> Previous thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/37175405/> suptg archive tag: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Lessons%20in%20Knighthood%20Quest> QM Twitter: https://twitter.com/QMdamp> QM Ask: http://ask.fm/qmdampYou are Nicole, a knight-apprentice of Alvar, and you would like nothing more than to go back to sleep, possibly for a week or so. Which is some flavour of ironic given how your first week as a knight-apprentice had gone, but the needs of the body have never been more than tangential to objective reason.You have just returned to your room at the palace after a long night out, which does not seem worth it in the light of day, or at least whatever light had made it through the steady downpour you can hear outside. In truth you had caught the benefit of at least a few hours of sleep, which has its own double edge; you don't feel any more rested than before, but you will likely garner less sympathy than if you had stayed up the entire night.Clarissa had closed the window shutters to prevent the rain from blowing in, but you can see some little light peek in through the gaps. Considering the rain, this would probably make it a bit after the break of dawn. You have just enough time to wash up and have a quick breakfast, before trudging out into what promises to be a dreary, wet, and thoroughly unpleasant day.But first, you have to report to your commanding officer. You sit up properly in your bed, which is not the most difficult thing you have ever done in your life, but it certainly feels like a contender.>[1/3]
When you feel up to social interaction again, you take a further moment to line up a mental checklist. "Uh, I was at the Southgate Watch House last night, filling out forms. Which explains my late return to the palace." And your current sleepless state. Still, you don't feel as desperately drowsy as the last time you went without a good night's rest. "I should probably head there soon. Marianne was going to submit the paperwork to transfer a piece of evidence to the palace first thing this morning."Clarissa frowns. "What is this evidence that you wish to bring here?"A small gold ring, that may or may not be a focus for a form of elf magic to create and control familiars, thus linking a series of mysterious murders with sightings of shadows around the palace. "It's just a hunch. It may turn out to be nothing, but I wanted to cover the possibilities.""Very conscientious," Clarissa says, obviously not convinced by your evasion, but choosing to pick her time.You forge on regardless. "When I was coming back, I was accosted by a messenger, who gave me a message for Escavila the Golden."Clarissa inhales sharply, and you can see her visibly suppress a sigh of exasperation. "And what form did this messenger take?""I think he is part of the Alvar underworld, Captain. He said his name is Hugh the Liar."Clarissa does not seem to recognize the name, unsurprisingly. "Since when were you privy to matters of the criminal classes, Nicole?"A good question. "It is a long story, and I'm not entirely sure myself," you say with complete honesty. "The message was that a man named Finn wishes to meet with the Golden. Something about, uh." You push your thoughts through the haze of somnolence. "The rabbit hole is not as deep as she believes."Clarissa blinks. "What does that mean?""I have no idea, Captain.">[2/3]
Clarissa mulls this over. "Given that this message was allegedly relayed to you by a self-described liar, I am not inclined to assign it a great deal of veracity. I will help pass on the message, but we have better things to worry about." She produces an unsealed envelope from her desk. "Anders, or rather one of his clerks, delivered this to my office yesterday. It appears to be some form of list of instructions, in Elvish."You take it gingerly, less for any danger inherent in the piece of paper within the envelope, and more for the odd look Clarissa gives you. "Thank you, Captain.""Why would he pass this on to you?" Clarissa asks. "Simply for my curiosity, you understand. You do not have to answer if you do not wish to."> "It's actually for Elise, but she's been fast asleep for all of yesterday. Speaking of which, she should be waking up any time now."> "It's a bit complicated to explain. By the way, have you had a look at the cube any time recently?"> "I will explain it over breakfast, Captain. After I wash up and prepare for the day."> "I would not know where to begin. Please excuse me, Captain; there are a lot of things I need to take care of today."
This thread may be ended suddenly and with very little warning. My mother is not feeling well, and I may have to drop everything to send her to the hospital on a moment's notice.Currently it's nothing serious, but I have to be prepared anyway.So if this thread ends very early and very suddenly, apologies in advance. I'll definitely put up a post to say so out of courtesy, if it happens.
>>37238377> "I will explain it over breakfast, Captain. After I wash up and prepare for the day."
>>37238377>> "I will explain it over breakfast, Captain. After I wash up and prepare for the day.">>37238418no worries damp
>>37238418All good boss, take care of your mother before worrying about us, she's more important by far.
>>37238418look to your family first, damp. no one will blame you if you have to drop and run.
>>37238377>"I will explain it over breakfast, Captain. After I wash up and prepare for the day."
Forgot to mention that this thread will be very, very slow, since I have to check on my mother now and again.Maybe you will feel better after getting out of your scratchy uniform and taking a shower. You wistfully recall the hot bath on the first night of your knight-apprenticeship, but you probably don't have time for that. "I will explain it over breakfast, Captain. But after I wash up."Clarissa accepts this with a nod. "I shall await you in the kitchen."In the showers, you experiment with both steaming hot and freezing cold water, and decide that while the cold water is more effective at rousing you from your lethargy, you feel that you deserve the momentary pleasure of a hot shower more, if you want to face the rest of the day with any energy. Back in your room, you haphazardly fold your uniform before placing it in the laundry basket to be cleaned. You put on a fresh set, which does make you feel quite a bit better.After a brief moment's consideration, you pull out the city guard raincoat from under your bed, and drape it over the top of your wardrobe to air. You will probably be using this again soon enough, along with your sword, which you leave leaning against your desk.Clarissa has gotten a head start on breakfast, but appears to be taking her time about it while waiting for you. You take your own small portion of hard bread and something strangely sticky with a faintly pungent smell.Clarissa eyes your plate as you sit at the table. "I should warn you that it's an acquired taste," she says. "Spread it very thinly."The advice is well-deserved; you almost gag at the sheer salty concentration of the dark brown paste. You steel your resolve, and chew bravely through the rest of your breakfast.>[1/2]
"Now that you have experienced one of the regional delicacies of Wellsbet and Whiteford," Clarissa says, "I believe you had a story to tell?"Oh, right. You're not supposed to know enough Elvish to be able to understand the list of instructions.> "Elise needed to sleep, so Anders took over for her. He said the instructions were for her."> "Anders overloaded the cube with magic. It'll discharge, probably harmlessly, if the nightmare spellcaster tries to use it. The instructions just explain that."> "The cube is now full of magical energy. The instructions are for Elise to try doing something with that. I'm supposed to decide whether to give it to her."> "It's long, complicated, and I'm not sure I understand it myself. Anders should be able to explain it better."> "What is this spread made of? It's very... strong."
