Previously, you made it through the edge of the desert and the mountain pass both before deciding to take the ocean crossing.Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Snakecatcher%20QuestTwitter: https://twitter.com/OuroQMParty: http://pastebin.com/hcK81hKLInventory: http://pastebin.com/kpSHTiZiPastebin Directory: http://pastebin.com/yYATEBvyThing where you ask questions: http://ask.fm/OuroQM
>>41288857The boat rocks beneath you, fashioned from the same black wood that Tash’s ship had been. It has been a day since you and your companions arrived at Pratesh, a dock town on the far western side of the Ulun inland sea. It was a rather uncomplicated matter to locate a boat to carry you across to your destination though it did require the expenditure of all the money you had earned in Lombai to do so. Nobody had been waiting for you and it all had gone simply. It seemed like that despite the hardships you faced in the Kour and the mountain passes, it might have been the right decision than just attempting the more predictable Talwi route. And when it had come to boats you had been spoiled for choice, the passage from Pratesh to Qesh a popular one. Which one did you choose?> A large passenger ship which allowed you private cabins and a high level of comfort. Downside: Having to deal with a large amount of passengers and crew while keeping your disguise.> A cargo ship willing to take on passengers while they proceed upon their route. Downside: Is bound for only the largest cities along the coast and will not stop anywhere more low-key. > A funeral ship transporting mostly corpses and their attendants to specific spots for water burial along the Ulun and up several rivers. Downside: As living passengers, you sort of stand out. > A small private ship hired for just you and will take you wherever you wish to go. Downside: Almost impossible to keep your true natures secret from the small crew.> A glorified skiff that you have bought and sold, with nobody else on board. Downside: Somewhat dangerous for boating since your best sailor is Oster.
>>41288870>> A small private ship hired for just you and will take you wherever you wish to go. Downside: Almost impossible to keep your true natures secret from the small crew.
>>41288870> A large passenger ship which allowed you private cabins and a high level of comfort. Downside: Having to deal with a large amount of passengers and crew while keeping your disguise.
>>41288870Man, all these options... You're up to something.Do the private ship crew look friendly/respectful of snakes/not shady?
>>41288997Nobody involved looks shady. If they did you wouldn't consider them an option since there are a lot of ships to go around.
>>41289041Then> A small private ship hired for just you and will take you wherever you wish to go. Downside: Almost impossible to keep your true natures secret from the small crew.For versatility
>>41288870im torn between meeting new people on > A large passenger ship which allowed you private cabins and a high level of comfort. Downside: Having to deal with a large amount of passengers and crew while keeping your disguise.and the beautiful freedom of > A glorified skiff that you have bought and sold, with nobody else on board. Downside: Somewhat dangerous for boating since your best sailor is Oster.I will support the latter though
>> A large passenger ship which allowed you private cabins and a high level of comfort. Downside: Having to deal with a large amount of passengers and crew while keeping your disguise.
Rolled 6 (1d6)Alright, looks like a tie between private and passenger. Evens the former, odds the latter.
> A small private ship hired for just you and will take you wherever you wish to go. Downside: Almost impossible to keep your true natures secret from the small crew.After much deliberation, you and Hiss decided that it was better to take a small ship with an even smaller crew to wherever you wished to go. The resulting ship is small indeed, with only two rooms beyond the deck. A common sleeping room that also serves as a storage room and a private room that is normally occupied by the captain but at the price you're paying, has been graciously set aside for Hiss and if her mood is willing, yourself. The captain in question has asked to be referred to only as Abhid and his crew number only three men, all of which he claims to be his cousins. You're not so sure about that and you have your suspicions about the legality of what Abhid uses this boat for when he's not transporting people. Which is fine because you know that Abhid has more than enough suspicions about you in return. Two men and two women, coming in from the desert with at least one of those women being obviously highborn and the larger of the two men refusing to speak a word? Definitely something strange about that. But considering the amount that Hiss has paid him he has no right to question.And as you said, it's been a day since you set out. How have you been spending your time?> With Hiss, mainly making sure she doesn't reveal something she shouldn't.> Experimenting in Hiss' room, away from prying eyes.> With Abhid and his crew, learning what you can.> With Aashenpreet, trying to divine the nature of the wish-bond and experiment with it.> With Oster, touching up your swordsmanship.> Reading.> Other
>>41289606Did we read the shapeshifting recipe enough to learn it yet?
>>41289606>> With Aashenpreet, trying to divine the nature of the wish-bond and experiment with it.
>>41289606>> With Hiss, mainly making sure she doesn't reveal something she shouldn't.> Reading.
>>41289606> Reading.Shapeshifting brew
>>41289606> With Aashenpreet, trying to divine the nature of the wish-bond and experiment with it.> Also learning whatever she can tell us about the invisible courts
>>41289644You could make a stab at it.
>>41289606>With Oster, touching up your swordsmanship.
>>41289606With rock, trying to modify soul brews to affect spirits
Rolled 3 (1d6)The Snakecatcher tying tradition is being well and truly kept alive by you lot today. Evens for Aashenpreet, Odds for Hiss.
>>41289778>>41289840Is it too late to change my vote to Aash? I want to at least do some alchemy
>>41289840The dice gods prevent us from reaching consensus so they can have an input in the quest.
>>41289867Aren't we doing alchemy with hiss?
>>41289898Maybe reading. I'm not really sure
> With Hiss, mainly making sure she doesn't reveal something she shouldn't.Why change what is quickly becoming a tradition? You have spent almost all of your time during these last few months by Hiss' side and her by yours. It just feels natural at this point. So yes, you stay with her during her initial negotiation with Abhid and go with her to her new room that she's sequestered herself away inside from the rest of the ship. It's for the best really, out of all you she's probably the one most likely to give something away to the crew.And while you're in her cabin you can let Rock out of your pack, watching the little spirit float about and do her best to avoid Hiss. And as for the princess herself, she doesn't seem to have any qualms about you doing your best to contain her as there is never any shortage of pleasurable activities to indulge the two of you.Rock watches but by this point that doesn't really bother you at this point. It's not like the spirit really understands any of it. You also spend a lot of your time brewing, not experimenting but just cooking up more inferior heal-alls for Hiss to immediately consume. And it is now, after a full day has passed and it is just you and her and also Rock in the cabin that she takes her eyepatch off.Beneath it is a fully healed human eye, a liquid brown iris quivering as the new eye becomes adjusted to the light. "Yes!," she gasps, forgetting your need for quiet speech in her elation. "It's about time! I can finally stop wearing this stupid thing.""Not really," you say. "You still need to keep it on until we reach land since the captain saw you wearing it and it would be mighty strange if you were to reveal now that your eye was fine.""I guess so," Hiss grumbles as she slides the eyepatch back on. -I do not understand what makes this thing more significant than any other item of clothing.-"It's a human thing."1/2
>>41290134> Do some reading.> Experimental brew with Hiss.> Experimental brew with Rock.> Go outside for some fresh air for once in your life.
