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    108 KB Kobold Sorcerer Quest Chapter 6, Part 5 VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/12/12(Thu)23:01 No.17521915  
    The small flind in the crystal you grasp between two fingers wears a red-toothed grin, waiting for your reply. He has offered you a way to gain unlimited magical power, or so he says.

    While you have been a bit hesitant, this might be a fast way to gain new magical abilities. Or at least, asking might allow you to pry loose more details about the flinds.
    >> Anonymous 01/12/12(Thu)23:16 No.17522104
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    This creature's power is awesome and extremely useful, but who knows exactly /what/ the ooze is. Call me paranoid, but simply injecting ourselves with whatever he's willing to offer, especially after we broke into his home and captured him, seems like a very foolhardy thing to do. As a result, I vote we tell him thanks, but no thanks. That is unless he both displays that this process won't kill us or bring us under the sway of some party. We're still on the hunt for our draconic ancestry, so we may just gun for that since it's a sure-fired way to get some power.
    >> Anonymous 01/12/12(Thu)23:19 No.17522129
    I agree with this assessment. It's too risky, and the flind too untrustworthy.
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/12/12(Thu)23:44 No.17522372

    "I think I'll pass." You pocket the flind, keeping in mind how long you've kept him contained. You'll need to find a new place to put him, or to let him go.

    You hear the flind's cackling laugh in the dark cabin you have been assigned on a ship headed down a river on the Red Plains. The late-night revelry of the halfling camp outside at the dock echoes into the room from the nearby camp.
    >> Anonymous 01/12/12(Thu)23:50 No.17522453
    Is the crystal of any use to us, still? Or is it a one-time use? Either way, open a portal back to the guy's house, and toss him through.

    "I'm a bold of his word; thank you for your cooperation, be sure not to encounter neither me nor my compatriots catching you stealing from us or our allies, and have a nice life."
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)00:07 No.17522672

    While you could use the crystal again, the magic you've cast on it has already strained it. It wouldn't be a good idea to fill it with anything of comparable power.

    You take the crystal back out after having teleported to the flind's house. "I'm a bold of his word; thank you for your cooperation, be sure not to encounter neither me nor my compatriots catching you stealing from us or our allies, and have a nice life."

    You know you don't imagine the smile on the flind's face as you zap it back out of the crystal, though you are gone a moment later, before it can say or do much.

    You are certain this will be completely without any consequence whatsoever.
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)00:15 No.17522761
    Of course not; this is swept under the carpet, never to creep its way out ever again. Nope...we won't be hearing from him ever....

    Anyway, let's go check on Tayn and Turen. Hopefully, they're ready for the ship to leave by morning.
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)00:30 No.17522906
    Not much else to do at this point.
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)02:02 No.17524039

    You head up to the deck to see Tayn and Turen sitting up at the aft deck, looking at the lights of the halfling community nearby.

    "All set to leave tomorrow?" You ask them.

    Tayn grimaces. "After chasing around that weird creature and not getting any food? Sure, I'm set."

    Turen sighs. "They didn't have much anyway. Let alone with them preparing some kind of feast for us. And having to eat so often!"

    The cook, an older kobold with a rather grim look to him, stalks over to the three of you and presses something into each of your palms. You can feel something soft and dry, and you open your hand to see a piece of flat white cake. Your mouth waters.

    "Bosun's birthday." The cook says, his perpetual scowl becoming something like a grin before he swings away to the rest of the ship, his small frame hunched forward like a bold on business.

    "What is this?" Tayn asks, holding out the cake.
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)02:02 No.17524046
    "Mushroom cake." Turen answers, already chewing on his. "This kind's for special occasions, but all around not an uncommon food amongst some tribes."

    "Usually those with access to eggs." You say, looking out over the halfling camp. "Our whole ship culture is mainly descended from one tribe, and that clan turned away from a lot to found the Crystal Caverns." You munch on the cake for a while after speaking, and you see Tayn nibble on it a bit before deciding to eat it.

    "It's not bad... Sort of bitter taste to it." He adds, smacking his lips.

    "You're not chewing it long enough." Turen says, shaking his head at Tayn.

    "What? I just get introduced to this food, and now I have to be graded on it too?" Tayn gripes, chewing the cake slower. His expression slowly changes and both you and Turen burst out laughing.

    "Wait... How'd it become sweet all of a sudden?" He says through a full mouth.

    Turen only shrugs. "No one ever told me."

    Tayn points over at him, slapping you on the shoulder. "There, you see? There is something he doesn't know."

    The two of you laugh for a moment at Turen's expense, while he crosses his arms. The rest of the night is short, and you know as you lie down to rest that everything is going to turn out well.
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)02:27 No.17524246
    I was just about to bump, too.

    "To be honest, I don't know how the sweetness works, either. The knowledge of the arcane is nothing compared to the delicacies of a cooking pot."

