>You are one of three characters: Samson, a spoiled bard, Dyrus, an axe-wielding rebel's son, or Rene, an orphan adopted by a high-ranking Director of an ominous empire, now a prepromoted archer-lancer. POV will rotate between them on a thread-by-thread basis, with an off-chance that someone else might occasionally take a chapter.>These protagonists' motivations and goals will very likely come into conflict with one another's.>Character Death is always a possibility and sometimes an inevitability (this is Fire Emblem after all), but your actions can very easily influence who lives and who dies.>Voting periods will last an average of ten to fifteen minutes, but this may be increased, decreased, or generally changed at any given moment based on voter turnout.>Write-ins are encouraged.>The previous threads are archived on suptg under "Silver Scales of the Past," and a pastebin summarizing each one's events will be provided at the start of the next, like so: http://pastebin.com/nGXz4Hkq>A list of all current summaries and threads: http://pastebin.com/E9sXAcBx>Our update Twitter is qmgrandflocto, and we have an ask.fm also under ask.fm/qmgrandflocto>Preempting any memesters in the audience tonight. /qst/ is a trial board, and I am not currently under any obligation to migrate there.
Samson, growing increasingly bold and warriorlike in his demeanor, prepares the island full of prisoners to set off further into the Southern Archipelago. With Oswald Dory as a third party in the region's trifles, irritable violent offenders making up the majority of this small army, and another problem beginning to rear its ugly head: there isn't a single user of the healing arts in his rank. His father still in his base mage class and growing increasingly wary of all this warfare, the gentleness in Samson's heart must fight a hard battle if he wishes to keep his men alive.Dyrus, in his own narrative, continues practicing away at the axe with his grandfather, Darren, in one of the two most opposite-to-tropical biomes in Teege: the Desert Region (the other, of course, is the frigid Northern mountains of Tordo. Dyrus wonders briefly how Laurise is handling the transition between frigid and arid in such a short time). Hawk Outpost has been a nice little respite for him and the rest of his mother's allies, but it ends soon."That's enough for now," Darren says. "Rest well and be prepared for the morning.""Will do, grandfather..." Dyrus says, heading into his current lodgings.Returning to second-person perspective, you are now Dyrus, barging in on the room you and shy ol' Felix have been sharing. He sits at a table with your sister, Laurise, discussing what's known about imminent events."It's widely known now that Chief Paisley carries Iote's Shield," Felix was saying as you came in, "so-"The sound of a door swinging open and shut again startles him out of his train of thought with a high-pitched yelp, leading you to ask, "am I interrupting something?""Just a tactical discussion," your sister answers with a straight face. "See, if Denim challenges a Vautou wielding Iote's Shield to a duel, he would surely lose.">A. Pretend you understand>B. Why?>C. Just tease them>D. Talk elsewhere. You're tired>E. Write-in response
>>47139890"Why's that?" You ask the tactical twosome.Laurise responds educationally, if unhelpfully. "Iote's Shield is a magical artifact formerly belonging to the previous director of the Central region, Severus, meant to be passed along to Belinda. It was stolen during his funeral by unknown parties, though, and eventually made its way into the hands of a someone in a desert village the Vautou raided.""...I asked why, not how this guy has it," you answer."...it magically weakens arrows or wind magic when equipped by someone in the air," Felix actually answers. "Denim's wielding of the wind tome Excalibur is what makes him so powerful against Vautou. Should a skilled archer be able to shoot him down before he can strike, or should he be unable to finish a Vautou archer in one shot with it..." Felix grows quiet before he can finish."He'll die?" You ask."It's very likely," Felix answers."And it's our job as tacticians to stop people from dying!" Laurise adds. "We're trying to comb our minds for a way to bypass this, but can't think of much short of stealing the Shield before the duel can even begin.""...which would require knowledge of the inner workings of Vautou strongholds that would likely be outdated if we asked Denim," Felix continues, "if we wished to avoid unnecessary fighting.">A. Just wing it!>B. Have more faith in Denim!>C. Maybe we shouldn't interfere...>D. Do you think he wants to lose?>E. Write-in response>F. ...
>>47140114Vote time renewed, gonna be AFK for a few minutes.
>>47140365Renewed again. Guess it's one of those slow Saturdays, huh?
>>47140114>D. Do you think he wants to lose?
