going around spreading the Strangeness everywhere they land, everywhere they shit by convincing this fool to not talk to a priest. In the end, you decide to let the man make his own decision. Maybe if you see him again before Ablution tomorrow night, you will have another opportunity to influence him one way or the other – but right now, it looks like he is leaning towards talking to a priest. With a bit of a sick feeling in your stomach, you bid the potentially doomed Animal Control Leper farewell, and as you head away from the palisade gate and back into the plaza, you do your best to put him and the family from your mind and focus yourself on your own immediate problems. Namely your father, and your food situation. Now, for all you know, father could be back by now, waiting for you. You were planning on buying food, perhaps a bit better than your usual fare, to celebrate his return, but now that you think about it, you wonder if he will need the money for something else. His work is very expensive, after all. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Head home immediately, to see if father has returned and if he expects the money.>Head to the grocers, to stock up for the next week on food and training material.
>>4937747>>Head to the grocers, to stock up for the next week on food and training material.Well, he was off stealing something very valuable, right? Sure, he might have expected this week's pay to be taken into account on his return, but assuming he has been successful, then there shouldn't be too much of an issue if we spend a little in the market.
>>4937747>Head home immediately, to see if father has returned and if he expects the money.
>>4937747>Head home immediately, to see if father has returned and if he expects the money.Lucre travels lighter than food.
>>4937867>>4937782>>4937754Closed and writing!
You decide to head home immediately, to see if your father has returned. If he has, then no doubt he either expects the money, or would want to be the one deciding what exactly was being purchased from the grocers. You hustle your way out of the plaza, dropping off your empty earthenware bowl as you pass by the chowder table, making your way further into the shoddily repaired ruins and equally shoddily built shacks and cottages of the Midden. Close to the center of all this squalor, sitting in front of a smaller and quieter plaza, is the Midden’s Not-Temple. It was built as a temple though, by the original settlers here, about forty years ago. The issue is that those original settlers were in the thrall of the icon-worshiping “Right-Thinking” Priests of the Patternmaker, and as the those Wrong-Thinkers ruin the sanctity of their temples by venerating worldly fonts, the Reformed Priests of the Patternmaker hold that the Wrong-Thinkers temples are about as holy as a tannery. When the Faith claims one of these sham-temples, after the Iconoclasts do their jobs, good Reformed believers everywhere will refer to the cleansed building as a Not-Temple, so to not impugn the sanctity of a Reformed temple with a comparison. Commonly, the Faith reuses these buildings as schools, hospitals, or orphanages – it is rare for them to completely abandon one, as they did with this one. You and your father live in the old belltower. The bell had been removed presumably destroyed by the Iconoclasts, and the wooden stairs up the tower had long since been cannibalized for firewood by other Lepers, leaving a few rooms in the belfry itself completely inaccessible. Or so everyone thought. Father could climb like a goat, even without the assistance of magic, and he had been teaching you the skill long before the two of you hid yourself amongst the Lepers. There were two different climbing routes up the inside of the tower, to the trapdoor that father installed all those years ago, and another five routes up to the belfry on the outside. Tonight, as you normally do, you took one of the inside routes. While the climbing was slightly more difficult on the inside than it was on the outside, in here, you do not need to worry about the wind or the weather … or other Lepers gawking at you as you made the five-story ascent. To be entirely honest, the climbing was not that difficult at all. You still take it seriously, of course, but after making the climb at least twice a day, for the past eight years, there is not any real sense of danger anymore. Which, of course, is dangerous in itself. But you are aware of this, so you force yourself to not climb any faster than you normally do, and more importantly, to take the breaks at the half-way and the three-quarters marks to ensure that your strength is sufficient the whole way through. Of course, between the daily climbing and the almost daily manual labor, your strength is much, much more than sufficient for this.
>>4938228The only time that the ascent is difficult is when you have things to bring up, and you and father built a winch for that right underneath your front – or rather, your bottom door. You make it to the platform for the winch, climb on, and then unlock the trap door. For a moment, you pause, then you push the thing open and draw yourself up into the belfry. “Father, it’s … it’s Sty. I’m home. Are you?” No response. You go to his room, thinking to find him resting there. He is not. You go to your room, thinking you might find a note from him. You do not. You look all over the belfry, for any evidence that he has been here and left. There is none. While it has not been the four whole days yet, it will be in a little more than five hours. And the painful truth is that if he is not back by the end of these four days, then he might not be back by the end of the week. He might not be back ever. You might be on your own for the rest of your life. And worst of all, you may never know why. To your immense shame, you start crying. You take off your mask and practically tear off the gauze around your face to rub angrily at your eyes. This is not the time for crying! No, this is the time for planning. But what are you planning for? >Please choose ONE of the following: >You are going to wait for your father, while protecting his work and his equipment here in the belfry. Which means that you are going to stay in the city, and the Midden, as Sty the Leper. For as long as it may take. To make that work, there are some things that you will need to do. The first order of business will be to obtain anesthesia, strong binds and lifting oil … >You are going to follow his instructions for you to the letter. If he is not back by the end of the week he gave himself, you are going to leave the city – and likely never see him again. You will start preparing for your POTENTIAL departure immediately. To that end, you will need things that you cannot afford with thirty-eight eighth-talents. Luckily enough, you are quiet, an accomplished climber … and if it comes to it, in possession of two soon to be rust-free stilettoes …
>>4938230>You are going to follow his instructions for you to the letter. If he is not back by the end of the week he gave himself, you are going to leave the city – and likely never see him again. You will start preparing for your POTENTIAL departure immediately. To that end, you will need things that you cannot afford with thirty-eight eighth-talents. Luckily enough, you are quiet, an accomplished climber … and if it comes to it, in possession of two soon to be rust-free stilettoes …It sucks but he wouldn't have told us to do that without a damn good reason
>>4938230>You are going to follow his instructions for you to the letter. If he is not back by the end of the week he gave himself, you are going to leave the city – and likely never see him again. You will start preparing for your POTENTIAL departure immediately. To that end, you will need things that you cannot afford with thirty-eight eighth-talents. Luckily enough, you are quiet, an accomplished climber … and if it comes to it, in possession of two soon to be rust-free stilettoes …
>>4938355>>4938554>>4938870Okay, so while that settles the question of what poor Chlotsuintha is going to do next, there are four other questions to consider here. There are other things that need to be worked out, but these are the most important.Question one: Of your father's work, what do you try to take with you? The collection of crafting tables, notes, journals and books, as well as the old Inquisitor gear are a lot to move, but if you devoted the next three days to preparing for the move, and hired, purchased outright, or stole a horse and a wagon, then it should be possible to take everything with you. Alternatively, you could take just what you could carry of the notes, journals and books or the disassembled components, needles and instrumentation of the Life-Loom, which is the only magical crafting table of the three that you have any real practice with. Or, you could take nothing at all beside essentials and domestic sundries with you.>Please choose ONE of the following:>Take absolutely everything with you>Take as much of the books and writings as you can carry >Take as much of the Living Loom as you can carry>Take nothing but essentials and sundries Question two: If you are leaving anything behind, either by choice or inability to move it, what will you do with it? You could simply leave it untouched, as you suppose it is possible that father could be back later, and he could be expecting to take his work with him on his own flight from the city. You could try caching everything you take with you personally, so you could recover it later, though doing so would quite a bit of time and effort. Or, and you hate to even think about it, but you could destroy everything left behind, to prevent it from being discovered and misused.>Please choose ONE of the following:>Remaining articles are left alone>Remaining articles are (attempted to be) cached >Remaining articles are destroyedQuestion three: Should you try to leave some sort of indication as where you have gone, in case father does eventually come back? The message could be something that you know only he would understand, in a place that only he would look. Or should you just completely give up on the idea of ever seeing him again?>Please choose ONE of the following:>Leave secret message>Leave no messageQuestion four: Should you continue to go to work? While pretending to be sick and not doing your shifts in the South Burying Ground would give you more than enough time to move everything, you are worried that doing so will draw unwanted attention towards your belfry, making it more difficult for you to sneak things out. Or that the South Sexton will make a stink about you and your father not showing up, and someone will come to try to check in on the two of you.>Please choose ONE of the following:>Work all three days>Work tomorrow and the day after>Work just tomorrow>Don't work anymore
>>4938937>Take absolutely everything with you>Remaining articles are left alone>Leave secret message>Work tomorrow and the day afterWill be rough but should minimise suspicion and mean that even if someone is able to reach the belfry they won't find anything particularly incriminating
>>4938938>Take as much of the books and writings as you can carry>Take as much of the Living Loom as you can carry>Remaining articles are destroyed>Leave secret message>Work tomorrow and the day after
>>4939015>>4938939I figured most of the disagreement would be over what you take with you. As this is an important enough vote, I'm not going to roll to tiebreak this one - though as we are no longer being bumped, I will start 'advertising' new posts in the QTG, so hopefully, this does not take too long.
>>4939084>Take absolutely everything with you>Remaining articles are left alone>Leave secret message>Work tomorrow and the day afterThe stuff we have is priceless and probably damn hard to find without connections we do not possess. We practice, as QM said, a dying craft. The knowledge here is possibly the last copy in existence. We cannot destroy it.Regarding the last part, do we get a chance to reconsider working the day after tomorrow evening, depending on our progress ? Also, live-room or living-room ?
>>4939122Yes, I think it is perfectly fair to be able to change your mind, based on circumstances that may arise. Locking you into a decision would be too close to railroading for my tastes. And thanks for the catch there, it is Life-Loom, not Living-Loom. I'm going to get a snack, then set down to write. Chlotsuintha is going to have a busy night tonight, one way or another.
Under the onslaught of your angry rubbing knuckles, your tears dry quickly, but you do not feel any better once you are done. Some part of you has always preferred being Sty the Leper, instead of Chlotsuintha the Witchlet. You would never tell father, as he would no doubt take it as insolence – a sentiment that you at least partially agree with. Still, while things here in the Midden have been far afield from what any sane man or woman would consider ‘easy’, your life here was such an improvement from the constant running and hiding that took up the first seven years of your life, that you are sadden by the very real prospect that it is going to all end in three days’ time. But you need to keep moving forward, and focus on your future – Chlotsuintha’s future, not Sty’s. And your future centers around learning and mastering magic. To that end, your father’s work and equipment is invaluable. You cannot leave so much as a piece of it behind, no matter the expense and no matter the danger, either. Moving all of it would require some sort of transport – perhaps a ship? No … the number of people in close proximity to the equipment, the risk would be too great for contamination, or someone taking a peek. Your escape should be made overland, with a horse and a wagon – you should head to the frontier, or perhaps even leave the Principality all together and strike out into Cimmaroon Territory. Once you have figured out where you are going, you can spend some time to figure out how it would be safe to leave father a note as to where you (and all of his things) have gone, if he does return to the belfry after your departure. You push worrying over those specifics aside for now – because whatever you do in the next three days, you are going to need to eat regardless, especially if you are still going to be doing your shifts in the South Burying Ground. For that, you are going to need to go to the grocery, before they all pack it in for the day … Or maybe not. Your father has been stealing to feed you and fund (and supply) his work for as long as you can remember. It was the way things were for you; some fathers worked for their money, your father stole. Truly, it was not a matter of you having lost any moral compunctions about stealing from other people – or in the case of graverobbing, stealing other people – it is more like you never really had any such compunctions to begin with. And over the years, he had taught you more than a few tricks of the trade, though some of those tricks are years out of practice – for example, you have not pickpocketed anyone since you moved to the Midden and became Sty. But rusty or not, you have already come to terms with using those skills to fund and supply your flight from the Mount, so why not start now? Why buy overpriced surplus or soon to spoil leftovers, when you can just steal better foodstuffs to feed yourself for the next three days?
>>4939477>Please choose ONE of the following: >First off, Father is still not overdue yet, he could come back, so you would need a week’s worth of food, not three days. Secondly, should you really be taking unnecessary risks like this? Buy what you can afford, and only steal what you cannot. >The thirty-eight eighth-talents is going to be nowhere near enough money to cover everything that you are going to need to move everything AND reestablish yourself. Just save them for a stormy day, and plan on supplying and outfitting yourself completely through theft.
>>4939481>First off, Father is still not overdue yet, he could come back, so you would need a week’s worth of food, not three days. Secondly, should you really be taking unnecessary risks like this? Buy what you can afford, and only steal what you cannot.Minimise risk for now though it will probably mean having to steal more later we will hopefully have a chance to practice some of our skills by then
>>4939481>First off, Father is still not overdue yet, he could come back, so you would need a week’s worth of food, not three days. Secondly, should you really be taking unnecessary risks like this? Buy what you can afford, and only steal what you cannot.
>>4939513yup. great point. we can start small with just food, although in this setting i get the feeling that the punishment would still be harsh if we were caught regardless.
>>4940212>>4939576>>4939513Alright, consider this one closed. I'll get to writing.
You decide that it would be for the best if you eased yourself into larceny and steal only what you could not afford to buy – which would be just about everything, to be honest, but you could afford the next few days’ worth of food. Aware of how little time you have left before the grocers begin packing up, you exit the belfry through the trapdoor, and you make your descent down the belltower. Just as you did on the ascent, you have to force yourself not to rush, or to make reckless moves. Once your feet are on solid ground, you hustle your way back to the plaza by the gate. As you head over, you notice straightaway that a lot of the crowd from earlier has dispersed, possibly because everyone has already eaten, or possibly because there is no more food. Hoping that it is the former, you practically run over to the grocer’s tables.Luckily, they are still there, though the food they are selling … it is almost enough to make you change your mind about not stealing. But as you have already made up your mind on that point, you push such thoughts aside. Still – at this point, there is no fruit left, or vegetables. Nor is there any cheese, or eggs, or butter, though the grocers in the Midden rarely have cheese or eggs, and are even less likely to have butter. The meat is all gone too, though there is some fish left. Besides that, there is bread, hardtack, olive oil, faggots for kindling and light cooking but no real firewood, sea salt … and a lone cask of ale, as well as three skins of Retsina, a wine from the south of the Empire. There is a market for it here, in the Principalities, because the few wineries that have established themselves locally cater to the middle and upper classes, and unique among alcoholic beverages, Retsina can be stored and shipped without completely spoiling. Unfortunately, the wine tastes like pine pitch, no doubt a primary ingredient of the preservative.Now, normally, you could not be forced to drink Retsina, much less pay for the “privilege” to do so, nor would you buy ale, though you find it much more palatable. But you are going to need to drink something, and the water that father magically purified is only going to last you through tomorrow. There are public pumps, but you have been hearing horror stories about them for years – everyone who can buys wine or ale to drink instead of risking that water. It is alright for bathing and even food preparation, but … you have never actually drunk water that father had not treated first. You do not know exactly how he does it, but you could attempt it, take a few guesses. Alternatively, if you bought the faggot, you could boil the water – father had explained to you that boiling liquids does help cleanse them. Of course, you could just break down, and buy the Retsina – as bad as it tastes, to your knowledge it is not a threat to your health. Or … it is just three days, how bad could drinking the public water for three days possibly be?
>>4940331>Please choose ONE of the following: >Commit to either buying the cask of Ale (6 to 7 eighth-talents) or three skins of Retsina (5 to 6 eighth-talents).>Commit to buying at least one faggot (2 to 3 eighth-talents) to boil the public water. >Commit to buying at least one purse of sea salt (1 to 2 eighth-talents) and one flask of olive oil (2 to 3 eighth talents) to attempt a magical purification. [Note: Using the Life-Loom requires working material (in this case, the public water), a catalyst (salt) and a source of fuel (oil, faggot, or yourself)] >Do not buy anything – plan on just drinking the public water for the next few days.
>>4940332>Commit to buying at least one faggot (2 to 3 eighth-talents) to boil the public water.If I understand correctly, we have no way of knowing if the ritual fucks up. Boiling is a safer solution, and will probably get rid of any non-strange risks.Also, what is rainfall like in the area ? Don't we have rain-catchers or the like ? Even if it isn't pure, somehow, we could still try boiling and avoid standing in line for the pump, which means more time.
>>4940332>>Commit to buying at least one faggot (2 to 3 eighth-talents) to boil the public water.
>>4940349You got the idea. The purification spell would have three failures - partial, complete, catastrophic (or four, counting critical-catastrophic for rolls of 2 or 1).In this case a partial failure would see not all of the water would have been purified. In complete failure, none of the water would be purified. For both partial and complete, you would not be able to tell, even after drinking the water. You would only learn of a failure several days later, when you would awake, feeling sick to your stomach. But for a catastrophic failure, you would know immediately, without drinking the water, as you would have reversed the process inadvertently, and attempted to purify the oil or the wood and burn the water as fuel. The result would effectively be a magical grease fire and two gallons of very unstable Strange water. I don't even know what I'd do for critical-catastrophic, probably have something happen to the Life-Loom that you need to fix or work around somehow. The actual game mechanics for this ritual would be one roll of 1d100 with three DC's. But in this case, because you cannot distinguish success or partial/complete failures, the DC's for partial and complete would be listed as 'DC ???'. The whole thing would look something like: >Please roll 1d100. [Please don't, actually, this is just the example]>Critical Success; DC 99 and higher. In addition to purifying the water, you notice that successful purification has a specific catalyszation rate. From now on you are able to identify when water has been purified, and when it has not. >Success; DC ??? and higher. Congratulations! You have successfully purified the public water.>Partial Failure: DC ??? and lower. Unfortunately, not all of the water was purified this time around. >Complete Failure; DC ??? and lower. Unfortunately, none of the water was purified this time around.>Catastrophic Failure DC 10 and lower. You got the spell backwards, and your attempt to purify the olive oil by burning the water as fuel has resulted in a magical grease fire and two gallons of very unstable Strange water. >Critical-Catastrophic Failure DC 2 and lower. No only did you cock it up by getting the spell backwards, you have managed to burn out one of the capacitors on the Life-Loom. Until it is repaired or replaced, any Witchery on this device receives a -4 malus. Anyway, I'm going to leave the vote up a little bit longer - maybe another hour or so - just to give other people the opportunity to participate.
>>4940332>Commit to buying at least one faggot (2 to 3 eighth-talents) to boil the public water.We should look into stealing some more potent liquor at some point, mix a little of that with a bunch of water should make it fairly safe
>>4940393>>4940352>>4940349Alright, closed and writing.
After some deliberation, you decide to cleanse the water using mundane methods. Of course, simply boiling the water is not as good as magically purifying it, but for the next three days, until either you have to leave, or your father returns, it should not be a problem. To boil that water, you will need at least a Little Faggot, though you could get a Big Faggot instead. Besides that, what else? Food:Staling Emmerloaves: bread made from Emmer, a cereal grain. Tasty enough on its own, but better with salt, or olive oil, or eggs, or even butter if you could find it. Each cost 2 to 3 eighth-talents, and can feed one person for one day. Supply of Hardtack: a very hardy biscuit, made out of flour, water and a pinch of salt. Very cheap and extremely long lasting. Produced locally to provision the Imperial Fleet and the Merchant Marine, though surplus is sold to the urban poor. The ‘two week’s supply’ being sold here costs 12 to 13 eighth-talents, and will feed one person adequately for five days. Though it can be stretched to the advertised two weeks, this is not advisable, especially for those who are still growing or engaging in strenuous physical activity. Trio of Salted Chub Mackerel: gutted, cleaned mackerel, heavily salted to preserve it. The salting will make it noticeably more difficult to use any leftovers for practice on the Life-Loom. The trio costs 3 to 5 eighth talents, and can feed one person for one day. Trio of Smoked Jack Mackerel: gutted but not cleaned mackerel, smoked to preserve it. The smoking makes it slightly more difficult to use any leftovers for practice on the Life-Loom, though there is much more to work with as these have their heads still attached. The trio costs 4 to 6 eighth-talents, and can feed one person for one day. An entire Eel [only one available]: an eel. You know nothing about eels, but besides its gills being slit, this one is completely intact, leaving you with lots of material for some more advanced practice on the Life-Loom. It is also large enough to feed one person for two days. This specimen costs 11 to 12 eighth-talents. Fuel: Olive Oil by the half-gallon: used to flavor food, and fuel lamps – as well as spells. A half-gallon costs 2 to 3 eighth-talents, and has 16 charges. Little Faggot: useful for kindling, light cooking – and in a pinch, fueling spells, though they are not as efficient, and produce slightly more Strangeness than Olive Oil. A Little Faggot costs 2 to 3 eighth-talents, and has 8 charges. Big Faggot: useful for kindling, light cooking – and in a pinch, fueling spells, though they are not as efficient, and produce slightly more Strangeness than Olive Oil. A Big Faggot costs 5 to 6 eighth-talents, and has 16 charges. Catalysts: Small Purse of Sea Salt: used to flavor and preserve food – as well as catalyze spells. This Small Purse costs 1 to 2 eighth-talents, and has 16 charges. Once empty, the purse may be reused.
Rolled 2 (1d3)>>4940475The roll on this posts indicates which way the price breaks. If the price has a range of 3, (say, 3 to 5), then if it is a 1, the price is a 3, if it is a 2, the price is a 4, if it is a 3, then the price is 5. If the price has a range of 2, (say, 11 to 12), then if it is a 1, the price is an 11, but if it is a 2 or a 3, then the price is a 12 - this is done to reflect the scalping the grocers are engaging in here. You have thirty-eight eighth-talents to spend, and you need to at least feed yourself for the next three days. Also, if you want to practice any magic, then you need to at least get some salt, and should consider buying Olive Oil, as it is twice as efficient as sticks are as a fuel source (a spell that would require 1 charge of Olive Oil for fuel would require 2 charges of sticks).>What do you buy?
>>4940481Staling Emmerloaves x3Trio of Salted Chub Mackerel x3Olive Oil by the half-gallonLittle FaggotSmall Purse of Sea Salt x2
>>4940491That comes to thirty-one eighth-talents, leaving seven left over for a stormy day. >>4940349Realized I overlooked your question, apologies. There is a steeple on top of the belltower, which would hamper rain collection through gutters to the point that Chlotsuintha's father never considered it a worthwhile use of his time setting it up - anyway, as long as he's been living in the Midden, he has had the MC with him to do errands and chores for him, so he really doesn't care about how much time it takes, so long as the water was there for when he wanted it. I'm going to leave this up for another two hours or so, and if there are no complaints, I'll just go ahead and close it. If someone else does have another idea, of course, I'd be willing to leave it open for longer.
Alright, closing and writing.
Not wanting to dally with dusk soon approaching, and all sorts of opportunities for work opening up with it, you make a series of snap decisions on what you want, and quickly make your purchases. Between the Emmerloaves and the Salted Chub, you should be good for the next six days – or three if father does return to you. The little faggot of Sticks and the half-gallon of Olive Oil will be useful, for cooking, cleansing, and a bit of magic. Same goes for the small canvas purses of Sea Salt, and once you have used them all, you can reuse the purse for something else – even though the pair of them look as if they were made from old sailcloth, the canvas still feels sound in your gloved hands. You tuck them away, and just barely manage to fit everything into your pockets; you have quite a few of them, between the ones you have sewn on the outside and inside of the Spotted Cloak and the pocket-jerkin you wear underneath it. With your purchases stowed away on your person, you retreat once more back to the belltower of the Not-Temple. The ascent up is slower than usual, a further precaution you take when climbing encumbered. Just as much because of the slight shifts in your center of mass as it is because of your increased weight. It is unlikely that father made it back in the few minutes that you were gone, but you cannot help calling out to him once more as you enter the belfry from the trapdoor. As it was before, he is not here, nor is there any evidence he was, when you spend a quick minute or so looking for it. Resolving not to forget yourself to your emotions again, after you unburden your pockets, you head straight over to the supplies of water that you keep in the kitchen area, to double check what you have to work with. There is an opened cask of water that father had purified, which looks to have less than a liter of water left in it, two casks of untouched public water, and eight empty casks. These casks are non-standard, with a twenty-liter capacity, they are ten liters shy of the smallest standard size, the ‘blood tub’. You do not know why that size is called blood tubs, or for that matter, you do not know why you know that a thirty-liter cask is called a blood tub. You do not even know where father found a dozen non-standard casks, but they have been doing good work keeping your whistles wet for all these years.
>>4940713Continuing to move along, you pull out a kettle and a flint from the meagre collection of domestic sundries you just sort of keep stacked in the corner. Before proceeding any further, you look over the cast pot, to make sure that there is no Strangeness to it, that it has not be used for anything except food. Once you are satisfied that you are not going to inadvertently contaminate your drinking water, you unwrap the faggot, and pull out enough sticks to get a fire going, then you haul one of the two filled casks over to the fireplace. After starting the fire with the flint, you fill up the kettle with water, then carefully place it on top. Looking at the size of the kettle, compared to the size of just one of the casks, you know that this is going to take a bit of time, and a lot of the wood you just bought. But that is not going to be a problem tonight – you have a lot to think about. You grab those two stilettoes, the whetstone and the oilcloth and start cleaning, while you plan out how you are going to get yourself and your father’s belongings out of the city in just three days.While it is certainly tempting to just say ‘fray it’ and try to steal everything you need to fund your flight from the Mount, you know that it probably not going to be possible with the time that remains to you. At this point, you think you would be best off making one big heist, and to then use the talents to buy whatever you need, only stealing again if it is absolutely necessary. And that touches upon an added layer of complexity in all of this, as you know no fences and have no time to track any down, you have to steal talents. Anything else – besides the supplies you need – is worthless to you right now. So, what manner of place has a lot of currency on hand? Banks and Custom Houses do, but … that is almost certainly biting off a bit more than one fifteen year old woman can chew, at least on her first time around. Something slightly less dangerous, like a gambling den, or a popular theatre … perhaps a merchant ship that has just come into port, or is just about to leave it. A place that has to have a lot of talents on hand, but not the tightest security …
>>4940714>Please choose ONE of the following to ‘stake-out’ tonight. You will get a chance to investigate at least one more location tonight. >Father actually told you about a gambling den once. Located above a shoemaker, it was called the Plucky Poulaines. Why not head over there, and prepare to try your luck? >The whole reason Scrimshaw Mount was settled was because it sat on a straight, where nearly all of the trade to and from the Principalities must pass through. There are always merchantmen coming and going. Just look for one that is preparing to sail in a few days. >There are a handful of theatres here, both on top of the Promontory and in Cleanport. Why not go and see if one of them is putting on a big show over the coming weekend. If they are, maybe you will go. And just maybe, you will get more than ‘culture’ out of it. >You are going about this all wrong. Instead of one big job, you should be looking at doing a bunch of smaller, safer jacks. Become a one-woman crime wave to pay your way out of the city. >Write-ins are accepted for any place that has to have a lot of talents on hand, but not the tightest security that would make sense in the setting. Subject to my approval, of course.
>>4940723>>You are going about this all wrong. Instead of one big job, you should be looking at doing a bunch of smaller, safer jacks. Become a one-woman crime wave to pay your way out of the city.
>>4940723>The whole reason Scrimshaw Mount was settled was because it sat on a straight, where nearly all of the trade to and from the Principalities must pass through. There are always merchantmen coming and going. Just look for one that is preparing to sail in a few days.I came in late for the pantry vote, is it still possible to exchange some staling bread for hardtack? Bread will go bad rather quickly.
>>4940804I was worried something like this was going to happen. I don't want to revisit closed votes, but considering the circumstances, I'm willing to say that if we eat just the bread for the next three days, it will be all gone before it starts to go bad. You okay with that? >>4940771>>4940804This one is a fairly big vote, so I'm going to way until there is a majority. When I get a minute, I will "advertise" it on the general, though.
>>4940723>Father actually told you about a gambling den once. Located above a shoemaker, it was called the Plucky Poulaines. Why not head over there, and prepare to try your luck?First time posting ITT, extremely hopeful that this quest doesn't die. Setting seems awesome - I have lots of questions.
>>4940723>place that has to have a lot of talents on hand, but not the tightest securityAny place like a guildhall or the like that might have have a stockpile of coin for payroll?
>>4941149Glad to have you along anon, ask away and I will answer!>>4941249Well, yes, even a relatively new city like the Mount would have about a dozen 'greater' guilds, with political influence and three dozen 'lesser' guilds without any. And while guilds typically don't have payrolls, they do certainly collect dues, payments and fines from members. The issue I see with targeting the guilds for larceny is that this is that there are established banks in the city, so I'm not sure if it makes sense for the guilds to keep any serious money on hand. If you have any ideas, I'd be more than willing to entertain them. You know, I think this is some sort of personal record; a four way tie. I guess it means I'm doing a great job of balancing the choices, right?
