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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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There once was a girl and her hound, who were travelling along a road close to the seaside. They were not an ordinary pair, and at a glance they gave an impression of something quietly otherworldly; the girl of teenage appearance was dressed in white with trims and designs in blue, and the hound had ash-grey fur and stood at a height just above her waist.

They were looking for somebody, and knew little about the person except that they would find him or her in a nearby fishing town, located away from the bustle of major trade routes.

The girl hummed as they walked leisurely through the cool autumn morning, her appearance contrasting greatly with the fading greens, oranges, and browns of leaves gently drifting in the wind. The trees grew sparser as the road took them closer to the sea, and as the dirt road turned to cobblestone the girl in white’s companion looked up at her and spoke.


The girl’s melody stopped. “Yes, dear Wolf?”

“I’m hungry,” the hound in grey said in a low, wild voice that contrasted with his childish manner.

“I know,” the girl in white replied with an unchanging expression and careless tone.

Their conversation ended simply, and the girl started humming again. The large dog seemed to not mind her answer, and continued panting softly as they continued walking forward with their destination in view.

There was a bored-looking young man in unadorned iron standing at the entrance to the town, holding a spear in one hand and stifling a yawn with the other, though he stood straighter when the pair came into view. When the girl and her hound had come close, they were greeted by a stuttered welcome and surprised, widened eyes.

The bored-looking young man could not be faulted for being taken aback. ‘Girl in white’ was a very apt description for the person standing before him; not only did it describe the hooded cape that reached below her waist and the modest feminine dress, but it was also appropriate for the girl’s pale skin and silver hair. Along with the contrast to her striking blue eyes, when placed next to the large hound with ash-grey fur the two made a strange and memorable combination.

“What’s your business here?” The young man continued, clumsy and formal.

The girl in white and the hound in grey looked at each other, then spoke together:

“Where do people meet in this place?”
“Where does one get meat in this place?”

Once again, the young man could not be faulted for being taken aback.

The strange pair learned that there was an inn that the fishermen would frequent for food and drink, though as it was late morning they could not expect to see much more than the innkeeper if they were to visit. They were also told there was a town square that many would frequent, and there was a meeting being held at the time. The young man was uninterested in the happenings of the town’s meetings, and could tell them little more.

> Where did the strange pair go?

[ ] The inn.
[ ] The square.
[ ] The square.
Any stalls that sell meat? For the hound.
>[ ] The square.
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The girl and her hound walked past the young guard without another word, heading towards the center of the town. They passed stone brick houses and saw signs that marked small local stores, and it took hardly a minute before the cobblestone road widened into what was clearly the town square. There were many stalls that served as shopfronts, and to the strange pair’s left was a straight road to the sea, the way to which was short and clear enough for the sparkling blue surface to be seen even from where they stood.

To the pair’s right was a collection of people, some seated in wooden chairs and others standing, which would account for the meeting that the young guard told them about. At the time, there was a brash-looking youth expounding vigorously about having the town’s tailors use less material for pieces of clothing to save coin.

The strange pair turned away as a large trout flew through the air and made a loud smack on contact with the youth’s face, and walked towards a grey-haired man resting on stone steps next to his stall.

The man looked up with a raised eyebrow. “Mornin’, little miss. Haven’t seen the two of you around before. Just stopping by?”

The girl in white nodded. The hound in grey had his tongue out and was slowly dripping saliva onto the cobblestone ground, eyes fixed on a barrel that stood next to the grey-haired man.

The girl in white pointed to the barrel. “We would like to have that,” she said.

“Uh, the whole barrel?” The grey-haired man replied, his eyebrow rising further.

She nodded and retrieved two gold coins from her dress, showing them on her palm. The grey-haired man’s eyebrows dropped quickly, his expression quite neutral as he pocketed the coins and pushed the barrel towards the strange pair.

“All yours. Didn’t quite catch your name, miss…?”

> How did the girl in white introduce herself?

