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  • File: 1330124854.jpg-(34 KB, 400x360, silver-dragon (1).jpg)
    34 KB Dragon Quest LXII: Silver Age Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)18:07 No.18085185  
    “And that’s how he ended up blackmailing the churches.” Baha concluded with a sigh, staring into the void of her tea.

    Noising your attention, you lean back and take another sip of the iced counterpart to her own beverage, scanning around the market beyond his little cafe you’d chosen.

    You decided to take up Welskin’s offer to act as escort, suspicious as it was, just as he informed you she still had work to do in the day and that you’d have to set off tomorrow. For the moment, you were simply to guard her incase of...he didn’t actually say. The infuriating man also seemed far too happy with the deal- you’re certain, in retrospect, he gave up the scalp-payment far too easily- he’d shafted you at the start only for you to suggest the price that he always intended to pay. Even the hand you didn’t shake was only offered so he could magically unlock the door behind you- which had somehow ‘stuck shut’ as soon as the two of you were alone. You supposed it could have been a part of the anti-scrying spells, but it strikes you as more likely it was locked just until a deal was made.

    So now you were here, walking in the morning clime, sipping the last remnants of your breakfast away as she recanted the many stories of tyranny Welskin had inflicted on his organisation.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)18:09 No.18085203
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    The phantoms he’d hinted at coming to assail the two of you had not materialized- information took its place instead. Talk of how things had been getting suspicious for a while, how Welskin wrangled his way into power and sacked or ‘removed’ huge chunks of his own department to bring in new people to work under him. Most like Baha were rangers of some type or other, skilled in tracking and figuring out what had happened in any given area- a scuffle, a murder, an exchange of illicit goods. The rest were healers like Sahhi were...who, you were led to believe, would be part of the reserves should your two-man team run into ‘difficulties’. Quite why you were venturing forth without a cleric to offer comfort was beyond you, but Baha insisted that the workforce was spread thin as it was...which at least explained was why he’d ended up doing a backroom deal with you in the first place, rather than sending his own lackeys.

    For company, it turns out his staff were acceptable, if distracted. The few others who you’d dealt with while waiting for your charge to finish copying transcripts were consumed in their own wars with paperwork and reports; one lizardfolk by the name of Bojenzi came in with severe lacerated and still found the time to write up what caused them while the clerics rushed around trying to find the right potions to treat him with, mumbling something about ‘Catacombs’ to you on inquiry.

    Baha herself seems nice enough, if a little beaten-down. Even now the bob-haired woman’s body seemed to constantly shrink inward, shoulders huddling up and together to protect her from a chill that was absent from the breeze. Despite this, or because of this, she seemed very sharp, always looking out for-

    “-Wait.” She whispered, a gloved hand proving its point on your chest before tugging on you arm, “Over here.”
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)18:10 No.18085224
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    The way to the Hold of Hajar Karim consisted of much craggier terrain than you’d previously seen, full of blasted rock-faces and crevices (that you’d have happily flown over if you weren’t maintaining your cover), and it was in a shallow slide of such a rocky hedge that she leads you over and down, peering over the top toward the path you both were on.

    Sure enough, a half-minute later and a silent padding announced the arrival of three giant scorpions, tentatively shifting out from under the black crevices around them to shift into new positions or bask under the sun. They’d obviously hidden on hearing your footsteps approach, which seemed normal enough, but...

    “...This isn’t normal, is it?” You murmur over to her, watching them circle the area ahead.

    “No,” She confirmed, pulling a map of the area out and adding an ‘x’ to their current location, “I spotted their prints in the ground, but really, with the wind how it is and their nature, they should have just stayed in ambush positions. Scorpions don’t ‘patrol’, and they don’t share territory with each other this close in. Besides, I’ve read the reports on the area and the nearest hatch of Scorpions recorded is some dozen miles further south, where the crevices are deeper. Hang on, I’ve got to send word back...”

    Well well, here’s someone who’s done their research. You’d say ‘more than just a pretty face’, but you feel that she gets enough comments on her sexuality back in the offices. As she grabs her message stone you keep your eyes on the group as they pad further up the way, towards where the hold is some two days travel away.

    “Alright,” You muse, applying your mind to it, “So...lets assume they’re being summoned and purposefully staking out the trade route. Enemies of the Hold or of the town?”
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)18:14 No.18085269
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    “Could be both,” She murmurs, eyes closed in focus, “...Town seems more likely, but then we’ve not heard from the Hold about trade obstructions, and you know Dwarves; they’d batter their way through mountains for a bit of coin.”

    “So...here to stop an investigation...” You wonder, stroking your goatee, “...What *have* you heard from the Hold?”

    She doesn’t respond for a few seconds, lost in communication with that odious Gnome before stowing the gem back away. Updating one of the maps you saw in the main room, you presume.

    “News comes with the caravan; the Hold can’t afford to be too chummy with a town that takes a lot of trade revenue from more populous but poorer placed cities in the area- they’d be blacklisted. We’ll just have to see when we get there.” She mumbles, resting on her back to look tentatively at you, “...So, you’re supposed to be the muscle here...what do we do?”

    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)18:20 No.18085337
    If they're a summoned patrol, fighting them would probably end up reported to whoever was doing the summoning and we'd have to deal with a lot more. Trying to sneak around them might be the thing to do.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)18:21 No.18085352

    Some sort of teleportation/flying spell would probably work, if we have it. I don't know why, but I'm inclined to think scorpions have tremorsense or some equivalent.

