You are Oris, a winged lizard that recently left its -- for lack of a better term -- home. After convincing your kobold friend Lesa that staying would mean death by adventurers and kobold hunters (a feat made much easier by one of them almost succeeding), you led her east -- towards the land your own egg supposedly came from many years ago.You've been on the road for two months now, and the terrain you wander through have become increasingly less friendly. The land is flat, dry and devoid of life. The sky is empty of clouds, the sun beating down mercilessly upon your heads -- and nights have become too cold to travel.Today you have come within sight of mountains -- great outcroppings of land rising in the distance. Lesa expresses hope that they will be the end of your journey, then complains that you are out of water -- it's been three days since you've found the last well and the waterskin is now empty. Food is also becoming an increasingly pressing concern.How shall you proceed?
Previous threads:Thread 1: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/22579656/Thread 2: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/22659873/ (alternately, http://archive.foolz.us/tg/thread/22659873/#22659873 if first link gets nuked due to bad tagging)Thread 3: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/22678331/
Eat the kobold. That's what they're here for.
Circle overhead, see if we can find any sources of water
lets see if we can find our way back to the main path and follow, also search for food and water
good to see you back
>>22788075'eat' the kobold if you know what I mean.
>>22788105>>22788096There is food and water inside the kobold. The tasty, tasty kobold.
>>22788119I think you mean ruthlessly kill the humanoid and consume their flesh.Is that right?
>>22788154She's our friend and stuff
Rape the kobold. Thats what they're here for.
As the proponent of food over friendship, I still draw the line at >>22788183. It's disgusting and a waste of energy.
>>22788205You can always eat her after you rape her.
>>22788207See, that's proper thinking.Now get to raping kobolds.
>>22788207Dead girls don't say no!
>>22788207Not exactly answering the objections of disgusting and wasteful, are you?
You tell Lesa that if worst comes to worst, se will be your emergency food supply. She is not amused by your joke and tells you as much. You then tell her to keep going, then you rise high into the air and start flying in a wide circle, keeping her roughly in the center.The heat rising off the ground distorts and blurs your vision, making it difficult to make out any sort of detail. This results in a few false alarms, as what you think to be a farmstead resolves into a few dead bushes or a pile of rocks when you get closer.An hour in, you do spot something that turns out to be real -- a glint that catches your eye turns out to be a small pool of water surrounded by several gnarled trees. It's half a mile or so off the road, with a path leading towards its. There is even something that looks like a crude building, or a hut of some sort.Less fortuitously, there is definitely movement down there -- one person, from what you can make out.Lesa is about half an hour's walk from here. What is your plan?
>>22788238You relieve pent up sexual frustration and gain a meal at the same time. Its a very efficient business model.
>>22788177Countermanding. Friends are hard to come by.
>>22788275Im always hard when my friends come.
>>22788260carefully approach and restock
>>22788262Yes.This must be the next course of action.Also, crafting armor or tools out of her bones might come in handy.
when did That Guy join this quest?
>>22788260restock, ignore shitposters
>>22788294>a quest about a dragon and his kobold waifu>not expecting That Guys by the droves
>>22788260I see that Lesa is a DMPC with plot armour +5. OK. Signal dinner in the right direction, then fly casually over the pool to get a better view of this "person".
>>22788285You're so witty.
>>22788260Go check out the person. Land by the water to drink, pretend to be a harmless lizard. Observe them.
>>22788318>DM doesn't immediately do what you want>Obviously, DMPCs.Stay classy.
>>22788294Ehh, don't be mad, we're just having a bit of fun. It's not like it's hurting anyone.
>>22788342Exactly. Kobolds aren't people, so we can do whatever we want to it.
>>22788342Oh, blast the thought that we might actually hurt someone's feelings
>>22788342I motion to ignore That Guy, and get on with the story. Because seriously, that's dumb.
>>22788388but kobolds are so tasty and supple
>>22788409I think you mean stringy and tough
>>22788294I think that "eat the kobold" is ruthless but doesn't completely fuck with the quest assumptions. (It does set a much more grim tone.)>>22788339>Nobody is ever joking on the internet
>>22788260Fly toward's the water and hide in a tree
>>22788468Yeah well. This.
>>22788468So long as we fly casual.
You make a single overhead pass to get a good idea of the layout -- this confirms that there is only one person by the watering hole and tells you that the best avenue of approach will be to stay low, allowing the curve of the terrain to hide you.You do so, aiming for the thickest tree, letting its trunk serve as additional cover. Just as you're about to crash into it, you angle your wings and turn upwards, letting your momentum run out just as your claws grip the bark -- the maneuver ends up being almost completely soundless.You wait a few moments, listening for any indication that you were noticed, but all you can hear is splashing water. You peek around the trunk and see him -- human, male, bearded and bare-chested. No visible weapon. Kneeling on the edge of the water, head down, washing his clothes.Off to the side, a traveling pack. Fairly small. No weapon strapped to it either.Course of action?
