The ground was hard. This simple thought is the first thing to register once your self-awareness began to slide back into place. The grit of dirt under your feet, the stubborn stone that scraped against you as your numbed legs scrambled to push you away from the stone cell across from you. Something wraps around you, and you waste little time in trying to jerk away from it; A futile endeavour that only serves to wrap the unyielding things tighter around you. The struggle is brief, lasting only until you realize the distant scratching static filtering into your ears were voices you recognized. You suck in a final, deep breath before forcing it out of your lungs with a body trembling shudder. Your hands were still shaking, but you were becoming calmer. Calm enough to realize the unyielding cords wrapped around you were the arms of your demihuman Testament. Calm enough to finally swallow your instinctive terror and look beyond the maid's near luminescent sea-green eyes that had threatened to tear you from your feet. At some point Jill had done her own part in wrestling Asche away from the rocky spires that sealed the jail cell, though you can't help but note that Asche's attention hadn't drifted from you in the slightest.In fact, you doubt she was even paying the small pub girl in any attention. If it hadn't been for Kara's intervention, you'd probably still be at the maid's mercy.Haha... Mercy.Those weren't the eyes of mercy at all.Given the slightest chance, this person would kill you."What happened?" Priat interjected himself between you and the cell, splitting his gaze between you and the contained party warily, "There's no need to be alarmed, we've come to help you."Whatever he had hoped to accomplish with that encouragement, Asche didn't even seem to acknowledge him.
She had immediately singled you out, even with the Diary of Reflections providing you this convenient face. More than simply recognizing you were Irue Valen under the Relic's guise, she had recognized that you WEREN'T Irue Valen. You knew, down to your very core, that you had no hope of standing against the deceptively harmless (m)aid. The still oppressive weight lightly pulsing against your left wrist was a dire reminder of the crushing loss you had experienced to its owner back when you had been manifested into this world for the first time.Your first instinct was to run. Forget saving them, forget letting them out; Turn and leave, go back to the surface. The best place for this maid was right where she was, possibly with several extra tons of rocks directly on top of her....But if you left, that means Jill was left down here as well. Putting aside the reaction you'd have to expect from your shadow once it had woken up from whatever dormancy taking that Wisp Mana to the face had sent it into, you couldn't just leave the frustratingly stubborn pub girl down here after she got captured trying to help you.There was also the matter of Priat. He had come with you to help rescue these people, you doubted he would be willing to just leave them down here.>Try to reason with Asche>Extract Jill, leave Asche trapped down here.>Break open the cell; Leave Asche to Kara.>Other? (write-in)
Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?searchall=valen+questWhere things are said: https://twitter.com/Riz_QMWhere things are asked: http://ask.fm/RizQMAssorted Supplemental:Current Abilities - http://pastebin.com/PchcdWpwBasics of Mana - http://pastebin.com/V9b1DMrSA List of Forgotten Things - http://pastebin.com/kPEscJ3hWrite-ups:Kara's Day Out - http://pastebin.com/8ZbiSKLsAdventures with Asche - http://pastebin.com/RNviCBJuThe Reclaimed Doll - http://pastebin.com/n6miP1qTIn Your Shadow - http://pastebin.com/EfeeHFAEMisc notes:Asche has secrets of her own.
>>45429507>Break open the cell; Leave Asche to Kara.Happy Valentine's Day, Riz. Here's a little something for you pertaining to my favorite arc so far.
>>45429507>>Try to reason with AscheMight be pointless but... we can't exactly do what she wants right now, regardless.
>>45429615This is amazing. I love the shadow of the woman splaying out between the stairs, and the texture of the carpets!Did you make this?
>>45429507>>Try to reason with AscheAsche, many things happened I want to talk about it later in private. I have no intention of keeping what was forced on me.
>>45429671>>45429883Reasoning!>>45429615Just let them out!Writing.
>>45429811Glad you like it! The lighting's my favorite part of it personally. I certainly did!
"..." You try to explain yourself, but your throat is too dry to let out more than a croak. You take a moment to swallow, finding your voice before you try again. "A lot of things have happened, Asche. I promise, we'll talk about it later, but it has to wait until we get out of here.""Time enough for you to finish consuming." She replied flatly, a chill running along your skin as the implication of the simple statement sunk in. She knew exactly what you were."No. No, that's... That's not what happened, it's complicated, and I promise I don't want this any more than you do. Neither of us do." Even though it's selfish, you can't help but think that this is the worst possible time for your shadow to be unresponsive. For over a month you had that unwelcome voice nagging in the back of your mind, and now the one time you actually want them around...! Asche's steady eyes bored into your own, a cold sweat that had nothing to do with the frigid Relic beginning to break out along the back of your neck. She didn't look convinced, and you were terrified of what risking another brush with the maid would result in. After several tense seconds, her scowl shifted, sea-green eyes seeming to soften in a barely discernible distant interest as she appeared to take notice of something. Your breath held until Asche's lids blinked shut, losing their dangerous luminescence upon reopening. You sighed, but the maid's silent acceptance of your plea was hardly enough to let you relax; Her scowl was still firmly in place, trained on you unerringly.You found your feet back under you once more, moving back and away from the rocky cell and trying to suppress the tingling instinct telling you to run. "Is everything okay now?" Priat looked back to you in askance, "Was there a misunderstanding?""...Something like that." You nod, gesturing towards the cells, "Kara, tear it open. We're getting out of here."
