>Previous threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=iM%40S+Fantasy+Quest>Inventory & other info: http://pastebin.com/88DNhJrpSleeping on the ground with nothing but your cloak for warmth isn't the most comfortable of circumstances -- particularly with the fact that the nights still aren't exactly "warm" at this point in the year -- but you've had worse in your time as an adventurer. At least the other members of your party kept the fire going fairly strong their turns on watch. As much for the injured girl's sake as your own, you imagine.The strange little critter curled up next to you also helped, a little.Still, you sleep rather lighter than usual, and wake up on your own shortly after the sun comes up. You help Yukiho with rousing the others, and soon your group is gathered around the fire, eating a light breakfast of trail rations. Naturally, the girls are quite curious about the strange little creature, (which, shortly after you'd started eating, succeeded in begging a share of most everyone's rations by potent application of puppy-dog eyes). You explain to them how it wandered into your camp last night, and while you're not sure just what it is, it seems harmless.It seems the night passed more or less uneventfully after your shift, but for one small incident of note...
>>26415781Ami reports that during her shift, she noticed some lights flashing from within your pack, where you'd stashed the loot. Upon investigating, she found the rings you'd taken from the cultists were the source, the clear gemstones blinking in unison with lights of various colors.> Ask Ami for more details (specify what you'd like to ask)> Take out the rings and examine them> Make a mental note of it for later, but otherwise don't worry about it for now>Today's magic number is 6. If you don't know what that means, see the pastebin in the OP.
> Take out the rings and examine them
>>26415798>[X] Ask Ami for more details (specify what you'd like to ask)Did it look like the lights were reacting to anything?
>>26415781>which, shortly after you'd started eating, succeeded in begging a share of most everyone's rations by potent application of puppy-dog eyesThis doesn't seem like Afuu's behavior. She'd just take without asking.>>26415798Ask Ami for more details. We need to know the exact circumstances surrounding their activation, and then we need to see if any of the girls can check to see if there's any sort of resonance that they are causing, like a homing signal.
>>26415798>[X] Ask Ami for more details (specify what you'd like to ask)Ask if there was a repeating pattern at all to the lights an how long they blinked for.
>>26415798[x] Take out the rings and examine them.
Rolled 5, 1, 3 = 9>>26415798>> Ask Ami for more details (specify what you'd like to ask)>> Take out the rings and examine themTimings, colours of light, any details she can spill.By crosschecking with the rings, we might be able to figure out which were gleaming.
>>26415798You begin to grill Ami about the rings."Did it look like the rings were reacting to anything?""Hm...don't think so. They just kept going all flashy-flashy with different colors for awhile. Like, flash for a bit, then nothing for a bit, then more flashing in another color.""How long did this go on?""About an hour, I think?""Any sort of repeating pattern?""No, but...maybe kinda like the rings were talking to each other? Hm...but they all flashed the same color at the same time..." "What colors were there?""It mostly switched between blue, green, and yellow, but there was also others in there too, now and then. Lessee, I saw some purple...and then there was a lighter shade of green...and a little bit of silver. Oh, and toward the end there were a bunch of colors! Like, maybe around 20 different ones, including the blue and the green and stuff that already flashed! All just one flash of each color, right after each other. Mostly short flashes, but some of them lasted longer. Then they flashed silver for a bit and that was all.""Could you make out any sort of...magical resonance or something? Any idea what they were doing?"She shakes her head. "Nope! But maybe Mikimiki or Harurun might be able to tell, though? If they see it when it happens? I mean, it's prolly just not shadow magic."> "Sounds to me like..." (make a guess)> Examine the rings for more clues> Leave it at that for now and have someone examine them back in town.
>>26416404>> Examine the rings for more cluesAsk for the expert opinion of our mage girls.
>>26416404Have the girls examine the rings.