>>22788552All in favour of eating the primate? It's not our friend! (And Lela can have some man-meat too.)
>>22788552Wait till he is asleep, sneak Lesa in and resupply, perhaps shadow him for a ways, he seems to be going somewhere
>>22788563You seem to be overestimating our size
>>22788563She can have OUR man-meat>>22788593I think you underestimate our girth.
>>22788593The primate has its head down. We can fly very quietly. Fly up, bite the jugular open, then fly out of reach while it bleeds out.
>>22788602That is a good question. OP, is the kobold futa or not? This is kind of a deal-breaker for me, btw.
>>22788552He's probably a friendly humanoid. Hop next to him and chirp cheerfully, see if he pets you.
>>22788623Better not, he might be able to help us find food and water in the badlands if we befriend us. He wouldn't be here if he doesn't know how to survive after all.
>>22788646>He's probably a friendly humanoidThose are the easiest to kill. We feed.
>>22788652It is food and there's water right here.>>22788646You're trying to get us killed.
>>22788671>>22788677These.Better not waste meat. He's clearly not using it well enough.
Observation mode please
>>22788552Communicate with him. We got telepathy, he won't find us from this. Ask him what he is doing here.It's time we make more contact with humanoids than stealing or hiding from them.
I count three ruthless predators and three faggot pets. Plus one indecisive type.
He can help us find food and meat.Best to contact him stealthily (telepathy is wonderful,) and determine his stance on kobolds, though.
>>22788721I'm not even sure how to respond.Please leave.
>>22788677Nonsense. Ask him to rub your belly, humanoids can't resist that.
>>22788743>Stop liking what I don't likeHow about no? If you disagree with my count, that's another thing. (There's also a vote for telepathy, which is in the cautious/indecisive camp.)
>>22788778You are not a cat, much less Tonnura-san.Nor are you fabulous enough to be this.
>>22788623Did you even read the other threads? Why bite if we got a poison stinger that sends everyone without huge constitution save sleeping for several hours? That said, i am still in the telepathy camp. Attacking people is unreasonable. And as a pseudodragon we are a naturally good creature.
>>22788724We have telepathy?>>22788845And poison stingers?As there seems to be a lot of new players (including me), can we take stock of any out-of-the-ordinary abilities, proficiencies or other non-obvious "stuff we are good at"?In the meantime, I vote for telepathy, but use it to give the impression that you are a spirit or elemental watching over this place.
>>22788820We might not be fabulous, but we can do cute like no-one does, dammit! We're the cutest thing in a hundred mile radius, by far, and we're going to use that to our advantage!
>>22788718>>22788724Voting for this. If he still tries to kill us, then we can start assuming that everyone we meet deserves to die.
>>22788845This quest is not very upfront with information. However, as regards genetic alignment, I have to say FIGHT THE POWER! YOU ARE NOT YOUR SPECIES, WINGED LIZARD!
>>22788873Pseudodragons gonna pseudodragon.As far as I know, that's the complete list of our powers. You could go and read the old threads if you wanted to, I guess.>>22788897There's no real reason to be a chaotic stupid asshat, though.
>>22788908Killing something for food when you're starving isn't chaotic stupid.
>>22788882I will grudgingly move my vote from immediate killing to conditional killing.
>>22788908We also have cameleonlike skin which gives us a huge hiding score. And we can read. But i think thats it when it comes to unusual abilities.
>>22788938We could kill him after he>proves hostile>proves unwilling to feed us and we have no alternative>leads us back to his camp>reveals to us where the nearest city, town, or other establishment isIf we do it before then, we're just killing him because some people want to go around murdering things and are apparently fanny flustered that we couldn't start with our NPC bro.
A brief thought of killing the human and feasting on his flesh crosses your mind -- but then you recall the hour-long scolding Lesa gave you years ago when you were both hungry and you suggested capturing and eating one of Comienza's children.According to her, it was bad, wrong, bad and stupid, and bad. It was bad meat and you would go crazy, and people would hunt you, and many other horrible things that you only vaguely remember.Short version: you're not desperate enough to overcome mental blocks against cannibalism>Also, previous threads favored stealth and deceit as Oris's defining traits, resorting to a direct attack only in a desperate situation. I see no justification for a complete personality flip.
>>22788873>For the benefit of new players:You are the size of a large cat and its unlikely that you will ever grow any larger. You are quite stealthy -- in all the years you've spent stealing from the people of Comienza, you haven't been spotted once (which led to your thefts being attributed to Lesa, which in turn made her a big enough nuisance to warrant putting a bounty on her head).You have claws and sharp teeth and can make good use of them, but your single best weapon is a stinger on the tip of your tail, which you can use to inject other creatures with venom that knocks them unconscious for hours at a time. However, you can only use it 2-3 times in quick succession before the venom runs out and needs to regenerate.You can also talk without talking -- make yourself heard inside someone else's head. Lesa really doesn't like it when you do that. She says you sound "creepy.">Since we have something approaching a consensus, typing the next update now.