>>41290134> Go outside for some fresh air for once in your life.
>>41290158> Do some reading.> Experimental brew with Hiss.We really need to perfect our shapeshifting brew
>>41290158> Do some reading.Shapeshifting recipe and dispel potion book
>>41290158> Do some reading.> Experimental brew with Hiss.Maybe we could make a shapeshifting brew that also disguises our soul without copying anyone.
>>41290134> Do some reading.
>>41290158> Experimental brew with Rock.
> Do some reading.> Experimental brew with Hiss.You spend some more time rechecking the shapeshifting potion recipe and then delving further into your tome of Alchemy & Anti-Magick. Not that you can read for long without getting distracted; Hiss is pretty bored. In an attempt to get her involved you decide to try some experimental brewing WITH her, as disastrous as that might sound. She's more than willing to provide the reagents and you let her prepare the ingredients, showing her the basics of how to use a mortar and pestle among other things.> Start working on replicating the shapeshifting brew.> Start working on what you know of dispel potions.> Other experiments (Specify)> Pretend to be experimenting but just do some basic brews so that there's no danger of Hiss messing it up and so she can still feel good.> Other
>>41290458> Start working on replicating the shapeshifting brew.If hiss's magic is being added into this it should probably be a snake related brew
>>41290458> Start working on replicating the shapeshifting brew.>>41290522Snake morphing potion
>>41290522Maybe, but if her evil venom mojo gets mixed up in there it shouldn't be a potion that we intend to drink
>>41290458> Start working on replicating the shapeshifting brew.
>>41290699We gonna spend the rest of the trip a newt?
> Start working on replicating the shapeshifting brew.Can you really replicate such a powerful brew? You strongly doubt that you are close to Master Yolan's level of skill and he had a whole room full of equipment to brew this in while you have a cauldron, a mortar and pestle and a knife that you got from a man that Hiss killed.But maybe Hiss can make up for some of that difference. She has more natural magic in her than any alchemist alive so her involvement should be able to give it a bit of a boost. Provided it doesn't warp the entire brew that is.Choose one:> Shapeshifter's Enemy: This potion returns all transformed creatures back to their natural shape on contact.> Cursebrew: This potion replicates the age-old curse of the Creator himself, transforming whoever drank it into a snake. Lasts a day.> Wild Morph: The closest you can currently come to replicating the shapeshifting brew, this can transform anyone into anything else like it can but the process is highly random.> Soul Guise: This potion doesn't directly affect your soul but it does wrap it up in a 'shroud' of sorts that makes it appear like that of a normal human.> Smallbrew: You can replicate Eugene's wild potions almost entirely save that it transforms the drinker into a tiny snake instead of a tiny plant.> Serpentflaw: Drinking this causes the target to lose one Snake Art for the rest of the day, chosen randomly.> Brewbrew: This potion, when applied to another alchemical potion, can alter its properties. It can change imbibed potions to contact potions and vice versa.
>>41290930> Shapeshifter's Enemy: This potion returns all transformed creatures back to their natural shape on contact.Just laughing at this> Smallbrew: You can replicate Eugene's wild potions almost entirely save that it transforms the drinker into a tiny snake instead of a tiny plant.
>>41290930> Soul Guise: This potion doesn't directly affect your soul but it does wrap it up in a 'shroud' of sorts that makes it appear like that of a normal human.
>>41290930> Brewbrew: This potion, when applied to another alchemical potion, can alter its properties. It can change imbibed potions to contact potions and vice versa.Does this mean we can't ever replicate it without getting a laboratory upgrade?
>>41290930Man, i want to vote wildmorph so bad.> Serpentflaw: Drinking this causes the target to lose one Snake Art for the rest of the day, chosen randomly.This will be the most useful in the immediate future.
>>41291013And I'm betting that glassware isn't very cheap out here.
>>41290930> Shapeshifter's Enemy: This potion returns all transformed creatures back to their natural shape on contact.
>>41291045Glassware is cheap approximately nowhere anon. A small group of Teln alchemists have actually figured out how to alchemically synthesize glass for cheap but they haven't told anyone. Coincidentally all of them make a lot of money selling expensive glassware to other alchemists
>>41290930> Soul Guise: This potion doesn't directly affect your soul but it does wrap it up in a 'shroud' of sorts that makes it appear like that of a normal human.this seems useful, assuming we can use it to disguise our bane
>>41291097What's the DC to rig up hobo alchemist equipment with duct tape and hope?
>>41291156It also gives us some soul stuff we can alter with brews since we couldn't mess with our actual baned soul
>>41291097It's them verse the wizard of Glassware right?
>>41291097>>41291168 Ingrid is one of those alchemists, which is why Cennen never runs out of spare bottles
>>41291208Nah, we're secretly a Wizard with the domain of glassware, and we subconsciously make new bottles as we sleep.We could magic some equipment into existence, if only we realized it.I wonder if rock could help us make some glassware, he can manipulate sand, right?
Alright looks like Soul Guise it is. Writing.>>41291168It's a pretty reasonable DC (I'd put it at 70) but then you have chances of it blowing up or going wrong with everything you use it for>>41291208Shush>>41291194The Glass wizard currently lives in the Xuan and mostly makes living animals out of the stuff
>>41291262Looks like we need to start making money if we want to make more powerful brews
>>41291308We could convince a powerful constrictor to become our patron
>>41291308If we made a potion that could heat up to very high temperatures, and another that made our hands impervious to heat, we might be able to kinda shape a few of our (conveniently infinite) potion bottles into a few bits of lab equipment.
