You are Irue. The next few hours would determine whether 'Valen' remained part of your name or not, which was a fact that concerned you... Surprisingly less than you had expected it to. The past few months had seen you gaining a variety of new experiences ranging from minor endeavours into kitchenmancy to taking enthusiastic walks through the woods. You had stepped into the nearby town of Carona and discovered you hated it, then made new friends - Most of whom you also discovered you hated.You had been a noble, the blood heir to an entire family of nobility, one whose prestige stretched across nations. You had thought this meant the world was equally yours to grasp as you pleased, an oyster waiting for you to seize.You had been wrong.The world was hardly what you had expected it to be, leaving you to stumble and stagger through what felt like an endless field of mines as you held tenaciously to your pride and confidence. That this inherited authority in your name was more of a burden than the keys to success, and that no amount of words and good intentions could make up for a lack of action or pacify people who'd been forced to lose things in their life. 'Valen' was a weight on your shoulders, one that had proven to be consistently useless.Stripped of your rose-tinted ideas about what a noble's life was going to entail, you had very quickly come to realize that what mattered wasn't your family, but who you were. Loyalty wasn't something pledged to a name, but to the person who held it. Trust was something that had to be earned, not something to be expected obligatorily.
You are Irue. You promised to help a ragged band of brigands to find a better life. You carried a demihuman across town on your back and ignored the stares and hushed whispers, making an enemy of a town to defend her. You helped an emaciated slave stand on their own. You negotiated the aid of the Shrine and you led the operation to get one of your Testament back while uncovering a plot of treason.Valen had nothing to do with any of that, it was something you had done on your own. By the end of it, you had become so wrapped up in your own efforts to resolve the problems around you and get your Testament back that you had nearly forgotten what lead you to all of this in the first place....It seems silly to think that this all started as an attempt to escape a political marriage.Regardless, you still have a little time before the judgement starts today. All of the judges had evidently arrived, so now it was just a matter of preparations.>Meet up with Dullem>Check in on Raid>How are the Demihumans fairing?>Talk to Alouette>Where's Caylen?>Am I forgetting something...? (write-in)>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/kPEscJ3hLeadership - http://pastebin.com/hGhUA4wfWrite-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:I am bad at schedules. help.
>>46427691>>Talk to Alouette>>Where's Caylen?
>>46427714>>Meet up with DullemAs an aside, does anyone realize we're going to fail the Judgement because we supposed to have mastered all 3 Testaments, and we've actively antagonized and recently physically assaulted one of them? Soemthing tells me 2/3 aint gonna get accepted.
>>46427691>Am I forgetting something...?On the first post? Riz you cheeky fucker. >Other? (write-in)Find and read that document we picked up in the estate and see what Asche found.
>>46427691>Am I forgetting something...? (write-in)Caylen is judging? Feel like this is too basic to be a forgetting, but it wasn't mentioned.
>>46427691>>Where's Caylen?>Meet up with Dullem>Check in on Raid>How are the Demihumans fairing?>Am I forgetting something...? (write-in)Who's the third judge? Is it that prince we talked too?
>>46427714>Meet up with Dullem>Am I forgetting something...? (write-in)We forgot to mention we also solved an Atelier, picked up a magic tree branch, brawled with oakenbears, shadowrue, and. well, I mean I guess we also forgot the royal cousin or something was supposed to send us a book but then we took a stroll all up and over la'fiel. ... I jest, I have no idea. A forgetting off the bat is brutal, Riz.
>>46427878>>Other? (write-in)>Find and read that document we picked up in the estate and see what Asche found.What this guy said
is it just me or has there been more players recently
>>46427998nope more people show up now.
>>46427788>>46427918Caylen!>>46427788Alouette!>>46427867>>46427918>>46427925Dullem!>>46427878>>46427994Where's that report we found...>>46427918>>46427925The two of you got the Forgetting correct. In record time, at that.Maybe I should put them in the first post more often, if we can get results like these...Writing.
>>46428060Oh man, I didn't think I'd actually get it.
>>46428535same man, feel good right?
>>46428585Feels really good.
>>46428647Isn't it though? It's like making a proper response to an Auri quest or Seeing what Ouro is doing ahead of time in Snakecatcher and heading it off.
"Asche, what happened to that report I found?" Last thing you remember was stuffing it away, but you did end up in the middle of a tornado. If you had known you were going to lose it that quickly, you'd have spent more time actually reading the blasted thing. "It should have been still been with me?""I have it." She replied flatly, eliciting a sigh of relief. "Good, I was worried it was lost. Have you had a chance to read it?""No.""Well, give it back to me when we get some free time." You make a mental note to read it soon, because you get the feeling the information on it will be... Interesting to you, to say the least. If nothing else, Priat would likely want to know about its contents. Asche's persistent stare continues for several seconds, but she eventually nods her ascent as the two of you walk. With the judgement of your Rite so close, it meant that all of your prospective judges had arrived... You had already met with dear aunt Clara, and she had mentioned that your dear uncle Byrn had somehow managed to wrangle Caylen into being his substitute in the judging process, which meant that he and Alouette were likely floating around your estate as well somewhere....Wait, ALL the judges had gathered. That only accounted for two of them. If the judgement was taking place soon, then that meant the royal cousin of the first prince was here as well! Your come to a halt midstride, mind racing as you drag out a memory of something you hadn't paid any mind to in months. You had asked him to deliver you some texts from the Valen archive on the specifics of the Rite!And then promptly left home and never came back. It was far too late for those texts to help you any now, but you still wonder what had happened to them. Maybe he still had them with him? More over, with what you had learned recently, his affiliation with the crown left you with an entirely different feeling of unease.