The Demihuman hesitated briefly, caught between Asche and you, but the moment passed with a shrug as she wrapped her hands around the rocky spires of the jail cell and ripped them apart. There was an abrupt echoing crack that resounded sharply through the abandoned tunnels, signalling the destruction of the only thing keeping you and Asche separated."This is so cool! Are you an Adept too? Is that a tail? A Demihuman? No way!"Oblivious to the tense staring contest going on between you and the maid, Jill was already clambering out of the cell and admiring the way Kara had simply shattered the bars. "Who are you guys? Are you guys helping Irue too?" Her head may as well have been on a swivel as she rapidly looked between the three of her 'saviours', and you realized with a grimace that you had never explained the existence, or effect, of the Diary of Reflections to her. "We'll talk about it later." You repeat, a calming statement that completely failed its intended purpose as Jill remained as excited as ever. "I didn't even know these things existed, where are we? Why didn't anyone ever mention these places? Hey, you're from the Shrine!"You silently relish the vague discomfort on Priat's awkwardly smiling face as Jill effectively pounced upon him for answers to her endless questions. He hadn't actually done anything this entire trip, he could keep the pub girl occupied on the way back."Hey, are you part of this to? What's really going on with all of this? Did the Shrine know about the Mayor this whole time? What's next? Are we gonna raid his mansion? We can beat him up and make him confess! I didn't think you Shrine guys actually did anything-" You tuned out Jill's ceaseless discharge of questions and demands as you met eyes with Asche after she extracted herself from the cell. There was a single breath's worth of consideration in you towards running...
Before you could act on it one way or another however, Kara had stepped between you with one lip peeled back towards the maid. Her bristled tail jerked to the side, a silent warning to Asche as she stepped back towards you protectively.The trip back to the surface was uneventful.You broke free of the Mausoleum to greet soft ground, made softer with the lightly falling sheets of rain. The sky had long since been covered by darkened clouds, leaving your group of five to trek back through the woods across the mud. Asche's eyes never once left your back, and you could practically feel the tension waiting to snap as she silently waited for the promised answer.Priat seemed inundated by Jill's barrage of questions and excited observations. He shot you glances when she was distracted, a curiousity and suspicion lightly visible in the way he seemed to hold you in consideration. However, it didn't seem to sit well with him to remain out in the rain and forest for overly long; It was clear the man wished to return to Carona.>Head back to Carona immediately.>Detour to Dullem to see if he caught the runners.>Send the party on to talk with Asche now.>Other? (write-in)
>>45430909>Send the party on to talk with Asche now.Have Kara and Priat check in on Dullem.
>>45430909>>Send the party on to talk with Asche now.>>Other? (write-in)Kara stays with us too, though.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>45431082>>45431113Sending the party on to Dullem!Dice on whether Kara stays or goes. 1. Stays2. Goes
You sigh, footsteps coming to a halt in the moist earth. "Priat, Kara, I want you to go check in on Dullem. Asche and I will catch up soon.""I'm curious about the runners as well." Priat seemed to accept your request easily enough, nodding to you in acquiescence as he turned back to Jill and began to entice her along with promises of meeting more people related to her recent escapades. You almost want to groan at how easily Jill seems to get on board with that idea, but if it gets her moving along without complaint then you'll just have to live with it.Kara, on the other hand, hadn't moved a muscle. She had been just as persistent in her vigilance over Asche as said maid had been over you, which may have led to more strained moments if Asche had even once seemed to acknowledge Kara's presence at all."I'll be fine, Kara. We're just going to talk."The demihuman's tail swished agitatedly in response, a plaintive mumble barely audible over the natural white noise of falling rain. It wasn't an outright rejection, but the demihuman still wasn't fully convinced. "I don't like it." She turned back to you with a frown, "There's nothin' out out here. They'll be fine.""This is private, Kara." You... Don't want to explain to Kara how you've technically been lying to her. She still thinks you're Irue, and this could go very badly if she found out otherwise. "It's something between Asche and I, we won't take long."More reluctant groaning ensued, but eventually you are able to convince Kara to go ahead of you. You turn back to face Asche after she leaves, the both of you seemingly content to stand in the rain until the sound of Kara's trudging is finally masked away by the rain - And then waiting even longer, eyes locked uncomfortably with the waiting Maid until you're certain your demihuman Testament has left completely.You're not sure how strong her hearing is, but if it's anything like her nose...
