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/qst/ - Quests

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You are Lieutenant Richter Von Tracht, Lieutenant of Strossvald and Armor Officer. After meeting with an informant and laying steps to infiltrating the Seperatist organization called the Dawnseekers, you were called out of the city by your platoon (less a platoon than a messy collection of man and vehicles), as a large group of soldiers and heavy armored cars from the northern country of Delsau had been spotted. After calling some reinforcement in the form of a squad of Panzergrenadiers and setting up an ambush in an abandoned village, you waited for the Delsans to come.

Hans, your radio operator turned loader, had broken the silence by revealing that one of your companions had asked about your appearance.

“I would prefer ‘handsome’ and ‘rugged’ to ‘cute,’” You contain your offence. Cute! What an unmanly implication. You squint at the town before you, where Sergeant Schaub’s panzergrenadiers had set up an ambush; such small talk as that concerning your appearance was only to pass the time until the crucial moment, when the Delsans down the road would finally come up and into both of your fields of fire.

The question had been, purportedly, something Maddalyn, a noble girl temporarily made part of your crew as a radio operator, had asked of the rest of your crew while you were elsewhere attending an important meeting.

The important issue of whether or not you were “cute.”

It was a fair question, considering you were betrothed to one another, and also because Maddalyn was conditionally blind and could not recognize faces. The crew didn’t know of either of these though. Without being able to consider the former, Hans had let slip the fact that she had asked that question, presumably in an attempt to antagonize her.
It had worked, and the lady had been irritated quite magnificently.

Despite your coming marital status, Maddalyn had not given any indication that she ever wanted, or was prepared, to be your bride. It was an arranged matter, so you hadn’t given it any mind either; to be truthful, you had hoped to get it over with and get on with something else. It was becoming more and more difficult to not address it at this point.
It’s something that you would rather deal with later, much later.

You try to lighten your mood with a bit of banter. “Hans, you’re talking rather familiarly with a noble lady.”
“Took long enough for her to talk back,” he scoffed.

“Are…are you trying to mask attraction with bullying?” You try to mock him.

“Boss,” Hans became very serious, “Hint for the future, if you try and hook me up. I need a lot more of this,” he cupped his hands and lifted them suggestively under his breast, “and a lot less of this” he wagged his tongue at you. “If I wanted a girl like her I’d go to a kindergarten.” Maddalyn ignored him.

“You’re a pig,” Stein, your gunner, sighed while keeping an eye in the gunsight.

“I’m a pig with taste.”

“Errde gouuwauays!” Malachi shouts. Even in his unintelligible slurred and accented New Nauk, the tone made it clear what he was talking about. You spot the Delsans making their move towards the town.

The plan consisted of such: You would wait for all of the enemy to come into the firing arcs of your weapons; that way, you could catch them all in the open, and perhaps force a quick surrender. It required a compromise of utilizing the advantage of distance and drawing them into an ambush in the thick of the abandoned village between you and them, but you thought it good enough.

The attack would be started as soon as the Panzergrenadier’s AT rifle opened fire. You waited, every nerve on edge, for the loud crack of the anti-tank weapon…


That wasn’t the sound of any anti-tank rifle you had ever heard.

You didn’t hear the sound of an armor piercing round hitting metal either; the panzergrenadier’s machine gun hailed fire on the viewports of the lead car, sending bullet splatter ricocheting among the ducking troops.

The Delsans proceeded to throw their weapons down and their hands up, the armored cars pointing their automatic 40mm cannons into the sky.

Huh. That wasn’t the result you were expecting at all.

>Tell the Panzergrenadiers to accept their surrender
>Go down yourself and accept their surrender
>It’s a trap- Open Fire
>Wait and see what happens
>Tell the Panzergrenadiers to accept their surrender

Tell one man to go and make sure to get all the crews away from those armored cars and then have them come towards the panzergrenadiers line
This way if it is a trap we only have 1 man go down while everyone else is still combat capable

Although the tanks have radios, the Panzergrenadiers aren’t as fortunate individually; communicating with them is somewhat more difficult. You had set up a rather clumsily executed but standard method of communication; Telegraph code with signal mirrors, communicated using short and long flashes of light. It took some clarification, but you managed to successfully tell the Sergeant to only send one man to accept their surrender, before leading them into the town away from their vehicles.

You watched your envoy through binoculars, as he began to negotiate with the Delsans.

“What’s going on out there?’ Maddalyn asks from below.

“They capitulated after only a little bit of fire,” you murmur, “Didn’t put up a fight at all.”

“What would Delsans want down here anyways?” Stein allowed himself to relax from the gunsight, “I’ve heard they’re not as happy to come over for a fight as every other place outside Strossvald seems to be. I can’t remember there being a war with them…well, ever.”

That would be because Strossvald had indeed never had a war with Delsau. An unusual case; all of Strossvald’s other neighbors had been at war with Strossvald at some point or another, even the Reich, when they impotently tried to reassert control over Strossvald almost 80 years ago; the attempt, of course, failed hideously.

The Delsans were soon all disembarked and walking neatly in front of the Panzergrenadier; a few of them lightly wounded by bullet fragments, but none of them severely, it seemed.

As soon as the Panzergrenadiers had rounded up everybody and had them under guard, you elected to go down and inspect what you had caught.

The officer in charge of the Delsans is a slim man, oddly beautiful, wearing a green Delsan Army beret on top of a head of wavy golden brown hair.

“Are you the commander of these soldiers?” you ask him.
“I am. Captain Loch, of the Delsan Rangers.” He says, holding himself high. He sounds remarkably unconcerned about the whole ordeal. “I expected at least a warning,” he smirked at you, “You could have hurt somebody with those shots, you know.”

His voice had a cultured cadence, the sort that sounded smooth and refined no matter what he was saying, and you could swear you had heard it before. There was something incredibly familiar about it, as well as about the accent under it. Now that you thought about it, the name seemed familiar too, but you couldn’t place where from.

“You are trespassing on Strossvald’s land. Crossing of the borders by an armed party without escort is tantamount to a declaration of war, do you not know that?” You ask incredulously.

“It seemed worth the risk,” he replied.

You cock an eyebrow at him, expecting more. Loch simply cocks his eyebrow back at you.

“You are almost fifty kilometers inside of our borders. What could possibly motivate you to intrude so far?” you begin to question him. “How did you not encounter anybody before us?”

“We received a call for help, of course. From the very patrols you claim we would have encountered” Captain Loch said without hesitation.

Ridiculous. “On open channels?”

“What other ones could they have called for us on?” It’s almost as if Loch is finding what you’re saying to him as ridiculous as you find his story. “A patrol of yours broadcast that they were being attacked, and requested for any who could hear the message to come to their aid. They claimed their attackers were heavily armed brigands.”