>>37238944> "The cube is now full of magical energy. The instructions are for Elise to try doing something with that. I'm supposed to decide whether to give it to her."
> "The cube is now full of magical energy. The instructions are for Elise to try doing something with that. I'm supposed to decide whether to give it to her."lay it out for the captain, hope she doesn't start bugging Anders
>>37238944> "The cube is now full of magical energy. The instructions are for Elise to try doing something with that. I'm supposed to decide whether to give it to her."We still want to convince her to have the discharge stun or mark, but not kill, right?
>>37238936Was that Vegemite?>>37238944> "The cube is now full of magical energy. The instructions are for Elise to try doing something with that. I'm supposed to decide whether to give it to her."> "What is this spread made of? It's very... strong."
>>37239046>We still want to convince her to have the discharge stun or mark, but not kill, right?Yes.
>>37239046>We still want to convince her to have the discharge stun or mark, but not kill, right?That's the plan for if she does want to modify the release spell.
>>37238944> "The cube is now full of magical energy. The instructions are for Elise to try doing something with that. I'm supposed to decide whether to give it to her."> "What is this spread made of? It's very... strong."
After turning the issue around in your mind for a few rotations, you can't think of any way to broach the subject apart from being direct."It's something Anders did to the cube," you say. "It's now full of magical energy."And there it is. That brief instant, not quite a twitch, as Clarissa locks down her expression and reactions."He said the energy should discharge harmlessly if anything happens to the cube," you say. "Apart from anyone standing near it, anyway. But, uh, the instructions are supposed to be for Elise, in case she wants to try doing something with that."Clarissa resumes her breakfast. "I presume there is a reason Anders gave the instructions to you, instead of Elise.""Yes. Um." You push around the last bit of bread on your plate. Acquired taste it may be, but you're not sure you ever want to try anything like that again long enough to acquire said taste. "There's a lot of ways to use that energy. Like marking anyone who tries to use the cube, or doing something, uh, more drastic." You still don't know if the talk of exploding heads is a mere vivid description, or if it is depressingly literal. "I'm supposed to decide whether I should give Elise the instructions to do any of that."Clarissa gives you a long, measuring look. "Have you made that decision?">[1/2]
You shift uncomfortably in your seat. "I'd need to speak to Elise about it first, Captain.""You do know that if you tell Elise about these instructions from Anders, she will want to use them. It's her tinkerer's habit." Clarissa sighs. "And if you do not, she will try some other method of doing what she wants to do, successful or otherwise. To be quite frank with you, Nicole, I do not know which option would be better.""What would you have decided on, Captain?" you ask, curious."What I want is irrelevant, Nicole. The only consideration is choosing the correct path."You probably won't be able to alter Clarissa's personality enough in a single conversation to make her see the issues with that statement, especially in your sleep-deprived state.> "Maybe it's better if Elise doesn't know about this."> "I'll talk to Elise after this. I have to let her know about the possibilities, at least."> "I'll try to convince Elise to use a less drastic measure."> "I'll try to convince Elise to use a less drastic measure. But I could use some help, Captain."> "I still think it would be better if you made the decision, Captain."
>>37239332>> "I'll try to convince Elise to use a less drastic measure. But I could use some help, Captain."
>>37239332>> "I'll try to convince Elise to use a less drastic measure."
>>37239332> "I'll try to convince Elise to use a less drastic measure. But I could use some help, Captain."
>>37239332>Just, just come with me, Captain. You know Elise better, after all.
As far as you can remember, the current plan is to have Elise use the energy inside the conduit cube for less lethal purposes, possibly by marking the hostile spellcaster in some indelible manner. You don't know enough about magic to think of the potential issues and drawbacks of such a method, much less some way to mitigate them, but it's a start.Unfortunately, you probably won't be able to persuade Elise to be less bloodthirsty in her revenge even on your best day."I'll try to convince Elise to use a less drastic measure," you say doubtfully. "But, uh, I could use some help, Captain."It takes unusually long for Clarissa to understand what you mean, but realization eventually dawns. "Ah. I see. I do not know how much assistance I can provide, but I can certainly spare the time for this."Interesting choice of words. Clarissa does not seem reluctant to speak to Elise as such, but she clearly does not think her presence will make much difference.Still, even if Clarissa remains stoically silent the entire time, Elise will probably need some sort of comforting familiarity when she wakes up. Having Clarissa to cling to should do the trick.The two of you return your plates to the cleaning-up area. "William will be accompanying the Duke to a meeting of guilds in the city," Clarissa says, evidently feeling the need to make pleasant conversation. "They will probably be out most of the day, but William should be back for his lesson this afternoon.">[1/2]
Today's classes are Math, which you do not need to attend, and Dance, which you certainly do not wish to attend. "What will Victor be doing in the meantime?""Making do the best he can in this miserable weather," Clarissa says. "The poor boy obviously wants to go out into the city, but not in this downpour."You ponder the radical idea of asking Clarissa to let Victor sit in while she works in her office. Victor would probably be too embarrassed to do anything productive, and Clarissa would not see the point."What about yourself, Nicole?" Clarissa asks. "What are your plans for today? Seeing as outdoor training is cancelled."> "I need to go to the Watch House to collect the evidence. Maybe I'll stay there and help."> "The evidence from the Watch House is for Elise to analyze, so I'll probably be in the wizard's tower."> "I could help you with your work, Captain."> "I might stay in the library to study."> "Maybe Victor could use a friend to talk to."> "Something will come up, Captain. Something always will."