>>47140637"You don't think he wants to lose here, do you?" You ask. "That... Maybe he thinks he needs to atone at the hands of his former leader.""If he is," Felix says, "he's inconveniencing us all, dying and leaving us alone in Vautou territory.""Wait... You don't really think he wouldn't have something in mind for that, do you?" Laurise asks. "If a duel stacked so much against him is his plan, he'd surely have a contingency to earn their cooperation even in death... I mean, the Vautou hate the Empire just as much as us. I think it would be wise to have faith in Sir Denim.""...he joined because his loyalties were conflicted between his people and the Empire, correct?" Felix asks rhetorically. "That 'contingency' could simply be a straightforward intent to betray us.""What are you saying?" Laurise asks. "He has no real reason to be doing that!""I don't like relying on luck and goodwill," Felix rebuts. "You're refusing to consider the worst-case scenario, and you call yourself a tactician?""You're the one encouraging us to doubt people who haven't done anything suspicious!" Laurise says, raising her voice slightly.Felix opens his mouth to object once more, but it's clear that he was a bit intimidated by the shouting, so instead he merely shrinks back and shuts his mouth, a sour look in his eye."...sorry for yelling," Laurise says, to no response. "I just... Think you're jumping the gun by saying we shouldn't trust Denim so suddenly.">A. Maybe everyone should get some rest>B. Agree with Laurise's faithfulness>C. Stand up and speak for Felix's distrust>D. This argument is pointless!>E. Write-in response>F. ...
>>47140845>A. Maybe everyone should get some rest
>>47140878"Er... Maybe we should get some rest," you say, "all of us. Laurise, you probably ought to get back to your room with... mother, correct? If you show yourself in too late she'll be furious you woke her.""Some of us can open doors quietly, brother, You're right about the rest, though." Laurise chuckles and gives Felix's shoulder a pat. "No sense giving Felix here a heart attack over a lot of conjecture."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqOYw76jaXEThe next morning, beneath the beating sun, you and your allies travel further Southeast. "We should be able to make it before dusk breaks," Denim assures you, "but be on your guards. Raiding parties are very likely to challenge us along the way, and if they won't listen to us..."Your mother makes sure that you and your sister stay close by her, respectively on the backs of Nia and Winona's wyverns as they flank her, she herself following Denim from immediately behind him."Winona looks kinda red..." Nia remarks, tilting her head to one side and looking past your mother. "I hope she's not overheating...""I mean, we're all burning up out here," you say, shaking your head, "but that doesn't mean she'll burn up faster, right? Winona doesn't have any conditions like that, right?""...I don't know," Nia says. "Maybe she's just really nervous about your sister riding with her?""Eh, maybe," you say. "I mean, last time she tried to catch up with an old friend, that thing with Belle happened. But... You sound a bit under the weather yourself.""It's just... I still can't believe Director Belinda would order that anyone who sees us alive... I mean, I respected her more than anyone in the world, and she just..."The revelations from Baker on the regional border seem to have left the youngest wyvern sister more than a little bothered.>A. She deceived her. Simple as that.>B. There might be more to it...>C. It's not worth getting shaken over>D. Betrayal must suck>E. Consolatory hug?>F. Write-in response
>>47141212>B. There might be more to it...>E. Consolatory hug?