    Do we think we can take one (three) of these in a fight? Obviously reverting to 'dragon' is a last choice.

    If none of those work, casting invisibility (again, if we have it,) on her and then playing distraction for her would work, provided we can lure them out of sight before reverting to dragon form to curbstomp them.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)18:22 No.18085366
    > I don't know why, but I'm inclined to think scorpions have tremorsense or some equivalent.

    They do.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)18:24 No.18085386
    Well, that might have been the reason.

    Walk without rhythm, and we won't attract the arachnids.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)18:24 No.18085393
    > provided we can lure them out of sight before reverting to dragon form to curbstomp them.

    If she's a tracker/investigator who can recognize the footprints of giant scorpions in sand, I think she can probably look around and say "yeah, there was a dragon here."

    Flight or levitation or something like that plus invisibility seems like the better plan.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)18:26 No.18085403
    That's not how it works. Tremorsense will allow them to spot us even if we try that. We need to stay more than their tremorsense range away from them, or just stay off the ground entirely.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)18:27 No.18085417
    That's why it was a backup plan. Besides, we could either fan about a bunch of sand with our wings, or use some low-level 'wind' spell to do it.

    That was a joke. Not necessarily a good one, but there you go.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)19:17 No.18085935
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    Peeking over the top again, it seems the scorpions had stopped some distance away, perhaps wishing to carry on back. Around you were similar juts of ledges, the side Baha had taken you down having a steep ridge up to a flat plateau- the most ideal way to get around the scorpions by your guess- even if detected, the wall they’d have to climb would be too steep and sand-blasted smooth for them to navigate up, and going around either side on more shallow fronts would make them easy targets if a confrontation were to be forced.

    Of course, this is taking into account that you ended up detected...which isn’t going to happen.

    “If they are summoned, killing them may just bring more on our heads. Best to get passed. Here, give me your hand.” You offer, extending your own.

    She nods, tentatively taking yours into hers- barely a grip, but contact enough. Concentrating, you cast a spell of levitation between you, not all that more difficult that your usual aerial spells, and you push off from the ground, as if standing a few feet above it.

    You feel the grip on your hand suddenly tighten, and glance over to see her looking warily down at the floor; it seems that the lady ranger isn’t used to having spells cast on her.

    “It’s okay, you won’t fall if you let go.” You reassure, but it’s still some seconds after her nod that she finally does try and get out from your grasp to silently point out the plateau you’d already noticed.

    Half-saluting back, you move slowly, showing her how to gain the height needed without having to waste words, and in a few minutes you’re both air-walking well above where the Scorpions had laid their trap for you. Actually quite an easy matter to escape this ambush you think...before her glove stills your chest again.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)19:18 No.18085958
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    Now that you’re not looking over the side, you see why. The caravan, or at least something like it, has been found. As well as all the bodies. Half-buried in piles of sand, and curiously uneaten- just dry and desiccated from the heat they’ve been laying in for weeks. The supplies they were carrying were still there, though some parts looked like they’d been bored into for what they contained...

    “Should I set us down so-“

    Again, the hand pressed for quiet against your chest- apparently the only physical contact she was comfortable with- and she squinted at the scene...then pulled a coin out of her pocket and flicked it onto the sand.

    Suddenly it burst into life, sucking itself together off the corpses and coiling into the shape of a large snake; eating the object, sensing around for more...then piling out again, satisfied with the snack.

    A second ambush, then, to catch those smart enough to go around the first...unless they happened to be walking on air, that is.

    “...There’s five of them I can see,” She whispered toward you, “I’d...I’d like to check their supplies, see if this really was the caravan or...something else. But it might be better to move on...this place is a death trap, and I can’t account for everything. I’m sorry.”

    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)19:23 No.18086003
    The supplies certainly don't seem to be going anywhere. We can probably hit them up on the way back. If there are lootables, they might be slightly devalued by then, but perishables are almost certainly ruined already, and it doesn't look like anyone else is going to randomly run across it.

    Also, I'm not sure on the issue, but it seems she's an expert in local fauna. I think she'd probably have a harder time identifying 'dragon' tracks.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)19:29 No.18086072
    "It's fine. These supplies aren't going anywhere. Let's keep moving."
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)19:38 No.18086168
    > I think she'd probably have a harder time identifying 'dragon' tracks.

    I think dragon tracks are kind of obvious.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)19:38 No.18086171
    It's not even a big deal if we're identified. We're here on legitimate business. It'd probably make any conspiracy go so deep underground that even the dwarves couldn't find it, but whatever. We can just go follow some other plot hook like looking for our sister. I mean, we shouldn't reveal it for the sake of it if there's a better way like there was with the scorpions, but if it comes to it there's no point in risking dying over it. And there's only one witness here, so there's a fair chance we could persuade/threaten/whatever her and keep it contained anyway.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)19:39 No.18086184
    I wonder if there are any supplies at all. Dude ate a coin, he might've nommed the whole shebang.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:13 No.18086558
    Bed time bump
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:18 No.18086606
    Probably just thought it was something living when it landed on it. And 'dude' seems to be a giant camo-snake.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:34 No.18086740
    If we can, can we get Baha to brief us on whether her boss's activities are normal for an individual of his position? Further, let's try and sound her out for who she thinks might be responsible for what's going on with these creatures.