>>41291385 rock's control over sand might transfer to glass so she could help shape it if we heated it
> Soul Guise: This potion doesn't directly affect your soul but it does wrap it up in a 'shroud' of sorts that makes it appear like that of a normal human.You quickly realize that producing a copy of the Shapeshifting brew is indeed impossible without some much better equipment so instead you angle for something shapeshifting related that calls upon the soul.Your altercation with Hiss and the Bloodkin is still fairly fresh in your mind and you know that your Bane is a huge problem in that regard. Well not anymore!The Soul Guise should let you shroud your soul in a layer of pseudo-soul that can be shaped to appear as you see fit. It should hide your Bane quite well for those with the Sight and in addition, should work as a 'buffer' of sorts for you with other soul-changing brews. You still can't attach a Bloodkin directly to your soul but you CAN stick it onto your Guise. The Guise can last forever, provided that you drink one Soul Guise per day. That's not a tough requirement to keep. Yes, you're quite happy with the Guise. Hiss on the other hand, is not."What a boring potion!""There's nothing wrong with it. I really needed an effect like this.""Yes but I can already do that. I want a potion I can use!"> Get back to experimenting with the other shapeshifting brews (Pick another of the previous choices)> Experiment with something else (Specify)> Mix up some reagents (Specify)> Give her the cauldron and let her try herself, with you supervising. > "I already made you that plant-killer. What's that for, anyway?"> Other
>>41291420>> Give her the cauldron and let her try herself, with you supervising.
>>41291420>Give her the cauldron and let her try herself, with you supervising.
>>41291385>>41291405But then again I'm not sure if that would be a bit 'powergamer-y' and I wouldn't like to cheese something Ouro has decided to lock off for a time.
>>41291420> Give her the cauldron and let her try herself, with you supervising. > "I already made you that plant-killer. What's that for, anyway?"
>>41291420Try making a dispel potion with hiss's help
>>41291420> Give her the cauldron and let her try herself, with you supervising.> "I already made you that plant-killer. What's that for, anyway?"
>>41291420Make a snakebreaker with snake blood, venom, and hiss's help. She would absolutely love a brew like that
>>41291498fuck.. that would probably be the most destructive and evil brew we could ever make.
>>41291521You lack imagination, anon...
>>41291420>> Get back to experimenting with the other shapeshifting brews (Pick another of the previous choices)brewbrew...broI guess we have yet to learn our lesson about putting unknown quantities of magical power at hiss' fingertips
>>41291521Especially if we use that venom we created when our snake art was powered up by the wishbond
>>41291560We still need to try a brew with all of the snake ingredients, that would definitely be interesting
>all these people ignoring the super useful brewsmaybe we'll get something good from a random brew by hiss but come on guys these are great
> Give her the cauldron and let her try herself, with you supervising. > "I already made you that plant-killer. What's that for, anyway?"You shrug."Didn't I already make you that plant killer?""Cennen, please. That was weeks ago.""What do you plan to do with that anyway?"She smirks and places a finger over her lips."You'll see one day if all goes well. Now make me a potion.""Hmph. Why don't you try then?"You pass her the cauldron and the rest of the scavenged ingredients and equipment."I'll help you by performing the ingredient and elemental substitutions and maybe offer some advice but you can handle the rest."Hiss blinks at the pot, clearly not expecting this."But I don't know how to brew anything!""Yeah and like I said I'll handle a lot of it. But you have a strong Art so there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to brew with my help."Hell, plenty of regular people brew up minor alchemical recipes all the time.The two of you spend the next hour sitting together as Hiss wrestles with the process, your hands on hers doing their best to guide her. As you feared, most of the theory you teach her doesn't stick. Learned magic is the antithesis of what Hiss does after all, to her magic is something like breathing. Natural and without any explanations save the simplest. But she gives it her best try regardless, adding whatever she pleases to the brew under your supervision while you do your best to make it a coherent brew that actually does something.In the end Hiss is left holding a bottle that scares you just a little. One that you're not sure how she even made, considering you were supervising what ingredients she was putting in. Did she spit in the cauldron when you weren't looking? She must have, this is a venom brew for sure. And yet while this is inimical to nearly all forms of life, it still works well for her if she drinks it, something that you thought impossible for a venom brew to do.1/2
>>41291873But then again, it is HER venom after all. Why should it not serve her?Drinking this inundates the drinker's body with venom, killing them instantly unless they are already venomous. And if they are already venomous it fills their body with their own venom, seeping it from the pores of their body and making it a property of their touch for a few hours.If Hiss drank this she would become a walking embodiment of death, something that would kill the grass under their feet and instantly slay anyone with just a touch. Hell, even her breath would linger in the air and give a slow death to anyone who breathed the air where she once was, even hours later. It's an exceptionally deadly and jealous brew, one that can be drunk by Hiss and nearly nobody else. You tentatively name it Hissbrew because if nothing else you suppose it is very characteristic of its maker."So what does it do?"Hiss looks at you as she turns the bottle over in her hands, apparently unable to tell what she has made.> Tell her the truth.> You don't want her to know about this. Give her a lie about it being some sort of snake oil or shrinking potion, something that she wouldn't want to drink.> Throw it overboard.> Other
>>41291972>Tell her the truth.I'm making a huge mistake.
>>41291972> Tell her the truth.
>>41291972If we throw it overboard, all sea life hereabouts will die.>Tell her that it's poison, but that it's useless for pretty much everything because of how unsafe it is to use. Don't tell her about "avatar of death" mode.
>>41291972>Tell her the truthI tentatively want to say its better she understands how dangerous this can be.If we threw it overboard, I fear we would turn the entire body of water into a death hole
>>41291972> Tell her the truth.Stress that it will also kill us though if used carelessly.
>>41291972> Tell her the truth.But its way too dangerous to use unless she's in a hopeless situation with no allies or innocents around. We could easily die if she used this brew.
>>41291972>>Tell her that it's poison, but that it's useless for pretty much everything because of how unsafe it is to use. Don't tell her about "avatar of death" mode.>>41292013yes you are>>41292047You underestimate you her ability to be reckless.>>41292063She cares why? She could just use an anti-venom!>>41292067see above
>>41291972You guys just had to let her brew by herself instead of making useful brews. What did you expect to happen?
>>41292155Err, something reminiscent of a mini nuke?
