Terra sits with you for a few minutes, asking for stories about your master. You realize that she was probably too young to know Ayren as anything other than the mysterious mendicant who wandered through town every so often. Your master rarely interacted with the villagers in his time as Totemist, and only brusquely when he did. You spend some time telling her about the man. How he was a harsh taskmaster, a curmudgeonly old grump, an incurable hermit. A brilliant scientist and warrior. How, in his quieter moments, he could even be a caretaker. You stop yourself before you call him a 'friend'. The two of you were never quite that close; your relationship was much more formal. Still, you tell her, you miss his guidance. He was a man of wisdom.You tuck the Grimoire of Binding Threads back onto its safe spot high among the shelves of your master's--your library. It's a difficult mental transition to make, but it is -yours- now, for all intents and purposes. Thinking back, you note that Terra seemed to absorb complex elemental governance hierarchies with relative ease. It occurs to you that perhaps you should have her cooperate with Amal to give you a broader understanding of the depths of the library's knowledge.The hour draws ever toward noon, and soon there is a knock at your door. You skip the standard ritual of having Amal open the door mysteriously, electing to greet Quinn and Pierce at the door yourself. They're both clad in the leather and plate armor standard amongst mid-ranking Slayers."Morning, Osyki," Pierce says with a nod. You smile. It's been too long since you've seen him. "Ready to roll?"(Cont.)
You nod your assent, shouldering your spear and stepping out of the workshop with them. You pause as they move to stride straight past your usual training field, heading on down the road."Aren't we sparring?" you ask, confused.Quinn turns to look over his shoulder, nodding. "We are. But not here. We're going down to the Slayer's encampment. Pierce insists on using proper equipment, and Walther's off on morning rounds."You grimace, but fall into step behind the two of them. You don't think you've ever set foot in the two-story building that serves as the Slayer headquarters, and you've never had the urge to rectify that oversight. For obvious reasons, you don't relish the thought of Walther finding you in his 'sanctum'. But perhaps it's best to let Pierce take the lead on this.> Speak up in favor of training at the workshop.> Follow behind them. Pierce knows what he's doing.> Catch up with Pierce. What has he been up to?> Summon one of your spirits. (Who?)> Other.---You are Osyki, journeyman Totemist and first line of defense for your village against the rabid Behemoths wandering the land. Your master, the previous Totemist, fell in a battle against a terrible Behemoth, leaving the duty of defending your settlement to you. In a period of relative peace, you have elected to train yourself and your apprentices for the winter to come.[[Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=totemPlot Summary (Current up to thread XLVIII):http://pastebin.com/0B8sGfsAThe Cast Thus Far / Binder's Log: http://pastebin.com/VsJpEUx3Quest Twitter: @TotemistQuest]]
>>35430743> Speak up in favor of training at the workshop.> Catch up with Pierce. What has he been up to?
>>35430743> Follow behind them. Pierce knows what he's doing.> Catch up with Pierce. What has he been up to?If Pierce thinks this would work better, I see no reason to doubt him. Also find out how he's doing. It's been around thirty threads since we last spoke to him, we need to catch up.
>>35430743> Catch up with Pierce. What has he been up to?
>>35430743>> Follow behind them. Pierce knows what he's doing.>> Catch up with Pierce. What has he been up to?Eh. Should be fine.
>>35430743Follow & catch up
>>35430743> Follow behind them. Pierce knows what he's doing.> Catch up with Pierce. What has he been up to?
Would Terra be capable of binding Amal to different books? It would be good practice for her I think
We shouldn't take too long for the training, though. We still have to visit the Stone Emperor today. We've left him waiting long enough. We can justify some delay as recuperating from our battles, but past today it'll start getting rude.
>>35431377I don't think so. Amal's our familiar, not hers. From what we know, it's impossible to manipulate a spirit that you haven't bound yourself unless you're extremely skilled (or the original binder was extremely skilled and set it up for you to use). That's why we haven't mass-harvested Raptor and Verdis Wyrm foci to equip the Slayers with. Well, that and Walther being a dick.
You keep your objections to yourself as you walk. Pierce probably knows what he's doing. He's three years your senior, and he's already fairly high in the Slayers' ranks. You pick up the pace to walk beside him, elbowing him gently."So, how have you been? I haven't seen you in an age," you say with a small smile. "Feels like months, though I know its probably only been a week."He chuckles, putting a hand on your shoulder. "I've been well, Osyki. Focused on my training, mostly. I've been working with the Bowyer to learn how to properly fire a longbow in my spare time. It's come to my attention that the majority of our men don't have any sort of competency with ranged weaponry, which somewhat defeats the purpose of those walls you've been shoring up." He makes a good point. "How did your journey go? I heard you've been walking around with some lovely foreign lady on your arm."You shake your head. "Saeri's an ambassador and a friend, Pierce. Nothing more." You ignore the dubious look he gives you, pressing on. "She's gone back to her city. You might be seeing more of her in the coming months, though."Pierce sighs. "Good. It'll be nice to have some new blood in this backwater."The three of you arrive at the headquarters. The sturdy double-doors give way to a wide entrance hall, mostly empty of people. The few who are within are moving to and fro, some with food in hand, some with papers. "Scouting reports," Quinn tells you.Pierce leads you to the back of the building, where a fenced in yard holds training dummies, obstacle courses, and racks of wooden weaponry. "Pick your poison," he says, gesturing to the racks.> Spear. I know it best.> Blade. I need the practice.> Axe. With my speed, it should be a good match.> Twin daggers. I like a weapon in each hand.> Staff. No need to overcompensate.
>>35431518> Blade. I need the practice.We're never going to bind anything to our spear other than Modi, because unbinding him is an incredibly dangerous proposition. And with Modi bound, he does a lot of the work for us. So let's train in a secondary weapon. Swords are pretty versatile weapons, so let's go with that.
>>35431599This guy has the right of it
>>35431599Gonna throw my vote in for Blade.
>>35431599>> Blade. I need the practice.Good ideas
You step forward to the rack, mulling over your options. When Ayren sparred with you, he would always do so with a short, one-handed blade. While you never got a glimpse of him in real combat, you did once see his runic blade before he locked it away in a special chest. The memory makes the decision for you. You grab a wooden sword from the rack.Pierce arches his brow, clearly expecting you to select the spear, but shrugs and takes your decision in stride. "We'll start with some warm-ups to familiarize you with the weapon, then move into some light sparring."You nod, rotating your wrist a few times. The wooden blade is lighter than your spear, and your range of motion is much less limited without a wooden pole to factor into your movements.>1d100 for warmups.