    Oh, and ask her about the 'catacombs' or undercity, too. If she knows we saw the lizardman, that can be our explanation, otherwise we can just say we saw the sign on a jobs-board.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:35 No.18086741

    If that's the case, why were the corpses left uneaten?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:35 No.18086752
    Not moving?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:36 No.18086765

    And what killed them? Fresh air? Or maybe the THINGS LYING ON TOP OF THEM?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:37 No.18086770
    They'd had to have been lying there for days....
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)20:44 No.18086834
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    "It's fine. These supplies aren't going anywhere. Let's keep moving." You offer kindly, almost putting our hand on her shoulder until you see her nearly flinch at the proximity.

    Sparing a glance back at the bodies, she nods then follows on after you, alternating between moving in front and behind, as if to spot any back-ambushes as well. A while later, the spell wears off and it seems you managed to make it past without incident.

    They, however, were not the only obstacles on your path. Roughly every hour until late afternoon there was some obstruction to get around; most that wouldn’t look out of place for the area, but a few that were a little more bizarre, beetles and spiders that should have been underground. Thanks to Baha’s skill in spotting tracks and ambushes, you manage to circumvent all of them (to your knowledge) by directing you down side-paths and less well-known gaps between crevices. She might not end up being much of a fighter, but it was evident she was a master of her craft; it almost feels like she didn’t need you along at all. Indeed it almost feels the opposite is true, from the amount of times she’d stopped you walking into carefully crafted desert ambushes- not that you hadn’t spotted some yourself, but...perhaps being a dragon makes one less attentive to the little things, you consider (if not believe).
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:45 No.18086845
    > You offer kindly, almost putting our hand on her shoulder until you see her nearly flinch at the proximity.

    That's... odd.

    I blame Welskin.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)20:46 No.18086853
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    In the last few hours though there’s no sign of any ambushes- instead all you find are dead carcasses of those who would be ambushing you. If anything, this makes Baha more on-edge and closed off than before, and she spends a lot of time looking over her map and on the stone when she’s not looking out for threats. Making camp, she remains quiet, tightly wrapping her cloak about herself to ward the world away from her.

    “I didn’t tell you,” She suddenly blurts out, “Because I needed to see more to be sure. What killed them. It definitely *was* humanoid. Swords and such. The cuts were too high though. No axes or bludgeoning. Not Dwarves.”

    The stars were clear overhead and the light made her expression seem all the darker in contrast.

    “...Not Dwarves.” She repeats, wrapping her words around it to try and get her mind to do the same, “Even with the Hold a half day away.”

    She stands sharply, and on reflex you join her. There’s no danger though aside from whatever’s gripping her

    “I know I can’t ask you to risk too much, but...I’m sorry, can we...continue? Um, if that’s alright with you. And maybe...can’t you...oh actually, just make me faster, if you want to stay and guard the base? Yeah, maybe you should stay. Just me okay? I just want to scout ahead a little. That’s fine? You don’t have to do anything.”

    “It’s just I’m with- I want to know- look, I was in- FRIENDS with people who I haven’t seen in- and from-” She stops herself for a long second, mentally chewing herself out for talking too much before continuing with her usual dead voice, “...Sorry. Not your problem, I know. Sorry. I just want to carry on ahead for a little bit and would appreciate some...assistance. You don’t have to come.”

    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:50 No.18086892

    Whenever we report back to grandpapi, this is definitively going in the report.

    Anyway, raise an eyebrow and return to the fire. "I'm responsible for your safety, but I'm not tyrant. You're free to do as you wish, no matter how much I would protest."
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:50 No.18086899
    I'm against her going off on her own.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:50 No.18086902
    'Don't have to' our scaled ass. Not only are we paid to safeguard her, she obviously quite upset.

    We can offer assistance, and we sure as hell can come.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)20:54 No.18086945
    She's obviously upset, we're in a very dangerous situation, and someone (or dare I say, something) is trying very, very hard to make sure that nothing gets this far alive. If she wants to go scouting around, we're going with her. Running off alone is a recipe for disaster.

    Plus, there's the off chance that she might be involved in the same backroom dealings that Welskin is involved in, which means I would rather not let her out of our sight.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:05 No.18087054
    Hmm. Orcs are taller. Humans are taller. Ankheg are taller, I think. Anyone have better ideas?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:21 No.18087214

    What on earth are Ankheg?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:25 No.18087260
    BBEGs are tall. I think it's so they can tower over people menacingly.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:26 No.18087273
    Massive underground-dwelling bugs, they pack quite a punch.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:29 No.18087300
    Lunar was very guilty of this. In the final battle of the remake, Ghaleon had one of the largest boss sprites in the game.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:30 No.18087304
    Massive bugs. I was recalling that they were sort of lower-half ant, upper-half anthropomorphized ant/human torso, and capable of using weapons. According to the 3.5 SRD, I'm wrong. Maybe something else.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:31 No.18087321
    No, that's Thri-kreen, a psionic race.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:34 No.18087348
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    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:35 No.18087362
    No, lower half is more horizontal. Think 'centaur-shaped' ant. I'm pretty sure they're also a hive-mind, too.