>>22789000lets just spy on him
>>22789000>starving>not desperateUh-huh.>>22788973No, it's not random bloodlust. If you look at the OP, we're told that food is a pressing concern. Predators - including our protagonist - kill and eat things.
>>22789031We're intelligent, however, and can process concerns aside from our immediate needs, and even plan for the future.
>>22789005Let's creep him the fuck out! Telepathy all up in this. (Trying to communicate and ascertain hostility. Let's try to do it from a safely hidden location, though.)
>>22789054>intelligent>damn fool plan to snuggle up to some stranger and get our neck wrungSure. Whatever you say, anon.
>>22789005Thanks, OP, that helps a lot. Catching up with the archives, but it takes some time.Also, how long does the venom take to regenerate, and is "in quick succession" several times in a single fight, several times within an hour, or even an entire day?>>22789031You could argue that it's sensible for these kinds of thoughts to skim the surface of our mind when really hungry, but no more than that.>>22789063I'm also in favor of this - he can't tell where our voice is coming from and we could probably easily masquerade as some form of spirit that wants a tribute in return for the water he has taken.
Up until now, Lesa was virtually the only one you used headspeak on and even then rarely so.You continue watching the man for a few minutes. He finishes washing his shirt, wrings it out and hangs it up on a branch to dry. Then he retrieves a pipe from his pack, lights it up, and settles in the shadow of a tree. He does not look like he will be moving from here anytime soon. And as you look at the pool of water mere feet away, you feel your mouth getting very, very dry.::Hey, you,:: you begin, making sure no part of you juts out from behind the trunk.There is silence -- you do not risk peeking out around the tree. Eventually, you decide to try again.::Hey, y-::"Hey yourself," a male voice interrupts you. "Not very polite around 'hey youing' people out of the blue like that, don't you think? There's these things people have called names, you know. And if you don't know theirs, there are better ways to start a conversation. Like 'good day, sir' or even 'ho, traveler.' 'Hey, you' is just rude. And talking with someone while keeping yourself hidden even more so."There is a pause -- should you respond? And if so -- how?
>>22789120Tricking people doesn't make them favorably predisposed to us, though. We could sure use the help of a muscular ranger traveling with us.
>>22789273fly out to where he can see us but far enough to run if he attacks
>>22789273Jump up playfully on the trunk, play it like you were making a joke. Pseudodragons are tricksters, after all. Be charming as fuck!
>>22789314Dude, he spoke to us so it isn't a combat encounter.>do you even metagame?
>>22789314I think we can do this. He does not have weapons."So, here i am. Are you going to talk to me now?"
>>22789339I think we are pretty paranoid after that shit with the hunter.
>>22789273Thunder in his head "Pretentios mortal! You befoul our sacred water with your filth and dare lecture us on matters of respect?! We should raise the water and lest you drink of death!"
I vote we show ourselves and politely ask some questions
>>22789273I don't think he's going about not-being-murdered the right way. We could have slaked our thirst and started on his liver by now... oh, well.Stay hidden. Pause and then send, "I'm sorry, sir, but these are dangerous parts. Perhaps you could tell me your name so that we no longer have to talk as strangers?"
>>22789273:"We are not hidden! You stand in our home uninvited, you have dirtied our waters with your, uuh, dirt! You have even taken from our waters, without asking or even giving your name, and I, the great and powerful spirit that watches over this place, demand a tribute of food, before I bring my great and powerful wrath down upon you for your rudeness!":Or what >>22789407 said, depending on how seriously we want to play this, or if we even know big words like those (might not matter for mindspeech?).
>>22789522This, followed by easy concession when he calls our bluff. "Fair enough. Just wondering who was hangin' out here. What's your opinion on kobolds?"
You peek around the trunk and see the man remains seated across the pool. You cautiously crawl up onto a branch from where you can both see one another -- he watches this with interest, but says nothing more."So," you say finally, deciding not to bother with headspeak, "here I am. Are you going to talk to me now?"At the same time, you check your grip on the branch -- if the man makes any threatening moves, you can leap backwards, twist around in mid-air and speed off while keeping the trunk between you two."Why certainly," his answer sounds inordinately cheerful. "I love a good talk. But I'd still like to know who I'm talking to. But tell you what, since you've been nice enough to show yourself, I'll repay in kind and introduce myself first. The name's Marcus Shale. What's yours?"Should you answer? And what exactly do you want to ask/talk to him about?