>As it happens we’re looking for a bunch of heavily armed brigands. Where were they? Where did they go? If you’re looking for a fight with those clowns you can help.
>A likely story. You and your men are now my prisoners, you will relinquish your arms and be placed into custody until a representative of your nation arrives to negotiate for your release.
>We’re on the hunt for that bunch ourselves. There’s no need for your interference. I can put in a good word if you want to share whatever you’ve heard, but you’re still going to need to surrender your arms because you’re here illegally.
How silly of me, I forgot a couple of things.

>Pastebin of past threads' archive: http://pastebin.com/UagT0hnh

>twitter for updates is @scheissfunker
>As it happens we’re looking for a bunch of heavily armed brigands. Where were they? Where did they go? If you’re looking for a fight with those clowns you can help.

If we've never had a problem with them before there probably wouldn't be a reason to cause one now so we should be able to trust them, and having extra firepower never hurts

You disregarded international law and invaded a country because you heard a distress call and thought you would help? I don't know if Delsans are stupid enough to actually do that or if you just think I'm stupid enough to believe it, but either way you can explain it all to the MPs. I'll put in a good word for you if you're willing to share what you've heard but I'm afraid I have to take you all into custody.
Also, try to comms higher command if they've received any distress call recently. If they broadcasted on open channels everyone in the area should have heard it.
“Wait for a bit,” you part with Loch for a few minutes to trudge back to your tank.

"No worries, we aren't in a hurry." Loch waved a tiny, unserious goodbye.

They weren’t going anywhere, and you had to check his story with command. Surely a broadcast on open channels, if it happened, would have reached them.

You call Regimental Headquarters. Normally. A lowly Lieutenant wouldn’t punch so high, but you had been given special authority due to the presence of the daughter of the local lord; you were, as far as was known, still on a special mission, with all the privileges that granted you.

“Whaddaya want.” The same person as you had reached before lazily hailed you back.

“I want to ask something,” you say, leaving out the fact that you had captured the Delsans in case you thought it would be good to use them, “Was there a distress call, a general call for aid, broadcasting on public channels earlier?”

“Yeah,” the operator at regimental HQ said quickly, “Yeah, but we couldn’t respond to it. It was on an unsecured channel, and they weren’t using any codes at all. That transmission could have been literally anybody. Any calls back didn’t get answers either, so we didn’t go further. Not worth dispatching a force to a prank call.” The operator gave himself a break for a moment. “…why, you find somebody putting fraudulent distress calls on the net.”

“Maybe.” You reply, “I’ll check back in.”

It wasn’t out of character for the border patrols to be a bit unprofessional. They were made up of part time soldiers and eager militiamen who wanted to wear a badge and have a little status serving their country without committing to the military. They had access to proper codes, though, so in order for them to have put a call for help on general channels, they must have assumed that reinforcements from their own country might not make it in time, though, and you remained suspicious. Why would such an assumption be made? What kind of enemy required such an urgent response? Why had no responses been made when they were called? The whole thing stank with the odor of uncomfortable mystery.

>With this new information, you may reevaluate your decision on what to do.

>Detain the Delsans and Loch
>Interrogate the Delsans, and if they tell you much, try and argue for leniency
>Agree to aid the Delsans in pursuing the Dawnseekers
>>Interrogate the Delsans, and if they tell you much, try and argue for leniency

As per >>982090
>Interrogate the Delsans, and if they tell you much, try and argue for leniency
>Do it on the move though, because a border patrol that doesn't respond on the proper channel is a cause for worry.
>Put a panzergrenadier into each of the Delsan cars to enforce compliance.
>Move to help the patrol.
You go back to the Delsans and pick Captain Loch out of the bunch. You’d interrogate him on the way back. Everybody else was put back on top of the vehicles to be escorted into the city, a Panzergrenadier in each armored car to ensure compliance.

Hans gets relocated out of your tank in order to make room for your guest. You felt it prudent to ensure he couldn’t flee by leaping off the top. You also put Stein in the commander’s position, so you and Loch can sit across from each other; it was easier for the sake of conversation. You didn’t expect any threats on the way back anyways.

“Now, Captain,” you begin, as the convoy begins to move, “You disregarded international law, and practically invaded a country, so you could help a bunch of nobody border patrol in another country? I don’t know if Delsans are stupid enough to do that-“

“They are.” Loch slides in.

“-or if you think I’m stupid enough to believe it-“

“I would not say stupid,” Loch cuts in again without waiting for you to finish.

“But.” You try to maintain your position in this, “Either way, you can explain it to the MPs. If you share everything you know, I can put in a good word for your treatment, but I’m afraid I had no choice but to take you into custody, considering the circumstances.”

“I have no choice, do I? Ask what you will.” Loch lays his hands face up.

“If you are Delsan, why is your accent so strange?” Maddalyn asks up her space.

“How is it strange?” you ask her back.

“Delsans speak New Nauk and Emrean. I’d expect that sort of accent, but this man has an western accent.”

“Plenty of Delsans do not speak Emrean." Captain Loch says with little regard, "Emre is only on the northern border, after all. Delsau’s eastern border is with Naukland yet you do not complain that I do sound like one who speaks in Nauk. Everybody speaks Imperial.”

Imperial was another name for New Nauk, albeit one not a name used where you had often been; When Kaiser Alexander conquered most of the continent more than a century and a score ago, the western dialect of Nauk had become the standard language for the newly annexed territories. The many variations in Old Nauk across the land had become quickly standardized, and despite the grudge most of Sosalia held against the Reich even after winning their freedom, the Imperial standardization of language had been quite convenient, and they had perpetuated it under the name “New Nauk.”

You decide to start your questioning with that out of the way.

>Tell me what the distress call said in detail, exactly as it was. Do you know where it came from?
>Was your actions sanctioned by your superiors, or did you do this on your own initiative?
>Have you heard of this band of brigands before? Do you know what they are called?
>Other (There’s no limit to what you can ask; only whether you think certain questions would be more helpful or perhaps lead to less guarded responses)
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Okay since I mixed up east and west a shitload and had to repost that goddamn part like four times because I'm so good at proofreading, this is a map of the continent so that those directions actually mean something.
>>Tell me what the distress call said in detail, exactly as it was. Do you know where it came from?
>>Was your actions sanctioned by your superiors, or did you do this on your own initiative?
>Tell me what the distress call said in detail, exactly as it was. Do you know where it came from?
>Was your actions sanctioned by your superiors, or did you do this on your own initiative?