>>47141438"I mean, it is pretty shocking, yeah," you say, "but... I mean, maybe there's more to the story, right?""Yeah, that's what I was thinking too," Nia, ever the optimist, says. "But... Honestly, the truth isn't much of a priority right now. I just... I just hope we'll be able to cross paths Marduk before..." She shuts her eyes and shakes her head. "I dunno, I just have a bad feeling they'll try to get rid of him before he can see us! I mean, of course my big brother could survive anything that anyone throws at him, but it could separate him from us even longer, and...""...sometimes when Winona's feeling anxious, she asks for a friendly hug." You say, extending your arms a bit. "I mean, if it would distract you from your flying, or you just don't want one, I get it, but..."For reasons you're not entirely sure of, Nia giggles, the offer alone cheering her slightly. "No, it's fine. Just don't expect one back before we disembark.""No payback necessary," you respond, wrapping your arms around the wyvern rider slightly tighter.Your mother is focused on following Denim's lead, not commenting much on the nearby shenanigans, but Winona goes from occasionally glancing over to resolutely riding forward.Looking forward when she does, you ask, "huh? Something happen up ahead, or..?"Not much conversation of note happens from there to the next of your frequent rest stops. "Every hour or so for humans," Denim's never ceases to point out.Winona heads out to reflect on her own during this brief break, though Laurise accompanies her anyway. Nia, after returning the hug offered during the ride, simply goes to hang out with Winona's subordinates.Doran and Fortune spend their time griping about the dryness of this heat, with Felix as a hanger-on to the edge of the conversation. Biff and Byron go off together, naturally, while Via and Belle stand close to your current location. Your mother and Denim discuss who knows what.>A. Talk to [specify]>B. Skip ahead
>>47141724>A. Talk to Laurise and Winona
>>47141860You gotta say, you're a bit worried about Winona too. You said it back in Coastal: you value your friendship quite a bit. Sure, you haven't spoken as much as you used to lately, but you've both been busy!If there's some trouble, you say to yourself, you'll be there to help her through it!"What do you want?" Winona asks when you approach, hostile in tone."Winona..." Laurise says, cautiously."I just... You've been acting weird today, so as your friend I wanted to make sure everything was-""I'm fine, alright? Go back to hugging it out with my sister.""Wait... Is that what this is about?" You say, wondering why it bothers her so much who you're friends with. "It's not... Stealing attention from you if your sister is upset and I try to console her while we're riding together.""Eheh..." Wiping sweat off her brow, Winona cracks an unpleasant smile. "Right, right... Knee-jerk reaction. I forget how dense you can be...""...where'd that come from?" You ask, slightly offended."...sorry for getting mad at you there," your friend says, sighing. "I think this heat's just getting to me... Er, could you two go now? I think this heat might just be getting to me, so I need a minute to think."Laurise rubs her forehead into her palm with apparent impatience before complying. "Come on, Dyrus, let's give her a moment...">A. Sure. (end interaction and advance plot)>B. Sure. (ask if your sister knows what's up)>C. Refuse (she should talk to you!)>D. Refuse (try to get Laurise to stay too)>E. Write-in response
>>47142093>C. Refuse (she should talk to you!)
>>47142093>B. Sure. (ask if your sister knows what's up)
>>47142220"Er... Alright," you say. "Er, don't worry, though. We're still friends! I won't hold the heat against you!""...thanks," Winona says less than enthusiastically, sitting down in the sand beneath the wing of her wyvern.You catch up to your sister, saying, "heat gets to the best of us, huh?""You... Seriously think that's all there is to it?" Laurise asks, slightly bewildered. "I thought you were supposed to be better with people than me...""I mean..." You rub the back of your head. "I know that she's insecure about Nia being more popular than her, but what'd I do wrong? Winona and I would do friendly stuff like that much more often!"Laurise sighs. "...if it was anyone but you.""What? If there's some big secret, let me be clued in! If I'm doing something to bother Winona, then..."Laurise interrupts you in a forceful but hushed tone. "Winona's liked you a lot since we were children, Dyrus.""Well, I mean, I'd hope one of my best and oldest friends were..." Your voice trails off a bit, finally understanding what's being gotten at here."...took you that long to figure it out?" Laurise groans. "And now I'm the bad friend for telling you this behind her back... Look, Winona's not immature. The heat's putting everyone on edge, but she's put up with this well enough for years. I'm not saying walk on eggshells so you never do anything to upset her over this, but... At least try to be a bit more sensitive until it inevitably passes.">A. You will>B. Why didn't she out and say this?>C. Did Nia know about this?>D. The value of friendship will strengthen your sensitivity!>E. Write-in response
>>47142445>B. Why didn't she out and say this?>C. Did Nia know about this?
>>47142445>B. Why didn't she out and say this?>A. You will
>>47142512>>47142473"I... Of course I will," you say, "but why hasn't she said anything about this?""She says you've only ever seemed to think of her as a friend whenever she drops hints, so confessing would make things... Strange.""I... Right." You shut your eyes in thought, before popping them open when you next open your mouth. "W-wait! Did Nia know about this?""How should I know?" Laurise asks in return.Before the matter can be discussed further, Via and Belle approach the two of you, with the latter immediately flying out to inform the wyvern rider of whatever must be... informed of."I'm afraid our break is over..." Via says, frowning, "and I'm afraid I have still yet to devise a proper traveling tune for the sandy roads ahead. Why, it's troublesome enough wearing this dress in this weather...""Then... Why not change into something better?" Laurise asks."Oh, Laurise," Via non-answers with a giggle, before turning towards you. "Will the sea shanties of the Coastal region suffice until we can pen something better?">A. They'll suffice>B. Desert shanties or no shanties!>C. Not really feeling it.>D. Let's just focus on not overheating>E. Write-in response>F. ...