AFK an hour or so for dinner.
>>37239670> "I need to go to the Watch House to collect the evidence. Maybe I'll stay there and help."
>>37239670>"I might stay in the library to study."but...> "Something will come up, Captain. Something always does."
>>37239670> "The evidence from the Watch House is for Elise to analyze, so I'll probably be in the wizard's tower."
>>37239670> "Maybe Victor could use a friend to talk to."
>>37239670>> "The evidence from the Watch House is for Elise to analyze, so I'll probably be in the wizard's tower."> "Something will come up, Captain. Something always will."
>>37239670>> "I need to go to the Watch House to collect the evidence. Maybe I'll stay there and help."
>>37239670>> "I need to go to the Watch House to collect the evidence. Maybe I'll stay there and help."And ask Marianne who Escavila the golden is, because Marianne is the one who helped her have a new life. I bet she's Cavie, David's aide (and a bit more) at Grunmarl
>>37240005Nah, she's Lily.
If you're going to go out into the rain anyway, you may as well make the most of it."I need to go to the Watch House to collect the evidence," you say. "Maybe I'll stay there and help." And check how Marianne is doing; she must have gotten even less sleep than you, with all that paperwork to handle in your stead."I see." Clarissa is silent for several moments. "Please try not to catch a cold. The seasons are turning, and it would not do for you to fall ill."One day Clarissa will learn how to converse in a friendly manner with her subordinates. Even so, you can appreciate her efforts.The trip to the wizard's tower is as uneventful as always. You let Clarissa lead the way, largely because you still can't help but feel apprehensive around the burned-out wards, despite every sense of reason reaffirming that there is no way they can react to your presence anymore.Upon entering the wizard's workshop, you do see an elf, but not the one you expected."Oh!" Lily freezes for a moment in surprise, but recovers enough to bob a curtsy. "Good morning, Knight Captain. And, um, Nicole." From the feather duster in her hand, and the broom and dustpan standing nearby, Lily was in the middle of cleaning up the workshop, as per her duties.Clarissa frowns slightly as she searches her memory. "Lily, wasn't it? Good morning." She attempts to transform her frown into something less intimidating, but eventually settles for her default stern aloofness.Lily squeaks in alarm, almost dropping her duster. "I-I was just finishing up here, ma'am. If it's all right with you." She shuffles over to the broom and dustpan. "I, um, I'll just be going now, if you please..."You can see Clarissa twitch ever so slightly. "Have you seen Elise anywhere?">[1/2]
"Uh, the Magus is in her bed," Lily says, waving her feather duster vaguely towards the rear of the workshop. "I needed to sweep the place where, um. Er."Clarissa vents a fraction of a sigh, and waves a hand. "You may go, Lily. Good work."Lily gathers up her cleaning implements."Oh," Clarissa says, as though reminded by a stray thought, "see me in my office at your earliest convenience."Lily blinks, opens her mouth to question why, and then quickly thinks better of it. She keeps her head down as she darts out of the workshop with impressive speed. As she passes you, she gives you a brief, apologetic, distracted smile.Clarissa stands silently for a moment, before shaking her head ruefully, and making her way towards the aforementioned bed. It may be your imagination, but you do think the workshop is marginally tidier than before.Elise's bed is disappointingly normal. Several piles of books and assorted magical devices are stacked neatly on the floor beside it; Lily had clearly intended to find a more proper place to store them before being interrupted by your arrival. In their place on the bed, Elise is still sleeping.Maybe Anders mistook the dosage of his spell.> Wake Elise up> Let Clarissa wake Elise> Let Elise continue sleeping
>>37240174> Wake Elise up
>>37240174>> Wake Elise up
>>37240174> Let Clarissa wake EliseSeems like our Capitan would be better able to wake her up, has probably dealt with her a lot.
>>37240174> Let Clarissa wake Elise
What is this "cold" thing that humans speak of? Maybe we should pretend to have one to integrate better?
>>37240174>Let Clarissa wake EliseI feel like this will just cause Elise to think she's dreaming.
>>37240174> Let Clarissa wake EliseWe did woke up Elise before, now it is captain's turn.