>>22789593'Wanna get high?'*pseudodragon poison hits*
>>22789611'Mr. Tiddlywinks the Flying Lizard, pleased to make your acquaintances.'
>>22789611We want to ask him what he does, maybe why he's here and, as >>22789593 suggested, his opinion on Kobolds.Oh, and water. We want that, too.
>>22789653Oris. It's not like lots of people know us by it or anything. Ain't dangerous to hand out, unless we're assuming great sorcerers and granting people magical holds on us by giving them our name willingly or something. And I think that's awful silly for us to assume.Ask him what's up, and whether we can go get a friend of ours who's awful thirsty.
>>22789611tell him our name, and politly enquire why he is here?
>>22789693I am not even sure if we know magic exists in character. Also, i am seconding this and >>22789755
>>22789693Ehh, pseudodragons are supposed to be mischievous, we have been really slacking off in that department lately.
>>22789799The whole 'running for our lives', 'trying to save our only friend', and so on probably put a damper on it.
>>22789799So what you're saying is that it's a high time to relieve some stress with a trick or two? I agree!
>>22789919Whoops, meant to quote >>22789871
>>22789919>>22789925I'd say our friend's life may still be on the line.Let's wait until we have more potential targets, and we are not the obvious cause of any and all shenanigans.
>>22789653Seconding Mr. Tiddlywinks
"Would you believe if I said my name's Tiddlywinks?""Is it?" he laughs."No, it's Oris,""Very nice to meet you, Oris. Now what exactly did you want with me?"Your eyes stray towards the water pool again and the man -- Marcus -- chuckles."Oh, of course! I apologize, I should've realized you'd be thirsty. Why else would you even be here -- go right ahead," he nods at waterhole. "I can see that I make you nervous, so I promise not to move from my spot."You shift your weight from side to side a few times, glancing between Marcus and the waterhole. You clench your jaw and inhale sharply through your nose a few times. Finally, you spread your wings and hop off, gliding down to the water's edge. From there, you give Marcus a suspicious look -- he smiles and raises his hands to show they're both empty.You drink. You pause every few moments to give the man another quick look, but does not move an inch -- even though you drink for a long time. Once you're done, you return to your branch -- and you remember that Lesa will be passing by on the road very soon."Well?" Marcus smiles again. "Will there be something else?""I have a friend," you say slowly, "who is also thirsty.""And your friend is even less of a people person than you are.""She is a kobold.""Ah. I do believe I understand," he nods. "Well, you can tell your friend that she has nothing to fear from me -- provided she behaves herself as well. Is that acceptable?""Yes," you can't really answer any other way. "I will go get her.""I don't plan on going anywhere."You take flight and head off towards the tiny figure that is already visible walking down the road.You have a minute or two to think of some good arguments with which to convince Lesa to get anywhere near a human.
>>22790169"It's very simple, my dear. You go near him or you die of thirst."
>>22790169He already knows about her, he seems to have no weapons, and we need water or we will die, plus he could lead us east
>>22790187I think this is quite a compelling argument.
>>22790169Wouldn't it be easier to get her water in the waterskin?But if we for some reason really need to persuade her to come drink by the lake, there are a few arguments."You're thirsty, Leesa.And you can drink on the far side of the pond from where the human is.And we probably don't have anything he wants.And I don't think he wants to do us harm.And even if it's a trick and he does, we can run away before he can get to us.And even if that doesn't work I'll be there with you and protect you."And what >>22790187 and >>22790196 said.
Lesa reacts predictably."No. No! Nononononono! It a trap!" she wails."He let me drink just fine.""He want Oris think it safe. Then he get Oris and Lesa both!""He doesn't even have any weapons.""Hidden!""Where? He was half-naked.""In sand! Behind a tree! He laying snares right now when Oris can't see.""Why would he even want to harm you?""Bounty!""What bounty? Do you know how far from Comienza we are? I bet he doesn't even know where that is. And if he does try anything, I'm right there to defend you.""Not going!""Fine, then you can die of thirst.""Oris bad to say that. Oris bad and mean!""And you're stubborn -- and dead if you don't get water."She suddenly gets an idea."If man not hurt Oris, Oris can go bring water," she thrusts the waterskin at you."Right, because I'm perfectly capable of carrying a full waterskin.""Bring less.""And have it run out a day or two later? Do you know when we'll find the next source of water? Cause I don't.""Then why Oris bring Lesa to badlands where no water? Or food? If Lesa die, it Oris's fault!""I don't want to argue with you anymore. You either come, or you don't -- your choice."You take off and do a couple circles above her head."If you change your mind, I will be right over there, getting another drink."You fly off towards the waterhole.