>>4941328Alternatively anyone like a gang backed moneylender, if they're relying on fear of reprisal as their main deterrent it still works for us as we'll be gone before they work out whodunit
>>4941328I chose gambling den because drunk men make easier marks. Also they probably won't bat an eye at a newcomer if we decided to infiltrate "publicly."IC Question time-What do we know of Cimmaroon territory?Do we have access to primitive maps and or general geographic knowledge?Based on our knowing that boiling water purifies water, are magic users generally more "scientific" in their approach to life? Are Magic users the alchemists/scientists of the setting?How powerful are Cleansing groups like Inquisitors? Ultimate political power a la 40k, or fucked up levels of under the radar religious power like Spanish Inquisition?How common are situations like ours, like a couple people hiding out with outlawed abilities existing hidden in society?Why are birds a strong indicator of Strangeness?Is the setting totally OC?Do we know how relatively capable our father is compared to other magic practitioners?What does/can a Life Loom do?Are there fables of powerful magic users who have disrupted societal norms in a significant way?Would we be hunted to death if established powers knew of our lives?Feel free to not answer all at once if this is too much.
>What do we know of Cimmaroon territory?Of the territory? There is farmland to support a number of large towns and even small walled cities near the rivers, everywhere else it is just primeval forest. There are about a dozen and a half "kingdoms" in the territory, but they are closer to tribes or city states than a proper kingdom. >Do we have access to primitive maps and or general geographic knowledge?We have geographic knowledge of the area surrounding the Mount, and general geographic knowledge of the western half of the Principality. Maps exist, but as they are handmade, usually on commission, they are expensive and rare. >Based on our knowing that boiling water purifies water, are magic users generally more "scientific" in their approach to life? Are Magic users the alchemists/scientists of the setting?Magic users are much more knowledgeable about the sciences than the average person, and they can be nearly or more knowledgeable than formally educated people, assuming it is in a field of interest. For example, your father is interested in creating fully autonomous, self-sufficient constructs, and in rediscovering lost techniques in scarification gylphery. So he knows a great deal about anatomy, botany and biology, nearly as much as an expert in one of those fields would. On the other hand, he is not particularly interested in fetishes, so he is much less knowledgeable in metallurgy and the instrumental sciences than a metallurgist or an instrumental scientist what we would call an engineer would be. And all of this effectively answers your second question; no, there are scientists and educated people who are not magical. >How powerful are Cleansing groups like Inquisitors? Ultimate political power a la 40k, or fucked up levels of under the radar religious power like Spanish Inquisition?They are in between the two, but much closer to the Spanish Inquisition, as they are a relatively secular instrument of the Faith. That said, the Inquisitors and even the Cleansers underneath them all have Imperial Immediacy, typically reserved for honor guards, high ranking functionaries, and religious officials. It is a privileged status where the recipient is reports to only the Emperor himself. They still have to follow and enforce Imperial law and edicts, but they can ignore local authority with complete impunity. So they do not have political power, but they are uncommonly independent members of what is still a feudal society.
>>4940950Sure boss, sounds good!
>>4941249I think the line of thought is good. Someone who would have a lot of (illicit) cash at hand, without being actually involved in organized crime. Someone like a corrupt guard or official maybe?
>How common are situations like ours, like a couple people hiding out with outlawed abilities existing hidden in society?Very uncommon. Inquisitors and Cleansers have been working non-stop since the Strangeness seemingly just appeared two-hundred and sixteen years ago, and they have gotten very good and tracking down and culling anyone with latent magical abilities who doesn't know how to hide them. But still, people manage to slip through the net, especially in rural settings, and sometimes really, really remote villages will grudgingly accept the existence of a 'Woods Witch', so long as they are far enough removed from everyone else, and they are exceptionally helpful. And there are some magic users that are kept around in the cities as well. I didn't draw that much attention to the connection, but God is called the Patternmaker here, phrases like 'Sainted Spool' and 'fray' are used ... and there is a magical object in the belfry called the Life-Loom. Before the Strangeness arrived, there were Priests who were magic users, weaving incredibly efficient healing spells - available to any of the faithful who could make it to a temple. Once the Strangeness came into the picture, the Faith destroyed all but a handful, deciding that they could keep a few under lock and key for themselves and adequately 'devout' (read as generous) practitioners. To operate the Life-Looms, they need magic users, so they keep a number of them around, in a comfortable captivity, ignorant of all but the most basic spells. These captives are most* of the descendants of the Faith's original Life-Weavers. Finally, there are the Mitigators. Most of the time, Inquisitors and Cleansers are able to turn the tide against a magic user simply with numbers - the Witch is almost always on their own, against an entire Hunt, usually between eighty to one hundred and twenty men (or even more if they feel it is necessary). That should not be too surprising, as very little what would be considered 'combat magic' survived, and apparently it is a matter of debate how much even ever existed. But there are times where a Witch or a magic user it just too strongly entrenched somewhere, or they do know some powerful spell, and a specialist needs to be called in. A specialist that knows magic. Those are Mitigators - children that were picked up by the Inquisitors for having latent magical abilities, spared from mitigation and trained in counter-magic. To prevent them from learning any other magic, and becoming a threat, they are always disposed of after their first mission. >Why are birds a strong indicator of Strangeness?It is not the birds specifically, it was their behavior. There was no apparent reason for them to flock to that roof, but they were. It indicates that they were exposed to Strangeness, and it has begun to twist their minds, make them behave differently and inexplicably.
>Is the setting totally OC?Well, I guess that depends on what you consider totally OC. There is a lot of inspiration taken from Darkest Dungeon and Dishonored, but I didn't take any characters or locations from it. Those were all home-brewed. >Do we know how relatively capable our father is compared to other magic practitioners?We know that our mother, who we barely remember, was a much more accomplished Witch than father. >What does/can a Life Loom do?Life Looms create simple living constructs out of provided adequate flesh and material, or it can be used to heal/edit existing life provided adequate flesh and material. The purification ritual mentioned earlier would be editing the bacteria present in the water to clean it for you. Once they ran out of toxins to feed on, they would have starved and died, leaving it safe to drink. >Are there fables of powerful magic users who have disrupted societal norms in a significant way?Oh, more than fables and more than societal norms. History before the Strangeness is rife with War Witches - warlords with magical powers, many of whom went on to found kingdoms. Some of which still exist today. And before the Strangeness became a problem, it was extremely common for magic users to be the ones advancing scientific knowledge in their respective (or associated) fields. Typically, in the process of developing new spells, they would discover things about ingredients that they were using, things that mundane scientists could not. >Would we be hunted to death if established powers knew of our lives?Definitely. Doubly so, considering that our father was an Inquisitor who managed to hide his latent magical ability for years under their nose. Triply so, considering that he ran away with a Witch he had been assigned to investigate, and then knocked her up. >>4941395There would definitely be one out there, though they might be a bit hard to find. >>4941517Well, you do not know if he is corrupt or not, but the South Sexton certainly does try to 'nickle and dime' or rather, 'eighth and fourth-talent' Chlotsuintha.Anyway, it sound like we are going to be taking a look at the guild halls. I need to get some sleep, but I will post in the quest general when I get the next post up. Thanks for a great run today, everyone!
The stilettoes are actually easier to clean that you thought, but the more time you spend with them, the more you wonder just how effective they would be as weapons. The two of them are ‘pin-stilettoes’, meaning that they sheathe their blades in their hilt, until it is time for a fight, then you pull the blade out. It can … sort of lock in place? At full extension or completely closed, the knife will keep itself in position – it needs to be pulled open or pushed shut. But when it is at full extension, if a thrust ends up pressing into the back of the blade, or the blade was not at full extension, then it seems that it would be relatively easy for the blade to be pushed partially closed. There is also the issue that neither of the two blades have guards on their hilts. It is not a matter of being unable to catch and block an opposing blade that worries you, it is your hands that you are worried for. While most of your time as a Leper has been spent working in the graveyards, there have been months where you were assigned to retrieve and clean bodies. Most of your charges died natural deaths, there were a few who had been killed in duels, and you had noticed that the hands on the bodies of those that fought with knives without guards had injuries on their palms and fingers, where after a thrust, their hands had ridden up, on to the blade of the knife. The more ostentatious your two stilettoes had a fairly sizable notch right under the pin, so you supposed that knife was safer to use, but the more understated one had a much more lethal look to it blade, despite being an inch shorter. You are beginning to think that father had a good reason for taking every weapon he owned except these two with him, but you stop yourself before you can waste any more time on fretting. They are what you have, and hopefully you will not even have to use them. By the time you are done grousing and groaning over the blades, you have also finished boiling an entire cask worth of public water – and blown through half of your faggot in the process. Of course, the upswing is that you have four days’ worth of mundanely cleansed water now. You take the remaining water that your father purified, and pour that into a large flask, then you haul the three casks – two empty and one full – back over to the corner with the others. After putting out your fire, you open a window in the wall that father built to close in the balcony, so you may confirm what you already know; that night has fallen on Scrimshaw Mount. The stars are bright tonight, bright as they ever are over this city, and even though your soul may by frayed by your work for these last eight years as a Leper, or by the work you will do tonight as a thief, for the first time in days, there is no unease in you at all as you take a minute to stare into the Great Pattern of the Firmament, and through his work, into the face of the Maker.
>>4941888You, along with just about everyone who worships the Patternmaker, believe that the Strangeness is the Great Trial of the Third Age, that it was placed into the world to challenge those who had become overly dependent on magic, and to make people stand on their own two feet once more. Where your beliefs differ from the mainstream is over what this Trial means specifically for magic users. Most faithful hold that the Strangeness means that magic users* are now unclean, and just flatly condemned, but you and father believe instead that you have a personal role to play in this Great Trial, to remain humble and wary of the powers that you can call upon. Before the Third Age, magic was seen as a blessing, and the two of you still see it that way. *There is an important distinction here, that I want to highlight. Actions by humans are what is seen as unclean by the Faithful, not objects or animals. Graveyards and corpses are sanctified, but gravedigging and corpse handling is unclean, and the work of untouchables. Of course, not all of the distinctions are so cut and dry. While the revulsion at processing animal products means that leather workers are considered unclean, furriers are not – partially because fur looks to be less processed than leather (even though that is not necessarily the case), and partially because furriers typically have much more money than leather workers. After a minute or so of silent contemplation of the Firmament, you offer up a whispered prayer on behalf of your father before closing up the window and heading out, carrying only a bundle of clothes to change into and the stilettoes, stowed one in each boot. Hopefully, they will remain there for the whole night. By the time you are back on solid ground again, you have made up your mind as to your target – you are going to see if you can a Guild. You know there are probably about fifty different guild halls in the city, and you have a general idea where some of them are. At the very least, you know what a guild hall looks like. And you know that guilds collect money - dues and payments and fines – from all of their members. Surely, they would not put all of it straight in a bank? Oh! Now there is a thought …But before you start down that path, you are going to need to get of the Midden first. There are several ways out of the Midden undetected, but one of them puts you out in the storage room of a guard house, and another involves going through the sewer, so those are for emergencies only. The way you intend to leave the Midden is through a series of interconnected buried basements, accessed by a private well, located in the middle of a shell of an old villa. However, as you approach your chosen egress, to your surprise you see two Lepers, neither of which you recognize, and both still cloaked having some sort of argument in the ruins. A loud argument.
>>4941890>Please choose ONE of the following:>The night is still very, very young. Hide yourself somewhere nearby and wait them out.>Try your hand at scaring them off by tell them they are waking people up, which is probably true. >Maybe this would be a good time to practice some sneaking? Neither of them are looking at the well. [Requires Rolling]>You do not want to deal with this shit … which means you are going to be dealing with actual shit. Take the sewer route instead. >You were going to do some fairly dangerous prowling tonight anyway, why not get an early start on it? Take the guard house route instead. [Requires Rolling]>>4941439Oh, and on topic of inspirations, Mr. Wong's Swamp Lord Quest is excellent. Heavier on the RPG elements and lighter on the crafting, but I'd say it is the best fantasy quest that I have read on here yet - though I have not gotten around to reading Forgotten's Black Company.
>>4941899>>Try your hand at scaring them off by tell them they are waking people up, which is probably true.
>>4941899I am a big fan of Swamp Lord Quest. That setting and tone kick ass.>Maybe this would be a good time to practice some sneaking? Neither of them are looking at the well. [Requires Rolling]If we can try to listen in to get a feel for the argument topic before/while we sneak, that would be cool.
>>4941899>Maybe this would be a good time to practice some sneaking? Neither of them are looking at the well. [Requires Rolling]Good opportunity to practice imo
>>4942181>>4941982>>4941971Alright! >DC 26: Anything lower is a failure>No Passes: They see you climbing into the well, and the have a lot of questions for you. You will have a choice, to try to talk yourself out of it, or to run away.>One Pass: They see you sneaking towards the well, and they have some questions for you. You will have a choice, to try to talk yourself out of it, or to run away.>Two Passes: They hear something moving around and then down the well, but they cannot see you. Depending on how crazy things get tonight, they might mention this to someone - or not. >Three Passes: They remain oblivious. No matter how the night goes, no one will have any suspicions about this random, dried up well...>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test by being seen and identified as you climb into the well. You will have a choice, to try to talk yourself out of it, or to run away.>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and you find a lucky tenth-talent down here, which gives you a single-use re roll. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure. >You are STRONGLY encouraged to roll again after fifteen minutes if more rolls are needed, to keep the quest moving.
Rolled 52 (1d100)>>4942233
Rolled 64 (1d100)>>4942233
Rolled 60 (1d100)>>4942233
>>4942367>>4942363>>4942276>Three Passes: They remain oblivious. No matter how the night goes, no one will have any suspicions about this random, dried up well...Good rolls. I'll get to writing the next post. It should either be up overnight or first thing in the morning.
Why are you hesitating here? If you are scared off by two Lepers, then how can you possibly hope to break into and jack guild halls tonight? No, you are not scared of them, or scared of being discovered by them, you are confident in your ability to remain unseen, in spite of your size. But … after a life spent in hiding, you have become risk adverse. Considering how dire your situation is, you are comfortable saying that your typical abundant caution is a good thing. Unfortunately, unless you are willing to leave the Mount with nothing by the clothes on your back, abandoning or destroying your father’s life’s work in the process, you are going to need talents, and to get those talents, you are going to need to take risks. Pretty serious risks. Some of which may be life and death. You take a quiet, shallow breath, to steel yourself, and then from your vantage point, hiding behind a shack across the street from the ruin, you survey the scene. The two Lepers are standing just inside what was the exterior wall of the villa. You can see both of them – one completely, but just the upper body of the other. Both of them are looking at and arguing with each other, and they seem to be getting louder every minute, to the point where you are almost able to understand them. After looking behind you, to make sure no one is coming, and then scanning the street, to make sure that no one is gawking or glaring at the pair yet, you fully commit yourself by breaking cover, and quietly move across the street to the ruin. “…can I possibly do about it now?”“You can pay me back for my share of it, that’s what you can do – a third of that vial was to be mine!” “What?! That’s like a fortnight’s worth of wages!”“I know – so how’d you think I feel about having spent that, with nothing to show for it?!”There is not an immediate response to that, you quietly hold where you are. Once the conversation starts up again, you will continue around the perimeter of the ruin, then you will cut in and head straight for the well. It does not take long for the battle to rejoin, and after taking a second to look back at the pair to make sure they were only looking at each other, you resumed your prowling. “Look, I’m sorry, and believe me, when she wakes up, I’m sure she’ll be very sorry too.” “Oh? You’ll make sure of that?” “…If that’s what it takes, then yes. I can make sure.” “I want to watch.” “Man alive, you serious?”Judging by the silence that followed as you kept making your way around the shell, he was. “I can’t do that. She won’t like taking a beating, but she’ll accept it, on account of her knowing that what she did was wrong. But she won’t accept an audience for it.”“She won’t have a choice.”
>>4942506“She most certainly will have a choice, she can make the choice to leave my poor, rotting ass – there are thirty-four women in here for all four hundred of us, and with no priest willing marry Lepers, they can just come and go as they please. As it is, I’m risking losing her by laying hands on her at all.” You have reached the best point to cross over into what was the courtyard. Rubble and darkness should screen you from their sight at this point, but you make a point of checking on the pair one last time before squinting down at the path between you and the well, to make sure that there is not anything noisy to step on, or anything that poses a risk for tripping. As you break cover and stalk your way over to the well, the conversation resumes, slightly quieter, but still loud enough to hear. “First off, if you don’t lay hands on her, I might just lay hands on you. Second, there is still the issue of the fifty eighth-talents that I gave you for my share of the laudanum. And third, there are thirty-five women in Midden. You forget that taller of the two bats is one.”Who are the two bats? They are obviously Lepers, but you have never heard of ... oh. Never mind. “I know she is, I counted her. There are thirty-four women.” Having reached it completely undetected, you descend into the well completely unseen and unheard, with the sound of the duo loudly reciting the names of all of the lady Lepers so they can determine who has the right count echoing above you. Despite the annoyance of having to listen to and hide from them, you did get two somewhat valuable nuggets of information in exchange; that someone is selling controlled substances like laudanum to Lepers, and that your profile in the Midden might be quite a bit higher than you thought. As the well is almost in complete darkness, and you are not as familiar with it as you are with the belltower, it takes you a full ten minutes to get to the bottom of the shaft. The bottom, but not the end – the shaft continues at almost a perfect right angle further inland, to where the groundwater is less likely to be mixed with seawater. As you enter into the spur and find yourself in what is now complete darkness, you realize you still need to make a decision as to which Guild you are going to snoop around first.
>>4942511>Please choose ONE of the following: >Money-Lenders Guild: A guild for the Mount’s bankers, moneychangers, and binder-brokers. One of the Greater Guilds, arguably the most influential. You think that they are the most likely to keep serious money in their guild hall of all of the guilds, because how would they decide which member’s bank they put the money into? Of course, the security is probably on the level of an Imperial Fortress, and that is not even considering the safe. >Chrurgeon’s Guild: A guild for the Mount’s healers, sawbones and medicine-makers. One of the Greater Guilds. There are a lot of healers in the city, partially because of the University’s Medical School, partially because of all of the guild’s Journeymen working as Ship’s Chrurgeon’s. And as far as you know, all of them make good money, so it stands to reason that their guild makes good money off of them, right? But you are not sure how much - if any - of that money remains in their guild hall.>Sailmaker’s Guild: A guild for the Mount’s sailmakers. One of the Lesser Guilds, though a larger Lesser Guild. Scrimshaw Mount is a maritime city, and in every maritime city, there is a Sailmaker’s Guild. You feel with all of the ships coming and going daily, that there must be some money in their hall, surely. And considering the relatively lower status of this guild, you hope that it translates to weaker security.
>>4942512>>Chrurgeon’s Guild: A guild for the Mount’s healers, sawbones and medicine-makers. One of the Greater Guilds. There are a lot of healers in the city, partially because of the University’s Medical School, partially because of all of the guild’s Journeymen working as Ship’s Chrurgeon’s. And as far as you know, all of them make good money, so it stands to reason that their guild makes good money off of them, right? But you are not sure how much - if any - of that money remains in their guild hall.
>>4942512>Chrurgeon’s Guild: A guild for the Mount’s healers, sawbones and medicine-makers. One of the Greater Guilds. There are a lot of healers in the city, partially because of the University’s Medical School, partially because of all of the guild’s Journeymen working as Ship’s Chrurgeon’s. And as far as you know, all of them make good money, so it stands to reason that their guild makes good money off of them, right? But you are not sure how much - if any - of that money remains in their guild hall.How adept are we identifying the usefulness of labeledand or unlabeled chemical vials? I'm figuring there will be some of those in the healers' guild.
>>4942512>Chrurgeon’s Guild: A guild for the Mount’s healers, sawbones and medicine-makers. One of the Greater Guilds. There are a lot of healers in the city, partially because of the University’s Medical School, partially because of all of the guild’s Journeymen working as Ship’s Chrurgeon’s. And as far as you know, all of them make good money, so it stands to reason that their guild makes good money off of them, right? But you are not sure how much - if any - of that money remains in their guild hall.Even if we don't find money drugs are also portable and valuable
>>4942606>>4942570>>4942530Alright, consider this closed. I'll get to writing.>>4942570Not very adept. What we do know about healing is almost all magical. >>4942606Good point about the drugs, but the issue is finding someone to sell them to.
By the time that you have made your way out of the spur and into the interconnected basements, you have both left the Midden and decided that you are going to head to the healers, for a different kind of check-up. All in all, you do not have a particularly positive view Chirurgeons. Not only are they partially responsible for deciding who is sent to the Midden, once you are wearing the Spotted Cloak healers avoid you like the plague. The few Lepers that are willing to seek out and ask for help from the men who condemned them are not just refused, they often are punished on top of it, for risking the health of such critical professionals. There are rare times where Lepers are taken off of their shifts and sent to the healers, but instead of being treated, they are used as living specimens for presentations, or as testers for medicines. Really, it is … well, you are no Greenglen Jack, you need no justification to steal from someone – but, at the very least, if you do end up jacking them, then you are not going to feel bad about this, not in the slightest. You reach the end of the abandoned basements that the palisade to the Midden was built over. The next basement, accessed through a secret passage, actually still has a building on top of it. So, before you go any further, you will need to change. In the darkness, you take off everything that would identify you as a Leper, the mask, the gloves, the cloak. You make a point to set the mask down carefully, but when you toss aside the cloak, you are surprised by the loud thump that it makes. Blindly pawing your way through the thick canvas, you are surprised when you find the flask of the leftover purified water. You could have sworn you left this with the cask of water you cleansed, but it is just as well that you have it with you, because you know a really neat trick. It is a neat enough trick in fact, that you cannot believe you did not think to take the water with you. Well, here is hoping it was the first and the last mistake of the night.Back to getting changed. You pull off your boots and socks, and then pull down your breeches. You do not like it one bit, but since your flowering, your height and your bust have grown the point where you cannot reliably pass yourself off as a boy. You know there are ways to bind breasts, and if you were able to figure out how to do it, you might be able to pass yourself off as a tall-but-effeminate man, but until you do, you are going to have to wear a dress in public, when not in the Spotted Cloak. Cross dressing is considered both venereal and contrary, held to almost be as bad as homosexuality. A Leper lass might get away with it, as it is assumed her soul has already been doubly compromised and it is hard to tell the men from the women at a glace when everyone is dressed up in the Spotted Cloaks, but a young woman would never be able to walk down the streets in man’s clothes without being harassed, arrested or worse.
>>4942820Your pocket-jerkin and your shirt have to come off too, though once you get the skirt on, you will flip the jerkin inside out, so none of the pockets are showing, and put it back on. As you finish stripping down, and really get a feel for the moisture in the air and on the stones under your feet, you cannot help but feel ridiculous. Despite your commanding height, your build is still that of a woman. A very fit, capable woman, who happens to be six feet, four inches, but the build of a woman none the less. The muscles that you have are lean – tight, but lean. Your body seems much more preoccupied with growing curves than growing strength, and you will be the first to admit that it frustrates you. You think of the two stilettoes in your boots, by your side, and you wonder how you would fare in a fight, even with the advantage of surprise. You shake your head, and as you dress in the dress, you push such thoughts aside. Whatever you do here tonight, and the next two nights, you have no choice but to do well, to succeed at – to win. There simply are not any other options. Leaving behind everything that would identify you as a Leper in the darkness, on the ground, in this basement, you pass into the next one after checking to make sure it is clear. You make another check as you climb up the bulkhead steps. Once satisfied that no one is there to see you, you quietly open up the bulkhead, and enter a gloomy back alley, which you follow out to the Upper Boardwalk. To your left is the palisade of the Midden. Ahead of you is the sprawl of Stickport. And to your right, is the rest of the Mount, overlooking the straight. You turn to your right, and make your way over to Cleanport. You make good time, only passing a few people. Their stares were beginning to fray your nerves a bit, so you pulled up the hood you had stitched on to this dress. The yellowing canvas of the hood and the lining of the pocket-jerkin does not pair well with the stained and patched gray wool of the dress. But you find comfort in the slight cover of the hood, and it makes the time it takes you to over to Cleanport and the Chirurgeon’s Guild Hall all the more bearable. Once you get to the side street where the hall is located though, you witness something unexpected. Given the lateness of the hour, you had expected to find the place locked up for the night, but it seems that the lights inside are still on, and even now, as you stand here, you can see a pair of men entering through the main door.
>>4942821>Please choose ONE of the following: >It was already going to be difficult enough getting through watchmen and whatever other security they had, but having the hall crawling with healers will make it too difficult. At least for tonight. Come up with something else. >While the place being lousy with healers might make this trickier and more dangerous, it seems to you that with (presumably) so many guild members present, it is more likely that there actually are talents to steal in there now. Get going!
>>4942823>>It was already going to be difficult enough getting through watchmen and whatever other security they had, but having the hall crawling with healers will make it too difficult. At least for tonight. Come up with something else.
I vote we lay low and observe for a while before making a decision one way or another.
Looks like we are going to try something else after all.A few minutes, and I will get up another post.
This ... this was not expected. Or welcome. While by your estimation, the presence of more guild members in a guild hall increases the likelihood that there are talents in the building to steal, it also means that it is going to be significantly more difficult to get those talents. Standing down the street from the place, you can feel your resolve to break-in falter, and falter hard. The level of danger present here, paired with the uncertainty that there even is anything to steal inside - it is a consummate non-starter. You might be willing to accept the level of risk here, if you were certain that there was going to be money in it for you. But this is a guild hall, not a bank. Even if you think it is more likely that there is money present right now because of all of the members inside, that does not make it a guarantee. And to take such risks, when there is no guarantee that there is a single eighth-talent in the entire building - it just seems heedless and unsound.Perhaps you could just wait a little bit, and see if the healers start to come out? No, no you do not like that idea either. There is only so much time, and no doubt there are better opportunities elsewhere.>Please choose ONE of the following: >Try another one of the Guilds. >Reconsider looking into one of the ships in Cleanport.>Reconsider searching for a theatre with a premier over the weekend.>Reconsider tracking down the Plucky Poulaines and trying your luck.
>>4943243>Reconsider looking into one of the ships in Cleanport.I liked the ship idea to begin with. I bet we're not an awesome swimmer. Also if we come across any fancy folk walking solo we can just rob they ass.
>>4943560*an awesome swimmer
>>4943243>>Reconsider looking into one of the ships in Cleanport.
>>4943653>>4943560Alright, consider this one closed. I'll get to writing immediately.
You spend another minute looking at the Chirurgeon’s Guild Hall, but if anything, the place seems to be getting more active as you watch, not less. When another few men – members of the guild, you presume – show up at the front door and are let in, your mind is made up. The building is simply too busy for an admitted novice like you to risk, without any definitive promise of talents. Your mind is made up; you will not attempt this jack, not tonight at least. So, now what? Hmm … as you are already in Cleanport, why not take a look at some ships? At the very least, there has to be money on a merchantman, right. Permitting yourself one last look, you turn on your heel and head to the wharves, idling wondering why the hall was buzzing like a beehive this late at night. Your long legs and their long strides mean that you make excellent time, and in less than a minute, you are at the waterfront. The wharves in the Cleanport are properly lit, unlike those in Stickport, so here and there you can see the odd man-along-the-shore still at work, loading and unloading ships determined to leave on the next tide out, but for the most part, the waterfront sleeps. Giving you the feeling of being a fox in a henhouse. The only question is … which hen? You are not completely unfamiliar with ships, as you came over to the Principalities on one, but beyond what is common knowledge about them, you are unfortunately ignorant. While there is no doubt in your mind that all of the ships have valuables aboard, you are not sure which ones are the most likely to have the talents that you are looking for. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Look for the biggest merchantman that you can find. It stands to reason that the bigger the ship, the wealthier the operator, and the wealthier the operator, the more talents on board, right? >Look for a smaller sloop, something that belongs to smugglers. It stands to reason that those operating outside of the law cannot rely on banks, so they must keep their wealth with them, right? >Look for a foreign merchantman, newly arrived in port. It stands to reason that a foreign vessel would not have accounts with banks in the Principality, and that if they wanted to buy anything here, they would need to have talents on hand.
>>4943869>Look for a foreign merchantman, newly arrived in port. It stands to reason that a foreign vessel would not have accounts with banks in the Principality, and that if they wanted to buy anything here, they would need to have talents on hand.Robbing foreigners is an old recipe for success
>>4943869>>Look for a foreign merchantman, newly arrived in port. It stands to reason that a foreign vessel would not have accounts with banks in the Principality, and that if they wanted to buy anything here, they would need to have talents on hand.