    Alternately, if NWN taught me right, there are also those weird desert centuars that replace the 'horse' part with 'scorpion'. I suppose they could be responsible too.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:39 No.18087412
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    You're thinking of a Formian.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:41 No.18087422
    Thank you. Glad to know I wasn't imagining it.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:41 No.18087427
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    This is an Ankheg.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:44 No.18087449
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    Oh fuck yes Dragon Quest.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)21:45 No.18087459
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    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)22:03 No.18087650
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    “Joking, of course.” You reply plainly, cutting her off before she can protest, “Look, I have been paid to protect you. Having you run off on some mission on your own in a place like this may end up killing you, and me out of pocket. ESPECIALLY if you’re going off in the state you’re in.”

    She stiffens at the accusation, then softens, the cloak tightening against her as it constricted her spirit.

    “...I’m sorry. You’re right. We’ll...we’ll just stay here then, sorry.”

    “What’re you talking about?” You tut, picking your glaive up from the ground, “I’m coming with you.”

    “...Oh. Oh!” She starts, evidently not used to her wishes being listened to, “Oh that’s great! Thankyou! Sorry, I didn’t understand...thankyou! I just want to get us to a higher spot, up the side of the ridge there. There’s something I...I need to check up on.”

    The place she points out is at least five hours away, a singular large hill that presumably looks over a large swathe of the desert around you.

    “Sounds good. Need spelling now?” You ask, but she shakes her head, more glad to have the company for the trek.

    At first, progress is as slow as usual, being careful not to be ambushed as she leads you along a side-path overlooking the main road, slowly curving around to face the left-side of the rocky outcrop, the only things of note being another gathering of bodies, this time sand stalkers, packed tightly behind a boulder as if to hide them from sight of those who’d want to travel along it. Their legs still resonate hollowly in the air and you resist the tug to go down toward them; Baha, for her part, doesn’t even seem to notice them, which is worrying. Instead, she spends most of her time looking up to the top of the hill.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/24/12(Fri)22:07 No.18087705
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    Halfway around it, she stops abruptly and turns so you’re both now directly going up the shallowest part of the mound. The walk turns into a jog. Before you can properly warn against the recklessness of it she ends up bursting into a sprint breaking away from you and up the hill and, powerless to shout after her incase it’d give away your position more than this already has, you curse to yourself and sprint after her, scrabbling less assuredly up the ragged hillside than her, slowly your natural, quicker pace. Passing by, you note increasing numbers of husked corpses on the way up- in some cases, tangles of spider legs entwined in death grips around each other...

    As such, you only manage to catch her up at the top...where she’s scrabbling on her knees, feeling around the floor of a sundered tower.

    “What the devil was that?!” You hiss through huffed breath, having good mind to sock her in the mouth, “You could have been killed for being so...”

    “-ht not enough light not enough light nonono I can’t...I can’t...”

    You rub your eyes to soak your irritation away in sympathy. She’s not even listening, and you can see her eyes shimmering in the faint cracks of starlight that just through the shattered roof. She wants light? Very well. Holding out your hand, you concentrate, summoning a ball of illumination that bursts out, showing every corner of the destroyed citadel.

    The sight stops her dead, looking at the rubble and crumpled armour with a depth of horror only one who could see what had happened from stains and chips could fathom.

    You? You’re more concerned about the rock troll.

    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:18 No.18087804
    Well damn.

    Fight time?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:19 No.18087827
    First we need to know whether we think we can take this in humanoid form.

    If no, then we need to know if we can take it in dragon form.

    If still now, our answer is to grab Baha, and run like a bitch.

    If yes to the first, we're going to get Baha behind us and earn our pay. If no to the first and yes to the second, then we need to get at least her out of here, though obviously survival takes precedence.

    Either way, we need to figure out what (or more likely, who,) she was so concerned about.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:20 No.18087844

    Depends on how reasonable the troll is.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:25 No.18087887
    Point. Let's not start things, but let's make sure we survive them. Even if that means we don't try to finish them.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:30 No.18087944

    I....don't..../think/ it will be very open to discussion...
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:34 No.18087978
    Scraps of armor are consistent with the tendency of trolls to eat people. It also seems like Baha had a thing for one of the people who was here and went missing, and unfortunately it looks like "was eaten by a troll" is the most likely explanation for said disappearance.

    The bigger question is WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN THIS PLACE. Why the hell are their this many monsters just chilling in the middle of a fucking desert? It looks like there's definitely something going on out here that someone is trying to keep a secret.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:36 No.18088003
    Does anyone know how a rock troll differs from a normal troll?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:37 No.18088015

    A rock troll carries a big rock.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:38 No.18088023
    Thank you for that very insightful deduction.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:40 No.18088038
    So... what now?

    Swap out pokemon?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:40 No.18088041
    What happened to Azaldon? Did he die?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:42 No.18088057
    Nah, he's still around. We're just not playing as him.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:43 No.18088073
    Trolls aren't exactly reasonable, and it probably sees us as food. I think fighting is our main option here.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:43 No.18088076
    Blast. I missed having the opportunity to play an intelligent, evil character. You don't see many of those. It's all "Herpa Derpa I kill randomly lawl".
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:44 No.18088084
    We were starting to go downhill toward the end though.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)22:50 No.18088172

    I thought we were picking back up...but there's only so much a ruler can do I suppose.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:00 No.18088280
    The original guy (Writer-Dude) ran out of time to run the quest.