>>26416404>otherThe rings are obviously no good.Toss them away.Goodbyeee, plothook~
>>26416404> Examine the rings for more clues
>>26416404[x] Examine the rings for more clues
>>26416404>[X] Examine the rings for more cluesAnd do it a obvious way that may bring another girl over to see what you are doing or to help.
>>26416404You decide to take the rings out for closer examination, beckoning Miki and Haruka over to help out."Well, Miki? Haruka? Anything?""Hm...there's definitely some light magic in these...but I can't really tell what it does. Other than make light, heheh." Haruka giggles awkwardly.Miki screws up her face, peering intently at the rings. "Looks like there's some air magic too, but I can't really figure it out. It's kinda like, like...""Like a puzzle with a bunch of pieces missing?" Haruka suggests."That's it, nano!"Mami plucks a ring from your hand and holds it up to the light. "So, basically...""Typical wizard stuff, right Harurun?" Ami finishes for her."Well, yeah. Probably a mix of elements. Iori should be able to figure it out.""Or Ohimechin," Mami suggests.The little blonde-haired critter hops forward and peers intently at the rings in your hand. "Nano..."Miki pats it on the head and giggles. "Hehe, maybe this little one knows something about them, nano!">Roll
Rolled 12>>26416804HA HA TIME FOR SHENANIGANS
Rolled 20>>26416804Little critter do your stuff.
Rolled 4>>26416804Afuu is going to eat the ring
Rolled 14come on Afuu
>>26417005The important thing is that we tried.
>>26417018We didn't really...And now we'll probably never see the ring again.
>>26417062There must be stomach pumping magic around, Iori or the twins may be able to whip something up, or if all else fails we can have her eat that tube of goo we still have.
>>26417211You blew it little critter. Thanks for nothing.
>>26416804>>26417005With a triumphant "nano!", the little critter snatches a ring from your hand and goes bounding off into the trees. Shouting for it to stop, you drop the remaining rings and give chase.After a minute or two of madcap dashing, the critter bounds up into a tree and perches on a low-hanging branch to admire its prize. It seems to have underestimated your reach, though, as you easily manage to jump up and snatch the ring from its grasp."Little thief, aren't you?" you remark as you pocket the ring. "Maybe we ought to put you on a leash or something?""Nano..." The creature whines dejectedly as you turn back toward the camp, then suddenly you see a blur of yellow as it dashes past you, making a beeline for the glint of the other five rings scattered on the ground where you dropped them."Oh no you don't!" You burst into a sprint to try to beat the critter to the rings, but it easily outpaces you. Fortunately, Ami quickly snatches them up and holds them in the air, well out of the critter's reach. The critter tries jumping at and climbing up her to get at them, but after a few deflected attempts gives up with a grumbled "Afuu" and sits on the ground. It seems to be sulking.At any rate, you decide to break camp and head back to town. As Haruka and Mami suggested, Iori or Takane might be able to figure out the purpose of the rings, and if they can't there are plenty of other mages in Kethyria you could ask.>cont.
>>26417270Miki once again helping you carry the stretcher with the injured girl (who, though still unconscious, is looking much better than she did last night), and the odd little critter following your party, you strike out along the stream. You're not entirely sure exactly where you are (retaining one's bearings with respect to the surface is, after all, rather difficult when travelling for so long underground), but if you head downstream you should be able to find something recognizable soon enough.Sure enough, after only a few hours of hiking you come across a small road winding through the woods, with a little wooden bridge crossing the stream. You hear the sounds of hooves and wheels on hard-packed earth coming from just around the bend, and in a few moments you see a small wagon coming your way. The driver startles at the sight of your group and brings the wagon to a stop."Oi! Y'all alright? Y'look mighty beat up, there."> Explain the full details of your situation and how you came by the girl on the stretcher.> Explain only the basics, avoiding mention of the cult. No sense in frightening the poor man unnecessarily.
>>26417611>[x] Explain only the basics, avoiding mention of the cult. No sense in frightening the poor man unnecessarily.
