You are Irue Valen, blood heir to House Valen and nominal commander of a newly formed squad of peasantry-based knights. Having been sold out to your aunt and uncle by your good-intentioned-if-naive cousin, you decided to take your poorly armed forces and start handling some of your problems in a more direct manner! The march through the forests had been thankfully uneventful, allowing you to make relatively quick time on your way to the nearby town of Carona.How long had it been since you were here? This was the first actual place of civilization you had encountered since you were a child. You had not had an explicitly positive experience here, between the people's reaction to Kara and the guards... For that matter, carrying Kara around had been an ungodly trial. It seemed oddly fitting that your return to Carona would be partly in search for the Testament you were with last time, as well. Back then, you had found yourself rather fervently wishing Asche had come along as well......Now both of those two were somewhere in Carona, and had been - presumably - somewhere in Carona for the past three months. Even if they were a group of normal people, this wasn't normal, and you knew for a fact that one of them could make the entire trip in less than a day. That neither of them had shown up, or been so much as mentioned, was a little concerning. Be that as it may, you had actually come here hoping to track down some leads on an (hopefully) entirely unrelated matter regarding Roderick's missing brother and that crime syndicate that may have been lurking around.Now, you find yourself standing atop the crest of a grassy knoll overlooking the town in question. The rest of your peasant knights had been left out of sight in the woods while you got a better look, taking only Dullem and your Testament along with you. You'd like to say it looked almost exactly like it did the last time you were here, but...
A large portion of what you had thought to be a detached part of Carona was nothing but burned down ruins in the distance. Despite it being roughly noon, the gates to Carona themselves seemed to have been closed shut to travellers, and you're relatively certain that Carona hadn't had that many armed guards stationed along the walls."Is it normally like this?" Dullem murmured from your side, scratching his neck anxiously at the sight. >March everyone straight up. Make them open the door and let you in.>Send someone to try and gather information. (Who? Rinnier/Dullem/Nameless Peasant Beneath Your Notice)>Circle around to investigate the burned down ruins. They're outside the town limit, so there's nothing stopping you.>Other? (write-in)
>>43382103>>Send someone to try and gather information. Rinnier>Circle around to investigate the burned down ruins. They're outside the town limit, so there's nothing stopping you.by ourselves.
Previous Threads:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?searchall=valen+questMoe no longer exists, I guess?Where things are said:https://twitter.com/Riz_QMPastebin Stuff:Kara's Day Out - http://pastebin.com/8ZbiSKLsAdventures with Asche - http://pastebin.com/RNviCBJuMisc notes:I'm not sick anymore! Unfortunately I'm also poor in an MMO, which is probably just as bad.
>>43382103>Send someone to try and gather information. (Rinnier)
>>43382103>Send someone to try and gather information. (Dullem)Rinnier probably isn't the best person for strolling in and asking question in this situation.
>>43382125>>43382190Send Rinnier>>43382242Send Dullem>>43382125Investigate things yourself.Writing.
>>43382103Whoops, got here too late. Would have voted for circling around to check out the burning ruins.
You'd send Dullem in to ask questions, but that would leave your peasant knights without someone they really respected in a direct chain of command. If something happened while you were gone, that would potentially be catastrophic. Beyond that, Dullem was... Well, despite his genial nature, he was an actual brigand. You're not certain sending him to the heavily on edge town would be a great idea."Dullem, stay on guard with the others." You turn to the erstwhile captain of your knights, delegating further orders as your mind wanders to that burned down section. "Rinnier shouldn't take long to learn something, tell her I've gone to investigate the burned out ruins when she gets back.""On your own?" Dullem objects almost instantly, "I understand if you don't want me to leave the others, but shouldn't you take somebody to guard you? Or, hell, send somebody else?" You let him finish, staring at him blandly until the suggestions finally end and he starts to realize what he had done. "Er, I mean... No offense to your decision.""You've been with the hunters, you and I both know one person can move quicker on their own." You don't actually know that. You intellectually know that, really, purely from your research and old military wisdoms you picked up on during said research, but he seems to reluctantly accept that reasoning. "And I'm not really sure what I'm looking for over there, so its better that I go myself than send one of my knights and potentially miss something."He didn't seem entirely comfortable with your reasoning, but Dullem wasn't going to push the matter any further. To be honest, you're still not used to the idea of just... having people to go do things for you. Was this what Caylen felt like ALL the time? You start to make your way down the hill with disparaging thoughts flitting harmlessly through your head.
