Journey so far: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Final%20Fantasy%20QuestParty status: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tNyjrrh8F-8ah-7pn0Xx4LqYoOKgUSfEWPV6sLqp1msRefreshed and with clean shifts provided by the inn, you sit at the downstairs table with Shang and Horry, provided with a meal of mashed turnips, mutton, stew and bread. Shang overturns the orange vegetable mash with his fork, his brow raised in distrust. Ferra and Conara soon join, both with their hair down. The young White Mage has long, wavy but neat tresses of red that fall over her shoulders, but Conara has a mass of bouncing, unevenly cut curls that seem unable to stay put for a second as she steps along, bobbing as she does with her thin sword tied to her waist using a rope she clearly just found outside. As the inn keeper barks at one of his daughters to fetch ale from the tavern, she runs along to join her."I swear to the Goddess," sighs Ferra as she sits down to her plate, looking more like a frustrated mother than a fourteen year old girl. "That Conara's a hard-headed one if ever I saw. She wouldn't take off the ridiculous helm until I pried it from her head. I wouldn't have been surprised to find spiders in her hair."Then, blinking up from her meal to see Shang grinning at her, she quickly turns her usual shade of chastised pink and focuses her attention full to her meal.<continued>
>>25761950The Onion Knight soon rushes back with cups of ale alongside the innkeep's daughter and you share a meal at a table with your party for the first time.Now would be a good time if you want to converse with the party, if you have any questions for them or such. Or would you just like to lie down for the night?
(Anyone wanna play tonight? Or have I come too late?)
>>25762176Earlier than some of the other quests I follow. Let's ask Shang about his past as a Monk.
>>25762208Seconding. Perhaps also ask Conara how she became a Knight.
>>25762208"Mt. Hobusu is the training ground for most monks, home to a host of temples dedicated to discovering the arts of the spirit. We hone body and mind both, an arduous path that one must undertake from childhood. Originally, I was but an orphaned boy, wielding a sword stolen from a samurai and robbing those who chose the wrong path up the mountains. But it was then my master found me. A man feared by all those who walk a path not righteous. Great Lion, the people of the mountain villages called him for his great mane of golden hair. He's one of the few men who have mastered both all of the Yang arts and all of the Yin arts. A true Master. Though I was his first pupil. My nature is wild, I have come to know, so he saw fit that I bet taught the Yin arts, most of which rely on the channelling of unbridled energy and a powerful body to withstand it. He chose other pupils to teach the Yang arts, too, those which manipulate more subtle energies and require that one maintain a calm mind at all times. Three others came, later, so he taught two Yin and two Yang. Though now only two of the four remain. My Master departed to further discover other ways to strengthen his body, my fellow pupil left soon after and I stayed alone to hone my techniques. It was when I was practising my Bear technique amidst roaring flames that I found this ball your woman Sage calls the Orb of Guidance. It showed me a most mighty warrior and I saw it as a challenge to reach the next echelon of power."
>>25762379"So this is more a chance for you to become more powerful, Sheng?"What abou you, Cornara?"
>>25762379Do you become stronger to achieve some sort of enlightenment, or is it more of one of those philosophies where you find your own truth, so to speak?
>>25762522He shrugs. "Such questions are for the Taoists of Siya. I seek only to become unrivalled by all but the gods.">>25762443"The matters of kings and queens make no difference to me. But our paths share the same destination, so it would seem what gods there are truly will us to travel together," he raises his wineskin-not-filled-with-wine in cheers, drawing a 'here here!' from the Onion Knight, and tentative sips from Ferra. She smacks her lips, wrinking her nose a little, but tries some more. Conara is clearly more experienced, gulping down her ale with both hands. It's only when you ask her own story that she wipes at her mouth with the sleeve of her shift."Well, I never had a master of anything," she furrowed her brow, seemingly glum that her story might not compare to the impressive Monk's. "I just had a bunch of lads. Ever since I could first remember, we'd bandy from town from town a raft taking us between the isles of Holle, after they picked me up from Doga village. Helpin' farmers, huntin' wolves, we helped whoever paid. A coupl'a them died," she quieted for a bit, before springing right back up. "But it was fun, most of the time. Until a storm hit our raft... I never saw any of those boys again, and somehow ended up in the Feymarch. That's the gathering place of all the world's fairies. They were the ones who told me I was the Onion Knight. The Nymphs gave me my helm, the Naiads my shield, the Brighids my cape and the Sylphs, who were the ones to rescue me, gave me my sword and the Orb of Guidance. I just about managed to get a trader to bring me over in his sail boat, and persuaded a farmer to let me on the back of his wagon and now I'm here! Pretty legendary, right? They say you can't find the Feymarch even if you -look- for it. That's the kinda beginning a hero needs!"