>>4944033>>4943890Closed and writing.
You prowl along the waterfront, avoiding the islands of light from the flickering lamps. Cleanport stretches on for quite a while, so you have time to mull over what manner of ‘hen’ you are hunting for tonight. Further away from the Promontory, more and more foreign ships are interspersed in the berths, many of which under queer flags that you do not recognize, and you find yourself thinking that almost paradoxically, a foreign vessel would be your best bet to find your countries coins. That idea grabs hold you, and the foreign ships that you pass now are looking more inviting, even as their designs become queerer and queerer. As you continue your weaving walk outside of the light, you find your mind wandering a bit, wondering just how far some of these vessels have traveled, just to get here. But your walking and your wondering are both abruptly halted when you see a handsomely built ship, flying a Tartessian Starburst – one of the few foreign flags that you can actually identify. Fortuitously, there is a wheel-crane parked on the wharf that it is berthed at, comfortably out of the light from the lamps. You move on over to it, and after checking and double checking that between the darkness and the presence of the other ships, you are being adequately screened from sight. Once you are satisfied that you will be safe in doing so, you scramble up over the wheel, careful not to accidentally kick-shift the mechanism into operation, and then you climb up to the tip of the crane’s boom, to give yourself the best possible vantage point of the ship. There is no movement beside the shifting of the ship itself, no sounds beside the lapping of water and the creaking of wood. You assume that nearly all of the crew are taking advantage of shore leave, but that does not mean the ship is completely abandoned. No doubt the captain and the officers of the ship, and perhaps some of the most critical crew members are still on board, to ensure that nothing happens to the ship – and that nothing happens to them. But even with the presume presence of the ship’s officers, you still feel much, much better about the prospect of robbing this ship then you did about the Chirurgeon’s Guild. So … if there are any monies on board, then they would be in the captain’s quarters, right?
>>4944866With your basic knowledge of ships, you know that the captain’s quarters are typically located towards the rear of the ship – the stern – and this ship seems to have a small balcony on its stern, sitting above its rudder, so if you had to guess, that was where the captain would be, and the captain would be with the strongbox. Now, to most thieves, a strongbox would be a serious problem – but you are not most thieves. You have three glyphs; Strange-Stain, Hide-Eyes which you use to hide the Strangeness of your true blank eyes, and to pass yourself of as a diseased Leper, and Cold-Touch. Cold-Touch allows you to freeze about half a liter worth of water (or any liquid with a similar freezing point) for about twenty seconds, so long as you are touching some of that water. Father has been experimenting heavily with freezing magic for all of your fifteen years. As he is interested in creating highly advanced flesh-based constructs, magic that allowed him to preserve flesh is invaluable to his work. Obviously, freezing something for only twenty seconds was not particularly useful in preservation. Or in much else, honestly. Apparently, the glyph was developed to be ‘parlor magic’ – an entire informal school magic that was very easy to learn, flashy by nature, would cause little strain and provide no value; the explicitly stated purpose of this magical ‘school’ was simply to impress and entertain friends, dinner guests and wide-eyed serving girls. Father found a way to make it useful though, by developing a casting technique for the Cold-Touch glyph that he called “the Ice Lockpick”. The cast works like this; you dip your little finger in water, stick as much of it into whatever lock you want to open as you can (even just a bit of the tip can be enough, the more in the lock, the better), then you active the Cold-Touch glyph. The water on your finger freezes, and you pour more water over your finger into the lock. The water freezes into the tumbler channels of the lock, forcing the mechanism into the proper position, as if the key was actually in it. Then you turn your finger as if it was the key, continuing to pour water on it as you do so, to ensure that you do not snap any of the teeth of the ice-key off in the lock. It is not flawless – if the lock is too small, exceptionally rusty, or exceptionally stiff, the technique might not work. Worse than that, it does produce Strangeness, both in the water that you use and in the lock that you open, which are both fairly difficult to deal with. But father insists that the trick has been able to defeat almost ever lock he has tried to pick since he developed the technique, and the five times you experimented with it, you were able to get it to work three of them. And you are certain you can do better with more practice.
>>4944867You check to make sure you still have your flask of water with you, and when you find it still secure on your belt, you allow yourself a smug little smile. Ready to go, you dismount the crane, and head towards the mooring lines. For an experienced climber like yourself, it is not even a challenge to get to the balcony of the presumed captain’s cabin – though on reflection, returning to the wharf like this, hanging under the rope, hopefully with pounds upon pounds of talents – that might be a challenge. But right now, all you need to worry about is getting those pounds upon pounds of talents. It takes half a minute, maybe less for you to reach the other end of the mooring line, and once you reach the ship, hanging from the gunwales you make you way over to the balcony, moving along until you are just above the railing of the balcony. You feel a bit awkward, legs dangling – in a skirt, no less – but as you focus on the task at hand, the embarrassment you feel fades away. After positioning yourself, you shift your weight from hanging by your hands the gunwale to balancing on your feet on top of the balcony’s banister. Once you have a feel for the motion of the ship, you let go of the gunwale, and then quietly as you can slide to the bottom. There is a fairly impressive sixteen-paned door, flanked by some matching sixteen-paned windows. The door does not have a lock, but it is barred from the inside. It is unfortunate, but it is not that bad – you can see through the leaded glass panes of the door that the bar is just wood, and that it is not even an inch thick. You are puzzled by the for a moment, but then you realize they went with such a thin bar, because anything thicker or not in wood inevitably would have ruined the look of door. Suppressing laughter, you evaluate your options here. Looking at it, you can see that you could slip one of your stilettoes through the door and saw your way through, though that is not without risks and will inevitably take quite a bit of time. Alternatively, you could get on the ship properly, and find another way into the captain’s quarters. Assuming everything goes well, it will be a lot quicker – but it will be harder to escape if you are discovered on the ship. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Remain on the balcony and saw your way through the wooden bar.>Sneak on the ship and find another way into the presumed captain’s cabin.Sorry this one took so long to get up. Also, 'sixteened-paned doors' is this world's version of French doors.
>>4944870>>Sneak on the ship and find another way into the presumed captain’s cabin.
If it's such a puny bar, is brute force an option? A little noisy but much quicker.
>>4944870Can we see anything else through the door or windows, like the location of the Captain's desk/bed, cabinets, funny looking rugs concealing trapdoors?I just want to gather as much info as possible while fully undetected, so we can grab and go once we're in.>Remain on the balcony and saw your way through the wooden bar.Chip a stiletto against something hard to give us a more saw-like blade. Even one chip will dramatically improve the sawing.
>>4944984Yes, I suppose it is - but kicking the door in would likely wake up the captain. We would roll for that, and I'd probably have to set a pretty high value. >>4945026Well, there are no rugs, and you can see no trapdoors. There are some cabinets as well, but they appear to be filled maps and navigational equipment. You can already see the captain's bed from where you are. As for the chipping the blade, assuming the 'saw through the bar' choice wins the vote, we can do that to hurry things along. So, as usual, we have a three way tie. I will leave this up a little longer. If you are reading this and have not voted in >>4944870, please do!
>>4945147Alright, that's what we will be doing. I'll get to writing.
Deciding to saw your way through the woefully inadequate wooden bar, you reach into your boots and pull out both of your stilettoes, hold one in each hand and consider which one would be the best for this job. Obviously, a stiletto is not a saw … but if you were to deliberately make a chip in one of the blades, then you might have an easier time working your way through the bar. The stiletto you have in your right hand is much more ornate then the one you have in your left, and it has the notch in lieu of a guard on the hilt unlike the other one, though going by just the blades, the one in your left hand looks superior. After a moment of consideration, you decide that your best bet is to chip the plainer stiletto you have in your left hand, and the nicer looking one in good condition, so you could sell it, if you absolutely needed to. You return that stiletto to your right boot, and then spend the next minute trying to quietly chip the blade of the other stiletto. When you are finally satisfied with the chip that you got, you walk up to the door, slip the blade between the paired doors, and you begin chewing away at the bar. While you do not make “quick” work of it by any stretch of the imagination, it is quite plain that the chip in the blade significantly is significantly speeding up the process. With any luck, you will be able to properly repair – or if necessary, replace – this blade before the chip can become a serious problem. As you draw towards the bottom of the bar, the blade becomes harder and harder to move. Normally, at this point, you would simply snap it, but considering that you are trying to keep quiet here, that is not an option. By your guess, it is another minute and a half before you have managed to get completely though. You withdraw the blade from between the doors, pass it to your off hand, and spend the next five seconds or so flexing your fingers. Now, all that remains is to open the door – which is not necessarily going to be easy. Just because the bar has been cut through, that does not mean that it is not longer a problem. The bar could still somehow jam the door, or one of both halves of it could fall out of its brackets and clatter on the floor. So, you take your time, and ease just one of the doors open, keeping your eyes glued to the remains of the bar. Your heart is in your throat the entire time, but you manage to open the door without any further issues. And just like that, you are inside what can only be the captain’s cabin. There is a large square table straight ahead of you, surrounded by chairs and covered in nautical maps that are written in a language that you cannot read. To your right, is a what passes for a large bed aboard a ship, complete with a softly snoring occupant. There are cabinets, along the walls, that seem to be filled with more maps, navigational equipment, and … looks like medicine, personal effects, sundries, things like that.
>>4945323 Besides that, there is a wardrobe, wall mounted weapon racks, a few secured sea chests, a decently sized cask … and a massive steel strong box, bolted to the floor and the wall of the ship. It is big enough that it looks like the ship had to be reinforced around it. But just as you are about to skip over to it, the good luck you have been having here peters out. There is no keyhole! You can see the handle to open it, but you cannot see the fraying keyhole! Glancing over your shoulder to check that captain is still sleep, you quietly stalk over to the box, and look it all over, hoping that you somehow overlooked it. You did not. There is no keyhole on this strong box, only a series of strange, concentric … dials, you think they are called? As Strange-Staining has not activated, you know that this is almost certainly a non-magical object. So, from what you know from your limited knowledge of the instrumental sciences and strongboxes, you can deduce that because the dials are close to the handle that opens the box, the dials must be what opens the box. Does that mean the dials are some sort of … integrated key? If it is, then maybe you could try Cold-Touch … what are you saying? You have never seen anything like this before. If you could take your time, experiment, sure, perhaps. But you are under the gun here. You do not have enough time to puzzle this out, which means that you need to convince someone else to open it instead. And thankfully, you do have two ideas – two absolutely insane ideas. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Ask the captain to do it for you. Put a blade at his throat, show him your blank, Strange eyes, and lay your hands on him while you have Cold-Touch active. As he does not know that is the extent of your powers, with any luck he will think a powerful Witch has come to rob him, not some desperate Witchlet who barely knows any spells. If you go this route, you may have to hurt or kill the captain – and if you do not kill him, then you have been seen. >Set the ship on fire. Logically, if the ship was on fire and at risk of sinking, then at some point, the captain would surely try to move the money off of the ship. So long as you are lying in wait inside the cabin when the strongbox opens, you will have your chance. If you go this route, there is a chance that you do not need to hurt or kill the captain, and that you can remain unseen. However, this is not guaranteed, and obviously, fire is a fickle, fickle thing.
>>4945326>Set the ship on fire. Logically, if the ship was on fire and at risk of sinking, then at some point, the captain would surely try to move the money off of the ship. So long as you are lying in wait inside the cabin when the strongbox opens, you will have your chance. If you go this route, there is a chance that you do not need to hurt or kill the captain, and that you can remain unseen. However, this is not guaranteed, and obviously, fire is a fickle, fickle thing.
>>4945326>Ask the captain to do it for you. Put a blade at his throat, show him your blank, Strange eyes, and lay your hands on him while you have Cold-Touch active. As he does not know that is the extent of your powers, with any luck he will think a powerful Witch has come to rob him, not some desperate Witchlet who barely knows any spells. If you go this route, you may have to hurt or kill the captain – and if you do not kill him, then you have been seen.setting the ship on fire is certainly not the more "humane" choice, someone is bound to get it. I would however prefer to just put a knife to his throat and save the strange shenanigans, they will bring too much heat.
>>4945384>>4945337Considering that is a pretty important vote, I'm going to wait for a tiebreaker. Hopefully, we get a third vote in here sooner rather than later, I would like to try to squeeze out another update.
>>4945326>Ask the captain to do it for you. Put a blade at his throat, show him your blank, Strange eyes, and lay your hands on him while you have Cold-Touch active. As he does not know that is the extent of your powers, with any luck he will think a powerful Witch has come to rob him, not some desperate Witchlet who barely knows any spells. If you go this route, you may have to hurt or kill the captain – and if you do not kill him, then you have been seen.I would suggest "borrowing" something off the weapon rack to keep with us as well and at east hiding the rest, especially considering we don't have anything better than knives at the moment, we can always ditch it overboard as we leave if we feel we can't take it with us too.
>>4945337>>4945384>>4946236Alright. We will not being setting the ship on fire, we will not be using Strangeness and we will be grabbing something more impressive from the weapon racks to intimidate him with. Happy rolling!>DC 41: Anything lower is a failure.>No Passes: Despite the weapon at his throat, he tries to raise the hue and cry. >One Pass: Even though you are at his throat, he does not move from the bed.>Two Passes: He does get out of bed, quietly, and though he is scared, he is also alert.>Three Passes: He gets out of bed, whimpering in his foreign tongue. >If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test, and several of the ship's officer's burst into the room before you can do anything else.>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and he has some rings on his nightstand that you take for yourself. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure. >If you have already rolled once, after ten minutes you may roll again.
Rolled 16 (1d100)>>4946554
Rolled 38 (1d100)>>4946563YOU FUCKING IDIOT WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ROLL YOU FUCKING CRETIN WHY WHY WHY>>4946554rollard
>>4946565>>4946563If either of you are still here and brave enough, you may roll again. Do not worry that much, even if you fail this third roll, and he tries to call out for help, you still have a chance to fix this quietly, so long as you do not roll a 1 or a 2.
Rolled 83 (1d100)>>4946554
>>4946598ty 4 not being an unlucky bastard like me and >>4946563
Those dial-things have figuratively and physically stopped you in your tracks – after moving over to the strongbox to investigate them, you have not moved, beyond, of course, rocking along with the ship. You know that you are not going to be able to open this box, and you know that you are going to have to either convince or trick the captain to do so. If you tricked him, by lighting the ship on fire, then there is a chance, admittedly a slim one, that you could pull off this heist completely unseen. But the fire – there is too much of a risk. To the crew as well as the captain (who you are well aware that you might have to kill regardless), but most importantly, yourself. For the fire trick to work, you would still have to be on the ship, to get to the strongbox when the captain opens it. There is a powder room somewhere aboard to supply the ship’s guns, and no doubt stocks of pitch and oils for illumination and maintenance. If either of those caught, your little trick could end up being the death of you. Which means – You are going to have to get him to do it. This means, unless you are going to kill him, you are going to leave a witness. If there is a witness, then there is a chance that you get caught, and if you get caught … setting aside whatever the courts would rule, which can vary wildly, then you could be discovered as a Stranger, and mitigated. Which for a Witchlet such as yourself would be fatal. Can you leave a witness? Can you kill an innocent in cold blood? You do not know. Honestly, you do not know. But to get the money, he is going to have to be the one to open the box, which means … circles, you are thinking in circles. Focus! You need to scare him – and to that end, you should borrow a scarier weapon. You lurch over towards the weapon racks mounted on the wall, and in the gloom of the cabin, you examine the selection. There was one that caught you eye, a smallsword – you think it might be a bit longer than usual. The brass of the hilt was a bit dull, but beyond that, it seemed to be in flawless condition. You do not see a scabbard for it, which means that it was probably taken as a trophy. With your better weapon selected, you fold and then pocket your chipped stiletto in your jerkin. Then you head over to the bed, it’s only occupant still softly snoring. The fifteen or so paces that it takes to get you to the bedside feel like the quickest you have ever taken in your life. You do not like this, you do not like any thing about this. But Sty the Leper is going to die in three days, if her father does not show up. If you do not want to die with her, then you must pay. Pay the price of being Chlotsuintha the Witchlet. Without you even realizing it, the borrowed smallsword is at his throat, and the captain begins to stir underneath it.
>>4946758“You keep quiet. Everything will be fine if you keep your mouth shut.” His eyes snap open and focus immediately on you. You can see him tense up and shift slightly under the sheets. There is confusion and fear in his eyes, as well as hint of anger. “You are going to open the strongbox for me.” The second you said ‘strongbox’, he noticeably tensed up a little bit more. Good – you were worried that he did not understand you. But when you order him out of the bed, he does not move. You repeat yourself, with just a little bit more volume. Still, he refuses to budge. You get the feeling that he is waiting for you to screw up, so he can try to overwhelm you. What do you do? >Please choose ONE of the following: >Try to pull him from the bed.>Try to scare him using the smallsword.>Try to scare him using Cold-Touch and your eyes. >As I want to get at least one more update out tonight, voting will close at 7:15 pm EST. I will roll for a tiebreaker, if I need to.
>>4946763>Try to scare him using the smallsword.draw some blood to show were serious. Strange stuff should be a last resort because then we would have to end up killing him, and I really don't want to start the quest off by killing some merchant for coin.
>>4946763>>Try to scare him using the smallsword.
>>4946763>Try to scare him using the smallsword.
Alright. I will get to writing.
You are tempted to try to pull the reticent bastard out of bed, but to do that, you would need to bend over the bed a bit, which could give him a bit of an advantage if he decided to fight you after all. For a moment, you seriously consider scaring him using your magic and the threat of the Strangeness, but that does not seem like a good idea either. There is always going to be a tiny chance that you are somehow linked to the jack here, and while being pursued as a thief would be bad, being declared the target of a Hunt would almost certainly mean your death. With those option out, that leaves you just the smallsword to get him out of the bed. Conscious of your hand starting to tremble a bit, from the weight of the blade at extension, from the previous strain on your hands from sawing through the bar, and yes, from your increasingly fraying nerves, you do your best to steady yourself, hoping that the swaying of the blade can just be written off by the rocking of the ship. Once you have pulled yourself together enough, you pull back the blade, feeling the contours of the man’s throat push back against it as you do. The tip of the borrowed sword now lies right in the hollow of his throat, and as you rest it there, you notice that drawing the blade back did actually cut him. Well … it is probably for the best. “I know you understand what I am saying. So, the last fraying time – you are going to open that strongbox for me, or I will make you gush like a tapped cask, you hear? ”Perhaps it was you actually drawing blood, or it could have been the simile, but either way, the captain finally starts to silently comply with your commands. He tenses a bit more, shifts in the bed, then moves to get up, slowly and steadily, and even as you withdraw your blade a dozen or so hairsbreadths, you keep your eyes riveted on him – aware at all times of where his hands are, where he is in relation to the rest of the room. And at an absolutely glacial pace, you make your way to the strongbox. You are careful to deliberately position both him and you, with your back to the sixteen-paned doors, and him as far away from the weapon racks as he can be while still able to open that fraying steel box of his. He kneels in front of the thing, at an awkward angle, to accommodate the smallsword you have at his neck, and then starts spinning the smallest dial back and forth. After a couple of spins, there is an audible click, and he presses on it, until it is flush with the second of the three concentric dials. He repeats this process exactly for dials number two and three, except on the third dial, that one is pulled out instead. This time, there are a series of clicks, then a loud pinging – which in the near silence of the cabin sounds as loud and as fierce as ball of shot ricocheting off of metal plate.
>>4947947By comparison, the actual opening of the box is whisper-quiet. Inside of the strongbox is a number of removable trays. From your current angle, you can see that while a number of them filled with papers, several clearly have some manner of gold and silver bullion in them, though you cannot tell at the moment if they are talents or foreign monies. You put the question to your captive. “Are there talents, Imperial talents in there?” He nods, and then hesitatingly removes one of the lower trays, one that you thought only had paper in it. The drawer does turn out to be mostly paper, but surprisingly, those papers are all written in Reichtongue, the Empire’s standard language. There are berthing slips, trade-licenses and records of payments and purchases from all over the Empire and the Principality mixed in there, as well as quite a few bundles of letters. The letters are surprising – citizens and subjects of the Empire that were inclined to keep up long distance correspondences would typically entrust their mail to an Imperial packet-ship, not some foreign merchant. For this ship to be carrying so much mail, the captain must be exceptionally well respected and connected in Imperial ports. Besides that, there are documents for bank accounts with one of the Empire’s larger banks … but thankfully, there were loose talents mixed in at the back of the drawer – and not just tiny silver four-talents, or the thicker and larger twenty-talents, but a few golden hundred-talents as well. You have done it! This is more than enough to buy what you need to escape the city and establish yourself somewhere safe. And if father does come back, then you know he’ll be so proud of you, finally pulling your weight. You smile at that particular thought, then when another thought takes you, you have to fight the urge to laugh. Earlier today – well, at this point, it would be yesterday – you were over the moon when you had forty eighth-talents. And now you have … well, a lot more than that, certainly. You can count it later.But before you can count it, before you can even take it, you should decide what you are going to do with the captain. You do not want to kill a respectable, innocent man like him – not in the slightest. It is just not in your nature. Now, if he had tried to attack you after you woke him up, tried to pull a hidden weapon from the strongbox while you were distracted, or even tried to call for help, then maybe, in the heat of the moment, you could have killed him. But this is different. This is completely different.
>>4947951This is killing an unarmed, kneeling man in his sleeping shift. Of course, this is not to say that he does not pose a threat to you – while you are certain that he did not see your blank eyes, as if he did, he almost certainly would have started panicking, he has been looking at you this entire time. He might be able to give a half-decent description … and of course, as you are wearing a skirt, no doubt that the Thief-Taker Guild will go looking for a woman. And how many six foot, four inch women are living in the Mount? If you are leaving the Mount, it will probably take more than three days for them to think to check the Midden, but if father does come back to you, and you end up staying here in the city, then that could be a real problem. Of course, the Thief-Takers do not have anything approaching the authority or privileges that the Inquisitors do. They need to prove to a legal authority that the people they are turning in are the guilty parties, unlike the Inquisitors, they must abide by the rules and restrictions placed on them by local authorities – and only in very rare circumstances are they allowed to kill on sight. Furthermore, many of them are susceptible to bribery, and they almost always work alone or in pairs, as opposed to the Inquisitors and Cleansers, who will send at least eighty men to destroy a Witch. If the Thief-Takers were looking for you, it would be a complication, but as long as you were not caught with these talents, and you did not confess to anything, then they are powerless, even if they do track you down. So, can you accept those risks? Or … are you going to … refuse those risks?>Please choose ONE of the following:>Accept the risks.>Kill the captain.
>>4947955>Accept the risksforce him to jump ship though, to cover our retreat.
>>4947955>>Accept the risks.
>>4948018Do you mean take him off the ship, and then release him elsewhere, or force him to jump into the harbor?
>>4947955>Kill the captain.It ain't fun.
>>4947955>Accept the risks.I just caught up. Interesting setting and premise, QM.
>>4947955>Accept the risks.We aren't a monster at least not yet. We should still bind and gag him though
>>4948025I mean let him jump into the harbor. Alternatively tie and gag but that sounds harder. I guess he's a good swimmer, he can jump.
>>4948417He can still raise quite a ruckus in the water
>>4948511Yeah. Just gut him like a fish, IMO. It's not like we're calm right now; our blood's pumping. It's the right choice and I can see even a kind person making such a rash decision considering the circumstances.
>>4948514>Just gut him like a fish,Even if we do go for ruthlessness this is a bad idea if we're going for quiet, stabbed people make a LOT of noise unless you manage to fully take out the throat on the first hit
With 5 votes in, accepting the risks has a commanding lead. There does seem to be some disagreement over what exactly to with him, so I'll put it to a secondary vote. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Try to tie him up. [Requires Rolling] The better you roll, the longer you keep him quiet. >Make him walk the plank. Him failing in the water will make a great deal of noise.>Take him off the ship, and release him later. [Requires Rolling]
>>4948523We have a bleeding knife against his throat. He's toast. If he's thrown into the water, he's going to scream like hell, alarm everyone, and then be able to provide a fucking witness statement about that absolutely MASSIVE teenage girl who tried to rob him. >Verification not required.
Rolled 88 (1d100)>>4948526>Try to tie him up. [Requires Rolling] The better you roll, the longer you keep him quiet.
>>4948526>Try to tie him up. [Requires Rolling] The better you roll, the longer you keep him quiet.Happy with the way votes have gone while I was away.
>>4948526>Make him walk the plank. Him failing in the water will make a great deal of noise.
Alright, with four votes in; two for tying him up, one for walking the plank, and one vote of ... would it be consider an official abstention or a vote of no confidence? Anyway, we are going to do our best to tie up this guy. Considering we have never done something like this before, it is going to be difficult (though taking him off of the ship would actually have been harder) I have limited time to write tonight, so if you have rolled, wait fifteen minutes, and if more rolls are needed, please roll again, because I want to maintain at least one post a day. Oh, and I forgot to say to >>4948188, thanks, and welcome aboard. >DC 38: Anything lower is a failure. >No Passes: He gets loose as you are tying him up, forcing you to make a difficult decision.>One Pass: He gets loose while you are in the middle of the robbing the strongbox, forcing you to make a difficult decision.>Two Passes: He gets loose while you are leaving the ship, complicating your escape. >Three Passes: He gets loose long after you are left, ensuring a safe and smooth escape. >If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test, and he manages to get his hands on a weapon.>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and you find a valuable bauble. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure.
Rolled 96 (1d100)>>4948931Good luck, anons.
Rolled 62 (1d100)>>4948931
Rolled 61 (1d100)>>4948931Second roll, gotta head out for second covid shot now.
>>4948961>>4948982>>4948987Good work lads. maybe the solution wasn't murder after all
Good rolling everyone- I will ger to writing!
Things are desperate, but … they are not that desperate. Whatever threat the Thief-Taker’s Guild poses to you, it is nothing compared to the danger of the Inquisition and their Great Hunt. So as long as you keep playing it smart, and your luck continues to hold, you should be able to keep on surviving – without marring your immortal soul with tears and rents. But you are not inviolate, not by any stretch. Some sins are no more than thoughts, such as seriously considering killing a man for personal gain. There are extenuating circumstances, of course – but when you die, you are the one being judged, not your circumstances. As hard as it may be to live in at times, the world is just as the Patternmaker wishes; an unending series of trials and challenges. All of that being said … while there are sins that are held to be irredeemable, murder is not one of them. With enough penance and good works, it can be overlooked – though as that penance would involve submission to worldly authorities for your crimes, you would have to rely on good works alone to get back into the good graces of your Maker. You look at the captain, still kneeling by the strongbox, still with your sword at his throat. Fearing that you were going to kill him, you were consciously trying to avoid looking at his face, focusing on his body and your sword at his neck. In retrospect, probably not the best idea, but if you did kill him, you did not want him haunting you, after all. But now that you have decided to accept the risks, and let him live, you allow yourself to look him in the eye. He’s young for a captain, perhaps in his thirties. Mousy brown hair, a long, thin face with high cheekbones and uncommonly sharp features – unusual looking, but not unattractive. He is not trembling in fearing, but by the same talent, he has not committed any rash acts of heroism either. He seems the cautious type, which explains this puzzle strongbox … but it does not explain the puny bar of the balcony doors. Maybe he does not own the ship, and was forbidden from making alterations like that? Seems silly, but it is the only thing that you can think of that makes sense. Whatever, it is time to tie him up. Without any rope on hand, you will have to improvise by using his bedding for binds. You draw your chipped stiletto in your off hand, and wordlessly march him back over to his bed. You tie his feet together, then his hands, then have lay down on the bed – after switching out the sword at his throat with your stiletto – and bind his feet to his hands, and then his neck to the frame of the bed. Finally comfortable that he is secured, you remove the stiletto from his throat and gag him. You contemplated covering his head with one of his pillowcases, but instead you decided to put one inside the other, and use it as a bag for your loot.