You have to quash down a surge of envy at Elise's sleeping form. She looks very comfortable there.You step to the side, letting Clarissa handle this situation. You're getting a little tired of having to wake Elise, which has happened surprisingly often in the past few weeks. Besides, Clarissa looks like she has done this duty many times before, from her faintly resigned expression."Elise? Please wake up." Clarissa leans over Elise, shaking her shoulder.Elise's eyes flicker open. "Dear Captain?" she mumbles."Good morning Elise," Clarissa says crisply. "I-""My dear Captain!"Clarissa grunts in surprise as Elise launches herself out of her bed to tackle Clarissa in a hug. Fortunately you manage to intercept Clarissa's stumble backwards, preventing her from falling."Wake up, Elise!" Clarissa snaps, trying to pry Elise off her. "Stop this at once! Elise! Wake up, I say!"Through such strenuous efforts and a few light raps to the head, Elise eventually relinquishes her claim on Clarissa. She stares blearily at you, attempting to focus. "My dear Captain. And... Nicole?"You clear your throat. "Good morning, Elise."Elise slowly turns back to look at Clarissa. "I'm not dreaming any more, am I.""No," Clarissa says, with surprising tolerance. "No, you are not.">[1/2]
Elise oozes bonelessly onto the floor. "And it was such a good dream too," she complains. "Why am I in bed? Wait, I'm not in bed anymore. But I was." She frowns deeply. "Anders. I should have known. Damn Esterian."Clarissa holds out a hand to help Elise stand, while you locate Elise's glasses on a nearby pile of books. "From all reports, you needed the rest, Elise.""Maybe I did." Elise takes her glasses from you, and puts them on. "There were flowers, too," she adds cryptically. "And an excellent dinner. Wine. The mood was perfect."You should get the conversation back to reality. "How are you feeling, Elise?""I feel great!" Elise says, stretching out the kinks from her lengthy rest. "Never better!"From Clarissa's look of faint concern, even she can detect the forced cheer in Elise's voice.Elise looks at Clarissa brightly. "So what are you here for, dear Captain?"Clarissa glances at you meaningfully.> "It's about the cube. It's full of magic. Here are the instructions on how to utilize that."> "Anders has a list of instructions for handling the cube now, but I insist on certain conditions before you can use them."> "We were worried about you, and came to check on you."
>>37240508>> "Anders has a list of instructions for handling the cube now, but I insist on certain conditions before you can use them."
>>37240508> "Anders has a list of instructions for handling the cube now, but I insist on certain conditions before you can use them."> "We were worried about you, and came to check on you."
>>37240508> "We were worried about you, and came to check on you."> "Anders has a list of instructions for handling the cube now, but I insist on certain conditions before you can use them."
>>37240508>"It's about the cube. It's full of magic. I have the instructions on how to utilize that."
So what if the exhaustion was keeping the mental alterations at bay but now that she's finally had a good nights rest the modifications have taken effect?
>>37240504I wonder how Guard Captain Quest reacted to that hug.
>>37240827Goddammit Elise you're ruining our chances with Nicole! She won't take this well. Now she thinks we're sleeping around.
>>37240508>"We were worried about you, and came to check on you."A bit late to the party
"We were worried about you," you say. "We wanted to check up on you."Elise waves a hand airily. "Like I said, I'm fine. I need to have words with Anders about sleep spells and their appropriate uses, but you're right. I did need the rest. I'm thinking so much more clearly now."Or so she claims. You can still hear a faint strain in her voice, like she's trying not to say something she would rather remain a secret. You wonder if this secret is to be kept from Clarissa or yourself."But that's enough about me," Elise says quickly. "That can't be the only reason you're here."Clearly she does not wish to talk about it now, and you don't think you can or should force it out of her. "Anders did something to the cube," you report, changing the subject. "Charged it with a lot of magic. It's glowing right now, and he said not to meddle with it from now on.""What-" Elise begins hotly, but forcibly clamps down on her outrage. Instead, she snakes an arm around Clarissa's waist and draws her in, like a comforting pillow. Clarissa rolls her eyes, but remains silent."The energy will dissipate into the skies if the cube is set off," you continue. The resultant discharge will render the cube nothing more than an intriguingly-shaped hunk of rock, to the mild dismay of Alvar's resident expert on history David Barlin, but it would also cease to be any threat vector. "Anders says it will be harmless, unless anyone stands too close, so everyone's avoiding the cube." Everyone apart from Elise and Anders had avoided the cube anyway, out of healthy respect for the spooky."Is that true?" Clarissa asks. "If the cube is so unstable, I would recommend further precautions be taken to prevent injury.""Anders is very good," Elise says grudgingly. "If he says it will be safe, it probably will be. He shouldn't have done that without telling me, though. Now how am I supposed to track the spells back to their source?">[1/2]
You pick your words delicately. "That is part of the reason we are here, Elise."Elise releases Clarissa, who takes a small step away to restore her personal space, but remains by Elise's side. "I'm not going to like this, am I," she states.You take out the envelope. "Anders gave me a list of instructions for handling the excess energy from the cube. It's meant for you, so you can alter the, uh." How had Anders put it? "The release clause of the spell."Elise perks up. "Oh. That's fine, then. And with that much power, the effects should be much more spectacular."You are not sure if Elise is still considering the possibility that she may have been compromised into casting the nightmare spell, and what that would mean for the counterspell Elise is planning."What if we would rather not have anything so dramatic, Elise?" Clarissa says quietly.Elise looks as though she is about to protest, but deflates. "You're right, of course, dear Captain," she says. "This is something that affects you far more than anyone else, on both sides of the execution of justice."Clarissa manages not to wince."I'm not sure what else you expect me to do, however," Elise says.> "Make the spellcaster glow bright green. Big and obvious and unmistakeable."> "Maybe place an invisible mark on them in some way? But visible by some sort of spell or device."> "Knock them unconscious, but non-lethally. Keep them asleep until we decide to wake them up."> "Nothing. It's too dangerous, Elise."> "It's up to you. As long as no permanent or lasting harm is done."> "Elise, with this much more energy, what would happen if the target is... not who we believe them to be?"