"So what are you doing here anyway?" you ask Marcus once you settle back down on your branch. He's still in the same place that you left him, but you can see his pack has been relocated into the shadow inside the shack."Politeness just isn't one of your virtues, is it Oris? And if anything, I should be asking the same question first. After all, I was here first," he grins and puffs on his pipe. "Tell you what, we'll do it like this: You answer a question of mine, I answer a question of yours. Deal?""Incidentally," he adds, "is your friend still coming?""Is that one of your questions?"He laughs.How do you respond to his offer? And what sorts of questions would you want to ask him?
>>22790727We wonder what he's doing here, what he does, if he's willing to trade for food (we got the coins we had saved when we left, if I read the old threads correctly?) and where the nearest town is.
Sounds fun we'll play his game. Ask him questions about why he's out here and the closest place to find food.
>>22790727If he lives here he probably knows the area pretty well. Ask him for directions to nearest town, and if they are friendly there. Also, ask for bellyrubs.
"Deal," you answer eventually."Excellent. You already know my first question -- why are you here? It's hardly a native area for your kind.""Traveling. Why are you here?""Traveling, So is your friend showing up?""Maybe. What do you do?""Things."You glare at him. He grins at you."Infuriating, isn't it?" he asks. "Want to start over?""We're traveling east," you sigh. "Don't know where to.""Really? Towards the mountains? Not west?""Not your turn.""I apologize. I'm a traveler as well and I also have no set destination, but that's because I go where fancy takes me. Whereas you strike me as someone running from something. Is that correct?"Is that your question?""Yes.""Yes. We're running. We couldn't stay where we come from. So what do you do?""I observe. I study. I learn. Sometimes, I teach. Sometimes, I help people. So where did you get those scars?""What?""Your scars -- you know, the ones all over the body. When I first saw you, I thought you're a runaway from Dremos -- that's the kingdom beyond those mountains. Your kind are sometimes trained as arena warriors there and you wouldn't look out of place among the veterans. But if you're from somewhere else…" he shrugs."A lot of things wanted to eat me," you say slowly. "Cats, foxes, dogs, crows, rats… also animals I don’t have a name for.""By the fact that you're still here, I gather you made them think twice about that idea. What about those small round ones, though? They're too even to be teeth or claws.""Not answering that one.""And they're spaced odlly regularly as well.""Different question.""If I had to guess, I'd say someone wrapped you in bar-"::NOT. ANSWERING.::Despite the beard, you can see that Marcus has gone slightly pale.There's a long, awkward silence, then he suddenly looks off to the side. You follow his gaze to see Lesa peeking out from around a tree. When she realizes that both of you are staring at her, she whimpers and makes a motion like she wants to bolt.
>>22791435I.. Am sorry about that, It's a very unpleasant memory and there is not far from though to.. well though action."
>>22791435New reader here, what caused those marks?
Yell something like'' Lesa come over get a drink were haveing fun.'' Also our question is where can we get something to eat.
>>22791435"This is Lesa. She is my best friend. She is scared of humans."
>>22791646Seconding.(Amusing conversation, OP. Didn't know we were covered in scars.)We should probably go and fetch Lesa. Talking tough is all well and good, but she's our buddy, and if she's scared we should try and help her.
"Lesa, get over here," you call out, making her jump. "Get a drink. We're just playing a game of questions here. We're having fun.""Yeah, buckets of it," Marcus mutter."This is Lesa," you turn to him. "My best friend. She's scared of humans.""I gathered.""Lesa," you turn back to her. "This is Marcus. He's not going to hurt you. Are you, Marcus?""Who, me? Wouldn't hurt a fly. You have nothing to fear from me, Miss Lesa.""See? Now get over here and get a drink. I know you're thirsty."However, Lesa cannot bring herself to come out into the open and in the end you have to fly over to her, land on top of the backpack and mutter assurances to her while as she approaches the waterhole, one fearful step after another. Marcus, true to his word, remains in place, doing his best to look harmless.>Cont.
Once within reach of the water, however, her thirst overcomes her fear. She lets the backpack fall to the ground (and you with it) and all but sticks her whole head into the water, slurping it up noisily in huge gulps."Are you willing to trade for food?""What?" Marcus blinks at you, surprised."It's my turn to ask a question -- so are you willing to trade for food? We have money," Lesa succumbs to a sudden coughing fit. "We can pay for it."Marcus furrows his brow."I don't usually carry much more than I need myself," he say apologetically."Then do you know where the nearest town is?""There's one at the base of those mountains," Marcus fails to notice that you're technically asking out of turn, but then he asks a question anyway, so you're still even. "Do you intend to buy some there? Because I don't think they'll accept you as a client.""That's alright, we're not going to bu- Ow!" you're interrupted by Lesa elbowing you in the side hard enough to nearly knock you off your perch on the backpack. "I mean, we'll figure something out.""If you say so," Marcus shrugs, then suddenly gives you a quick smile. "On the other hand, while I really don't have enough food to trade away, I do have enough to share a meal or two with you.""No!' Lesa says empathically."Why?" you ask."Well, it's been awhile since I had company around, so I'd like to somehow repay you for the pleasure. So what do you say?""No," Lesa repeats, but it's not her answer he is waiting for.What do you say?
