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/qst/ - Quests

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There is no doubt in your mind that you made the right choice.

Mutually assured destruction was the only effective way to be sure you killed her. She is too powerful, too intelligent; if even a tenth of what was said about the Tyrant Child was true, this was the only way you could be sure she was dead. Pinning her to the rock wall of the mountain she had carved into her palace, your flamberge buried two feet deep into the face of the rock, she still managed to put you in a compromised position.

The extra quillons past the ricasso of your blade press into her sternum and her belly. She gasps heavily, each breath an effort with your sword passing through her solar plexus. Only her utterly inhuman nature allows her to live even with this terrible damage. Most of her other injuries are seemingly superficial, many half healed. Your own are not negligible, but you would survive those injuries.

The fingers plunged into your brain, not so much.

With one hand on the ricasso of your flamberge and covering your gauntlet, her other is glittering light and shifting shadows, immaterial and tickling within your skull. The one blue eye you can see through her red hair glitters malevolently. You can smell hibiscus through the coppery scent of your own blood, and she inhales deeply.

"You will have my life, my body, or my mind, paladin, but you must chose quickly..." She tries to push the blade away but you lean into it, gritting your teeth at the sensation of her fingers moving inside your head. She inhales, her shallow chest sliding along the blade, more of her obscene dark gold blood staining those pristine white silks of hers. A mockery of purity, in every way. "I have enough power for this last act...but only that...and I will survive your death when my hand materializes." She smiles, the brownish blood filled with golden shimmers spilling form her Cupid-bow lips. You're not fooled at all; the Tyrant Child is an abomination, ageless and immortal. "You've come closest yet...to slaying me."

Several more slow, deep gasps, as she closes her eyes briefly. Nothing human would have lived so long impaled upon a holy weapon and pinned so. It is obviously a trick, a trap of some kind. You can hope she is lying, that she will die if you fail to choose one of her offers. If this is her last power, then failing to use it would cost her what she calls a life. But you wouldn't know that for sure.

Her eyes open and she hisses at you softly, "...time is near gone, paladin..." You hear your allies coming to your aid, but they will be too late. You can feel your ribs grinding as you breathe; with her bare hands she shattered bones and tore organs. You could heal yourself, but you need both hands to keep her pinned; she will NOT escape this time.

Accept her Life.

Accept her Body.

Accept her Mind

Die, and Pray she dies with you.
>Die, and Pray she dies with you.
Paladins do not negotiate with abominations!
The other two are we get stuck in her body or she gets stuck in ours.
Unless I'm wrong but what are the odds of that?
I've just reread the op, can I change to
A respectable decision.

>The other two are we get stuck in her body or she gets stuck in ours.
The odds of you being wrong are 1 out of 2 in your statement.
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You may. I'll give this more time to percolate.
Die, and pray she dies with you.

Yea... just see what nastiness will happen if people discover your immortality, regeneration or innatural experience (with deamoniacal stuff). we'll be the fookin shame of the whole inquisition.
thought I'm tempted with The Mind, as easier to hide than the else.
The daily peak time is usually around 8 hours from now, but hopefully more people join in. I love Paladin quests done right.
I will probably continue it in another 4 hours, but I hope that people will discuss and think on the choices.

I'll add some of the truths and legends of the Tyrant Child shortly.
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The Tyrant Child appears to be in her mid-teens.

She is known to be at least eight hundred years old, but may be as old as a century and a half as the oldest of the elves have been said to have met her personally.

She does not eat or drink.

Her powers are believed to be those of mystics and mentalists but if they were wizardry she has long since outgrown the need for ritual. She is not a sorceress.

If you receive her word, she is true to it. She does not give her word to anyone she does not see as at least as honorable.

The dwarves speak of her in myths several hundreds of years old as a monster who seeks monsters in the great depths of the earth, deeper than they dare travel.

She has verifiably killed a dragon in single combat with her magics and her skills but she did so with no weapons other than her hands and feet as an ascetic would. She is not an ascetic.

There are those who claim she is responsible for the Burning. The Burning occurred over three hundred years ago, when creatures from beyond the veil of the world riding red dragons pillaged, looted, and burned fully a third of the continent. She supposedly began to craft her current reign from this time, though her empire is only one hundred and seventy years old as it stands now.

Oracles and seers will not prophesy, scry or speak of her. They claim those that try are destroyed by her.

You and your allies arrived at the head of an army that took three decades to make and prepare. The war has gone on for seven years. This is to be the end of it.
>You and your allies arrived at the head of an army that took three decades to make and prepare. The war has gone on for seven years. This is to be the end of it.

The Tyrant Child did nothing wrong. We're just rebellious ingrates. What have the Romans ever done for us?
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Under her reign corruption, diabolism, necromancy (and not the polite, gentler kind), and slavery have burgeoned and grown heavy in the world.

Entire families of aristocracy were put to the sword and sycophants and bootlickers installed in their place.

Monstrous creatures were welcomed into the cities and towns of the world, and were treated as more valuable than those who crafted goods and farmed the land. They were a new gentry, more respected than aristocrat and more valued by the rulers of the lands than their own people were, even when they performed acts of terror and cruelty for their own sake.

Religions of compassion and care were persecuted, their priesthoods taxed into oblivion until their lands and churches were in ruins, or their churches were simply put to the torch and the priests and clerics driven into desolate wilderness.

Townships and cities unable to pay their taxes and tithes were allowed to give up orphans and children to slavery in the Imperial Palace in lieu of payment. Half of an entire generation of several countries now labor in the place, and the sights you saw are why you stand here with your sword pinning this monstrosity to the wall with her fingers in your brain and her ichors pooling about your boots.

Thirty-seven years was too long a wait for justice to be done.
Bitch needs to die.
Yeah, well... atleast there are decent roads.
>Die, and Pray she dies with you.

This is the whole point of everything MC's done. It'd be worthless to throw it all away for a chance to live.

QM seems pretty based so far.
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I switched computers and IPs.

I'll give a shilling (ha ha) at /qsg/ and reread everything see if there's anything else vital that I would like to give you all as information already known...and then, from the looks of it, kill the MC and the BBEG.

I am duly impressed by the willingness of the questers so far to choose the hard - and righteous - path.
Remember to keep your name and trip if you change IP.
Thank you.
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You look her in the eyes, feel her nearly insubstantial fingers twitch in your brain as you gaze at her through the dented visor that you will fortunately never have to try lifting again.


She blinks, as though surprised by your refusal.

"You have been too long a poison in the world. It will be better without you. I am old, and tired, and it is better I die now with you before me than to see the world suffer further depredations from you, in person or by proxy." The longer you waste her time the more likely it is she will not have the power to do any of those terrible, terrible things she has planned. Your faith and your will are indomitable; you've proven that several times already, and she knows she cannot force a choice upon you. Not as weak as she is now.

As for yourself...you were twenty when the war effort began. Thirty-seven years to vanquish a single foe is a life's good work done if you succeed here and now. You lean into the blade and lose your grasp on the hilt, the second hilt of your ricasso and your hip against the quillons enough to keep her pinned. Grabbing her wrist you keep it steady, her fingers in your brain as you glare into her blue eyes.