> Tell her the truth.You sigh. There's probably no use hiding it from her. And as long as you remind her that it'll kill you as well and how dangerous it is, she wouldn't use it right? Right?You tell her what it's properties are. All of them."And," you say, "I wouldn't advise using it. Ever. It's really dangerous and could harm a lot of innocent people."You look at her complete lack of reaction and change tack."It could hurt me as well."Hiss cocks her head."But you can just take an antivenom during, right?""I'm not sure if it works that wa-""Incredible!"She pulls you to the floor in a hug, leaving you entirely helpless to resist."This is fantastic, I love it! And fear not, I'll make sure to use it well. I'm very responsible."You can't say anything because the 'very responsible' Hiss is accidentally squeezing all the air from your lungs and rendering you unable to speak. A few agonizing seconds later and she seems to realize, letting go. Fortunately it's before you black out."Whoops."> Grab the potion. "I'll hold onto this for now."> Let her have it.> Pretend to let her have it and steal it later when she's distracted. It's not difficult to distract her.> Pray for Rock's help.> Other
>>41292247> Grab the potion. "I'll hold onto this for now.""I'll need to make extra sure it doesn't kill you."
>>41292247> Grab the potion. "I'll hold onto this for now."
>>41292247>Let her have it.going to go on trust here that she won't be a total idiot with it.>>41292276that's just going to piss her off Anon
>>41292247>Let her have it.No fucks
>>41292247>Let her have itWhat could possibly go wrong? We should probably explain it makes her venom stronger, so a normal anti-venom... may not be wholly effective against it.
>>41292300She (Not 10 seconds ago) crushed us to the edge of unconsciousness.Pissing her off is worth it.
>>41292247>> Grab the potion. "I'll hold onto this for now.">>41292300>>41292332Given how characteristically reckless she is, and how she's almost killed us before without using certain death venom fuck that noise.
>>41292247> Grab the potion. "I'll hold onto this for now."Make an experimental snakebreaker with her to appease her
>>41292247> Let her have it.with a very serious and ominous stipulation that if this is used poorly it could ruin everything forever
> Grab the potion. "I'll hold onto this for now."You pluck the bottle out of her hands, the poisonous concoction frothing violently."I'll hold onto this for now, I think. It's way too dangerous."Hiss looks at you, her eyes elongated into serpentine pupils. You become suddenly aware of the invisible circle around her, the boundary of her striking zone. It's not something you've had to worry about for some time."Uh. I'll let you have it when you need it.""Cennen," Hiss says very sweetly. "Do you mean to say that YOU'LL decide what's good for me? That you know better than I in this regard? That I should just wait and ask your permission like a good little girl when I want to use it?"Your mouth is dry, your tongue glued to the roof of your mouth."Uh."Hiss' hand move, prompting you to flinch back in preparation for the blow that is surely coming. She sees your reaction and smirks.Her hand is held out, palm open."Give me the potion."> Comply.> Don't give it to her. This will require a direct conflict with her Princess skill.> Use Potion (Specify)> Other
>>41292625> Comply.Fine, I accept no responsibility for how everything will go to shit if you use it
>>41292625>> Don't give it to her. This will require a direct conflict with her Princess skill."The only reason this abomination exists is because I'm not willing to clear the sea of fish"
>>41292625Where are you going to store it Hiss, I have the potion storing capabilities here.
>>41292625>Comply.I accept no responsibility if you choose to use this.
>>41292625>Don't give it to her.Well, may as well stick to our guns. If it helps with the roll, I think we should point out that we DO know more than her about alchemy and that we've been steadfastly trying to look out for her for a long time already.If she doesn't trust us to have the best for her in mind by now, then what's even the point?
>>41292625>> Don't give it to her. This will require a direct conflict with her Princess skill.
Rolled 99 (1d100)>>41292625Bring it, princess, the dice god is with me.> Don't give it to her. This will require a direct conflict with her Princess skill.>Hiss, we talked about using alchemy like this. This potion is the most destructive thing I've ever brewed.
>>41292734I was gonna have you vote afterwards but hell. Nice roll.> Don't give it to her. This will require a direct conflict with her Princess skill.You pull back, setting the potion behind you while not moving away from her. You have to show her that you're not afraid. You might have sworn to serve her but that doesn't make you her slave either."No."Hiss starts, her ominous sense of threat fading."What do you mean, no?""No.""No really, give me the potion.""No, we've tal-"She strikes, slapping you hard enough that tears spring to your eyes and your neck actually hurts from the whiplash. Not to mention your face, which hurts a whole fucking lot."No. We've talked about this, Hiss. This alchemy is too dangerous and this might be the most destructive thing I've ever brewed. It needs to be in my care."She hits you again. She's not trying to hurt you that much, she's just trying to psyche you out, make you back down. You don't."Don't you trust me with this, Hiss? I'm keeping it safe and no amount of tantrums is going to change that.""But I want it!""And you'll have it when I say so.""Give it to me!""No.""Oh come on. Hand it over.""No.""Please?""No."Hiss groans, almost visibly deflating from the commanding figure she'd been before. All of her menace and authority is gone, leaving behind nothing but a spoiled child in its wake."Get the fuck out."Her words carry about as much power as a mouse.> Hiss's Princess skill has been damaged down to nothing for a temporary period. In addition, when it recovers it will be downgraded to Standard. > Leave as she wishes.> Stay.
>>41292970>Stay.Gotta talk this out
>>41292970Shit... I don't know what to do> Hiss's Princess skill has been damaged down to nothing for a temporary period. In addition, when it recovers it will be downgraded to Standard.Is this an option or an anouncement?
>>41292970> Leave as she wishes.
>>41292970>StayLetting her mope isn't the best idea. Better to stay here and pamper her a bit until she starts feeling better - Specifically while reminding her that we're trying to look out for her and we worry.Also her downgraded princess skill made me sad. We've resisted that several times, so couldn't we just start to develop a resistance to it personally?
>>41293011Oh sorry, that shouldn't have been in green. That's an announcement.
Yo upgrading it cost us a snake art in the first place.
>>41292970>>41293011>>41293018OKAnyway,> Stay.We've got to take this chance to have an in depth talk with her, now that the princess mentality is temporarily out of play.
>>41293016It'll be easier for to raise back up this time. After all it's about asserting her will and Hiss is very assertive. But it does represent that for now, she's bitten her own tail and doesn't feel like asserting anything or ruling anyone.