[ ] Lamb.
[ ] Mary.
[ ] Other?
>[ ] Mary.
>[ ] Mary.
>[ ] Mary.
The girl lifted the lid and retrieved a large fish from the container, and held it out towards her companion. There was a slurping sound, and the fish simply disappeared into the hound’s open maw.

“You can call me Mary, youngling.”

The grey-haired man kept the thought to himself, but it was an awfully common, human name for its bearer.

The girl continued without pause. “This one is called Wolf.”

“Hi!” The hound in grey said in between inhaling his food.

“We are looking for someone. They would be close, and would be rather unique and noticeable,” the girl in white said while holding out the sixth fish to her companion.

There were several things to comment on for the grey-haired man as he looked at the youth with striking blue eyes and the hound with ash-grey fur, but he chose to accept that his morning was to be strange.

“Well, uh, there’s Runai,” the grey-haired man said while waving down the southern road, “comes from somewhere in the sea as a sort of representative or somethin’. But you’re probably askin’ for the doctor.”

There was another sucking sound, and the girl in white reached into the barrel for another fish before gesturing towards the grey-haired man to continue.

They were told of a person who lived inland who the people would go to when facing serious illness or injury. The presence of just a single specialist for such an important service was not unusual in a small settlement, but curiously the doctor was said to have lived in his small cottage for the past 120 years, since the town’s infancy.
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The strange pair left through the north gate, following the directions from the grey-haired man. Much of it was almost no different from their journey towards the town; cobblestone gave way to well-trodden dirt, and the trees at the sides of the path grow less sparse and litter the ground with autumn brown leaves. They reached a wide river and turned to follow it inland, and it did not take much longer for for their next destination to come into view.

It was a small, cozy-looking wooden cottage with a stone chimney and glass windows with curtains drawn across them, seated quite close to the riverbank.

The girl in white walked forward and tried the doorknob, and found it locked. She examined the nearby window and could not see a way to open it from the outside. It was after a few moments that it occurred to her to knock, but when she moved to do so there sounded out a distinct click and metallic whine. She turned and saw her companion had found his way inside the house, and the hound’s shaggy grey head was sticking out of the opened window panting excitedly.

The combined kitchen and dining room inside the cottage was bare. There was a layer of dust on the empty table and accompanying chairs, and the pair could not see any objects that would have given the room the sense of being a home; there were no books or papers, no vase of flowers, nothing.

Another door lead to a narrow hallway, revealing three more thresholds. One likely lead to a bedroom, and a second perhaps lead to a latrine, but the pair ignored them for the third at the end of the corridor which opened to reveal stairs that lead down below the house.

The girl and her hound walked down the stairs into a wide basement of stone bricks. Inside there were tall wooden shelves filled with books, some fading and ancient, others less so. There were unmarked barrel-like objects in one corner, made of metal or stone, and a large rectangular box or container reminiscent of a coffin.

Many would have found it very unexpected to also see the large metal contraptions in the room. The machines of cogs, gears, and unknown parts that jut out vertically like small pillars were almost unheard of in a rural place so far from any capital cities, but the strange pair’s eyes were instead fixed on the shape of a man sitting hunched in front of a desk across the stairs. There were papers scribbled with ink scattered over the wooden surface and the surrounding floor, and the man was tracing his index finger across several that lay in front of him.

> What did the strange pair do?

[ ] Impatient, they began their hunt.
[ ] Curious, they looked around.
>[ ] Curious, they looked around.
>[ ] Curious, they looked around.
>[ ] Impatient, they began their hunt.
The tired-looking gentleman did not notice the two behind him walking down the stairs, despite there being no attempt at silence. The girl in white looked around, drawing nothing from the machines she knew little about, then sat cross-legged in front of a few papers that had fallen to the stone-brick ground, the grey-furred hound joining her. The pages were filled with rushed and crossed-out letters, and referred to a procedure that involved the machines and the large container in the room.

The tired-looking gentleman was shifting his notes, muttering to himself in a frustrated tone. He stood from his chair and saw the strange pair seated on the ground when he turned.

It was a startling sight to be greeted with, the girl in white and the hound in grey. It took a moment, but the former looked up from the papers on the floor to regard the tired old gentleman in front of her.