>>26417611>[X] Explain only the basics, avoiding mention of the cult. No sense in frightening the poor man unnecessarily.Everyone talks and those cultists were wealthy or had a wealthy patron, no need to draw attention to ourselves.
Rolled 6>>26417692> Explain only the basicsWhat >>26417692 said.
>>26417611>> Explain only the basics, avoiding mention of the cult. No sense in frightening the poor man unnecessarily.Yeah, no one needs to know what happened in the cave. Ever.
> Explain only the basics, avoiding mention of the cult. No sense in frightening the poor man unnecessarily.
>>26417611>[x] Explain only the basics, avoiding mention of the cult. No sense in frightening the poor man unnecessarily.No need to say anymore.
>>26417611"Don't worry, our healer's patched us up pretty well. Though, well, I guess this girl we rescued has a ways to go yet. We're adventurers returning from a quest, you see. Could you tell us the way to Kethyria?""Well, shoot, I'm headed that way myself! Reckon I could give y'all a ride, if y'all want. Got more buyin' than sellin' to do at th' market today, so the wagon's got plenty o' room."> Accept> Decline
>>26417958>[x] AcceptNever underestimate a stranger's offer.Besides, he'll get suspicious if we refuse now that we've told him about the girl.
>>26417958Stuff Afuu in one of the food bags to keep her hidden and quiet, then get everyone onto the wagon.
>>26417958>[X] AcceptSuspicious ideas can lead to missing out on great opportunities, or more ADVENTURES!.
Rolled 3>>26417958Accept. Dude seems legit, and maybe he knows stories.
>>26418049Oooh, I love stories, especially the local stories about treasure that no one believes can possibly be true.
>>26417958Thanking the man graciously, you accept his generous offer."Ah, don't pay it no mind. We're all brothers 'n sisters under th' same Mother, ain't we? Here, lemme make some room fer y'all here."He steps down from the wagon and begins rearranging the sacks and barrels in back.>If you want to try to keep the odd critter following you a secret from the man, now would be a good time to do so> Shove the critter in the bag> Shoo the critter off into the woods> Don't bother trying to hide it.
Rolled 7>>26418318>> Shove the critter in the bagSpecifically, lure it into the damn bag with food.GET IN THE BAG
>>26418318>[X] Don't bother trying to hide it.It's sure to be a conversation piece, and might hear about some more similar critters or other mysterious things. Beside who could dislike Afuu?
>>26418318Put her in a bag with some food. She'll be fine.
Rolled 16>>26418318> Don't bother trying to hide it.It isn't a demon, honest folks have no reason to get upset about cute critter.
>>26418318[x] Shove the critter in the bag[x] With food
>>26418394At this rate, I expect another Puchi or two to already be at the guildhall when we get back.>>26418433Afuu is noisy and annoying. We don't want her to bother the nice wagon-man.
>>26418318> Don't bother trying to hide it.usually puchis get along fine with normal bystanders
Rolled 10>>26418454>Afuu is noisy and annoying.If it becomes annoying, it goes straight to the bag and stays there. But give it a chance.
>>26418454Why stop at just two or three, gotta catch 'em all. Plus why let others lay claim to them we should try for a monopoly on them.
I'm seeing an even split between bagging the puchi (>>26418386, >>26418396, >>26418436) and leaving her free (>>26418394, >>26418433, >>26418458). Anyone who hasn't voted wanna chime in for the tiebreaker? And/or, are any of those posts debating the merits of one side or the other from people who I didn't just note?
>>26418602Bag the critter.
>>26418620BUT THE STORIES!
>>26418700Getting the girl to safety is more important than getting kicked off the cart because Afuu decides to destroy everything.