Your trip around the town didn't- okay that's a lie, it took you a few hours of walking. You'd been walking a lot recently, so it honestly didn't affect you nearly as much as it would have in the past. Glancing at your own hands, you realize that you're probably more physically strong now than you had ever been before!...Which meant you were still well below the raw physical strength of pretty much everyone you knew except Rinnier and Ari. Still, the slight note of self improvement was something you were unusually happy about. Does this affect me? That unbidden voice bubbling up from the darker recesses of your mind quickly reminded you that this body wasn't exactly your natural one. To be more accurate, Irue Valen was more fit than any other time. You were a doppleganger currently 'standing in', as it were.If I still reap those benefits when we find a way to reverse this, that would be convenient.These thoughts keep you company until you finally arrive at the burned down ruins. They were... You weren't sure what they used to be. There were some places which looked like they resembled stables at one point, but many of the buildings not lost to the fire had, instead, been physically turned into wreckage. For that matter, even many of the burned building looked to have been toppled over. Your eyes narrow as you quietly start to pick through the long cold ashen wreckage. It seems like this place had been all but abandoned since the fire...>Head back to Dullem. Rinnier's probably returned by now.>Poke around some more in the wreckage, there might be something you can find.>Make your way towards the 'stables'>Investigate what may have been houses>Other? (write-in)
>>43383223>Poke around some more in the wreckage, there might be something you can find.
>>43383223>>Investigate what may have been houses
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>433832891. Poking around.>>433833192. Houses.dice gods, guide us.
You nudge aside some of the less fire-eaten wreckage as you move towards what vaguely resembled human housing. Far beyond the simpler structures in the village, these houses seemed like they had been much grander before the fire. Long halls reminiscent of ranch-style housing let you stare from the nominal entry all the way through the fallen interior. What had at one time been a large and open space, now a complicated and perhaps unsolvable labyrinth of fallen beams and furniture.You brace your hands against a tilted beam and inch it aside with far more effort than you really thought you would need, letting it crash to the floor and shake the skeletal remains of the house as you make your way further in. Besides the quiet crunching of wood and ash beneath your feet, there isn't a whole lot going on in here. You move to wrap your hands around another piece of fire-cooked wreckage, only to feel it crunch grittily under your fingertips and give way to a more familiar, wet sensation. You barely catch yourself from falling as you jerk backwards, briefly confirmed the residue on your hand as you take a closer look at the wreckage you had been trying to move just now, only to realize it was no wreckage at all - Someone had gotten trapped in the collapse, burned alive while stuck there. Hidden beneath caked layers of soot and ash, you barely make out the bodily outline of a man nearly Dullem's size. Given the size of this house, you realize it made sense that there had to have been someone in here during the fire...No, given the size of these houses...You glance back the way you had come, eyes picking out slight details you had initially glanced over entirely as assorted wreckage.You were walking through an ashen grave.
If there were this many people inside, could something like this have really been an accident? While the discovery unsettled you, your nature as a Doppleganger prevented the realization from too heavily disturbing you.I don't think this was an accident.You nod shallowly, senses flaring to high alert as you once more start trying to pick your way through the wreckage while avoiding blackened husk-like corpses littering the interior. With little idea as to what had caused this, and the fire having long been extinguished, all that was left to you in here was...>To find out what this place had been>To head back to Dullem and the others>To try and find something valuable to salvage>Am I forgetting something...? (write-in)>Other? (write-in)
>>43384156>>To head back to Dullem and the others2spooky
>>43384156>To find out what this place had beenWe must find out why this is a spoopy
>>43384312>To try and find something valuable to salvageI have no idea what the forgetting is.
>>43384156>To try and find something valuable to salvage
>>433843121. Back to Dullem.>>433843742. What was this place?>>43384381>>433844143. Find something valuable.Writing!I don't think anyone following this quest actually had to go look up the Forgetting this time. It's something I'm decently certain anyone knows the answer to, if they had the question directly asked to them
>>43384493No, but that's an interesting guess!