With the implication that the crown had been supporting the nomadic army that conquered Teranford, and our encounter both with the Mayor and your own knights, your opinion of the crown had inexplicably been soured. While you had little experience with them yourself, you'd honestly had yet to hear of anything even remotely flattering about them.That said, your brief meeting with the royal cousin had left you in a good mood back then, you remember. He had been helpful, and even offered to get you the same information your aunt and uncle had evidently seen fit to deprive you of. There was a chance that he could shed even further light on some of the things you had heard lately....But then the words of your aunt, and the time spent at Caylen's, drifted clearly back to mind. The relation between nobility and royalty was... Tenuous, at best. There was already strain and mistrust between them, that much you knew for certain. Would trying to reach out to the first prince's cousin about these things just give them an excuse to make some kind of move?But, if you didn't reach out to learn about their involvement, then what?These thoughts kept your mind turning as your feet carried you through the halls, an absent smile gracing your face as your knights greeted you in your aimless walk. You hadn't realized where your path was leading you until you finally found yourself looking out over your front yard and finding Dullem and several of your knights inspecting the haunches of an oakenbear you had left planted there months ago.Perhaps a little concerningly, it seems like its back feet had begun to burrow into the ground. It still somewhat resembled the lower half of a bear, but the upper half was starting to look more and more like the thick and stubby core of a tree.
"Ah, Ser Valen!" One of the knights calls out, drawing your Knight Captain's attention towards you. "Are you sure you should be up?" Dullem nodded to his men as he stepped away to greet you, "Word was going around that you'd be dead within the week.""News of my demise is highly exaggerated." You deadpan, "Though I've become uncomfortably familiar with having a spear for an organ lately.""..." You catch Dullem visibly flatfooted by your own cavalier response to having been tossed around in a tornado and impaled, but he recovers awkwardly after a moment's hesitation. "Got to admit, I never thought there were nobles like you and your aunt..."There's an inexplicable feeling of warmth that blossoms up at being compared to your aunt, but you can't seem to decide on whether you should frown or grin about that.>What do you ask Dullem?
>>46428970My Rite is coming up that means I will be judged accordingly. (give him the crib notes of what we're being judged on) I just wanted to see if you had advice and what you would do if the worst occurs.
>>46428970>How is the life at our estate treating the knight?>Do the knights know what happened to that girl in whose room they were knocked out in Carona?>What was our dear aunt up to while we were out of commission?>Did they see Rinnier anywhere?
>>46429225It's 2 Am here. I'm literally sick AND tired. As prince guesser 1 I must sleep. Good luck anons and I'll see you guys later.
"You met my aunt?" Other feelings aside, his comparison surprised you as well. Besides the brief stint at Caylen's, this was the first time as far as you were aware that he had even met with nobility. "I don't suppose you know what she's been up to while I was injured, do you?""No, sorry." He shook his head with a laugh, "She came striding out of the forest back at Carona and took us by surprise. Didn't even hesitate giving orders before taking your cousin's guard captain with her directly into town to handle the tornado."You remember this being mentioned by someone before, probably Ari. "We kind of fell in with them after everything was said and done." He scratched his neck, a sign you've come to associate with nervousness from the man as he relayed to you the way your knights had more or less been swept up into her pace and walked back to this house after the events at Carona were concluded. "She and the white lady from your cousin's inspected us a few days after we got here... Felt like I was staring down the forest snake again."You tilt your head as your knight captain shivered."So other than that, how has life been treating you here?""Can't complain much." He shifted his weight as you moved the conversation along, "I was surprised to find this place out here, and most of the guys have have been excited to have real beds after so long." The fond smile you catch worming its away across Dullem's distant expression speaks volumes more than his actual words. "It's been a long time since we had a real roof over our head... Though to be honest, if we had known this place was out here, I doubt we'd have ever tried to siege your cousin's house."He laughs, and continues to laugh, until his laughter slowly dies out upon realizing he is the only laughing.Your knight captain coughs awkwardly."It's been okay."
"Speaking of Carona," you decide to keep moving along to spare Dullem the awkward silence, "You wouldn't happen to know what happened to that girl whose house a few of your men stayed in during Carona, would you?""Who?" Dullem looked at you blankly, and you shook your head. You suppose that answered that question... Even if the answer wasn't what you were hoping for."Have you seen Rinnier?""Not since we arrived." He shook his head, "She vanished somewhere into that mansion of yours, can't say any of us have put much effort into trying to find her." He crosses his arms with a frown, "Has she gone missing?"You shook your head, "No, I've got a rough idea of where she is... Just curious if you'd seen her.""Did you need her for something?" You snort abruptly at the question. "You could say that. The end of my Rite is coming up, and she is one of my Testament." Dullem squints as you watch him try to roll your words around in his head in an attempt to pick up some kind of memory relevant to them. You're fairly certain he didn't have any though, which was the uncomfortable realization he was slowly coming to. "House Valen has an old tradition..." You begin, explaining to him the origin and what little you know of the requirements of the Rite of Initiation in your family. How it had changed over the years, and eventually what had led you to declaring your intent to take it. "The Rite ends today, the judges are already here.""Ah... And the redheaded 'Testament'-" The word rolls awkwardly off his tongue as he tests it, "-Has been missing, huh?"You nod. It wasn't entirely true, but it was close enough. "Any advice going forward from the Captain of my knights?" You ask blandly, angling humorous smirk towards the man as he rolled his neck and suddenly seemed as if he'd rather be anywhere but on the spot right now.
"Noble life seems complicated." He offered unhelpfully, "Not much someone like me can really say about stuff like that. Good luck, I guess?"Your Knight Captain could always be relied on to be of no use to you in these matters. The way you stared at him while he shrugged uncomfortably communicated both of your feelings on this matter quite clearly."So what happens to us if you fail this thing, anyway?" He finally spoke up, voice dropping to keep your conversation out of the ears of the others still near by. "We still your 'knights' then, or back out on our ass?"Your lips purse as you think it over. Kara had asked a similar question last night, and you'd had little answer for her as well... But, you had given her an answer, and you'd promised you'd figure something out for them. In a way, you're grateful that talking to your Testaments had prepared you for answering him now."If I fail, I still have a responsibility to my Testament and my knights." You reply clearly, straightening your back as the morning wind pulled strands of your hair astray. "I will likely need to leave my name behind to help Kara and Rinnier... But before that, I'll talk to Caylen or my aunt about taking on you and your men.""...You think that'll work?" Dullem grimaced, "If it were that simple, why was it such a big deal before?""Before you were brigands." You meet his eyes unflinchingly, "Now you're already knights in the family. There's nothing to stop me from requesting a transfer to another part of the house."You held each other's stare for several long minutes as Dullem's frown escalated into an outright scowl."Good luck on your Rite." He finally grunted out, turning away slowly as he did so. "For what it's worth... You listened to us when no one else would." He pauses for a moment, looking down at the ground with his back towards you. "Thanks... Again."You watch him walk back towards the rooted oakenbear, a complicated expression warring across you.