>>41293105I guess that's something....But what about us personally developing a resistance to it? I mean we've regularly been able to defy it through some miracle and we're supposedly kind of like her restraint/moral compass.
>>41293172I think that's the reason why we resist it. We can't hope to have an impact on her if we're just a yes-man.
>>41292970> Stay.Lets try to accomplish this in a way that doesn't emphasize her apparent (obivously if she wants to she can fuck cennan up) lack of power in this situation. That is, we're staying because our great leader is down not because of something more patronizing. We're at least a trusted adviser and sometimes a ruler has to know when to take advice that they don't like.
> Stay."No."You sit down, prompting Hiss to stamp her foot impotently. She doesn't try to attack you again."Why won't you do what I say?""Because I have only your best interests at heart."She moans."Then just do what I say and leave!""But sometimes doing what you say and your best interests don't line up. Any ruler has to know when to take advice they don't like and no authority can be unquestioned.""Nyyarm," she mumbles, full of a frustration she is evidently having trouble putting into human words. "Whatever."She disintegrates, changing back to her snake form. You've seen this before. She's trying to escape the conversation."Oh come on."You reach out and grab her by the tail, pulling her back towards where you're sitting. She doesn't try to bite you, the snake just limply sliding back."We've got to talk this out. Change back."And to your surprise she does, transforming into her familiar Teln body. You suppose it feels more safe for her than her Quedeshi guise. She reforms more or less in your lap and is strangely enough, over a foot shorter than she normally is.She buries her face in your chest, apparently willing to be held. Maybe that's why.You're expecting to hit a wall of passive aggression, the way Hiss normally gets when she's been defeated in some way. But she just looks up at you sullenly. "I want to go home.""Pardon?""I want to go home. Back to Snakehome. Everything was good there. I hate this place. It was a mistake to come here. If I just come home then father will forgive me.""What do you mean?""All of the bad thingssss," she slurs her 's' sounds in a hiss, a sure sign of regressing back past human vocals. "They only happened becausse of me. Let'ss go home."1/2
>>41293567> Agree. If the last time was anything, she might be like this for weeks. Enough time to leave.> Disagree. Hiss might be having a sook now but you believe in her and her dream. Besides the moment she recovers she'll kill you.> This is weird and you don't like it. Try to antagonize her back to her usual self.> Other
>>41293589> Disagree. Hiss might be having a sook now but you believe in her and her dream. Besides the moment she recovers she'll kill you.
>>41293567> Disagree. Hiss might be having a sook now but you believe in her and her dream. Besides the moment she recovers she'll kill you.
>>41293589> Disagree. Hiss might be having a sook now but you believe in her and her dream. Point in case, we disagree with her right now and it's damn well for her own good. No antagonizing for now though, just support. Remain firm in our support and stance!
>>41293589>Disagree. Hiss might be having a sook now but you believe in her and her dream. Besides the moment she recovers she'll kill you.
>>41293589>> Disagree. Hiss might be having a sook now but you believe in her and her dream. Besides the moment she recovers she'll kill you.Hiss Everyone faces trials, they aren't easy, they aren't fair and they are unkind. Guess what? It happens. Just because life hits you back doesn't mean you should give up on it. You're beautiful Hiss no matter what anyone else says.
>>41293589> Disagree. Hiss might be having a sook now but you believe in her and her dream. Besides the moment she recovers she'll kill you.I've caused my share of bad things as well. The thing is, we've got each other to rely on and fix whatever mistakes we made. And we're still destined for greatness despite our missteps
>>41293567> Disagree. Hiss might be having a sook now but you believe in her and her dream. Besides the moment she recovers she'll kill you.'You can't take us halfway round the world and turn back after so much. People have died but their deaths can still mean something.
>>41293760I don't think hiss or cennen are particularly worried about who they've killed so far
>>41293650When was her beauty ever in question?
>>41293760>>41293780Confirming, we really don't care at all.In fact, I kind of wish we had more thoroughly killed a few more of them.
>>41293817She needs the self confidence boost.
>>41293780Yeah, when she says 'bad things' she's talking more about the various indignities and humiliations that have been inflicted upon her personally, the biggest probably being having her eye scorched out and being tortured in Melire.She doesn't care about whoever died because she is still ultimately self-centered. If anything she's even more self-centered right now because self-pity is one of the most selfish emotions there is.
>>41293855a fair point, was distracted. something more along the lines of, "all our our suffering can't have been for nothing would be more appropriate"
>>41293904>typosclearly still distracted Also i think when i wrote that i meant it more as a kind of meta thing then specifically something to say.
>>41293589Shit, we broke her... I didn't want this!> OtherBut didn't you leave because you wanted to become your own person? To change things?And yes, bad things have happened, we've all suffered, but we chose to follow you trough thick and thin, because we believe in you.
> Disagree. Hiss might be having a sook now but you believe in her and her dream. Besides the moment she recovers she'll kill you.Not sure what else to do, you pat her on the head. "No."She groans."Do you know any other word?""No."You stop for a moment, thinking on what to say."You don't want to go back. You're just saying that.""I do! I want to go home.""Yes, you do. But not like this. Do you think that the King would want you to come back like this? You want to come home as a conqueror. And asking his forgiveness? You never wanted that. You want to kill him! That's your destiny."She doesn't say anything, leaving you to continue."We all face trials and none of them are easy. Life isn't fair and it's not kind. But it happens and you can't make it not happen so you might as well just grow a thicker skin. ...Scales. Yeah." "What do you know? I just want to coil up and die.""This isn't who you are Hiss.""Yes it is. This is me underneath, past all the lies."And yet you hear a trace of defiance in her voice, adhering to this opinion not because she believes in it but because she just wants to be contrary. That's more like the Hiss you know."No it's not. You're a bitch. You're a selfish bitch who doesn't care about anyone else."She looks up at you reproachfully but doesn't question the statement. And how could she? Right now she's wallowing in self-pity and there's nothing more selfish than that."You're an awful person, honestly one of the worst people I've ever met. You've nearly killed me over a dozen times and you've ruined all chances I ever had with a normal life. And you get away with it. You always get away with it. And you know why? It's because you're strong. Stronger than me, stronger than anyone else here. Why else would all of us follow you? We believe in you and in whatever dumbass plan you cook up next."An eyebrow twitches in distaste."Dumbass?"1/2
>>41294127"Oh, sorry about that. But what would I know? I'm just an idiot.""But you're my idiot," she finishes the phrase for you, something you've told her multiple times by now. "Yeah. And it's my job to tell when you're doing something that might be idiotic. Because being a fool and fucking everything up is my job and I don't like the competition."She actually cracks a smile at that one. "I guess so.""And you're being an idiot right now. So please stop before you drive me out of business entirely?"She grumbles something inaudible."I'm not always going to do what you say.And that's fine. That's a good thing, even.""I really am making a fool out of myself right now, aren't I?""Stupendously so."She groans."This is so embarrassing.""Then get over it. Why should humiliation mean anything to you? You aren't the kind of person to let the opinions of others dent you. So just get a hold of yourself.""Blegh."She expresses her distaste, squirming against you."Alright. Now seriously, leave."> Alright.> No.