Rolled 27 (1d100)>>35432019
Rolled 34 (1d100)>>35432019
Rolled 88 (1d100)>>35432091oh no where has my email field gone someone roll fast
Rolled 46 (1d100)>>35432019
Rolled 73 (1d100)>>35432019Let's hope we don't embarrass ourselves too much.
The exercises run smoothly. Pierce stands in front of you, guiding you through the motions of basic attack and guard with a short blade. The weapon is a trade-off from your usual choice, severely limited in range but enormously easier to swing. The freedom of movement is a critical part of the defense, Pierce teaches you. A good sword-wielder is constantly on the move, never in one place long enough to be hit. The drills consist as much of footwork as they do slicing and stabbing. By the end of it, you're feeling reasonably confident with your newfound weapon."Most people to use a short blade like that carry a shield or buckler in their off-hand," Pierce tells you as he watches you short-hop through a course of wooden platforms. "I've heard of disciplines in other lands that involve a short dagger or even nothing at all in the off hand, but that seems pretty impractical to me. Still, it's your choice on how to train."> Pick up a shield.> Leave your off-hand free for now.Once he's confident that you wont hurt yourself with the sword (and Quinn has had a chance to warm up as well), Pierce calls you back to the wide, flat sparring ring. He gestures between himself and Quinn."Let's get into some sparring. Who would you like to try your luck against?"Quinn is much closer to your build, tossing a wooden practice mace to himself absentmindedly. He's around your height, which means he won't have much of a reach advantage, but you know for a fact that he's wily when cornered.Pierce is a full head taller than you at least, and he fights with a spear, which would put you at a range disadvantage. Still, you could probably learn more from sparring with him than Quinn, and you'll have to learn how to deal with this sort of situation eventually.> Spar with Quinn.> Spar with Pierce.
>>35432339> Pick up a shield.> Spar with Pierce.
>>35432339> Pick up a shield.> Spar with Quinn.Let's give him a chance to kick our ass for once.
>>35432339Shield&Spar with pierce.
>>35432339> Leave your off-hand free for now.> Spar with Pierce.We need our off hand for various binds like the lantern or other shit.
>>35432475But what if we bind something to a shield?Like the glimmering eye. Imagine the possibilities
>>35432339>Spar with Pierce.>Pick up a shield.We're here to learn.
>>35432475See, my thinking is that training with a shield will get us used to having a weight in our other hand while we fight, so it'll help us in that regard. Though having one hand free in general might be useful so we could still use glove bindings.
>>35431377>>35431445She has her salamander to practice with anyway.
>>35432659Unless we're going to be blocking with that other weight or have it strapped to our forearm, I think it'd be better to leave the hand empty.
>>35432659>>35432530Hmm, alright, changing >>35432475to > Pick up a shield.> Spar with Pierce.
>>35432339>Pick up a shield.No reason not to get used to it.
>>35432659I suppose if we're disarmed we could still fight p. hard. As long as it's not literal. We're not a black knight.
You select a medium sized shield from the rack near the wall of the headquarters. It's small enough that you don't feel unbalanced holding it, but large enough to no longer qualify as a buckler. A small metal boss surrounded by a polished wooden frame. It will do.You spend a moment glancing between the two men before nodding to Pierce. "Let's you and I have a match. See why you're the top dog around here."He grins, lifting his spear from the rack and following you into the sparring ring. "You've got it, Osyki. Usual sparring rules apply. Two limbs or one torso shot decides the match. Try not to brain me with a bit of wood."You nod. Interesting, that he didn't mention the standard rule of "no groin attacks," but he probably figures you honorable enough not to bring up that particular addendum. You heft your shield, sizing him up. His stance is standard, spear leveled toward you, knees bent, feet apart.> Go on the defensive. Wait for him to make a mistake.> Charge in. His reaction speed can't be that fast.> Circle around him, look for an opening.> Throw your shield at him, pounce on him while he's distracted.> Other
>>35432894> Circle around him, look for an opening.
>>35432894>Circle around him, look for an opening.
>>35432894> Circle around him, look for an opening.Osyki's fighting style has tended to be based around maneuverability, I see no reason to change that just because this time he can't leap into the air in a flash of lightning.
>>35432894>> Circle around him, look for an opening.
Rolled 10 (1d100)You shuffle your feet as you slide sideways around the circular arena, eyes locked on the point of Pierce's spear. Your shield advances in front of you. He slowly mimics your movements, and the two of you end up circling one another, looking for an opening, a miss-step. You note that Pierce has adopted a strange, hopping sort of step, bouncing on the balls of his feet as he--As he charges forward!Your shield comes up, warding off the sudden twinned jabs with a pair of resounding thumps. You take an involuntary step back as Pierce presses his offensive, slamming another pair of thrusts toward you. A short hop back takes you out of range, though your arm is still feeling the force of his initial assault. He follows suit, hopping back and assuming a defensive position.You're going to get hammered into submission if you don't take the fight to him, you realize. Engaging him on his terms is a fight of attrition that you won't win. You dig your heels into the dirt, sprinting forward with your shield raised in front of you. Pierce sets his spear against your charge.>1d100. Beat my roll!
Rolled 68 (1d100)>>35433849Shouldn't be too hard.
Rolled 70 (1d100)>>35433849ok
Rolled 45 (1d100)>>35433849>Beat 10Oh man.
Rolled 5 (1d100)>>35433849Can we change targets at the last minute, attack his spear with our shield to knock it from his hands or at least knock it out of the way, then use or sword to knock his shins for the 'two limb hits' we need?
>>35433849>Rolled 10Pierce tripped on a rock
AWW YISS MOFUCKATOTEMIST QUEST BEST QUEST
You brace yourself for the inevitable impact, angling your shield as the spear rockets forward. The wooden head of the weapon impacts the metal boss on the center of your shield, following the slope of the weapon off to your left. Pierce, left overbalanced, drops his weapon and springs back to avoid taking a body blow with your sword. As it is, your blade slaps against his leg as he draws them up protectively over his midsection. He lands in a backwards roll, coming up in a low, crouching stance. He's leaning on his right leg, favoring it over the left that you scored a hit on with your blade."You learn fast, Osyki," he says with a grin, beckoning you forward."So I've been told," you quip, kicking his spear behind you and well out of reach. "Can't count the number of times Ayren drilled "action and reaction" into my head, you know."At one point, at least, literally.> Press your advantage. Finish the fight.> Allow Pierce to retrieve his weapon. You won't learn like this.> Toss away your shield to make things more fair.> Other.