>>37241009> "Elise, with this much more energy, what would happen if the target is... not who we believe them to be?"
>>37241009> "Make the spellcaster glow bright green. Big and obvious and unmistakeable."> "Elise, with this much more energy, what would happen if the target is... not who we believe them to be?"
>>37241009> "Maybe place an invisible mark on them in some way? But visible by some sort of spell or device."> "Elise, with this much more energy, what would happen if the target is... not who we believe them to be?"
>>37241009> "Elise, with this much more energy, what would happen if the target is... not who we believe them to be?"> "Maybe place an invisible mark on them in some way? But visible by some sort of spell or device."
>>37241009>> "Maybe place an invisible mark on them in some way? But visible by some sort of spell or device.">> "Knock them unconscious, but non-lethally. Keep them asleep until we decide to wake them up."And make the mark a joint project between Anders and Elise.that way, it's safe even if it's Elise
>>37241009>> "Maybe place an invisible mark on them in some way? But visible by some sort of spell or device."> "Elise, with this much more energy, what would happen if the target is... not who we believe them to be?"
>>37241009> "Elise, with this much more energy, what would happen if the target is... not who we believe them to be?"> "Make the spellcaster glow bright green. Big and obvious and unmistakeable."
>>37241009Explode their head.No regrets.Fullpower.
>>37241279Go away troll.
>>37241305Go away no fun autismo.
>>37241308Exploding heads is fun. It stops being fun when it's our friend who has their head explode.
>>37241393What is life without a little bit of risk.Besides IMO that idea is so far fetched it reeks of paranoia.
>>37241444>it reeks of paranoia.Hi there, you must be new around here, allow me to give you the guided tour, on your left you will see shadowruns, on your right you'll als osee shadowruns, and if you look to your front, coming into view now are shadowruns.
>>37241444This is almost shadowrun central here. Paranoia is a way of life.
>>37241444Except it was mentioned Elise herself which loans it definitely credibility. Now I don't know how Damp runs game, I don't know his MO, but it might actually BE Elise and what do we do when her head explodes?Nothing wrong with play it safe - and also keeping the spellcaster alive is good for later questioning. Geeze,do you even squire?
>>37241538>Geeze,do you even squire?KNIGHT-APPRENTICE
"Maybe you could place an invisible mark on them in some way," you suggest. "Only visible through some spell or device."Elise ponders this. "It should be possible. With some tweaking, the target would not even know that they have been marked. But why would you want to do that?""So we can identify them," Clarissa says patiently, as though explaining things to a child."And then what?" Elise challenges.Clarissa purses her lips. "Then we will see what we can do. I do not know what else may come, since it rather depends on whom this unknown spellcaster turns out to be.""Does it? They've hurt you, dear Captain," Elise says dangerously. "They deserve everything that's coming to them. Justice should be done, and I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen if we meekly follow the slow, unreliable course of politics and compromise."You vet your words with care. "Elise, with this much more energy, what would happen if the target is, um." If the target turns out to be Elise herself. With the previous plan, the tracking counterspell would simply have fizzled, as designed. Elise had assured you that she had no intention to commit inadvertant suicide, but that was before this new complication had developed. "If the target is not who we believe them to be."Elise's expression goes blank. You can see her lips moving slightly, as she frantically calculates magical formulae in her head."Ah," she finally says. "Um."Not a promising set of syllables.Clarissa runs a hand through her hair absently. "It is difficult to articulate," she says. "But recent events have taught me the value of second thoughts. Of second chances. I am no longer as keen to slay my enemies to teach them a lesson.">[1/2]
Elise looks exasperatedly at Clarissa. "So you are advocating mercy, dear Captain?""I am indeed, Elise. And not just for their sakes."Despite the calm way Clarissa says this, Elise rocks back on her heels, as though the aborted slap from a few nights past had suddenly connected."Just make them identifiable, Elise," Clarissa concludes. "We will see what the future may hold." She turns to you. "I am heading to my office, Nicole. Will you be long?"You blink at the sudden change in mood. "Uh, I need to speak to Elise for a while longer, Captain. For, ah, other business."Clarissa nods. "Then I will see you later."Elise remains silent, possibly stunned. You try to break the awkward silence.> "How did you meet the Captain, out of interest?"> "How long will it take you to set up the invisible mark and its detector?"> "Elise, I will be sending you a piece of evidence later. It's a gold ring, that may be like one of those usable as a familiar focus. Could you help analyze it?"
>>37241596> "How did you meet the Captain, out of interest?"> "How long will it take you to set up the invisible mark and its detector?"> "Elise, I will be sending you a piece of evidence later. It's a gold ring, that may be like one of those usable as a familiar focus. Could you help analyze it?"
>>37241596> "How long will it take you to set up the invisible mark and its detector?"> "Elise, I will be sending you a piece of evidence later. It's a gold ring, that may be like one of those usable as a familiar focus. Could you help analyze it?"> "How did you meet the Captain, out of interest?"
>>37241596>> "How did you meet the Captain, out of interest?">> "How long will it take you to set up the invisible mark and its detector?">> "Elise, I will be sending you a piece of evidence later. It's a gold ring, that may be like one of those usable as a familiar focus. Could you help analyze it?"
>>37241596>"How did you meet the Captain, out of interest?">"Elise, I will be sending you a piece of evidence later. It's a gold ring, that may be like one of those usable as a familiar focus. Could you help analyze it?"