>>41294271> Alright.can we still do brobrew?
>>41294271> Alright.I'd like to stick around honestly, but I think we've accomplished our goal for now. Pushing the envelope anymore might be counter-productive.
>>41294271> Alright.>>41294311The fuck is brobrew?
>Alright.You leave her to stew upon her own insecurities for now. Pushing her too hard probably wouldn't help, her instinctive reaction would just be to push back even harder.You set her down and stand up, leaving the room. You walk out into the common room, finding it empty. You're about to sit down there when Abhid walks down from the deck, the captain looking askance at you.He's a short man but a brawny one, an ugly mottled patch of scarred skin marking his cheeks and nose. The effects of your Wordtheft Brew are still active so you just wave him down and bid him hello.He nods at you, looking past you to the door of what is normally his quarters."We're nearly at the harbor. I was hoping to have some words with your lady before that."Does he think Hiss is a noble? Well, either way you can't exactly let him see her now. "I'm afraid that you'll have to tell it to me. I can pass it to her. She's a little indisposed right now."He nods, rubbing his stubble."Then, if you don't mind me asking, is your purpose here?"He holds his hands up to forestall your interjection."Now now, me and the lads know something's wrong. We can smell it. And we're fine with that, none of our business. But if it's something that might cause us trouble at the port then...you better just say. I won't judge."> Tell him some of the truth. People respect snakes here don't they?> Feed him a believable lie about eloping with some satrap's daughter or something.> Try a different lie than that (Specify)> "It won't cause trouble so you don't need to know."> Show him your brand. "Invisible business."> Use Potion (Specify)> Other
>>41294576>> "It won't cause trouble so you don't need to know."If that doesn't placate him> Show him your brand. "Invisible business"Intimate your bringing Hiss somewhere for your "mistress"
>>41294617But anon, we are bringing Hiss somewhere for our mistress.Our mistress just happens to be Hiss.
>>41294576> "It won't cause trouble so you don't need to know."
>>41294576> Show him your brand. "Invisible business."We just need discreet passage to Quesh, we're not expecting trouble as long as our passing goes unnoticed, surely that's no problem to you.Wink optional
>>41294652That's the point. We're not lying. Just obfuscating like we nobble.
>>41294576When did we use a wordtheft brew? And who did we use it on?
>>41294784You used it on Aashenpreet during the timeskip between the end of last thread and the start of this one.Turns out you can borrow Aash's learned grasp of Quedeshi and she can still speak it by using the soul inside of her.
>>41294576> "It won't cause trouble so you don't need to know."We've done everything in our power to be discreet
Sorry about the delay, was eating. I hadn't eaten at all today and it was getting sore.> "It won't cause trouble so you don't need to know."You glance at him, to the door and then back to him. "It won't cause trouble so you don't need to know. That's all I can say."He grimaces."That's not good enough. We agreed to take you over but if you cause me or my cousins trouble then it's all off!""There'll be no trouble. And I believe we made a deal, one that didn't involve us telling you anything."He stares you in the eye for a moment before nodding and turning away and walking off. He doesn't look happy about it and chances are that he'll be surly for the rest of the trip. But no matter.If there were less of you then he might have threatened you with force. But there are four of you here and you'd have to be an idiot to mess with a guy as big as Oster when you don't have to. > Just stay here and brew, even if it's not private.> Get up on deck to get the view and to talk to Oster and Aashenpreet.> Go back to Hiss.> Other
>>41295072>> Get up on deck to get the view and to talk to Oster and Aashenpreet.
>>41295072> Get up on deck to get the view and to talk to Oster and Aashenpreet.
>>41295072> Get up on deck to get the view and to talk to Oster and Aashenpreet.Lets go be third wheel
> Get up on deck to get the view and to talk to Oster and Aashenpreet.You follow where Abhid had gone, up on the deck of the shallow and long ship. You hold onto the railing and look down at the water, the Ulun now no longer so pink, muddled with blue and black. From where you are now the water extends all the way to the horizon, upon which you can see jungle trees looming. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"Aashenpreet joins you, Oster in tow. "Hm? You mean the water?"She nods."Ulun was an old word for 'rose' a long time ago. That's why the sea bears this name."You peek about, making sure that the sparse crew is far out of earshot before speaking quietly."You have roses here?""Of course we do. I'd hate to live in a world without roses." You observe the waters below you for a minute more, noting their muddle nature."They're not that rose now though. Not like they were when we started.""It's tainted by outside water," Aashenpreet says. "We're nearly at its eastern edge right now, where the Ulun winds it's way out of Quedesh and meets up with the ocean proper.""Huh. So we could have saved time if he had just sailed north up the coast until we reached the entry point for the Ulun? Why'd we stop at Lombai?""I cannot say."Oster shakes his head."Tash did a lot of things. Who knows why. Next time I see him I'm going to wring his neck.""Oster!"Aashenpreet looks a little offended."He saved me from the shrines.""Anyway," you say, trying your best to change subject. "Where are all the cities I was promised? Or are they as invisible as your courts?"Aashenpreet gives you a look that tells you that she knows when she's getting mocked."That word, invisible is an incomplete translation. Or mostly anyway. It doesn't just mean something that cannot be seen, it means something that SHOULD not be seen, something too wondrous and something from which you should avert your eyes away from."1/2
>>41295377"Well you'll face no complaint from me in that department, I'm not sure if I want anything to do with them."> Ask more about the courts.> Ask about magic users in Quedesh. You haven't met many save the wizard.> Ask her about how she met Tash in the first place.> Ask her about the shrines.> Ask about what she and Oster have been doing.> Other
>>41295402>> Ask her about how she met Tash in the first place.> Ask about what she and Oster have been doing.