>Seek out the royal cousin>Let's get this Rite over with>Where's Alouette?>Find Caylen>Other? (write-in)
>>46430389>Where's Alouette?o man i am so excited
>>46430389>Seek out the royal cousinMaybe we still can gleam something useful out of that book. The grading criteria, at least.
>>46430389>>Seek out the royal cousin
>>46430389>>Seek out the royal cousinLet's go say hi to Caylen, see what he thinks of things.
>>46430403>>46430425>>46430450Royal Cousin awaaaay.>>46430401>>46430486Alouette to the rescue!Writing.
Your discussion with Dullem over, that left you with the sinking and inevitable realization that your Rite ended today. It had been something looming ever present in your mind for months, but somehow it had always seemed like something that would happen at some point in the future. The fact that your entire adventure over the past few months all led up to this one day was... You weren't sure what to think about it.If it was going to end today, then you at least still had business to take care of. You nodded to Asche as you moved, the m/aid falling in step to your right as unease and resolve settled in equal measures into your gait. It didn't take you long to catch wind of where the outlier had last been seen, and you felt your stomach churn slightly as you approached one of the rooms you had preferred to have not visited again so soon after the last time.Sure enough, as you stepped through the door and into your library, there was the man you remembered chatting with you about your family archives. It seems the impression you had gotten of him as something of a bookworm had been an accurate read, and it went a decent ways towards making you feel a little more confident as your foot steps echoed into the otherwise empty library.He sat at a table, several of your rarer or more valuable books piled beside him as he kept his nose buried fascinatedly within one you couldn't quite make out in his hands. You took the moment to glance aside, finding the slicks of blood from where you had fought with Rinnier having already been cleaned up. Your lips tug downward slightly, eyes riveted to where you felt like some kind of stain should have remained... But it was clean. Even as your eyes drifted up along the shelves, you couldn't make out any additional splatter that had escaped the cleaning.You weren't sure why this made your heart sink though.
"Hm- Ah! Irue, I didn't see you there. Come, sit down!" Your straying attention is snapped back into focus as the royal cousin - You never actually got his name, now that you think about it - called you over excitedly. "I hope you don't mind, but I've taken some of my spare time to look through this fascinating library of yours. I wasn't aware many of these texts could even be obtained outside of the Shrine!"You feel a spark of pride as you grin, sliding into the offered chair and listening to the royal cousin begin to excitedly explain to you the history of one particular book on the formation of Salamander apparitions within volcanoes, and the way their magma based core lent them a peculiar affinity with potential Gnome apparitions within the area. You had read this book before, skimmed really, but his excited chatter had little to do with the book so much as its author and the rarity of its existing copies."It's really quite fascinating, no one had actually been able to study Salamander apparitions inside of a volcano until this man came along. They're far too aggressive you see, prone to lashing out at anyone who comes too close. Oh I wonder how he managed it."He'll probably keep talking about this for a while if you let him.>What do you want to ask the royal cousin?
>>46430931> to your right That's weird.
>>46430931Note: Asche should be on your left. I am bad at hands.
Yes! Made it in time.>>46430940>What did you say your name was again?>an endless field of minesIs this an anachronism or are their actual mines that currently exist.
>>46430940Does he perchance have that book about our Rite with him?Also, let's try and guide the dialog via Salamander study author to mastery of Fire Mana to Teranford in order to discretely elicit some info on the royal cousin's take on the Teranford situation and La'fiel's involvement in it. Weren't they allies or something?
>>46431001Partially it's a reference to how an anon described the quest feeling. I like to work those into Irue's thoughts from time to time.The actual existence of mines however is a thing, but they're not very widespread. You'd find them most often in Teranford, as their affinity with Salamander allowed them to create flameburst contraptions which could be easily buried under the shifting sands and, potentially, sparked to life by an Adept.More technologically inclined mines could possibly be found in Ephlesia, but their payload is much more... Paltry, I suppose? And they are rather volatile. For now, at any rate; The city of Scholars just received a rather large influx of former Teranford natives, after all.
>>46430940Did he ever bring that book about the rite? Maybe there's still some info we can wring from it.
>>46431048>>46431039Auto-update has failed me for the last time.
>>46431001What's your name again?>>46431039>>46431048You still got that book?>>46431039Sneakily try to pry information out of him on Teranford.Writing!>>46431058Auto-update-chan does her best, anon.
"I'm sorry, I can't recall your name.""Oh that's my fault." He laughed, "I never actually introduced myself back then, my apologies. I had actually realized that not long after I left and wrote a note to myself you see, to include my name with the book I was going to get for you... But then I realized you wouldn't know who the name belonged to, so I added a note to my note to simply write a letter to you explaining who I was and to apologize for being late about that when I mailed you the book.""I should apologize about that too, actually." You go along with the mood, laughing lightly, "I actually left home not long after that... This has been my first visit back since. I fear I must have missed the book you sent.""No, no! I have it here, with me, actually!" His hand slipped down into a pack he had laying obscurred on the otherside of his chair in order to withdraw a richly bound book with simple golden text proclaiming it a documentary styled text of the first recorded instance of the Rite. "You see I realized the letter would perhaps be a little long winded as I was writing it and that would perhaps be a little awkward to read? Maybe send the wrong message? I never actually was satisfied with how I'd write it, and considered sending over some of these other books as well that you may have been interested in-" He withdraws another book, and then another, on topics of Mana that you were relatively well versed in already. "Glad I didn't though, I've found a FIRST EDITION of this particular one already in your library, well worn! Your taste in literature is exquisite, I must say."You blink a little at his enthusiasm, taking the first book from his hand as you ran your fingers over the warm leather bound cover and wondered if you should just open the book immediately. You weren't sure how much this could help you, but it was the first and only actual lead you had gotten on the state of your Rite since it had begun.