>>35434289> Allow Pierce to retrieve his weapon. You won't learn like this.
>>35434289>> Allow Pierce to retrieve his weapon. You won't learn like this.
>>35434289Wait, what? He literally drilled it into our head? Did Osyki's training include trepanation? > Allow Pierce to retrieve his weapon. You won't learn like this.It's about learning, not winning. We already know to press our advantage in battle. So let's just extend the fight as long as possible, get in as much training as we can.
>>35434289>Allow Pierce to retrieve his weapon. You won't learn like this.Maybe we will finally get to use swords regularly from now on.
You take a few measured steps back, gesturing to the fallen spear with your shield. Pierce raises his eyebrow at you, one hand on his hip."Get your weapon," you say with a shrug. "I'm not going to learn anything with you disarmed."The expression on his face indicates that he respects that decision. He walks past you, head angled to keep you in his field of vision, and retrieves his fallen weapon."I know for a fact the Elders wouldn't have been alright with Ayren drilling into your skull, Osyki," Pierce says as he settles into a different stance entirely. His spear is chambered horizontally across his back, tucked in the crook of his elbow, and he extends an empty palm toward you.You shrug. "Hammered might be a better word. He literally made a rubber mallet with "action and reaction" stamped on it for one of our duels."You take advantage of Pierce's laughter to step into his range, swinging your sword toward his extended arm.> 1d100
>>35434289> Toss away your shield to make things more fair.We might as well get used to it. We probably won't be using a shield much since we have a few different varieties of glove bindings that are really useful, especially as an off-hand item.Hell, a lot of them could probably be used to parry.
Rolled 69 (1d100)>>35434661[[Forgot my dice.]]
>>35434289> Allow Pierce to retrieve his weapon. You won't learn like this.> Toss away your shield to make things more fair.Is there something like a heavy gauntlet around, perhaps? Sword+Offhand Glove/Totem/Whatever seems more Osyki's speed, so the shield practise isn't entirely applicable.
Rolled 31 (1d100)>>35434690les go
Rolled 75 (1d100)>>35434690lets see if we learn anything
Rolled 45 (1d100)>>35434690
>>35434735Hell yeah I did it!
>>35434661Wait, we have rubber? This changes everything. The things you can craft once you have flexible polymers would be so useful. Unless it's just something Ayren brought with him from a biome where it grows naturally, we know he's well-traveled.
>>35435001[[You know of rubber, but it's definitely not a tree that grows anywhere in your homeland, nor is it something your people know how to make.]]
>>35435037So it's the "Ayren imported it" option. Damn. I guess I should have expected that. Our climate is at best sub-tropical, there's no way it would grow here. And while alchemy actually working in this universe means we have much better knowledge of chemistry than our equivalents would, we probably don't have good polymers. We might have cellulose products, but that's about all I'd expect.
>>35435212There're many lands.I fully expect industrial-age civ, I mean there's tyrant town.
Rolled 71 (1d100)Your swipe meets nothing but empty air as Pierce pivots his body to one side, allowing your slash to rend the air in front of him. Your bring your shield up just in time to catch the counter-blow, a horizontal swing at stomach-level from Pierce's spear. He throws his entire body into the rotation, and the force of it is enough to drive you back and away from him. He's stepping after you in an instant, jabbing at weak points in your guard, forcing you to adapt your grip to each fresh assault. You bring your sword low to catch the edge of his spear before he can sweep you off of your feet, but he takes advantage of your momentary distraction by stepping forward and grabbing hold of your shield with his free hand, wrenching it off of your arm and tossing it aside. You nearly score a second hit against him as he retreats out of your range again.He's down a limb, but you've been disarmed of your shield. Not ideal, but you think you're getting a feel for how fast you can swing your blade, and how far you can extend before you're left vulnerable. Still, without your Foci to do the heavy lifting for you, you're starting the feel the wear of the fight.> Try to recover your shield.> Go for an all-out assault.> Counter a spear jab for the final blow.> Throw your sword at him!> Other>1d100
Rolled 26 (1d100)>>35435297>> Counter a spear jab for the final blow.
>>35435257Oh, I'm sure someone knows how to synthesize polymers. I would be surprised if Pointsmar didn't at least have coal tar derivatives. >>35435297> Counter a spear jab for the final blow.
Rolled 81 (1d100)>>35435297> Counter a spear jab for the final blow.
Rolled 99 (1d100)>>35435297>> Counter a spear jab for the final blow.LEARNING STUFF
>>35435385We learn good
Rolled 60 (1d100)>>35435297> Counter a spear jab for the final blow.
>>35435385I AM THE BEST LEARNER ROLLING
Pierce keeps the end of his spear pointed toward the discarded shield rather than toward you. It's a subtle adjustment, but the intent is clear: he's expecting you to dive for your fallen protection.Well. You've never been one to keep with the expectations of others, have you?You dive forward in a truly reckless charge, short sword gripped tight in both hands. Pierce is surprised by your sudden burst of movement, swinging his weapon around in a clumsy arc. You deflect the blow with your blade, both arms providing the leverage you need to throw his sword wide to one side. You move in, sliding in low under the fierce forward kick he puts out to stop your advance.Slowing to a stop behind Pierce, you whip your blade around. The blunted wooden edge catches the backs of his knees as you rise with a rotating slash, sweeping him unceremoniously from his feet and leaving him on his back in the dirt.The two of you stare at one another silently for a moment as the dust settles before he lets out a booming laugh. You reach down to help him from the dirt, and he clasps your arm with familiar friendship.> Sword skills improved! You now feel reasonably confident wielding a short blade.> Shield skills improved! You're used to the weight of a medium shield in combat."Excellent form, Totemist," he says as he clambers to his feet. "You could probably teach the trainees a thing or two.""Assuming Walther wouldn't pop a vein at the thought," Quinn quips from the fence.> Go another round.> Thank them for their time, then head back to the workshop.> Watch Quinn and Pierce spar.> Other.