>>41295402> Ask her about the shrines.> Ask about what she and Oster have been doing.
>>41295402> Ask more about the courts.> Ask her about how she met Tash in the first place.We should have asked this things a long time ago, also, we haven't talked very much with Hiss about snakehome.
>>41295402> Ask more about the courts.> Ask about magic users in Quedesh. You haven't met many save the wizard.> Ask her about how she met Tash in the first place.
>>41295402> Ask more about the courts.> Ask her about how she met Tash in the first place.
> Ask more about the courts.> Ask her about how she met Tash in the first place."But still...," you ponder. "How do they work? I still don't know much about them.""The courts? I can't say that much. You have to remember that I've never been there. I've lived nearly my entire life in the shrines.""Yes but you must have heard a lot about them, particularly if as many of the pilgrims are snakes as you say."She nods."The invisible courts are the constrictor society that rests atop the human one, the grounds upon which they hunt one another."Hunt one another? You remember Tash saying something similar."So they're divided?""Naturally. They say that if you spoke to ten lords in the court, you'd come away with thirty different opinions on the matter. There are alliances, even long-standing ones but all snakes within it are alone.""And humans? Are they present?"She shakes her head."Only slightly. As the servants, advisers and concubines of those who matter. Within the courts only snakes are people. Humans like you are property and must bear their master's seal at all times lest they cease to be even that and become nothing but prey. The best you can hope to be there is a playing piece or an item of trade, something for Hiss to give away to another in exchange for something else."You're not exactly a fan of the idea."Yes but what IS the court? Is it a building or a city or what?"Aashenpreet laughs."Cennen, you're not thinking the right way. It has no physical form. It is society, it is all things. The actions of the invisible world change the world, for slave satrapies have been toppled or divided as mere proxies for arguments by those so grand that to the humans dying they might as well be invisible.""But who rules it? You have a government don't you?"Don't they?1/2
>>41295799"Most of Quedesh's earthly matters are handled by the human rulers. But yes, the courts are presided over by the Maharaja, the lord of lords. He has no humans in his staff you see, even the most menial of his servants are constrictors of the highest standing. It is said that he has not even laid eyes upon a human for centuries.""And the Maharaja is...who exactly? The descendant of the first constrictor lord?"You try to remember Hiss' brief description of her genealogy. There's certainly been a few generations involved since the constrictor's exile, even for beings as long-lived as they."No. The Maharaja is the first and remains the only. He who lead us from the cold lands, away from what you call Snakehome. It was he who subjugated and bent the Qesh to his will, he who carved the path to the Compact and who oversaw the liberation of the slave satrapies into the correct way of life. He is the grandfather of Quedesh and rules to this day."Behind Aashenpreet, Oster looks troubled. "Aash, I don't mean to offend but that's impossible," he says. "That's thousands of years! Not even a royal snake lives that long.""Well he did.""And when was the last time he appeared? Maybe he died centuries ago and somebody else rules there now. It could be an elaborate facade.""Oster," Aashenpreet says between clenched teeth. "I forgive you for you know not what you say and because the two of you are barbarians. But if you ever speak that again then I...I..."She trails off somewhat lamely before continuing."Just don't do it. I understand that you might not be able to grasp such magnificence but you cannot use the logic of your world here and expect to always be correct. This is Quedesh, chief among the empires of the world and blessed by Aashimid. The Maharaja lives because he is immortal, he who fled from the ignorance of the smaller snakes and led us to the true path."2/3
>>41295935This would probably be a bad subject to pursue further though you know if Hiss had been here she would have done so gleefully. "So uh, you've never taken part?""No. As I said, I was given to the shrines at birth. And until just earlier this year, I never left them.""Until you tried to escape and forced Tash to take you on his trip?"You remember this part, Tash having told you what had occurred himself.Aashenpreet looks at you strangely."Not...quite. I tried to escape, that is true. But I barely made it anywhere and nearly died. I was about to be recaptured when Tash found me and offered me sanctuary.""That's not how he tells it. He says that you found him and forced him to take you since he couldn't say no.""That's not what happened! He...that must have been the story he had prepared for when he returned, to absolve himself of blame. But I'm not lying! He appeared as I was lying at the side of the road, as if he had sought me out. And he hid me and gave me food and told me that he could take me on an adventure with him, that I could visit the old land and the old snakes. Just like in the stories!"Hrm. Something's not right here.> Go back to Hiss and check up on her.> Press the matter regarding Tash.> Go find a private place to brew.> Ask more questions (Specify)> Make a wish (Specify)> Other
> Press the matter regarding Tash.Then> Go back to Hiss and check up on her.>Immortal progenitor constrictor serving as elusive shadow lord to all societyEither we're getting Hiss the Snake Eater art and then going the fuck to town, or we're about to unveil some top tier bullshit going on in Quedesh.Either way, Aash is getting mindbroke by the end of this.
>>41296061> Press the matter regarding Tash.
>>41296061> Press the matter regarding Tash.Tash has been manipulating everything
>>41296061lending further agreement to this>>41296083
>>41296061I don't get why tash brought aash with him. He didn't need a reason to come to teln, he was already the ambassador for the treaty thing. Maybe he just wanted to make ataraan look bad
>>41296256Since he's working with a wizard who can see the future I bet he's planned things out more than that
> Press the matter regarding Tash.>Go check up on Hiss afterwards.Well you aren't going to just drop this, no matter how much Aashenpreet finds it uncomfortable to talk about. Not when it directly pertains to you and Hiss like this!"What did Tash say, exactly?"Aashenpreet screws up her face."How am I supposed to remember that? It was ages ago!""Try. Please.""Okay. I'd sneaked out and I was starving. I didn't know how to hunt or how to get food for myself or anything. Any human would have given me it if I had revealed myself to them but I knew that that would just reveal myself to whichever suzerain would be hunting me. So I hid myself away and tried my best to find food in the wilderness. It was awful, I couldn't do it. So...So I swallowed my pride and took to the road hoping to find a human to help me. And Tash was there, as if he were waiting.""And he offered you a ride on his ship?"She shakes her head."No that came later. I told him my circumstances because I recognized him as a Vtriya. I had foolish ideas about his patron in the invisible courts protecting me from the suzerains. And he told me his name was Tash and I said that that was a strange name and he said that many had already said the same to him. He could speak the proper language as if he was a snake himself and he m-made me feel safe."What had Hiss said his Art was? That brand on his tongue that let him speak such things? You motion for her to continue."He offered to obey my every whim, as was only natural and I begged him to hide me away and to feed me. And he did so but it was only for a few days. It was then that he told me that he was going away soon to a barbaric land to officiate over a treaty that not many in the invisible courts cared about. They were all human nations after all. He told me where he was going and how it was the old home of my kind. And so I begged him to take me and he gave me a box for me to be hidden in."1/2
>>41296378We should ask her if she remembers meeting Tash before running away.