>>43384156>To find out what this place had been.
Tearing your eyes from the small deluge of corpses litering the burned down wreck, you realize that any chance you had to help these people ended a while back. The only thing you can really do now is to try and find something useful to salvage from all of this, and hope Rinnier found some information about what this was all about by the time you got back. You continue prodding through the open grave, a little more carefully now, in an attempt to find something useful. It took you a while, but finding what looked like the remains of an office was the biggest stroke of luck you had had since you dove into this place. Wedging the wreckage obscuring entry to the room out of the way left you panting, which in turn sent you into a wild coughing fit as the powdered ash plumed upward from the impact of charred wood being dislodged from the frame. You stepped inside gingerly, feeling the floor creak under your heel as you ease inside and look around. Two small bookcases whose contents were lost to the world hugged the wall, claimed by the blaze such that even the bound titles were unreadable. The chair was hardly in any shape to do its job any longer, which left the heavy-looking desk itself; A massive piece of furniture, seemingly carved out from a single tree. How it was even moved into the room was beyond you, but it was so sturdy that even the fire that had seemingly devoured this house could only cause superficial damage to it.The blackened papers which lay upon the desk were all but cinders to the touch, but the drawers may still contain something salvageable. A few jiggled attempts confirm that they're still locked tight, the locks probably damaged in the fire... If you had an axe, you might have been able to eventually chopped your way to the goodies, but without it, you're stuck staring at a potential bounty just out of reach.Let me try.
Summoning the slightly unstable shaded form of Irue Valen was an act you were getting more used to preforming, practiced off and on in your time alone on the trip to town. The flickering and easily dissolved spectre of your own shadow - The original Irue Valen - standing in front of you was simultaneously a testament to progress made towards resolving the conditions binding the two of you like this, as well as a nagging concern that you - the doppleganger - were slipping further and further away from your own origin....And perhaps Irue as well, if becoming used to that shadowy body could be considered an 'adaption'.It's unlocked.You're snapped out of your reveries as the shadowed silhouette of Irue Valen withdrew its formless limb from the creases of the previously sealed drawer and sunk back to the ground in what somehow managed to resemble a smug manner. You ignore that for the moment, heeding the urgings of both your shadow and your own curiosity as you pull the drawers open."...A journal?"Protected from the blaze for the most part, the pages were still almost painfully dry. You handle the small book with care as its spine creaks in protest at being opened once more. There are scorch marks along the outer edges of each page, obscuring bits and pieces of the script written down within, but..."This was the Tier estate." You breathe softly, eyes locked to the pages recounting a now long dead man, his business, fleeting and vague references to both your own family, and probably so much more.The house creaks uneasily around you as the unmistakable whistle of a breeze passes.>Read now>Get back to Dullem>Other? (write-in)
>>43384969>>Get back to Dullem
>>43384969>Get back to DullemReading can be done in the safety of your peons. Unless we can >Continue investigating the areaThere might be something else of note in this area.
>>43384969>Get back to Dullem Let's play it safe for now. Plus, Rinnier might be back. We can read it later.
>>43385018>>43385024>>43385060Back to DullemWriting!
You frown, softly shutting the book and tucking it under your arm as you decide to leave. You had spent enough time here, and Rinnier would probably already be back when you returned. With any luck, she could help shed some light on what had gone on here. If this had really been deliberate as you were beginning to believe, then that might explain why you hadn't heard anything from Asche or Kara since sending them to find the Tiers. It might not tell you where they were now, or what had happened to them, but...Your dull red eyes narrowed as you left the creaking wreckage, thoughts about your missing maid and Testament swirling around in an ever more irritable manner as you finally come to a stop outside of the door. There were plenty of reasons you could have stopped; A poorly armed man brandishing a worn machete some distance in front of you was certainly one of those reasons."You're not going to tell me what happened here, are you?" You shift your weight to the side and stare at him. Hardly fit to be called a mercenary, you wonder if this guy could even be called a brigand. He didn't seem too confident in what he was doing, if the clenched fist around the machete handle and the constant shifting of his eyes was any indication. He licked his lips, nervously raising the blade as he continued to refuse to meet your eyes.The rafters behind you creak dangerously a second time, the sound coming from unsettlingly closer to your back than it had last time.>Try to get him to talk.>Risk looking back at the house>Make a break for it, the book needs to be kept safe.>Other? (write-in)
>>43385531>>Make a break for it, the book needs to be kept safe.