    Before the possibility of another dream/out-of-body experience, let's get some meditation time in. I'm sure the days events, on top of the travelling, has left us a little on edge. Imagine the stress rolling down the river and away from ourselves and our friends.
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)02:56 No.17524489

    "To be honest, I don't know how the sweetness works, either. The knowledge of the arcane is nothing compared to the delicacies of a cooking pot." You remember saying as you drift away, on the gentle walking on the water. You remember looking out at the night sky. The crystal roof of the caverns is nothing compared to it in sheer vastness. And the bright pinpoints of light in the darkness seemed to captivate you somehow. You still see them, even now, and they seem to burn their way into your subconscious as your thought blur and you feel your body grow heavy.

    Throughout the night, those stars shone brightly, silently. They seemed to linger on even into the morning, long after everyone woke up. They were finally gone at midday, but the following nights those stars lingered. When, at last, the ship had docked in a wide, grassy swamp, the dock swaying with the reeds, the stars had faded.

    No creature greets your arrival, the calm noon sun beating down on the sea of tall green grass sticking up from the swamp. From your high vantage point within the ship, you can see the river, which the bosun tells you is called the Thrush river, opening up into a delta leading to a body of water known as the Emerald Sea, with a large island far in the distance. The water does seem somewhat greenish, but the bosun tells you the halflings have heard elven stories of it becoming a vibrant green at sunset. Despite the handed-off information, you figure it hasn't gotten the name for nothing.
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)03:10 No.17524607
    Take a deep breath of that wafting ocean breeze and go to the captain/first mate of the ship.

    "Interesting site, but why are we stopping here? This dock seems deserted."

    Also, let's get a good look at a map while we're at it. How much farther are we from our intended destination?
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)09:52 No.17527207
    Second, and morning bump.
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)13:40 No.17529351
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    Surely OP will return.
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)14:56 No.17530178
    You take a deep breath of air, turning to the bosun, who looks to be about ten years older than you, with a thinner face, and numerous tattoos on his forearms, marking what ships he has served on with a small image that would be painted next to the ship's name. "Interesting site, but why are we stopping here? This dock seems deserted."

    "This' our stop." The bosun leans over your shoulder, pointing to the end of the river on the map. "We're about here, so you should have 30 miles to go inland before you find that pile of rocks." He shrugs to you. "Hope you didn't leave anything at home, by the way. Our return time is going to be a couple of weeks in all likelihood."

    "What? Why?" Tayn asks, looking out over the sea and squinting. "Can't we just run off of sails?"

    "If the wind goes our way, sure, maybe one week or so." The bosun clenches his jaw and spits off the side of the ship. "But with all these other directions wind could come from up here, no matter how good yer steering is, if you have no power, you're floating dead." He looks off. "As fer it being deserted, maybe no one told 'em we were comin. We'll be here til you need us, or till the food runs low." He looks down at his wrist, checking a small number that has been marked there. "And from our last visit home, that shouldn't be another 3 months, so try and keep it below that time, ey?" He laughs, patting you on the shoulder as he goes down below decks to continue his duties.
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)15:03 No.17530233
    Assemble our land party. Tayn and Turen, naturally, along with a small contingent. We'll need at least three dedicated soldiers, a cook, a herbalist, and a trail-blazer.
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)15:22 No.17530418
    Second. Seems pretty straightforward.
    Also make a mental note to have Yuun and the Mage Guild work on a magical form of propulsion for ships. We could expand to the surface and have an unmatched navy when we do.
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)17:10 No.17531643

    You can select from the small group of soldiers sent along not required for ship duty, along with the following:

    Irkas: A lieutenant with skill in marksmanship and tracking and also in hunting. He has been fishing these last few days as well (with quite a few catches), though his eyes seem especially bothered by sunlight.

    Poorin: A kobold who claims he could make delicious food out of mud and a twig, but is an NCO. While he carries a pistol, he's the first to admit he's not much of a shot.

    Akava: A private who claims to know some about surface herbs, and has received combat medic training. He seems very eager and curious.

    Gannar: A sergeant whose leadership skills are valuable in a fight, but he seems somewhat stubborn. Can go instead of a regular soldier.

    Ismuth: A lieutenant who used to be a scout. Excellent tracker. Had a reputation for violence in the scouts and was transferred out because of it.

    Makald: A sorcerer who claims his connection with the earth makes him invaluable for finding one's way. Is marked as a pacifist on his file.

    Goraskok: One of the larger kobolds you've seen (without ioun ore muscles anyway) who carries a big axe alongside his rifle. He is a green private. He can go in place of a regular soldier.

    Bakeena: The ship's apothecary. She volunteers to come along and leave her apprentice in charge for her absence. She is not a good fighter, but can make poison for melee or thrown weapons.

    Kadarn: A private who volunteers to cook. He says he also went through scout training, though he chose to transfer to guard work to help a friend.