>>25762711"I found my orb while I was gardening..." Ferra sighs and takes a deeper sip of her ale.
>>25762711>>25762726How about you, Horry? You've been with me since this all started and I really don't know that much about you, now that I think about it. How'd you come to be in the adventuring business?
>>25762826We have already asked him this in one of the past threads.
>>25762866He did also expound a bit into his past when we were deciding on routes too. I suppose we could ask them what they're going to do after they become legendary heroes and the crisis blows over.
>>25762885I second this.
>>25762885"I'm going to keep on going about and adventuring, of course!" replies Conara as if it was the only option available. "There are always evil dragons to slay and men who pray on the weak.""Me too." Horry nods. "Adventuring's what I'm good at, it seems. My pa has two older sons who were much more eager to learn the trade than I. Maybe I'll settle down once the war's over, but I'll keep going to the Quest Boards to make my coin."You see him reach in his sleeve, where he keeps the teacher-swordswoman's braid, only to frown when he realises it's in his travelling clothes."I'll probably return to the White Temple," Ferra answers, docile and uncertain as ever. "I swore a vow to devote myself to learning and living by the ways of the Goddess Cosmos, and I'd like to keep it...""I'm sure there will be more challenging foes even than this Dragon Knight." Shang strokes his goatee, taking more enthusiastic bites of his turnips now that he's had a taste. "I'll seek them out and see who's willing to test their strength against mine. Until I surpass the Master's level, and whatever levels lie beyond, my journey will go on.""What of you?" Horry aims those earnest blues at you. "If Conara and I go off on adventures, perhaps the three of us could make a band? I trust you both more the more I know you, I'd be glad to have friends on the road."(Sorry for the wait, folks, net's being a bit spotty.)
>>25763103Learn as many fighting techniques as we possibly can and become the greatest warrior who ever lived!
>>25763103Part of an adventuring band, eh? Why not. It'd be a nice balance to you guys, and someone's gotta read all of those forgotten tomes of incredible power that you're bound to stumble across. And use all of that leftover fighter gear too.
>>25763244>>25763227(Which shall I go with?)
>>25763333Perhaps a bit of both? Join up in the adventuring band, and all of us become even MORE legendary. Like redefining the definition of legendary, raising the bar for all heroes, etc.
>>25763333I'm going with >>25763244
>>25763402"Ho?" Shang raises his brow, looking over you appraisingly, a smirk curving the corner of his lips. "Perhaps we might meet again long after our travel together is done.""I think I might fall behind of you two, though..." Horry admits, sheepishly forking at his mutton. "I'm no chosen knight, nor am I smart enough to be a mage by any means. Well, I spose I'll try keep up as best I can."He chuckles. The rest of the night passes easily enough, with a few more cups of ale fetched from the tavern, much bragging from Conara, a bit of scolding following from Ferra, honest laughs from Horry and Shang's own breed of amused, yet distant chuckles. Before too long, all of you turn in for the night's rest. Although it's no feather bed, it certainly beats a bed roll in a cramped tent and you're glad Ferra had you fish out for an extra room and the space it gives you. Shang snores through the night, but you rest well enough, regardless.<continued>
>>25763476You wake up to find the innkeep prodding at you with a fat, over-worked finger. the morning light young and still more orange than yellow or blue."Beg pardon, trav'ller. But we have need of you and your companions downstairs. The girl's have already been seen to by my daughters"You see Horry and Shang already awake, the former already pulling on his travelling clothes whilst the Monk glances at you, suspicion clear in his eyes as the innkeeper leaves. "I ill like this, Red Magician." He keeps his tone low. "What say we sneak out the window and liberate our chocobo while they wait on us? We've paid our stay, we are not beholden to this innkeeper."