    Our current guy is someone else who presumably went on an epic quest and completed twelve herculean tasks to gain WD's blessing to continue with a sequel in the same setting. About twenty years after the last Azaladon thread, I think.

    Personally, I miss the opportunity to play a villain, but Az was getting a bit boring. Too much caution, not nearly bold enough. And he didn't seem to be much of a family man, either.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:10 No.18088376
    Personally, I think the caution was fine. What bugged me towards the end is that we started sitting around and indulging in impulsive villainy rather than having a plan for moving forward.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:13 No.18088399
    Possibly. I just liked doing things personally, as opposed to giving orders and listening to timeskip updates.

    I'm pretty sure dat daughter ended up at least somewhat neglected.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:32 No.18088602
    Little bit, yeah. We were a terrible father.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:39 No.18088660
    Considering that she had /tg/ as a father, I'd say she turned out remarkably well.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:40 No.18088664
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    Least her mother loved her.

    That's got to count for something, right?
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:42 No.18088686
    Scinnari was an even worse parent. Both smothering and literally made of evil.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:46 No.18088718
    To say nothing of all the problems that being a devil caused.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:47 No.18088725
    Don't think she was worse. She at least loved her daughter in the normal sense, not the 'new possession' sense. Pure evil, sure, but she seemed to be pretty happy with Azy and her choices.

    Not worse than Azaladon, certainly.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:47 No.18088731
    I do think that as Azaladon we were getting stuck in a cycle of "do five things, timeskip thirty years. Repeat." The quest was much more interesting before we got an empire set up.

    Anyways: We've got magics right? Can we blind Baha, revert, and throw this troll off a cliff somewhere? Tell her we blinded her so she didn't have to see how gruesome it'd be.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:50 No.18088763
    I don't think that's in the cards right now. Blinding people (and removing blindness) isn't something we've got easy access to. Aside from, you know, clawing out a person's eyes the old fashioned way. Which probably isn't a good idea.
    >> Anonymous 02/24/12(Fri)23:52 No.18088792
    Plus, if I were her, that would be the kind of thing to make me suspicious. I doubt she'd believe us.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)00:00 No.18088862
    Doesn't matter what any of you say. The picture from >>18088664
    made me d'awww more than I have all week. I'm sure whatever happened in the timeskip, they still love each other.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)00:03 No.18088881
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    Unsurprisingly, the troll did not feel like having a discussion and was in the process of procuring itself a chunk of masonry, pulling and tugging at a huge pillar in hopes of wrenching a suitably big piece out for a club.


    The shouted warning snapped her around to the danger, and with a sucking intake of breath you see her collect herself, rolling into a run as she moves behind you.

    “Can you kill it?!” She asks, pulling his cloak aside to reveal a set of chakrams and potions aligned about her waist.

    “That’s a very good question!” You shout behind you, eyes training on the beast, “I’ve a good one too: Do I have to?!”

    “Yes! I’m not leaving this place until I know what’s happened!”

    “Why?! We’re not-”

    A massive chunk of granite tore the conversation apart, forcing you both to dodge to either side, splintering the ground as momentum skimmed it far out of the entrance. The troll growled at the miss and, with one more heave, broke off a club of the stuff and headed toward you, its simple mind still sharp enough to deduce you s the biggest threat in the room.

    Which may be the case, but that might not do you any good- you honestly have no idea if you can take a Rock Troll on in your current form. At the very least you were going to have to fight smart...and fight magically.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)00:04 No.18088890
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    Looking around you looked for things to use- blast, it’d all be wrecked!- there, a staircase that led up to the collapsed upper floor, at least you’d get some height, and maybe there’d be other things on the points where it hadn’t fallen through. Casting a quick flurry of spells to entangle and slow its movement you launched yourself up them, keeping an eye back for Baha, who was circling around to the other side of the building, keeping in the shadows.

    “What do you have on you?! I’m not so hot at fire spells!” You confess, swinging your glaive in an arc to hide the next casting effort from the troll- a flurry of raw magic bolts hammering into its stony flesh.

    “Poisons mostly,” She confesses, “A couple of healing potions, a bottle of resin and something for strength!”

    “You’re a ranger!” You chide, your patience running out as your spells do, “What kind of ranger DOESN’T have something for trolls?! They’re the most RANGER monster there is!!”

    “I’m sorry! Look, I know this tower, there should be a beacon up on the first floor, and to light it there should be-“

    “-Oil! Right!!” You affirm, now glad for your choice of action, “Just don’t be bloody stupid in the meantime!”
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)00:07 No.18088921
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    The damage you’ve poured onto the troll seems to have only made it angrier as it rips free of the ethereal webbing holding it just enough to break off a chunk from its improvised club to hurl at you, smashing the stairs and clipping you hard enough with the shrapnel to trip you over onto the next step as you reached the top, hitting the floor and fumbling your concentration to add some haste to the proceedings.

    Clenching teeth through your curses, you look around the broken edges of the floor and sure enough, over on the other side were a few barrels and a large dish to pour it into, along with kindling. Unfortunately...there was no floor between, and a large troll to leap over. Your evocations were almost out too, but you’d still defensive ones left to burst, and your self-enhancing ones...you curse your age though- there was nothing remotely like your draconic strength or resilience you could grant yourself. You’d also burnt though your travel spells getting around the traps and ambushes earlier today- no easy float-over.