>Drop the Relic's disguise, show it to Asche.>Ask what happened to Asche and Kara to keep them for so long.>Explain yourself.>Other? (write-in)
>>45431883>Drop the Relic's disguise, show it to Asche.>Explain yourself.I want to go back, but she stubbornly insisted this first. While I enjoy walking the world and doing things, it isn't like this.
>>45431883>>Explain yourself.I feel like dropping the disguise is moot. She knows what we are.
>>45431929>>45432125Explaining self!>>45431929Drop disguise.Writing.
"You already know what I am." You break the silence with a confirmation of what Asche had already declared, "But... You're also wrong. It's complicated.""You are trapped." Asche cuts directly to the point, her scowl unflinching. "Your problems are meaningless, return Irue.""Meaningless?" Your teeth grit at the dismissal and uncaring eyes, "Do you know what I've been through because of Irue? The things I've had to do? I don't know what you know about apparitions, but I never wanted any of this! I'm not here by choice, I wanted to go back! I didn't even want to be here in the first place, so don't lay this on me!"You take the marginal slip of expression on the maid's face as an indication to carry on, emptying your complaints about your lot in life to the stoically listening girl. It... It actually wasn't as bad in recounting as you initially thought. It had been terrible initially, but you find yourself fondly recalling your meetings with your knights, and the success of leading them. They way you had negotiated with the Shrine, and the way Kara had found your once again.Of course there was the matter of the Atelier, which left a bitter taste upon your tongue just to think about, but you explained that as well. It, at least, seemed to cause something in the maid's posture to shift."I'm not what I should be." You finally finish, holding your pale skinned hand up under the rain, "Something happened when I was summoned, and I've been stuck like this ever since. I can't consume anything, I can't leave, and every day I feel like I lose a little more of myself.""You are a mistake." Asche offered a simple acknowledgement as you wrapped up your story, and you nearly recoil as Asche bows her head to you politely, "A result of one both Irue and I have made."
"A... Mistake?" The word tumbles out of your mouth numbly, but Asche offers no further explanation. You were a mistake. Not an accident, but a mistake. The cool sea-green eyes watch you placidly as you digest the information, and you find no scorn or deception in them, not even the scowl she wore earlier. "What do you mean 'mistake'?""You should not exist." her soft monotone preluded the curling of your fingers. Unwillingly summoned? Wrongly manifested? You had experienced things any other Doppleganger would never have dreamed of, but you were still an apparition of Shade. You shouldn't exist? "What... Does that mean?"Asche simply watched you.>Ask what she is.>Ask how she activated the bracelet.>Ask how she knew you weren't Irue.>Other? (write-in)Asche isn't fond of talking, you will not be able to cycle through all dialogue options. Choose carefully.
>>45432819Woop, left out an option.>Ask what she is.>Ask how she activated the bracelet.>Ask how she knew you weren't Irue.>What am I?>Other? (write-in)Reply to this post.
>>45432874>Ask how she knew you weren't Irue.
...Asche doesn't mince words, so if we don't ask the right thing we might not get an answer we want.>>45432874>Ask how she activated the bracelet.I want to go with this first. First and last choices seem too straight, with potentially easy answers that tell us nothing. If we get another question,>Ask how she knew you weren't Irue.
>>45432874>>Ask how she activated the bracelet.
>>45432881What am I?>>45432909How did you not only see through the Relic, but know what I am?>>45432931>>45432960How did you activate the bracelet?Writing.
Questions twisted through your teeth faster than you could tear them apart, demands for mysteries and answers; Some you wished to know more than others. The unperturbed figure of Asche in the rain waited patiently, her expression betraying painfully little to you of her own thoughts on the matter, or even what she was expecting out of your continued conversation."How did you do that earlier?" One hand clenches over your chest, remembering the way your heart had attempted to self-destruct; The way you had felt the oppressive weight pulse from your wrist with an unforgiving, unrelenting demand. "That... That thing is what started all of this. Irue was wearing it when we ended up like this, what did you do to make it react like that?"You remembered the sensation vividly. Just like that first day, it wasn't something you could forget.Her eyes shifted dispassionately, coming to rest on the place you kept the Diary of Reflections hidden on your person. Your hand drifted to it reflexively, fingertips trailing over its chilled covers as you frowned. She met your eyes again, her interest in your Relic fading as quickly as it had come. "It is my most precious possession, willingly given. I called; It answered."You feel a dull pulse upon your wrist, a steady and calm thrum that vibrated through your body and delicately shook your core. You swallowed, taking a half-step back and away from the Maid as your hand withdrew from the Diary of Reflections and duly tried to ignore the soft waves of commanding pressure until they eased away again."Shade will stain Irue the longer you are connected." her soft voice crossed the veil of rain, "I will not lose another." Asche held her hand out, an invitation that sent your skin crawling in fear even as it tempted you. "You have already been led towards Apocrypha. Do you want to return to Clarity?"Clarity... Your tongue ran across suddenly dry lips. Your place in life. Your nature as an apparition of Shade.