>>22792029>didn't know we were covered in scars>Profession (Drawfag) failure, I guess>pic related>>22791646To head off any further questions -- this is the first time Oris's scars came up in the quest (other than in images). So none of the readers know.
>>22792635Eat, if she gets hungry she will change her mind, and we will share
>>22792645Not necessarily your fault. I'm just bad at interpreting things."Sounds alright, Lesa."We can offer to eat first, if she's worried about poison or something. See if we can root out some answers about the region or viable locations (or even who/what he is) from our host. He seems a cool dude, and it's not like there are many questions we can't answer. (Barring our scars, of course. But we don't have dependents, anyone he can trace us back to, or anything like that to be worried about. If all else fails we can just set off in a different direction or change our name.)OP, if I may ask, where did we get the scars?
Say yes and promise to share with Lesa if she wants some, also remember to be polite.
"Sounds good," you say, paying no mind to Lesa's glare. "Thank you for the offer.""It's nothing," Marcus shrugs. "As I said, I know the value of good company."This reminds you of something."I would like to apologize for my earlier," you pause, looking for a good word, "outburst.""Apology accepted if you also accept mine," Marcus smiles. "I shouldn't have pressed once I realized it was a touchy subject."Marcus gets up -- causing Lesa to panic briefly and retreat behind the nearest tree. You manage to coax her out again, but she continues to keep the waterhole between the two of them while he retrieves a number of packages from his pack -- you sniff and catch a whiff of salted meat. He offers it to both of you, but Lesa won't approach him -- you have to take her portion to her, but at least she eats it without any further complaining."From what you say, you know a lot about the region..." you begin."I like how you made it a question without asking one," Marcus says. "No, no, I joke. We're done with that game -- I hope. I wouldn't say I know 'a lot,' but I did spend some time around here. What would you like to know?""Places to find food, water. Places to hide. Somewhere," you glance at Lesa and lower your voice," she could be safe."Marcus nods solemnly and then tells you what he knows.
The mountains are a week's walk from here. "Yeah, they always do," is his response to your remark that they look to be much closer. At their base is the city he mentioned earlier. There are farmsteads and wells there, and there is even a river flowing through the city itself. But the elves that inhabit it barely have enough worth stealing -- river or no, the soil is poor and they live hand to mouth pretty much year round.Across the mountains is Dremos. Marcus advises you against going there, reminding you that to them you will look like an arena escapee and you will be treated as one -- pursued, captured, made to fight. Or just outright killed. This is all your kind is to the people of Dremos -- slaves or pets."Wait. My kind?" you ask. "So you know what I am?""You mean you don't?""I'm a lizard with wings -- that's as much as anyone could ever tell me," you look at Lesa, who elected to spend the time sulking on the other end of the oasis.So he tells you that the most common name for your race is "pseudodragon.""But I never liked it, to tell the truth," Marcus grimaces. "I think it's an insult to define an entire race by something they are not."There are other names, he says. Like balarmic in the kobold dialects, which means "tiny dragon.""Which is hardly any better," Marcus admits, laughing.Smolgin, kikirii, adrakyus, jaaskryla, eyder, roo'vir -- he tells you all the names for your race in all the languages he can remember."In case you ever feel like using one of them," he shrugs.
He tells you that there are kobolds in the deep mountains -- this immediately gets Lesa's attention. She still doesn't come anywhere close to Marcus, but you notice that she inches closer to the other edge of the waterhole and doesn't even make a pretense of pretending not to listen.According to Marcus, they live far away from any roads or trails. Locals and merchants don't complain about any raids or thefts, but say that they are very territorial -- you can find their markers all over certain mountain trails, and anyone who wanders past them generally doesn't come back."As for how they would treat your companion -- I don't know enough about kobolds to answer that honestly. I suspect she's the one who's far more likely to know, if anyone is."By the time you're done talking, the sun is hovering over the western horizon and you can feel the temperature dropping as a gentle, but cold wind picks up from the east. However, Lesa is getting more and more impatient to leave, asking whether you're done with "all this silliness" more and more insistently."If you got to go, you got to go," Marcus shrugs. "I do admit that I imposed yourself for longer than I anticipated. But are you sure you want to travel at night?"
>>22793839"Fewer folk around to see us and the ones that are around are less likely to hit with thrown rocks or pursue us into the dark"
>>22793839Just far enough to find somewhere to spend the night. Lesa's obviously really uncomfortable and sleeping here doesn't seem like it will work out.
>>22793920Didn't cost me anything to ask...
>>22793839Kobolds and.... Pseudodragons can see in the dark just fine. Whats the problem with travelling at night?