Ask him what's going on in Delsau too
>Tell me what the distress call said in detail, exactly as it was. Do you know where it came from?
>Was your actions sanctioned by your superiors, or did you do this on your own initiative?
>Have you heard of this band of brigands before? Do you know what they are called?
>Have you ever been in Strossvald before?

Archives are being DDoSed so I can't check, but the only place we could have heard a foreigner is at our tank exams.

Also the things point he's not really a Delsan, like how he calls Delsans 'they' and 'stupid', or New Nauk 'Imperial'. Looks like a Reich citizen to me.
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“First off,” you begin, “The distress call. What did it say? Exactly, if you can remember. Where did it come from?”

“I have some difficulty recalling.” Captain Loch remained perfectly relaxed. “They identified themselves as Strossvald Patrolmen, but did not identify which unit they were with, or what sector they were stationed to. Only that they were in a large town. It was a ways back, nearly thirty kilometers, perhaps thirty five, but we checked there, and found nothing but a shocked populace and the signs of a battle. We came this far hoping to catch the fiends in their retreat.”

“I see,” you muse, still quite skeptical. “Were your actions sanctioned by your superiors, or did you do this on your own initiative?”

“Oh, entirely on my own.” He said, closing his eyes and smiling, “If you call back home and ask what Captain Loch was doing, I’m afraid they’ll check and find out what a miscreant I’ve been.”

No doubt. “Have you heard of this band of brigands before? Do you know what they are called?”

“I haven’t.” Loch keeps his eyes closed and shakes his head, “When we asked around the town, however, the name ‘Dawnseekers’ came up. Their founder must have had a taste for the dramatic…the name is from a play I quite like. The moniker for the band of rogues who aid the return of the King’s heir after his uncle illegitimately takes the throne, in ‘Kingdom of a Thousand Lights’.”

You hadn’t been very big on stagecraft. The opera was indeed a popular place for the upper echelon of society, but you found yourself more taken with moving pictures. It wouldn’t be long before all the good plays were put to picture anyways, from what you reckoned.

“What is happening in Delsau, anyways? Anything important happen lately?” you set him back on the subject.

“What a boring question.” Loch sighs and leans against the turret door, “A fabulously popular politician was jailed for embezzlement of public funds, there was an inconclusive diplomatic spat over some northern territories with Emre again, and a bold captain of the rangers took an expedition out to follow a distress call out of the goodness of his heart.”

“I’ve heard about that one. Last I heard he got himself caught by a handsome Lieutenant of Strossvald.” You point your thumb in an unsubtle manner at yourself.

“I’ve heard he pales in comparison to his captive.’ Loch says after he opens one eye and peers at you. “Young lady, what do you think? Which of us would you rather have in your arms at a ball?”

“What? Uh…ehhh…” Maddalyn pretends to be able to see and know what you both look like. “N-neither!”

Loch shrugs. “Oh, well. My pride has received worse battering than having merely drawn in this contest.”

Yours hadn’t.
“A-anyways,” this Captain Loch did not like to keep on the subject of being interrogated, you noted as you went forth with the final question you thought of, “Have you ever been to Strossvald?”

“Once. Not here, though.” Loch at least didn’t dismiss this question as boring. “I went to Strosstadt, the Archduke’s city. A pleasant place, if rather stuck up about itself. These lands are much more humble.”

“Commander,” Stein nudges you, “We’re heading into the city now. We can probably drop these guys off soon."

Well, you admittedly hadn’t found out too much. At the very least you had found out the perpetrators behind this event were indeed the Dawnseekers, as well as some knowledge concerning their name you didn’t think incredibly relevant. You also had the sneaking suspicion that Captain Loch wasn’t who he said he was.

You had called in to report that you had captured this band of trespassers earlier, and were instructed on where to take them. A group of military policemen waited at the edge of the city to accept your quarry, and transfer them to a proper housing site, as well as to impound the vehicles.

“And their weapons?” the lead police officer asked you.

“In the truck with the grenadiers. It’s a tight fit.”

“We’ll borrow the truck and the grenadiers. Wouldn’t want these Delsans getting any funny ideas.” The officer said without asking first. “We’ll put in a report for your actions as well. You’ll probably receive a commendation.”

Unless you steal the credit, you think without saying. Taking prisoners in peacetime wasn’t a big draw, anyways; nobody paid much mind to the border patrolmen for their normal duties.

Your crews had left their vehicles for a breath of air, and with them you extracted Captain Loch.

“I suppose this is farewell for now, Lieutenant.” He gave a little mock salute. “Perhaps we will meet once more”

“I think not.” You say roughly.

“I think so.” He countered. He withdrew from his pocket a golden seal. The rat must have somehow taken it from your own pocket, for it was the seal of the Kaiser that Zierke had given you earlier. He tosses it to you. “Sorry, Lieutenant, but I couldn’t resist. That’s quite the pretty trinket.”

You don’t acknowledge that as he is escorted away by a policeman.

“Hey, who’s that?” Signy, the leader of a severely reduced opposition group to the Dawnseekers, sidles up to you. “He’s pretty good looking. What’s he doing with the rest of these dogs?”

You admit that you hadn’t paid much attention to the looks of most of his soldiers. In hindsight, he was uniquely aesthetically blessed among them.

>”An obnoxious prat. No need to share his name. How is progress on that infiltration plan?”
>”Captain Loch. He’s not so good looking, what a silly thing to say.”
>”That Delsan officer’s name was Loch. Apparently the Dawnseekers are causing trouble a long way from here too.”
>>”That Delsan officer’s name was Loch. Apparently the Dawnseekers are causing trouble a long way from here too.”
>”That Delsan officer’s name was Loch. Apparently the Dawnseekers are causing trouble a long way from here too.”
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“That Delsan Officer’s name was Loch,” you tell Signy, “Apparently the Dawnseekers are causing trouble a long way from here too.”

“Loch, huh?” Signy trailed off.

“What? Is that name familiar?” you ask her.

“Yeah. It’s the name of a Czeissan political philosopher. Edmund Loch. He was pretty famous in the days after the Emrean war. He called for the will of the people to be recognized in the Reich, since the throne’s decisions led to so much destruction. He outlined the rights of the people and their ruler’s responsibility to uphold them, since a ruler is nothing without their subjects.”

“Doesn’t sound like he got much accomplished,” you say, “The Reich is still the Reich.”

“I think he got close,” Signy insisted, “Edmund Loch was a close friend of Kaiser Henrik. He was one of Henrik’s advisors until a few years ago when he died. It makes sense to hope at least a little something got through.”

“Maybe.” You acquiesce, “The Dawnseekers, though.”