    The troll, by comparison, was both angry and rapidly recovering from the holes you blasted in it, slowly making its way over the slick surface you’d used to slow it to smash your footing away from you. This was one of those times adventurers wished they were a dragon alright...

    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)00:12 No.18088977
    Illusion? Try and get it to smash away the floor the barrels are on, so it will fall on it?

    I'm kind of short on ideas. What's the room look like?

    If all else fails, our plan is grab Baha and haul her out. If we tried to revert in this tower, it sounds like we might bring it down around us.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)00:19 No.18089050

    Figure I'll help you out.

    From the brief flash you saw, it's not a particularly big tower anymore, maybe spanning 50(ish) feet in diameter with only the ground floor completely intact, the roof half up and the 1st floor wrecked. If there's a basement, then you, at least, didn't see on. Around the ground floor there were also partially smashed crates, but the only barrels you saw were above you. The pillars are granite, but the rest seems to be sandstone, or otherwise made from the rock of the area.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)00:30 No.18089189
    Bust open a barrel and just pour it over the troll and the floor. Get Baha up the stairs with you, and light the fire. I'm sure we have some way of doing it: A low-level spell, some flint from the tower, whatever.

    The oil will burn it to death, and then we just wait for it to burn out, which won't take too long because it'll be over a large area.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)00:34 No.18089233

    Brilliant! Except...how're we getting to the barrel?

    I say we distract it, have Baha drink the strength potion and then Chakram its head off.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)00:34 No.18089237
    From the chat, being a Silver, we can polymorph. Polymorph into an avariel (or even a half-dragon, if we feel like giving hints- she seems legit.) or a bird or something, flutter over to the barrels, change back to human, then celebrate with a victory incandescence.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)00:35 No.18089241
    Silver dragon alternate form lets us assume the shape of any humanoid or animal of medium size or smaller. That includes Avariel (winged elves) which can fly, or a freaking bird if need be.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)00:39 No.18089281
    We could pass of the polymorph as one of our spells, but I'd rather not.

    We don't need to pick up the barrel. Just cut it open and roll it over to the edge. Drizzle over the troll, and drop match.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)00:42 No.18089315
    We need to get near it, don't have reach. Besides, polymorph would set a good foundation if we ever did have to reveal ourself to her.

    Polymoprh-fly-barrel-troll-burn. We can even grab the girl and fly away, if we want. What's not to like?
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)01:18 No.18089802
    > Silver dragon alternate form lets us assume the shape of any humanoid or animal of medium size or smaller. That includes Avariel (winged elves) which can fly, or a freaking bird if need be.

    This seems extremely abusable.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)01:22 No.18089861
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    Yes; we are a dragon, after all. Magic is our play-thing.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:05 No.18090322
    You know you're reading dragon quest when you go hours between posts.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:08 No.18090348
    I know, this guy has WD's style down.

    In fact, he might BE WD, except he got tired of Azaladon so he made up a new trip to keep from getting pestered about it.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:09 No.18090354
    just like old times, eh?
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:11 No.18090376
    >this guy has WD's style down.
    I don't know... A couple of his posts don't have any ellipses in them at all... Although he's still using more than a normal person would I guess...
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)02:19 No.18090457
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    And a dragon you were, so it’d be a crime to not at least use SOME of your natural abilities. Thank Bahumut you were a Silver.

    Doubling over, you grit yourself in concentration, the half-plate on your back buckling and warping like fired paper before exploding outwards, the bubbling silver unfurling into scale-set wings , the ends brushing against the ceiling. You fancy you hear Baha gasp as you take a running launch off the ruined flooring, the force of your leap crumbling the rest of the stairs away as you soar over the gawping trolls head towards the barrels.

    Just as you’re about to reach them though a crushing agony blasts into your rightmost wing, the force of which spins you around to face the low ceiling- too low to get the height to dodge- and the exit-hole the rest of the troll’s club made. Falling fast you crane your head up to where the barrels are passing you by and, with a forceful stab, impale one of the barrels onto the end of your glaive just as the troll clamped a meaty fist around your legs, cracking them in its grip as it moves to bring its jaws to bear on you.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)02:20 No.18090473
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    Half-blinded by pain, you grab the glaive two-handed and with a roar of anger smash the barrel down in a single mighty slash, smashing the container straight onto its lower tusks and cleaving through the bottom of its jaw; the explosively flammable liquid gushing over its face, down its throat and over its chest.

    With a thunderous boom of pain the troll throws you to the floor, your other wing snapping under the impact as it splinters the barrel between its teeth, grinding the wood to dust and drooling oil as it peers down at you, raising its leg to crush you to paste beneath it. Too late to morph now, you close your eyes and try to cast something defensive, armour, anything to just survive the few more seconds you need.

    Then a disk of metal spins out, sparks against its flintish-face...and blows its head apart.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)02:21 No.18090492
         File: 1330154508.jpg-(210 KB, 1600x898, watchtower_by_vianreps-d3g7yzb.jpg)
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    The foot stomps down right beside you, and you fear it’s simply going to topple right on top of you- no way to go, being flattened by a dead troll- but instead, oddly, it sifftens like the rock its made of and freezes in place, the fire coating and spreading over its body hardening it into place. Phoo. Crisis averted. You feel a little bad that you didn’t get the killing blow, that kind of smarts your pride a little. Oh well...that’s teamwork for you. Speaking of.