Agree to leave with Lesa for the night she put up with us asking questions, but try to sleep close by and thank Marcus for the food.
>>22794239It's freezing at night in the desert and Lesa's cold-blooded.
"Fewer people who can see us," you answer. Though you fully intend to travel just far enough to get Lesa calm and then find a place to sleep."Understandable," Marcus nods. "In that case, I wish you luck on your journey.""Oris, we gooooo!" Lesa dances around impatiently at the edge of the oasis."Before you leave, however, could I have a word with you?" Marcus asks. You notice his demeanor has suddenly turned serious. "In private.""Yes," you see no reason to refuse. "Lesa, if you can't wait, just go! I'll be with you in a moment!""Fine! Oris have fun talking to new friend. Forget all about Lesa!" she turns around and storms off."I hope I didn't just cause an argument between two friends," Marcus sounds apologetic."She'll get over it," you say. "She always does. Now what did you want?""It's…" he sighs. "I need to start with this -- earlier today, you asked me what I do, and I told you. But you didn't think to ask what it is I am.""And what are you?""A magister.""A what?""A… I can do magic. And I'm telling you this because earlier today I cast magic on you. Which I will not apologize because, first of all, it was harmless, and second, it was a necessary precaution.""…precaution?""My professors at the academy taught me not to believe in coincidences. And when something like you showing up in the middle of nowhere happens… better safe than sorry. You could've been a spy, a trap, been carrying some sort of curse -- so I had to make sure this was not the case.""And?""And, happily, I found none of those things. However, I did find something else."Marcus pauses for a long moment, looking uncertain.
"I'm trying to find a way to explain this without sounding like I'm trying to force you… I mean… oh hells! Alright, I'll try to lay it out as straight as I can. We, I mean, mages, magisters, anyone who uses magic, we use various ways to boost our personal store of power. The two most common ways are focuses -- inherently magic items we can use as batteries of sorts -- or familiars -- living creatures that serve much the same purpose. And Oris, what the spell I cast told me is, you are practically a beacon of magical energy."So?" you ask eventually."You don't understand? What am I saying, of course you wouldn't understand. What I'm saying is, I don't know of a magister who wouldn't pay a small fortune to have access to the kind of power he could draw from you.""And you said you're a magister.""Yes… I mean no… I mean, blast it! That's exactly what I'm talking about. I don't want you to think I'm trying to draw you away from your friend -- it's obvious you care about her to anyone with two eyes on their face.""So why are you telling me this?""Because I want to warn you. It's a damned miracle no one's noticed you yet -- I've seen magisters who'll travel around loaded down with magic sensing amulets, just on the off-chance they'll run into some creature or animal that somehow stumbled its way into a magic lineage. And a lot of them will go to great lengths to then secure access to said creature, regardless of what -- or who -- stands in their way. And you're heading towards Dremos -- a lot of magisters there and even more mages.""And at the same time," he continues after another pause, "I guess I also hate seeing someone like you go to waste. And I don't just mean your power -- you're intelligent, Oris, far beyond what I've seen from most of your kind. You're clever and quick-witted. And from what I gathered, you're going to spend the rest of your life hiding out in the mountains and stealing chickens from farmers."
Marcus sighs."I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. If for whatever reason you want to talk to me, I'll be staying here for the night. Afterwards, I'll be heading west. Otherwise, goodbye, I guess. As the elves here say, may you find what you seek."You catch up with Lesa several minutes later. She pointedly ignores you when you circle overhead and continues to do so when you land on her backpack.She's mad alright.
>>22795061Lets ask her why she is so bothered by this, but politely
ask Lesa where she intends to spend the night, it gets too cold
can we try to convince Lesa maybe to head in the direction that Marcus was going, or at least from a distance, we need to find our way to a settlement
"Lesa, what's wrong?"Silence."So I stayed behind a bit to say goodbye to Marcus. Why does it bother you so much?"Silence."It's getting cold, you know. We should probably find some place to rest before we freeze."Silence."What do you want me to say? That I'm sorry for talking with him so much? He told us what's up ahead. He said there's other kobolds in the mountains. I thought you'd be happy to have somewhere to go."More silence."How can I apologize if you won't even tell me what I did wrong?"Nothing."Can we at least find a place to stop for the night? It really is getting cold. Like that large rock over there. I bet we can find a piece of flat ground underneath."Lesa still doesn't answer you, but at least she turns in the direction you pointed. She continues to say nothing -- and doesn't even look at you -- while she sets up camp. Once done, she immediately crawls under her blankets and turns away from you, facing a wall.You're used to her screaming, crying, complaining, scolding. This -- this is not something you expected.How should you deal with that? Can you deal with that?
>>22795808I think she's hurting over her tribe, perhaps she just wants some silance, we should stay close to her though
>>22795808stay by her, perhaps a little silence would make her feel better
>>22795808Sleep close to let her know your there, but don't talk.