The faces of your knights flowed through your mind, intertwined with every moment of loss and misery you had felt as Clarity slipped further and further from you. Their cheers. Your cries.Their hope.Your despair.Their every step forward.Your ever lengthening shadow.>I want Clarity. I want my life back.>I can't go back. I live for others.>Other? (write-in)
>>45433867I want Clarity, yet I wish to stay here as well. I've put down roots. If you can seperate us, can I be my own entity?
>>45433867>I want Clarity. I want my life back.
>>45433962>>45433972>>45433994Clarity.>>45433948>>45434000Clarity, but I don't want to leave.I hope everyone is okay with their choices.Writing.
"I..." You step forward unwittingly, "I want Clarity, but-" Her eyes don't shift as you hesitate, your attention focused on Asche's extended hand as if it were simultaneously a viper waiting to strike, and a lifeline lowered to save you. "-I don't want to leave. I have responsibilities, I can't leave my knights. Not when they're relying on me.""They do not rely on you."She denied you immediately, a rejection that stung far deeper than you were willing to admit even as your mouth warped into a snarl... But the words failed to come. She was right, and you hated it. You felt your stomach churn and retch as your jaw shut and your eyes lowered. It wasn't you that your knights had pledged themselves to - It was Irue. They didn't know you. You had spent every day, every action with them as Irue, you had been the one to shoulder their hopes and faith, but they only knew one face, and one name.In the beginning, even this entire time, you had just been living someone else's life. If you left, would anyone even know you had gone? Would anyone miss you? Everything you felt, every choice you made, was there really nothing left to say that you had existed?"It's impossible, isn't it...?" Your breath hitches, "The only reason I care about them is my loss of Clarity... But they only see Irue. All of this... It's just been a one-sided delusion for me? Are you trying to tell me everything I've been through was simple shadow puppetry?!""Apparitions are not a part of humanity."Something scratches at the sinking abyss of your mind. One of your earliest memories.You were crying then, as now. You hated the world, as now.It was unfair, that you had to deal with this...>I was born a shadow, it's all I have.>Am I forgetting something...? (What?)
>>45434546>>Am I forgetting something...? (What?)"Irue told me that I'm part of her"
>>45434546>Am I forgetting something...? (What?)Is it that Shade apparitions are born of a person's insecurities and feelings? Aren't they in a sense part of humanity, that way? Failing the forgetting though. >I was born a shadow, it's all I have.
>>45434546>>Am I forgetting something...? (What?)Only thing I can seem to find from our "earliest memories" is this>I... I want my sister. I don't want to be here alone anymore, I'm scared. I keep making mistakes. I made a mistake, I'm sorry.That or the first time we fought with our knights and killed that snake. Our first major memory?
>>45434696I was born a shadow. It's all I have.>>45434726You were closest.It was one post further down.God this is going to be a little heartbreaking to write. Give me a bit.
>>45434778Damnit. Was it>"You're Irue Valen.">>-Why did you summon me, why are you doing this->>"You can't give up."or was that covered by >>45434687 ?
>>45434817This was it. It was not covered in the other one, as that's a literal thing.
>>45434834Shouldn't have assumed then, huh.guess we're fucked.
>>45434834Eh, one time I get it right and it doesn't count.
You were born a shadow. From the beginning you had wanted nothing more than to go back to being that. You had scrambled to seize the Clarity that had been taken from you. You had raged at how unfair it had been to force you to live someone else's life. You had... Learned so much. You learned what it was like to feel the weight of responsibility, you felt things you couldn't have imagined. Things that made your chest swell, and breath catch. Things that made your heart pound as your vision bled red. Things that left you clutching the ground and screaming. With each new feeling, you drifted further and further from that comforting Clarity... And then, you had learned how to find your place in the world without it.But even that was a shadow. You were living another's life. Experiencing someone else's world. It was all that you had, but it...Maybe it didn't matter, in the end. You had been pretending to be something you weren't, simply because it had been forced upon you. Given this chance, how could you say no? To return to the comforting Clarity? To never have to wonder if you made the right choice or not?"I-" Your face twists, something inside you feeling as if it was tearing, "-Don't want Clarity." Even if they wouldn't know, it was real to you. Every moment you had spent. You had cherished the comradery of your knights. You wanted to say that your short life had mattered.You wanted someone to remember that you had been here."But what I wanted never mattered, did it? I'm just a shadow." You took Asche's hand, closing your hand around her slender fingers. They were wet, cold, and... They felt like an end."Before this happens... You said I was a mistake, right?" You tilted your head back towards the sky, only speaking rhetorically for your own sake. "Could something like this happen again...?""Yes."Your mouth opened, a gasp of fresh air. "I don't... Want to experience this again."You clenched her hand, and knew Clarity.