Eventually you set the book aside, your hand lingering on its cover as you realized he had never once stopped talking about the books he had found and your library. With the book you had come for safely in hand, you did still have some other things to talk to him about."Do you know how the author of that book managed to study the volcano apparitions?" You hedge your question in edgewise during a slight break in his litany, drawing his attention back to the book he had been reading as you tap its cover. "I guess you've noticed from my library, but I'm somewhat interested in Mana, and I'd never actually given much thought to how this book was written.""You would likely know more than I would!" He laughed, "I'm nowhere near as specialized in my reading as your library would suggest you are, I'm afraid. If I had to guess... Perhaps it has to do with the author's own Salamander affinity?""There aren't many volcanoes in La'Fiel." You observe wryly, "Or Salamander adepts. That would make this book an import from Teranford then, wouldn't it? Maybe written by one of their natives.""A-Ah! I see, yes! Teranford has always been very much known for its strong Salamander affinity in its people. However, I have it on good record that this author was actually a native of East Heaven. Well, before their borders closed, anyway. No doubt the study took place in Teranford though, one of the mentioned volcanoes is quite iconic down there!"There was a place you hadn't expected to enter the conversation. You made a mental note to go back and reread the book in question if you ever had the opportunity in the coming days. "Shame about Teranford's situation, though. It seems like a waste that such a trove of information on Salamander just got ruined as quickly as it did.""Oh there is still much to learn about Salamander from Teranford." he shook his head, "Or rather, the absence of it. You've heard haven't you? It seems Salamander has forsaken the entire region."
"...Forsaken?""Yes, take the volcanoes in this book for example." He thumped the pages excitedly, "While many of them were dormant, some of them had been quite active! You can tell merely from the content here that they were veritable spawning grounds of the Mana's apparitions! Well, up until recently. The fires have cooled you see, molten rock hardening into a solid surface, and even the apparitions which had enthusiastically guarded the place seem to have all but abandoned it in the last ten years or so."You swallow thickly. Mana made up the world, it was the supporting pillar of... Everything. This wasn't something as simple as migration, an entire fundamental force of nature had just up and left its most potent seat of power on the continent."I know many people who are very, VERY curious to cross the border and go find out what happened, but this nomadic army business has much of the nation spooked. It is difficult to arrange a pass into Teranford now, and even more so to stay safe in that region, what with those strange barbarians and their foreign religion trying to stake its claim down there.""...Foreign religion?""Something about a Goddess." He shook his head, "It's interesting, but I've honestly not heard much about it. Information on the subject is discarded and rejected in La'Fiel and, indeed, most of the continent. None of the central nations will entertain the notion of their zealotry, it is treated much the same as those strange northern tribes that occupy the mountains... Oh, but their beliefs are much different. Closer to animism, you see?"You lean back in your chair, unwilling to echo something he'd said for a third time. Your concern for the state of La'Fiel's royalty supporting the nomadic army in conquering Teranford hadn't been addressed, but suddenly the entire state of affairs in the southern country was worrying.
You gather the book up, thanking him briefly for the time spent chatting as you excuse yourself to go do something else.From the activity in the house, you wager there wasn't much time left for you now. You had time for at least one more detour before the Rite was likely to be upon you.>Talk to Caylen>Find Alouette>Read the book on the Rite>Other? (write-in)
>>46431597>Read the book on the Rite
>You had time for at least one more detourWell, shit. The book will be pretty much useless after the rite anyway, but we should probably talk to Caylen to make sure he doesn't hate us. I'm torn.
>>46431597>Talk to Caylen
>>46431597Count >>46431628 as:>Talk to Caylen>Read the book on the Rite
>>46431597I'd like to talk to Caylen too, but if I had to pick.. >read the book on the rite It's not gonna be useful later.
>>46431638>>46431652Maybe we should read it to him.
>>46431663We'll read him a bed time story. Asche can gently... help him... go to sleep. Don't actually do this.
>>46431621>>46431652>>46431638Read the book>>46431635>>46431638Talk to Caylen>>46431663>>46431690Bully Caylen.Writing.
>>46431597>Read the book on the RiteBtw, the royal cousin is adorable.
>>46431728Royal cousin a shit.Caylen best grill.
If we had Asche help Caylen "go to sleep" though, we could've had her use the Diary and fix the rite for us. we fucked up, senpai.
>>46431737>CaylenThat's a funny way to spell Priat, anon.
>>46431744Caylen would probably vote for us anyway. If we have to impersonate a judge, it should be our aunt.
>>46431873>Knocking out dear aunt ClaraWe've almost died twice since we came home, the third time might actually be the charm.
>>46431873For some reason, I doubt even Kara can put her to "sleep".
>>46431873>suggesting we attack aunt clara We are Irue Valen and we love dying and being dead.
>>46431894>We are Irue Valen and we love dying and being dead.But it's true.
You sigh, clutching the leather bound book to your side as make your way back to your room to settle in with a nervous pulse and crack open the one book that could hopefully prepare you for what was to come. You didn't have the time to read all of it, no matter how fast you skimmed, but as eased yourself into your bed and felt the hard headboard press up against your back and the pages rustled silently in the room, you hoped you'd find something worth the time.This was a documentary on the first recorded instance of the Rite... Or at least, in the form you know of it now. Its origin dated back further than this book, to the story of the Founder of your house and the way their relationship with one of their closest friends had started off... Vitriolic, at best. What had started as enemies eventually became rivals, and finally the story would go down that the very land of La'Fiel would be gifted to the Founder as a place to call their home; An invitation for them to come back, after they had finished their wandering long after the Founder's friend finished theirs.The story was familiar to you, something of a fairytale or bedtime story that you could barely make out in your memory of having heard before. For some reason the story had struck you as funny, that something like that was what had led to the Valen family gaining its land, and eventually, to the creation of La'Fiel in its entirety. What must the Founder's friend have thought when they regifted this to some strangers who wanted to build a country? Especially now, with what was going on in La'Fiel lately, was this something they could have foreseen?...What would either of them have thought of this place now?