“Yeah,” Signy said uncomfortably, “If they’re that far up they have a lot more reach than I ever thought they did. As far as I knew they tended to be pretty local. Down south there’s too much pressure from Valsten, and nobody who has to live near them likes them.”

Even though Valsten was a republic, apparently its utterly corrupt core was distasteful to this republican activist.

A man in a long white coat came up from behind the military police, busy corralling the Delsans. He edged around the crowd, and approached you and Signy. He bumped into you.

“Beg your pardon.” He said in a guttural tone before walking on.

You looked on the ground and saw that he dropped a small, green envelope. You had the mind to call the man to give it back, but Signy grabbed hold of your arm when you started to hold it up.

“That’s one of Anders’ people. Give me that.”

She ripped the envelope from your hands and opened it, quickly reading through it.

“Commander,” Stein called to you, leaning out as Hans climbed back into your m/32, “There’s a call from the manor. Miss Von Blum says your presence has been requested for a…task.”

“Tracht,” Signy pulled on your sleeve, “Anders has everything set up. We’ve got an in to the Dawnseekers’ bases.”

It seemed you were pretty popular right now.

>Go back to the manor and find out what the Lord wants
>Go to Signy’s contact and get into the Dawnseeker’s operations
>There might be patrolmen still out there in trouble. Go see if there’s anybody to help out there first
>Figure out some more flexible order of operations
>Go back to the manor and find out what the Lord wants

Can't really tell the lord of the land to shove it if we want to get anywhere
>There might be patrolmen still out there in trouble. Go see if there’s anybody to help out there first

Signy a cute!
Though I have to say her face looks a bit flat in 3/4. Maybe it would be better to shift the nose just a bit to the left and make the far eye shorter?
Seconded. Get Signy to update us on the way.
"Did you say something?" Signy asked.


"I could have sworn you said something was cute."

"You're mistaken," you brush her off. “Anyways, we can actually start on whatever this Anders wants later,” you tell Signy, “Come with me, you can tell me more on our way to the manor. Let’s find out what Von Blum wants with me.”

You shout into the turret, “Hans, don’t get comfortable, you’re going back in the car.”

“Why?” he protested, “I just got here.”

“Because you don’t play nice with girls, and I’m bringing another one in the tank. Be a gentleman.”

“I’m a gentleman,” he said grumpily, but hopped out nonetheless.

“What is she doing here?” Maddalyn demands immediately when you enter the m/32 with Signy.

“Telling me how we take down the Dawnseekers,” you tell her calmly.


“Driver, take us to the Von Blums’ Manor.” When the tank sputtered to life once more, you looked to Signy across from you. Hopefully Stein wouldn’t grow uncomfortable away from the gunsight. “So, how do we do this?”

“Anders got a representative of the Dawnseekers to listen to us. They think there’s so few of us, it’s not worth arguing over; they’ll ‘forgive’ whoever’s left when they join in.”

“How many do they think are left?” you ask.

“Maybe a dozen. Not far off, honestly.” Signy said grimly. “From here on, as long as we have some symbol of the Dawnseekers on us, they’ll let us through to most places. We’re expected at their biggest base, though…which used to be our base.”

Where you had just been scouting around.

“Of course, you can’t bring the peacock outfit in that case. You’ll need something a little more casual.” Signy pointed particularly to your cap.

You could arrange for that, you tell her.

“Yeah. Your other guy was getting things ready too, I know. Well, we can use what he’s prepared, and then go through whatever he planned to get what we get to the right people. Should be simple; we won’t have to be inside nearly long enough to be suspicious.” Signy snapped her fingers, “With what I’m guessing you’re looking for, it couldn’t take more than half an hour.”

It wouldn’t take long to find anything big, no, but anything sensitive might require a longer stay. You’d see once you got there, you supposed.


“Excuse me?” you ask around.

“What?” Signy looked bewildered, “What about that deserved that kind of remark?”


Somewhere inside your mind, these words suddenly rattled. They sounded as if they were echoing from far away, but you could hear it with impeccable clarity.

Whatever was speaking had the tone of wooden chimes blowing in the wind, but with the repetition of a trained bird, as if it was simply repeating with no feeling. The voice had a cloying stickiness to it that left the voice echoing in your head even after it finished speaking, leaving you with a profound sense of confusion and a whispered suggestion of fear.

“Nothing.” You say, rubbing your head. “Maddy, did you hear anything?”

Maddalyn says that she didn’t, leaving you puzzled. You’d have to ask her in more detail in a place with less people to question your sanity. The voices had stopped after the thick, choked bellow, at least.

You made it to the manor without a problem; having not expended much ammunition, you sent your crews to refuel the vehicles. Maddalyn had gotten out of the tank to follow you.

“Are you sure you want to see Lord Barnabas?” you ask her, “You don’t have to, I’d say.”

“No…I should.” Maddalyn said with an air of uncertainty, “It was a problem I caused. I should tell him when it’s been dealt with. Besides…this is the first time in a long time that anything’s gone right for me. I want to see…if he’s proud like he once was.”

“Like he once was?” You prompt her.

“Mm.” The grounds became remarkably quiet once the armor clattered away. Once could scarcely even hear the bustle of the city, and the singing of the mountain winds was clear. “I was born blind. From as far back as I can remember, I hated that I was a lesser person. That I was a stain on the bloodline. Father never said that, though. Whenever I learned to do something, to read by touch, to sew, to do math, he sounded so…glad. Like he was happy with me just the way I was. Even when others would mock me, he would comfort me, and help me.”

“That’s changed, obviously.” You muse.

“Well, yes.” Maddalyn gripped her fingers with her other hand, “When the Hermit came, and he gave me this sight, for what it was, I thought Father would be overjoyed. I thought I’d finally stopped being a useless worm of a cripple. But…he didn’t say anything. Ever since, he’s lost all his warmth. All the kindness he used to have. I just want to see him like that again.”

>It’s hard to believe that old tyrant would be ever have been like that. If those days ever existed, they’re long gone.
>Who cares what your father thinks? If he doesn’t like that you’re less dependent, that’s on him.
>I’m sure everything will be fine. After all, things are going right again, aren’t they?

Probably. I try to be quick with the doodles, despite what the extended period of time between updates may indicate.
>Have you tried to talk to him about it? Ask what happened?

Those are really good for a 'doodle'
>Who cares what your father thinks? If he doesn’t like that you’re less dependent, that’s on him.

and >>986851
>Well, hopefully this can be a turning point. Any idea what he needs us for now?
I appreciate it, but I know plenty of people who make these look like the chicken scratch they are
Really setting records here with update frequency, I know. My apologies.