>>37241596>> "How did you meet the Captain, out of interest?"Let's use this opportunity to know a bit more about Rissa
>>37241826She likes paperwork.
Any topic of conversation will do. "How did you meet the Captain?" you ask desperately. "Uh, out of interest.""Hm? It's a pretty funny story," Elise says, returning back to the present. "It started with, uh. No, wait, there was that time before..." She shakes her head. "All right, it's a funny, but long story."You wait patiently for further details, but Elise just potters around her workshop, flipping switches and pulling levers camouflaged within the general clutter of the place."Maybe you could start at the beginning?" you prompt."See, that's still a problem." Elise absently picks up a stack of books, looks around for some place to put them, fails to find one, and puts the books back down where they were. "There's the time Clarissa first came to Alvar, as a brand new knight-apprentice. Or before that, when she visited the palace while on holiday. Or even before that." She pauses in her orbit around the workshop, staring into days long past. "It was after the expedition, with the Lord General of Ridelham. We were... well, it was the first and last time we were invited. I don't even know if she remembers."You can't really determine an elf's age from their appearance. Elves generally believe that living into their second century is their Weaver-given right, but they mature into adulthood only slightly slower than humans do. Elise looks fairly young, perhaps even younger than Clarissa, but that does not mean very much."I've liked her since the very first time I saw her, though," Elise adds. "And it's only grown since then.">[1/3]
A very faint rumbling is just barely audible, somewhere in the workshop. It takes a while for you to identify it as the thrumming of a large steel drum under some pressure. Elise pays it no mind, though, so you force yourself to relax, and take a note of the best path through the debris around the workshop to make an escape. "How long will it take you to set up the invisible mark?" you ask, to take your mind off your apprehensions. "Or its detector?""The mark should be simple enough," Elise says, still focused on pulling levers and pumping small valves scattered at random throughout the workshop. You can't be certain, but it looks worryingly like she is making some sort of field repairs to a vast, unimaginable machine. "Maybe a day to write out the spell, another day to test it in laboratory conditions, half a day to double-check everything, and it should be good to go. The detector, now, that's a challenge. Pierre may be a bit antsy about some of the purchase requests I'm going to be sending him.""Why is it going to be a challenge?" you ask."It should be usable by people with little to no ability in magic, viz yourself," Elise explains. "It should be compact enough to be portable, to travel to Whiteford. It should be unobtrusive enough that you should be able to use it without getting too many odd looks." She stops, and takes a deep, steadying breath. "And it should be unbiased enough to detect any marks that may appear on me."You don't know how you should respond to this, save for a tactful silence.Elise shakes her head. "I estimate that it should be ready just in time for the trip to Whiteford, if I am uninterrupted by other work."Which may prove to be a problem. "Actually, Elise, there was something else I was hoping you could do.""Hm?">[2/3]
The rumbling is growing louder, and changing. Now it sounds like something gurgling through distant pipes. "I was hoping you could have a look at a piece of evidence in an ongoing City Watch investigation.""Don't the thief-takers have their own specialists?" Elise asks, giving a section of exposed brass panelling a hefty thump with the heel of her hand."This is, uh." You try to put words to your vague suspicions. "The piece of evidence is a small gold ring. Like the ones you said could be the focus of a shadow familiar."Elise turns to face you, incredulous. "Where would you get such a thing? Those are amazingly valuable. Their owners would kill to get them out of non-elf hands."And kill they may already have. "It's really just a hunch for now. It may be a normal gold ring for all I know."Elise returns to her alleged repairs. "Well, it depends on how urgent it is," she says, rummaging through a tall cupboard. "Like I said, if you want the detector to be ready by the time you go to Whiteford, that possible focus will have to wait."> "The ring is really important. Maybe you could try making a cruder detector?"> "I suppose it couldn't hurt to wait. I'd need a safe place to store the ring, though."
>>37242265> "The ring is really important. Maybe you could try making a cruder detector?"
>>37242265> "Which do you think is more important, will the ring be a time sensitive issue?"I'm leaning towards the detector, as that helps us catch whoever was using the cube, while the ring, if true, which it might not be, would lead us towards whoever was using that shadow thing to spy.
>>37238936Wait, Vegemite on toast?
>>37242265> "I suppose it couldn't hurt to wait. I'd need a safe place to store the ring, though."Unless any sort of residual magic in the ring might disappear or something?
>>37242265>> "I suppose it couldn't hurt to wait. I'd need a safe place to store the ring, though."
>>37242265> "I suppose it couldn't hurt to wait. I'd need a safe place to store the ring, though."Could we get Anders to look at the ring?
>>37242265>"The ring is really important. Maybe you could try making a cruder detector?">"Perhaps rather than making a detector for a subtle marking you change the spell to make the person obvious, like glowing green or something?"Guys, ring is too important to let slip now but we can't half-ass a detector. Best just to make the marking obvious to mundane eyes
>>37242385You have good taste, which reminds me I need to get another small jar of it soon, getting low.But god help anyone who heaps it on like any other spread, that will burn like napalm
>>37242388I'm against the whole 'make them green' thing because its probably permanent
>>37242411Nah, not with enough effort. There's no way it wouldn't be undoable in a world that allows all this fine tuning manipulation of existing spells over and over
>>37242265>> "I suppose it couldn't hurt to wait. I'd need a safe place to store the ring, though."yeah it can wait, but i feel that we should leave the ring at the guard house if we can.
>>37242265>"Would you have enough time if you had help?"
>>37242265>>37242435This.We should ask these questions and get this information before deciding.
>>37242388If they trigger it and start glowing they'll probably stay out of public view until they've managed to nullify the effect.