>>25763555(Anyone with me?)
>>25763555We still need to see what happened to Ferra and Conara, if there is any foul play involved. Let's just see what they have to say to us.
>>25763790Second, though Sheng should perhaps go ahead and check on the chock is just in case. It could be as simple as random monsters wandered into the town.
>>25763832That might be a good contingency. Have Shang check on our ride while we go see what the rest of the town has to say. If anything goes wrong, we can see if Horry/Cecil can liberate Conara and Ferra, then have Shang drive on by for a quick getaway.
>>25763852The monk nods, hopping out the window with surprising grace for one of his hardy build. You can't even hear him round the building.>>25763790The scene downstairs is no more promising than the rude awakening you received. The inn's dining room is almost full with people, most of them locals, still lacking young to middle aged men of fighting strength. But there are five in particular that catch your eye. Four of them are dressed in the mail and helms of town guards, spears in hand. The fifth is a shorter man of short, black hair, a shaggy beard and a wide gut beneath a suit of leathers, leaning on a cane. All of them are blackened, soot darkening their clothes, marring their skin and making it rather obvious where they've come from. In fact, you can now see he has blonde hair, only it's near caked in soot."Here we all are, then," the bearded man declares in a punishing voice."Where's the Westerner?" The innkeep asks, and they all glance about you, the village women looking fearful, the old men suspicious and the young children absent."Never the matter, we'll get an answer of these two men, at the least."<continued>
>>25763998>sootAw fuck, that forest fire from yesterday has come to bite us in the ass.
>>25764034Oh come on!Next thing we know we'll be chased out of the continent for saving the princess because there were a sizeable religion that was hell-bent of peacefully ushering in the end of the world.
>>25763998You can now see Conara and Ferra, side by side, a few feet from the villagers. The red-headed fourteen year old chews her lip, her eyes glistening with the threat of tears. The other, fully garbed in her Onion Knight equipment, is red in the face and wearing as dark a scowl as she can. You can tell whatever they were pressed to, one was silent in fear and the other in stubbornness."I am Lord Manner Erstspear," the beared man declares, turning to show the sigil on his arm, two silver spears locked before a golden rearing six-legged horse on a field of green. The guards have the same on their breasts, you see."All the past night and the past morning, my men and my villagers have been in fear of a fire ravaging the forest bordering my castle. We have been attempting to beat back at it with water from the river, but we have not enough young men left to do so. And so my forest will be scarred for years, the hunters unable to feed the village, our coffers unable to afford the food we need in this time of war. The fire started last night, my warden says, and when I come here, I hear that only -you- lot have come into the village from that way. I ask you now, and I command you be honest before the King's man: are you responsible for the fire?"
>>25764137Dammit, I was right. We should have stayed to fight that fire.Well, should we be honest, and say that no, we didn't start a fire, but that we did see Bombs that may have caused it?
>>25764137Kneel out of respect to the noble. Or at least a respectful bow."My Lord of Erstspear, we were indeed traveling through the forest. While we were in the midst of it, our group was ambushed by a cadre of Bombs and a Grenade. We were hard-pressed to defend ourselves against their assault, and one of them exploded during in the midst of the fight. By the time the last of them was dispatched, the fire had already spread to the trees. We attempted to extinguish what flames we could, but our magicks were drained by the fight, and we had no way of extinguishing a fire that large. We had no recourse but to run from the flames, lest they consume us as well."
>>25764254You think that we should tell the truth about the fight, or fib a bit and say that we saw bombs floating throughout the forest and barely managed to escape their attention?
>>25764296Yeah, so, we're going to take responsibility for not only setting the fire, but not telling anyone about it until a day later under questioning?That's gonna look pretty bad.
>>25764349Alright, so let's change the story a bit.What do you think that we should tell them?
>>25764345I'm saying that we fought some Bombs, and where there are some, there are bound to be others, and you know how Bombs like to blow up and cause fires.
>>25764365Alright. But how do we account for the bomb cores that we showed the shopkeeper? We could just say that we purchased some earlier in the hopes that we could find an alchemist that could refine them into some other stuff.
>>25764359While traveling through, we fought some Bombs and a Grenade (we showed around Bomb Fragments, so we can't slip out of that); where's there some, there's usually more.Imply that another group of Bombs could have started the fire. They're always breathing fire and can explode with little provocation, after all.