"Be done with it, creature. Be done with it and end us both now." Your allies are coming closer. "END IT NOW!" You shout, ignoring the blood that spatters her pristine face, the inside of your visor. Something wet and painful happens inside your lungs as you roar your command. "I GO WITH THE GODS!"

An arrow passes your head, frighteningly close to your helm, and buries itself in her shoulder. She cries out and lefts go of your blade to grab at the arrow, her face contorted in pain she has so rarely felt, even in her battle against you, even with your blade through her body and cracking her spine. Truly out of power to spare.

She leans forward as your allies rush towards you and her eyes flash a brilliant blue-white.


Something happens inside your head, and you feel your face go slack, your eyes widening and your body going terribly limp. It's so heavy, so much heavy. Such loud. Hard, hard grey flatness. Red stuff and gold stuff. Pretty lights. Voice voices voices.

>Come home to us.

Home is warm and nice.



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A voice. It's a soft sweet voice, a voice that calls to you, a gentle sing-song. It's not familiar, but you feel as though you know the owner of that voice. Kindly, beckoning.

~my lord~

You were a lord once. No longer. You are at peace, pleased to remain so.

~my lord, i beseech thee~

She does sound to be in need. Desperate, perhaps. She prays, prays to the Gods of Light, the Gods of Justice, the Compassionate and the Kind.

~Please let him hear my call.~

You draw yourself together, feel the weight of your duty, the burdens coming so easily, so very easily. You fall towards the beckoning voice, and look upon the stone slab and your body, laid in state upon white marble in the Halls of the Heroes in the Great Temple of the North. Your armor has been cleaned and shined, but your helm is in place. You suspect that you look none to pretty after that abomination


ripped a chunk of your brains out. Treppaning taking to something of an extreme. The halo of diamonds arrayed about your head glitter, burst into white flame and you now understand.

High Priestess of the Church of the White Foundation, Her Holiness Jeanna d'Caithness, asks you if you would live again once more to serve the Gods, one hundred and thirty-five days after you have died.

[] Accept her Request and Live once more.

[] Ask why Her Holiness Calls upon You.

[] Refuse her Request most Gently, the Time is not Right.

[] Grant Her Holiness your Blessing, and Deny her Request Forever.
>[x] Ask why Her Holiness Calls upon You.
Does the world need us once more? Is there a new evil for our righteous blade to slay?
>[] Ask why Her Holiness Calls upon You.
> [X] Ask why Her Holiness Calls upon You.
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~~Why dost thou call upon me in my rest, your Holiness?~~

She seems startled, as though the idea that one of the resting dead might not wish to be conjured to life is unthinkable. You smile to yourself; a little humility ids good for the powerful.

~My Lord Paladin, I beseech thee; return to us, and guide us through these dark times that have come upon us in the wake of our success!~

Ah, yes, the inevitable discord and turmoil that comes of the toppling of a tyrant. With so many innocents at the mercy of so many monsters, and so many of those undoubtedly take to ensure the compliance of many cities and countries, it would inevitably come down to political prisoners, the squabbling of the masses over the treasures and goods that were taken, and the collapse of the empire into fiefdoms and smaller empires.

The Tyrant Child undoubtedly planned for such to happen.

~~Is it not thy duty to lead them that are confused and mistaken in their desires to compassion and certitude? Thou are the High Priestess, she whom may command Angels to thy bidding. One man is not worth the price you would pay to restore me to a life spent most gladly.~~

She lowers her head, and you find yourself gently amused and somewhat saddened by the sight of her biting her lip. Her Holiness is tired and frightened, and stress has made her revert to childhood habits for reassurance.

~My Lord, what you say is true, but there is much that requires the strength of a hero; whiel your comapnios were strong and gracious in their victory, they must perforce return to their own peoples and kingdoms, or make their way to their own haunts and abodes. You are the hope for our future, and your presence will bring order and strength to the world as it stands.~

Ah, the secular world ever moves on. As great a disaster as it may seem, these things will pass eventually. the chaos and turmoil will die down, in time. You were able to raise an army, yes, but you were never a politician if you could help it.

[] Accept her Request and Live once more.

[] Refuse her Request most Gently, the Time is not Right.

[] Grant Her Holiness your Blessing, and Deny her Request Forever.

[] Instruct her to seek Guidance from the Higher Powers themselves; and return to your Rest.
>[] Instruct her to seek Guidance from the Higher Powers themselves; and return to your Rest
They know more and are wiser than I ever could be. I am a blade against the deepest dark, I would be ill suited to the shades of greybrought on by the politics of victory.
Also this
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~~My counsel would be poor indeed, for no stateman or aristocrat am I. I am but a warrior, a mere blade and a shield. Thou art better suited to such matters than I could ever be, Msot Holy Priestess.~~

~Forgive me for disturbing your rest, my Lord, and return to it in peace.~ she says softly as the burning halo of diamonds begins to die down, leaving cracked and blacked glass in its place.

~~Do not despair, Jeanna d'Caithness; I adjure thee to seek the aid of those whom Serve those that we serve. Call upon the Angelic, and they will answer thy call; no mere summons, no mere cummunion, but a Great Calling alone can give thee surcease from they trials and tribulations. Those we serve to not wish sufferign and pain upon thee, and nor would I leave thee without guidance. Call, and serve, and thou wilt be served.~~

The remaining flames gutter and flicker, but it is enough to see her radiant smile as the darkness encroaches once more. You return to your rest, secure in the knowledge that you have served well even in death.
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~hear my prayers, oh almighty lords of order~

The call comes again. It is a softer call, filled with trepidation and lacking surety or strength of conviction. Yet you hear it. Curiosity more than compulsion invites you to the realm between and betwixt.

This is no temple, no burial site for heroes, no mausoleum to entomb your body. It is a cave, barely enough to be called a hermitage, though it is of stone. Candlelight, rather than sunlight or faery torches illuminate the scene you have been drawn to.

A young man in simple grey cloak, thin and pale, spectacles upon the bridge of his nose, gazes at the holy tome before him. He moves his fingers along the words and passages, the prayer week and uncertain, yet there is need, hope, and a perseverance that commands respect, if not obedience.

~My Lord, I beseech Thee~

The scattering of diamonds about the head of the tattered cerements and mouldy skull with the triangular hole in it's brow


Gleam brightly, taking on a glow that startles the young penitent. He takes heart from this and continues.

~Please My Lord, hear this call...I call to thee for they aide...succour us, in our most needful time....~ He frowns, and sets the book aside as the diamonds glitters and the power sputters. you remain, if only because you are curious what this young man might try next. He takes a deep breath and lowers his head, clasping his hands together. This prayer lack the cadences and beauty of the old prayers, but his impassioned plea cannot be ignored.

~Great Warrior of an age Past, please return to us; be our Shield against that which threatens; be our Sword against that which seeks; be the Light we no longer have...~

The diamonds burning into flame but he does not cease his prayer. Father Timmerley Basida of the small, unnamed church in the town of Westhaven Cross seeks to restore you to life far from the Temple of the north, your bones taken from their restign place and carried in secret to this small cave. He is devote to the Gods of Compassion and Care, though not so much those of Order and Law; still, his need seems great, and there can be no doubt of his piety.

[] Accept his Request and Live once more.

[] Ask the young Father why he Calls upon You.