You begin to stir, the smell of fresh earth filling your nostrils as you slowly wake up. There's a weight holding down your arm, one that your blurry vision could barely resolve to be Ari. There's static between your teeth as you run your tongue along their edges, slowly shifting to sit up. A tent surrounds you, with the slightly muffled sounds of people talking and moving around outside just barely filtering into your senses. It takes you a moment to disentangle yourself from the sleeping Testament and scratch your head wearily."Welcome back, Irue."Asche's voice draws your attention to your left, accepting the cup of water she held out towards you numbly. It was blessedly cool, soothing the burning dryness of your sore throat... But only made your headache worse. "Asche...""Yes?""I feel like shit.""Yes."Your lips tugged downward of their own accord as you passed the water back to her, trying to remember what led you here... ...And you do remember. Everything.You wished you didn't."Good job." You mutter, more to yourself than anyone else. Or at least, a part of yourself. Your eyes close mercifully as you lay back, accepting Asche's silence as understanding. You spend several hours like that, until the voices outside fade, drifting in and out of consciousness... Until the morning light begins to filter through the flaps of the tent."Is the lord awake yet?" Dullem entered the tent, catching your dull crimson eyes not long after stepping inside. You incline your head, unable to find your voice just yet. "Ah. We managed to catch a few of the runners from your friend's raid yesterday. They seem willing to talk." You feel your shoulders heave as you roll forward to sit up and try to hold your voice together and ask about Priat.
"He took the lass and headed back inside Carona." Dullem reported, "Can't say I'm really comfortable with someone knowing where we're at out here, but..." He glanced towards Ari, "I didn't really have a say in the matter."Today is... Roderick's meeting with the Mayor, but you probably have some time still.Even if you don't, you're taking time. At least another hour.>Talk to Asche>Talk to Ari>Talk to Kara>Talk to Dullem>Meditate (Which Mana?)
>>45435671>>Talk to Asche
>>45435671>Talk to Asche Maybe give a headpat to Ari or something while we do, since she's probably not dislodging herself from us for awhile.
>>45435671I just caught up with this quest, and what do I come to? You killed Dopplerue.Good fucking job, anons.>Talk to AscheAsk what are we.
>>45435757But what if we...>>45435671>Meditate (Shade)Just to see what happens.Will there even be anything?
>>45435757OP killed her, I don't understand how's you're Irue answer to you're not part of humanity and you're part of Irue not.
>>45435757Evidently, we were allowed to give up.Guess we really weren't Irue Valen after all.
>>45435814...I beg your pardon?
>>45435711>>45435713>>45435757Talk to Asche>>45435790Meditate(Shade)Writing.--->>45435814I wasn't quite sure what was being said here, but if I'm correct you're confused as to why "You're part of Irue" wasn't counted in the Forgetting, while >>45434817 was the correct answer?The forgetting was specifically "You are not allowed to give up". The top two lines in the linked post aren't important. It is a literal fact that as a Doppleganger, you are literally Irue Valen's insecurities made manifest, and it is a very literal truth that Dopplerue was part of Irue Valen.However, that has nothing to do with whether or not you (Dopplerue) was personally the sort who would give up or not. As noted in >>45435821Though for the record, the Forgetting was basically a last chance to pull out after the near unanimous vote for Clarity.
"Noted." You rasp, massaging your throat to cover the slight hitch in your voice. "I'll get to them soon... Give me some time." Dullem nodded, seeming to hesitate for a moment before giving you an awkward salute. His guess is as good as yours as to whether the posture was correct, but you snort softly at the meager attempt to lift your mood. "I'm glad you made it out of there alive, somehow. I'd love to know how you managed that."You waved off the captain of your knights, watching him leave as you turn your attention back to the people still inside. You managed to wiggle your left hand free of Ari, only briefly breaking contact before she had curled up closer to your side with a small frown."What happened to me?" Your eyes drift to the bracelet upon your wrist as you gently run your fingers through Ari's hair as she sleeps. The action helped take some of the edge off, not dissimilar to petting a small cat, but it couldn't distract you from the hazy emptiness you were still feeling. You turn towards Asche to find her waiting as placidly as ever, as if she had been expecting anything you thought to say or ask."You used the bracelet in an unexpected manner." She answered simply, leaving your frown to deepen. "Unexpected? You knew this thing could do that and you didn't warn me?" The accusations hiss venomously from your teeth, a wave of dizziness starting to overtake you like creeping vertigo. You withdrew your petting hand to grasp at your head in an effort to convince the room from spinning... With limited success. "...And what's wrong with me?"Asche blinked once, "You enslaved an apparition of Shade and forced it to trade shells."You draw in another deep breath to steady yourself. Putting aside the first part, you traded shells, so... Ah, right. The Wisp Adept. You winced at the memory, having thrown yourself at his attack in a rage.