>>26418758BUT THEN THAT SHIT CAN COME OUTTA OUR POCKETS
>>26418318As the kindly fellow works at preparing the wagon for you, you whisper to Ami and Mami to do something about the odd critter that's been following you since last night. Taking a bit of food from their rations, the twins use it to lure the critter into a sack. The critter is startled at first, and thrashes about in the sack, but a few more bits of food thrown in with it and a stern shushing from the twins seem to quiet it down...for now, at least.Just in time, too, as the wagon driver soon finishes his work and starts walking toward your group. "Here, lemme give y'all a hand with that stretcher." He heads to relieve Miki of her end, and helps you hoist the stretcher into the wagon."Name's Fergus, by the by," he says as you carefully lay the stretcher down. You introduce yourself in return, and the girls likewise give their names as you help them get in the wagon. Yukiho, the last to get on, delays awkwardly, clearly afraid to take either your hand or the man's, but too timid to simply push past the offered hands and climb in herself. After a few moments, you step aside and let Haruka help her on instead. Finally, all the girls onboard, you climb on yourself and the man heads back to the driver's seat and spurs the horse (named Turnip, apparently) onward down the road to Kethyria.>cont.
>>26419140"So, y'all are adventurers, huh? Y'all wouldn't be from, ah, what was it again? 961Pro? That's th' guild 'round these parts, right?""They're the biggest, yes. But we're actually with 765 Professionals.""765Pro, eh? Well, I ain't never heard of y'all, but I reckon y'all must be alright if y'all are out here rescuin' pretty young gals from, uh...what'd y'all say it was again?""We didn't. But anyway, it was goblins."Fergus spits derisively. "Shee-oot. Nasty buggers. Yeah, I done heard tell o' goblins 'round these parts lately. Good on y'all fer takin' care of that, though. Way I hear it, 961Pro ain't even botherin' with stuff like that out in these parts no more. Suh-pose-a-bly, they got bigger fish to fry or some such. Ha!" He spits off to the side of the road again. "By which they mean the yeller-bellied nobles what keeps hiring 'em for bodyguards pay better. Me, I say they's too big for their britches."> Ask Fergus what else he knows about 961Pro> Ask Fergus if he knows any interesting stories about the area> Other (specify)
>>26419622[x] Ask Fergus if he knows any interesting stories about the area
>>26419622> Ask Fergus if he knows any interesting stories about the area
>>26419622>[X] Other (specify)Ask what are some of the quests/problems that 961Pro are ignoring in the area.
>[X] Ask Fergus what else he knows about 961Pro>[X] Ask Fergus if he knows any interesting stories about the area
> Ask Fergus what else he knows about 961Pro> Ask Fergus if he knows any interesting stories about the area
>>26419622Background intel. Locals know the places better than the adventurers who make a tour of duty there.
>>26419622"It's interesting to hear that 961Pro operates so differently here in their home region," you remark. "I actually just moved here recently from Nirzal's Reach, a few days' travel northeast of here, because my old guild out there got run out of business by the new 961Pro branch taking all the quests in the region.""No kiddin'? Well, ain't that a peach," Fergus remarks. "So, how long have you been in the area then?""Just a few days. I'm still living at an inn for now -- been too busy with guild work to find a more permanent residence just yet.""Well, sure, those goblins ain't gonna slay theyselves, ain't they?" Fergus laughs raucously."I don't suppose you'd have any interesting local tales to share? I'm interested to know more about the area.""Oh, I got enough to make y'all's ears fall off," Fergus remarks. "Lessee here, you ever heard tell of a critter called a snallygaster? Rumor has it the only one in th' world lives round these parts. It's a reg'lar fearsome monster, and make no mistake, see..."He proceeds to describe a truly bizarre monster, a mix of birdlike and reptilian features, with three heads and a tendency to snatch prey into the air in the blink of an eye. He goes on to tell of many other strange creatures and features of the region, each stranger than the last. If his tales are true, the area surrounding Kethyria must be a veritable hotbed of magic. You imagine there must be a great deal of exaggeration to the tales, but...>cont.
>>26420368We need a magical book of creatures for this region.