Someone else might have stood and fought, but with the fragile pages under your arm already threatening to come apart at the spine, you don't dare risk the only lead you found getting torn up in some meaningless pissing match outside of a ruined house. Whoever this guy was, he didn't seem like the type to even know the answers to the questions you had anyway.That said... With the crashing of whatever behind you as your cue, you burst off from your point and make a break for it. There's a brief second of shock from the machete wielding man in front of you, a moment you capitalize on ruthlessly to create distance between the two of you, not bothering to look back even as you hear a second gasping wheeze of hidden assailant having presumably fallen from their perch behind you just as you took off.Stubbornly long blonde hair streams out behind you as you work to race away as quickly as your legs can carry you. Your own heart resounded heavily in your ears, the adrenaline of a fight pressing your body into a familiar state of fleet footed lightness. The ground blurred under your feet as you ran, and you briefly reflected that it was good you had doing so much physical exertion lately if it meant helping you out right now!...Unfortunately, nothing short of dedicated stamina training in those three months would have been enough to actually carry you all the way from the Tier's estate back to Dullem in a single sprint. In what seems like an annoying little amount of time, you can already feel the burn in your lungs as your body starts demanding both air and rest. Your calves were only mildly uncomfortable, but you were already running out of breath. Perhaps more unfortunately, whatever that machete wielding ruffian did for a living, it was evidently more stamina intensive than being a stay-at-home noble.Your impromptu rush had left you winded, but there's no sight of that second surprise assailant at least.
You could keep running now, but you won't get much further before he eventually catches up to you. Maybe a quarter of the way to your destination in flat sprint was all you had in you, after all. You've got a few seconds to prepare before that panicked machete wielding peasant closes the distance between you, and you need to make it count.>Set the book away somewhere and deal with him head on.>Try to get him talking. Distract him long enough to get your breath back.>Call for help, hope someone hears it.>Other? (write-in)
>>43385978>>Try to get him talking. Distract him long enough to get your breath back.
"Left your friend behind?" You call in between gulps of air, already turning back to your pursuer. "Any chance you want to talk this o-Wah!?"Attempts to negotiate are ended abruptly as you jerk yourself to the side, barely avoiding the worn machete's awkward downward chop. "What's your problem, anyway?!" You scramble to bring your feet up under you as you dance back a ways to create some modicrum of space between you again. His tenacity in trying to hack you to bits is, thankfully, only rivalled by his inability to actually wield his chosen tool in a remotely effective manner. You could probably keep dodging for a while, but there was always a chance you would misstep or misjudge something and take a blow. More-over, time spent dodging was not time spent resting."Sure you don't want leave me alone?" You move again, noting his brows furrow as he continues to miss. "I won't come back after you-" Jump to the left "-If you've got some circumstances-" step to the right "-We could talk this over like civilized-" book tucked safely under one arm "-People!""Stand still!" Ah, you finally got a reaction out of them. "Stop making this harder than it is!" He cried - The man was actually crying at you as he blindly swung the machete again. It was as pitiful to avoid as the others had been. "Are... You okay?" You can't help but ask, more out of bewilderment than actual concern, as your assailant started to leak all manner of tear and snot as he swung angrily at you. "Are you sure you want to keep doing this?""No!" You blink at the straightforward answer, "I didn't think anyone was going to show up, I took the damn job because it was easy money, and then you had to come!" This was a grown man bawling his eyes out as he tried and failed to kill a waifish stay-at-home noble. You were honestly starting to dislike him before, but how exactly do you react to something like this?