Shade and Wisp Mana were meant to be in balance. Emotional and Physical strength. When the raw Mana comes into contact with each other, they mutually neutralize, that's why you felt like shit. You can barely remember the shreds that attack had left you in at the time. Your body was fine, but your head..."Asche, what am I?""Irue Valen."You shake your head, leaning back against your pillow to prop yourself up tiredly. "No, what I did...""The power of the bracelet." Asche answered calmly, "A Relic." She shifted, withdrawing the familiar frosted pages of the Diary of Reflections from behind her as she held it out. You stared at the frosted book in question, realizing with a feeling you had difficulty expressing, that you were beginning to amass a collection of Relics... And you weren't entirely comfortable with that.More over, you couldn't look at the Diary of Reflections without feeling disgust begin to curdle in your gut. You remembered every use of it, and every hope that had been placed in it by...You turn away from it, allowing Asche to stash the Diary of Reflections again in silent acquiescence.>You just gave me a Relic?>What happened to the Doppleganger?>What happened at the Tiers?>We need to save Rinnier, still.>Other? (write-in)
>>45436324>We need to save Rinnier, still. >You just gave me a Relic?If we can pick more than one. If not, my votes are in priority order.
>>45436324>>What happened to the Doppleganger?>>We need to save Rinnier, still.>>What happened at the Tiers?>>You just gave me a Relic?I can't choose only one, so I'll just order them all by priority...
For the record>We need to save Rinnierwill skip talking and go directly to you doing things in camp/heading back to Carona.
>>45436324>>What happened to the Doppleganger?>>What happened at the Tiers?>>Other? (write-in)Asche mentioned earlier a mistake made by both of us. Could she clarify that, particularly?
>>45436374Then changing >>45436360 to:>>What happened to the Doppleganger?>>What happened at the Tiers?>>You just gave me a Relic?>>Other: what mistake did Asche talk about?
>>45436355Save Rinnier>>45436379>>45436389What happened to the Dopplerganger?>>45436379>>45436389What happened to the Tiers?>>45436355>>45436389you just gave me a Relic?>>45436379>>45436389What was that mistake?A four-way tie. As expected of Valen Quest.In order of importance, until Asche stops answering, then.
"What happened to..." You trail off, realizing with a sickening feeling that you simply didn't have a name to attribute to it. It had lived its life as Irue Valen, and you had initially just called it a Doppleganger. Even as time went on, you had never bothered to do actually address it as anything."Dispersed." Asche's reply saved you from that impending spiral, but the answer didn't make you feel any better. It made sense, Dopplegangers were effectively parasites: If there was nothing for them to latch onto, then they were incapable of maintaining themselves. You shut your eyes with a shuddering breath, feeling that vertigo beginning to creep back up on you as your distaste rapidly turned to anger. You were still too unbalanced to handle intense emotions right now... You needed time to recover, still. You'd have to sort through these feelings later, but not right now."What happened at the Tiers?" You change the subject, trying to distance yourself from the raw memory of what had just happened. "It shouldn't have taken you and Kara that long to find them and get back to us.""We were late." Asche explained after a moment, seeming to think about her words as she pieced them together. "There was a conspiracy that you are already aware of. We could only salvage the survivors.""That doesn't explain how you got captured," You observed tiredly, "Or where they are now, for that matter. If you rescued the survivors, shouldn't they still be somewhere?""Kara betrayed us." Asche answered simply, "When the Mayor came, she turned on the Tier survivors and I."She what."She what."Asche stared at you unperturbed."Why?"The stare persisted, but was accompanied by a slight shrug. You pinched the bridge of your nose... "What happened after that?""We were all taken to holding cells. The Tiers were taken somewhere else."Unless there was a third stash hiding somewhere around Carona, that probably meant they were with Rinnier.