You find yourself frowning inadvertently as your thoughts stray. La'Fiel hadn't spoken a word to East Heaven as far as you knew in nearly a decade... You doubt anyone had, really. This entire country was created due to the generosity of House Valen's founder, who in turn only had the land to gift because of their bond with East Heaven's princess... But now look at it. Doors closed to each other, a civil war brewing in one and who knows what going down in the other. The nations had never been stranger to each other.Something shifts in your chest, a sinking feeling that you couldn't quite place. You close your eyes and let out a heavy breath, forcing your thoughts away from the matter with a short, dismissive shake of your head as you refocused on the text before you.The first documented Rite was a competition between brothers to acquire leadership of the house. Forced to contend with one another, they had looked back to the story of the founder for precedent and found that story. Their conclusion had been simple: To make a steadfast friend from an enemy was a trait which had eventually brought House Valen to everything it had become. It was the first and foremost important trait for a leader to have, and thus the one who exhibited it most potently would deserve the right to leadership.You stare at the words across the page as they go on to explain that this competition sent both brothers out into the world to wander much as the founder had, eventually taking up the role of mercenaries... On opposite sides of the battlefield.You flip through the pages with an increasingly consternated glare marring your face, brows knitting together as the tale skipped years at a time, speaking of a time when one captured the other in war, unable to recognize their own brother, and the way the two of them had held a simmering distaste for each other's sides.
There had been a prison break sometime after that, one which had broken the captured brother free. In the process of which, however, his captor was slain by the forces which had come to rescue the prisoners.Having had enough of his adventures, the now freed brother threw away his sword to return home. He planned to give leadership to his older brother, no longer interested in glory or responsibility, only to find his sibling vacant upon return. It would be many months before word of his brother's death finally got back to them, by which point he had already become the leader of House Valen.You lean back, letting the book fall into your lap as you closed its pages and took in the first recorded instance of the Rite in the history of House Valen... And the bloody history of failure behind it.'Though I am left, make no mistake; I am the one who failed.'This event would eventually be codified by the brother who remained, in an effort to prevent repeat occurrences. Slaves were taken from then on, presented to the those seeking to undergo the Rite of Initiation. Their origins were vast and varied, but the purpose had changed. Something was inherent in that, an implication that wriggled just out of comprehension. The exact purpose of the Rite, its pass and fail marks, seemed to be held in another text... Or perhaps, just notated somewhere else.While they remained out of your grasp, the story wasn't what you had expected, and the change into what the Rite had become seemed significant. There was meaning there, and something important...But what?"Irue." Asche spoke up from your side, the m/aid having stood in silent vigil as you read. "It's time."You sighed, putting the book onto your bedside table as you tried to make sense of what you had read as you slid out of bed once more and felt the ground beneath your feet.
You arrived in your dining room, a room you hadn't spent much time in the entirety of your stay in this mansion. It had been too large, too quiet, and far too empty with just Asche and yourself.Now... It was just as large. Even the addition of your aunt, your cousin, and the royal cousin at the other end of the long table did little to help stave off how empty or quiet the room was. This was probably the only place in the house that still felt so desolate, given the amount of knights that were wandering around the halls lately."Irue Valen, sole participant of the traditional Rite of Initiation for House Valen." your dear aunt Clara's voice broke the silence, level and strong across the empty room as you felt their attention focus on you and you, in turn, looked over the three of them.Your aunt, back straight, proud and stern. She wore the barest hint of a smile, one that held no mirth behind it, but felt as if it were barely sheathed steel.Your cousin, trying his level best to be as dignified as his mother. And failing. None the less, he watched you with an emotion in his eyes that tread the line between regret and frustration.And finally the royal cousin, who... Whose name, you realize, you still hadn't learned. He seemed uninterested in the proceedings, only briefly smiling at with offering a subtle thumbs up gesture before returning to his oddly curious study of the room around him."We've gathered to judge those you chose. In your confidence, you picked not one, but three slaves to be a Testament to your character, and today we will learn exactly what type of character they are a Testament of. Any final comments?">Write in?
>>46432352About fucking time.>"Finally."
>>46432352>it's about time
"It took you six months for this?" You deadpan at the three of them. Caylen's frown deepens at how flippantly you seemed to treat the entire thing, but a passing half-smirk at him was all the attention you paid to your cousin as you stared down your aunt. Rather than the reaction you had been hoping for, her lips had simply peeled back to reveal the slightest hint of the metaphorical steel she had kept sheathed behind them."As the Rite dictates, you were given a choice of slaves to take as your Testament. How you handled them in the time since was to be a sign of your character as an individual. Are you fit to no longer be considered a child?"The question was rhetorical, and you shared a brief moment of silence with your aunt as she stopped. Presumably to listen to your teeth grind together as you smiled."The three of us have spent the last week or so inspecting your Testament. We have heard quite a few interesting stories from them along the way, and though our decision has mostly been made at this point, each of us have a question we would like answered before we give our verdict.""There's ah, no need to humor us in this." The royal cousin broke in amiably, "Minor curiosity between us, honestly. If you would rather not share, that is fine as well.""So," your aunt Clara recaptured the flow of conversation easily, "Do you feel like sharing?">Yes>No
>>46432635>>46432651>>46432686Writing. The questions should be decently quick, but I warn you ahead of time that the answers will be write-ins on your part.
>>46432695so if we don't answer, you'll pick the best option for us? right? right?
>>46432695Sure, what could go wrong?
>>46432723The best option fo Irue would obviously be not having taken the Rite at all, what with the almost dying and collateral damage.Do you think Riz will let us go back in time?