>>4949221The actual stealing part of this robbery is the easiest bit. It takes less than a minute to clean the bullion out of the strongbox into your inside out pocket-jerkin and your improvised bag, even with you stopping every few seconds to check to see that the captain is still restrained. In the end, you even feeling comfortable enough that you decide to take the smallsword with you – though of course, at the first sign of trouble, you are going dump it. On the way out to the balcony, you notice a silver snuff box sitting on the seat of a chair around the center table, and on an impulse, you decide to steal it as well. As you reach the balcony, you look back one last time. The captain has started to struggle a bit at his binds, but it looks like they are going to hold. You feel the urge to say something to him, to apologize for this … but after thinking about it for a moment as you savor the sea breeze, you decide against it. Getting off the ship is slightly more involved than getting on, largely because you are encumbered with quite a bit of weight. But you are an excellent climber, and as you can set your own pace as you are not being chased or pursued by anyone, you manage without any difficulty, and soon the ship is disappearing behind you as you make your way out of Cleanport. You are not completely in the clear, though – you are a preposterously tall woman with a sword at her hip and pillowcase full of coins – even the most naïve would peg you as a thief, and some civilian might raise the hue and cry if they saw you, or at least report you later at their convenience. So you stay as far away from the main streets, sticking to the alleys wherever possible. And it is in one of these alleys that you escape back to the Midden is derailed, when unexpectedly, your eyes get blurry and your Strange-Stain glyph activates.The scene in front of you was not just some incidental contamination from an unstably Strange object or being, this was clearly discharge from a spell. Thankfully, it does not appear to be unstable or capable of spreading, but this is a lot of Strangeness – and as there are no telltale signs of natural dissipation, you can comfortably say that the spell here was cast as recently as a week ago . This portion of the alley, smothered in the shifting stains looks like the belfry would after father had been practicing his craft. He would mitigate the Strangeness of course, and by the time he was done, the place would be as mundane as lead. In the middle of the contaminated portion of the alley, there is a small rear window on one of the buildings, that conspicuously does not have any stains, which means that either the window was replaced since the spell was cast, which was possible … or that the whoever cast the spell was in the building, casting it into the alley. It is also possible that the window was open during the casting, but you cannot know that without looking for contamination inside the building.
>>4949228>Please choose ONE of the following:>This is clearly the work of a Witch. Father is a Witch. Maybe you can find him, find him and help him, if you take the time to investigate this? Him being late mean that he is almost certainly in serious trouble. You do not know what exactly you could for him, but … this could end up being the last chance you ever get to reunite with him. >While you do not know about any other Witches (besides your father) in the Mount, that does not mean they do not exist. And even if this was father – he is supposed to come to you, not the other way around. Just … forget you saw this.
>>4949228>Write-in: Take note of this location to come back to later when we are not laden with the funds we desperately need to conduct our escape.If there is a chance that we can find someone that knows our father or that participated in his escapades then it is worth while to pursue this lead. Just...later.
>>4949480I'll accept this write in, but be warned your timetable is already really tight. 'Later' might come at the expense of something else.
>>4949680When I say later, I don't mean later tonight. I mean another day. Just to be clear.
>>4949480>>4949680>>4949731Could we stash our stolen goods in the tunnel and then come back to examine the area?
>>4949782I'm fine with this too. If other anons are also okay with it than this seems like a good compromise.
>>4949782We can go with this, but be warned, you do not have infinte time. With all the time you took to get out of the Midden, get to the guild, then get to the wharves to find this ship, you have less than three hours until your shift starts.If you want to go with this, instead of the provided votes, or the other write-in, respond to this post.
>>4949811As long as we don't take too long here, or rest /stay inside through the next curfew to recover / prepare / sleep we should be fine.I'm also going to assume that we don't have more than a few days after the priest gets told for a hunt to be established, if we're lucky we can scope out the rented out room for activity while we're at out shift(s) so we can figure out how long we have, as well.
>>4949811Do we have all the requisite funds we need to make our escape? I can't imagine we need more if we have a bunch of gold coins and bullion. If so then we shouldn't need to do any more stealing and all we need to do is pay for the transportation of our magic stuff and maybe buy some useful tools and supplies for the road.
>>4949812As far as the prospect of a Hunt forming, it is not guaranteed. It depends on if that Animal Control Leper decides to tell one of the priests, and that priest decides to pass it along. That said, for a port city the size of the Mount, there are about a score of Inquisitors and Cleansers here on assignment, watching for any signs of the Strangeness. So there is no 'travel time' to account for. Now, when moving against a Witch, they would wait until they assembled a Hunt, but at this point, they are just working on environmental contamination - they will not just sit around and wait while the Strangeness spreads. They will get to work, immediately. >>4949815Money is no longer an object, but unfortunately, there is one thing that you need that you cannot buy, not on such short notice - Flameless Lifting Oil. It is difficult to manufacture, so difficult, in fact that it is only made to order. You will have to break into a refinery and steal some - more on that later, but the short version is that you are going to use it to get your father's equipment down from the Belfry in one piece. Besides that, you are absolutely correct. Anyway, I'm seeing general support for the stashing, so I am going to go ahead and consider this closed. I am not ready to write quite yet, but I am tentatively expecting to get two posts up today.
>>4949832I think "make a mental note and move on" is still one vote ahead actually.
To say that this is ‘serious’ would be an understatement, a comical understatement. Someone has been casting magic, practically in the open, and not mitigating the mess they made. It is a sure sign of either incredible carelessness, or incredible desperation. Father is many things, but he is nothing if not cautious. If this was him, then he was desperate. Was he attacked? Well, actually, if your suspicions about the window pan out, then this would make more sense as an ambush. An ambush that he did not, or could not clean up after. Presumably planned and executed on the spot. Was he chased here? Did he manage to get ‘the drop’ on someone? While it is not outside the realm of reason to assume that this was father’s work, a good Witchlet never jumps to conclusions. Made prematurely, they can be dangerous, sometimes even lethal, when dealing with unknown magic – or Inquisitors, for that matter. If father were here, he would tell you as much. Come to think of it, if he were here, he would probably throw a fit over you so much as thinking of looking for him. If he wanted you to know where he was, or wanted what little help you could offer him, he would have either told you where he was going to be, or brought you with him in the first place. But you cannot bring yourself to abandon a potential lead like this, knowing full well that this could be the last chance you ever get to reunite with him. And as he never explicitly said not to come looking for him, mad as he might get, he would not punish you for this. He was good like that – so long as you tried your best to follow his instructions, both as his apprenticed Witchlet and his daughter, there were no sharp lessons, except in cases where you did something that risked your life or your cover. And even if this did qualify as one (or both) of those exceptions, between potentially never seeing him again and potentially upsetting him, the choice here is obvious.
>>4950200Anyway, as you were getting at, there is no reason to assume that this has to have been your father. He is probably not the only magic user besides yourself in the Mount – in fact, you are almost certain there is another; the mysterious University student who rented and presumably contaminated those rooms on the third floor of that house with the Strangeness, along with the Hook Gulls. But, depending on what clues are inside the building – which appears to be a relatively unremarkable residence, you might be able to tell if your father was the one that cast the spell. Possibly, it would depend on the actual spell, of course, and what if anything was left behind, but … you just want to know that your father is safe. That … nothing has happened. Even if you still have to separate, you just need to know. There is part of you that wants to break into the place right now, but as it is, you are already seriously encumbered by swag and sword. You will be better served if you drop your ill-gotten gains off, then return here some time later. You make note of house’s location, and then you backtrack a bit to take a slightly different route, bypassing the Strangeness in the alley - on the off chance that it is actually capable of spreading. After the detour, you continue on your way out of Cleanport and into Stickport. It is not going to be much, but you want to get some sleep. You have a full day’s work ahead of you, including an internment, then after that, you are going to have to somehow find some flameless lifting oil, which probably means you are going to spend the tomorrow night – tonight, actually – breaking into refineries, looking for it. Using it is the only way to get father’s benches out of the belfry without dismantling the equipment on them entirely. And as the equipment is precisely calibrated, you simply do not trust yourself with reassembling and recalibrating everything correctly. If done improperly, you could ruin the efficiency of the benches, damage them somehow, or even render them utterly and permanently inoperable. That had happened to father quite a few times when he was building and tuning the benches, forcing him to start over from scratch. You are still in Cleanport and still thinking about those failed benches when you realize you can hear faint footfalls, behind you. Without looking back, you instinctively turn into side alley, as you hear those footsteps speeding up and drawing closer. But your heart drops into your stomach as you realize that this alley is a dead end, surrounded by buildings. What do you do? >Please pick ONE of the following:>Try to escape the dead end by climbing up onto one of the roofs.>Try to escape the potential pursuer by hiding somewhere in the dead end. >Try to escape the potential pursuer by relying on your long legs to outrun them. >You have a sword, silly! Prepare to defend yourself.
>>4950204>>Try to escape the dead end by climbing up onto one of the roofs.
>>4950204>Try to escape the dead end by climbing up onto one of the roofs.
>>4950204>Try to escape the dead end by climbing up onto one of the roofs.Play to our strengths, I guess.
>>4950204>Try to escape the dead end by climbing up onto one of the roofs.wall spider mode engage!
This is pretty unanimous. When I get to my computer in a little bit, I will write up the next update.
Climb. Climb your way out of this. Even if it makes a scene, you will be able to get away from whoever is following you by getting onto the rooftops. You spare only a split second to look for the best possible route up the buildings, and to push back your hood enough to hold the smallsword in your teeth once again. It will be a bit harder to maneuver this with the sword than the return trip on the mooring line, but you are not about to abandon your best weapon while you are being pursued. Once your route is planned and your blade is secured as well as it is ever going to be under the circumstances, you begin your ascent. When you reach the eaves, you realize that you can no longer hear the footfalls of your pursuer. But when you take a moment to look over your shoulder as you haul yourself up to the safety of the roof, expecting … actually, you do not know what you were expecting. It certainly was not no one. Squatting like a gargoyle, you fill your hand with the sword, and scan the dead-end alley underneath you, figuring that whoever was behind you is simply hiding right now. Well, if they are, they are doing an excellent job, because as far as you can tell, no one is in that alley. As you look for them, in the back of your mind, you are wondering who exactly they are. Now obviously, you look suspicious – and that is not even taking into account the concealing hood you wear, or the pillowcase of bullion and the sword you are carrying. And you think that it is notable that whoever was tailing you did not utter a single word. A guard would call out to you to stop – as would a concerned citizen. But someone that was trying to follow, or worse, ambush you would not. Now you are getting really worried. Perhaps your shy friend here was just some lowlife that saw the pillowcases and figured they would be able to overcome you easily enough. But what if someone was watching over the house where you had just encountered the Strangeness? What if that person was now following you? >Please choose ONE of the following: >This is one of those problems that you should just run away from. If you can just lose your tail by the time you reach the Upper Boardwalk in Stickport, then you should be free and clear. >This is one of those problems that you cannot just run away from. There is still time before you need to start your shift at the South Burying Ground. Making sure that you are not being followed is the best use of it.
>>4951016>This is one of those problems that you should just run away from. If you can just lose your tail by the time you reach the Upper Boardwalk in Stickport, then you should be free and clear.We're planning on leaving anyway, unless they value any of the stuff we can't get down from the belfry, or the books as long as we take the money with us to our shift(s) they can't actually stop us from leaving without confronting us.Hurting someone here risks losing the head start we need to get stuff down from the belfry safely so jeopardizing that probably isn't a good idea, though we may well have just tipped them off to the fact that we can climb.
>>4951016>>This is one of those problems that you should just run away from. If you can just lose your tail by the time you reach the Upper Boardwalk in Stickport, then you should be free and clear.
>>4951016>This is one of those problems that you should just run away from. If you can just lose your tail by the time you reach the Upper Boardwalk in Stickport, then you should be free and clear.
>>4951247>>4951058>>4951049Another unanimous vote. I will get to writing.
Well … wherever your new friend is at the moment, you are certain they are not on the rooftops with you. That is a positive development, at least. So is the fact that you are no longer cornered in that dead-end side alley. Looking around as you draw yourself up, the slate and shingle roofs of Cleanport stretch out in front of you, looking almost inviting in the pre-dawn darkness. It has been years since you have done any roof running, but you always enjoyed it as a child, especially the few special times that father went along with you. Roof running was fun, but roof tag was even better. It was good practice too – not just for climbing and running, but on how to move both quiet and quick, how to stay hidden from prying eyes, how to think on your feet and most importantly, how to take a fall properly, without getting seriously hurt. After taking one last look, to see if you can find whoever was after you, you head off … to nowhere in particular. The last thing you want to do is lead whoever was following you back to the bulkhead in the Upper Boardwalk of Stickport, so you take the time required to run around randomly, vaulting across alleys and weaving in between chimneys, until you are satisfied that any pursuit has been well and thoroughly foiled. Taking a break to catch your breath while you lean against an uncommonly tall cupola, you make the flustering observation that as you suck in air, your breasts are noticeably heaving, even under all of the weight of the fully loaded pocket-jerkin and the bulk of the dress. Frustrations about your femininity aside, one thing that you should spend some of your swag on is some new clothes. The only thing you really feel comfortable in is your Spotted Cloak, and if you are no longer going to be a Leper, then you probably should not even bring it with you, much less wear it. Of course, you probably are not going to be able to convince any tailors or seamstresses to make you breeches, and as you doubt that you will be able to find anything in your size second hand, that means more dresses … if you can even get one made in time. Once you have caught your breath, and confirmed that the coast is clear, you get off of the rooftops and back on the ground. You are taking things a bit more cautiously than you were earlier, after you left the ship, and as such, you are taking a bit more time, but before long, you are easing yourself into the bulkhead, and then through the secret door. Your cloak and your mask are right where you left them, siting in the complete darkness of the abandoned basement. Dressing and undressing is kind of complicated under these circumstances, but you have managed before and you manage again. In the process, you stow the pillowcase of bullion and the scabbard-less smallsword under the Spotted Cloak. Everything secured, you proceed through the abandoned basements, into the spur and then finally, up and out of the well.
>>4951840The first thing you notice is that the sky has gotten marginally brighter – dawn cannot be that far off. As you stealthily make your way back to the Not-Temple, you wonder if you should even bother going to bed at this point, out of the fear that you would sleep through the start of your shift. You still have not made up your mind when you enter the belltower and see the crumpled body of a Leper on the flagstone floor. For a moment you think that it is father lying there, and you about to break down and lose it before you realize that the body is of an average height - too small to be your father. Still feeling stick and scared, you draw near, and take a look at the remains. The first thing you notice is that this Leper is not wearing their gloves – and it hits you: they were climbing, and they fell. Were they trying to break into the belfry? Did the manage to break into the belfry, only to fall on the descent? But before you can worry about that, and what they might have seen and done up there, you need to make a critical decision. Do you try to hide the body and obfuscate the scene, or do you leave them there so you can pretend to find him when you come down for the start of your shift? >Please choose ONE of the following: >Use the winch to lift the body into the belfry, then do your best to clean up or hide the blood. >Stash the body somewhere else in the Midden, then do your best to clean up or hide the blood. >Leave the body where it lies. When the guards ask, say they must have been trying to rob the belfry.
>>4951842>Leave the body where it lies. When the guards ask, say they must have been trying to rob the belfry.There are no marks that would indicate we killed them, so it should be fine.If we do choose to hide the body, please don't choose to hide them in our tower, someone may see us lifting him, I don't want a dead guy directly associated with us. If we get spotted in the dark hiding him elsewhere in the Midden then big deal, it's dark out still, and location isn't associated with us.>Root through their pockets real quick just in case there is any sign they are an associate of our fathers'.
>>4951842>Use the winch to lift the body into the belfry, then do your best to clean up or hide the blood.we only need to avoid attention for two more days. If that means living with a goddamn body so be it. Put him in a bag with sawdust or something.
>>4951842>Use the winch to lift the body into the belfry, then do your best to clean up or hide the blood.I would like to see if we can try to confirm that the cause of death was actually falling.
Question is, how good is the winch? Human body is super heavy and is awkward to position with the weight distribution. How difficult would it be to actually heave him up in one piece?
>>4952139Pretty sure it is what would have been used to lift the Bell that was in the belfry, so it shouldn't have any problems.
>>4952190>>4952139A good question! As mentioned earlier, the winch was installed by your father, primarily to lift up the casks of water up into the belfry so they may be magically purified. It should be sufficient to move the body.
You go back and forth on it for a while, but in the end, you decide that your best bet is to accept the relatively minimal risk that you are seen moving the body, and hide it in the belfry using the winch. As tempting as it might be to just pretend to discover it when you leave for your shift in the morning, the attention that a body would bring scares you. What if after you told the guards, they wanted to speak to father about it? What the Hell would you do then? Pretend he is unconscious? What if they called that bluff, and demanded you bring him down on the winch, or bring one of them up on it. And even if they did not insist, even if they did even not ask to speak with him, that does not change the fact that reporting this would draw so much attention to you at a time when you need to keep a low profile. Any which way you slice it, the risk of being seen hauling the body up is smaller than the risks associated with reporting the body. Having resolved yourself to this course of action, you quietly put down your improvised moneybag, your bundled street clothes, and your sword. The next ten seconds or so are spent furtively glancing around and straining your ears – looking and listening for anyone. Once you are as satisfied as you can be that there is no one present to witness this, you start your ascent. On the way up, you catch yourself about two dozen times, either moving faster than you should, or trying to take shortcuts. You have to force yourself to approach this ascent as if nothing was the matter. When you finally reach the winch platform, you carefully climb on it, and once you are as comfortable as you ever are going to be on it, you pull the cord that hangs through the trapdoor above you to remotely disengage the mechanism’s stops. Suddenly the cord slips from your grasp as the platform descends underneath you, swaying and lurching with the occasional groan. Were you not so scared by the presence of the body, you would probably be getting scared by this descent. Father insists that the platform is safe to ride down like this, but he is not as big as you are, and the small wooden frame of the platform feels awkward and flimsy underneath you. Despite all of this, you are somehow able to make it back to the ground without your nerves fraying into oblivion. You load the body, the bullion and the swords onto the platform. And while there is quite a bit of blood where the body was laying, luckily the flagstones in the floor are not mortared, so you spend half a minute prying them up and flipping them over. It is not perfect – anyone who bother to look closely could see that flagstones had been flipped, not to mention that your trick here did nothing to dispel the smell of blood, but it is better than nothing.
>>4952228Not wanting to dally with a body, you start your second ascent, which feels as if it was quicker than the first, though you still forced yourself to take it safe. You open and climb through the trapdoor, and you use the winch to haul the platform all the way up, right into the belfry. After unloading everything, you lower the platform to its usual spot, right beneath the trapdoor, then reengage the stops. Before you allow yourself to sit down, you look around the place to check to see if father is back, or he has been back and left. When, as you might have expected, do not find him, or any sign of him being here, you finally allow yourself to flop down on the floor. Pattern’s Peace, what are you going to do? >Please choose ONE of the following: >Whatever time remains between now and the start of your shift, it would be best spent asleep. The body is will still be here once you get back ... >Truly, there is never any succor for the Stranger. Investigate the body, to the best of your ability. For starters, make sure that all is as it seems ...
>>4952230>>Truly, there is never any succor for the Stranger. Investigate the body, to the best of your ability. For starters, make sure that all is as it seems ...
>>4952230>Whatever time remains between now and the start of your shift, it would be best spent asleep. The body is will still be here once you get back.We need to put in a good showing today so sleeping now would be wise, since we may need to stay up latter tonight.The body should be able to be left alone safely.
>>4952230>Truly, there is never any succor for the Stranger. Investigate the body, to the best of your ability. For starters, make sure that all is as it seems ...This should only take a few minutes unless the prompt actually indicates that we intend to use magic to investigate it.Even if going to sleep wins, I'd suggest at least making sure that the person is in fact dead and rooting through their pockets briefly.
>>4952230>Truly, there is never any succor for the Stranger. Investigate the body, to the best of your ability. For starters, make sure that all is as it seems ...quick search, then rest
Okay, I'll get to writing the next update.
After checking to make sure that nothing was taken from the belfry, you decide that as much as you would like to just pass out right now, you know that you should take the time to investigate the body … and for that matter, it would be a good idea to get it out of the room where you keep all of your food. You are unwilling to take the corpse up the narrow stairs to the second level, and you feel uncomfortable about leaving a corpse in your now officially missing father’s room, so you take the remains into your room, putting them as far away from your bedroll as you possibly can. It is dark in your room still, dark enough that for this you go get a lamp and fill it with some of your olive oil. Back in the room, with everything situated, you offer up a quick prayer on behalf of the deceased, and then a slightly longer one on your own behalf, asking the Patternmaker to take pity on you, and for him to protect your immortal soul against the fraying corruption that is caused by touching and working with the dead. Feeling a little bit fortified by that prayer, you undress the mortal coil, starting with the mask. The man’s face that you reveal is not known to you, but you would not know most Lepers by their faces. You would probably have a better chance of identifying him if you could hear him talk, or watch how he carries himself while he walks. Of course, that is not possible anymore – you probably will not know who he is until someone is reported as missing. The back of his head is all smashed in, and blood and brains have slipped out of his skull and into the hood of his Spotted Cloak. Judging that most of his clothes are only fit for rags or burning, you pull out your chipped stiletto, and cut him out of them. Once he is naked, you stuff some of the ruined fabric underneath him, to guard against leakage, and rifle through all of the pockets that you can find. The first thing you find is the missing gloves – he must have taken them off for the climb. Those gloves, along with his boots, stockings and his mask are the only unsoiled articles, but of them, only the mask would have a chance of fitting you – and yours is specially modified anyway. Even so, you separate them from the rest of the rags, and you keep searching. There is a stub-club, a small self-defense weapon typically carried by those who cannot afford proper blades, although this one seems unusually well made, as it has been lacquered black, and has a contoured leather handle. Besides that, the only other thing you find in the pockets are two cork stoppers and a bunch of glass shards. That confuses you for a minute, but then you remember what those two Lepers in the ruined villa were arguing about – a vial of laudanum.
>>4952783It would explain it, but … the Leper that got high-hatted by the other Leper’s woman mentioned that he paid fifty eighth-talents for a third of the vial – which is pretty steep, as weekly wages run between twelve and thirty-six eighth-talents for Midden, excluding the specialist leatherworkers, who make substantially more. But then that would mean that this dead Leper was carrying around three hundred eighth-talents worth of laudanum, in addition to that presumably expensive stub-club. With that kind of money to throw around, perhaps he was a leatherworker … Wondering if he was under the influence of laudanum while he attempted the climb, you look at the shards of glass you have pulled from his pocket, and after not seeing any evidence of liquid anywhere on them, you pull off your glove and carefully run your finger over some of the glass. It is cool to the touch, but you would say that it feels pretty dry. You cut open the pocket, and look for any signs of spilled laudanum, but you can see or feel no signs of dampness or staining. You do not have any experience with the substance, so you do not know how long it takes to dry, or if it does stain, but if you had to place a bet on it, you would say that the vials were empty when they were broken. For one crazy moment, you consider cutting open the body to look for the stuff inside, but you realize that while you have a good command of anatomy, you are not a Coroner Leper just because you spent a week and a half assisting one once because their helper had fallen ill. You would not know what laudanum looks like after it has been ingested.While you are thinking about the body, you inspect the wound on the back of the head. The fall could not have been that far, as all but the back of the skull is still intact. Now that you look though, the neck and the upper back have been broken as well. At this point, you are almost certain that this man did fall to his death, as you originally assumed, but as you sit there looking at him, you realize that you cannot see anything wrong with him, besides of course being dead. You check him over the best you can twice more, but you are unable to find any signs of disease on this man, meaning that he must be one of the unlucky few sent to the Midden as a punishment. That narrows down who he could be significantly, but even so, you are not going to bother trying to identify him – you will just wait until someone is declared as missing. You feel pretty proud of yourself for what you have been able to deduce here, in such little time. The little lamp is still going strong, and you are about to extinguish it and try to catch what little sleep you can, when it occurs to you that this time might be better spent “taking care” of the corpse. Obviously, you cannot keep it around forever, and you think you have a way to cleanly deal with it using the Life-Loom.
>>4952786>Please choose ONE of the following: >As much as you do not want to leave a dead, naked man in your room for an entire day, you would rather take this time to get some sleep – though perhaps you will sleep in father’s room instead. >As much as you want to go to sleep, you should deal with dead man, his clothes, and his belongings as soon as you possibly can. With luck, everyone will be pulling their weight today at work, so you will not be working as hard as you were yesterday.
>>4952786>>As much as you do not want to leave a dead, naked man in your room for an entire day, you would rather take this time to get some sleep – though perhaps you will sleep in father’s room instead.We do need our sleep, and the corpse should last until our return.
>>4952798>As much as you do not want to leave a dead, naked man in your room for an entire day, you would rather take this time to get some sleep – though perhaps you will sleep in father’s room instead.
>>4952798>As much as you want to go to sleep, you should deal with dead man, his clothes, and his belongings as soon as you possibly can. With luck, everyone will be pulling their weight today at work, so you will not be working as hard as you were yesterday.there were two guys fighting about laudanum. if this is guy 1, guy 2 might know about his plans of breaking into the bellfry and start making inquiries. We do not want to be caught sleeping next to a dead body.
>>4953493Inquiries? Like what? If he checks it out himself and finds the body without being caught by us, then he has to explain to the authorities how he knows there is a dead body in our home. If he asks the authorities to check it out without going himself then he has to explain why it is worth their time which could expose his own illegal activities. If he asks around from locals he may find someone who spotted us moving the body, but that will take time and we'll be gone soon. If he asks criminals to investigate us, then maybe that could fuck us, but at least we'd be dealing with thugs wanting to know why this guys buddy is dead and not the local police element.
>>4953587Agree to disagree I guess. I'll stick with my vote, let's see how things play out.
>>4952798>As much as you do not want to leave a dead, naked man in your room for an entire day, you would rather take this time to get some sleep – though perhaps you will sleep in father’s room instead.We should do something like chug a bunch of water so our bladder works like an alarm clock
>>4953639Sure.>>4953649Yeah, this is a good idea, I've done this before and it works.
Sorry for the hold up everyone, consider this vote closed for going to sleep. Writing!
While there are several compelling reasons, both practical and religious, to not leave a mortal coil lying around the belfry for an entire day, there is not enough time to dispose of the body and get any sleep. And considering that you have a full day’s and possibly a full night’s worth of work ahead of you, you cannot pass up the chance for just a little shut-eye. After carefully extinguishing the lamp, you grab your bedroll and head into father’s room, removing your mask and taking a deep swig from your flask as you go – with any luck, nature’s call will wake you up if you manage to sleep through the muster call. As an added precaution, you place your roll right in front of one of the crude windows, so both the noise of the muster and the morning light may reach you. Too tired to even bother to strip down for bed, you collapse onto the roll and fall asleep. It seems as soon as you fall asleep, your eyes snap open as the guards are making their final round to rouse everyone. While you are glad that you did not just sleep through your shift, you would still consider this oversleeping. There is not going to be any time to eat anything, or even to relieve yourself. Hustling, you strap back on your mask, and head over to the kitchen area to refill your flask with the water that you prepared last night, and rip one of the emmerloaves in half. As you go to stow it away for later in your Spotted Cloak, you realize that you still have the swag from the merchantman stuffed in your pocket-jerkin. Sainted Spool, you really must have been tired to not realize that all this weight was pressing against you. Swearing under your breath, you undress as quickly as you can and then you toss it by the pillowcase. The heavy, clinking thud that it makes as it slaps to the floor does marginally brighten your mood as you dress again, but you do not have the time to be pleased with yourself right now.Even though you did not allow yourself to rush the descent, somehow you manage to make it to the big plaza in front of the palisade gate before it is opened, though as you feared, you wind up missing the free breakfast. You head over to where Vaclav usually waits for the curfew to finally end, and as you might have expected, you find the man fiddling with the nose-strap he has taken to wearing after his nose was destroyed by the Masticating Pox. When he sees you, he stops his fussing and waves hello. “Well met Sty – when I didn’t see you in the line, I started to fret that you had gone and caught whatever had laid your father low. How does he fare?”Having lived your entire life in hiding, and under a series of aliases, lying has been a second nature to you for as long as you can remember. “Better. He seems to be gaining some strength back … Actually, he was of a mind to come to work today to help with the internment, but I managed to convince him against it. Besides, his coughing and wheezing would drive the South Sexton into a fit.”