“Hello,” said the girl in white with deadpan expression and matching tone.

The man remembered his voice.

“Was the door not- ...nevermind. I apologise, but I have little time to spare,” he said in a refined tongue, thinking the two were residents of the nearby town. “Please, just, write your issue down or… or come back later.”

The girl in white did not respond, save for tilting her head slightly to the left. The tired-looking gentleman appeared to be at a loss, and the odd moment of silence was broken when the hound looked up.

“What does this mean, little Lamb?” The hound in grey asked while pointing to a place on a paper.

The girl in white followed her companion’s paw.

“The word corruption. Like when something clean starts to dirty.”

“Or when food starts to rot?”

“Yes, dear Wolf. It seems it is what this youngling is trying to change.”

The girl in white turned her striking blue eyes towards the tired-looking gentleman, who was standing slightly agape at the scene before him.

The man brought up a hand to rub his eyes, sighing. “It’s a long story.”

“We have time,” was the girl in white’s simple reply.

What prompted the tired-looking gentleman to tell his tale, even if not in full? From the gaunt lines of his cheeks and the shadows under his eyes, one did not have to know the man to see he had seen much that he would not like to experience again.

Perhaps he wished not to go without at least someone knowing.

The tired-looking gentleman appeared to be far past his prime, perhaps fifty or sixty years of age, but he told the strange pair that he lived far longer. When he was much younger he had a son, and he described a life devoted to the research of a cure to some unknown, otherworldly corruption that had befallen that innocent child.

In his focus and to the march of time the tired-looking gentleman forgot everything except his research, even his son’s name, such that there was little more to him than the gaunt-faced man that sat before the strange pair.

“I will try the only method I have found in all these years. It will work, but pushes far too much stress on the patient. My son,” he said, gesturing towards the rectangular coffin in the room, ”will likely not survive.”

There was quiet. The hound in grey raised his head and spoke: “That wasn’t a very long story.” He was promptly ignored.

> They had found their mark. What did the strange pair do?

[ ] Help
[ ] Hinder
[ ] Hunt

> What do you think of this man? Is it noble or foolish to struggle and resist against the inevitable?
>[ ] Help
See what happens.

Noble to persist, foolish to let the pointless struggle destroy what little remained of your life.
>Foolish, but it's what makes humans what they are.
The girl in white and the hound in grey sat in that stone basement, watching as the tired-looking gentleman worked for the following hours. To him they were witnesses to his effort, and to themselves they were an audience to a struggle they could not understand.

The man moved the metal barrel-like objects and attached thick wires between them, the coffin, and the machines, which had indecipherable meters and indicators that awoke slowly as the connection was made.

It grew to late afternoon as the tired-looking gentleman consulted his notes. The strange pair had observed in silence, the girl in white softly petting her companion who was resting his head on her lap. With little ceremony, the gentleman flicked a switch and began his procedure.

A light atop the coffin glowed green as the great machines hummed to life, shivering in anticipation. The pair watched as the man moved back and forth; watching the meters, adjusting a knob, tapping a switch.

“Stable… anomaly adjusted for…”

The tired-looking gentleman muttered hastily under his breath.

“Extraction done… Just, please…”

And the light atop the coffin started flashing red.

“No, no!”

He tore himself away from the coffin and back to the machines, turning and pressing and pulling, glancing at the indicators as they danced and shivered far too quickly.

It was inevitable, of course. The man had almost said so when he had told his tale to the strange pair. The solution he had found in all his years of searching was imperfect, and the risk was too great.

What should the tired-looking gentleman have done? In his search, he had become something that barely lived, yet should he have continued to its completion, whenever that may have been?

The hound in grey looked up at the girl in white. Her gaze was fixed on the gentleman’s figure, frantically rushing between his machines, looking for hope.

Is this noble, she thought to herself.

The girl in white stood up, and reached out with a hand. The rising hum and shaking of the machines were silence to her, and her striking blue eyes pierced the strobing red light that flashed painfully in the stone-grey basement.

“Not yet.”