>>37242265>>37242382Changing to this >>37242435
>>37242454Main concern is finding it's not Elise. After that we can't necessarily track them with more cube spell stuff but at least Elise and us can stop doubting her integrity, she can get some much needed sleep and odds are the culprit will show their face through some new manner of attack and we can go from there.If they don't, well, revenge aside we have essentially solved the problem.
>>37242435This, I guess,
You'd really like to have some sort of detector for use in Whiteford, if only to solve the problem of Clarissa and her apparently dysfunctional family relationships. And yet, you'd also like to find out the mystery behind this ring as soon as you can."What happens if you rush the work on the detector?" you ask. "Could it still find the invisible mark?""Only if I make the mark more easily seen by other means," Elise says. "Which makes it more easily detected by the target. Which lets them clean it off. Which defeats the entire purpose." She shrugs. "We only have one shot at this, given Anders's overloading of the cube. Remember, this invisible mark is your idea," she adds. "If you'd let me follow through on my original plan of burning out their minds, we wouldn't have this problem."Instead, you'd have other, entirely bigger problems. "Could you work faster if you had help?" you ask.Elise considers this. "It depends on who my help is. And before you say anything, I am not letting Anders anywhere near my equipment." She sniffs derisively. "Besides, this is a pretty big project. If you think you can convince Anders to give up most of his time every day to help me out, feel free to try. In fact, if you think you can convince Pierre to let Anders neglect his work every day for a week, definitely feel free to try. I'd like to watch."Something about any mention of Anders seems to send Elise into a snit. Based on all the infuriatingly vague hints and sidelong remarks in the past few days, you suspect this is yet another example of the long, complex, and deeply cultural divide between some elves and other elves, which lowly non-elves could not possibly hope to understand. Perhaps some ancient elf owed another one money. "What about Victor?""That's, uh." Elise blinks. "That's actually not a bad idea. It might speed up the process of researching the focus, since that should be safe enough. I'd need to, um. Give me a moment.">[1/2]
She clambers over to a side desk, and rummages within for a slate. She mutters under her breath as she scratches out calculations; you recognize the language as Crystal Vale Elvish. Which you are not supposed to know, so you keep your peace, and try not to worry about the increase in bubbling and gurgling noises.Finally, Elise looks up with a grin. "It works," she says. "I'd get to teach Victor about some of the specifics of magic, too, so we can use that as a supplement to his lessons on Magical Theory. Excellent suggestion, Nicole.""So how long would it take to analyze the ring?" you ask.Elise waggles a hand. "Unless we get some sort of breakthrough, probably around the time the detector is finished. So you'll get both of them at the same time." She goes back to the cupboard, where she extracts a small, squat container of indeterminate yet disquieting construction. "Of course, if it turns out that the ring is just a ring, you'd probably get a result much sooner."You're not sure whether you should be pleased that you'd be able to abandon a fruitless lead sooner, as opposed to retaining some hope that you are not completely stuck in a dead end in this investigation.Elise thrusts the container under what you now recognize as a nozzle. "Cover your ears," she advises, before pulling a large lever.Even muffled, you can still hear the shrill scream of escaping steam, which is briefly visible around the nozzle before being sucked into a vent through some unseen mechanism. This lasts for a few seconds, before just as quickly dying away.Elise holds out the container to you. "Coffee?" she offers.> "Actually, I should go. I'll deliver the ring to you by today."> "Do you have a safe place to store the ring while you're working on it?"> "Yes, please. Thank you."
>>37243089>"Yes, please. Thank you."Hyper nicole time
>>37243089>> "Yes, please. Thank you."> "Do you have a safe place to store the ring while you're working on it?"
>>37243089>"Oh god yes!"
>>37243089> "Yes, please. Thank youthen> "Do you have a safe place to store the ring while you're working on it?"then> "Actually, I should go. I'll deliver the ring to you by today."
>>37243089>> "Yes, please. Thank you."> "Do you have a safe place to store the ring while you're working on it?"time to see how a demonic dragon elf responds to caffeine.
>>37243175She gets fry at 100 cups of coffee hyper.
>>37243089> "Yes, please. Thank you."I bet Marianne would love hyper Nicole
>>37243089Going with this anon >>37243160
>>37243089>> "Yes, please. Thank you."We're becoming less serious. Curiosity is too strong.And socializing with Elise can't hurt. Be sure to compliment her.
>>37243175Demonic Dragon DILDOPlease stop with your fetishes.
Wait... what was it that Nicole ate last that got her hyper as fuck?
>>37243529Energy from a hostile spell?