>>25764378No, the story we spin is that we fought some Bombs, and that there could have been more, and imply that these unaccounted for Bombs are the ones that could have started the forest fire.
>>25764393Or we go with the straight truth. That's what it really comes down to: lie through our teeth with half-truths and >implications, or we tell the truth. It's a choice of what kind of Warriors of Light we are.
>>25764382>>25764393Alright, how about this?>"My Lord of Erstspear, we were indeed traveling through the forest. While we were in the midst of it, our group was accosted by a cadre of Bombs and a Grenade. We were hard-pressed to defend ourselves against their assault, but we managed to survive and dispatch them before they could explode. Though we barely managed to navigate the forest without being attacked again, we saw that there were other bombs wandering the forest."
>>25764468>we saw that there were other bombs wandering the forest.More like "as you know, where there's some Bombs, there are usually more wandering about".
>>25764488Though come to think of it, are Bombs a natural fixture in a forest? If that was so, then these woods would be burning down all the time, if there were any hunters who got caught flat-footed. I know that Bombs are a common enemy in FF1, but why would they naturally exist in a forest if they burn down their habitat at the drop of a hat?
(Can I get a consensus?)
>>25764544First, do we know that Bombs are a natural fixture of forests?Before we give an answer, I'd like to know how plausible our lie actually is, with what we know in-character. Cecil has fought Bombs before, and he knows about them.
>>25764570They're not common to Sililund. Your first and only encounter with them before was in the village of Wilburn some months ago, the village more than two days of travel from any forest. You remember one farmer mentioning that they have hives built under ground and rise up to collect food for Mother Bombs.
>>25764618So it's plausible that if a Mother Bomb created a hive, that there would be other Bombs in the area, and that THEY could have caused an uncontrolled fire?
>>25764636That's for you to decide. You know about fighting them, about their weakness to Ice and penchant for exploding, but the hive found in the farmland surrounding Wilburn was rather young, the Mother Bomb easily dispatched by your band and no Grenades were present.
>>25764674So Grenades are more mature versions of Bombs, then? It might be possible that someone encouraged bombs to roam here, or that there was a hive that was mature and the bombs started foraging elsewhere.
>>25764718Grenades are essentially long-lived alpha bombs. That's just about all the information you'd know in character, Lord Erstspear is waiting on an answer.
>>25764718Right, so it IS possible.If Bombs aren't normally here, but a Bomb group with a Grenade showed up, the plausible reason is that a mature hive is sending foraging parties further afield, and another Bomb foraging party is likely to have entered the forest and caused a fire.So it's a plausible lie. The only question now is, do we lie or tell the truth?I want to lie, but telling the truth and being forced to face the consequences of our failures AGAIN could be more development for Cecil. First he gets a girlfriend killed, and now he's doomed a village to slow starvation. What other failures will this Red Mage bring about?
>>25764827We could try requesting a private audience with Lord Erstspear (and any escort he chooses to bring with him) to explain our case. It's one thing to explain our situation to a high-ranking noble, but explaining the entire thing in front of an entire village may cause a riot or such. We can let him decide what he wants to do with the information.Me, I just want to get on with the adventure!
>>25764900>We could try requesting a private audience with Lord ErstspearThat's suspicious in and of itself. That's tantamount to admitting we had something to do with the fire.
(Alright folks, it's been an hour. I'm gonna give the next ten minutes to form a consensus on what to do next. Time to get this moving.)
>>25764929Fuck it, let's just put it to a vote. We've been debating for close to an hour with little to show for it. Let's just hope that we don't get punished too badly for defending ourselves.I vote that we just be honest about it and go from there. If they had word that we were traveling through the forest, there may have been others who were observing the fight, and they just want to confirm their information.
>>25765004Alright. I vote to go with plausible deniability.We had a fight with Bombs and a Grenade on the road through the forest, and there may have been other foraging Bomb groups that exploded and caused the fire.
>>25765042Alright, fine let's just go with this.Can we just get on with the quest and not have to worry about every action we have causing terrible tragedies?
>>25765042This, state the truth and that is we had to defend our party from bombs and left before more could show up.