"I don't have any reason not to." You answer after a moment's thought, "What do you want to know?""I'll start, if you don't mind." Caylen looked to his mother and the royal cousin, receiving a nod in response. He turned back to you and the two of you watched each other for a moment as his hesitation seemed to finally meet up against some sort of resolve and be pushed aside. He was looking at you now, but it felt more like your cousin was searching for an answer than really seeing you."How are you connected to a woman who goes by the name of Rue?" The question was short, to the point, and you almost felt the hair on the back of your neck begin to bristle at the accusation in his voice. Who the hell did Caylen think he was to talk to you in that tone? "I'm sorry?" You tilt your head at him, earning you a frown from your cousin as his jaw set stubbornly. "Recently a blond woman has traded specific information to the Shrine in order to gain their help. Help which eventually led us to you, and your Testament. How are the two of you connected?">?
>>46432757"She helped me"
So, anons. Do we want to divulge us having solved that Atelier?
>>46432757>Well, she has really good taste in names, and hair color.>Anyway, she was just a... volunteer, of sorts.
>>46432813it's certainly tempting
>>46432757she's very close to me
>>46432757Whelp, that salamander priest pretty much had it figured out didn't he? It's not exactly the most baffling mystery in the world, it's pretty obvious we're Rue. He just wants to hear us say it. And hear how such a thing is even possible I guess. Unless anyone has a better idea then just admit it. This isn't something I think we can lie our way out of without being obvious as fuck.
>>46432845Wasn't there a point when Asche was disguised as Rue and we were seen together?
>>46432845I think we're still safe, actually. Priat saw Rue and Irue at the same time when Asche used the Diary, remember? We've got plausible deniability.
>>46432757She's just a kind soul who helped me, though I admit the resemblance was a bit of a surpise. Why? Do you know her? Is she some distant relative of ours?
So why doesn't anyone want to tell anyway? It's not like we've done anything wrong.
"An aquaintence of fortune." You reply smoothly, "I met her not long after I became separated from my knights. She was cold at first, but we got along. When I told her about my problem, she decided to help." You tilt your head curiously, leveling your own piercing stare back at him as an edge of promising steel crept along your tongue. "What's it to you, cousin?" his relation to you hissing out from between your teeth. "How do you know her?""...She caused some trouble for Maran." He shrunk back reflexively as you turned your fangs against him warningly. It seemed he only just now realized just how far off the line he had stepped with you. "That's all I wanted to know, thank you."You with watch with crimson eyes as your cousin seems to sit further back in their chair and assume a position somewhere between submission and contemplation."I'll go next, if it is all the same to you?" The royal cousin glanced towards your aunt questioningly, a detail you noted with some amusement. Even the direct family of royalty seemed to step gently around her. "My thanks... Irue, I noticed you keep... Strange company. One of your Testament is a demihuman. You know of their kind, yes? It seems she has been keeping another in her room and, lately, a pack of them have taken up residence in your backyard."You waited as he rambled on, realizing with an almost absent resignation that this was just how the man talked. At all times. "Ah, yes. My question, sorry- Sorry! I am a little concerned with how... At ease you are with their presence. Consorting with demihumans is hardly something that can be said of upright people. They are criminals, sociopaths honestly. You use them, they use you, a relationship of mutual... Abuse, I should say. Can you explain your reasons for not pushing them away, or simply having them put down? Surely you do not suffer their crowd out of some misplaced favor of your Testament.">?
>>46433014Dude what the fuck
>>46433014It's all for the demihuman master race.But seriously though,>Why not?
>>46433008Because Caynen, that's why.
>>46433014mention kara is very different from other demihumans
>>46433075That doesn't really explain the pack in our backyard though.
>>46433014Well of course it wasn't us that made the decision to bring them here, we've been in a coma. There's also the fact that we put them in this fucked up state to begin with, but I'm not sure about divulging that, I can't think up an explanation that doesn't involve relics.
>>46433083it's part of the answer
>>46433083We don't need to explain that, it's our Aunt's fault.
>>46433061'Should probably also add that most of them are likely to die of suicide some time soon.
>>46433014Kara isn't like her kin she actually has emotions, muted ones but still there. She cares about her brother. As for the rest of the pack? Why not? If they recover from thier ordeal I am confident I can make them listen to me. If not, which seems likely in most since I hear they're suicidal and at times catatonic I make my testament happy. It's a win-win. Kara is strong enough to contest almost anything in brute power, I've seen her kill an oaken bear with her bare hands in the way a farmer would snap a chicken neck. Why would I turn that away?
>>46433014Not adorable. Not adorable!>I still haven't decided what to do with them, since I've been unconscious most of the time they'd camped here. But I consider just the fact of them being demihumans hardly a sufficient reason to 'put them down'. I know at least one demihuman who is very different from your description, after all. This at least gives me a valuable insight into how they think.
Writing.Haha... these answers.
>>46433128By the way, I don't think sociopaths can be suicidal.
>>46433142Stop laughing at us Riz. It hurts enough already.
oh boy i can't wait to get judged
You blink as your mind somewhat stalls processing the question. Caylen grimaces, an action you notice that your aunt doesn't seem to mirror. "Why not?" You refind your balance, one hand finding its way to rest upon your hip as you look at the royal cousin challengingly. "Interacting with them has been an interesting experience, and I don't see any reason to deny my Testament something as simple as keeping her pack around.""So you are willing to harbor things like demihumans simply out of favouritism?" The royal cousin's questioning remains curious, almost on a scholarly level. It throws you slightly that you can't detect any hostility or preferred answer from the man, as if the entire line of questioning was honest curiosity. "Have you seen the tree out front?" You switch topics with slightly narrowed eyes, "Looks like it's a bear's haunches, burrowing into the ground?""Yes! It was quite fascinatin-""That's an Oakenbear." you cut him off flatly, "I sat on Kara's shoulders and watched her break it in half with her bare hands. She betrayed her 'pack' once for me already, and I have complete faith that if anything happens then she'll be the first to put them back in their place.""Then you trust this demihuman? Even knowing what they do?""Kara is different." You sniff, realizing exactly how believable that sounded."Anyone who is being successfully manipulated by a demihuman would say much the same. I would warn you to be cautious with your trust, especially if that demihuman is as... Frighteningly powerful as you say. Have you stopped to wonder why a demihuman would want its pack so close by?""No." Your reply is immediate and certain, brokering no room for debate. "I've never questioned why she cares about her family.""I see, I see. Very well then, I accept your answer." The royal cousin holds his hands up with a disarming smile, waving off your stare as he sits back.