[] Refuse his Request most Gently; the Time is Nigh.

[] Grant the young Father your Blessing, and Deny his Request Forever.
>[X] Ask the young Father why he Calls upon You.
>[] Ask the young Father why he Calls upon You.
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~My Lord!~ The young priest is startled by your appearance, and his shock is profound. Despite that he quickly recovers himself and speaks in plain language, with great familiarity. Yet, you can see that he is truly more afraid of the things he speaks of than he is intent on the niceties of ritual and prayer. ~My Lord...the bards sing of your deeds still, and the tales of your deeds and efforts are still spoken of far and wide...but there is another tale, words spoken of the Tyrant Princess who ruled for more than one hundred years though human she was...I hear whispers, throughout the lands. I am a mere itinerant now, wanderign from parish to church to castle, and everywhere I see it changing, moving silently before all yet unseen...~

~~And why dost thou call upon me, Father Timmerley son of Basida? I am no inquisitor who uproots hidden evils; I am no seeker, able to divine the source and means of evil upon the world. Thou woulds be better served by such as this, wouldst thou not?~~

You are gentle in your rebuke, not intending to disabuse this gentle man from his quest. For he does seem most earnest, and to have profaned a holy temple to seek your aid seems to be the act of a truly desperate and frightened man.

He contains his panic, more fearful that you will leave him to his own devices than he is of your wrath or umbrage. It says something of a different sort of conviction; not the conviction of a devout man, but the conviction of a man who has seen something that no one else will believe.

~My Lord, I have spoken with the inquisitors; I have spoken with other priests; I even took my suspicions and beliefs to the Basilica of the North, where the High Priest himself avowed that no such occurrences as I speak of could be possible.~ He takes off his spectacles and looks up at you, his eyes wet and frightened. ~My lord I promise you this...I have seen evil moving behind the mouths of men and women; I have seen the most fearsome warrior pale and terrified to look upon a mirror. I have seen children watching their parents with knowledge of eld writ across their faces! A darkness that escapes the notice of the holy, that consumes the will of the wise, and presumes to walk upon the earth in the guise of man and woman, yet is neither demon nor devil...~

The young man face contorts as he strugles to convince you; the facade of strength falters and you see a haunted, horrified expectation of your disapproaval write large across his face. But his heart...that is where the fear truly lies upon him.

~My Lord,~ he whispers, though the voice of his prayer is as clear as daylight upon the mountains on a cloudless morning, ~My Lord, an undying, immortal evil walks among men, elf, halfling, dwarf, and Lizardfolk. I have seen it move through their faces, as it seeks me, aware of my understanding. It poisons the preisthood against me, and I fear no man now living can be my ally.~
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It could be a sickness of the mind; you have seen such before, those whose minds are unravelled in such a way to make the impossible and the dreadful seem real.

Yet you have faced something similar, it is true: an ageless, undying child who ruled for so long and controlled so much that she is


as much legend as your defeat is. It is possible he is in the wrong; the corruption he speaks of, so pervasive? Harder to believe. You have no recourse but to chose to believe or not. You are not even a shade or a specter. the soul of a man, nothing more.

But to steal your body from the sacred grounds of the Holy Temple of the North? To attempt a ritual with no teaching, only the barest of study and his own faith? Perhaps he is mad. But he is at least pious enough that his madness is not a curse of the gods.

[] Accept his Request and Live once more.

[] Refuse his Request most Gently; the Time is Nigh.

[] Grant the young Father your Blessing, and Deny his Request Forever.

[] Remember, and Instruct the young Father on the Allies he must Seek.
>[x] Accept his Request and Live once more.
> [X] Accept his Request and Live once more.
>[] Remember, and Instruct the young Father on the Allies he must Seek.
I was not the one who saw the Tyrant early and moved to stop her Young priest. Better, wiser men with more foresight did that, I simply answered the call to arms that they put forth when her perfidy had been revealed. Go gather those of bright eyes, keen minds and stalwart hearts. They will do far more to fight this invisible evil than a simple man armed only with his faith in the gods and the blade in his hand. Go with the Gods.
>[X] Accept his Request and Live once more.
Guys I want to get back into the fight as much as you can, but we're not anywhere what's needed here. We're a beat stick, not a cloak nor a dagger. If we come back the Tyrant will either go to ground or backstab us, because I can guarantee whether she is the same entity or simply like her, she will now we need to fall immediately.
you you are right, covinced me
change to:
[X] Remember, and Instruct the young Father on the Allies he must Seek.
>Remember, and Instruct the young Father on the Allies he must Seek.
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~~Dear Father Timmerley, good and true servant of the Light, troubled soul, I fear I am not whom you must seek.~~ There is a flash of electric blue across your supernal vision, memories of a small town, far and away, tiny, and unremarkable, save for two things. ~~I am not the one whom thee should beseech in this time of great need. I am a mere warrior, no more than a Sword against tyrrany, a shield against exploitation. You are need of subtle allies, those who see further, and know deeper things than I.~~

He lowers his head, the pain and despair starting to well up.

You remember, red hair, blue eyes, a secret, a secret given to so very few they could be counted on the fingers of one hand in an elven lifetime. ~~Fret not. Go South, and South, and West. There thee will find a village, a small village unremarkable, save but for two things.~~ He looks up, hope alight in his eyes already, though doubt casts a shadow upon his heart. ~~The trek will be long and the journey painful for such a sensitive soul as thine. Yet thee must persevere and thou wilt discover there a handful of people whom may give thee thine aid so desperately sought.~~

~How will I know that I have reached my goal, My Lord Paladin?~ His voice carries a note of hope, one which was lacking before and you smile.

~~The denizens of this township will have but red hair, and blue eyes. Naught else wilt thou find within that township. Nor wilt thou find any but those of age of thing; none will be younger than sixteen summers, and none older than twenty-five summers.~~ He stares at you, confusion and worry writ large across his face. the diamonds sputter, cracking and the flames beginning to die. ~~They will have the subtlety of knowledge and the secrets that thou must learn to fight an enemy unseen and unknown.~~

You feel the spells and incantations fading and you lift your hand. ~~Persevere, good Father; those whom thee must seek will aide thee.~~ Your heart is lighter, and you feel the gentle approval of those whom you serve.

The memory of the village that the Tyrant Child placed within your mind, her pennance for the pain she caused you and your reward from her for standing true and firm to your principles, now has served you well.

~I will erect a shrine to you here, and make it known that a saint is laid to rest here.~

The holy flames gutter and vanish and once more you rest.
You are yanked from the rest of the just and the good by a demand.


You feel your self torn for the darkness between by the vibrant wild winds of power and desire, a will the equal of any high priest or priestess. There is no conviction, no piety, only desire and a wild, childlike glee in the release of that power.


You feel flesh slide across your bones, blood pool in vein and artery, your guts swell and your skin tight over muscle and sinew.


You open your eyes, life not yet formed within the husk of your body, your words those of the dead.

A woman-child, slender and delicate of bone stands upon the mountainside of your shrine, your sepulchral form standing tall and threatening, dressed and armored in the fashion you are used to. Even your blade, mislaid even at the Temple of the North mere weeks after your internment rests at your side. You feel the weight of years past, at least thirty, maybe as many as fifty. Deathless eyes gaze at red hair braided tight, and eyes the color of the sky.