>>4954274Vaclav laughs at that, then resumes his ministrations on his nose-strap. When he notices your attention, he laughs again, with notably less humor, then explains. “The damned thing is not sitting like it used to – like it is supposed to. I must have gone and lost more cartilage, though had you asked me last week, I would’ve bet that I had lost all of it already. Would’ve staked my life on it.” It is a commonly held belief that there are two types of Lepers in the Midden. Those who never seem to discuss their afflictions, and those who never seem to stop discussing their afflictions. Vaclav, as one might expect from such a talkative personality, falls into the latter category. The next few minutes pass as he discusses in great, lurid detail his continuing health woes as you feign polite interest. Finally, Giotto and his baby brothers ringing out the for the first time today to herald the sixth hour end the one sided conversation, just as he was in the process of explaining the consistency of the discharge from under his toenails. As the curfew ends, and the guard begin opening the palisade gate, he offhandedly asks you a question. “By the by, have you seen Smil this morning? I didn’t see him in line for breakfast this morning.”You are about to say that you have not, when it occurs to you that you just might have. What if the body in the belltower was Smil? You would guess that they were both of the same height, though you could not be one hundred percent sure, as the upper back and neck were broken – which also makes it impossible to tell if the body was stooped like Smil. And of course, there was the issue of build. Smil always looked to have a slight build, even under the heavy bulk of the Spotted Cloak. While you had not given it much thought, you assumed that underneath all of the canvas, he must have looked positively emaciated. Comparing that to the remains, which had an unremarkable, average build, you would not assume that they were one in the same. But you know better than most how well the Spotted Cloak can conceal one’s true build and figure … and on top of all of this, Smil was asking all sort of questions to Vaclav yesterday about the other Lepers, including you and your father.
>>4954276>Please choose ONE of the following: > “No, I didn’t. Perhaps he overslept? If you know where he lives, tell me, and I’ll go to fetch him”. For all you know, Smil actually could still be sleeping, and with father “sick” you are already down one man. And if he is not in his bed, you would have an opportunity to look around, maybe learn something.> “No, I didn’t, but he is probably just running a little behind. I’m sure he will catch up with us.” If the body does turn out to be Smil, then the last thing you want to do is be seen going to his room, or asking questions about him. You need to be keeping as low a profile as possible while your father’s deadline approaches. Try to figure out another way to investigate this.
>>4954277> “No, I didn’t, but he is probably just running a little behind. I’m sure he will catch up with us.” If the body does turn out to be Smil, then the last thing you want to do is be seen going to his room, or asking questions about him. You need to be keeping as low a profile as possible while your father’s deadline approaches. Try to figure out another way to investigate this.If he doesn't show we may have some trouble since someone somewhat "important" is being interred today, so if he doesn't show we could go looking once todays work is done, since we should be able to get the details before we return.It may also be a chance to mention the body, especially if we want a second opinion on what to do with it since it shouldn't be left up in the belfry if we can avoid it.
should we tell someone about the dead body?
>>4954277Okay whoever we found in the belfry is probably Smil. Isn't he a relative newcomer, too?The tricked out club implies he is well supplied while trying hide the fact. Can't give an undercover Leper a sword and expect the disguise to work, but a high quality stub club could go unnoticed and still provide superior protection.His being a newcomer coupled with asking a lot of personal questions is very fookin suspicious. Vaclav was likely targeted as Smil's unknowing informant due to his tendency to talk too much AND his proximity to us. This means "they" know our work situation, schedule, and coworkers.I think it's clear that someone or some organization is investigating our father and probably us too, or at least actively searching for evidence of our existence and his past.Considering these drunken ramblings I'm having, it seems to me that > “No, I didn’t, but he is probably just running a little behind. I’m sure he will catch up with us.” If the body does turn out to be Smil, then the last thing you want to do is be seen going to his room, or asking questions about him. You need to be keeping as low a profile as possible while your father’s deadline approaches. Try to figure out another way to investigate this.Is the safest option. Assuming the body is Smil, this keeps our nose out of the conversation. If it's not Smil, then whatever- we lose nothing.However, I am actually voting for> “No, I didn’t. Perhaps he overslept? If you know where he lives, tell me, and I’ll go to fetch him”. For all you know, Smil actually could still be sleeping, and with father “sick” you are already down one man. And if he is not in his bed, you would have an opportunity to look around, maybe learn something.Because it is the risky, high reward option. We know that we are probably free to snoop around Smil's place, the guy is dead. This gives us a chance to find out who he is working for, how much they know about us, and what kind of timescale we are looking at until we really have to gtfo.tl;dr Smil is probably dead and we should search his shit
>>4954523I don't think so. We are already planning on getting out of the city soon, we should not become a suspect in a dead person case before that happens.
>>4954725A thought is if we would have placed the voices if that was the case with either party from the overheard conversation, I'm not sure that the body is in fact Smil's and not someone else's.
>>4954277> “No, I didn’t, but he is probably just running a little behind. I’m sure he will catch up with us.” If the body does turn out to be Smil, then the last thing you want to do is be seen going to his room, or asking questions about him. You need to be keeping as low a profile as possible while your father’s deadline approaches. Try to figure out another way to investigate this.I don't think it is Smil. Either way we need to focus our attention on the essential tasks we need done. We need to get enough sleep and eat enough food to be prepared for our next task.
>>4954277> “No, I didn’t, but he is probably just running a little behind. I’m sure he will catch up with us.” If the body does turn out to be Smil, then the last thing you want to do is be seen going to his room, or asking questions about him. You need to be keeping as low a profile as possible while your father’s deadline approaches. Try to figure out another way to investigate this.don't know and don't care. Our focus should be to get through these last few days with as low a profile as possible, and ignore any plot hooks that might come our way.
Okay, that is three to one for ignoring Smil's room for now. I'll get to writing this up as soon as I can.
>>4955085 I don't know if I agree with deciding to "ignore any plot hooks that might come our way."Primarily because it's a metagaming mindset, and secondarily because we are highly concerned about our father's situation. As far as we know, he is our only surviving family.I get that he asked us to leave. We could also play the part of the rebellious young person that we are and try to find out everything we can.I can accept though that a low profile is beneficial right now.
While you are far from certain that it is the best possible play here, in the end you decide against taking this opportunity to investigate Smil’s living quarters. Your reasoning is that you simply have too many reasons to keep a low profile – your father’s absence, the brazen jack you just pulled in the harbor, the heist that you are planning tonight, the flight from the Mount that you are planning in two days’ time, and of course, the fact that you are not just a Stranger, but a Witchlet besides. Potentially drawing attention by openly snooping and prying like this feels just too reckless, at least at the moment. However, if an opportunity presented itself later, when you could do it without being seen, then you would not necessarily be opposed. Realizing that Vaclav is still patiently waiting for an answer, you feed him a measured line about how you presume that Smil is just running behind, and that he will catch up to the two of you on his own time. Vaclav hesitatingly agrees, and after taking one last look for him around the plaza, he accompanies you as you make your way to the South Burying Ground. As you walk on the Lower Boardwalk towards the Prom, you continue to mull over the significance of Smil’s absence this morning. Despite your best efforts at puzzling it out, you do not make any breakthroughs, and you doubt that you will. All you have to work with at the moment is circumstantial evidence, assumptions … and an unidentifiable body. There is a part of you that almost wishes you reported it, if only because the authorities would presumably have been able to identify if it was Smil or someone else, but now that you have moved, concealed, stripped and looted the nameless mortal coil, you do not think that telling someone about it is going to work out well for you. No, the time to report it without serious consequences has passed. Your route out of Stickport passes close to a number of different waterfront Refineries, and considering that you are going to be paying a nighttime visit to at least one of them, you make a point of taking a good hard look at all of them. Several of them look promising, though for different reasons. Having given up for the moment on figuring out what is going on with Smil, you spend the rest of the time that it takes to get to the South Burying Ground trying to figure out how to break into a Refinery. By the time you reach the gate (and realize that in all of your thinking, your exceptionally long legs have left Vaclav somewhere behind you), you have a few ideas how, though admittedly, some seem better than other. But as you are about to try the access door to the left of the main gate, to see if Ralx has unlocked it for the day, your heart skips a beat.
>>4955876There are two liveried passenger carriages rattling over the cobblestones as they pass behind you, painted with the sigil of the Inquisition – three fanned needleswords, gleaming white on a black field. Only horse-drawn carriages on official business are permitted on the Prom during the day, so the men inside them are definitely on duty – not to mention that the carriages are being driven by Cleansers, in full environmental kit.You manage to calm yourself down, as you watch out of the corner of your eye as the wagons pass out of sight. If they were going after father, or you – or anyone else, they would be in their combat kit instead, and for that matter, there would be a lot more of them. If they are in their environmental kit, then that means they must be here to investigate the third floor of that house on the other side of the cemetery, the one with the Hook Gulls that contaminated that unfortunate, now possibly doomed Animal Control Leper. But how could the Inquisitors already have found out about it? By the Leper’s own admission, he had not reported it yet – he was only thinking about it, right? Mercifully, the access door is unlocked, and you slip inside. You try, with middling success, to stop breathing heavily. This is the closest that you have ever been to a Cleanser, and you grew up hearing horror stories about what they would do to Witches and Witchlets that they caught. You check to make sure you still have the two stilettoes with you, and when you find them, your panic starts to ebb a bit. Worse case scenario, as long as you have them in your possession, you can always kill yourself before they take you in for interrogation … though considering that both of them are fold-outs, it would probably be unwise to throw yourself on them, as is traditional for Imperials committing suicide by blade.Having reasserted this little bit of control over the situation by reminding yourself of your options, you now have to ask yourself how likely it is that you would need to exercise that option. If the Cleansers and Inquisitors are here to contain environmental Strangeness, then they are going to examine the surrounding area with dosimeters, and to do that, they need to walk around the surrounding area. Now, you are Strange, but you are perfectly stable – which means that to all but the most bleeding edge of instrumentation, you will not register, even if they pressed it right up against you – unless you were actively using magic at the time. So as long as you suppress Strange-Staining, you should be alright. There is the issue of your height. Strangeness can physically alter living things, and one way that it can alter things is by making them unnaturally large. Now, six feet, four inches is not unnaturally large for a man … but if they were to figure out that you were a fifteen-year-old woman, then they might just take an interest in you.
>>4955879That interest would almost certainly mean that they would seek to mitigate you, which to someone as Strange as you would be fatal, several times over. On the other hand, the Cleansers could just assume you were a man, just like almost everyone else does. In fact, it is not certain that they would even see you. They could end up taking so long remediating and mitigating the house and its residents that by the time they start checking the surroundings, your shift could be over. And at this point, you cannot just pretend your sick, as you have already spoken to Vaclav, not to mention been seen by the rest of the Midden in the plaza. If you were not going to go to work right now, your only other option would be to flee the city ahead of schedule, today – if not immediately, then in a matter of hours. It could be done, and you should be able to take father’s work with you too, if you are smart about it. The issue with that option is by leaving early, you might miss father returning – and lose any chance of reuniting with him. >Please choose ONE of the following: >Stay the course, taking the risk of being in the South Burying Ground while there is an active mitigation going on a stone’s throw away. >Abandon the schedule, taking the risk of stealing the flameless lifting oil and moving father’s equipment during broad daylight. >Abandon the schedule, taking no risks by also abandoning your plan to take father’s equipment with you. Sorry for slowing down a bit the past few days. Hopefully I should be able to get back to at least two posts a day once the weekend starts!
>>4955881>Stay the course, taking the risk of being in the South Burying Ground while there is an active mitigation going on a stone’s throw away.If father did end up returning to the Belfry I would assume that he would leave a note and get started work making things mobile, if things were untenable.The fact that the Cleansers have turned up early is a bit of a mixed message, it could be good if they think they are ahead of things getting out of hand and so can take things slightly more slowly, but it could also be a sign of the beginning of a protracted Cleansing campaign or Hunt.
>>4955881>Abandon the schedule, taking the risk of stealing the flameless lifting oil and moving father’s equipment during broad daylight.Fray it. We are working against the clock at this point. These investigators will absolutely ask the Strange Stained Animal Control Leper if anyone has spoken to or asked them about the event connected to the birds.It's time to go
>>4956008Moving early may tip off Vaclav, and not showing the South Sexton that something is up, and may end up with a "welfare" check from the guards.Especially if last night's break in has been reported.
>>4955881>Stay the course, taking the risk of being in the South Burying Ground while there is an active mitigation going on a stone’s throw away.we're just a tall masked figure among others, no need to lose our head over this.
>>4955881>Stay the course, taking the risk of being in the South Burying Ground while there is an active mitigation going on a stone’s throw away.
Three to one for staying the course. I'll get to writing.
Once you are properly inside the South Burying Ground, with its wall and its hedges between you and the Inquisition, you feel fortified – enough so that you are embarrassed at just how flustered you were a moment ago. That was just shy of a full-fledged meltdown, and unseemliness aside, you almost froze up in sight of the Cleansers (and the Inquisitors that presumably are with them). With behavior like that, they would find you, even if you did not register on their instrumentation. There is not a shred of doubt that you could have handled that better; if father were here, he would be disappointed and angry at you for needlessly jeopardizing yourself like that. And then the next time you asked him if you could help with his work, magic or larceny – he would ay that you are not ready, and he would point to this exact reaction as proof that you were not. Would he be wrong? Even with the astounding success last night, you find yourself doubting it. There was much more luck to that heist than skill – at least, that is what you feel. You head to the rear of the Sexton’s house, and wait behind the back porch. As the South Sexton mentioned yesterday, there is going to be an internment today, and with at least one gravedigger missing, the preparations and the clean up are probably going to take up the bulk of the shift. Possibly all of it, considering that Vaclav seems to be slowing down a bit. But as long as he does not take any unannounced sabbaticals like yesterday, you will not hold it against him. After a few minutes of standing around, Ralx comes out to the porch, smoking his pipe. When he lays eyes on you, he sets it aside to address you, while at the same time taking a few slips of paper out of his pocket.“Hullo Sty! I’ve got some errands for you to run on those long legs of yours to prepare for the internment. First and foremost, our client is still has not been released from the Coroners – not sure what the hold up is, but the burial is scheduled for the fourteenth hour, and we are going to look pretty foolish if everyone shows up and we don’t have a body to bury. I also checked – we’re all out of the linen gloves, but we have them on back order at our family’s tailor, so that should just be a matter of picking them up. Finally, you’re going to need to swing by the Gothorum Refineries company store. Father splurged, he when and bought some of that clean-burning lifting oil. He really must want to make a good impression today, huh?” You nod, but your mind is already running. First, your thankful for the errands – the less time you spend near those Cleansers, the better. However, there is a real opportunity here with the tailor. The only street clothes that you own are possibly associated with a daring armed robbery. Considering how much you stand out already, this is a problem that you are going to need to address.
>>4957187Now, Lepers are prohibited from buying clothes, but if you were to sneak back into the Midden after picking up the lifting oil, grab some talents and change into those street clothes, and present yourself at the tailor as the South Sexton’s maid who desperately needed some new clothes … that might work. They might not have anything for you, and of course, there is the possibility that you are recognized by the dress, but you desperately need new clothes, and if you can get them during the day, then that means you can save time at night for all the other things you have to do. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Go to the tailor as Sty the Leper>Go to the tailor as the South Sexton’s maid.
>>4957189>Go to the tailor as Sty the LeperThey will be expecting us and would likely know if the South Sexton's had a tall maid, since I would imagine that they often do business with one another.Also we should probably avoid robing the particular refinery we're going to pick the lifting oil up from; since having a "tall" Leper come pick it may be a memorable event, and paying attention to what the attendant does may be useful in figuring out what we would need to extract the oil for our purposes, when we make our attempt.
>>4957187>Go to the tailor as the South Sexton’s maid.unsure about this one but I think this might be a risk worth taking. we're big enough that it might be a struggle getting fitting clothes through stealing, having two dresses tailored would save us a lot of trouble. also regarding lifting oil, is there any particular reason for us to not just buy double the amount so we have some left after giving the septon his share?
>>4957776Yes, actually there is. The clean-burning lifting oil that Sexton purchased is of a higher quality than average, but it is not the highest quality, flameless.I'm planning on explaining more about lifting oil works in an upcoming update, either at the refineries company store, or while you are using it to assemble the grave, but here are the basics:To lift something with lifting oil, you pour the oil over it, and then you light it. Lift is applied to the object, the strength of which is determined by the strength of the oil, and the direction of which is determined by the how the flame rises - typically the force is directed upwards, as fire on its own will rise, but if you want to apply the lift in a different direction, then you have to blow or beat the flames that particular way. When fire dies, either because it was put out, or it runs out of oil to burn, the effect ends. While Crude Lifting Oil is mildly Strange, and burning enough of it could contaminate it's surroundings, a large part of the refining process is remediation, ensuring that finished product is not Strange, nor is it capable of contaminating anything. As an open flame is required for lifting oil to work, it can only be used on noninflammable objects. The exception to this is flameless lifting oil, which is activated chemically. Instead of burning, flameless lifting oil simply starts to evaporates once a provided reagent is introduced. Because it is harder to make, and can be used on just about anything, it is much more expensive. As I mentioned earlier, it is made to order. You won't find any on the shelves of the company store ... though could very well be some sitting around in a back room, waiting to be picked up. I'm not going to roll a tie-breaker on >>4957189 I think it is just too important.
Let me catch up, I'll vote in a bit.
>>4957875Thanks for the explanation! I tried Google but I thought that's probably not it, lol
>>4957882Another point is that since it's back ordered it's likely already paid for, or at least on credit waiting for it to clear whatever accounts it needs to; they probably don't pay for it with cash either, considering it's a business -business transaction.something we could do would be to head back past the belfry and decant some, and dilute it back to volume with something else, if it doesn't have some sort of anti tamper mechanism on whatever container it's in, we have somewhere to safely store it and something to cut it with that won't be noticed.
>>4957189>Go to the tailor as Sty the LeperI've made my choice.The risks are not worth the reward. Furthermore the risk is the same regardless, let me explain. We need to change into our one dress associated with the robbery to order new dresses plus the problem outlined by >>4957189 however we would take the same risk (with the dress) buying clothes normally the day before/of our escape. So why not take that risk another day when we aren't working that day, this way we don't have the problem with the maid thing in addition to the dress risk.We'll need to order the dresses the day before we leave if we want them tailored, probably.
Alright, consider this closed. I'll get to writing as soon as I can.
While it would certainly be convenient to take this opportunity to get your clothing situation resolved, you ultimately decide against it. You would not go so far as to call it an unnecessary risk, but as you still have the time to pursue other options, you are going to play it safe. There is a chance that pretending to be a maid might just come back to bite you later … especially if father does show up, and the two of you remain in the Mount. And it is not as if there are not other ways to multitask while running these errands for the young master. Ralx beckons you to approach the porch, and once you do, he casually just passes you the papers, instead of dropping them into your hands, as it is customary when dealing with Lepers. Careful to not touch him, you take the slips between thumb and forefinger and look them over. “Can you read it?” No doubt it is just an innocent question from the boy, but it does give you pause. Reading and writing are uncommon skills to have, and among the lower classes it is downright rare to find someone who knows their letters. As almost all of the Lepers come from the lower classes, admitting that you are lettered would make you even more exceptional than you already are – and that is the last thing you want, now or ever. But as much as you would like to flatly deny it, you are worried that you might have demonstrated the skill in front of him before. Have you ever found a grave by reading headstones in his presence? Found a bottle or container in the landscaping shed by checking the labels? You are not sure – so you hedge your bets. “Not really, no.”It was the right decision. Ralx tells you that it is nothing to be ashamed of, then explains where you need to go, relative to landmarks as opposed to their addresses. Once that has been taken care of, you depart the South Burying Ground, passing by a confused looking Vaclav as you head towards the access door by the main entrance to the cemetery, as Giotto rings in the seventh hour. Sainted Spool, did it really take him the full hour to walk here? You hope not – otherwise you would have to question just how long the poor man has left. While you would not consider yourself close, or even friends for that matter, and his tendency to prattle can fray your nerves at times, you have known and worked with Vaclav for the past eight years, in all of the cemeteries in the Mount. Seeing him like this is hard. However, when you are done with your sentimental musings, you note that Smil has still not shown up. It is the seventh hour, and he is late … assuming of course, that he is not the dead body you have in your bedroom. Returning your focus to the task at hand, the nearest place on your ‘to-do’ list is the tailor, so that is where you will head to first.
>>4958580As you walk, you figure that this is probably the time to make an important decision that you have sort of been putting off. If you are going to leave the Mount, where exactly are you going to go? Your choice will determine what you are going to need to buy, as well as how much of it. As you have lived your entire life in cities, you doubt that you are ready to just live completely off of the land. You might have enough botany and shroomery to identify what is edible, but that does not translate into farming knowledge, nor do you have any experience with hunting, trapping or even so much as fishing. Not to mention, the end of the Growing Season is approaching – so even if you knew how, you would be hard pressed to establish yourself before Harvest Season. So, as you cannot become a self-sufficient hermit, you are going to have to rely on others – which means that you are going to be looking at moving to small towns, villages or camps on the frontier. Or … you could leave the Principalities entirely and set out into Cimmaroon Territory. They have a bit more relaxed stance on Witches and the Strangeness than the Empire does. The Cimmaroon Territory is so lightly populated that instead of just destroying Strangers and Witches on sight, they banish them deep into the primeval forest that covers nearly all of the territory – the Great Gloom. Even though portions of the forest have become dangerously Strange because of this practice, the Great Gloom is more than large enough to isolate the Strangeness away from the river basins, where most of the Cimmaroons live. Allegedly, there are even small communities that have formed, where the most stable of the Strangers and some of the Witches live – and those communities that are close enough to the river basin even trade with the Cimmaroon “kingdoms”. Now, this would be perfect for you … except that those Strangers and Witches are all Cimmaroon Strangers and Witches, and Cimmaroons all hate Imperials. The sentiment that ‘the only good Imperial is a dead Imperial’ is apparently quite common amongst them. Magic users are rare and valuable enough that you might just be tolerated, but you doubt that you would make any friends, or find a Witch willing to temporarily be your master while you wait to reunite with father. For that matter, you do not even speak any Cimmaroon … but you do have an easy work around for that issue, at least.
>>4958582As pleasant as it would be to live openly as Chlotsuintha the Witchlet, you would almost certainly have an easier time if you stayed in the Principalities, even if that meant still living under the threat of the Inquisition. Either side of the border, it would not be as bad as it is right now – outside of cities and large towns, Inquisitors and Cleansers are spread very thinly. And on the frontier especially, outside of tiny chapterhouses here and there, they are practically non-existent. They will still attempt to mitigate or remediate any Strangeness they encounter, and if they receive actionable and credible intelligence about a Witch, they will still mobilize a Hunt – it is just that the response time will be longer, and they might decide to not investigate things that their city counterparts would. It makes sense. Stationed over a small, densely populated area, you can investigate just about every single rumor, complaint or concern that you come across. It simply cannot be done over larger areas, not at the same level, at least. For example, if those Hook Gull had been flocking in a village instead, and someone reported them, you are not sure how long it would take for a county Inquisitor to send a team out - or if they even would!. Rural living is objectively much safer for Witches – how unfortunate is it that father’s work necessitated him to remain in urban environments! But looking to the future, your future, you could make a tidy living as an herbalist and a healer on the frontier while you wait for father. You would be spoiled for choice – once you leave the coast, there is a real dearth of qualified health professionals. Or, if you were so inclined, you could do pretty much the same thing in Cimmaroon Territory, except that you could also openly practice magic and potentially even sell some basic services – if you were willing to accept competition from other Witches, as well a colder, potentially violent, welcome from them and the other natives when you arrive in the Great Gloom. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Plan on remaining the Principality.>Plan on striking out to Cimmaroon Territory.
>>4958592>Plan on remaining the Principality.This is probably far safer, and would simplify any searching Father has to do, if he makes it back alive.I'm wondering if it was possible to head back towards wherever we came from since anyone that's tracking that doesn't know who we are won't know where they would need to head, it also obscures any messages we would need to leave, and we probably have some idea of what a journey would entail which makes planning far simper than it would be otherwise.Though on the other hand there is likely good reasons behind why we left.At this point I'm thinking of leaving at least two messages behind, some sort of run down of what has happened while Father has been away up in the belfry as well as a general location for the other half of the message; and directions as to where we are headed on the underside of a slightly strange Paver on the ground floor.
>>4958642I have not made this one-hundred percent clear, because it has not exactly come up yet, but the Principalities is the overseas colony of the Empire. I did not include returning home as an option, because Chlotsuintha has serious reservations about bringing all of the magical crafting equipment on to a ship - concerns about it getting damaged and contaminating the surroundings with Strangeness, or a curious crewman investigating them. I don't know if I should accept this post as a write-in for returning, considering that the character has explicitly ruled out travel by sea, and nothing has changed to make it relatively more attractive than it was.
>>4958652Ok, have we move around at all since making the landfall, or did we set up almost immediately when we got off the boat. We could retrace our steps somewhat if it was the former.If it's the latter heading somewhere further out for a while is probably a good idea, potentially creating a cache for the larger tooling items to provide more mobility if we need to may be something to look into.
>>4958592>>Plan on remaining the Principality.
>>4958592>Plan on striking out to Cimmaroon Territoryadventure calls!
>>4958592>Plan on remaining the Principality.At least for now. We do have an incredible amount of Imperial money to spend, so we could play the part of a travelling cartographer or something.A relatively unremarkable trade that would imply we have some kind of high level backing (OP stated maps are rare, commissioned items) would probably keep us safe-ish from suspicion.Find a village near a river and mountain, set up the Life-Loom in a remote workshop, and start gitting gud.
>>4958873>Plan on remaining the Principality.This. If we can establish ourselves in a neatly remote and quiet location, we can probably remain for a while in relative safety. I'll bet we wouldn't have been the only witch to do so.
Well, that seems pretty unanimous - if your father does not make his self-appointed deadline, and you have to leave the Mount, you will be remaining in the Principality.>>4958660You really have not been anywhere else in the Principalities besides the Mount.
As your feet carry you towards the tailor, you mind is far afield – imagining what it must be like to live on the frontier. Though you would be leaving the worst of the old, familiar dangers behind you, there would be new ones – the threat of hostile Cimmaroons, of crop failures and starvation, and of beasts, be they mundane, Strange, or even queerer still. But the greatest of the new dangers would be the familiarity born out of the small communities. You have spent slightly more than half your life masked and cloaked, and on top of that you have spent all of it in cities, safely concealed by in the faceless throngs. But in both the frontier settlements and in the Great Gloom, there would be no crowds to hide in, and if you were to mask and cloak yourself always, it would do more to mark you than it would to obfuscate yourself. Yet establishing yourself in a city, or even a larger coastal town means living under the constant threat of the Inquisition. And as you plan on passing the time waiting for father to return to you by teaching yourself magic, that threat is made all the more immediate. In an urban setting, even making a minor mistake while you are practicing your arts and schools could alert the Inquisitors and Cleansers. No, you are decided. No more cities, at least while you are still a Witchlet. And … while the Great Gloom does have its advantages, you cannot square yourself to the idea of being a foreign interloper. To be sure, you will be an outsider on the frontier as well, but if you play your cards correctly, you will be a welcomed outsider. Not to mention, you have plenty of Talents, but no … whatever the Cimmaroons use for currency. Which reminds you, you should figure out what you are going to do with all of the foreign coin that you stole. You could take it to a moneychanger and get it converted to Imperial talents in a matter of minutes, but if you showed up in your Spotted Cloak or your raggedy jape of a dress, you would certainly be detained as a sneakthief. To get the money changed, you would need new clothes. Exceptionally nice new clothes. Present yourself as some merchant’s daughter, sent on an urgent errand, something in that vein. It still might raise some eyebrows, but at the end of the day, the moneychangers want the money, and so long as it is not painfully obvious that you stole it, then they are under no obligation to refuse your custom. Still … you left the captain alive. People could be on the lookout for an exceptionally tall woman with a lot of foreign bullion. It is entirely possible that someone thought to tip off the moneychangers.