    “VICTOR!!” The ranger yelled, sliding to you on her knees, “Victor, that...that was incredible! How did you-”

    “-Spells, sorcerer, you- HRM- know the deal...” You manage, doing an admirable job of ignoring your broken bones, “...Now...if you’d be so kind...as to take the man covered in oil AWAY from the fire, please?”

    “Ah! Sorry! Of-of course!” She agrees...then fidgets a little, hands jerking back a couple of times before she settles on hooking her fingers under the shoulder-straps of your plate, dragging you along (thank goodness the floor is relatively smooth).


    Two hours later, and you’re much improved, having only needed half of one of her two bottles to recuperate from your injuries- the wings ultimately superficial, and the legs, shockingly, not actually being broken in that grip.

    Baha has spent the time looking around the area, now well illuminated by a large, burning troll, and seems to have gathered herself together a little better than before; the trauma of the fight having probably balancing out the distress she felt earlier.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)02:23 No.18090518
         File: 1330154591.jpg-(91 KB, 600x743, DnD__female_elf_ranger_by_yias(...).jpg)
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    “...No good, no good...” She finally stops with a sigh, settling back, “I can’t tell if- what EXACTLY happened here. Dwarves fought and died, but no indication of exactly who...they were caught unawares, as most armour damage has been caused by bitemarks, but there are chips of blades which shows it wasn’t the troll which did this...also, the brazier hadn’t been lit as a warning. And since that point, it seems monsters fought other monsters outside...none native to the area, rate of decomposition suggests only a few days ago.

    She thumbed behind her to her lightsource, continuing, “Rock trolls should be far underground, not up where there’s a serious risk of petrification in sunlight, so he was brought in...probably to dispose of the bodies. And...”

    She dipped her head lower, pressing hands into her face for a long moment.

    “...There’s been no search party from the Hold to here.”

    You’re not sure what to say to her...at this point, optimism would seem like a sneer. All that was left was how to approach the next. Call for the reserve team perhaps, in the hope that an updated map would let them here with less difficulty than they’d had. Or maybe just go now, keeping their smaller, less noticeable unit...or maybe sleep...and mourn in the morning.

    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)02:24 No.18090533

    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:26 No.18090550
    We have a nice fire and a secure hiding spot. Resting would be a good idea, especially since it's the middle of the night and the outside is hardly safe anywhere. Come morning, we can continue on our journey; once we hit civilization again, then we'll alert the reserve team.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:27 No.18090575
    Sleep, ideally on the second floor, and carry on in the morning. Dragon or not, sleep is nice, and there's no point in walking on those legs before we have to.

    This does seem quite confusing, though. We'd better figure out what's up.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:28 No.18090582
    >She agrees...then fidgets a little, hands jerking back a couple of times before she settles on hooking her fingers under the shoulder-straps of your plate, dragging you along
    She REALLY doesn't like the touching thing, huh?
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:29 No.18090592
    I don't suppose there's some equivalent of desert-drow? Stealthy overruns of desert outposts, plenty of magic, even infighting...
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:30 No.18090605
    Yuan-ti fill that role.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:31 No.18090619
    Thought they were more jungles. Still, this is a bit creepy.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:37 No.18090680
    It would seem that way. Wonder why.

    Working for Welskin must be hell for her considering his wandering hands.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)02:39 No.18090707
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    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)03:19 No.18091119
    it is totally writer guy or dude or whatever either way it is well done and thus enjoyable

    now if only it wasnt 3am EST
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)03:20 No.18091128
    Hah. New guy is on GMT. I think he has it worse.
    >> That Commissar 02/25/12(Sat)03:43 No.18091304
    Some one archive this before it is lost, like thread 1 of the original dragon quest.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)03:45 No.18091315
    it isn't lost, its just not on suptg
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)03:47 No.18091338
    Sure, sure, on it...


    Done. Remember to upvote. Questfags need praise to survive long shifts in the word-mines.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)04:22 No.18091602
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    You wake up the next morning to find Baha curled up in a ball beside you, virtually absorbed into her cloak. Though not making any noise, she seems to be sleeping far from easy; there’s an anxiety to her features that doesn’t fit for something called ‘slumber’. However, noting how she doesn’t seem to like being touched or touching others, there’s little you feel you can do, so instead you wait for her to wake on her own, peering through a gap in the wall toward where the Hold presumably lay, down in a ravine slightly northwest from the hill a few hours away. The dip in terrain was too steep to get a clear view, but you fancied you could at least see where it was resting. If it were night, the beacon would easily be seen. But if it were day...?

    Looking around the interior you found your answer in a shattered mirror. Dwarves seemed to think of everything...but so did whoever attacked them. An organized force, certainly...though perhaps one with an eye toward destruction too- unless it was the rock troll who did all of this damage. It seems counter-intuitive to a stealth mission to then make such a wreck of things after its completion.

    ...Well. There were reasons why they might, but best not to dwell on them. Your ‘partner’ could certainly do well not to dwell.

    As if summoned Baha convulsed awake, stiffening in waking paralysis as she remembered she wasn’t where she’d been in her dreams...and relaxing after, sitting up to take you in...well, as best she could without meeting your eyes.

    “...You alright to move now?” She mumbled, “And...sorry. For running ahead last night. Won’t happen again.”