>>37243529Staying up a full night
The last time you were here, Elise had claimed the coffee machine exploded. Evidently this was not so difficult to fix as you had imagined."Yes, please," you say. "Thank you.""Just take a seat anywhere," Elise says, producing two mugs from nowhere that you can see. "Pile up some books or something."You carefully settle onto one of the book piles beside Elise's bed.Elise returns with two steaming mugs of coffee. She passes one to you, as she sits on the edge of her bed. You don't really know much about the higher grades of coffee, or any of the myriad and mysterious ways it can be brewed, but this smells much better than most of the coffee you've had until now. Cautiously, you take a sip.After several minutes, Elise waves a concerned hand in front of your face. "Are you all right, Nicole?"It takes you a while to find your voice again. "I think," you say hoarsely, "that this is the best coffee I've ever had in my life." Dark and rich and deep and sombre. Every cup of coffee from now on will be deathly bitter disappointment. You will have to stick to tea.Elise waves a finger vaguely around, pointing at the infrastructure hidden deep within the workshop. "It's all in the brewing process," she says. "I'd make more of it, but as you may be aware, bits of it tend to blow up at unfortunate times."You take another sip of the coffee. You wish you could preserve the memory of this taste forever, to comfort yourself in the lean, cold times."It also takes a lot of water and heat to make," Elise adds absently. "So every time I make a pot, Pierre comes up here to yell at me for a bit. But then I give him a cup and he stops, so that's all right."Incredible how one mug of coffee can induce such mixed feelings of bliss and guilt.>[1/3]
By the time you are a third of the way through the mug, you have managed to inoculate yourself from the immediate sensual pleasure of the coffee, and can think somewhat clearly again. It is a pity that coffee, even the best coffee of your life, never really does anything to wake you up, so the exhaustion borne from insufficient sleep continues to weigh you down.You try to review your plans for the day. You will have to transport the ring from the Southgate Watch House, where it has stayed safely in the Evidence Room for a very long time, all the way to the palace. From what Elise has said, many nefarious forces may seek to retrieve the ring. And the palace is not secure against the shadow familiars, as you know from personal experience. You're not sure if they can interact with the physical environment around them to the extent of picking up even a tiny object like the gold ring."Do you have a safe place to store the ring while you're working on it?" you ask.Elise eyes you from over the steam from her coffee mug. "Are you afraid someone is going to take it?" She sips. "My old master built this strongbox for Pierre. It's pretty impregnable, and bolted to the floor. Warded quite significantly too. Pierre keeps his sensitive documents inside. I could put the ring in there. Only Pierre, Anders, Clarissa, and myself can open that box."An interesting selection of trusted figures. "And the box cannot be opened by other means?"Elise gives this some thought. "They could smash the entire third floor of the palace to disrupt the wards," she says, in all seriousness.At which point you will probably have more important things to worry about.>[2/3]
And now the coffee is gone. You feel a small, indelible pang of loss and sorrow at the ephemeral nature of life.You stand, and Elise collects the mug from you. "I'll bring it down to the kitchens myself," she says. "I need to get something to eat, anyway."Between the negotiations with Elise and the best coffee of your life, it is now just about time for lunch. So much for the early trip to the Watch House."I'll bring back the ring by the end of the day," you say."And I'll tell Victor about the new plan," Elise says. Her face clouds with a measure of doubt. "If Pierre lets Victor help me, anyway. I imagine Victor won't have any objections, but it's still up to his father." She shrugs. "If it doesn't work out, I'll let you know."A glance out the palace windows as you return to the palace building proper confirms that it is still raining, with no sign of let-up. It will be a depressingly wet journey to the Southgate Watch House.> Have lunch in the kitchens> Pick up lunch outside> Skip lunch entirely again
>>37244020So, er, a question I'd have liked to ask was "Can the ring be used as a conduit for a shadow familiar from its place inside the strongbox?" since enabling people to look at Pierre's important documents is not a good idea.Although the wards probably take care of that anyway?>Lunch in the kitchens
>>37244020> Have lunch in the kitchensFood~
>>37244020>Have lunch in the kitchensMaybe we'll meet Lily!
>>37244020> Have lunch in the kitchensIf we can't sleep we need food.
>>37244020>> Pick up lunch outsideAsk Marianne to eat with us, she's fun. We should probably buy her lunch as thanks for staying up all night too
Apologies for the early end to the thread, but I think I should try to be Responsible for now, and get some proper sleep just in case.If anyone's wondering, my mother is fine now. I'd just like to be prepared, and not have to do anything emergency-related on Nicole's similar lack of sleep.Next few days are probably going to be just keeping watch, so the next thread will probably be sometime next week.Thanks for joining me on the quest.
>>37244092Thanks for running. Hope your mom stays well.
>>37244092Thanks for running Damp, get some rest.
>>37244020>>37244069Sounds good to me.
>>37244092Night night big bro!
>>37244092Take care Damp.
>>37244092> Have lunch in the kitchensHey damp, you probably have a lot of archive readers. Uni started again and I work in a lab, your quest starts literally when I'm in bed on my phone. Not making any suggestions for a time change, it's your quest, just letting you know.
>>37240174So Clarissa acts like she doesn't know/remember Lily, which woud make me think she isn't Golden, and then asks her to come to her office afterword, which makes me think she is Golden after all and the greeting was faked. And depending on who Golden is, the message>"The rabbit hole is not as deep as she believes."Has a different meaning. In fact it could even be a message for us, saying we are looking too deeply into mindcontrol theory.>>37240585Except it wasn't really a good nights rest, just comparatively good.>Victor helpingThis is a good idea.
I dont know if anyone caught this, but i have this terribly scratchy hunch we might want to mention Escavila the golden around Lily.
>>37248854It would be interesting to see her reaction. Just complain about the situation to her.
>>37243995>>37244092woah, that must be some damn good coffee. Do the elves have fantasy french presses or something?
I wonder if im the only one who ships clarissa and elise
>>37252172You're not alone. Sometimes I throw Nicole in and make a OTT.
>>37252172Nicole and the Captain are the only choice.
>>37252172>>37254572I ship them all together.
>>37254572I dunno.I'm personally leaning towards william. meow.
>>37254653Nah, Katherine an him make a good pair. I see Nicole being a friendly joker with William though.
>>37254653That is the exact opposite of being a good wingman for the librarian.
>>37247652>>37248854This isn't the first time that Captain and Lily met in front of us, and Captain did the '...Lily right?' Act then too. With the visiting dwarves.