>>26420368Well, in your career as an adventurer, you've learned that even the most outlandish rumors often have at least a grain of truth to them. It never hurts to be aware of the possibility that such things might exist, anyway.After a couple hours of enthusiastic storytelling, the sack at Ami's feet begins squirming. "Nano? Naanoooo?" A plaintive cry issues from the bag."Did y'all hear something?" Fergus asks, turning to look back toward the noise."Nano!">What do you do?
>>26420457Fuck it, open the bag.
>>26420457[x] "I, uh, could use a bathroom break would you mind holding up here for a few minutes thanks be back sooooon!"And jump over the side with the bag.
>>26420457Distract Fergus.Have someone open bag, give onigiri, pacify until Afuu is deep in sleep again.
>>26420457Since we seem to be going with keeping the Afuu hidden, have one of the girls discreetly open the bag a little put some food into quickly before it goes wild and bursts through the bag or the food slot.
>>26420457I would just say open the bagbut if we gotta hide it just make it an excuse that it was something we caught on the trip
>>26420457"No, I don't think so," you say as you clamber up onto the front board to sit next to Fergus, covertly gesturing for the girls to give the critter some food to calm it down as you do so. "You know, that last thing you said reminded me--"You're interrupted by a dizzying thump to the back of the head as something comes flying at you from the back of the wagon with a triumphant "Nano!" You lurch forward, nearly knocked off the front of the wagon by the force of the impact. Chaos erupts behind you as the critter begins bounding cheerfully about the crowded wagon."What in tarnation?!"> "Uh, let me explain..."> Deny everything
>>26420918>[x] "Uh, let me explain..."Hilarity will ensue.
>>26420918[x] "Uh, let me explain..."I FOUND ITS MINE YOU CAN'T HAVE IT
>>26420918>explainSEENOW WE ARE GONNA NEED TO PAY FOR DAMAGED STOCK
>>26420918>[X] "Uh, let me explain..."Denying may lead to him attemptign to claim ownership, and I'll be damned if we lose the Puchi.
>>26420918Grab an onigiri from Miki's inventory. Lure with onigiri. Lure into bag. Seal bag. Problem solved.
I vote we go berserk and get the thing back into the bag by force.
>>26421082I vote your an idiot and should not do that.We should try to explain while luring Afuu with more onigiris.
>>26420918Explain.Also, find out which girl let Afuu out of the bag, and once we find out it's Yukiho, punish her.
>>26420918"Uh, let me explain," you begin, raising your voice to be heard over the commotion as the girls struggle to catch and restrain the hyperactive critter. "See, this thing wandered into our camp and has been following us ever since, and it seems harmless, so we thought we'd let it come back with us, but I figured it'd be better to keep it put away for the wagon ride and --""Well buckle my britches," Fergus cuts you off as Miki finally gets a solid hold on the squirming critter. "I never figgered they was real.""What?""That critter there, y'all know what that is?""Um...no?""That there's a puchi, or my name ain't Fergus Ferguson.""A what now?""A puchi. Little critter what looks th' spittin' image of a person, 'ceptin' it's...well, y'see how it is. Like a li'l bitty doppelganger, 'ceptin' where doppelgangers is bad luck, it's pow'rful good luck to find yer own puchi. Helpful critters, they are, if'n ya treat 'em right. S'posed to have magical powers too."> "How is it none of us have heard of this before?"> "What sort of magical powers?"> "What if you don't treat them right?"
>>26421341[x] "What sort of magical powers?"
>>26421341Combination of>[x] "What sort of magical powers?"and>[x] "What if you don't treat them right?"if possible.If not, then the first.
>>26421341So does this mean we can feed Afuu the rings after all?
>>26421341>[X] "What sort of magical powers?"Could have gotten to this point a lot quicker if we had just kept the Afuu out to begin with instead of putting it in the bag.
>>26421449But where would the fun have been in that?
>>26421455More puchi is always more fun, you shouldn't keep it hidden in a bag. Though I suppose it matters only a little and all routes lead to the same information eventually with this cart ride.
>>26421449But putting Afuu in the bag was fun.