~ARISE AND SERVE, MY LORD!~ she cries without a sound her hands in mystic sign, her power radiating from her in lightless waves of ephemeral force.

[] Whom dares to violate my resting place?

[] I hear your plea...what would you have of me, abomination?

[] This is the time foretold, but you are not whom was meant to raise me.

[] By what unnatural power dost thou command me to rise from death with, creature?
>[] Whom dares to violate my resting place?
>[] By what unnatural power dost thou command me to rise from death with, creature?
> [X] Whom dares to violate my resting place?
> [X] This is the time foretold, but you are not whom was meant to raise me.
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You stand in an unnatural, unpleasantly hunched position, your body not yet under your control as she forces upon you what others were required to show the utmost devotion and piety to achieve.

~~Whom dares violate my resting place? Thou are not the one meant to raise me from my just and rightful rest, be it the proper time for such to occur or no. This power was not that meant to grant me life once more, usurper and blasphemer; what is this that wrests me from the grave as one would draw iron to magnetite?~~

She gestures dramatically, revealing that while slender, she is tall, and not merely because of her strange greaves. It also informs you that the hand signs are meaningless; like the Tyrant Child, her power is of stranger sort. But it is not that surely-damned foe, for she is dead for certain. She bade you Remember that as well as the place to find her kith, of which this is surely one.

~By mental discipline do I command life to your old bones, My Lord, and by will alone is it accomplished!~ she exults, reveling in her unexpected success. ~But it is no mere folly that leads Jacinth to call you up to the land of the living once more! An ancient and unthought of enemy arises in the lands, far worse than even the threat of my kith the Immortal Child-Empress!~ She gestures dramatically again, and you wonder if she is having some kind of attack or spasm from the power she is pouring into your hallowed grave.

~We have assasyed the turmoil of the Immortal Empress' death, and discovered the nature and truth of the enemy that has risen in her place, My Lord! Come and do battle with me and mine, that we might once more defeat the great enemy within!~

[] Very well; restore my life in whole, and I will lead the battle once more.

[] Nay; release me, and allow the proper events to take their course, foolish creature.

[] Your power has been wasted; I will not arise at the desire of some inhuman monstrosity.

[] You are a child in manner as well as in form, unlike your kith; give me proper obeisance and I will come willingly to thy side.
[X] You are a child in manner as well as in form, unlike your kith; give me proper obeisance and I will come willingly to thy side.
We'll pick up later this late this evening/early next morning.

Thank you for playing.
Thank you for this story.
>[] You are a child in manner as well as in form, unlike your kith; give me proper obeisance and I will come willingly to thy side.
If you don't mind answering. What would have happened with the first three choices of the OP?
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Life: You would have exchanged bodies entirely, and both of you would have lived, leaving you in charge of the Empire.

Body: You would have become an immortal like her, your paladin's life erased and your body youthful and immortal (she might have let you keep your gender though).

Mind: You would have been implanted with a mind seed, a psychic cancer which would have eventually turned your mind into a copy of hers with all her power.
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Thy kith, unlike thee, understood the need for propriety and accepted that there are prices to be paid for that which bring both power and ruin. With proper obeisance alone wilt thy request be granted.

It is a titanic effort to fore your unliving flesh to stand tall and proud once more. Your rebuke is delivered with a firm tone, but not haughtily or cruelly. You have every intent of assisting her, abomination that she may be, but a little humility and proper etiquette is a fair price to ask!

She seems confused and startled, almost dumbfounded by your demand. You take your sword from its sheath and plant the tip before you, and slowly wrap both your hands upon the hilt, looking acorss the mountainside at her.

...but my power demands that you life, that you assist me, and aid us all! How can you refuse?!

Child, all power that would restore life to the dead may be refused by those that are called. None may command the truly dead to live once more save the Gods themselves.

Her consternation at your gentle explanation is rather gratifying. If she remains with you, you re going to have trouble holding a tight rein upon her. Still, after a moment's though she takes a deep, slow breath and closes her eyes, clasping her hands together.

Please My Lord Paladin, asist those who need thee in this time of their need. I beseech yo- ah, thee, to come forth from thy just and well deserved rest, if thou wilt aid those who have need of...need of thee once more.

It is forced, but she manages a fairly good representation of an invocation. You feel her need and her strength, and the turmoil it causes her to force herself to provide such a small provenance to the gods of Order and Light. But it is done, and to ask more of her would be unwarranted.

Very well. I will serve as I have before, as Sword for those whom cannot bear arms, as Shield for those whom cannot defend themselves, as beacon for those whom would rise up against their oppressors and enemies and otherwise would not.

Your reply makes her eyes light up, and she lifts her hands in arcane and meaningless signs once more.


This one is going to need a lot of work.
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The sensation of your flesh solidifying, connecting to your bones, your sinews snapping taut and strong, your skin sheathing veins and arteries, the sudden and powerful beat of your now living heart...it is overwhelming and you clench your hands around the hilt of your blade, willing yourself to neither scream nor waver from that spot. Her power, whatever it may be, is potent and in moments you stand restored and whole, armed and armored before her. Her eyes are bright and eager and she strides towards you confidently, the armored boots she wears clanking heavily against the plain stone that is the mountainside you both stand upon. It doesn't take much to see that the 'boots' or greaves are not simply armor; her strides are not merely confident and sure footed, they are unconsciously deliberate, the deliberation of the injured or the lame.

A matter for another time, perhaps.

As for yourself, you are still aged, but strong, and though your eyesight is not the best,at distance, you can determine nearby details easily enough. As you suspected, she is delicate of build, but taller than you thought in your half-living state before. She could be as old as nineteen or twenty summers, and merely rail thin and boyish. That is, of course, if she weren't an inhuman mockery of humanity that could be as old as centuries, even millennia. you doubt that the latter is the case, she has none of the refinement and only a little of the grace the Tyrant Child possessed.

"You have wrought well, child; to have manifested armor and clothing is a blessing I had not foreseen." You heft your blade, studying it, feeling it's presence in your mind and soul as much as your own life and body.

She beams at the compliment as she looks up at you - you were always tall, but she's not short for a young woman - and she nods. "I wanted you to be ready, just in case. And my name is Heather, not child." You were expecting something a great deal more ostentatious or bizarre, if you were to be honest. But her correction is made with a smile; she seems amicable enough for a monstrosity.

That does bring up questions.

[] First, find shelter and provisions, and reacquaint yourself with the world as it is now.

[] Have her explain what exactly her people are and what their power is.

[] Ask about the foe that is so great your prowess and skills are needed so desperately.

[] Consult her about what has happened in the many years you have been dead.
>[] Ask about the foe that is so great your prowess and skills are needed so desperately.
>Ask about the foe that is so great your prowess and skills are needed so desperately.
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You glance around. the cave that your body was interred within is barely recognizable as such; time and erosion have collapsed it, making it little more than a cairn to conceal your cerements. No matter; you have no need of those or a shrine.

You turn to the youthful creature and lowly remove your helm; she is taken aback by your appearance, as most are. "Tell me of this enemy that makes one such as I necessary to defeat them."