>>25765093Coward. You are a craven player who can't handle actions having far-reaching and debilitating consequences.
>>25765093(I can't promise that ever being an option.)>>25765042The best lies always have a pinch of truth in them, you think."Bombs?" The old lord stares at you, his anger quelling a touch, before he turns to look at one of the guards. "Edrick, you're the warden's son. Could there be truth in it?""I doubt it, milord," he replies dutifully. "There's never been a hive in the forest as far as I or my father have known.""Verily, milord," piped up another smug guard. "Even Bombs are endangered by wild fires. They nest far from forests for that reason. Red Mages, however, are able in Black Magic. A stray Thunder or Fire spell could easily have started the fire.""Cecil wouldn't do that!" Ferra finally piped up, indignant anger overpowering her fear of the situation."Milord... the girl. She's but young and a White Mage, besides." The warden's son says, looking doubtfully at her."Fine. Be gentle with her. Cecil, as she calls you." He takes the head of his cane in both hands and bangs it on the wooden floorboards. "You stand accused of arson. Come with me and my men to face a Lord's justice. If you concoct further arguments, we will hear them in court. Men, arrest them."The four guards move all at once, one for each of you present. You see the Onion Knight bristle, reaching for the hilt of her sword, as Horry tenses up, fingers flexing for the same instinctively, as Ferra shies away from the hand reaching out to grab her.What do you do?
>>25764519(Ruddy good job suspecting Bombs-in-the-forest deal, I must say. You're a boon to the party if you keep a mind that keen.)
>>25765223Damn, I knew we should have kept those bomb fragments! Could we tell the lord guy that the evidence that there were bombs was that we sold some bomb fragments to a shopkeep yesterday? Surely the shopkeep will remember us.
>>25765223(Crap, just looked at the time. Sorry folks, I'll have to put an end to it for now. Sorry we didn't get too much done. I wasn't expecting so much deliberation on the way to answer the Lord. Not that I'm complaining, I enjoyed watching. Next time, you reap what you sow. Hope to see you all back here, tomorrow night and hopefully earlier.)
>>25765272We still have the bomb fragments, we were going to decide whether to sell them today or not.
>>25765223"Lord Erstspear, we have been honest, and I have the Bomb Fragments to prove it. Now I'm sorry about what your village is going through, and I wish I could help. But we are already on a King's Errand, and we cannot, and will not, be delayed. We each have an Orb of Guidance, and we have been tasked by the King to go to Matoya's Cave. We will not be unduly delayed in our mission, Lord.."
>>25765282No, I think it's good making /tg/ face the consequences of their actions, or inactions.All too often the PC's get away with things simply because they're the PC's. It's a refreshing change of pace to be made to face the results of our choices.
>>25765308This is most likely the best thing we can say right now.
>>25765142I'm fine with grave actions having grave consequences, but I'm a bit worried that this might be detrimental to the pacing. I'd be perfectly OK with a grave choice pertaining to the crystals or such or a hostage situation, but having a dramatic situation resulting from literally the second combat encounter we've had in the quest is fatiguing. Especially right after all the stuff with Elly and the huge prophecy. I'm just a bit worried that if stuff like this keeps popping up, it might be a *very* long time before we even reach Motoya's cave.
>>25765384But if it's obvious that it's an important decision, then it's far too predictable. Just because it's a small mistake, doesn't mean that it can't have huge repercussions. It's a lesson to players to not make a mistake and be more serious with their decisions.I like how no punches are being pulled, and that the gloves are completely off. It gives the quest a sense of real seriousness and that frivolous decision-making will have serious and punishing consequences.As for it being a long time before we reach Matoya's Cave, it won't be long if we don't screw up.
>>25765499I'm also a bit worried that kind of play can scare off players or make them a bit shy when it comes to discussions and actually inputting actions to the quest.If every minor action becomes a 15-minute debate to ascertain if it can cause any major disasters or not AND failure/disasters/generally bad times can result from any action even if it is debated upon and decided to be the best action by committee... then this may cause players to be apprehensive about making decisions or debating about said decisions, and can grind the pacing/questing to a halt. (Polite sage since the quest is over for the day).
>>25765686Beats dealing with the chucklefuck style of play that seems prevalent at certain times of quests.