>>4959650If they had, would their sense of civic duty outweigh their greed? You cannot say with any certainty, though you think it might. But if you were unwilling to take that risk, then you could try to melt down all of the foreign coins. Father’s Fetish-Foundry could be used for more mundane stuff, and it would be good to develop your metallurgical skills before you attempt to use the Foundry. Issue with that is you do not know the composition of all of the coins, and you also only have a theoretical knowledge of how to separate out constituent metals from an alloy. And on top of that there is the issue of finding a buyer for the ingots that you cast. Even if melting them down would render them no longer recognizable as stolen property, perhaps it would be better to accept the risks and inconvenience of carrying around all this unspendable, stolen bullion for the foreseeable future. As you draw closer to the tailors, you realize that your path is taking you very close to the alley where you found all of that Strangeness earlier this morning. Obviously, snooping around and possibly breaking into a house is not something that you would seriously consider during the day, but if you were so inclined, you could just take a few extra minutes to swing by the place, and get a better look at it in the daylight. Of course, if the Cleansers are already out in force elsewhere on the Mount, then perhaps this is not the best time to be investigating anything Strange. >Please choose ONE of the following: >Plan on dressing up as a merchant’s daughter and take the foreign coin to a moneychanger.>Plan on practicing your metallurgy by melting the coins down and attempting to separate out the constituents.>Plan on keeping the coins as they are, accepting the inconvenience and risks of carrying large amounts of unspendable, stolen bullion. >Please choose ONE of the following: >Investigate the seemingly unremarkable residence next to the exceptionally Strange alley. >Just focus on your errands. You still should have time to check the place out later.
>>4959659>Plan on practicing your metallurgy by melting the coins down and attempting to separate out the constituents.I do feel that we should leave some behind in the Belfry when we leave, since assuming that Father is delayed in his return he may well be getting low on funds and may well help bankroll his search and cover any shortfall that our actions create.>Just focus on your errands. You still should have time to check the place out later.Cleansers probably work around the clock so it should be obvious if something is happening.
>>4959659>Plan on dressing up as a merchant’s daughter and take the foreign coin to a moneychanger.This is the easiest and in my opinion least risky option. The money-changers may have been tipped off and may ask questions, but at the end of the day they can't prove shit and they'll want our business, not to mention the chances of one robbed man being able to disseminate information to every money changer or relevant person we want to do business with is unlikely.Fiddling with the bullion ourselves is liable to fuck up and lose it all, we don't have the practical skills to reliably do fucky-alchemy with it.I'd also rather not carry around all this heavy bullion on our person all the time.>Just focus on your errands. You still should have time to check the place out later.We shouldn't do this during daylight where we can be spotted and when we are on an expected timetable for our work.
>>4959659>>Plan on keeping the coins as they are, accepting the inconvenience and risks of carrying large amounts of unspendable, stolen bullion.>Investigate the seemingly unremarkable residence next to the exceptionally Strange alley.
>>4959659>Plan on keeping the coins as they are, accepting the inconvenience and risks of carrying large amounts of unspendable, stolen bullion.From my understanding we have more than enough Talents to keep us afloat for the time being, dealing with this coin is not a priority. Can just keep it for the time being, as a little rainy day fund. >Investigate the seemingly unremarkable residence next to the exceptionally Strange alleyjust a looksie
>>4959659If I may:>Carry the foreign currency with you when you leave.We're pressed enough on time and energy as it is. More than that, exchanging that junk is just putting ourselves in plain sight again—something we should be avoiding at all cost. For all intents and purposes, those foreign coins are just useless piles of precious metal. If we do anything with them, we should wait until after we leave the city. They can be melted down later to provide a nice secondary fund.>Just focus on your errands. You still should have time to check the place out later.Again, a low-profile is key. Anything more just risks the inquisition catching on to our presence.
>>4959965That was supposed to say:>Carry half the foreign currency with you when you leave.For the sake of reducing weight and saving time. And as another anon said, maybe we can stash is somewhere in case we have to come back, or dad ever comes home.
>>4959967Stash half of it, that is.
>>4959659>Plan on practicing your metallurgy by melting the coins down and attempting to separate out the constituents.Time for praccy >Investigate the seemingly unremarkable residence next to the exceptionally Strange alley.I want to know. Whatever is in there could be benevolent to us.
Let's see here ... >>4959671 Dress Up 0 Practice 1 Hodling Coins 0 Investigate 0 Errands 1>>4959692 Dress Up 1 Practice 1 Hodling Coins 0 Investigate 0 Errands 2>>4959845 Dress Up 1 Practice 1 Hodling Coins 1 Investigate 1 Errands 2>>4959928 Dress Up 1 Practice 1 Hodling Coins 2 Investigate 2 Errands 2>>4959965 Dress Up 1 Practice 1 Hodling Coins 2+ Investigate 2 Errands 2>>4960046 Dress Up 1 Practice 2 Hodling Coins 2+ Investigate 3 Errands 2Well, the votes have it for swinging by the seemingly unremarkable residence, and I'll group the write-in >>4959967 with Hodling Coins, so that takes the lead as well. I'll get to writing this up.
You are torn between using the foreign bullion to practice your metallurgy – a weaker skill – or simply holding on to them for the foreseeable future. You are leaning towards keeping the monies as money, despite the risks of carrying valuable and stolen property with you, and also in spite of the fact that once you have left the Mount for the border territories, you are extremely unlikely to find anyone willing to accept or change the coins for you. In their current form, they have value – to be sure, you cannot use any of their value, but there is value in them, none the less. If you were to take them to the crucible for practice, then there is no guarantee that they would still be worth anything to anyone after you were through with them, and what a crying shame that would be.There is another decision you are wrestling with – to take this opportunity to investigate the seemingly unremarkable house that appeared to have had a spell cast inside of it, or to ignore it. The last time you poked around the place, you were followed. Of course, you cannot prove that you were followed because you were in that alley. It is possible that a thief, cutpurse or some manner of prowler saw a preposterously tall woman awkwardly encumbered by a sword, a bulging pocket-jerkin and a softly clinking sack and figured you for a good mark. But it is one Hell of a coincidence that you picked up a tail only after you saw the mess that someone left behind there.In the end, your curiosity gets the better of you. If you do not go into the alley, approach the house from the same direction, or even so much as stop walking, then you should be safe enough to take a look. Even if there was someone keeping an eye on the place, and they are still there, they cannot possibly watch or follow everyone who just passes by. Committing yourself, you hang a left at the next turn and in less than half a minute you are approaching the house. Tightening up your strides and slowing down a hair you take full advantage of your mask to examine the place. The building looks much, much nicer from the front, and as you walk by, your Strange-Staining glyph does not activate, so it seems that the Strangeness is not spreading. But what does give you pause is the funerary wreath hanging on the front door off of the cast-iron whalehead doorknocker. Such wreathes are hung the night before a funeral, at the home of the deceased. They are brought by the bereaved family to the tiny temples located in cemeteries which only are used for funerary rites. Then after the undertaker (or if the deceased warranted it, a full-fledged priest) has finished the rites and the Last Ablution, the wreath is carried to the gravesite, where after the remains have been remanded to the ground, it is left by the headstone. Typically, the wreaths are made out of laurel, then dipped in tar, but it seems that this particular one is made out of some plant that has naturally occurring black leaves.
>>4960148Could it be that this house’s shorn* occupant is the one you are going to be burying today? Scrimshaw Mount is a small for a city, even by the relative standards of the Principalities, or Outremer as a whole. Back in the Old World, the Mount probably would probably be considered nothing more than a large town. What you are getting at here is that burials are not something that happens every day. It is real possibility – and the upper middle class look of the house would put the deceased in the same social circles as the South Sexton, who made a point of mentioning that he knew him. And if the deceased did live here … then is it possible that he was the Witch who was so carelessly casting spells? Or that a Witch killed him with magic? You did notice in the alley that there was no sign of the Strangeness beginning to naturally dissipate, meaning that when you saw it earlier this morning, the spell could have been cast anywhere from a week ago to a matter of minutes before you arrived. As funerals are typically scheduled for two or three days after you die, today’s client would have died in that window of time. And do not forget – there is an unexpected hold up with the remains at the Coroners. Was it just some oversight, or had they found something wrong with the body? You are so deep in thought that you keep walking on your detour without realizing it for a solid minute. When you realize what you have done, and you have finished cursing yourself under your breath for a being such a stilt-legged fool, you turn around and head over to your first stop. Though you would never admit it to anyone, you are more than a little shaken by the presence of that stupid wreath. On the one hand, you are worried that without realizing it, you have gotten in over your head. You have already been followed once after just standing in the alley next to the house for a minute or so. Not to mention all of your other problems - Cleansers have already mobilized right next to where you spend most of your day, you have a dead body rotting in your room, and you have an escape to outfit yourself for, which is going to require at least one more heist. But on the other hand, there is a faint but now strengthening hope that investigating the house somehow will lead you to your father. >Please choose ONE of the following: >In light of this new information, you will commit to investigating the house tonight, while you still have the time to do so.>In light of this new information, you decide against investigating the house after all, focusing on more immediate concerns. >Stay the course. You will investigate the house … eventually. Of course, that is assuming you leave yourself enough time to investigate the house. Which given how crazy things are getting is not guaranteed. *This was not a typographical error - for those who worship the Patternmaker, it is how they refer to someone as 'late'.
>>4960149>>Stay the course. You will investigate the house … eventually. Of course, that is assuming you leave yourself enough time to investigate the house. Which given how crazy things are getting is not guaranteed.We have to focus on what we need to escape with all of our father's notes and crafting tables. If we have time we can investigate this.I'll admit before these posts had Sty speculate on when this person died, I had been going through a conspiracy myself where I was speculating that the special person that was being buried was someone involved with this house and I was thinking that it was odd that we knew ahead of time someone was to be buried and just when we happened to be wandering by we saw the strangeness which I took to be used to murder someone. So I thought someone had order the burial ahead of time and THEN murdered the person to be buried, I have no idea why I went down this train of thought. But, the info about the timeframe of when strangeness naturally dissipates opens other possibilities.
>>4960149The smartest thing to do would be to ignore this all together. There is legitimately no immediately obvious gain to investigating this house, especially considering the risks. But, If I were to play into the mindset of a foolish young girl who thinks that she has even a slim chance of finding her father, I'd say she'd probably go for it. The next thing is whether or not we can investigate this place without it eating substantially into our very limited time.I'm torn. I'll wait to see what other anons think.Regarding clothes, it might not be a bad idea to steal or otherwise acquire some simple fabric to make into a new cloak and face wrap so we can ditch our spotted one. Curtains or even tent canvas could work. I don't like the idea of regularly wearing a dress. A woman as tall as us will already raise eyebrows, but more than that women are often regarded as vulnerable, and considering the wealth and everything else we'll be carrying, we stand a good chance of drawing in fiendish attention. If we can pass off as a 6'4" man, people are way less likely to fuck with us.
>>4960149>>In light of this new information, you decide against investigating the house after all, focusing on more immediate concerns.
>>4960149>Stay the course. You will investigate the house … eventually. Of course, that is assuming you leave yourself enough time to investigate the house. Which given how crazy things are getting is not guaranteed.If we're careful we may well learn more about the Occupant during the funeral, if we stick around for that at least and we may yet see if anything gets raised that could link them to the University, since that seems like a thread that might lead back to us since Father was said to hang around there on occasion, and there was the renter that died was a student there which makes it even more likely that something is going on, and these weren't "just" random occurrences.
>>4960302Yeah, convinced me too.
Alright, consider this one closed. I will either get this up overnight, or early in the morning.
While the presence of the funeral wreath does not prove anything, on the other hand it does not change anything either. You conclude that investigating the Strangeness in and around the house is just as safe – or rather, just as dangerous – as it was before you knew someone who lived there died. At the end of the day, the connection between the death and the spellcasting is barely even circumstantial – for all you know, the person might have died of perfectly mundane causes … or for that matter, they might not have even died in the house at all. Honestly, if not for the possibility that your father was responsible for this, you almost certainly would not seriously consider bothering with this. With everything on your plate right now, you simply cannot prioritize any investigation, but so far, your preparations are moving along fast enough that you should eventually have the time to poke around over there before father’s final deadline ends. You proceed on to the tailor, though you hesitate as you draw closer to establishment’s threshold. You are not sure if they are expecting a Leper to make this pick up, and you know better than to enter a place of business as you are without an explicit invitation to do so. Thankfully, you are not waiting long before a seamstress inside sees you. She noticeably blanches at the sight of you, and leaves the room with an almost unseemly amount of haste – but she returns half a minute later, hiding behind an aggrieved and older looking tailor with a bundle in his hands. He’s muttering under his breath – something about ‘that skinflint’ being too cheap to hire on proper servants – and before you can so much as ask him about the gloves he slings the bundle at you, then orders you by all that is Holy to get off his stoop before you scare off all his custom. Bowing your head, you depart immediately as he orders the seamstress to draw a bucket of water and fetch some lye soap. That probably could have gone better – though you certainly are not complaining about how quick you were out of there. Now … your next stop should be the Coroners, all the way back in Stickport. While the Gothorum Refineries company store is closer, if you pick up the client first, then you willing be driving the hearse and you will not need to trapse all over the Mount hauling who knows how much lifting oil. The walk to the Coroners is completely uneventful, until you approach their Morgue and to your surprise see the South Burying Ground’s hearse being loaded up. Once you are at the compound’s main gate, one of the Coroners sees you through the wrought cast iron bars, and comes over to let you in. “Begging your pardon about the delay on this one, there were … clerical issues.” Before the oddness of that statement can even fully get to you, the Coroner abruptly starts to walk off.
>>4962309>Please choose ONE of the following: >It should not be an issue to ask him to stop and explain himself, to tell you what exactly he means by ‘clerical issues’. >With everything else going on, you cannot afford to openly investigate things by asking questions. Even if they are suspicious – or perhaps, especially if they are suspicious.
>>4962309>It should not be an issue to ask him to stop and explain himself, to tell you what exactly he means by ‘clerical issues’.Ask if there is anything we should pass on to the Sexton. If I had to guess this is likely to be a closed casket type of event.
Secondary vote:>Please choose ONE of the following:>Look for a secluded spot to park the hearse and investigate the body.>Do not take any unnessiary risks.
>>4962348>Look for a secluded spot to park the hearse and investigate the body.Restrict ourselves to a visual inspection of the body, since if there's still something strange about the body we don't want anything to do with it, and getting a description of the body may also help us notice if anything if is "off" with the eulogy since descriptions may well not add up with the body in the Casket.There may very well be no body in the Casket, and it may well have been cremated or held onto, hopefully there isn't some sort of anti tampering seal somewhere that we can't pass off as the Hearse moving over rough ground or something.The other way to tell that the Casket is empty, would be if we have "excessive" amounts of lifting oil left over, since if it was a rush job there well be no counterweight to mimic the mass of a body.
>>4962310>It should not be an issue to ask him to stop and explain himself, to tell you what exactly he means by ‘clerical issues’.just act afraid of Strangeness>Look for a secluded spot to park the hearse and investigate the body.
>>4962310>It should not be an issue to ask him to stop and explain himself, to tell you what exactly he means by ‘clerical issues’. >Look for a secluded spot to park the hearse and investigate the body.
For once, a completely unanimous vote. I'll get to writing as soon as I can.
“Clerical issues? What does that even mean?” The retreating Coroner stops, but he does not immediately turn around to look at you. And when he finally does, he does not immediately answer your question. You really are getting the sense that he is desperately making up some excuse on the spot. It takes another moment or so for him to explain what ‘happened’.“We … there was a pretty serious mix up in Intake. An apprentice got confused, and the body was sent out and buried as someone else. Why, we didn’t even get a chance to look it over, let alone prepare it for internment.”You are beginning to get genuinely concerned here. Mixing up bodies is pretty damned bad, but if the remains were still unclean when they were sent out, then that means that the body is not in a proper state for the Last Ablution. That is well, well beyond being a ‘pretty serious mix up’. The sanctity of an entire burial ground, not to mention the officiating Undertaker, would be undermined if not outright soiled. Not to mention that to be eventually considered for Ascension, you must have been properly buried first, and while the Compendium does not explicitly forbid the exhumation of remains, Reformed Priests who have sat in judgement of graverobbers have proclaimed their acts to constitute a serious sin. You are unclear if this judgment extends to any disinterment, but the civil authority of the Mount, the Port Authority, has since passed edicts prohibiting the removal of bodies – in part or whole – from sanctified ground. “So … you are saying that my client has already been interned? And you just … dug him back up?”“What? No, Pattern’s Peace, no! We figured it out before the service started, and brought him back for his cleaning.”Even if the body was not actually buried, his mistake is serious enough that he could lose his job, and possibly be brought before both Ecclesiastical and Maritime* courts for this negligence. If this story of his is all a fabrication – and you would bet your life that it is – then whatever is going on here must be pretty fraying dire. Dire like the Strangeness. Coroners are trained to identify Strangeness so the Inquisitors can investigate the deceased and the Cleansers can safely dispose of the remains. If there still is a body in that coffin – and you are going to check when you get a minute – then that means either you are barking up the completely wrong tree here … or that one of the Coroners got contaminated, and is (reasonably) worried about being mitigated if this is properly reported. *The Port Authority does not have its own Civil or Criminal Codes, instead, it loosely interprets existing Imperial Maritime Law and applies it the best it can to civil or criminal cases. In practice, there is a greater focus on following precedent instead of the letter or spirit of the law. The end result of all of this is a fairly arbitrary legal system.
>>4963481“So, everything has been taken care of, then? There is … nothing wrong with the body, right?”As you might have expected, the Coroner shifts uncomfortably as you put that question to him. He then insists that there is not, and leaves abruptly, which you also might have expected. But you did not expect Strange-Staining to activate when you approached the hearse. The coffin, tightly tied down, is absolutely smothered in ‘stains’, meaning that it has been completely saturated with the Strangeness – and as you watch, you can actually see the contamination very slowly bleeding from the coffin on to the bed of the hearse as well as the securing ropes. >Please choose ONE of the following: >You are going to have to mitigate this before you return to the South Burying Ground. Which means you are going to have to leave this completely unattended somewhere while you sneak into the Midden to get the ingredients for a magical mitigation. You cannot afford to it, not today.>You are going to have to return the hearse immediately after dropping the coffin off. It is not optimal, but you cannot just abandon this on a side street somewhere. People will ask questions, and it is clearly marked as the South Burying Ground’s hearse. Those questions will lead straight back to you.
>>4963482>You are going to have to return the hearse immediately after dropping the coffin off. It is not optimal, but you cannot just abandon this on a side street somewhere. People will ask questions, and it is clearly marked as the South Burying Ground’s hearse. Those questions will lead straight back to you.Sneaking around in broad daylight, is far harder and riskier, and with any luck this may get noticed before the service starts so the cleansers get brought in well before it gets buried, because that would be a disaster.This is starting to feel like a set up to have us investigated / brought in for interrogation, we just need to get rid of it before it effects us, at least we can see its progress.
>>4963482>You are going to have to mitigate this before you return to the South Burying Ground. Which means you are going to have to leave this completely unattended somewhere while you sneak into the Midden to get the ingredients for a magical mitigation. You cannot afford to it, not today.These stupid fucks, they are risking the spread of strangeness. Not to mention this specifically risks us and could lead to us being found out. That, and it could contaminate the graveyard.Fuck, wait, I was gonna vote for the other choice, but I remembered that the Cleansers are at the burial grounds, we can't risk taking the hearse there, they may want to mitigate us for even coming close to being in contact with it.
>>4964061Yeah this anon is right, good catch with the Cleansers. Trash I actually don't really get the whole strangeness thing yet. Like, we are strange, but not contaminated? Is all sorcery strange? How does mitigation work, and is there a difference between magic mitigation and church mitigation? Or is the church effectively fighting fire with fire?
>>4964101I would assume that since we're capable of using magic we are hunted down because we can spread strangeness since it's a byproduct of spells, but most magically capable people don't know how to dissipate the results and so tend to get caught. I'm inferring it based on>>4931627>>4931628We should also be able to survive fool a non invasive search by cleansers, and avoid mitigation or worse>>4936477Hunts and Mitigation are explained >>4941535
So this is two to one, in favor of magically mitigating the hearse, coffin and body.>>4964101The next update, which will cover the mitigation and this quest's first spell will go into a bit more detail about mitigation, but I can answer your questions right now. >Like, we are strange, but not contaminated?Chlotsuintha was born very Strange (hence her unusual height), but exceptionally stable. Stability or instability in magic users is a measure of how easy it is for them to spread the Strangeness. An unstable magic user can (and will) spread Strangeness simply by existing in an environment, and they will register to Strange-Staining glyphs and on dosimeters. Contrarily, a stable magic user will not spread Strangeness simply by existing. Like how the Animal Control Leper's clothing had become Strange, but not Strange enough to spread to the environment around it. Some of the more stable magic users will not even register to Strange-Staining glyphs and on most dosimeters. And the most stable - which is where Chlotsuintha falls - can naturally and internally dissipate the Strangeness from from cast spells. In practice, this means that they can cast very low intensity spells without registering on Strange-Staining glyphs or most dosimeters. Chlotsuintha currently has two of those spells, both glyphs: Strange-Staining and Hide-Eyes (developed in the early years of the Strangeness to hide a magic users naturally blank eyes with negligible strain and Strangeness). >Is all sorcery strange?Yes. Magic is inherently Strange, and has been for the past two hundred and sixteen years, since the phenomenon of the Strangeness first appeared. >How does mitigation work, and is there a difference between magic mitigation and church mitigation? Or is the church effectively fighting fire with fire?Mitigation works by forcibly drawing the Strangeness into an inert substance - such as lead, or salt, where it will no longer be able to spread or do any harm. This can be done with or without magic, though mundane methods require much much more of the inert substance being used, as well as the application of pressure, alongside a significant relative increase or decease in temperature. In all but the most dire of circumstances, the Inquisitors will always use mundane methods, but they do maintain Mitigators, child magic users who they have captured and trained in advanced mitigation magic to assist in fighting powerful Witches or to address environmental contamination that cannot be contained and eliminated through mundane methods. Additionally, some chapterhouses will keep captured magical weapons and implements to fight or locate magic users, though it is technically against the rules of the Great Hunt to do so. Does anyone else have any other questions? I'm not quite ready to start writing, but I am at my computer if you do.
>>4964781Ok got it, thanks Trash!
>>4963482>You are going to have to mitigate this before you return to the South Burying Ground. Which means you are going to have to leave this completely unattended somewhere while you sneak into the Midden to get the ingredients for a magical mitigation. You cannot afford to it, not today.The body leaking Strange? A wreath On the door of a contaminated home? The BODY being a close associate of the South Sexton? I think it's safe to say that this is no simple coincidence.Way I figure it, Father or the university student fucked up somewhere and killed the man (assuming this isn't their body that is) in a struggle, and something leaked to the Inquisition, though I doubt they really understand what the fuck's going on. Way I see it, we mitigate the body now, we can throw them off the Strange trail and confuse them for a couple days while they try to sort this mess out. Meanwhile, we need to get into that contaminated room tonight, otherwise we risk the Inquisition snooping around and figuring out that the house is contaminated, which not only doesn't give us any clues as to the whereabouts of Father, but leaves said clues in the Inquisition's hands, to which we both may be fucked from (assuming Dad is still alive and mobile that is).Frankly, we need to be fully involved in damage control now- even if it means that we'll have to take another day. It also means that when we head back, we're going to take our clothes and some money with us, as we needed new clothes two days ago. We should also reconsider our bullion play, as being attached to this mess in any way will haunt us.
Very good writing in this quest. I have trouble following quests on /qst/ these days but hope I'll stick with this one.Chlot has some gender issues, it seems, or at least the usual discomfort with a changing body and tightening social role. But she also has bigger problems than puberty.
>>4964781I have a question. You mentioned “combat magic” at some point, and how it doesn’t really exist anymore. Does that mean your typical fireballs and such, or something very different. What does a typical combat spell even mean in-universe?
Unfortunately, I did not have the time to write anything today beyond an outline. Sorry about that - I fully intend to get a post up tomorrow though. And as it has been two days without an update, I'm going to give you guys one lucky tenth-talent, redeemable for one reroll. I'm not going to give them out like candy, so I suggest you hold on to it for a really rainy day. Anyway, thanks for sticking with this so far, I'm really pleased with all of the participation I've gotten. >>4965312I don't want to give an out of character answer for this, simply because I want there to remain some level of mystery to investigate into later, but generally speaking, the few surviving historical accounts of combat magic from non-magical sources (which is all that has been left by the Inquisition) runs the gamut from things like fireballs to much, much more esoteric and bizarre stuff. Things so esoteric and bizarre that Witches have to seriously question what is real or not in these accounts. A famous example of this that Chlotsuintha would have read about is an AOE spell that turns intestines into a ball of worm-like constructs that attempt to force their way out of the their host's orifices. Assuming that was once a real spell, it would be insanely complex to cast - basically because it would be a dozen and a half fairly big spells strung together into one huge one, and each of the constituent spells would have to be cast perfectly, otherwise the whole thing would fail. >>4965299Glad to have you along for the ride anon.
>>4965299>gender issuesPlease, leave that woke cult shit behind us. It's a fantasy world, not fucking 2021 America.
>>4965013I agree with the damage-control model you've got going. We really can't let this just be as it is. Not just because it might lead trouble to us. Somehow I fear that the inquisition will have found out about that house we passed by tonight, but better to check anyhow.>We should also reconsider our bullion play, as being attached to this mess in any way will haunt us.If by bullion you mean all the gold and foreign currency, I think it's best to stash some of it here for dad to maybe find later, or for if we (doubtfully) ever have to come back. This also has the added benefit of reducing how much junk we'll have to carry, and reduce the chance thieves or brigands might try to rob us. We're probably better off melting down the rest later on, than trying to exchange it with someone. Draws way too much attention.>>4965680Fucking this. Part of the reason I enjoy historical literature and also fiction is exactly because I can escape all the modernist garbage I have to suffer observing. If people want to throw a fit over whether or not they should wear makeup, fine. Do what you want. But don't bother other folks with it. I'll end the off-topic there.
Okay, I have everything pretty much ready to go, but first, I am going to need some rolls for sneaking back into the Midden.>DC 31: Anything lower is a failure. (Base Difficulty is 26 + 5 for daylight) >No Passes: Someone saw or heard a Leper doing something suspicious, and they reported it immediately. While you are long gone before the guards arrive to investigate, they are now looking for a Leper sneaking around the Midden perimeter. All routes out of the Midden are more challenging to pass through. >One Pass: Someone saw or heard something suspicious, and they reported it immediately. While you are long gone before the guards arrive to investigate, they are now watching the house - the route out of the Midden from the dry well through the buried basements is now more challenging to pass through. >Two Passes: Someone might have seen or heard something unexpected, but they will not report anything to the guards unless something big happens later, and they realize it might have been connected. >Three Passes: You are an absolute wraith - no one sees or hears anything as you make your way to the belfry and then back, with the necessary supplies.>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then the route out of the Midden from the dry well through the buried basements has been discovered and sealed. All Lepers are now being watched closely, and all other routes out of the Midden are much more challenging to pass through.>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you are an absolute wraith who just so happens to notice something valuable in a corner of one of the basements. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure. >Please, may I have 3 rolls of 1d100? If you have rolled, and more rolls are needed, if you wait 20 minutes, you may roll again, as many times as needed. Remember, you have a lucky tenth-talent, redeemable for one reroll.
Rolled 62 (1d100)>>4966139
>>4965846>>4965680>>4965299I figure I should probably address this as we wait for the other rolls. While I can understand how someone could interpret Chlotsuintha's negative thoughts about her femininity as gender issues, that was not my intent. With her mother out of the picture, Chlotsuintha is keenly aware that she is her father's heir, and she worries that she is not good enough, or that her father would be better suited if he had a son instead of her. Hence how deeply she internalizes and clings to a the couple of times that her father remarked off the cuff about how she 'thought like a man' - remarks that her father almost certainly would not recall making. The stuff with her considering the state of her body was not gender dysphoria, rather it was me trying to make two points. Point one, the roles and expectations of the sexes are rigidly defined in the Empire, and it is dangerous to cross or even question those boundaries, from either side. Point two, just because Chlotsuintha is really tall, that does not mean she is currently in a condition where she can reliably fight in hand to hand combat without some fairly serious advantages on her side. I wanted to make it clear (without being explicit) that she cannot raise the money that she need by mugging people, or that banditry would not be a viable career, at least for the immediate future.
Rolled 31 (1d100)>>4966139
Rolled 58 (1d100)>>4966139
>>4966166Like holy shit mate, you're the type of guy that throws his parachute out the plane first then dives after it, ya?>>4966161Bandit Queen Chlotsuintha when? I can settle for Pirate Queen if need be!
Alright - I am going to get some lunch, and then I will get to writing. The update is going to be pretty short, because there is going to be more rolling for the first spell of the quest. >>4966175It is definitely possible. Honestly, the sky is the limit here. Outremer, the continent where the Principalities are located is on the brink of several significant events. There is no reason why Chlotsuintha should not play a role in any or all of them.