The abomination looks down, her expression serious and her eyes guarded. "You claim to be merely a warrior, a sword and a shield, but you're not, really. Many still remember you as the palain who ended the Immortal Empresses' reign. More still recall that you were the general who rallied the ten kingdoms to war, and guided them to victory, almsot entirely in secret. A few of us remember those who fought with you, who were not merely swords and shields, but sorcerer, huntsman, slayer, and bard. Not warriors, but clever men and women." Her wording of the lat part makes you frown.

"How is it that you know of my companions? You speak as if you were there."

"I was. But, you asked about the enemy. The enemy is faceless, but they bear a name. The elves call them Imshadri, Fleash Wearers. They have a name for themselves, but it amounts to the same thing. Tsochari. They come from...from somewhere else." You murmur the words to yourself, committing them to memory. You also notice she is making slightly swaying motions, lifting her feet slightly, one and then the other. Impatient, but more likely her legs were aching.

"They are...ugh, it's hard to explain. They're small bundles of tentacles with claws and eyes and teeth that get inside a person and live there. They can control people, but it's not mind control, they have to force people to do what they want. Unless it's a corpse, but they can't stop a corpse from rotting." Your stomach does a slow turn. "They can steal a wizards or sorcerer's magic and use it, but some have their own magic." she gestures wildly. "And there's a lot of them. A whole lot of them. They've infiltrated several governments and churches, and they're starting to change things. Not little things anymore, but important things."

With a frown you point out the obvious. "I may be a leader of men and a warrior, but I am ill equipped to hunt down a threat such as you speak of." The pale priest's fears were seemingly justified. "Another came to me and spoke of such things; others are far better suited tosuch a task than-"

"Oh, no, that part is over! We know who and what they are! We know what their goals are! But we need people who believe to rally behind a leader and fight them without giving into the witchhunter mentality that would just serve their cause! We need a general now, a man who can kill the hydra and win a war without it descending into mob rule immediately!" Her blue eyes gaze up at you somewhat adoringly, and you can help but smile a little.
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"You flatter me child - no, Heather. You do flatter me, Heather, but it still seems a task suited to those more able to root out opposition and secrecy. I have rarely fought diabolists or cultists; I am a simple fellow, not suited to the task of unearthing evil that hides in plain sight so well."

Her expression falters, and then becomes a frown. "If we had such people who could uproot the high priests and deal out death to the aristocracy and landholders so easily it wouldn't have come to this. They rule these lands now. Staging a revolution or coup is the only way they can be dislodged now, paladin. If it were a matter of subterfuge, we wouldn't need a man like you to do this."

She does have a point. You will need to learn more, much more. "You say the elves have a name for them. They rarely name enemies that do not threaten their civilization." Already you know whom you must contact - if you can find her. "And you say that inquisitors and witch hunters are no longer a viable recourse." You'll just have to see about that as well. "I shall study the problem in depth then, and we shall see what can be done then. You say you have an idea of their goals?"

That makes her hesitate - the hesitation of someone afraid to cause pain, the healer who wishes to do not harm but must. "Enslavement is not their primary goal. their primary goal is to make this world into their world."

"That sounds as feasible as putting out the sun, to be honest."

The delicate girl looks up at you seriously. "These things are very, very intelligent, my Lord. You shouldn't dismiss them out of hand like that." You can't help but smile.

"No, you are right. I apologize, and am humbled by your wisdom." You sigh and look down the mountain.

[] Ask if she has the tablet that was meant to be brought as part of the rites to resurrect you.

[] Ask if she has a place to take you where you may plan and prepare for the next steps.

[] Ask about the others of your band of followers; at least three of them could have lived this long.

[] Ask about her powers and abilities, as well as her nature, since she is obviously meant (and will undoubtedly fight for her chance) to guide you into this battle.
[X] Ask if she has a place to take you where you may plan and prepare for the next steps.
>[X] Ask about the others of your band of followers; at least three of them could have lived this long.
[] Ask if she has a place to take you where you may plan and prepare for the next steps.
[] Ask about the others of your band of followers; at least three of them could have lived this long.
[] Ask about her powers and abilities, as well as her nature, since she is obviously meant (and will undoubtedly fight for her chance) to guide you into this battle.
These three.
I get the funny feeling that tablet is pretty important desu. If we knew we were meant to return, and we knew of something we were supposed to receive with this resurrection, then surely we should follow this up?
fucking hell. To be honest is switched? Ugh. This is why I hate using text abbreviations.
[] Ask if she has the tablet that was meant to be brought as part of the rites to resurrect you.
You do realize how slowly I write, don't you?
Yes? We kinda need to know this though.
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There were plans that had been made among your inner circle. Well, your friends, but others called it 'The Inner Circle'. It conveyed a level of trust and strength that comforted others, so you let the name stand. However there were other plans you had arranged as well, plans your friends and companions would not necessarily be privy to, though you didn't actually hide them or make them secret. They were simply not involved with the Order of Light.

"I would presume, since you resurrected me through some means out of the ordinary, that you do not have the ttablet that was with the volume containing the ritual to return me to life?" She looks confused. "It would be of ivory, a handspaqn in width and three in length, inscribed with the tongue of Angels and bearing this glyph." You sheathe your sword and and show her the emblem enameled into the pommel: a golden arrow half-encircled by five stars.

Heather shakes her head in embarrassment. "No, I didn't even think to go to the church, since I knew your shrine was here." That prompts you to glance at the cairn then back at her as you buckle your sword to your back in preparation for a journey. "Your shrine has been a pilgrimage site for almost twenty years, until the ban against potential necromancy."

"Potential necromancy? What does that ominous phrase mean?"

"Ancestor worship, praying at grave-sites, holding vigils at sites of death, that sort of thing. Basically, anythign that could even possible be necromancy or the like. Not surprisingly, they actually allow licensed and trained necromancy." You lift an eyebrow. "They want the best bodies for themselves," she explains and your stomach does that slow turn again.

Undeath was always one of your weaker spots. Still, perseverance and piety over petty foibles.

"Did you have a campsite or place to prepare planned? I am not without resources, but they cannot be accesses from here without the tablet. And before you ask, they're not at the Temple of the North. They're well away from there."

Heather lowers herself into a crouch and her knees pop rather loudly, even through the strange metal greaves she wears. Her expression is one of discomfort but it is the kind of discomfort that one becomes all too inured to. You have a few of those yourself. You're hard pressed to remember she is much, much, and most likely MUCH older than she appears. "I have a base camp; we're not too far up the mountain. Horses and a wagon. Nothing grand, but it will be cozy at least. About a mile from here." Not pleasant in full armor, but doable. You haven't any way to carry the armor so it's not a bad thing.