As the room returns to silence, you look back to your aunt. The stare you exchange is measured and patient, and the eventual sound of her clothes rustling as she leans forward causes your muscles to tense. All at once something had changed in the air, and you feel your aunt pinning you to the floor with a presence that briefly led you to mistaking the shadows cast through the room for the Guardian of the Ice Queen's Atelier lurking just out of sight."You've changed, Irue.""The Rite does that to people." Your confidence marshals itself through suddenly dry lips as you stand your ground under the unexpected pressure. You had faced something like this before, and perhaps it was only that one moment which was what kept you standing now. "But not the way you have." She agreed in quiet contemplation, "Stupid, stupid child... What have you done to regret this much?">?
Ooooh boy. The final boss is here.I wonder if she'll give us some time to prepare a list.
>>46433432SHITSHITSHITSHITSHITSHITHSITSHITHISTIISISSSISHITHSITHSITSHITHSISHTSHTISHITSHITSHITUh... um...>I did what a leader would do, the right thing.
>>46433432>stupid, stupid childThat's what Rue said in our dream last thread.What the fuuuuuuck.
>>46433499This feels like posturing.I really don't want to posture right now.Can we not do this?
>>46433432"I made a mistake"
>>46433432"I don't... Want to experience this again."
damn there are some pretty good ones here
>>46433500>>46433432Hey wait a minute, was that dream sequence last thread just our fucked up hallucination of what she was said while she was checking up on us during the coma?
>>46433535Sure, were fucked either way.
>>46433432>Broken out of a life of ignorance and secrecy carefully designed for me.
>>46433582No. That Rue asked about our sister and appeared confused. That wasn't auntie.
Writing.I hope everyone has given answers they're satisfied with.
You feel yourself sway on your feet as the familiar words rip into you, tearing apart any sense of preparation and bluster you had managed to muster. Memories of every decision you had made since the beginning quickly coming to mind. "I lived my life."You begin slowly, uncertainly, amidst a silent hurricane of thoughts and remembrance. Rinnier's tearful pledge to be a slave to save her people, and every argument you'd had with her since. Waking up with Ari curled tightly around your arm, how she had watched your every move and word. The way your spine creaked in the middle of Carona's midnight streets, Kara's monstrous strength attempting to gingerly grasp on to something after breaking down."I tried to be a leader."The sound of nightgaunts just beyond sight, and the tearing of tent clothes marked a memory that haunted you to this day. The sight of brigands broken and splayed before you as your heart spoke before your mind, telling them to leave and mourn. The roaring through the forest as... Someone who wasn't quite you held a hastily carved pike against the serpent, standing side by side under its hissing fangs as blood ran down the wood and soaked the ground.Their faces, just before the mine shaft collapsed.And... Finally.I don't... Want to experience this again."...I made a mistake." You concluded, eyes drifting shut with a shuddering breath."Is that enough for you?"
"Yes."Aunt Clara's answer lifted none of the strain you felt on your shoulders. You thought maybe it would, but in all honesty you were left with feeling just as worn down and heavy as you had moments ago... You supposed that was your own fault, though."Thank you for indulging our curiosity." She continued steadily, "Given what we have learned and heard, I believe our answers are prepared. Caylen?" You felt her words wash over you, but you found it difficult to reclaim the spark of defiance you had held moments ago."I don't believe my cousin is prepared to be an adult." He answered after a moment, voice echoing in the empty dining hall. "They hesitate too much in their actions, still do not know their own limits, and continue to act in a reckless and selfish manner. Based on my judgement, they have raised a Testament to their irresponsibility."Your teeth grit while you stare at the ground, lips rising in a barely restrained snarl as the echo of your cousin's voice fades."I think they'll do fine." The royal cousin disagreed humorously, "I'm not convinced they make the wisest decisions, but that is hardly something someone of any age could claim. How was this supposed to go...? Ah, um.. Hm, yes! Yes, I believe they've raised a Testament to their empathy. Thought I cannot say for certain the demihuman is something to be trusted, Irue's reasons for trusting them is rooted quite firmly in the same thing that seems to have connected all the others."You blink at that, caught too flat footed to realize that your head had begun to rise."In six months you have gone from a reclusive child to leading a contingent of knights, working directly with the Shrine, and rooting out treason which had festered directly under our noses."
Your aunt Clara's voice rung out clearly, "I have met your Testament. Confronted one who threatened me-" One side of her lips curled in amusement, "-With a stick in her hand, and a forest at her call. Watched one throw a building aside to pull you from the wreckage. Listened to one speak, at great length, of how stupid you were.""Irue Valen, you have raised a Testament to loyalty.""Mother they aren't ready-""Nobody is ready to become an adult, Caylen." Her voice rose slightly, silencing her son's objections with barely a glance. "Irue Valen, by majority rules, you have passed the Rite of Initiation."You what."In honor of this, I do have an announcement to make before you go."You blink, catching the weighted parchment your aunt tossed towards you with clumsy hands. Your efforts to unwrap it are fumbled, rather embarrassingly in front of the the three judges, before you finally manage to unfurl it."As you are no longer a child, Caylen and his retinue are needed elsewhere. He is released from his charge of looking after you these past few years, leaving you as the sole remaining adult Valen in the immediate area."...Your hands shook as you read the words damningly scribed across the parchment."It warms my heart to see the way you've grown, and the care you've shown towards the people under your responsibility. There for, with the current leadership missing and in suspect of treason, you are now responsible for handling the affairs and management of those in your domain."She couldn't do this.You wanted to tear this paper apart."Congratulations, acting Mayor of Carona."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usXhiWE2Uc0---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. So concludes Arc 1.
>>46434053>"Congratulations, acting Mayor of Carona."GOD DAMMIT!! Well at least we passed. Meaning I get to use pic related!>>46434068So, how'd we do?
o man what a ride. but it was a fun one, thanks for running!also corona, not even once
>>46434053>acting Mayor of CaronaAunt Clara! From the Hell's heart, I'll stab at thee!