“Who cares what your father thinks?” you say nonchalantly, “If he doesn’t like that you’re less dependent, that’s on him.”

“I care,” Maddalyn says furtively, “I don’t think that was why.”

“Well, why then? Have you tried talking to him about it? Asking what happened?” you go on.

“…No.” Maddalyn admitted, “I’ve always been too scared. Not of talking to him…I don’t want to know the reason. I think I know what it is, and I don’t like it. I’d rather not be sure. I just want things to go back.”
“Well, maybe this’ll be a turning point. Any idea what he wants now?”

“I don’t know.” Maddalyn toes her way across the path behind you, looking down, “Hopefully it isn’t about that Poltergeist person, because I don’t know what we’d do about him. Soulbinders are really good at making sure they’re not found unless they want to be, though. I don’t think it’s that.”

You go onward through to the Manor’s gardens before the large entrance doors.
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You see a strange sight upon entering the grounds. Wandering around the groves in front of the Manor is a girl who seems to look identical to Maddalyn; the same pale skin, red locks, short and slim stature, the only thing that you guessed wouldn’t be close would be if she had spirits living in her eyeballs; she was dressed differently, of course, but if it weren’t for that you would think that she was a twin. She notices you after some seconds of idle exploration of the magnolias.

“Do you have a younger sister?” you ask Maddalyn.

“One, yes, but she’s supposed to be away.”

You point to her doppelganger. “Is that her? Or is that girl a cousin or something?”

Maddalyn stares in her direction uneasily. “We should find another way of going in.”

It was too late to ask why, as her duplicate had begun to approach you at a quick pace.

“Maddy!”She greeted Maddalyn. Her voice sounded nearly the same as well; this could get confusing. “Is this your husband? Oh, how adorable, you’ve even gotten all dressed up for him. Your colors could coordinate better, but we both know how terrible you are at that, don’t we?” She curtsied to you, “I am Mathilda Von Blum, Baronetess by Lord Barnabas Von Blum. You are Richter Von Tracht, I presume?”

Maddalyn looked extremely uncomfortable.

“Oh, I apologize, Maddy, I should have let you introduce him. Perhaps you will with your next husband?”

“W-we have business with father…” Maddalyn hadn’t acted this shaken way near anybody you knew of, except perhaps her father.

“No.” Mathilda said firmly, “Von Tracht has business with father. You can spare some time to tell your little sister about what has happened while she was away, can’t you?”

Maddalyn didn’t object. She instead looked at the ground and said with unfamiliar frailty, “Eh, yes, of course…“

Her sister smiled at you, “Don’t let us delay you, now. Father is ever so fond of punctuality, after all.”

>Refuse. You’re taking Maddalyn with you
>That will be fine. Maddalyn could do with some family time.
>Pretend to accept, but hide off to the side to see what happens
>>Refuse. You’re taking Maddalyn with you

Maddalyn was the one in charge of our previous mission, actually; it would be inappropriate to debrief Lord Barnabas in her absence.
>Refuse. You’re taking Maddalyn with you
>Refuse. You’re taking Maddalyn with you
Don't leave her to this harpy.
Seconded. Also the passive-aggressive tone that's coming from her is annoying.

She is pretty hot though.
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“Actually,” you interject, “Maddalyn was in charge of our last mission. It would be inappropriate to debrief Lord Barnabas in her absence.”

“Tch.” Mathilda allows a glint of disapproval to appear, “I’m sure Father would not mind terribly.”

“Whether or not he would,” you grab Maddalyn brusquely by the arm, “I am taking the lady with me. Goodbye.”

You drag Maddalyn through the doors without waiting for the attendant to receive you. The butler does not seem too offended by this, though, and merely strides ahead of you.

“Who was that?” you hiss to Maddalyn.

“My sister, Mathilda,” she says, still in a state of surprise at what you’ve done. “My, younger sister, that is.”

“How much younger?” you wonder aloud.

“…Six years.”

“That honestly isn’t a surprising gap,” you sigh with resignation. “She’s certainly got a problem with you, doesn’t she?”

“Yes,” Maddalyn fidgeted, “I’d rather not discuss it.”

Your business was with Lord Von Blum, anyways. The butler, a healthy distance ahead now, bows patiently and waves you to follow. A good thing, as you had forgotten how to get to the chambers Von Blum had received you in last time.

The patriarch of the Von Blum family received you with a small nod to your courteous bow.

“Is it done, then?” Barnabas asked in a low rumble.

“The creature has been contained, milord,” you say confidently, “And in a way which none will be able to release it again.” Not technically true, but you trusted Poltergeist’s statement that only you could open that door again, for whatever reason that was.

Lord Barnabas closed his eyes slowly. “Very good.” He opened them again just as slowly. “Maddalyn.”

“…Yes, father?” Maddalyn said hopefully.

“Why are you wearing that uniform?”

“Er.” Maddalyn stiffened, “I thought it would be appropriate. I have been serving as Von Tracht’s radio operator.”

“It is appropriate for that station, but that station is not appropriate for you.” Lord Von Blum said with disdain, “One of noble blood should not assume the place of a commoner. Alas, since Von Tracht has not brought it to my attention, you must at least be performing adequately.”

“Yes, father.” Maddalyn sounded somewhat deflated.

“However.” He continued, “You will have to cease this activity at once.”

“Why?” Maddalyn blurted out.
“Are you with child yet, Maddalyn?” Barnabas inquired coolly.

Maddalyn blushed. “So soon? O-of course not…”

“Have you been trying?”

“N-no,” Maddalyn said shakily.

“I advise that you start,” Von Blum said without a shift in his severe tone, “The Von Tracht bloodline is in jeopardy. You are not in a position where either of you can simply refuse to have children.”

“With my pardon, milord,” you edge in, “What is it that you summoned me for?”

“We will arrive there soon, Von Tracht.” Von Blum held up a hand, “Soon, I will call upon your services in a way that may prove to threaten your life more so than before. It would not do for you to die with no heir, and it would be even worse if both you and my daughter were killed in the same combat.”

Von Blum straightened himself in his seat. “You have presumably heard of the infestation of imperialist rebels in these lands, those who call themselves the Dawnseekers.”

You have, you answer.

“A brief investigation has discovered their primary base of operations. You know of their recent actions, of course. Given the magnitude of damage they have caused, this band of rebels cannot be ignored any longer.” Von Blum looks straight at you, “You have proven yourself capable thus far. I wish for you to join in an assault upon the headquarters of the so-called Dawnseekers.”

“Their headquarters, milord?” You ask.