"On our way, you may tell me what you know of my companions; how many survived the aftermath, if you know of their whereabouts." You have little doubt that Imjii will have returned home, and you doubt that anyone would have noticed her in any case.
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"Bernhardt the Murderer took up your standard after you fell, and he started the efforts to dismantle the empire. He died happily married, with three children. It is said the Flamedancer returned to the City of Brass, where she rules over a household." That brings a smile to your face. She was an odd little creature, with strange ways, and she would not be caught dead ruling anything or anyone. "The sorceress returned to her homelands, to help the Duchy of Earsthart to rebuild, I don't know anything more. They say that the Gryphonmount and the forest below it are once more haunted, so presumably the elf returned home." Imjii - you were right. Whether or not she succumbed to her ennui or simple old age is another matter. "The Silversmith Hanniver did what he could to return home the orphans and slaves in the palace, and was successful beyond measure. He created a society, a guild of sorts, the Meistersingers, to carry on his works. He's long buried. As for the rest...the Shapechanger is rumor personified, it could be anywhere. There's all sorts of tales." You have an idea about that one; it is most likely alive and well. "Urlgaffe the Stoneeater returned home, and his rule is strong, but he himself is waning. I don't know about the rest."

"It is much more than I expecfted, so thank you kindly, Heather." You can see the cart, and she seems fine, leaping from rock to rock like a gazelle, her balance and effortless movements filled with the grace you attribute to old age among the elvenkind. Nothing like Imjii's, but then, nothing was like Imjii. "What of you?" That brings her up short even as you continue your slow descent, careful of the steeper areas and not hesitating to slow as much as you need to to manage across more difficult spots. "What are you, and where do your powers truly stem from? I have seen similar, but they are not those of the Varanae. And I know of your kind and the location of your elders, but I do not truly know what you and your kith are."

She goes very quiet and then shakes her head. "I won't speak of it out in the open like this. Nor unprotected. Suffice it to say that I'm not like the Immortal Empress. I'm younger, for one, and I haven't any interest in ruling the world, or anything like that. I want the tsochari off my world, so I can go back to mapping it without worrying about someone rearranging it suddenly."

"You are a cartographer?" Of all the things that she would be, that was much further below the last of them.

"No, I just want to find all the dragons, just so I can say I know where they all are." Frighteningly she sounds utterly serious. "Legends say the Immortal Empress killed a dragon with her bare hands...did she really?" Her curiosity is simple, not hero worship.

"Yes, she did. Her power and her bare hands." The tone of your voice makes her look at you in surprise, and she wisely does not ask further. Perigaltora the Volcanic had been a friend.
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You descend in silence, and arrive at the 'wagon'. You hadn't expected a traveler's wagon such as used by the rovers, a study, entirely enclosed wagon meant to house a small family for long treks. The two horses are massive brutes, easily capable of hauling such a thing by themselves and for distance. "Your foresight is commendable Heather. I hadn't expected luxury, so I thank you again."

"Well, I had to move things around to make a place for a second bed and to stow your armor, my Lord. It's home, and I've owned it a long time." She pulls a key from her belt and unlocks the sturdy door, opening it for you. "Please consider it yours as well." She sits on a ledge that extends from the floorboards, and pulls a thick leather strap, pulling down a set of steps for you to walk up to the door with. Gnomish work, definitely.

the inside says much about the nature of your hostess - it's a tidy disaster, everything in a place for itself, but nothing completely put away or finished.

A flighty, mercurial sort of person is this strange creature. Charts and maps, yes, but also stones and rocks collected from carious places, and the occasional crystal, in half opened drawers extending from a cabinet; a wardrobe with clothing form at least nine different countries, all finely made and expensive, haphazardly packed away. Knives, all packed in a case and covered with a piece of fine glass, from more races than you are certain of knowing about, unlabled as they are. Two beds, one hardly a cot, the sheets scattered across it, the other far more sturdy and taking up nearly half the width of the wagon.

There is clothing clearly for you, across the neatly made (and therefore incongruous) bed. Simple clothing, though finely made as well: a blue tunick, laced at the throat, leather trousers with extra pockets alogn the legs, and a sturdy swordbelt. A sword as well, a simple hand-and -a-half sword sheathed in dark leather. You pick it up - it's clearly the work of a master smith, despite it's plainness. A weapon for a simple mercenary or wanderer.

[] Get changed and stow your armor before aught else..

[] Sit her down and find out about her and her ilk now.

[] Divine what magics and powers might be at work in the wagon and upon your new ally.

[] See if there's a place that can be prepared for prayer and sanctified temporarily, and take Communion with the Gods.
[] See if there's a place that can be prepared for prayer and sanctified temporarily, and take Communion with the Gods.
[] Divine what magics and powers might be at work in the wagon and upon your new ally
>>273280 <-- This
You glance around; this is an old, barren area, but even here there are digger pines and hardy changebarks about. You find one of the latter, the dark wine colored bark cracked and flaking off to reveal the pure white bark beneath, and decide it's as much of an omen as you can ask for.

You unbuckle your sword from your back and set the sheath aside, before planting the tip int he ground and closing your eyes, one hand on the hilt, the other on the ricasso. The spirit within the blade wakens to your touch, and in moments you are deep in meditation with it, cleansing your heart and thoughts with ease you are almost surprised you still possess.

~My strength is not mine; my courage of no value to me, and I am weak and frail, my Gods. For the sake of those with none, strengthen my arm; for the sake of those suffering, grant me freedom from fear; for the lives of those I serve, tighten my sinew and harden my muscles. Grant me the serenity of they blessings, and in the places where disorder and corruption lay in wait, let me forge a path that others may follow, my Gods.~

You feel their presence within you, their awareness upon you, and you bow your head low.

"Thank you, my Gods, for your compassion granted this mere mortal, and the care you show me in allowing me to fight in your names. Light, Love, and Life Persevere." You rise, refreshed and your head clear. You murmur the spell - no prayer this, but the magic of the divine - and then turn back to your hostess and the wagon. There are auras about her and the wagon alike, overlapping things of no discernible form and shape yet. She is watching you, but incuriously, unimpressed by your devotion.

Favoring her with a smile, she shrugs back, and turns her attention back to her unusual boots. they are a kind of armor, heavily reinforced at the bases and along the fronts. They're part weapon, but the way they are so tightly attached and the harness that ensures they remain so is unusual to say the least. They are the source of some of those auras, the magic upon them slowly resolving into more readable auras. Naturally, they are enchanted, but the types of enchantments are simple things of support, strengthening and change; one spell is unusual in that it is a necromancy, which you wouldn't have expected. Otherwise, she has a few magical trinkets, clearly protective devices, though two - a pair of round objects in one of her pockets - are strange enchantments that you do not know well.

Those on the wagon are far more familiar, and include wards against evil, against weather, against damage. The enchantments in the windows and upon the wood are clearly meant to strengthen them both further, and otherwise there is nothing unexpected.

You enter the wagon and glance around; most of the spells are upon the wagon itself, but the spell that wards off evil is focused upon an object - a slender crystal hanging from the lamp, which itself is hung from the ceiling. Easily moved, and worth remembering.
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There are but three other objects of power. One is a fist sized stone with strange, untoward and unidentifiable magics upon it, but they are powerful enough their radiance lights up most of the wagon, almost overwhelming the auras of a particularly wicked lookign dagger and one of the maps. The map has a divination effect upon it, and you note with some amusement that it is of this area. You wonder if it would work on others. The dagger is merely enchanted against breakage, and given that it is brass, this is a fairly reasonable thing to have enchanted it with. The make is very much unlike that of the Flamedancer, the ifrit wishcrafter whom assisted you in the battle against the Tyrant Child. This one is far less decorative and clearly meant for sacrificial purposes, but as it is in the case with a number of others, you doubt Heather has a use for it.