>>26421341"What sort of magical powers?""Well, they say it varies from one to th' other. But my grandpappy always said th' one thing they all got is a way of messin' with your head.""Messing with your head?""Ayup. Most folk, they see a puchi and they don't pay it no mind. Just seems ord'nary an' unremarkable, 'gainst all reason to th' opposite. I mean, you look at th' critter. Odd little thing, ain't it? But jus' y'all wait, we get to town and all the folk'll barely notice 'er. Least not in th' sense they ought to, proper speaking.""Doesn't seem to be doing that to you, though. Or any of us, for that matter.""Well, fer one they don't use it on everybody. A puchi picks some folk it likes, and lets 'em see it for what it is. I reckon that's y'all.""But not you?""Naw. As grandpappy told it, a puchi's power to hide itself like that don't work on certain folk. Simple folk, what know their roots, see? Folk what ain't all puffed up with fancy notions of knowin' all there is t'know thanks to some fancy edjumacation.""Is that so?"Fergus shrugs. "How my grandpappy told it, anyhow. Said the same about lotsa things, really. That there's things th' Sage don't want folk what think they know it all to know, to keep 'em gettin' too comf'terble, see?">How do you respond to this?
>>26422092[x] Make agreement noises. Supervise puchi entertainment exercise. Contemplate how to break news of demonic possession to the rest of 765.
>>26422164I agree.Also, new rule: Afuu should be on someone's head at all times.
>>26422092You give a vague murmur of agreement. You're don't really put much stock in the idea (and, frankly, even Fergus himself seems skeptical), but you don't see any particular reason to challenge it. Right now, you're more concerned with making sure the squirming puchi stays under control, so you return to the back of the wagon to help with that.By this point, it's getting to be about lunchtime, so you take some food from your pack and encourage the girls to do likewise. You offer some of your food to the puchi, which it eagerly accepts.About the time you finish eating, Fergus points up ahead at something in the distance appearing as you round a bend out of the woods. "That'd be Kethyria's walls up ahead! Won't be too long now!"As you approach the city, you mentally review the plan for when you arrive. Getting the injured girl to a proper hospital would be first priority. And after that, it's back to the guildhall to report on the outcome of the quest. You'll need to arrange for receiving the promised payment, of course, and plan a follow-up on the cult activity and the remaining goblins.You'll probably also need to figure out how to break the news to the rest of the guild about your possession problem. You're not looking forward to that...
>>26422092Pretty much what >>26422164 said. Keep the man talking, maybe something interesting will come up, but mostly make sure the puchi doesn't cause us trouble.
And that's it for tonight. As always, feedback is greatly appreciated and I'd be happy to answer questions if anyone has any before I go to bed.Sorry for the somewhat slow pace tonight. I'm still a little fatigued from the past couple weeks, so I'm a bit sluggish.
>>26422659So puchis are essentially living magical items that we can equip (read: Put on Head) for bonuses while adventuring?
>>26422708Before you try that, I would advise examining your helmet for a reminder of what tends to happen to your head and the things on it when adventuring.
>>26422760Puchis are magic and stuff, right?It'll be fine. Harukasan went through a photocopier at one point and came out unharmed.
>>26422811I doubt anything is magic and stuff to the point of invincibility, even puchii.
>>26422811Well, Harukasan is Harukasan. I wouldn't push your luck with the others.At any rate, they're pets/companions, not headgear.
>>26422867Pets that ride on heads.In any case, outside of combat, I expect lots of headriding.
>>26421082man miurasan is gonna be hard to find/keep
>>26422904Oh, well, yeah, when it wouldn't put them in danger they'd probably prefer it that way.
>>26422974It just came to my mind: If we find Harukasan, we can simply solve horde problems by Mass Harukasans.
>>26423347The problem is then dealing with the horde of Harukasans.I know better than to give players any sort of infinite anything without some form of balancing drawback.
>>26423418Hive Mind management techniques?
>the only vote on the archive is a downvoteu guise