>>35435843> Watch Quinn and Pierce spar.
>>35435843> Other.Check the time. We have other things to do today, but provided it's not too late we should be able to stick around a little longer.
>>35435928Dont forget to pick up that damn mask.
Rolled 9 (1d100)>>35435843> Thank them for their time, then head back to the workshop.
>>35435843> Thank them for their time, then head back to the workshop.
>>35435843>> Thank them for their time, then head back to the workshop.
>>35435843I'd like to visit the blacksmith while we go on our way back to workshop, see about getting ourselves a sword and shield. Possibly turtle rock shield?
After returning the weapons to their racks, you bid Quinn and Pierce a fond farewell. They cajole you to stay for another round, but you shake your head. "Sorry, guys. Maybe tomorrow. I need to get back to work. Totems to make, and all that."Pierca nods, waving you off. Quinn tells you that he'll be by later to help you with the crafting orders.The trek back to the workshop is pleasant as the crisp early morning air is heated by the sun overhead. There are a few rain clouds on the horizon, but for the moment the village is filled with hustle and bustle as people go about their daily tasks. You wave hello to Ashika, Merich's young apprentice. She's been feeling under the weather for the past week or so, confined to bed rest. It's nice to see her back on her feet.You stop in at the carpenter's on your way home. Opposite of your last trip, the Carpenter himself is in, while his dark-haired apprentice has yet to awaken. He greets you warmly, handing you your order.The mask itself is made of smooth, dark wood. It's almost entirely featureless, a simple wooden oval with hole cut out for your eyes and a band to secure it to your head.Back at your workshop, you settle into your chair. You have three or so days before you ought to see to Eluneia, and today stretches out before you.> Work on some totems for the village.> Work on memorizing the Celestial Binding runes.> Experiment with your Foci.> Train Terra.>Other.
>>35436544> Work on memorizing the Celestial Binding runes.
>>35436544>Work on memorizing the Celestial Binding runes.Soon mask, soon.
>>35436544> Train Terra.We've learned a lot from teaching, Terra and Quinn have both been invaluable in our own growth. Maybe this is what it was like for Ayren? Did his instructing us teach him as much as our taking on Quinn and Terra have taught us?
>>35436544> Work on some totems for the village.
>>35436544> Train Terra.We should remember our responsibilities to our proto-temist. Can we call her that, as part of the same jokes as Quinn being our co-temist?
>>35436544>> Train Terra.We could get some neat ideas again and use training as an excuse to experiment
>>35436544Celestial binding runes and terra
>>35436544>> Train Terra.Runes can wait, Terra needs sleep eventually
>>35436887Terras newest totem relieves fatigue and basically makes it easy to go days without sleep without the negatives! Yaaaaay...
You find Terra perched atop one of your workbenches when you return, poring over your notes on the quick-step totems that you've placed along the main village thoroughfare. She glances up at you, waving you over. You oblige her, laying your spear across the bed and sitting next to her."If you do get that road built," she says pointing to the diagrams, "you should see if you can make -big- versions of these. That way people travelling on it can move extra fast."You nod. "I had a similar thought. They've been helpful in the village, and if we can spread the word, we might be able to turn these totems into a valuable commodity."She wrinkles her nose. "Sell totems? That doesn't seem okay."You shrug. "Not to anyone in the village, of course, but it's a service just like growing food or mining. If people want the extra spring in their step, they can donate to our village's expansion and prosperity."She hums, thinking that over. "So what are we doing today?"> We're going to teach you to bind your Salamander (Very Difficult)> We're going to take you out to negotiate with some forest spirits. (Difficult)> We're going to teach you a new totem recipe (Moderate Difficulty)> We're going to have you make some food preservation totems (Low difficulty)> Other
>>35436984> We're going to teach you to bind your Salamander (Very Difficult)Go big or go home.
>>35436984>We're going to take you out to negotiate with some forest spirits. (Difficult)She did do a bunch of study and we did say we would teach her some shit.
>>35436984>> We're going to teach you a new totem recipe (Moderate Difficulty)Lets not get too easy but still be enough to challenge her, if she fails she can strive to do better
>>35436984>> We're going to take you out to negotiate with some forest spirits. (Difficult)Let's NOT kill our apprentice yet
>>35436984> We're going to take you out to negotiate with some forest spirits. (Difficult)Go moderately big or go home.
>>35436984>> We're going to teach you to bind your Salamander (Very Difficult)
>>35436984> We're going to teach you a new totem recipe (Moderate Difficulty)I would suggest teaching her to negotiate with spirits, but we haven't taught Quinn that yet, and I don't want to insult him. Well, he's been along while we've negotiated, but that's not quite the same thing.
>>35436984Forest spirits for now, let's give her more than a couple days too make friends with salamander before binding
>>35436984Salamander.Go big or go hom.
>>35436984> We're going to take you out to negotiate with some forest spirits. (Difficult)She can learn to make totems on her own, salamander too difficult.
>>35437079We thought him how to bind crap. I doubt he will be too insulted from atop his raptor mount.
>>35437079We could pick him up on the way to the forest.
>>35437079He had a chance to negotiate. We introduced him to Boand, and he nearly Spaghetti'd. I think we should split the Totemistry duties in half. Our Cotemist learns the feral binding and ass-kicking and general combat utilities and only dabbles in the diplomatic stuff, and our Prototemist focuses on learning the diplomatic stuff and only learns the basics of the dangerous stuff. Start a new tradition of it, so that Totemists always come in pairs, teaching each other as they learn. That way the death of one doesn't rob the community of ALL its mystical knowledge, which nearly happened with Ayren, and with us a few times.
>>35437368That's a really bad idea honestly.
>>35437382How so? Cross-training two specialists seems like a great idea, since they're both inclined towards different halves of our duties.