>>46434168>How'd we do?You'll need to be more specific. In what context? In comparison to a Perfect Run from start till now? How you passed?
>>46434207Oh, I was reffering to the QnA section.
>>46434068Why was ultra violence the best option last thread?Is Rinnier really tsundere for us?Who was that Rue-looking woman we saw in coma?Why does Caylen not like us (besides us bulying him for years that is)?How hard did we manage to make Maran's life?What is Irue's real gender?
>>46434068What's the deal with the woods north of our house after all?
>>46434068>Acting Mayor of Carona.Sneaky sneaky Auntie. Passing us so she could tie us down again. Not like we're able to move from this land too far now. That limits our reach and ability to get in trouble. Smart. I notice she STILL hasn't passed family head status to us either.Is Maran part of the Teranford invaders? How bad is an entire mana cut from land? What's our financial situation now? Was that Rue lookalike a fae?
>>46434227Clara was proud of your answer, and of you.Caylen suspects you are keeping secrets and resents you for this.the royal cousin was curious and has filed this information away for future reference.>>46434228>Ultra ViolenceYou've always played it safe with Rinnier, cutting your losses when it seemed too dangerous. A couple of anons touched on this, but she's lost a lot in her life, and she's terrified of losing more. The fact that you never seemed to care enough to push past her walls meant you never really connected with her, and she was going to remain content keeping Irue at bay from behind said walls.You would have very likely failed the Rite (unless you did extremely well on the questions part) had you not managed to come out of the old Tier house with her polearm and then chosen at the last minute to stop respecting her boundaries and punching her in the face to get your point across.This isn't the catch all solution to Rinnier, but it was the first step to take. There is a great deal left of her to deal with before your relationship could be considered 'good' by any means.>Is Rinnier tsundere for us?Not exactly, no. Rather, she legitimately hates you. It's something specific in her wording from last thread: She didn't trust you. She still doesn't. She doesn't want to. But what she wants doesn't matter anymore, does it?She's bitter and confused.>Who was Rue?It'll come up again.>Why does Caylen not like us?This is complicated. He does like you, but he also finds you frustrating. His concerns don't come across well, and circumstances mean that the two of you often end up at odds.>How hard did we make Maran's life?If you listen closely on a clear day, you can still hear her frothing.>>46434242Fae live there, Alouette told you that. They live across the river which you had the option to cross very early in the quest while searching for Kara.
>>46434207What's Rinnier been up to since she impaled us? Can't be much to do in that room of hers. How the fuck did we win, was there anything we did that stands out as vastly improving our chances? What does the royal faggot know about us exactly? Has he and Caylen been talking to our testament as well? How did that go?
>>46434350>4242>Fae live there, Alouette told you that. They live across the riverI know what were doing next thread.
>>46434350so what was the wood golem in the end? are the nightgaunts real? or is that to much PLOT?
>>46434329The Rite never guaranteed you would get head of the house status incidentally, just that you would be able to refuse your political marriage. She never actually had anything to lose regardless of how this turned out.>Maran and the Teranford InvadersIt's not that simple.It's never that simple, is it?>How bad?In this case, fire no longer exists in Teranford.Like... Any of it. There might be a few apparitions or aspirations of Salamander stubbornly hanging around, but that's it.>Financial situation2x Big Chests of Money+1 Monthly Allowance from Auntie>Who is that Rue?It'll come up again.>>46434353>What's Rinnier been up to?Clara gave her the polearm shaft and told her to clean it again. She's locked herself in her room doing that.>How the fuck did we win?I mentioned the bit about the polearm and violence already. Leaving Ari with a potent tool allowed her to make a strong impression on Clara when they met again. A lot of your actions in Carona were basically the culmination of a great deal of choices made through out the quest (it was your final dungeon, so to speak) and they had a huge effect on the final result of things.>What does the royal cousin know?What doesn't he know?And everyone talked to or met your Testament. Kara offered to spar with Caylen if he was bored; He declined.>>46434424>What was the wood golem?It will come up again.>Are nightgaunts real?Of course they're real.>>46434420>I know what we're doing next thread...Forgetting something?
>>46434500>...Forgetting something?you cheeky dickwaffle
>>46434350Does Caylen recognise his hypocrisy in resenting our dishonesty? Would he have voted for us if we told him the truth about being Rue?
>>46434543>Recognize hypocrisyYou feel mutually upset with each other over the same thing. He feels justified in keeping his secrets, so doesn't see anything wrong with it. Much the same as you/Irue.So no.>Would he have voted for you?Yes. But not because you told him the truth.
>>46434350>You would have very likely failed the Rite... had you not managed to come out of the old Tier house with her polearmAs the anon who nabbed the polearm, I am now literally bursting with pride.
>>46434500>fire no longer exists in Teranford.Let's try not to piss off Jinn or Undine then
>>46434633I wonder what happens when gnome leaves. I think that part of the planet would just disintegrate. leaving only the cold vacuum of space.
>>46434596You earned it, anon.>>46434633>>46434664No one really knows. This isn't a thing that happens. Makes you wonder what the Lamandran family even did to piss it off that much, huh?Or if what they did even mattered.---Anyway, reminder that we'll be going on Hiatus for about a month or so after this while I get notes and things prepared for the second arc.
>>46434754I get to sleep on Saturdays for a whole month! Yeah!But seriously, thanks a bunch for running this, Riz. When the time came to choose which quest to get up in the middle of the night for, Valen always took priority.
>>46434754it's been a wild, emotional and amazing ride
>>46434596u did it champ
>>46434754So the Lamadrans losing Salamander access could be because they were so tied to Teranford that they got whammied like it did with the fire ban?>>46434596Good job anon
>>46435743Teranford has been losing Slamander's favor for ten years already, while Lamandras have completely lost it only recently.
Reminder that Riz has an ask.fm in case anyone else is doing what I'm gonna and rereading / throwing questions that way from time to time. o7
>>46438229I'm aware. I'll probably have many shitposts for tomorrow.