    “I’m sure you had your reasons...but I won’t pretend I don’t like when people try to run out on me.”

    “Of course,” She nods, oblivious or inured to such puns, “I’ll do better.”

    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)04:24 No.18091614
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    And better she did, though there wasn’t much else to do other than more corpse identifying. It was sparser than the density upon the hillside though, with less that a dozen spotted along the way; well baked in the heat. Baha was cautious though, as she noted there were grooves in the sand now, sled-marks which were only a couple of days old if that, and that the creatures spotted along the road had been singular, on their own, rather than in packs that could seriously challenge trade. Scouts, or markers perhaps.

    Finally you reached the front gates of the hold- or rather the cliff facing just over them, peering down. The gateway into the thing was massive in size and, as you’d expect from Dwarves, of great detail and traditionalist beauty. It wasn’t a great work of imagination, but in regards to craft it was masterful. The doorway itself seemed to consist of a smoother stone than the surrounding area but of the same hue...but you could bet that beneath it were metres of steel. Podded either side were small balconies with smaller such doors behind and thickly-glassed shields. Sentry positions without their sentries.

    The grooved marks they’d been tracking fed right through the front doors; whether they were going in or coming out would be something answered only by entering yourself.

    The method of entering was still up for debate though.
    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)04:25 No.18091624
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    “No sentries or guards...” She squinted, checking the details, “You might want to scry for magic detection...if you can, but...I dunno, it seems pretty quiet on that front too. Do you have True Sight?”

    “Sadly not, my dear.”

    “Oh...sorry. Well it’s not destroyed which is good, but that there’s no-one outside isn’t...and that there’s no damage at all, or sign of attack...”

    She mulled back into silence again, biting her lip to sting rash action into submission.

    “...They aren’t going to let us in. We need to find our own way, somehow. Any ideas? You’re the one with the tools to do it, afterall...I hope. Though I guess I could try and find something?”

    >> Writer-Guy !!FOs+3LWXJDT 02/25/12(Sat)04:27 No.18091636
    That'll be it for today folks! Replies will obviously be dealt with in next week's OP, which will be coming on...THURSDAY at 11PM GMT!

    Hope you've all enjoyed it, and see you next time!
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)04:31 No.18091654
    So same time as usual, just on Thursday. I suppose I can live with that. Don't know about the others.

    As for getting in... Oh dear. If we actually had some fire, we might be able to melt glass or steel. With ice, we can freeze it and hope it shatters, but that's less promising. Plus, if we have to use our breath weapon, that might be a bit tricky to explain. (Though "Polymorph!" is a pretty decent alibi.)

    Let's levitate us up and down the cliff face, check the place out. Possibly invisibly. When we enter, we might want to do so invisibly, too.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)04:31 No.18091658
    We might be able to burrow in. Though dwarves would definitely have thought of that.

    Or we could fly up and check out those balconies.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)05:04 No.18091818
    I approve of these dwarves.

    Let us try to figure out what they are up to, or what happened to them. I cannot see them abandoning surface watch for little reason. If we are lucky, they are just holed up lower down in the halls. If not, well, I will just start having flashbacks to Citadel Station.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)05:29 No.18091934
    >Citadel Station

    >Everybody's dead
    >Go here, where there may be living people!
    >Nope, they're dead too.
    >Go to this dude who's still alive!
    >Not here.
    >Go to here, where he actually is still alive!
    >Dies when you get there.
    >Get up here to speak to this other person who's still alive!
    >Dead on arrival.

    While it might be creepy, and that's cool, please don't do that to us, Writer-Guy
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)05:41 No.18092005
    If it's that then we would just need a scroll of "speak with dead".

    That reminds me we should build a utility belt of cheap useful magic items.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)05:42 No.18092014
    Dragonman. Our vigilante hero of justice.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)06:04 No.18092104
    With his side-kick ranger lass.

    But seriously it should have:
    A rod of minor healing (to get us back up on our feet)
    An almost unhealthy amount of Rope (you'll want it if you an't got it)
    Acid flasks (to melt stuff with)
    Scrolls (Charm, Speak with dead, Speak language, Expeditious retreat, ghost sound, Silent Image, Locate Item)
    Bag of tricks
    Bag of holding

    Useful stuff
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)07:08 No.18092437
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    wondering could the dwarven hold be over run with whatever killed the dwarves?

    Should try shouting first to see if anyone responds. Would be bad if we get shot at and accused of being a spy again. We can assume a form of an animal at will so doing so any flying up may be a way to scout.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)09:57 No.18093198
    Speak With Dead might not exist, or at least, it was removed while we were playing Azaladon.

    Personally, if we ever got to purchasing or making custom items, I could totally go for getting us a utility belt with a dozen odd different utility-effects X per day.

    I do not want to clog up the quest with crunch, though- It might be fun, but it's never been a mechanics-centric quest.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)12:06 No.18094131
    azaldon probably killed the dwarves, it's a little unclear on the timeline but if we did do a 'timeskip' this could be that dwarven empire we were at odds with, finally destroyed inside out by our own devious plotting.
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)14:54 No.18095788
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    Why don we try knocking on the door?
    >> Anonymous 02/25/12(Sat)18:15 No.18098095
    I think we're out of his usual area of influence, though I suppose things could have changed during the timeskip. We're off to the east, the ones he had a that war with were to the west.

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