You gesture to Terra's pack, discarded in the corner. "We're going to take you out to negotiate with some forest spirits," you tell her. Her mouth makes a little 'o' shape, and you can tell that she's trying very hard not to bounce excitedly in place. She puts on an almost comically serious expression, setting to work packing her bag for the forest right away."What kinda spirits?" she asks you over her shoulder. You stare at her as if it should be obvious. "Why, tree spirits of course," you tell her. Your plan is to have her negotiate with the Apricot spirits for regular cuttings. Though the snippings wont hurt the trees, it's good to keep the dryads placated, especially if you're going to be planting their children (so to speak) in your village.You note that Terra has a small sling at her side, and a pouch full of what must be pebbles on her belt. She notices your stare. "Quinn gave it to me," she explains. "He says 'it's never too early to learn the importance of accuracy'."You can't help but smile. He's taken this apprenticeship business to heart.On your way to the village gate, you quiz Terra on the Hierarchies of the Lesser Court of Wood. She's got the classifications down impressively well, though you do have to correct her pronunciation of a few words she's likely only ever read, rather than heard spoken aloud. Elana waves at the two of you from the porch of the Healer's Hut as you head toward the gate.> Warm up by having her negotiate for some fruit before you hit the big ticket.> Let her negotiate on your behalf entirely.> Aid her in the negotiations.> Other.
>>35437477Well, they both need to be equipped in case a situation occurs where they need the others skill set, they can't always be paired up, take for example our journey to Pointsmar, we needed both diplomacy and our bound spirits.Also, I get the feeling that a lot of both of those aspects of our jobs rely on the other.
>>35437569> Warm up by having her negotiate for some fruit before you hit the big ticket.
>>35437569> Warm up by having her negotiate for some fruit before you hit the big ticket.> Aid her in the negotiations.So, I've never really been clear: How common is it for a plant to have a spirit? Because mostly we've been treating plants as if spirits dwelling in them was relatively rare, but every time we've taken Terra to harvest plants there's been a spirit dwelling in them. Is Osyki just cherry-picking the plants he already knows have them so as to give Terra a better education?
>>35437860[[Generally speaking, the older a plant, the more sentient its spirit is. Humanity's place in the spiritual hierarchy ensures that harvesting plants (as long as it's not wanton deforestation) isn't some sort of heinous spirit murder. It's just the way of things.]]
>>35438091So just about every full-grown redwood has a spirit then? Neat.
>>35438295Yeah, they'd be ancient even compared to other trees. Other trees could have entire generations come and go before the redwood is even fully grown.Guess they'd kinda be like Tolkien elves then?
Rolled 29 (1d100)You stop Terra as you pass through the gates, explaining to her your plan. "I've made a pact with the spirit of the forest to plant a tree for every beast I kill," you say. "Being a Totemist is about preserving balances. I thought it might be nice to plant some apricot trees in the village as a way of upholding my pact. To do that, though, I need the spirits of the trees to cooperate."Not strictly true, but it will make it easier. Dryads are notoriously flighty spirits."First, see if you can't get a piece of fruit for some of the seeds, okay?"Terra nods, walking resolutely off toward the copse of fruit trees, the Greater Almanac clasped firmly in hand. You trail a few feet behind her, hands in your pockets.She kneels in the copse before the largest apricot tree, mumbling words under her breath as she reads from the Almanac. In fairly short order a woman emerges from around the trunk, The wood of the tree still wraps her almost entirely, leaving only bare scraps of skin exposed-- an eye here, an arm there. Terra swallows audibly, though the tree spirit smiles down at her."Hello, little spiritwalker," the Dryad says.Terra bows awkwardly to her. "H-hello, honored spirit." The dryad seems tickled by the title. "I've come seeking a favor of you. A t-trade, kinda."The dryad motions for her to continue.Terra motions to the fruit hanging from the spirit's branches. The dryad looks up, and her smile grows. "Ah. A young one in search of a snack. Most simply take when they hunger, child, but your respect is endearing."The spirit bends down, scooping Terra up to allow her access to the high branches. "Take as you will. I'll ask no barter for my fruit."> Continue watching from the edge of the grove.> Make your presence known, but stay silent.> Step in for Terra.> Other.
>>35438681> Continue watching from the edge of the grove.
>>35438681>Continue watching from the edge of the grove.She's got this so far. Let's see if she can bring it all the way home without us.
Rolled 91 (1d100)>>35438681>> Continue watching from the edge of the grove.This is fucking adorable.
>>35438681> Continue watching from the edge of the grove.But be prepared to step in if needed.
>>35438747Is that Elijah Wood?
You should make an ask page Diarca.
[[ Sorry for the delay folks, internet is giving me issues. I'm going to get some dinner after this post, so feel free to suggest binding suggestions for the next part of the thread.By which I mean, which Foci to try with the mask first.]]The dryad lowers Terra to find her with an apricot in each hand, smiling gleefully. You've never seen a wood spirit act so... human. You suppose the legends of young girls lost in the woods finding their ways home unharmed are due to some preference on dryads' parts for the fairer sex. Or maybe just apricot trees? It merits further investigation. For the moment, you sit tight.Terra bows when she reaches the ground again, putting the apricots in her bag. "Honored spirit, thank you for your gen'rosity," she says. "If you would, I have another favor to ask of you."The dryad kneels down in front of her, brushed a hanging curtain of moss-hair from her eye. "Speak and I will listen, child," she says."My master is the Totemist of our village," she says, pointing toward the village gates. The dryad follows her pointing finger with her gaze, nodding. "He made a deal with the forest spirit to plant trees when he has to hunt monsters in the forest. What would you want, if he wanted to take cuttings from your tree to plant?"(cont.)
The dryad straightens from her crouch, tossing the curtain of mossy hair over her shoulder. "A more serious bargain altogether," she says thoughtfully. "To take pieces of my self and home, I would ask more than a smile and a pleasant countenance. Tell your master that if he wishes to take my cuttings, I expect them to be well cared for. If one tree dies from his mistakes, so shall they all. In addition, I expect some form of tribute. Perhaps my trees can be part of a small shrine in the village."That's... a rather outlandish request, considering all that you're asking is a few healthy cuttings. Terra looks like she's mulling it over.> "Your trees will be cared for, but a shrine is a lot to ask."> "That agreement is acceptable."> Let Terra finish the negotiations.> Other.>>35439549[[ask.fm/DiarcaEXE]]
>>35439824>> Let Terra finish the negotiations.We chose her for her initiative, cunning, and force of personality. Let her grow. We can trim the leaves later.
>>35439824> Let Terra finish the negotiations.Right answer would be "I need to discuss this with my teacher and the elders" Terra if she answer with anything other than that.
>>35439824>> Let Terra finish the negotiations.