    Hukala: A bright green kobold who claims to be a bit of an all-around expert. You don't remember seeing him the first day of the voyage.
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)17:46 No.17532080
    Soliders: Irkas, Kadarn, and Goraskok, with Irkas leading the two fresh soldiers
    Herbalist: Akava
    Trailblazer: Makald

    "Soldiers, we are about to embark on a few days journey into this Kurtulmak-forsaken water hole. Our target: a supposed source of draconic magic. Akava! Makald! What can you tell me about this area?"
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)19:20 No.17533223

    You stand in front of the assembled group on the shaky dock. "Soldiers, we are about to embark on a few days journey into this Kurtulmak-forsaken water hole. Our target: a supposed source of draconic magic. Akava! Makald! What can you tell me about this area?"

    Akava looks around. "It's a swamp, looks like a saltwater one. May have crocs in it. Should be warm, we may see some 'shrooms worth picking." He points over to the marsh. "May have some more valuable growth than that, sir, if there's a stable ground somewhere out there."

    Makald opens his eyes, though you just noticed him close them. "Ah, yes. I believe there is at the end of this dock." He points forwards. "Low land, from the feel of it. Lots of water all over the place. I'll look down deep to see if we need to worry about that tide." He reaches over, grasping Akava's hand.

    "What are you doing?" The private asks, irritably.

    "Be a bold, boy, lead me on for a bit while I scout out beneath us." The sorcerer says, finishing his spell, and you see his eyes begin to dance, looking at nothing with wild abandon. The private grumbles, leading on the effectively blind kobold with a slack arm.

    "Alright folks, let's go." Irkas says, urging the other two soldiers on with a wave of his hand.

    You end up at the dock's end after a good half minute of walking. It seems devoid of life, with only a few small canoes and rafts marking the presence of life. You see a brightly colored purple feather stuck in one of the trees in the swampy forest ahead.
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)19:30 No.17533335
    Keep weapons on hand, but not brandished. We don't want to look /too/ intimidating.

    "Anyone recognize this particular feather? Is it a waymark, or something else?"

    Marching order should be: Makald, Kadarn, Turen, Us, Tayn, Irkas, Akava, Goraskok.

    "Keep it tight; we're in unknown territory."
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)19:46 No.17533501
    "Anyone recognize this particular feather? Is it a waymark, or something else?" You ask, though no one volunteers so much as a guess.

    "It's likely a marker, though for what I have no idea." Irkas says, hesitantly. "We've never contacted these... Lizard-men before."

    "Keep it tight; we're in unknown territory." You say, proceeding onwards into the forest.

    It is full of wide topped willows, branching mangroves and a number of ash trees in the more stable areas. You feel the wet, cold ground beneath your feet more and more as muck continues to cake on you, slowly but surely. After a few hours, you happen across a small black plank of wood, clearly processed, painted black and with a blue and white serpent upon it.

    Irkan stops you for a moment, calling for a quick rest. "I don't like what I see, sir." He says, pointing at the sign. "This seems like the setup for an ambush around that area. Though I still haven't seen anyone, this deep in their territory... Shouldn't we have seen someone if they were welcome to having visitors?"
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)19:53 No.17533584
    Reach out and examine the wood.

    "It's not too shabby in terms of craftsmanship. As for an ambush or not..." Begin unpacking for a quick break. "...I don't think so. It's too noticeable to serve as a marker for an ambush. What do you say, Makald. Does this particular landmark give you any particular pulses?"

    Once we've begun our rest, beckon Turen over.

    "How have you been holding up?"
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)21:44 No.17534953

    "It's not too shabby in terms of craftsmanship. As for an ambush or not..." You unpack a few things. "...I don't think so. It's too noticeable to serve as a marker for an ambush. What do you say, Makald, does this particular landmark give you any particular pulses?"

    "Actually..." He pauses, pointing over towards the sign with his head angled upwards, "That sign seems to bear an odd weight to it."

    You narrow your eyes, beckoning Turen over. "How have you been holding up?"

    Turen grins. "Fine so far sir. Nothing too scary has happened. Our friends seem to be confident." His smile is accompanied by a friendly nudge. "How have you been?"
    >> Anonymous 01/13/12(Fri)22:17 No.17535268
    "Fine...I just wanted to say...about the other day." Look around to the surrounding swap. "I'm...I'm sorry...about yesterday...I should have been more concerned about your well-being."
    >> VKO !qw2cdBTZAc 01/13/12(Fri)23:56 No.17536194

    "Fine... I just wanted to say... About the other day." You look around to the surrounding swamp. "I'm... I'm sorry... About a few days ago... I should have been more concerned about your well-being."

    Turen seems to go quiet for a moment. "Well, I..." He crosses his arms. "I don't know. I feel like I should be mad, but..." He shrugs. "I've been having a lot of fun, to be honest. And I've been learning a lot too!" He frowns, looking down at the ground. "So, please don't have me go back home, sir."
    >> Anonymous 01/14/12(Sat)03:25 No.17538113
    Kind of late, OP, but I just got done with a movie with friends.


    "You know life is good when home is a punishment."

    Share with him some of our food.

    "Eat up; we're going to try and make this trip quick."

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