With the Cleansers in the immediate vicinity of the South Burying Ground, it would be the height of foolishness to take this hearse as it is. Instead, you are going to perform a magical mitigation – or to be precise, it would actually be considered a magical remediation. The distinction is not just semantics; remediations, magical or otherwise, are more involved, and harder to perform than mitigations, not to mention that they require half again as much inert material as a mitigation. They are also more likely to leave some Strangeness behind – but the upshot is that unless a remediation fails spectacularly, then it will not damage or destroy the target. Obviously, you cannot risk destroying the hearse or the coffin without it leading back to you, so you will have to perform a remediation. Even just damaging it would be bad – mitigation damage is identifiable if you know the signs. And those Cleansers certainly would recognize them, if for whatever reason, they got close enough to inspect the hearse.In a moment of inspiration, you decide to leave the hearse where it is for now. Even in the worst-case scenario, they cannot report you without exposing all of the shady and questionable things that have happened while the remains were in their custody. And if they give you any grief over it when you do return to finally take the hearse away, you can simply say that you forgot that you had one more errand to run – which, by the by, is the truth. But obviously, you are not going to be going to the Gothorum Refineries company store. You are going to be going to your belfry, to get the salt that you bought … was it only yesterday? By the Maker, it feels if it has been days. You depart from the Morgue and make your way over to a certain house, set well off of Stickport’s Upper Boardwalk. After assuring yourself that you are not being followed or even so much as watched, you enter the basement through the bulkhead, and then pass through into the familiar darkness of the interconnected buried basements. On the way, you take the opportunity to relieve yourself in a corner, as the water that you had drunk in an attempt to limit how long you slept had seriously started to strain at your bladder. Even with the detour to answer the call of nature, you make excellent time, and are sneaking out of the dried well into the plaza of the ruined villa practically before you know it. While daylight does complicate your sneaking about, at the very least, the only Lepers left in the Midden during the day are the ones that are no longer able to work – and they are all inside their homes and hovels, much to preoccupied with dying to notice you making your way to the Not-Temple.
>>4966734You ascend to the belfry on the inside of the belltower, as usual, but at least this time you do not need to tell yourself to take it slowly. Once you are inside and you have checked for father – he is not there – and on your guest – he is still there, and beginning to noticeably smell and bloat – you grab both of the purses of salt. You are not going to need anywhere near that much for this, but you are loathe to repeat this trip to the belfry needlessly, so it makes sense to take much, much more than you need. The only other things that you will need for the remediation is water, and you should have enough in your flask.The descent and then the return to the Morgue is equally uneventful, and when you do make it back, the loaded hearse is still there. You let yourself in to the yard, open wide the gate so you can drive it out of here as quick as you please, and then get within six feet of the coffin to check on the spread of the Strangeness. In your absence, more and more of the bed and the securing ropes have been contaminated. Concerned about the progress the Strangeness is making, you temporarily dispel Strange-Staining by squinting, and look to see if there are any physical signs of warping or damage from the Strangeness on the coffin. Blessedly, it has not progressed to that point, though there is a real possibility that the body and the coffin have formed a feedback loop, continually fouling each other with more and more Strangeness. Who knows how much time is left before this becomes truly critical? There is also the issue of the Coroners themselves – obviously, they must have touched the body, and if body was so Strange that it could contaminate the coffin to the point that the pine box could pass the Strangeness to things that it comes in contact with … No, you need to focus on what you can deal with at the moment. The hearse. Now, how are you going to go about remediating it? >Please choose ONE of the following:>Conduct the remediation while you are driving the hearse around in circles. A moving hearse draws less attention than a parked hearse, but driving and casting at the same time will make both more difficult. >Conduct the remediation in some quiet side street or alley. While a seemingly randomly parked hearse might raise a lot of suspicious eyebrows, and be the cause of a lot of warding prayers too, the casting will be noticeably easier. Well, this certainly is a bit later than I would have liked. Sorry about that.
>>4966740>Conduct the remediation in some quiet side street or alley. While a seemingly randomly parked hearse might raise a lot of suspicious eyebrows, and be the cause of a lot of warding prayers too, the casting will be noticeably easier. Raised eyebrows are preferable to failing and thus making it so the Cleansers have some issue with us.Actually, how much salt is used in each casting? I was thinking of doing the drive-and-cast if we have the chance to retry it.
>>4966780Starts at two charges of salt. The second attempt also takes two, but is harder. The third attempt takes one, but is harder still. After that, effective remediation is impossible, and you will have to decide between letting it be or attempting a more destructive mitigation. Also, your reroll applies to magic as well - just thought I would mention that.
>>4966740>Conduct the remediation in some quiet side street or alley. While a seemingly randomly parked hearse might raise a lot of suspicious eyebrows, and be the cause of a lot of warding prayers too, the casting will be noticeably easier.I'm not sure that this will fix everything in one go, but success will be important.
>>4966805My vote will stay the same then.
>>4966740>Conduct the remediation in some quiet side street or alley. While a seemingly randomly parked hearse might raise a lot of suspicious eyebrows, and be the cause of a lot of warding prayers too, the casting will be noticeably easier.Better suspicious than Strange, I say. We pull this off, then even if the Cleaners come investigating, we should be in the clear.
>>4966740>Conduct the remediation in some quiet side street or alley. While a seemingly randomly parked hearse might raise a lot of suspicious eyebrows, and be the cause of a lot of warding prayers too, the casting will be noticeably easier.if we get noticed, act like we stopped to take a leak (as we actually did, mere minutes ago)
Alright, that is settled then. Now we need someone to roll for the spell itself. >Please, I need one anon to roll 1d100.>Critical Success: DC 99 and higher. In addition to completely remediating all of the Strangeness, you make an illuminating deduction in the process. The difficulty of all salt-based remediations and mitigations permanently falls. >Success: DC 61 and higher. All of the Strangeness is completely remediated from the hearse, securing ropes, and the coffin - allowing for safe investigation of the body. >Partial Success: DC 41 and higher. All of the Strangeness is completely remediated from the hearse and the securing ropes. The coffin is still Strange, but at the moment it is not spreading. >Complete Failure: DC 20 and lower. While a portion of the Strangeness is remediated from the hearse and the securing ropes, but the coffin is still just as Strange, and it is spreading back into the areas you just cleaned. >Catastrophic Failure: DC 10 and lower. Your spell did not manage to target all of the salt that you put down, and could not even activate. All you get for your trouble is a nosebleed that is ruining all of the gauze that you wear under your mask. >Critical-Catastrophic: DC 2 and lower. Your spell accidentally targeted the salt in your body, drawing the Strangeness in the hearse, securing ropes and the coffin into you. You now must remediate yourself - a much more involved process, or you may start spreading the Strangeness at any time. Remember, you can try to remediate hearse, securing ropes and the coffin three times (getting harder each time) before a remediation spell will no longer work on them. You also have a lucky tenth-talent, which can be used to reroll anything.
Rolled 53 (1d100)>>4967219This won't go well.
>>4967219Here's a roll either for repeating remediation of the hearse if the DC drops after a partial success or for remediation of the ropes if we are moving on after the partial success.
Rolled 33 (1d100)>>4967250Nice. Forgot the roll.
>>4967250>>4967252I didn't agree to use our reroll, and the QM didn't call for more than a 1d100. I don't think this is the usual 3 success tier dice system we've been using before.
>>4967252>>4967222 (nice trips)>>4967250>>4967259So, partial success - that is good. It lowers the difficulty by twelve, which covers the increase of 5 from on the second attempt, so the second attempt will actually be easier than the first. If you get three partial successes, then that should qualify as a full success. I should also note, that you have done enough to safely open the coffin without any risk of contaminating yourself. Finally, there is also always the re-roll. As a clarification, unless you manage to get a Critical-Catastrophic failure on the second or third attempt, the end result cannot get worse than a partial success. >Please choose ONE of the following: >Attempt the spell again. (DC 99/54/34/14/10/2) consumes another two charges of your salt.>The situation with the Strangeness is stable enough to investigate - open up the coffin now.>Redeem your lucky tenth-talent
>>4967266>Attempt the spell again. (DC 99/54/34/14/10/2) consumes another two charges of your salt.Might as well try to finish this properly. You want us to roll for it right now or when you make another post calling for it?
>>4967269I find it is best to close votes, then ask for rolls, otherwise, everyone will always just vote for whatever gets the best roll. Chlotsuintha is many things, but she is not prescient - at least not yet
>>4967266>Attempt the spell again. (DC 99/54/34/14/10/2) consumes another two charges of your salt.
>>4967269>Attempt the spell again. (DC 99/54/34/14/10/2) consumes another two charges of your salt.But do it with better dice this time. The last ones were shoddy.
Question, is there a more powerful or effective mitigation regent we could buy or steal, like lead powder or something? Could be good to get something like that before we leave the city.
Alright, that is settled. Someone, please roll 1d100>>4967609Yes, there certainly are. Lead is the only other one that Chlotsuintha knows how to use at the moment, and while it is more expensive, it is also easier to uae in both remediation and mitigation.
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>4967649Alrighty
>>4967657God, I hate my rolls. This is just not my month.
That is alright - remember, if you manage to get three partial successes, you effectively get a full success. And the situation with the hearse, the ropes and coffin has stabilized to the point where it should be safe to open up the coffin to investigate the body. The third attempt means the difficult jumps up by fifteen, so there is a net increase of three for the DC over the first test. Once again, unless whoever is rolling manages to get a critical-catastrophic failure, the end result cannot get worse than a partial successHowever, this is the last attempt you will have for remediation. If you do not manage to get all of the Strangeness on the hearse, ropes, and coffin with this attempt, you will either have to make do, or attempt a mitigation - which is easier and materially cheaper to perform, and does not have a limit to the number of times that you can attempt it, though it damages or even destroys the target.>Please choose ONE of the following:>Attempt the spell one last time (DC 99/64/44/24/10/2)>The situation with the Strangeness is stable enough to investigate - open up the coffin now>Redeem your lucky tenth-talent
>>4967702>The situation with the Strangeness is stable enough to investigate - open up the coffin nowFuck it. I wanna take a bit of a break before we commence with the last remediation.
>>4967702>Attempt the spell one last time (DC 99/64/44/24/10/2)Opening the coffin early seems like a bad idea since we risk contaminating our gloves and ourselves.
>>4967730If that's a real risk, I'll switch my vote (>>4967718) to supporting yours for speed sake.
>>4967702>Attempt the spell one last time (DC 99/64/44/24/10/2)We got this
Okay then, I need someone to make the last roll for the remediation spell. Roll 1d100
>>4967760Lets have someone who hasn't rolled roll this one, alright lads?
Rolled 25 (1d100)>>4967762>>4967743I got this, boss. Stand back and behold my weighted dice.
Rolled 76 (1d100)>>4967702
>>4967771>one over 24Thank fuck.>24Fuck
>>4967771...Wanna use that reroll?
>>4967773Where the hell were you exactly one minute ago, you jackass?
>>4967776I dunno. Depends on if the other anons and you agree to. But, like QM said, it can't get worse than a partial success. Hopefully it'll be enough to keep us out of hot water.
>>4967780>>4967771It was not enough to completely get rid of all of it, but at the moment, only the coffin is Strange, and it is not Strange enough to spread. You have three choices available to you at the moment. >Please choose ONE of the following: >Try your hand at magically mitigating the coffin instead - it will be easier to remove the Strangeness (DC 41 for Success), though it will inevitably leave some damage, ranging from very localized and cosmetic if you get a Success to causing the entire coffin to fall to pieces if you get a Critical-Catastrophic failure. >Accept that the coffin is safe enough to open, and investigate the body inside.>Redeem your lucky tenth-talent for a re-roll. And in case you were wondering, no, I cannot accept >>4967773
>>4967796>Accept that the coffin is safe enough to open, and investigate the body inside.Visual inspection only to determine the state of the body and if immediate further action is needed, or is out of our hands and we then need to hope that someone else notices and gets the Cleansers involved.We could potentially claim that it was like this when we got it, as long as we clean the hearse as best we can before we turn it back in.
>>4967796>Accept that the coffin is safe enough to open, and investigate the body inside.As long as the things we would touch transporting it are remediated, then it is fine. The Cleansers probably won't annihilate us if they have no reason to suspect we touched anything Strange directly.>>4967778Typing, hoping to get my roll in before anyone else. Why'd you roll before me without performing the requisite sacrifices to the Dice Gods!?Anyways, the QM said rerolls are rare, lets save it for a real emergency.
>>4967796>Accept that the coffin is safe enough to open, and investigate the body inside.>>4967852>Why'd you roll before me without performing the requisite sacrifices to the Dice Gods!?I ran out of souls to sacrifice. Shit's expensive man, cut me a break.>rerolls are rare, lets save it for a real emergency.Probably for the best, yeah.
>>4967796>Accept that the coffin is safe enough to open, and investigate the body inside.I'm properly annoyed now.>>4967771We, it was certainly weighted.
>>4968135>>4967972>>4967852Alright - I will get to writing up the narrative your spell casting and the opening of the coffin. The post will be up overnight or early in the morning. >>4968135Well, mundanely or magically, remediating something is more difficult then simply mitigating it. It is hard enough that the Inquisitors almost never even consider it - they just go straight to mitigation. Anyway, Chlotsuintha is going to get better at it over time.
You absolutely have to get this Strangeness properly contained, and if you are going to take the more difficult route of remediating this mess, then that means you cannot afford to further complicate things by doing this while driving. Not to mention that even though there are very few carriages or wagons allowed on the roads at this time of day, there are plenty of people – and driving down crowded, planked streets while you are trying to cast spells seems to be a recipe for disaster. Of course, parking the hearse in an alley has its own issues. First and foremost, once you leave the Morgue, the hearse is not supposed to stop until you reach the Leper’s Lift in the Cavity, and as the side panels are all liveried with the seal of the South Burying Ground, you can be pretty readily identified. Secondly, just passing a hearse in the street is serious black luck, so it stands to reason that parking the thing by a building somewhere is tantamount to cursing the place and its occupants. You are not so much worried about being the target of warding prayers as you are being reported to the authorities … but in the end, you are much more worried about the Cleansers than the Port Authority. Having decided, you vault up onto the driver’s bench, take up the reins, and coax the old horse into a shambling, plodding walk. You do not bother with closing the gate to the Morgue behind you, as you are worried that at this rate, you are going to be late, between the time it took you to fetch the purses of salt from the belfry, and the time it is going to take you to find a secluded spot to actually perform the remediation. Thankfully, this horse is well-accustomed to the rough planks of Stickport, and while her gait certainly looks slow, you find yourself making good time as you look for a spot. After your meandering search has drawn what feels to be hundreds of fearful wards and angry stares, you find a small, quiet cluster of brick warehouses on the Lower Boardwalk. You rein in, and then spend a good twenty seconds listening and looking for any signs of potential witnesses. Once you are satisfied that the closest occupied building is a small, practically windowless workhouse an alley over and then three narrow streets down, you climb off of the driver’s bench to use a nearby door handle as an improvised hitching post. Deciding on a cover story, you remove your mask, and unwrap the gauze around the lower half of your face – if anyone does question you, you will simply say that you pulled over to eat some of the Emmerloaf you brought along with you in the seclusion of this alley, which you pull out and nibble at to make the deception believable.
>>4969033Finally, you are ready for some spell casting. Compared to mitigation spells, you do not have that much practice with remediation, but you are confident that you can at least remove most of the Strangeness from the hearse, securing ropes and the coffin at your current level. Peering through the gauze around your eyes, and the Strange-Staining, you judge that given the surface area you are looking to work with, you should use about two dozen hearty pinches of the Sea Salt for this cast. After removing your gloves, you fish around your Spotted Cloak for one of the two purses. Once you find it, you leave it in the recesses of the Cloak as you fumble the drawstrings open to withdraw the first big pinches. Then with the bread still in your off hand, you walk around to the back of the hearse, climb up onto the bed, and start to apply the salt. Both remediation and mitigation magic are done piecemeal, or to use more professional language, with a ‘chained’ or ‘rolling volley’ cast. What that means varies wildly, depending on the spell – in this case, it means that instead of covering everything that you want remediated with the salt, you are sprinkling it over just a portion of the coffin. You will perform the spell on that portion, getting it to a point where you have a self-sustained magical reaction – then you start laying down the salt, adjacent but not touching to the area where you cast the spell. If you time it correctly, you will be finished with the application of the salt just as the remediation magic in the first portion is running out of Strangeness to react with. Once ready, you will make a bridge of salt from the first portion to the second, then cast the spell in the center of the newly applied salt. Casting this spell is noticeably easier then casting the first, because instead of starting from scratch, you are simply ‘topping off’ an existing magical reaction. From there you can repeat the process over and over again, either until the spell fails from a mistimed cast, or the magic runs out of Strangeness to react with or applied salt to target. It is certainly a longer and more complicated way to go about it, but it is magnitudes safer to the caster than simply attempting to remediate all of the Strangeness here at once, in a ‘hammer’ or ‘massed volley’ cast. The first thing every little Witchlet learns is just how easy it is to bite off more that you can chew, especially when you are casting a new-to-you spell for the first time. All magic involves some strain on the caster, and if the magical reaction they are catalyzing is large enough, or the spell is simply high intensity enough, then that strain can injure, maim, blind or even kill.
>>4969037Now, you think you could hammer cast this without seriously hurting yourself, but you do know how Strange the body is. Now, as the strain of this particular spell is, among other things, in direct proportion to the amount of Strangeness reacting with it, and there is a real risk that the reaction could start pulling Strangeness from the body as well as the coffin, you are not going to take any chances here. It is a good thing you did not, because when you finally do cast the first Salt-Remediation over the first applied portion of Sea Salt, you get the wind knocked straight out of your lungs, and your eyes start to heat and tear up immediately. For a few crucial seconds, your attention is pulled away from the magic unfolding in front of you, as you struggle to regain your composure. Thankful that your mouth is uncovered, you take a series of deep breaths, hoping that the intake of air will help with the strain. It does, but only marginally – you can feel the heat spread from your eyes across your face. At this rate, your eyes are going to be glowing like lanterns in less than a minute, but if this bit of casting was going to hurt you, it would have done it by now. Relieved on that front, but frustrated that you have lost the opportunity to ‘stoke’ the spell, you return your attention to the scattered salt in front of you, expecting to find it failing and petering out. To your shock, however, the spell survived without stoking – which is not necessarily a good thing. Stoking, the act of minutely overcasting a spell, is not just done to improve the likelihood that the spell succeeds, it is done to help regulate the rate at which the spell runs at. With the assistance of the Strange-Staining glyph, you can see the magic attack the Strangeness. Not only is the Staining in the affected area disappearing into the Sea Salt, but the spread of the Strangeness elsewhere is grinding to a half before your uncomfortably hot eyes. Unfortunately, the rate that this is all happening is a few hairs too fast for you to be happy with – if remediation spells could be cast and recast over the same Strangeness endlessly, just like mitigation spells can, then you would smother the spell and try again. But you are only going to have two, maybe three chances to remediate all of this. So instead, you take a calculated risk, and hurry to keep ahead of the magical reaction, figuring that you can try to rein in the rate of the reaction by stoking the next few spells. In the end, it sort of pays off. Despite the unexpectedly harsh strain of the spell – which did not get that much better on the second cast, or on any of the subsequent casts in this first chain – and the pacing issues which plagued you until the bitter end, when the reaction finally failed to cross the provided bridge of Sea Salt, you managed to completely eliminate all traces of the Strangeness from the hearse and ropes.
>>4969039It is a good start, and it is also reassuring that the coffin is no longer Strange enough to spread – but it is still Strange, and considering that there are Cleansers in the immediate vicinity of the South Burying Ground, you want the coffin and the body inside of it as mundane as lead. So, after taking a moment to compose yourself, you brush all of the salt off of the coffin and begin a second rolling volley cast of Salt-Remediation. The strain is not any easier the second time around – in fact, it might be even harder – but at least this time, you were expecting it. You manage to stoke the first cast this time, but it does not seem to do you much good. The Strangeness is already becoming inured against Salt-Remediation, and while you do remove the taint off a few portions of the coffin, eventually the spell simply fails on you before it is all removed. The issue is as much of carpentry as it is of magic – properly salting the vertical sidewalls and the rounded bevel of the lid is difficult, if not next to impossible. You decide to give it one more attempt, after you have given yourself a little bit more time to recover. Idly chewing at the stale lump of bread as you brush off the coffin one more time, you consider your options, and decide that if this does not work this time, then you will move on for now, and investigate the body. Predictably, the third attempt at a rolling volley cast of Salt-Remediation barely even gets off of the ground before it fails, doing little appreciable work on the Strangeness of the coffin. Well, you might have expected as much. At least the strain was more manageable this time around.As you recover from this third – and for now, final – exertion, you take a long hard look at the besotted pine box in front of you. The wax seals have already been stamped on to the sides, which is going to complicate getting inside, but thankfully the Coroners leave the task of nailing the coffin closed to the Undertaker presiding at the funeral, so it still possible. It takes a few minutes of palming and prying, but you do eventually work all of the seals off in one piece so you can open up the casket. Fraying Hell, what an absolute mess! Someone has clearly attempted to mundanely mitigate this body. Emphasis on attempted. They used what looks to be ten times the amount of salt that a mundane mitigation would call for, coating the body so thoroughly that it actually takes you a few seconds to notice the Strange Stains underneath it all. Not to mention that it looks like they broke him to pieces on a wheel and roasted him on a spit to provide the pressure and relative change in temperature. The face had been spared from enough of these ministrations that you can confidently say that you did not know the deceased, but of course, that is to be expected.
>>4969041>you can confidently say that you did not know the deceasedThis is good, at least. Maybe if we can find out exactly who it is, we can find out if they had a connection to dad.
>>4969041The best you can figure is that at some point after taking possession of the body, a Coroner somehow figured out that these remains were Strange – and concerned about being mitigated, decided to attempt it himself. That would explain the delays, and the behavior … but it raises a new question – how did this hapless Coroner know the body was Strange? As damaged as this Mortal Coil is, you do not see any obvious signs of warping from the Strangeness … But you do see a pouch of Sea Salt, just like yours. Except this one has been stitched shut, and then tacked down to the planks of the coffin, right where the left foot would go, had it not been broken off and then tied to the shin. Feeling like you have made a breakthrough, you use your bread to test the purse to see if it is capable of spreading the Strangeness, and when you have satisfied yourself that it is not, you then pull out the chipped Stiletto and slice the little leather sack open. As you do, you feel something solid underneath your knife, so after returning your blade to its hiding place, once again, you take up your bread as a disposable probe and poke through the purse. And it is at the center of the bag that you find what you suspect to be the cause of all of this; a graven steel musket ball. Being covered in what you recognize to be glyphs, it is obviously a magical object, but you have never seen nor heard of anything like it before. It, like the rest of the coffin’s contents, are covered in Strange Stains. And when you test to confirm your suspicions that it is what has been spreading the Strangeness by touching it with the scrap of bread in your off hand, you are proven right … and alarmed at just how fast the ball fouls all that is left of the staling crust. >Please choose ONE of the following:>With Cleansers around the South Burying Ground, this is not the time for needless risks. Mitigate the graven steel musket ball, to destroy it. >It is not something that you care to be caught with, but for now stow the graven steel musket ball in a purse of Sea Salt, to keep it safe for future study. I cannot believe I forgot to post the final part of the update. Sorry about that, everyone.
>>4969158>>With Cleansers around the South Burying Ground, this is not the time for needless risks. Mitigate the graven steel musket ball, to destroy it.
>>4969158>With Cleansers around the South Burying Ground, this is not the time for needless risks. Mitigate the graven steel musket ball, to destroy it. We have plenty of irons in the fire.
>>4969158>With Cleansers around the South Burying Ground, this is not the time for needless risks. Mitigate the graven steel musket ball, to destroy it. This fuckin' thing's gotta go, that's for sure.
>>4969158>>With Cleansers around the South Burying Ground, this is not the time for needless risks. Mitigate the graven steel musket ball, to destroy it.It may well be worth investigating the quality of the glyph's, since it may well be father's handiwork but it does seem weird that he would go to these absurd lengths just to kill someone, unless it was absolutely necessary for some reason.
>>4969158>It is not something that you care to be caught with, but for now stow the graven steel musket ball in a purse of Sea Salt, to keep it safe for future study.Well, whoever wanted this man dead certainly wasn't our father. It also means we can blame the Coroner if the regular mitigation goes poorly.Really question is, was it the university student or a third party (potentially Dad's contact) that wanted this man dead?
>>4969158>It is not something that you care to be caught with, but for now stow the graven steel musket ball in a purse of Sea Salt, to keep it safe for future study. Fuck it, it is risky, but I'd like to study the glyphs. The Cleansers shouldn't have any reason to search us.However, if we think the salt will not be enough to contain the Strangeness before we get home or if we think that a dosimeter will go off if waved over us or the pouch then...>With Cleansers around the South Burying Ground, this is not the time for needless risks. Mitigate the graven steel musket ball, to destroy it.
>>4969640I feel like for sure a dosimeter would go off. Since it's also the exact thing spreading the strangeness, if that salt bag isn't sufficient or it breaks open for whatever reason we may not have the time or the peace to try and mitigate it again.
>>4969705It must have been personal. You don't create a Stange musket ball for fun you know. Really must have wanted the deceased dead.
>>4969716Muskets and shot aren't actually all that deadly by themselves since they dump all their energy far too slowly instead of penetrating and are far too low velocity to cause shock effects or induce a large temporary cavity which is what kills people quickly due to relying on black powder and forced low pressures due to poor steel and extremely inefficient powder chemistry, and physical characteristics of the powder's implication of the generated pressure curve and therefor total imparted energy.Things get a lot more deadly when ogive noses, cartridges, breech loading and obturation / driving bands become a thing.
>>4969744That is quite fascinating, but I was pointing out the Strange-producing properties of the glyphs on the ball. You just don't make and use such a thing on a whim, especially with Inquisition and Cleaners fucking about in town. Someone obviously wanted this man ruined, not just dead. A premeditated crime of passion I would say. My educationed guess? I bet it was the university student that did it, imbued the musket ball with Strange-producing properties (hell, maybe the glyphs meant to do something different and he did a shitty job [or didn't care] keeping it clean) in his rented apartment, went to this man's house, and shot him in his room, potentially with the window open. The Coroner got the body, dug the ball out, realize some Strange shit was happening, panicked, and did some poor quality mitigation that he knew the bare bones about, and left this mess for us to clean up.The Coroners are fucked, they just don't know it yet (except that one lad). If we're lucky, our mitigation will stop the Inquisition from implicating the South Sexton long enough for us to get out of dodge.I would totally love to figure out what the hell those glyphs are, just out of personal curiosity. Was it meant to produce Strange, or was the byproduct, intentional or otherwise?
>>4969760I'm guessing the strange radiation is just a by-product of the intended effect anyway. All magic is Strange, yes? I'm also guessing that the guy was killed by someone else than the university student, I think there are a lot more Strangers in this city than we thought previously, it may just be a random feud we stumbled upon. We also know that father had friends, whom may or may not be Strange.
>>4969768I'm not so sure it wasn't the university student. His whole apartment was Strange after all, and if the musket ball was the source of it for this corpse, it stands to reason that it may have produced Strange before it was loaded into a musket, and infected it's surroundings. It may be more of a hunch at the moment, but all of this happening just when Father decides to go on a business trip? I don't think it's a coincidence.
>>4969778Sure, it is possible. Story-telling conventions probably wouldn't normally allow all these plot hooks we keep bumping into to be a bunch of coincidences.
>>4969784>going meta on me>:^(
>>4969790It's no biggie, I just like to rationalize IC. This is a small town after all, can't be more than a handful of witches hidden at any time.
Actually, do we know the ratio of Strangers to normal folks in universe?
>>4969845With the Inquisition killing them off? Tiny, I assume. Though Father would know the numbers really, he was part of the Inquisition hunting them down after all.