The girl in white spoke in a whisper, yet her words rang out into elsewhere like the sound of bells and for an eternal moment the scene was bathed in light.


The sky had given over to twilight when the tired-looking gentleman and the strange pair arrived back at the cozy wooden cottage. They had visited the fishing town once more, and in the old man’s arms was a young child no more than ten years of age. The girl in white acquired another barrel of fish to the unbridled joy of her companion as the old man explained a falsehood to the town’s mayor, and with a lingering gaze the boy was left behind.

The tired-looking man brushed dust off a wooden chair in front of his home and sat, the girl and her hound standing in front of him.

“Do you know who we are?” The girl in white asked.

The man reached for something around his neck, and his fingers clasped around solid, invisible air. “I do, and I apologise for hiding.”

The hound in grey made a bestial grimace, akin to a smile or grin. “You should have run instead. The chase would have been long.”

The man laughed as he hooked his fingers as if under a string or chain. He removed that unseen something from his neck and held it out towards the strange pair. The girl in white stretched out her palm and in it the man dropped an amulet fashioned after two halves of two masks, one black and one white.

The trinket appeared to the pair only when the man’s fingers had left it, and the moment it fell on their palm the tired old man had begun a slow, gradual change; his hair started to grey from the roots, his form started to wither, and wrinkles started to appear on his skin.

“I think I won’t be needing this anymore,” the man’s shrivelling voice said.

The girl in white reached out with her other hand, and in it appeared a perfect, pristine arrow. She asked the tired old man in front of her one last question.

“And will you have my arrow, or his teeth?”

The man had fought, fled, and hid for so long from the two that stood before him, but now his choice was made without hesitation.

Those wrinkled fingers reached out and met with the hand that was white as fresh snow, finding purchase on the cool surface of the arrow shaft.

In those final moments, the man who had lived too long had a simple thought.

He thought that this was a perfect end; for if the blue-eyed reaper could smile so gently, then none would hesitate to go.
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The girl and her hound were on a road close to the seaside. The girl in white held before her the amulet fashioned after two very familiar masks.

“Someone is taunting us, dear Wolf.”

The amulet was given to the old man by someone else, who he had either known nothing about or simply forgotten, and it was what extended his life so far beyond the natural. The strange pair knew nothing of that person, other than that they would be their enemy.

The hound in grey looked up. “And we will meet them soon, little Lamb.”

The strange pair walked down the road through the cool autumn evening, black and white against fading greens, oranges, and browns. The girl was humming, but her melody stopped when the hound in grey spoke again.

“Should we have done that, Lamb?”

What gave these two the right to decide fate?

The girl in white did not care.

“We do what we wish, dear Wolf.”

Their conversation ended simply, and the girl started humming again. The hound in grey seemed to not mind her answer, and continued panting as their footsteps started to disappear.

Wolf piped up again as the two walked back behind the veil.


“Yes, dear Wolf?”

“I’m hungry.”
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Thanks for participating in this little experiment of mine! Honestly didn't quite turn out as I wanted, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway.

You might see me again some time in the near future, and I'll either be drawing something stupid or writing something less weird and more fun!

Also, I was prompted to write this by the idea of the reaper being a sentient, intelligent entity, which made me think of a weird question: is death evil?
This is pretty nice, damn.

Shame anons tend not to appreciate longer stuff like this.
I liked it a lot. I'll archive it either way, if you ever feel like writing a story or another quest is there any way of getting that info? Like a twitter profile or something?

Thanks fellas!

Yeah I try to announce stuff on @boxofmithril. This would be my second quest, the other is archived here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=mithril

I'm not sure how fitting a story like this is for /tg/. Quests tend to lean towards RPG-like or VN-like, and this is very much the latter, which ends up being kinda railroady. Anything I do in the future will probably be similar though, hah.
Seeya, it was a very nice albeit short one shot.
Eh, I like the format, and your writting was pretty nice, specially compared to the average for quests.
I enjoyed it, it made for a nice story with some light reader inputs here and there.
it was interesting to read that's for sure look forward to whatever you make next
Definitely an interesting read. Like the others before.

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