It seems that there is little enough to fear here, and between your blessings and the crystal that protects the nearby area from the influence of evil forces, there is enough protection to quell her protests from before. Before you continue your questions however:

[] Remove your armor and don the clothing she has left for you as a show of trust before questioning her.

[] Create a stronger, more potent circle of power to protect you both and question her.

[] Call upon the power of your blade and send the Angel within to seek an ally of yours.
>Chose one: Imjii the Ancient, Banth the Shapechanger, Visilia the Firedancer, or Urlgaffe the Stoneeater.

[] Enchant the clothing and weapon she has provided you with to protect and defend you as well as your own armor will, and as well as your weapon would without your holy bond.

>Only one magical operation can be picked.
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I'll be continuing early tomorrow morning again, and i'll have a twitter soon.

Thank you for reading along with the slowest quest in history. Except MQNQ. They might be slower.
>[] Remove your armor and don the clothing she has left for you as a show of trust before questioning her.

Aight cool boss.
>Remove your armor and don the clothing she has left for you as a show of trust before questioning her.
>Call upon the power of your blade and send the Angel within to seek an ally of yours.
We need a spymaster.
>>273757 <= This
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I will start adding "Write In' as an option starting tonight.
Twitter: @MaliceEnchains

Writing now.
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You study the basic, simple, yet clearly fine workmanship of the clothing, and decide that it is good enough as is. There will be time to ensure it can be a protection all its own later. The extra pockets on the trousers are handy, those must be something relatively new, and most likely meant for those who choose to adventure for a living.

Taking off the armor, the padding, and the underclothing is an arduous process, and it leaves you smelling of iron and oil, as always. A careful look around reveals a basin, and a simple and devout orison grants you the blessing of water. You bathe slowly and carefully surprisingly not stiffened by the climb down the mountain-side; her power seems to have granted you the benefits of the full ritual resurrection, which is one more unexpected blessing. Sadly, you doubt there will be many more of those in your future. A shadow fallig through the doorway makes you loo up and Heather is there, her cheeks coloring rather quickly. you continue bathing, turning your attention back to the work; you have to take a bit of care with some of your old scars. Magic can do only so much.

Despite her embarrassment she climbs into the wagon and carefully scoots past you, though you sit up to give her room to maneuver. She goes to the maps and starts lookign through them carefully, finally finding the ones she wants and spreading them before her. She chews on her knuckle thoughtfully, and you really can't help but smile when you notice her gaze upon you in the rounded mirror of your gleaming helm.

"Unless you fear an immediate attack or situation of some sort, I am going to send for help," you explain, giving her somethign to concentrate on. It's not as though you are entirely naked, but you are well aware your bared body is...imposing, in a number of ways, especially to a delicate and unscarred if relatively difficult to injure creature such as she is. Though there is the matter of her legs, you recall. "We need someone who can slip in and out of most places unnoticed, and I believe the one you refer to as the Shapechanger is the best to assist us. He is also the one most likely to be able to arrive on his own."

"You think it - uh, he is still alive?" She sounds uncertain, but that's no surprise.

"Banth is a warden of the wild, and unlikely to have died. Druids are peculiar, and Banth moreso than most. His putlook on life and living is unique, as it should be, but something as unnatural and threating to his wilds as these creatures seem to be from what you ahve tld me...well, his ire will be well directed towards them." You look up at the crystal that protects this cozy little place from the depredations of evil. "He'll come, if I call."

"What about the others?" she asks curiously, walking around the standing desk to sit on the bed as you finish washing yourself and place the underclothing you use in your armor to soak in the basin.
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"The Flamedancer still lives, undoubtedly. She isn't going to be a ruler in the City of Brass however. We'll have to negotiate with her master for her services for a while. She has some peculiar views herself, and mostly they involve being a slave, though I'd personally use the term servant for her. Her powers are unique, and the advantages she can bring to bear would be important." You sit up and frown, and the blushing creature - apparently much more human-like than the Tyrant Child - hands you a heavy terrycloth towel. You thank her and then debate on how much to tell her of Imjii. You dry yourself as best you can, and decide on giving her something of the basics.

"The elf you refer to is Imjii, and the Gryohonmount and the forest in the valley below it are hers. We will most likely need Banth's help to locate her, and perhaps Urlgaffe will know more of her; they were friends as much as an elf as old as Imjii can have any such. We'll have to tread carefully in attempting to find her. When they say those places are haunted, it is not in the ways of ghosts and spirits. She is considered a goddess by those who dwell in those places and rightly feared."

With a sigh you start dressing, and she turns away as you change loincloths. As old as she seems to be she is childish in some ways. The Tyrant Child has some unusual attitudes as well. You set those thoughts aside; perhaps you'll understand better when you nail her down and actually get your questions answered. Taking up your blade, you unsheathe the weapon and hold it up, studying it for a moment. It is the one accoutrement you truly feel naked without.

Informing your hostess you'll return in a moment, you walk outside, the hardpan feeling good against your bare feet and the cool air a relief after being in your armor. You hold up the blade and concentrate. It doesn't take long for the spirit n the weapon to rouse, and when it does so it exults in your regard and basks in your presence. Smiling you gently coax the spirit from the blade, until it takes form before you, a golden sphere of light and happiness.

"I missed you too, my friend. I need your aid; find good Banth, and tell him I have need of him once more." The delicate Angel circles you once in glee, and then darts off, quickly fading from your sight in the clear air. Though you know it is purely illusory, your blade feels heavier and duller without the presence of the archon within its metal. Feeling less light of heart, you clamber back into the wagon to find out the truth behind Heather and her kindred creatures.

[] Go gently; she's not the Tyrant Child after all.

[] Be firm but open-minded. She seems earnest and forthright.

[] Be cautious and careful; she is in truth not human, and her power is alien as well.

[] Call upon the Gods of Care and Compassion to enforce her truthfulness, and tell her you are doing so.
>[] Be firm but open-minded. She seems earnest and forthright.
> [X] Be firm but open-minded. She seems earnest and forthright.
You place the flamberge in its sheath and set it agaisnt the wall along the edge of the bed she's provided for you. You'll take more elaborate precautions to hide it later; you have other things at the moment. You stetch a little, feeling better now that you've bathed and started things moving, even in such small ways as you have.

Heather is lookign over her maps again and when she notives you watching ehr speculatively, she lowers the hood of her short cloak, exposing the copper locks of her braided hair. She has a spatter of freckles across her cheeks and nose, and her blue eyes are bright and alert. Superficially she resembles the Tyrant Child, but only superficially. In attitude, demeanor, build...in every way that matters, she is nothing like the Tyrant Child. Even her apparent age is different.

It is when you stand up and close the door of the wagon that she seems to finally understand what is coming, and she sighs, settling on the furthest edge of her bed from you. you give her that space, sitting on the furthest edge of yours from her.

"I know that your elders and new-borns live in a small village quite some distance from here. You are apparently ageless, and incredibly difficult to kill, and you practice some form of power that is both alien and incredibly potent. What are you and your kith? More importantly...what are you doing?" You phrase the questions firmly, but you are curious in a couple of ways. Not just for the safety and sake of those you will be traveling with and those whom you have rescued from tyranny, but because there is a mystery there, and you've never been one to let them lie fallow for too long.