You were still a little too light-headed to process all of this right now. You remembered Mim warning y-... Her warnings. You had had your own suspicions, but given Kara's actions... It still didn't explain why it had happened in the first place. Or, if it had happened initially, why she had done it again to help you.There were too many things unexplained, and not the least of which was-"And you just GAVE me a Relic?"Asche nodded, as if that explained everything."You weren't going to tell me what it was?""It is Ariel's bracelet.""That raises more questions!"You nearly fell over as your emotions spiked past the softcap of your own mental fortitude again, sending the room spinning around you."Master?"And waking Ari from her nap as her bony fingers clutched against your clothes tightly and she pushed herself up. "Master!"The vertigo's job was inadvertently completed as Ari's frantic hug, coupled with your painfully absent sense of balance, sent you toppling back to the ground.You laid there for several minutes until you could gather your thoughts again, using the earth beneath you as a steadying point to definitively figure out which way was down until your head stopped spinning. "Move over, Ari. I still need to get up.""Yes!"Several minutes later, you've emerged from the tent. You still had more questions for Asche, but given the difficulty she seemed to start having with explanations, you figured you would save them for later. In the meantime, you still had things to do...>Interrogate the runners.>Talk to Kara>Get back into Carona>Rally your knights>Other? (write-in)
>>45436681>Interrogate the runners.
>>45436681>>Interrogate the runners.>>Talk to Kara
Your footing was steadier than expected, as long as you could manage to keep relatively calm. Of course this didn't stop Ari from insisting on helping you to walk through camp, the wood golem's finger still clutched proudly in her hands. You spared a moment of wry amusement as you acquiesced to how your roles had managed to reverse themselves from the days of you carrying Ari through the woods.You listened to her sparse reports of how she had taken good care of the stick like you told her to, a statement which drew a subtle wince from you, and the way she had taken care of all your knights while they tried to figure out a way to get into Carona with you."...How did you know I was in Carona?" You vaguely recall hearing about this, but... As Ari explained, it seemed like she was able to use the stick as a divining rod to find you. It left you more than a little leery of the innocuous length of wood, considering you were still uncertain of what exactly it was supposed to be.Then there was the matter of your knights. You couldn't quite shake a feeling of discomfort as your crimson eyes roamed across them. The cheerful waves, the familiar greetings as you walked through them, the faces you you felt like you should recognize... It was something you had experienced, but it felt as if you had done so through a window; Not as yourself.Was this what all of your memories had been like for..."Master!"Maybe Ari had a point about helping you walk. It didn't take you long to get directed to the ones that Dullem had managed to capture yesterday. You had been expecting to find them restrained... And they were, of course. You just hadn't really considered how they would be restrained. Rope, maybe? You didn't think your knights had any chains. Somehow you hadn't accounted for wrapping them in ivy and hanging them from the branches. That was a lot of ivy.
You stood just in front of the group of ensnared mercenaries, watching as the lot of them squirmed and swung back and forth frantically in the limbs, often knocking into each other and the trees around them. Were they trying to escape...? It only seemed to make the ivy curl tighter around them as the oddly jagged edges of its leaves gently caressed the men and women."Hey, let us out of this stuff!" One of them caught sight of you, "Please, we'll talk, just let us down- Shade damned, let ME down, I don't care about the others!" The man was promptly kicked by one of his hanging comrads as they began to bicker between themselves and pleading to be let down. You crossed your arms, having expected... At least some difficulty in getting information out of them."What did you do to them?" You glance over at Ari as Asche takes up her customary position to your left. "No one knew what Master wanted to ask them." Ari explained, "Dullem said they should hang around until you woke up, so they are!"..."Please!"You ignore an errant cry for help from them as you make a mental note to teach Ari idioms in the future. You suppose they would be scared of the wood golem if this was their first experience with it, Luna knows Dullem and your knights were still wary of it after it nearly murdered them all... But why were they wiggling so much?"Finally up?" Dullem's voice caught your attention as he wandered up from behind you, setting his hands on his hips as he stared up at the caught runners. "So, which one are we uh... Interrogating first?""Me! Interrogate me, just let me out!""What's wrong with them?" You watch one of the runners begin to break down in tears as he begs to be let down. Dullem shrugs, tugging on a pair of thick gloves. "It's what they're all strung up in. I dunno whether she did it on purpose, or if it was just what was around, but take a look at that those leaves."You do so.
They are green. Kind of serrated? Looked sort of like a spade. "What am I looking at...?""I...Never mind, just don't get too close.">What do you want to ask them?
>>45437152>Who do you work for? If they answer "mayor", ask who he works for.>Where are Rinnier and Tiers? How are they guarded?>Why was the Tier estate attacked?>Mayor's contacts among nobles, Shrine, Royals etc.>How many more men does mayor have and where?>How much pay did they receive and in what currency/form?>What other operations did they conduct recently?>What connection does the mayor have to Kara? To the slavers?
>>45437152...That's just mean.>Embellish on the mayor's motives in attacking the Tier estate>How do they know Kara?>Do they have any other hideouts? Where's Rinnier and the Tiers?We sort of figured out stuff about the mayor's motives on our own, so it's down to sorting out the fine details.
>>45437232Oh, forgot one.>Ask if it's them who killed those people in the forest.Let's turn meta-knowlege non-meta.