>>47142698>A. They'll suffice
>>47142826"Yeah, sure," you say. "As long as it keeps the spirits up!""Lovely," Via says. "I look forward to another duet with you, sir..."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXp_Nv1fMDQAfter every break, those fighters not lucky enough to have a mount among you shift in and out of riding alongside somebody else (with the exception of Felix. Due to his frailty, he is always riding with Belle).As you and Via walk together in the approximate center of the group, as with everyone else on foot, you're generally met with at least amusement, and in some cases joining in.Doran, though, begins shouting quite loudly in the middle of your third song from onboard Byron's horse. "F'you don' cut that Captain Sasha shit out right now I swear I'll kick some 'eads in!""Someone lacks an admiration for the arts," Via remarks."Fuck that! I 'ad every sea shanty in all o' Coastal drilled into me 'ead by that singin' broad and her crew!""...I'd honestly forgotten he existed," Via remarks, more silently this time."Calm man, calm!" Biff exclaims un-calmly. "'tis only lighthearted fun.""The Marlo pirates can do you no more harm," Byron says, more empathetic-sounding."Pff. I ain't scared o' shit. I just hate that music.">A. Say something (specify)>B. Keep singing!>C. Move on
>>47142995>A. Say something> Is there a song you would like to sing Doran?
>>47143030"Is there something you'd rather sing, Doran?" You ask.Very eloquently, Doran responds, "fuck no!"Fortune, riding with Biff, says, "come on, Dora, let kids do kid stuff. They'll not be young forever, you know...""You're like 20! Quit that 'gee I sure am old' crap!""Well, maybe I lucked out and grew up fast," the gold-streaked mercenary says with a bitterly sarcastic tone."May I ask that you spare this lovers' quarrel for our next rest stop?" Byron asks."It's distracting us from important things... I believe we were in the middle of a sea shanty, Via?" Biff asks."Oh, yes." Via nods and bows slightly, now sounding all too pleased to bother Doran. "Where were we, milord~?">A. Finally advance the story>B. Show another stop and another speaking to someone
>>47143174>A. Finally advance the story
>>47143174>A. Finally advance the storyAs tempting as delaying plot indefinitely for social links is...
>>47143228The merriment at one point dies down for a skirmish with some Vautou raiders, but the group was fiercely outnumbered by your mother's army and convinced all other attackers not to bother you and simply let you pass, while the original attackers all fled with minor wounds. Best not to slaughter your prospective allies, Denim says.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urdAeZ6xEBQAs twilight looms over the desert, you approach a large temple close to where sandy deserts end and sandy beaches begin.Arms folded, standing at the entrance, is a quite imposing Vautou, nearly as tall as the captain Marlow impersonator, with a thick brown beard, long hair, and impressive wings. Tucked away behind his wings is a Silver Longbow, poking out through the sides of his impressive physique, and on his arm is a giant shield.At his back is about two dozen Vautou, with more on the rooftops of the temple, patrolling the area, and undoubtedly inside.Denim and Hauteclere approach him first, everyone else not far behind and eyes on the winged archers. All of your pegasus and wyvern-riding allies dismount."Denim!" The big man boasts. "You've got a lot of nerve showing your face around here! And that nerve's about the only reason you and the humans following you haven't all been shot already!">character limit, continued next post
>>47143570"Then surely you know why I'm here, Paisley," Denim says. "I can no longer sit idly by and allow the Empire I once swore allegiance to slaughter my kin... But we won't be able to drive them out without an alliance with these humans.""My name is Hauteclere," your mother says after Denim has spoken, "leader of the anti-Gerxel resistance. We share a common enemy, and come to you with a wish to work together for a better future for Vautou and humanity alike.""Hah! You say that, but these men will be no different from the Empire, mark my words. Our former brother comes begging for mercy when his regime is going to be toppled... What, think this will spare you the death your 'scholarly' friends will all face?""Hardly," Denim says. "I've come to formally challenge you for leadership of the Vautou.""Hah! Your gales will be useless against my shield, yet you stand against me anyway... Either you've gone mad or you've more of your heritage left than we thought. Either way, I accept your challenge! Tomorrow, at the crack of dawn... May the fittest be chief. Humans, you will be granted an unprecedented honor as guests of the Vautou Hall. Do not let us catch you causing trouble, and we will not harm you. Hospitality such as this is a very serious honor..."That night, you, Laurise, and Felix speak again about what you did before you left Hawk Oasis."That is... Absolutely Iote's shield," Felix says. "Denim will not stand a chance so long as Paisley has it.""But... CAN we even get it out of his hands?" Laurise asks. "We barely know the layout of this temple, only that he would likely be keeping his prized shield in his bedchambers, since he seems to wear it everywhere... And if we're caught, we're sitting ducks for killing everyone here.">A. It sounds like Paisley is finally considering cooperation...>B. We'll have to just have faith in Denim>C. Well, we've gotta try!>D. Let's just... Not interfere.>E. Write-in response>F. ...