He's not even stopping his assault as he does this, so you can't even really catch your breath. The only upside to this is that, if anything, his aim is actually getting worse. "This was some kind of-" You dive out of the way again, jogging lightly some feet away, pausing more to let his anguished groaning pass so he can hear you properly than out of any exhaustion on your end. "-Job? Someone hired you to kill whoever wandered around there?"Why? And who would even do that? For that matter, if you were going to go out of your way to hire someone, why hire someone as shoddy as this? That's just wasted money. This guy couldn't kill you, and you didn't even know how to wield a weapon. If he had attacked literally anyone else, wouldn't they have just kicked his ass?"I need the money!"You dodge another swing, but a glint of golden strands floating away from you catches your eye immediately. Something snaps inside of you, and you feel your muscles tense even as the pupils dilate hellishly. A quickened pulse is the only warning before your hand instinctively lashed out, issuing forth a bone crunching 'crack' on impact with the man's face as he stumbles back in surprise.You take a moment to steady yourself, breathing heavily as you try to reign in the near reflexive rage at having your hair cut so unexpectedly. He's crying, he's been crying, but maybe pain is a part of the reason why now. There's blood running out of his nose, mixing with the snot, and you still feel the blind wrath coursing through you... But he's off balance.>He cut your hair, he can answer your questions after you pay him back.>You need to calm down, this may be a chance to finally get some rest.>Call out for help while he's distracted>Other? (write-in)
>>43386527>>He cut your hair, he can answer your questions after you pay him back.
Attempts to restrain yourself fail....Nearly half an hour later, the man has ceased to cry. He's ceased to do a lot of things, really. Breathe is thankfully not one of them, but you're relatively certain you knocked him out at some point before you managed to pull yourself back together to find yourself mounted atop him with a bloodstained fist so abused that you're not even certain all the blood is his. If this poor man had, at one point, had a nose - It was now replaced by the pancaked slope of shattered cartilage left behind in its place.You gasp for breath, rolling off of him after a couple seconds of harsh gasping. It actually hurts to uncurl your fist, so you work at that a little slowly as you run a mental checklist of yourself.Fully clothed? Check, but they need to be washed.Fatigue? It will probably catch up to you soon. You feel okay right now, though.Unharmed? Check, aside from some minor aches, and your hair.You wearily look around, catching sight of the cut locks. You didn't plan to retrieve them or anything, their connection to you had - very literally - already been cut. You close your eyes, breathing out deeply as you shake the remnants of your jerk reaction off you. This same thing had happened back with Roderick, too. You weren't particularly sorry about THAT either.The book lay discarded on the ground some ways off. You had just dropped it the moment you lunged, leaving it to plop to the ground uncaringly. You wince at that, retrieving it gingerly to check it over for damages. "...Ah." A page had torn out from the book. It was still legible, but with the edges scorched, you're not sure what number it was, or where it went. There might be more pages loose in the book as well, now... You kind of want to kick the unconscious man for having started all of this, but he's probably suffered enough for now.Decisions...
>Try to drag him back with you to Dullem>Leave him here, take the machete and go back to Dullem>Use the machete and kill him now, so he won't be a problem later>Find some way to restrain him, then wait around for him to wake up for interrogation>Other?(write-in)
>>43386867>Find some way to restrain him, then go back and send someone to pick him up.
You don't really have anything on you to restrain him, but... You make do with what you do have, which in this case means his own shirt. Or what was previously his shirt, as it you quickly tear it as best you can and use it to tie his arms together behind his back. You're not really sure how this whole 'restrain' thing works, but you're pretty sure it involves at least this much. You'd tie him to a tree as well, but that would involve a lot more effort than you can really give at this short of a notice....Though you don't want him running off, so just to be safe, you tie his feet together at the ankles with his own belt - And then tie his shoe laces together for good measure.By the time you're done, the whole thing seems... Terribly juvenile, but you hope it works. You still have questions you want him to answer, and you wager he'll be more cooperative in answering them when surrounded by the rest of Dullem's men.In the meantime though, you need to get back to said knight captain. You can send someone to come back for this guy afterwards, but your priorities just got thrown into disarray severely; What was going to be a simple syndicate investigation just left you with a partially burned journal as your only lead as to where your Testament and maid.. secretary...Where Asche went.You hope Rinnier got some information from the guards themselves, because you get the sinking feeling that Carona was going to do its level best to continue being a royal pain for the foreseeable future.
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Valen+QuestAnd we are archived.I'll lurk the thread for a bit to try and answer some questions if I can.Apologies to all anons who participated in Valen Quest but died at their keyboards wondering when QM would finally stop.To those who did not make it to the end, we will never forget your sacrifice; Though this thread was still fairly short by my standards, so I apologize for that. I am working back up to the usual length.