“Indeed. They have spread themselves thinly, but investigators have found their greatest concentration. It is currently relatively sparsely manned; should you accept the task, you will sally with the first battalion of the Blumlands’ Panzer regiment, as well as one of the regiments of Panzergrenadiers. The operation is set to begin in two hours; not optimal time for planning, but what we will lack in planning of the usual depth, we will make up for with a strike the enemy is unprepared for. Do you wish to join this battle, Von Tracht, and obliterate this dishonor from these lands?”

You think for a moment. Signy had said the infiltration itself wouldn’t take too long, but with only two hours until execution, that left you with little, albeit enough, time. You would have more if you did not have to busy yourself with introductions and such, however.

>It would be an honor to do battle against these imperialist scum. I accept your task.
>I will accept your task, but I request that I keep your daughter in my crew. I am quite confident that this battle will be a crushing victory in my favor.
>I cannot accept; I have some other business.
>I accept, but I may be delayed; I have some urgent business to take care of, concerning a band of prisoners I took earlier.
>I will accept your task, but I request that I keep your daughter in my crew. I am quite confident that this battle will be a crushing victory in my favor.

Better with us than dealing with her sister
Maddy is exactly as hot. They look identical.
>I accept, but I may be delayed; I have some urgent business to take care of, concerning a band of prisoners I took earlier.
>One of the border patrols called for help then stopped responding. There is a possibility that the Dawnseekers are just a big distraction, and the true strike is coming from over the border.

= Below is not a vote =

>Are you with child yet
We have only knew her for what, two days? Even if we had started on it immediately, we'd have no way to know it and you are aware of it you old coot. You're purposefully mocking your daughter who's thinking of nothing but impressing you, you outgassed apricot.
He's even also making a jab at us at the same time!

It's not often I'm getting so riled up by a fictional character. Good work Tanq.

Also nice quads
>>I accept, but I may be delayed; I have some urgent business to take care of, concerning a band of prisoners I took earlier.
“I will accept your task, milord,” you bow once more, “but I request that I keep your daughter in my crew. She has been quite useful, and I am confident that this battle will be a crushing victory in my favor, in any case.”

Lord Von Blum frowned at you, but allowed this. “If my advice will not temper such confidence, what else can I do? Do as you like.”

“There is another matter,” you peek up. “I may be delayed somewhat; I have some urgent business to take care of, concerning a band of prisoners I took earlier. When my platoon and I were scouting around the area for these rebels, we captured a large intruding party of Delsans, coming in from the north. They told us that border patrols were being attacked; that they send a distress call on general channels, then ceased responding. It is my opinion that the Dawnseekers could merely be a distraction for an attack on our borders.”

“Your concerns are valid, Von Tracht, but you need not worry. The Archduke’s own men join my own on the Imperial Gate. Should the Delsans choose, for whatever reason, to raid from the north, I may call upon the Silver Lances from the south and swiftly destroy them.” Von Blum seemed to not be greatly concerned with an incursion on borders from his direction. “With the destruction of this rebel band, my advisors assure me they will be ill prepared to affect another spoiling attack on patrols.”

“The Silver Lances are to the south?” you echo. The Silver Lances were the Archduke’s personal iron fist; the premier armored and grenadier division; they were hardened veterans to a man, often deployed either in advance of an expected attack or loaned to another country in order to maintain the balance of enemy nations against one another instead of Strossvald.

“They are. The Archduke has seen signs of Valsten growing restless; their army swells, and they do not converge upon East Valsten as they have wont to do as of recently. Archduke Strossvald is confident, however, of a quick and easy victory nevertheless, and my aid has not been requisitioned.” Barnabas Von Blum narrows his eyes slightly at this last part, but still is perturbed little.

“I see,” you bow again, “Then, by your leave.”
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With Maddalyn’s recommendation, you take a path out of the manor that keeps you from crossing paths with Mathilda again. It is not long before you are reunited with your “platoon,” consisting of two tanks and a questionably obtained old armored car. Hopefully before the attack you would at least be somewhat reinforced.

It appeared as if Signy, Von Metzeler, and Krause had been discussing something. Von Metzeler immediately greeted you as you approached.

“Von Tracht,” he began “The republican says that her contacts are ready to insert us into the heart of the Dawnseekers’ lair. I have all of my equipment and channels ready. We were merely waiting for you.”

“How polite of you,” you scratch your head.

“The lady wished for you to be present and to make the call,” Krause said, “Rondo thought it unnecessary, but she refused to leave you out of this.”

“Von Tracht was given a mission by the Lord Von Blum,” Metzeler said defensively, “It was a possibility that he may not have been able to participate.”

“I’m here now. You can start whatever you were holding back on.” You twirl your hand in a request for haste.

“Right,” Signy nodded, “Well, I told you most of how we’d do it. It’s simple, after all. Their guard is down, we look the part, and we walk right in. We use this guy’s camera and stuff to retrieve what we need and leave like a shot. Your officers noticed something that might…change things, though.”

“The troops here are mobilizing.” Krause elaborated for her. “Spirits are high, and the camps are busy. Something big is definitely happening.”

“Yes,” you say, “there’s going to be an attack on what they say is the headquarters of the Dawnseekers.” You explain what Von Blum had just told you.

“The timing makes this plot troublesome, to say the least.” You finish. “To be frank with you all, I believe we can find out plenty after we and Von Blum’s panzers lay the place to waste.”

“To be frank with you, Von Tracht,” Metzeler retorts, “I believe we would find precious little were we to do that.”


“First off,” Metzeler counts off on his fingers, “If the Dawnseekers are attacked, they would likely attempt to destroy any useful evidence during the fighting. Secondly, corpses and prisoners are less willing to speak openly than those who believe who they are speaking with to be comrades. Finally…” Von Metzeler looked from side to side carefully and slowly, “I think that this is a ruse.”

“A ruse?” Krause asks, puzzled.
“Indeed.” Metzeler keeps his voice a series of soft utterances, “There are too many missing pieces that would be left forgotten. The delay in this sort of action. The spoiling of the men. The lack of care given in general to recent events, the simple surrendering of nearly half a company of Delsan men, so deep inside the borders. I have nothing but questions, and I fear that if we forget them and join the attack, the answers will escape us forever.”
“Why do you say that?” You ask.

“Von Tracht,” Von Metzeler looks at you with great seriousness, “Perhaps you have not heard, although I doubt you had not heard rumors, despite my best efforts. My family has not held nobility for long; they are not a proud line of lords, but a clan of bankers and swindlers.”

“I heard that they bought their titles, yes.” You admit. Rumors had certainly flown about the Academy.

“Bought?” Von Metzeler chuckled, “No, that would waste precious money. Noble titles are incredibly expensive, money better spent elsewhere than on simple names. The titles were stolen, looted. Although my family would rather say they were given, it was more a case of the former Von Metzelers having no choice but to give away their titles.