Mitigate it>>4969162>>4969177>>4969243>>4969251Keep it>>4969377Keep it on the condition that it can be held safely>>4969640Before we cast our second spell, there is another question. As previously mentioned, mitigations can be destructive, especially when they are cast on particularly Strange objects, such as this graven ball. You could perform the cast on it where it lies anyway - or you could try to protect the coffin, the hearse and the poor old horse by sacrificing the partially depleted purse of Sea Salt that you have been drawing from to move the ball a safe distance away. This is not a guaranteed action - by moving it, you are risking contaminating yourself and the surroundings. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Risk damaging the coffin, hearse, and if things go absolutely catastrophic, the poor horse by conducting the Salt-Mitigation where the ball is right now. (1d100 roll, with moderate DC for successful, non-damaging mitigation) >Risk contaminating yourself and the surroundings by using the partially depleted purse of Sea Salt to move the ball to a safe distance from the coffin, hearse and horse. (3x1d100 roll with lower DC to safely move ball without contamination)
>>4969910>Risk contaminating yourself and the surroundings by using the partially depleted purse of Sea Salt to move the ball to a safe distance from the coffin, hearse and horse. (3x1d100 roll with lower DC to safely move ball without contamination)Only having once roll seems like a bad idea, but I'm not sure about the DC bump.
>>4969910>Risk contaminating yourself and the surroundings by using the partially depleted purse of Sea Salt to move the ball to a safe distance from the coffin, hearse and horse. (3x1d100 roll with lower DC to safely move ball without contamination)
>>4969910>Risk contaminating yourself and the surroundings by using the partially depleted purse of Sea Salt to move the ball to a safe distance from the coffin, hearse and horse. (3x1d100 roll with lower DC to safely move ball without contamination)I beg whatever powers that be to not let these rolls be fucking awful.
>>4969910>Risk contaminating yourself and the surroundings by using the partially depleted purse of Sea Salt to move the ball to a safe distance from the coffin, hearse and horse. (3x1d100 roll with lower DC to safely move ball without contamination)Our mitigation rolls have so far been garbage, to put it lightly. While I'm loathe to contaminate ourselves, I'm honestly don't think it's better risking the horse, hearse, or coffin over this as well.
>>4970127>>4970091>>4969942>>4969916Well, that settles it, lets get that damned thing out of the coffin.>DC 26: Anything lower is a failure>No passes: You do not manage to get the graven ball safely away from the hearse. You accidentally drop it, and it bounces off of your boot, rolls around a bit and then goes down a drain, spreading quite a bit of Strangeness. Your foot is seriously affected before you can get the boot off. >One Pass: You manage to get the graven ball safely away from the hearse without contaminating yourself, but you accidentally drop it, and it bounces off of your boot and rolls around a bit, spreading some Strangeness. Your foot is mildly contaminated before you can get the boot off. >Two Passes: You manage to get the graven ball safely away from the hearse without contaminating yourself or the surroundings, but the Strangeness spreads through the material of the purse, and you get some Strangeness on your gloves. You are able to get the glove off before the Strangeness spreads.>Three Passes: You manage to get the graven ball safely away from the hearse without contaminating yourself, your clothes, or the surroundings. >If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test, and your Spotted Cloak is seriously contaminated as well. >If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and you learn something about the graven ball. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure.>If you have already rolled, wait fifteen minutes, and then roll again if more rolls are needed.
Rolled 71 (1d100)>>4970213Hoping for the best lads
>>4970213Want me to roll again and wait another 20 or so minutes?
Rolled 18 (1d100)>>4970213I'm just going to assume yes, but I'm willing for my other rolls to be discounted in favor of another anon's rolls.
Rolled 26 (1d100)>>4970213
>>4970271>comments but doesn't decide to rollYou can still roll you know, maybe the QM will take it. But that 26 isn't bad, it's just flirting with failure.
>>4970271Seriously, roll. I wanna know what you would have rolled had you decided to participate.
I mean, I did say, right here: >>4970213 >If you have already rolled, wait fifteen minutes, and then roll again if more rolls are needed.I think I am going to have to count that. Of course, you still have options here - you have the gloves from the dead man back in the belfry, although those don't fit, you could try to adjust them, you could attempt to preform a remediation on the glove to save it ... or you could redeem your lucky tenth-talent>Please choose ONE of the following:>Attempt to remediate glove before mitigating the graven ball>Do without the glove for now, and just hope that you can get the one from the dead man to fit>Redeem your lucky tenth-talent
>>4970287>Attempt to remediate glove before mitigating the graven ballIf it works, it works. If it doesn't, we still have the dead man's gloves.Frankly, you don't know how much >>4970271's comment annoys me, as he was obviously paying attention and still decided not to roll.
>>4970287>>Attempt to remediate glove before mitigating the graven ball>>4970294Why would he roll when there was already 3 rolls?
>>4970300Because I believe in letting other anons roll instead of hogging all the rolls myself, even if it means we take a shitter roll from a different anon. It's about including others in the quest, as much as I loath the word inclusive.
>>4970287>Attempt to remediate glove before mitigating the graven ballI dunno if I should roll. We saw what happened last time I got arrogant.
>>4970383Redemption is a virtue, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Okay, now we will need someone to roll for the remediation of the gloves. Considering that the contamination is relatively fresh, it should be slightly easier to deal with than all of the stuff on the hearse and coffin. You will also get three attempts, each slightly harder than the last. Each attempt will use one half charge of sea salt. >Please, I need one anon to roll 1d100.>Critical Success: DC 99 and higher. In addition to completely remediating all of the Strangeness, you make an illuminating deduction in the process. The difficulty of all salt-based remediations and mitigations permanently falls. >Success: DC 61 and higher. All of the Strangeness is completely remediated from the glove - allowing you to safely wear them. >Partial Success: DC 41 and higher. Almost all of the Strangeness is remediated from the glove, and it certainly is no longer able to spread. >Complete Failure: DC 20 and lower. While a portion of the Strangeness is remediated from the glove, it is still able to spread.>Catastrophic Failure: DC 10 and lower. Your spell did not manage to target all of the salt that you put down, and could not even activate. All you get for your trouble is a nosebleed that is ruining all of the gauze that you wear under your mask. >Critical-Catastrophic: DC 2 and lower. Your spell accidentally targeted the salt in your body, drawing the Strangeness in the glove into you. You now must remediate yourself - a much more involved process, or you may start spreading the Strangeness at any time. Remember, you can try to remediate hearse, securing ropes and the coffin three times (getting harder each time) before a remediation spell will no longer work on them. You also have a lucky tenth-talent, which can be used to re-roll anything.
Rolled 42 (1d100)>>4970564Alrighty
>>4970570God, our spell rolls have been pretty shit haven't they?Anyone else want to give their roll? I assume we don't want the Strangeness to remain contaminated on our glove with Cleaners operating so close to our work.
>>4970572I think spellcraft is just really really hard and dangerous and Chlotsuintha is just really really bad at it compared to a specialist with lots of training and experience. which is frustrating because at the pace things are going she won't be any better by the end of the thread, but perhaps once she's out of the hottest of hot water she'll have some time to get a timeskip and become less of a danger to herself and her surroundings.
>>4970585I prefer inexperienced rather than bad, but I do agree with you, we ain't that good when it come to spells.
>>4970570>42 Could be worse.
>>4970572I'm here now, so I can roll the next one while you all prepare your requisite ritual sacrifices to the Patternmaker.
Rolled 10, 2, 7, 8, 3, 6, 6, 7, 8, 6 = 63 (10d10)>>4970671I give these Ten-Tenths rolls to the Patternmaker, to do with as he wishes!
>>4970687Above average, a good sign for the future.
>>4970706Indeed, and the first Ten-Tenths a natural 10. The Patternmaker indeed favors this sacrifice.
>anons slowly losing their minds over dem rolls
>>4970775It be how it do.
Sorry for the lapse there. As there seems to be a desire to continue attempting the remediation, could someone please roll 1d100? The new stack is 99/52/32/12/10/2. Also, as before, three partial successes are the equivalent of one regular success. Well, there seems to be a desire to continue rolling
Rolled 3 (1d100)>>4970851Patternmaker guide my Dice!
>>4970855Holy fuck! My dice was cursed!
Rolled 20, 11, 85, 45, 30, 87, 7, 74, 70, 76 = 505 (10d100)Rolling to get the bad luck out.This isn't an a addition roll for the Remediation.
>>4970855;_;We're going to need new gauze.
>>4970851So, when's the last attempt?
Rolled 66, 47, 65, 38, 85, 50, 64, 78, 39, 62 = 594 (10d100)>>4970865When the QM gets around to it, I guess. Pray with me brother! (sister?)>Tosses more dice to rid myself of bad luck and Strangeness
Rolled 13, 25, 100, 28, 18, 8, 73, 99, 69, 47 = 480 (10d100)>>4970896Yosh, brother! (sister?)>Tosses more dice in prayer to the Patternmaker
Boy, I'm getting flashbacks to my first real quest, Space Scrapper - that sone real stinkers of rolls too. The final stack (the hardest, though you have the bonus from the partial sucess helping a bit) is 99/62/42/22/10/2. Good luck, and remember it is just a glove. Someone, a roll of 1d100
Rolled 81 (1d100)>>4970928Fray it!
Rolled 59 (1d100)>>4970928
>>4970947Thank god, a complete success! Sadly, my dice apparently need remediation still.
>>4970951Hey, don't sell yourself short! Our prayer to the Patternmaker worked! We got high roll for once, and we didn't fail catastrophically! That's a win in my book!
Good thing the dice have finally started to smile on us. I am going to be away from my computer for the next thirty minutes or so, but after that, I'll get the stack set up for mitigating the graven ball. Remember, while mitigation is a bit easier, and can be attempted endlessly, its failures are more destrucitve.
Okay, so now the situation with the glove has been resolved, successfully, we now move on to mitigating the graven ball. Each attempt will take a quarter-charge of salt (which is the smallest material division I am going to use in the quest). As with the remediations that we have been doing, three partial successes is a full success. The first partial success provides -4 to the DC for the rest of the rolls, instead of -12 as with remediation. Mitigations become easier on consecutive attempts, but they also get marginally more dangerous as well (DC for Success and Partial Success falls - 2 on each attempt, DC for Complete-Failure and Catastrophic-Failure rise +1 on each attempt). One final consideration: the order that things happens in dictates the result. Say that you roll a partial success the first roll, and the ball falls into several pieces, and most of the Strangeness is mitigated into the salt. If on the second roll, you get a success, all of the Strangeness will be taken care of, but the ball will not reform. It will remain in several pieces. >Critical Success: DC 99 and higher. In addition to completely mitigating all of the Strangeness while keeping the graven ball intact, the way that the spell breaks gives you an unexpected insight into how this artifact was made.>Success: DC 41 and higher. All of the Strangeness is completely mitigated from the graven ball, leaving it a pallid off-white but otherwise intact. Now that it is not Strange, should you keep it? >Partial Success: DC 26 and higher. Most of the Strangeness is completely mitigated from the graven ball as it turns chalk-white and cracks into several pieces. >Catastrophic Failure: DC 10 and lower. Some of the Strangeness is mitigated from the graven ball, but in the process it explodes like a cast pomegranate, getting the Strangeness on your clothes, as well as the surroundings. Gather up as many of the pieces and try again. >Critical-Catastrophic Failure: DC 2 and lower. Not only did the graven ball explode like a cast pomegranate, but one or two of the shards managed to get their way into your forearm. Pull out and gather up as many of the pieces as you can and try again. Okay, now that the stack is all written up, may I please have one brave, and hopefully lucky anon roll a 1d100?
Rolled 87 (1d100)>>4971031Fixed.
>>4971063>>4971037>>4971035Boy, things really are looking up. So now there are three little votes, and then we are pretty much done with the investigation here. Now that the graven ball is no longer Strange, and is still in one piece - do you want to hold on to it to study the glyphcraft, or do you simply drop it down a drain, with the salt that you have remediated and mitigated the Strangeness into?>Please choose ONE of the following:>You will keep the graven ball for further study.>You will dump the graven ball for your safety.With the mitigation of the graven ball, the spread of the Strangeness has stopped here - but both the body and the coffin are still fairly Strange. What do you do about that?>Please choose ONE of the following:>You will mitigate the body, damaging and potentially destroying it to remove any Strangeness.>You will leave the body as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage.>Please choose ONE of the following:>You will mitigate the coffin, damaging and potentially destroying it to remove any Strangeness.>You will leave the coffin as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage. >You will make yourself late (and highly suspect) by returning to the Morgue and asking for another coffin after deliberately damaging this one.
>>4971340>You will keep the graven ball for further study.I want this spell.>You will mitigate the body, damaging and potentially destroying it to remove any Strangeness.The body is already covered in salt, broken on a wheel, and burnt to a crisp among many other things I'm sure, some more damage won't be unusual.>You will leave the coffin as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage. Lets not risk things too much.
>You will keep the graven ball for further study.>You will leave the body as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage.>You will leave the coffin as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage. I think this is the best choice for keeping a low profile without being too paranoid.
>>4971340>You will dump the graven ball for your safety.>You will leave the body as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage.>You will leave the coffin as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage.
>>4971340>You will keep the graven ball for further study.>You will leave the body as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage.>You will leave the coffin as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage.We can always come back and mitigate the Strangeness after the body has been laid to rest, yea? Or maybe line the sides of the grave with lead? I may not be realistic here, but is the South Sexston goes down for this, so will his son.
>>4971354Actually, this guy had a good point. Is the body fucked up enough that mitigating it is going to make things any worse? I mean, how bad is it's state?
>>4971526It has been absolutely mangled by the attempted mundane mitigation. It is not an issue of damaging it with a magical mitigation at this point, it is more a question of risking damage to the coffin, the hearse or yourself if something goes seriously wrong during the process. I never explicitly stated it, but considering the hang-ups that this society has with bodies, all funerals are 'closed casket' anyway. The Undertaker, who typically officiates the funeral and performs the Last Ablution is a lay priest, not a Coroner, and does not so much as look at or touch the dead, let alone prepare them for rest.
>>4971526You want my opinion? If we can't ensure the Cleaners can't pick up the Strangeness itself without being suspicious ourselves, then this turns into a ticking time bomb when it's revealed that the Coroners have been contaminated with Strange. I assume we can't hide the Strangeness without mitigating it, but if they decide to open up the graves and see it was magically mitigated? It'll raise a lot of questions, and may hyperfocus them onto our trail instead. It sucks, and it means that all related to the South Sexton is put at risk of being cleansed, but I can't justify putting undue suspicion on us when we've already tried our best and stoped the Strangeness from spreading further.
>>4971571Of course, if you want to be optimistic, the Cleaners might just do a sweep for Strangeness instead of an extensive search. If that is the case, mitigating the body now and the coffin after it has been raise to rest may be the best solution to keeping this hidden. It's not ideal, and it'll take a lot of stealth and work to pull this off, but if we can do, it'll save everyone here the headache, if the Cleaners do a quick search. Of course, even if they do figure out it was magically mitigated, it still may not directly lead to us, they may decide the South Sexton was the culprit.I don't know how we should play this, all I know is the mitigating it has the chance to sweep all of this under the rug in the foreseeable future (i.e. the remainder of our time here) at the risk of alerting them to a witch near the grounds of the South Sexton. All I know is that I do feel bad for Ralx, Vaclav, and the South Sexton should the Cleaners find out about this.
>>4971340>You will keep the graven ball for further study.>You will leave the body as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage.>You will leave the coffin as it is, as you are worried about doing obvious, suspicious damage.We have at least managed to stabilize everything, so it shot be ok to be left alone and at this point since if it gets buried it won't spread so it being noticed shouldn't implicate us unless the lack of gloves are an issue.of which the dead bodies gloves could be used, though they may not fit well.
>>4971571I'm not worried about them detecting the magical mitigation, hell I'm not even sure mundane folks can detect such a thing, I'm worried about them detecting the Strangeness itself.
>>4971625But the body isn't really an issue if you wanted to mitigate it, the coffin is. We damage it, it may come back on us. We get a new coffin, we'll be late and suspect. It's a question of getting too much focus put on us as an individual or having the Inquisition on the South Sexton's doorstep (and one step away from ours), both of which is unappealing.And I'm not worried about the mundane folks, but the Inquisitors and Cleaners doing an extensive search. Would they know what magical mitigation looks like?I don't know what we should do, all I know is that I feel like a frog in a pot, and the temperature is slowly rising to a boil.
>>4971666I was including the Cleansers in 'mundane folks', though what I really meant was non-magical people or people with detailed knowledge of magic.>Would they know what magical mitigation looks like?I think the inquisitors would for sure, remember they explicitly teach their child-magic-users - the Mitigators - advanced techniques for magical mitigation. Not to mention I get the impression that non-magical mitigation is literally the same as magical mitigation just less efficient, it uses more of the substance that Strangeness is absorbed into and requires a lot of heat and pressure, I think magical mitigation is the same and that is part of the reason it can harm us or whatever is being mitigated.I don't know if the Cleansers possess the same degree of knowledge, I'm guessing they possess less, as they seem to be grunts to the Inquisitors. I don't think there was an inquisitor mentioned as being with these Cleansers at the graveyard though.
>>4971687Point still stands, how do we deal with the coffin, and is it worth the risks- both to do it and to not?
>>4971701I don't know, I deliberately didn't respond to that point because I have no counter point other than taking the risk. We could ignore it, it is partially cleansed, damaging the body isn't an issue unless we completely destroy it. Or we could try the mitigation, I think the odds were 41 for complete success, maybe half that for partial, complete, catastrophic and critical failure are relatively low chances.A write-in solution could help, perhaps we mitigate the body, then mix some of his blood with the salt to form an adhesive pseudo-paint, literally paint the inside of the coffin with the salted blood and attempt the mitigation on the coffin then, or just get some other adhesive like animal fat or some plant oil to mix with the salt. The point of this write-in would be to solve the 'carpentry' issues mentioned in regards to remediating the vertical walls of the coffin with salt.
>>4971765>The point of this write-in would be to solve the 'carpentry' issues mentioned in regards to remediating the vertical walls of the coffin with salt.A solid enough idea, and I'm for it, but the next question is how long we can reasonably stall this and still get away with it. I gotta ask the QM how long would we have to take showing up with the coffin before we start raising eyebrows, and how long would it take us to do exactly what was stated above?
>>4971765I don't mind damaging the inside, but I don't know if it'll just be contained to the inside. If that's the case, I would probably be willing to attempt it, even knowing the risk of excessive failure may result in outside cosmetic damage.
>>4971775I dunno, maybe QM might. The spells themselves are already eating up a decent chunk of time but I don't get the impression that just taking this detour is a disaster. If we buy the adhesive from a nearby shop the time lost may be negligible, mayhaps the same with the salted blood paint idea, we aren't going all the way back to our home after all.
>>4971765I'll have to vote against this write-in. 1) it is super gross. Poking around in a burned body looking for it's dried black blood. Let's not forget we're a girl. 2) The blood will be strange so it risks further contamination of coffin or ourselves. 3) If anyone opens the coffin it'll lead straight to us.
>>49720291. We work with bodies for a living, and that's not counting Father manipulating dead flesh for his pet projects.2. We already fixed the Strangeness spreading problem, is not the Strangeness itself.The third point is my main worry, but if we fix the Strange problem, they would have no reason to dig up a grave and look at the corpse.
>>4972029I literally say in that very post that we could mitigate the body first so it wouldn't be strange and offer the alternative solution to using blood of using animal fat or plant oils or any number of other things that we could buy from shops around us.On that third point, if the Cleansers detect any Strangeness at all in the hearse, the ropes, the coffin, or the body, they may very well mitigate us for having even been near it at all. It is almost as big a risk to go back to the graveyard at all with anything Strange when it is crawling with Cleansers with dosimeters. Also, the QM said all funerals are of the closed-casket variety anyways, and no one has any reason to open the coffin anyways. (except if the Cleansers find it to be Strange)
>>4972066Yeah, I guess it's probably for the best we mitigate the body. It's already mangled enough. We might as well try and remediate the coffin walls, too. Hopefully a simple excuse about us having skipped breakfast to grab something to eat due to dad being sick will be enough to deflect any stares.
>>4972087You have already run out of attempts to remediate the coffin. All you can do is attempt mitigation and hope that whatever damage is done is localized and cosmetic, try to get the body moved into another coffin, or just hope that nothing goes wrong when you bring the thing to the South Burying Ground. Anyway, I'm still here. I'm not ready to write yet, so I will leave the vote open for now.
So, what do you think lads? Should we attempt to mitigate, or leave this be?
Okay, let's see where the votes are. >>4971354 Keep Ball 1 Dump Ball 0 Mitigate Body 1 Ignore Body 0 Mitigate Coffin 0 Ignore Coffin 1>>4971371 Keep Ball 2 Dump Ball 0 Mitigate Body 1 Ignore Body 1 Mitigate Coffin 0 Ignore Coffin 2>>4971421 Keep Ball 2 Dump Ball 1 Mitigate Body 1 Ignore Body 2 Mitigate Coffin 0 Ignore Coffin 3>>4971509 Keep Ball 3 Dump Ball 1 Mitigate Body 2 Ignore Body 2 Mitigate Coffin 0 Ignore Coffin 4>>4972087 Keep Ball 3 Dump Ball 1 Mitigate Body 3 Ignore Body 2 Mitigate Coffin 0 Ignore Coffin 4>>4971775Sorry, didn't see this question. As indicated, you still are more or less on schedule at this point. However, as indicated if you take any further detours (such as going back to the Morgue to ask for another coffin, or alternatively, looking for things to fix the coffin with) you will wind up being late. Now, there is a difference from being a few minutes late and being suspiciously late ... but you need to remember that you only have seven eighth-talents from your wage with you, which does limit what you can buy - and not all shopkeepers are willing to sell to Lepers, especially when they pull up in a hearse. If you were really willing to go this route, you could go to that hardware store you went to yesterday. You would be late enough that the South Sexton would throw a fit and probably dock your pay (of course, unless your father returns, you are not going to be around to collect it next week, anyway) but you will not be late enough that he sends the authorities out after you, or something like that. And finally, all of this assumes that the damage that the mitigation does to the coffin can be fixed with glue, which is not necessarily a given.
>>4972739Well, that sells it for me. We'll mitigate the body first, then the coffin later tonight, investigate (and potentially mitigate) that Strange house, and lift that lifting oil before sunrise. Quite a packed night.
>>4972757>>4972739Yeah, mitigate the body now, do the coffin later if possible. And keep the musket ball so we can study the thing.
Alright, here is the stack for the Salt-Mitigation spell cast on the body. I'm going to need one brave (and lucky) anon to roll 1d100. The rules from >>4971031 are in effect. >Critical Success: DC 99 and higher. In addition to completely mitigating all of the Strangeness with not immediately apparent change to the body, the way the mitigation plays out gives you a significant clue as to how the graven ball works.>Success: DC 41 and higher. All of the Strangeness is completely mitigated from the body, and while visible signs of spontaneous decay appear, thankfully, there are no offensive odors to accompany them.>Partial Success: DC 26 and higher. Most of the Strangeness is completely mitigated from the body, but the remains undergo extensive spontaneous decay. There is noticeable bloating, and more than just a whiff of rot.>Catastrophic Failure: DC 10 and lower. Some of the Strangeness is mitigated from the body, but in the process the remains experience spontaneous necrotic liquefaction, as what is left of the soft tissue turns to a reeking, Strange slurry. >Critical-Catastrophic Failure: DC 2 and lower. Not only does the remaining flesh on the body turn into slurry, but it seems that the coffin is not water-tight. While it is not able to spread the Strangeness, the slurry smells like death and is getting everywhere. >>4972757>Well, that sells it for me. We'll mitigate the body first, then the coffin later tonight, investigate (and potentially mitigate) that Strange house, and lift that lifting oil before sunrise. Quite a packed night.If there are no objections to this, we can make this the itinerary for tonight. Everyone good with this?
Rolled 88 (1d100)>>4973105I'll do it.
>>4973114Praise the Patternmaker!>>4973105Yea, seems good to me ;^)
>>4973105I guess I'm fine with that.>>4973114Praise be!
Not for the first time, you wish that your father was here with you. He would know what to do about this gleaming Strange buggerer with absolute certainty, just like he always does. For that matter, he would probably know about it too – what the glyphs say, how the magic works. You, on the other hand, are completely in the dark here. Beyond the painfully obvious fact that the ball is made out of steel as opposed to the usual lead because you cannot engrave lead with magical glyphs, you have no further insights – you barely even know anything about mundane musket balls, let alone magical ones. It is frustrating and humbling reminder about just how little magic you understand. A proper education takes time and effort – and between digging graves during the day and robbing them at night, as well as practicing his magic, father never really had that much time to teach you anything beyond the most fundamental aspects. You had pressed him several times about this, begging him to find the time to teach you more, but all you would get out of him was vague promises that never amounted to more regular lessons. He seemed perfectly content to teach you at a snail’s pace – a particularly slow snail’s pace. Which leaves you staring at the graven ball like an illiterate would at a book. You desperately want to learn, and if you leave the spell intact, then between the magic and the glyphs, there is a chance that you could teach yourself something. But whatever magic is at work here, it is yielding dangerous amounts of Strangeness, with no signs of stopping. Carrying something that Strange around in your pocket is a serious risk – a risk made exponentially more risky when you have Cleansers working around you, with ranged dosimeters going around, looking for anything emitting the Strangeness. Softly sighing to yourself, you resolve to mitigate the graven ball - if you are lucky, and the mitigation goes smoothly, the glyphs might be left in a legible condition, which would mean you have a chance to learn something from this artifact. And if it did not come out in one piece, or if it does, but you could not make heads or tails of it, then that is alright too - Witches do not call magic the 'Many Mysteries' without good cause. There are always going to be spells you cannot cast, and aspects of magic that you do not understand. Especially when it comes to reading someone else's Glyphs - without the scrivener responsible for the piece on hand to walk you through it, making complete sense of a glyph is not guaranteed, even for an expert. Which you are most assuredly not. Father is though, and if he does make his self-imposed deadline, then you have no doubt that he would be as pleased as punch to get his hands on something like this. Apologies, but this is all I have at the moment. I will get the rest of the update done tomorrow.
>>4973105>If there are no objections to this, we can make this the itinerary for tonight. Everyone good with this?I'm not. Chlotsuintha only managed one heist last night, doing three things is too much. the lifting oil is most important, then the house, then the coffin, imo
>>4975756If we bury the body and coffin without mitigating, can their Strangeness still be sensed by common Cleanser methods even in a shallow grave?
>>4975756I think the reverse, as if the coffin is discovered to be Strange, out time has just run out, and we won't be ready until we get our supplies, clothes, and transportation secured, which will take another day.
>>4975756While that is certainly true, you need to remember that she had a very late start - honing the stilettoes and preparing the water for the next few days took up time. Then there was the false start with the Guild House. And after she finished spending all the time getting into and robbing the ship, she lost even more time physically going in circles after discovering the Strangeness in the alley and noticing that she was being tailed. And even if she cannot get everything done in one night, remember this is only the fifth day - if you are going to remain in the Mount until your father's self-imposed deadline runs out, you will still have other nights, even if you cannot do everything tonight. That said, we probably should put the night's itinerary up to a vote, regardless. And as for the interrupted update, I am working on it right now. Should be up soon.
But would it still be in a condition that someone could learn from it? After having been so thoroughly smothered in salt, a Salt-Remediation, like the one that you performed on the bed of the hearse, the securing ropes and the coffin itself, is going to be out of the question. And with no lead on hand, or any other inert material available to you, you are going to have to attempt a Salt-Mitigation. Which is not something that you are particularly comfortable with, considering how destructive mitigations are – you are not just worried about destroying the ball, you are worried about destroying the ball without removing all of the Strangeness, and sending steel splinters flying everywhere, contaminating or recontaminating whatever they pierce into, such as the coffin, the body … or yourself. Even with the abilities that you have to deal with Strangeness, and the knowledge and equipment that you have to deal with injuries, the idea of a Strange wound is a serious, if not abjectly terrifying concept. And it is not just the horrors that the Strangeness can do to a living being – while your stability can provide significant protection against the ravages of the Strangeness, that protection it not complete, and if something is Strange enough, it can be overwhelmed, like a heavy rain sundering a mill’s dam – there is the concern of complimentary complications. The presence of an injury makes dealing with the Strangeness much, much harder, as both the remediation and mitigation of living beings is a strenuous affair, to say the least. And the presence of the Strangeness complicates treating wounds – both with mundane and magical methods. Now, you would not say that you could not deal with a moderate injury that was also contaminated with non-spreading Strangeness, but at the same time, you are not looking forward to the prospect of treating such an injury, especially not if it is your injury. Unfortunately, working with what you have to work with at the moment, you are not going to be able to make this any safer for yourself – but at the very least, you can make it safer for the coffin and the hearse by removing the ball from the coffin. In the absolute worst-case scenario, you could conceivably treat your injuries with magic. But you do not have any spells that can do woodwork repairs on a hearse or a co