>>22795808Give her time. Kobolds have a short attention span. Right?
You decide there is nothing you can say, so you lie down next to Lesa in silence. She may be mad, but she doesn't turn down someone to share heat with.Nightmares come. There is darkness and your body spasms, torn apart at a dozen points, but you cannot move. You are underground and you feel fresh air on your face, but you can't reach toward it. And then the screaming starts and your mouth tastes of blood.You awake briefly, feeling Lesa put her arm around you. Then you know nothing until morning.
Lesa still doesn't talk to you when you both wake. But when you share the last few morsels of meat she digs out from the bottom of the backpack, you keeping catching her stealing glances at you.She finally speaks once she packs everything back up and you're ready to set out."Oris should go," she mutters."What?""Oris should go," she repeats loudly. Her voice shakes a bit. "To new friend.""Go to… what? Marcus? He's not my friend. We were with him for what, a few hours? Don't be ridiculous. You're my friend.""Yes," she nods sadly. "But not good friend. Never good friend.""Lesa, what are you talking about? You're my only friend. That means you're not just a good friend -- you're my best friend.""Not best. Not anymore. Think best before yesterday. Yesterday, see Lesa's best not good. Oris talk with human. And talk, and talk, and talk. And Lesa get mad. Then Lesa ask self -- why mad? So she think and think, and she get answer. And answer make her even more mad. Oris want to know why?""…why?""Oris talk lots. Oris like talk lots. Lesa look at Oris and Oris happier than anytime Lesa remember. Oris not happy with Lesa. Lesa cannot talk with Oris like Oris talk with Marcus. Lesa's talk with Oris always 'need this' or 'go there.' Cause Lesa stupid and Oris smart.""Lesa, you're not…""Lesa stupid!" she insists vehemently. "She should be best friend, but she bad friend. So best friend she can be is to not be friend to Oris. Oris go. Find friends who smart enough to be best friends.""You can't be serious…""Lesa very serious!""I promised I'd never leave you, remember?""Stupid promise. Lesa stupid for telling Oris make promise. Lesa no longer want promise. Oris go. Lesa go too -- Lesa find other kobolds in mountains. They take Lesa. All kobolds family. Don't care, stupid or smart."
By the end of her speech, Lesa is shaking violently and there are tears in her eyes. She suddenly grabs the backpack, hoists it onto her back and begins walking away quickly -- almost running.You're left alone with a choice to make.Do you follow Lesa?Or do you turn around and find Marcus?I don't think I have to say that this choice is Fucking Important. Majority wins, no indecisive votes please.
>>22796719I feel like Marcus had something to do with that... or it was that magic energy he was talking about.
>>22796747Lets Go find marcus. If we go with Lesa we might endager her for being a pseudodragon.
Go with Lesa, she obviously didn't mean it and was just upset. Fuck Marcus.
I think we should stay with Lesa till we reach the kobolds... then reconsider then. Leavign now however means abandoning her while she is still in danager and thats not what a friend does. Even a 'bad' friend.
>>22796820100% agreed with this.
>>22796747stay with Lesa oris known her since he hatched from his egg we can't leave her now over somthing trivial.
>>22796857>known her since hatched from eggThis is true, right?If so, this isn't a choice. We go after our sister-for-life.
>>22796747We need to follow Lesa
make a deal with lesa. Fallow her to mountains THEN move on.
An hour later, Lesa is lying in a ditch, hiding from a three-wagon caravan moving eastwards along the road. Once it passes, she checks to make the coast is clear, then stands up -- only to see you sitting on a nearby rock."Before you say anything," you speak in a tone intended to cut off any arguments, "remember that you are the one who cared for me when I hatched. Who raised me, fed me, taught me how to fend for myself.""Before you say anything," you continue forcefully, "realize that no matter how much you'd cry, complain or yell, you could never 'force' me to make any promise I did not want to make.""Before you say anything," you take off, then immediately land in front of her. With her still standing at the bottom of the ditch, your eyes are almost level, "know that I also promised to watch over you and protect you until we find a place that is safe. This is a promise I made to myself and I have every intention of keeping it.""Which means," you add in a more normal tone, "that until we find those kobolds of yours, I will stay with you. And if you still want to get rid of me once that's done -- well, not much I can do about it if you tell all your new friends start throwing rocks at me -- can I?""Now, what do you say we follow that caravan for the rest of today? I'm sure we can find some food to steal when they stop for the night."
And we're done for tonight. Thank you for participating and I hope you enjoyed the thread. As usual, all criticism is welcome and I will see you all next Friday at 12:00 /tg/ time
>>22797199love it as usual, thanks
>>22797199Aces. Thanks, OP. Loving your art, by the way.
And before I forget, thread is now archived at http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/22788047/