“Blackmail,” breathed Maddalyn.

“Indeed. The Metzelers much prefer to pay nothing for as much as possible.” Von Metzeler said his family name like he was spitting out a rotten olive, “They hardly ever risk leaving their own slimy trail. They keep their noses clean…by using their victims as their blades.”

“What does that have to do with the attack?” Krause leans forward, captured with intrigue.

“I have no real proof,” Von Metzeler conceded, “Only a disquieting amount of suspicion. This is too convenient. A battle that will end the Dawnseekers once and for all, when they have been so good about keeping spread out? Why now, a full day after they made their assault, instead of when they were weak and vulnerable? I sense something being hidden by our allies as much as our enemies.”

“You think this attack is to hide something else.” Maddalyn concludes.

“Precisely. I cannot say what, but I can’t help but have that feeling.” Von Metzeler crosses his arms once more.

“Still, no problem, right?” Signy said carefully, “We can be quick. It shouldn’t take too long to find out what’s there, right? We’ll be in and out just in time to go back and smash them with the attack group.”
If the infiltration didn’t go as such, you would be in extreme danger. Not only could you be killed by your own forces, but you could be discovered as infiltrators who led attackers to the hideout, and probably killed that way as well. The amount of information that could be found out could be astounding, however; and you had the suspicion that you wouldn’t be allowed to poke around in the wreckage after Von Blum’s assault had concluded.

>In for a pfenning, in for a strossmark. Let’s see how many secrets have been being kept. We’re going in.
>The danger is too much. Best to try our luck after the attack. You’ll get to fight anyways.
>Despite Von Metzeler’s concerns, I think the state has no reason to hide whatever could be there. We’ll call the thing off.
>In for a pfenning, in for a strossmark. Let’s see how many secrets have been being kept. We’re going in.

Metzeler is pretty handsome, huh.
Let's set him up with Signy, for the lulz.
Also my thoughts about the matters at hand. I have long suspected that Von Blum may be colluding with the Dawnseekers, what with the astonishing negligence in dealing with them. Now we know he's not fond of the Archduke. And he will be manning the border fortifications.
What I'm leading to: I expect treason.
>>In for a pfenning, in for a strossmark. Let’s see how many secrets have been being kept. We’re going in.
>In for a pfenning, in for a strossmark. Let’s see how many secrets have been being kept. We’re going in.
Been to long
“In for a pfenning, in for a strossmark,” you decide, “We’ll go through with this. All we have to do is be quick.”

“Good!” Signy looked pleased, “I’m sure it’s obvious that we aren’t bringing everybody into this; there’s more of us here than the Dawnseekers think are left; to be safe I’d only bring a couple people inside, in case many other people show up. I guess we should leave somebody important here, to take care of whatever the army has planned for us.”

While you didn’t doubt Signy’s eagerness, you weren’t sure if only bringing her would be the best option. You could try and grab a few other trusted aids, or perhaps even go by yourself. A thought occurs to you that could be really stupid, but on the other hand, perhaps the option with the most potential.

>Naturally, you can pick anybody from your “platoon,” including the crew of your other tank and the fighters of the Shields of Liberty. It might not be the best idea to bring somebody related to the local lordship, though. You can take up to three, including Signy.

>The bold but stupid idea would be to try and attract the soulbinder’s attention. You didn’t want to make the deal he wanted, but perhaps you could barter a few other things in exchange for his cooperation. Or, at least, his word that he wouldn’t bother you while you were out there.

>Take up to three, or none, for the infiltration op
Take self, Signy and Malachi
>Take self, Signy and Metzeler
this one

Feeling an overwhelming sense of curiosity, you volunteer yourself to dive into the heart of the foe’s abode. You also think it best to take Signy, the representative of the organization being merged with the Dawnseekers; without her it may have been troublesome to explain who you were and what you were doing there. Your third choice was open, and you couldn’t decide in particular between Von Metzeler and your driver, Malachi. While Von Metzeler seemed experienced in the ways of subterfuge and had clearly put thought into this mystery, you had witnessed proof that Malachi was better in a fight; notably when he had beaten Metzeler into the dirt back at the academy. Von Metzeler had recently stopped glancing at Malachi nervously whenever he was out, but it was likely still a sore memory.

“I’m having trouble deciding whether I want an intellectual or a strongman for my third.” You announce.

“Gyouwout goot.” Malachi babbled, muffled by the layers of cloth covering his face. You didn’t really expect a compelling verbal statement from him anyways.

“You keep speaking to this man in New Nauk,” Maddalyn says with a hint of irritability, “You could try his native language.”

“I don’t know Old Nauk.” You say plainly.

Maddalyn says a few phrases to Malachi. Malachi responds in the same guttural language, somehow still afflicted by the tones you normally hear from him. Your would be interpreter suddenly looks sheepish as she turns back to you.

“Nevermind. That’s…a dialect I’ve never heard before. He at least understands what he’s told, I think…wait.” Maddalyn seems to realize something. “Can you get me something to write with?”
You have something suitable quickly fetched, and Maddalyn clumsily scrawls down some strange looking script, before handing it to Malachi. He looks at it shortly, before looking back up. He doesn’t seem to know what to do with it.

“Read it for us?” Maddalyn suggested carefully.

Malachi reads it out loud. It’s a language you’ve never heard before, and it doesn’t sound like any language you know of either.

“That’s how it’s pronounced?” Maddalyn seems puzzled for a moment before being flooded with fascination, “Richter, this man speaks Pre-Nauk! The ancient tongue of the mountains!”

You had spent little time studying general history, but Pre-Nauk was a general term for languages spoken before Nauk. The ancient Nauk Empire, when it had invaded millennia ago, had done quite a good job of wiping out the cultures and records of the people in conquered; very little was known of the peoples who came before them in the lands they occupied. As far as what the ancient tongue of the mountains was, you couldn't fathom.

“That’s quite something,” you keep your mind on the mission, “but I doubt that fluency in a dead language will help here.” You still solely appreciated Malachi’s physical prowess.

“I thought it was neat…” Maddalyn pouted.

“If my counsel would be heard,” Von Metzeler poked in, “If by ‘intellectual’ you are referring to me, I would advise that if we were to encounter any prisoners, they are more likely to recognize me than they are you. Both because I was on their train with them, and also because of my…higher status.”

Metzeler’s questionable bloodline had been quite the talk of the academy. Your lack of relevance had received mockery, indeed, but a near extinct family was not nearly as controversial as one whose validity could be called into question.

>Tiebreaker vote
>Or, to hell with it, take both.