...Looking at the size of our question list, this might take a bit... maybe we should untie them from the ivy first?...........................Nah
>>45437232Literally all of the questions.>>45437263Support for some of the questions.>>45437289I stand corrected, there were evidently more questions.W-Writing...
>>45437152>“Where are the Tiers? Tell me, or I'll break every bone in your body!”
>>45437331Pain perception is logarithmic, so broken bones probably won't inconvenience them much as long as they are hanging in that ivy.
>>45437418It works for Batman.
Well, may as well see how willing they actually were to talk. "Who do you work for?""""The Mayor!"""You wince at the resounding chorus. "Who does the Mayor work for?"You wince again, mostly due to the confused expletives being hurled out desperately in response. "There were a pile of dead people in these woods, are they your doing as well?""Why the hell would we kill people and throw them in the woods?!""Well you burned the Tier estate down, so-""We got paid for that!""-Maybe you got paid to kill other people and throw them in the woods?""What the hell are you talking about?!"You look to Dullem, receiving a shrug in response. "Why did the Mayor want the Tier estate burned down? What does he stand to gain?""I don't know!" One of them wiggled desperately, he had already broken into tears before the 'interrogation' had started. "It was part of some bigger plan, okay? We don't get told that shit in advance!""Bigger plan...?" One eye quirked, attention filtering over to that particular mercenary. "What kind of plan?""I just TOLD you, we don't know!""But you knew there was a bigger plan." You deadpan, "These aren't the kind of answers that are going to get you let down.""Look, the mayor met with some noble bitch, okay? They talked about some kind of prophecy, that's all I know!"...You had a bitter feeling about how familiar this was starting to sound. "Can you describe this noble..?""I never saw the bitch, it's just something I heard!""Fine, I know there were survivors in the arson; Where are they being held?""In Carona!"...They were actually being held in Carona? "Where?""In the old Tier district, it's where the Mayor let us set up base since no one goes there anymore, now let us down!""...How is Kara involved in all of this?""Who? Are you going to just keep asking questions? Get this shit off of us!""Kara, the demihuman. She helped you mercenaries at the Tier estate, I want to know why."
"Which demihuman?!"... Your expression dropped like a rock. "Dullem, where is Kara?""Ah, that demihuman from last night?" You narrow your eyes as Dullem starts to sway back and forth... And thre trees... behind him? "I think it went back inside Carona with the Shrine attendant and that... Chatty... Hey, are you okay?" Ari and Asche worked in tandem to keep you standing as your emotions spiked and plateau'd above the threshold of what you were capable of processing without the world turning into a rollercoaster, and you dimly began to direct your all consuming scowl in as many directions as possible while you tried to convince said spinning world to calm down."I'll be fine." You closed your eyes as you grabbed onto Asche's shoulder to keep yourself steady. "Finish questioning them and then... Rally the rest of the knights.""For what?"You turn to hobble away from the hanging mercenaries, a stormy expression darkening your face."Field trip."
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.
>>45437726So they're keeping the rest of her pack hostage and she may either rat us out or try to bust them out on her own?
>>45437726Was it possible to separate Irue and Dopplerue without harm to both?I need to know how salty to be.
>>45437726We gonna be this wobbly for very long? This version of us did kind of get blown apart once, right?Also, was that perma-death for Doppelrue? It "dispersed," but didn't get annihilated.
>>45437759Based on Kara's writeup, I would rather say she does not fully understand her position in relation to the Mayor and us.
>>45437759We'll find out soon!>>45437765Yes.>>45437774Expect to still be fairly light headed by tonight, but not as devastatingly so as you currently are. Meditation can help, to any Mana really - It's an act of calming yourself and manually aligning your thoughts and emotions. Yes. "Dopplerue" died the moment it regained Clarity. Everything it had learned and grown into as a human was cut away, allowing it to return to its base nature as an Apparition.. Which don't die, so much as disperse back into the world.
>>45437823I am very salty
>>45437823And those experiences... returned to us? In the same way Doppelrue could "read" Irue's memories/feelings?I don't know if I should feel upset about this... it was such a weird existence. Definitely feel salty we couldn't take it further though.
>>45437856Correct. Irue actually commented a little on this while walking through the knights, about how they wondered if this was how Dopplerue felt looking through their memories.Dopplerue was actually shaping up to be a recruitable party member. I'm a little heartbroken it went how it did though, especially considering Dopplerue's write-up.It should be noted that Asche did confirm that something like this can happen again, but it would be a bit difficult and unusual. However, you'd never get the unique experiences that composed Dopplerue back again, so it would be a blank slate each time.Also the process has... Side effects. If you think about what Dopplerue was becoming, you might be able to figure out why Asche considered its something that shouldn't exist.