>>35439824>Yep. Let her do it.
>>35439824> Let Terra finish the negotiations.
We should put Siren Heart in our mask
>>35440028I'm more interested in the Skyscythe Drake. I want to see how angry we can get Modi by taking on the aspect of a dragon. Human and dragon in one being? Unacceptable!
>>35439824> Let Terra finish the negotiations.She can handle this.We should keep quiet until Terra is done, but once she is, we should ask if the Dryad could use the seeds and cuttings we take to visit the copse of trees we'll be planting, and if she'd like it to be close to the house where all of Terra's playmates live. (fruit treats for the kids, and a new potential playmate for them if the Matrons don't mind.)As for binding suggestions on the mask, I'd say we start with the Stalker pelt. Hiding things seems up its alley. And we still haven't seen the extent of what the Rock Turtle focus can do. Try that.
>>35440028We should put everything in our mask in the following order:Stalker focusSiren's heart focusGlimmering eye focusCordia focusRazor wing focusCrystal scale focusRock turtle focusYkree focus
>>35440028>>35440076I want to try all the things in our new mask.
>>35440140Maybe Amal and tryd as well.
>>35440028Gais, LAZER BEAR
>>35440132I don't know, we know the Rock Turtle pretty well. It's lightning. All sorts of lightning. If a fictional character can do it with electricity, the Rock Turtle can, too. It's gotten to the point where I half-feel we should rename it, since "rock" doesn't really have anything to do with its functions. It's a variant species, anyway, it should have a different name. Maybe "Thunder Turtle".
>>35440263Yes, but it's the form the lightning takes that interests me. The bindings often surprise us and we've not tried anything new with the turtle in a while. Cloudwalker's Stride is AMAZING and I still intend to vote for it's inclusion as part of our iconic gear. But we should test it in other ways just to know what it's capable of.
>>35440076That sounds pretty cool.Osyki Half-Dragon.
>>35440391Never hurts to know what your options are.
I feel we should help get Terra and Quinn their Tyrd and Amal equivalents
>>35441014We already did. Quinn has his Cloud Sparrow, Terra has her Salamander. Unless you mean getting them each two lesser spirits to serve as familiars, of course.
>>35441045Oh shit, forgot about that, thanks. Have we made plans for Terra to start doing the same shit we did as a apprentice? I feel like we should
After a time, Terra nods. "A shrine would be nice, but I don't know if we could dedicate it solely to your trees. Maybe... maybe we could make a shrine to the forest spirit, with your trees growing around the altar, though. I'll have to talk to my master about it."The dryad smiles. "That would be most agreeable," she says, reaching down to gently tousle Terra's hair. You have no doubt that it would be. Such a position would advance her standing in the forest rapidly, effectively promoting her with the spiritual power such a shrine would generate and placing her at Sylvia's side. You'll have to learn more about this dryad before you can think of agreeing to such a bargain.Terra offers the spirit another bow. "Then I'll go home and ask him right away. Thank you for your attention, honored spirit."The Dryad gives Terra a slight bow, then reaches out to place an apricot blossom behind her ear. "Of course, little one. I look forward to seeing you again."The dryad steps around the tree once more, vanishing into the breeze.Terra returns to find you waiting patiently on the footpath.> Praise her for her performance.> Point out a few mistakes.> Tell her to consult you before offering deals, next time.> Other.
>>35441233> Other.Point out a few mistakes then praise her.
>>35441233> Praise her for her performance.> Point out a few mistakes.She did good. Not the best possible, but exceptionally well given her level of experience. So tell her what she did wrong, but the overall tone should be positive.
>>35441233>> Praise her for her performance.Now tell me what you think you did wrong, we'll go over how to fix them. I'm proud of you though.Headpat and all that.
>>35441233> Praise her for her performance.> Point out a few mistakes.Be sure to emphasize how well she did for her first time. Then explain how that spirit would effectively get promoted if we did enshrine her trees, and the sort of spiritual energy we'd be feeding her.Then ask Terra if she thinks that sounds like a fair deal to her, and what our next move should be.
>>35441233She turned down the obviously one-sided deal, proposed a better (though still not equal) alternative, and caveated it all with the fact she needed to discuss it with us. All in all, that's pretty much everything we could have asked from her. Though we will need to talk with her about the interaction between humans and the members of the various courts and how they can be used to our advantage/disadvantage.
>>35441117And Quinn. I wonder what kind of exercises it'll be. Maintain your max number of Binds while jogging around the yard, AND reciting random passages from the book? Infuse a bucket of sand with spiritual energy and have them draw patterns in it using nothing but their own energy? Sounds fun.>>35441233> Praise her for her performance.
>>35441233> Praise her for her performance.> Other.Don't just point out the mistakes, talk to her about how spirits grow and lead her to the conclusion of how much the spirit will be getting out of this. And how other dryads would want this same deal, and she'd rather get a worse deal than have someone else to get the shrine boost.
You crouch down before Terra, putting your hand atop her head affectionately. "Well done," you say warmly. "For your first negotiation, that was very skillful."She beams up at you from beneath your palm, excitement shining through the mask of seriousness she's tried to keep in place."You didn't trip over your words at all, and you kept the spirit happy and placated. On top of that, you didn't make any promises you couldn't keep. So, altogether, a much better job than I could've hoped for. That said..."You straighten up, leaning against a nearby tree. "Tell me what you think you did wrong."She looks taken aback for a moment. He folds her arms over her chest, wrinkling her nose while she thinks. After a moment, "I didn't bargain for a better deal. Now I'll have to go back and forth between you a buncha times before we reach an agreement."You shake your head. "No, it's good that you thought to consult me. We should really speak to the elders as well. Let me put it this way: what would happen to that dryad if she were placed in the spiritual nexus that a shrine would be?"Terra stares at you, confused. As the two of you head back toward the village, you explain to her the ways one can rise or fall through the ranks of the spiritual hierarchy. She cottons on quickly. "That tree lady tried to trick me!"(cont.)
You shake your head. "No. I'm sure she thought it was a fair deal. Spirits tend to have very self-centered views of the world. In her mind, that was absolutely a fair deal. It's the Totemist's job to mediate the needs of the spirit and the human. The world, and the World Without. Understand?"She nods dubiously. You chuckle. "That's alright. It will come with experience."The two of you make your way back to the workshop. At some point, you'll need to go back and speak with that Dryad yourself. You don't see ambition like that often in tree spirits, and the difference intrigues you. For now, however...> You should make some totems for the village.> You should experiment with some Foci.> You should visit someone in the village.> You should do some research.> Other
>>35441807> You should make some totems for the village.