I never would have expected six votes to end in a tie and I don't want to flip a coin
>Or, to hell with it, take both.
You shrug to yourself. Maybe four would be slightly more conspicuous, but to hell with it, you weren’t planning to stick around long enough for your gambit to be figured out anyways. Hopefully by the time the Dawnseekers suspected anything you’d be driving your tank through the door.

“Nuts to it. We’re making this a grand gala. Signy, Metzeler, Malachi and I will go take a look at this place. Krause, you get to stay behind and take care of the all the paperwork.”

Krause clicked his tongue and sighed. “I suppose somebody has to.”

Most of the preparations have already been taken for this mission. The hasty, yet efficient, disguises are prepared, to be changed into upon leaving the manor; while Signy required no changing in appearance, it wouldn’t have done for the rest of you to try and enter wearing your uniforms. Malachi proved impossible to convince into removing his maskings so alternate coverings were produced instead.

On your way out, you look down upon the grounds the troops are readying in.

The panzer forces of the 1st battalion are assembling in the parade grounds below the hill. Even from atop with the manor you can hear the ruckus of preparation.

Most lords with an appreciable amount of land had retinues; ones large enough would have half or so of their numbers reserved for drafting by the Archduke; so Strossvald’s armed forces were constituted from donors across the land.
It was a rather messy affair, to be true, until standardization of equipment and uniforms took place almost twenty five years ago. While there were variations in equipment, such as the Von Blum’s strange model of m/32 with a 4.7cm gun instead of the usual 3.7, most everything looked similarly and used the same ammunition, making the jobs of the logisticians much simpler, and also allowing for the forces of Strossvald’s many realms to work together much more effectively.
Naturally, as war became more sophisticated, if not any less brutal, the costs of retinues went up. So did, however, the prestige of having a war ready contingent. The Von Blums were not from the only house besides the Archduke’s standing army who held command over an entire regiment of panzers, but the costs of maintaining such a formation ensured that the only houses who did were wealthy indeed.
The prestige and expense caused problems of their own in Strossvald’s military doctrine. You, in your extensive studies of military history and tactics, had observed the evolution of armored tactics; evolutions that Strossvald’s armies knew of, but were fearful of putting into practice. Armor was expensive, and the most adventurous new tactics demanded using them in independent operations, taking advantage of their speed and power to break through enemy lines and encircle them, causing chaos in the rear. This had the risk of the armor formations themselves being cut off and destroyed though; an unacceptable risk in the eyes of those who paid so much to purchase, maintain, and parade them. Thus the fate of most large armored formations of Strossvalds was to support slow moving infantry, or to act as a quick reaction force for weak sections of the line. The closest they often got to fulfilling their true potential was in small scale skirmishes and patrols.

The mass of tanks was still quite a sight to behold, and likely a nightmare for any who had to stand before them.

Hopefully you would not find yourself in their path.

Once you had assumed a more casual appearance, Signy led you all to a door in an alley, upon which she knocked twice, slowly and deliberately. The man at the door you recognized as the man in the white coat from earlier; he motioned for you to come in.

The place was an empty room, with only the barest accommodations for basic comfort; a small stool and a low table with an oil lamp on top of it. A heavily dogeared book sat by it, with a plain black beaten and crumpled cover. Malachi made a move for it, but Signy pulled him back with a quick leap.

“Don’t touch that!” she said with a start.

Thus you waited for a few minutes in that dank and dusty storeroom. No words were exchanged; you all shared an apprehension for what would happen next. Soon enough, a pair of knocks came at the door; the same way Signy had hailed the resident earlier. She threw open the door, and a dusty looking, heavily bearded little man tipped his cap.

“Need a ride over the river?” he asked, his voice thin and wispy.

“Through the woods,” Signy said, “To grandmother’s.”

The little hairy man smirked and beckoned for all of you. You all got into the back of an automobile so utterly plain and bare of features, it had a bizarre conspicuity to it. After making your way through the eleven o’clock traffic, the car ventures alone into the familiar countryside. From here, shallow dips and tiny hills seemed to go on forever to the east; as if the lands had been smoothed out long ago with a dinged and gouged rolling pin. Over one hundred years ago, the first Kaiser of Czeiss, Alexander Von Zeissenburg, had marched his troops over these plains into the heartlands of Strossvald and Sosalia, having bribed the lords before the Von Blums held the lands into admitting his armies through the passes.
You were dropped off at the edge of a light forest, where a pair of scruffy looking men waited.

“They’re here to go to grandmother’s.” your bearded courier said to them, pointing to you.

“Ain’t no grandmother no more,” one of them said, his voice nearly entirely coming out of his nose. He regarded Signy down the length of a titanic, hooked nose. “We’re short on space with all the new blood, so I hope you like the floor. Although I got a room for the honey if she’s interested.”

“Sorry,” Signy threaded her arm through yours and squeezed you, “I’m already booked up.” You weren’t very comfortable with this development, but you hadn’t stopped her shenanigans before so you had dug your own grave.

“Too bad for you, friend,” the other scuffed scoundrel said to his large nosed compatriot, “You’re with the goons we kicked out the other day, yeah? Good that you’ve seen the light. Come and follow us.”

Each of you concealed a pistol on your person, but neither of your guides seemed concerned. Their backs were to you the entire time as they led you to a place that looked like a large hill, but a few apertures betrayed it as something more.

“That’s really big,” you comment.

“It was an old mine that got carved out by somebody else before we used it,” Signy explained, “My dad bought it off of a man that inherited the land, couldn’t get it sold because the good ore was too deep to get at without a lot more money going in.”

A hollowed out cave made from a mine would make a fantastic base, but it was so large that it wasn’t exactly difficult to find. It either spoke to Sigmund Vang’s skills at subterfuge or to the lack of contention over the land that it had remained unmolested until recently.

“Make yourselves at home,” the Dawnseeker without the large beak said, opening an old metal door leading down.

“That’s it?” you ask, “No inspection or anything like that?”

“You’ve got the head of the group there hanging on your arm, don’t ya?” He looked at you with a humored sideways glance, “Even if you were set on messing anything up, you couldn’t do anything at this point. You’d have to be mighty stupid to not just get on the winning train and ride it now.”

>Alright then, hail victory and all that, we’ll just go right in.
>Can we talk to the leaders of this place? Since this is a merging of like minds and all.
>What if we get lost? I’d appreciate a guide of some sort to show us around.
>Alright then, hail victory and all that, we’ll just go right in.

If we talk to the leaders, they will probably put us to work. And Signy should be a good enough guide seeing as this is her former base.
>Alright then, hail victory and all that, we’ll just go right in.

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