>>47143652>A. It sounds like Paisley is finally considering cooperation...>B. We'll have to just have faith in Denim
>>47143830https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4GPp5H5Duc"Yeah, it... Looks like this is really a bad time to try anything," you say. "Paisley looked like he respected what Denim did there, so... Even if he loses, we might not be completely out of luck.""Mm... Letting things fall as they do is all we can do," Felix says somberly."But... Let's have a little faith in Denim, alright?" You say, trying to lighten the situation. "He's not just any run-of-the-mill magic-user, after all. He's one of the best in the region OF magic-users!""I just wish I could believe that..." Laurise remarks.The night passes, and before the break of dawn, you, your mother, grandfather, sister, Belle, Biff, Byron, and Via are among the few humans who didn't end up sleeping a normal amount of time and missing the big fight. Denim was the first one on the rooftop, in particular a medium-sized ring atop it, with everyone else named and Paisley arriving next."...this is the last sunrise of your life, Denim," Paisley says, slapping him on the shoulder in a brotherly fashion. "How's that make you feel?""...it didn't have to be this way, you stubborn old fool," Denim says, flipping through his Excalibur tome. "Your refusal to accept the gifts of the outside world... It made me think the worst things about our people. That we were a bunch of bastard raiders who refused to advance... But a strong leader is a lot of things.""And I'm a warrior, Denim. A bastion of the old ways you ran away from. Survivor of decades of humanity's oppression... Hell, maybe if you had any chance of beating me, you might have done some good here.""Don't call your victory before the fight has begun," Denim says, flying over to the ring as the sun rises."Right, right," Paisley says. "Bad habit."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMCDRNFLjEk>A. Interfere! (write-in)>B. Don't interfere!
>>47143985>B. Don't interfere!
>>47144117"Do not fret, Dyrus and Laurise," Biff says to you and your sister before the battle, noting your looks of distress.Before you can ask what he means, Byron says, "there's nothing you could have done..."Paisley fires the first shot of the battle, his Silver Longbow barely missing its target as he readies a bit of Excalibur."This mystical gale shall be your undoing, shield or no!" Denim declares, cracking open his weapon of choice and flying up over Paisley, casting it down upon him.Paisley, in turn, simply raises his shield, being blown back and slightly bothered by the blast, but looking little worse for ware. Floating inches above the ground, he laughs. "Mr. Magical savant here forget what this thing can do?" He briefly touches the ground, and fire erupts from below his feet. "Wh-what the..?""So he hid a magical mine and forced him to touch ground..." Your grandfather chuckles with delight at the pragmatic display. "It would explain why he was out here before anyone else.""Denim!" A random vautou observershouts. "You would disgrace this sacred custom by-""Sh-shut up!" Paisley, grounded, says to the objector. "There's nothing in the rules against fighting dirty..." Quite literally steaming a bit, Paisley lies on the ground, hand inside one of his many layers of shirt, presumably clutching his chest."Odd place to be grasping..." Byron offhandedly remarks."His leg blew up, did it not?" Biff asks before shrugging. "I suppose an explosion could wrack his whole body, though..."Denim hovers over the wounded Paisley, Excalibur tome open."Iote's Shield only serves its purpose when its wielder is in the air, Paisley. You can surrender now if you'd like. I've no desire to kill any more Vautou.""Eheh... Always one to defy traditions, eh..?" Paisley asks, still in aforementioned position, with a remarkably-still-cocky grin on his face. "How... Noble of you to offer, though.">A. Watch the fight's conclusion>B. Write-in dialogue
>>47144306>A. Watch the fight's conclusion
>>47144306>B. Write-in dialogue
>>47144384Er... Actually writing something in is required for "write-in dialogue."