>>35441807> You should experiment with some Foci.I'm still curious about what exactly mask binds could do
>>35441807We should see the Stone Emperor finally.
>>35441807> OtherTalk to the Stone Emperor, it's starting to get insulting that we haven't been in to see him yet.
>>35441807Celestial binding runes
>>35441874This, read up on the runes for a celestial binding otw
For now you have duties to attend to, downtime or no. The mark on the back of your hand pulses dully as you tap into your link with the Emperor. The air in your workshop grows dim, and the ruby-eye of the great mole king fills your vision."Emperor," you say, bowing low. "If you would permit me an audience, I would come to speak with you. Have you a moment?"There is an affirmative grunt. "I was about to be insulted, Knight. Yes, I am free for you to attend me. Make your way here with all due haste."You bow again, and the connection cuts itself.You are not looking forward to this. Crotchety old mole.> What bindings will you take with you into the mountain?
>>35442421Bound Earth Sphere->Mask.I feel like bringing an earth-spirit bound mask to meat the earth-spirit king is a good idea.
>>35442421Bound Earth Sphere->Mask.Cloudwalker StrideVelociraptor GreavesNocturne's EmbraceVestus SonitusResplendent GaleFist of the MantleGlimmering Eye->Sword
>>35442421Golem Rising, Blessing of the Elder Turtle, Twin Din. Edge of Dawn.Whatever Thane does with the mask
>>35442421Let's dress to impress:>Cloudwalker's Stride>Bulwark Aurum>Vestus Sonitus>Song of the Deep>Obsidian Touch
>>35442449I like it.
>>35442539Make it so
Your spiritual reserves take a solid hit as you bind your panoply to your will. Myriad flashes of light erupt from your workshop in quick succession as, piece by piece, you shrug on your raiment.When the ritual is complete, you've donned your very best. Spiritual energy rotates around you in a near visible cloud, making the air in your presence heavy with the weight of the souls you carry.> Current loadout:Armor: Vestus SonitusPants: Velociraptor GreavesCloak: Nocturne's EmbraceBoots: Cloudwalker's StrideBow: Resplendent GaleGloves: Fist of the MantleYou think, as you take one of the short blades Ayren used for his bindings, it would only be proper for a knight to carry a sword. Taking the Glimmering Eye in hand, you thrust it into your weapon.When they liquid light drips from the blade, you hold a thin, needle-like blade. The hilt wraps around the grip of the sword in the design of folded, gossamer wings. When you swing the blade, it briefly trails iridescent silver motes.>[Binding Discovered: Moth's First Resort.]The sealed earth sphere you press to your mask, which you press to your brow. The litany of unification is difficult to mumble around the wooden slat, but you manage with a flash of malachite radiance.> [Binding Discovered: Stonesinger's Visage.]In the mirror, you can see a pair of glowing gems. One hovers before your forehead, twinkling with emerald light. The second is set into the skin of your throat just below your adam's apple. You clear your throat, and the ground beneath you trembles ever so slightly.You sheath your blade, shoulder your spear, and set off.(Cont.)
The trip up the mountain is brief, aided by Cloudwalker's stride as you always are. You ascend the cliff faces in short hops, trailing ozone and sparks as you make your ascent. The clouds hover ever closer as you make the climb, and you can see what looks to be humanoid figures flitting between the clouds, shaping and sculpting the puffy expanses.The Emperor's Throne is just as you left it; mostly devoid of light, chill, and crawling with strange, spider-like automatons. The Emperor waits for you on his earthen seat, ruby eyes twinkling in the dim illumination. If moles could slouch, he would be the picture of the lazy ruler."Knight," he says as you enter his chambers. "You return to me victorious."> My mission was succesful. Our bargain is fulfilled.> Of course. Victory was a foregone conclusion.> A victory of diplomacy. One I much prefer.> Other
>>35443146>> Of course. *Our* victory was a foregone conclusion.
>>35443146> Of course. Victory was a foregone conclusion.> OtherAlso, apologize for taking so long to come to him. We needed time to recuperate from our battles. We did not wish to risk insult him by appearing to him in a state less than that befitting a knight.
>>35443146It was not without its challenges, but I pulled through.
>>35443146> Of course. Victory was a foregone conclusion.of course, how could 'we' fail?
>>35443219supported and good job
>>35443146With the blessing of the Emperor, what alternative was there to victory?
You incline your head, one hand on your spear, the other resting on the pommel of your blade. "With the blessing of the Emperor," you say slowly, "Our victory was a foregone conclusion."As you speak the automatons around you swarm in complex patterns. You can see your words traced momentarily in the dust of the floor underfoot, and you can feel your throat heat up ever so slightly. The Emperor, if he notices, seems unaffected by the twin gems. He laughs boisterously, shaking the cavern overhead."My apologies for the delay in my arrival," you say, bowing shallowly. "I did not wish to appear before you drained and in poor possession of my faculties. I thought to do so would risk insulting you."The Emperor waves one clawed paw dismissively. "Of course. You are here now, and that is apology enough. Were I at the height of my power, I would infuse you with the might of the earth as reward for your services as my blade and quill. As it stands, you will have to settle for my gratitude."> It will do.> Thank you.> Have you any other requests of me?> I have a request of you. (Write-in)> Other
>>35443865> Thank you.> Have you any other requests of me?
>>35443865What COULD we ask him for?
>>35443952Nothing that we don't already have as part of our pact.
>>35443865> Thank you.> Have you any other requests of me?Also, catch him up to date on some of the important news, like when Pointsmar is crossing, and about the Eluneians who may be setting up a trade route.
>>35443865>It will doI don't really want more chores from him just yet. We have a lot to do
Calling it a night here, got an early morning. Thanks for running Diarca.
>>35444347Looks like you're not the only one who called it a night.Unless...
Rolled 73 (1d100)>>35445537You forgot to roll
Rolled 48 (1d100)>>35445537I shall do a better summoning!
>>35445537It's been slow all day, about 50 minutes between posts, all day. The suspense is NOT good for my heart, but I'm still here.