>>41296378"Yes but," Oster says, "did he say something about what he intended to do?"Aashenpreet shakes her head."We talked a lot, he was my only companion. Talked and played cards with one of his Ishmin to stand in for me. It was a convoluted process though since only Tash could understand me in my natural form. So I had to relay my commands to the Ishmin through him without letting him know what was in my hand."She smiles faintly at the memory."I lost a lot of games. And no, he only spoke of how painful he felt it was to travel and how hard done upon he was, to be commanded by two different snakes at once. He seemed sincere at the time."Right. You're not sure what you were expecting. Why would he have let her in on his plans, if they existed? "He asked if I wanted to be an ambassador like himself, that he might take me to Snakehome once he was done in Taldenral and I could speak to their King. That never happened.""Because you met Hiss," you say, recalling that day."Because I met Hiss."So was that it? Had his objective always been to just acquire a snake from Snakehome? No, she had said that he wanted her to speak with the Serpent King. Was it something to do with royalty then? If it wasn't then what role did Hiss fill that made visiting Snakehome unnecessary? You turn the question over in your head, looking for an answer that seems to slip just out of your grasp each time."And then we all met," Aashenpreet is still talking. "There was that giant monster and I and the Ishmin were prepared to fight it but you saved us the trouble. Thank you for that, by the way. None of us will ever forget it.""Yeah, no worries," you say, most of your mind still occupied trying to figure this out. Maybe Hiss can make better sense of it?You excuse yourself and head back down below the deck to the private cabin. You knock and hear no response. You open the door slowly.2/3
>>41296486Hiss is curled up on the floor, still in the short Teln form that you had last spoken to her. She's coiled around Rock, the tiny spirit squashed to her chest. She seems to be asleep.> Wake her up and tell her what's been going on.> Just lie down next to her.> Pray to Rock and ask her.> Other
>>41296513> Pray to Rock and ask her.
> Just lie down next to her.She likes warm things, and she's had a hard day. We'll tell her when she wakes up.Can we Pray to rock and not alert Hiss?
>>41296513> Wake her up and tell her what's been going on.
>>41296540Yes you've done this before. Hiss doesn't hear prayers when she's asleep.Aashenpreet is still awake, mind you.
>>41296513> Just lie down next to her.
>>41296585...Then yeah, lets not accidentally let prayers slip and blatantly blab to Aash that we're tattling.
>>41296513> Just lie down next to her.I like the idea of waiting for her to wake up to us and our body heat. That'll put her in a good mood for sure.Question for you Ouro. If memory serves our Brand gives us partial resistance to Hiss' venom, right?
>>41296632Okay, so does our resistance increase as the potency of our brand increases?
>>41296672So... Let's just say that, hypothetically, our Brand were to be at its full power. Could that make us immune to Biohazard Hiss?
> Just lie down next to her.You think about waking her up and asking her opinion on the Tash matter. But why ruin a good thing? She's happy right now and you don't want that to stop. Particularly because she's going to have to wake up soon anyway with your destination so close. No need to wake her now.You lie down beside her, putting your arms around her. She makes no reaction at first but then slowly uncoils, pressing against the warmth. She doesn't wake up. From here, it doesn't seem like that far, you think. To turn back for home when your destination is so close? Madness. But all this business with Tash and Attaraan and Aashenpreet...It makes you feel like you're missing something, some vital piece of information. The last step of your journey is ahead of you. It has been decided, all it requires of you is that you follow it. Follow her. You can only hope it'll all turn out right. But you know it won't.
>>41296781Well that's ominous
>>41296781And that's that for tonight. Not really where I was planning for today's thread to go at all but that's where the fun of it is, isn't it? I've archived the thread and I have work soon but I'll stick around for a little bit longer if anyone has questions or criticism or whatever.Next thread should hopefully be tomorrow, check the twitter etc etc.>>41296702No. Nothing is immune to biohazard Hiss.
>>41296825Hah. Inb4 TPK due to Biohazard Hiss, then. We need to be particularly careful with that brew folks. Like "season 1" wishbond careful.
>>41296825Nice thread.So, until now:Tash conveniently happens to find Aash right after she runs away.He then travels to Teleran under the excuse of overseeing a treaty no one cares about, in order to contact snakehome.Allegedly, because he wants to fuck a snake (bullshit). Having met Hiss he immediately returnst to quedesh, dringing her back with him.Not a day after our arrival, Attaraan finds out where we are (this could be the satrap's work though).When Attaraan comes, Tash makes no effort to protect Aash and actively works to sepparate Hiss from her party and make her clash with Attaraan.That about sums it up?
>>41296914More or less. Him wanting to fuck a snake isn't bullshit though, Tash is very much that way inclined. It just wasn't his primary motivation.That way he told Oster the truth but not the whole truth, coming off as more convincing then if he just lied about his intent.
>>41296933It's kind of a give away in his name, I've been kind of thinking this since Aash explained the game briefly.Tash. A game of trying to ensure your own successful fate by trading away unfavorable parts of it to others, and taking the better aspects of theirs... I think it was.Does Tash really think he'll be able to elevate himself into the invisible court?Perhaps using his 'lady' as a face for his machinations?I feel if he learned about wishbonds, he'd be nobbling as many constrictors as possible to try and ensure his own power.
>>41296933I'm inclined to think everything he said to us was at best a half truth.I'm also curious about his mistress. Just how much of this is her machination? Probably all of it
>>41296997The last interlude suggested that he was working for himself rather than his mistress