>>47144392I picked the wrong one. I pick A.
>>47144370"...but there's no rule against fighting dirty!" Paisley shouts as he whips his hand out from beneath his clothes, a throwing knife appearing in and then leaving his hands in an instant.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YajJZHw7g60Laurise looks as though she'd realized the implications of Biff and Byron's observation seconds too late to do anything about it, and Denim, taken off-guard by the knife through his casting arm, misses his mark.Paisley scrambles to retrieve his dropped bow from there, taking aim and shooting Denim square through the forearm, leading him to outright drop his tome. Denim is left only able to reach for his weapon (and certainly get shot) or fly away and dodge.Instead, he elects to rush forward and attempt to punch the hell out of Paisley.This, logically, makes him even more arrow food, but as the Silver Longbow's arrows pierce him a third time, he at least manages to knock a tooth out of the Vautou chief's mouth."...never neglected the basics, eh?" Paisley asks."...of course not. Can a mage not have... A strong body..?" Denim asks."Eheheh... You fought like hell, Denim. Got any last requests?""After... The Gerxel are gone... Make a better effort with humanity...""Don't expect us to be buddy-buddy right off the bat... And all bets are off if the new guys double-cross us!" Paisley says.The last words out of Denim's mouth: "Fair enough... So long as my wayward soul can hope for our people's future.">A. Stand around in awe>B. Run up to the concluded fight!>C. Write-in response
>>47144577>B. Run up to the concluded fight!
>>47144621"D-Denim!" You say, running into the ring and clutching his body. "Come on, Denim! You said it was stupid that someone had to die here, so defy that!"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehKCkJq--acYour mother simply walks up behind you, putting a comforting arm on your shoulder and looking to you for several moments, before drawing the Staff of Katri and healing Chief Paisley's wounds. "...you've cost the world one of its brightest mages, Chief Paisley.""That's tradition for you," Paisley responds. "But... He earnestly believed that you guys were alright. Even when he was with the Empire he was... Misguided."Everyone present looks at Paisley with VERY mixed expressions.Paisley takes to the air moments later. "Now, don't get me wrong. I don't trust humans any more than I did before. I'm just not going to take the will of the dead idly. Angora and Corduroy died hoping we could give the Empire whatfor, and Denim died hoping I could give you a chance, so... Earn my trust, humans."Everyone bar your family, as well as Belle and Via, heads downstairs, a few Vautou bringing Denim's body with them.Your mother approaches the similarly-grieving Laurise for consolation, while your grandfather speaks to you."Denim fought better than we could have expected, but so did Chief Paisley. Hardly a wonder he's in charge...""Shall we take to composing a song in Denim's memory?" Via asks."...at least we've still got our new allies," Belle says.However, these new allies insist on a rather specific detour: Chief Paisley wants Director Cato's blood.>To be continued next threadAgain, I almost fucking used Roundabout here.Thanks for playing, as always. Update twitter/ask.fm are qmgrandflocto, and I'll be around in-thread to chat for awhile.
>>47144925Thanks for running.
>>47144939Always a pleasure.Was "call out to warn Denim about Paisley probably hiding something" too well-hidden? I tried to have Biff and Byron hint at it without making it TOO obvious how to end things in the favor of the guy we'd gotten to know.
>>47144970It wasn't too hidden looking back on it, I was just being dumb and heavily distracted. Can't speak for others.
>>47145217It happens in quests. I like to make write-ins integral to saving characters' lives if they've been written into mortal peril, give the players something to do, though I usually have some solution in mind (bar "this death has been deemed necessary to move the plot along" situations, in which case taking things off the rails is ENTIRELY up to throwing me for a loop).