Rolled 48 (1d100)>>35445537
>>35445537[[I live! Internet problems continue. Post in 5.]]
Even if you wanted to, your plate armor would make taking a knee before the Emperor difficult. And you don't particularly want to. You manage a gracious smile, instead. "Thank you," you say, and you feel the earth around soften slightly. Whatever this mask's ability is, it seems potent. Further experimentation is necessary. "Have you any other requests of me, Emperor? My village requires attention."The mole shakes its head. "No, so long as you continue to remain vigilant to threats against my domain. You may return to your home. Any time you would seek audience, you need only use my sigil."You stare down at the insignia on the back of your hand. Its ink seems to have faded somewhat. An indication that you're no longer actively deployed on a mission, you suppose."Then I'll take my leave. Good day."You turn on your heel, striding impressively out of the gloomy cavern.> Return and experiment with Foci.> Return and craft some totems.> Explore the mountains for a time.> Seek audience with the Sky Shepherds.> Other
>>35446017>> other go to that abandoned mine shaft
>>35446017> Explore the mountains for a time.And try to get a handle on what the mask does while we're at it.
>>35446017>>35446050This. I had forgotten about this. But it's important. If the Iron General wasn't what created that smoke cloud, what was? A monster near our village is a bad thing.
>>35446017>> Explore the mountains for a time.> Seek audience with the Sky Shepherds.Yeah, we gotta figure out what the fuck went through so much trouble to try to incite a war between the strongest local factions.
>>35446017>Explore the mountains We should check out that pool we found earlier that had something weird going on with it.
>>35446050Sure, might as well.
>>35446050Maybe ask the Emperor if he knows what it be?
A thought occurs to you as you make a hopping descent from the lofty heights of the Emperor's Throne. The mine-shaft. Abandoned, seemingly, but far too tall for any of your village's workers to have mined out. Signs in your language indicated that the shaft was condemned, but who wrote them? Ayren? Another civilization? You fix the location on your mental compass as you bound from peak to peak, intent on getting to the bottom of it. Possibly literally.As you jump, you test the mask's capabilities. Speaking above a dull murmur, its abilities quickly become apparent. Your words have a melting, rippling effect on the stone around you, shaping the rock in strange ways with your musings aloud.>[Stonesinger's Visage: Molds natural earth, rock, and metal based on the wearer's vocal projections. Singing produces strange, fractal structures.]When you arrive, you find the entrance much as you left it. Planks of wood are nailed haphazardly across the entrance to the shaft, and the pulley lift nearby lies defunct. You could pry up the boards and leap in, or you could spend some time attempting to repair the lift. The latter seems time consuming, but... who knows how deep the shaft goes?Alternatively, you suppose, you could send a spirit in to scout. But that seems like more waiting around than you're entirely comfortable with.The air is still around the shaft, despite the breeze that usually graces the upper reaches of the Ikrins. The air tastes faintly of copper and something else, unidentifiable.> Drop in.> Get the lift in working order.> Send a spirit in to scout. (Who?)> Swap bindings.> Other.
>>35446578> Get the lift in working order.We could survive the fall. And we could probably climb back up without much trouble. But let's not rush in. Take the time for a proper exploration.
>>35446578tempted to ask Cordia or Thane to check it out.
Something is off about this area, clearly. You unbind your mask, calling Cordia from the Sealed Earth Sphere. She whirls into being, malachite and onyx, awaiting your command."I'm going to see about getting this lift fixed up," you tell her. She glances at the dislodged pulleys and nods. "While I do, I want you to head down the mine shaft. Tell me if you find anything worthwhile down there, or anything I should watch out for."Cordia nods. "Of course. I won't be able to move too far from your Focus, but I'll scout as far as I'm able."She descends, phasing through the boards as you set to work examining the damage. The lift was intentionally dismantled, not broken, so assuming nothing has rusted through you should be able to put it back to some sort of working order. It'll just take a little elbow grease.> 1d100
Rolled 63 (1d100)>>35446948So, what's the over/under on us encountering a horror best left forgotten to the ages?
Rolled 40 (1d100)>>35446948Ya'know what's fun? Late night dice. Look at 'em spin.
Rolled 24 (1d100)>>35446948Pithy Remark.
Rolled 49 (1d100)>>35446948roll
> 63It doesn't take long. A screw here, a bolt there, a bracing pin just so, and you've got the pulley working again. You use your spear to pry the boards from the shaft in short order, then carefully replace the lift platform on its tracks. It's sweat-breaking work, but nothing overly strenuous. As you're double-checking the solidity of the pulleys, Cordia surfaces."It's a very deep shaft, Osyki," she informs you. "I wasn't able to get all the way to the bottom. It's been blocked off by rubble around thirty feet down, and past that I was able to see some sort of blue glow coming up from the base of the shaft. The walls look like they've been mined out pretty extensively, and there are a few short branching tunnels as you descend, but I don't think you'll be able to get to any of that without clearing out the obstruction in the mine shaft.You rub your chin as you think.>Cloudwalker drop on the obstruction. That'll clear it.> Use another bind to clear the rubble. (What?)> Best let this one be fore now. Who knows what kind of instability that rubble could cause when it drops?> Other
>>35447305> Use another bind to clear the rubble. (What?)Stonesinger's Visage maybe get the ruble to turn to dust or fly out of the shaft?
>>35447305> Use another bind to clear the rubble. (What?)Moving large masses of earth is what Terra Disruptor was made for. And we can lift it out so it won't fall on anything. Though we may not have the shovel we need for the binding with us.
Rolled 53 (1d100)>>35447305>>35447334This does look like a situation where subtlety would be better served than sheer force. Supportan'.
[[Alright, folks. Hate to cut the thread so early but I've been battling my internet all day, and it looks as though it's about to cut out again. Thanks for playing, and I'll try to run a short bonus session some time this week to make up for the fact that this was something of a slow one. Have a great evening.]]
>>35447527That's fine, Diarca. This was still fun. See you next time.
Rolled 25 (1d100)>>35447527G'night. Or morning. Whichever applies. Thanks for running.
>>35447527That's fine, it's a good place to end as well. Next Time: The Mystery of the Mine.
Just joined. Good spot to stop. Oh f***.Thanks for running! :)
>>35447527Thanks for running, Diarca