Usually because they will bite you in the ass, and you've had enough of that for a lifetime and a death.

"Made. They're new-made, not new born. None of us are born. We're made. Or remade. It's...it's complicated." Pausing, she leans back on her elbows and looks up at the ceiling. "Sometimes, a person or creature will be driven by the need to explore. they'll search for things to do, new things to see. Adventurers are like that sometimes, but these kinds of people are different. They seek out adventure for the sake of adventure, or knowledge or just stupid wanderlust." Chewing on her lip, Heather's brow furrows.

"Anyways, these people or creatures sometimes get approached by a person or persons. They're offered the chance to continue their adventures forever." You gaze at her dubiously, raising an eyebrow. "Yeah, I know how it sounds, but it's not like that. They're red headed blue eyed humans. At least, they look and act human. Well, usually act human. Sometimes we get caught up in other cultures for a while, and pick up some odd habits."

"That isn't quite answerign my question, Heather," you point out casually and she sits up, elbows on her knees. "So you're approached by these people and just given immortality? That's it?"

"Well, yeah." She shakes her head.
"It isn't really immortality though. It's just agelessness. We don't age. We don't have to eat or drink, but we can and we can gain sustainance. Our bodies don't change though. I could eat nothign but cakes and wine and never gain an ounce." She looks down at her slender frame. "Too bad really, I look more like a boy than not. And we can be killed, as you know. Maimed and cursed and tortured and injured and all that. If we hone out minds, we can mitigate a lot of that, though, and if we practice the psychic disciplines, we can take a LOT of punishment."

Rapping her knee with her knuckles. "I lost my legs to a carnivorous flower, a sundew. Didn't feel a thing. At the time, I didn't have any way to have them healed, so a gnomish necromancer did what he could to help. These are grafted to the bones of my legs. I'd have to get them cut off if I ever gathered enough money and gems to pay a wizard to heal them. If I'd had enough power I could have just ignored the acids or instantly healed them, but I was much younger then."

You frown and lean back, restign your hands on the bed. "That sounds like an incredible gift for nor recompense. It doesn't sound like pure altruism. It also doesn't explain the Tyrant Child."

Heather nods. "It does, really, when you realize how old she was. I'm only three hundred and twenty. there's a lot for me to do and learn still. I've only just reached the pinnacle of my psychic abilities a few decades ago. I've been studying some of the more esoteric fighting arts recently, I'm just passed my journeyman's status as a magus, and I've been studying and practicing for the last fifteen years. No time pressure, you know?" You nod slowly, not quite sure where this is leading. "Jaas was over three thousand years old. She had seen entire generations of elves live and die. She's in their legends. There are places she made, entire cities she's made or tirn down to ruins. She built an empire because she was DOING something."

The concept hurts your head. It explained her tyrannical rule in soem ways - somethign to drive others to depose her, a way to create challenges for herself. "As if she was begging to die, or at least be deposed."

"Honestly, I doubt she wanted to die, my Lord."

You recall the Tyrant Child's final offer. "No, I suspect she didn't. I think it is better than she did. But you still haven't mentioned a price, or a reason."

"The reason is to keep the spirit of exploration, the spark of elan alive. That's what we are, Elan. And the price...well, no matter what you were before, no matter what you had learned, you become a human in form, and you lose all the acumulated talents and skills and abilities. You keep ther emmories, but the muscle memory is gone, the mental disciplines erased." New-made. Of course. "Reborn in a shell you barely understand. We're more physical light and liquid crystal than living flesh and blood, I've been told."
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"So the township, where you learn to basics of your new life before beginning your adventures." She nods. "And that's really all there is to it. you're helping me because you wish to do something about these creatures."

"Someone has to eventually, and they're going to cause trouble. I figure I can help, and I'll learn a lot of stuff." That does make you smile.

"I can promise you'll learn things you hadn't expected, yes."

[] Trust her; nothing she said or did tells of lies.

[] She's not really human and it seems strange still. But for now, she's an ally.

[] You were right, they are abominations, but they're all very different people. Heather is good, others...well, you'll have to keep an eye on them.

[] You can't trust her, but for now, you'll keep an eye on her. She may be good, but she may also be misled.

[] Write in.
>[] She's not really human and it seems strange still. But for now, she's an ally.
>[] She's not really human and it seems strange still. But for now, she's an ally.
>[] Write in.
"And what of your life before you became what you are?
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You consider for a long moment and then stand up and brush imaginary dust off your trousers. "All right."

She looks at you dubiously. "All right? Just, all right?"

"As I said. You've told me what you will and can, and I believe you; little more needs be said. Your people as a whole aren't doing anything unusual other than turning seemingly random people into ageless folk. They're not infallible or unkillable, and they don't all seem to be bent on world domination, so..." You look at her seriously. "You're clearly a person with good intent and making yourself more than useful in a fight against an enemy that is as much a threat to you as to all others, so we work together and defeat them. Beyond that, no one can say anything, and I won't be concerned with it."

"That's...that's an awfully enlightned attitude to take." You give her a calm, bemused look and she flushes. "You know what I meant!"

"I do, but nonetheless, I stand by what I said." You pick up the gleaming half-and-a-half sword. "I'm going to get some practice in, then I'll prepare some food for us. We have a long journey ahead." You open the door and climb down the stairs, leaving the strange woman staring after you.

The weapon is superb, and you practice one handed and two handed with it until you're familiar enough that you won't have any issues in a serious fight. Once that's done, you leave a few signs for Banth to let him know you're neither alone in the wagon nor in danger, and that the other person is an ally. As another show of good faith upon your part, you conjure food and water for yourself and your new companion, which amazes and delights her. Small talk is had, and you tell her some tales, and she tells you some of hers. It's celar she has the experience and skills to hold her own in a fight, assuming she isn't exaggerating, and you rather doubt she does much of that.

Then you sleep, for the road ahead will be very hard.

You do have to catch up on what seems to be no less than one hundred and thirty years of history, the new countries and the lay of the old, and what alliances and peoples are where and how tight. The fall of the empire was hard on the people. You also hide your armor and your true blade away; she has secret hiding places all throughout the wagon, which will serve you well in your travels. You also take up hunting once more, as well as gathering food; you were never a wastrel with your spells.

But you also have more serious projects to persue.

>Choose two.

[] Embroider a pair of breeches and a tunic and make them into holy vestments.

[] Train to fight with and around Heather so that you have effective battle plans and do not interfere with one another.

[] Work on enchanting the new sword you carry with some basic enchantments.

[] Change the spells upon your armor to deal with the new foe.

[] Use your Angelic companion to contact another ally (Chose one: Imjii, the Firedancer, or the Dwarven Lord.)
[] Train to fight with and around Heather so that you have effective battle plans and do not interfere with one another.

[] Work on enchanting the new sword you carry with some basic enchantments.
[X] Train to fight with and around Heather so that you have effective battle plans and do not interfere with one another.

[X] Work on enchanting the new sword you carry with some basic enchantments.
You were never a very fast learner when it came to politics and geography, but that just forces you to put in more effort. The collapse of the Tyrant Child's empire - as she undoubtedly planned in order to alleviate her encroaching ennui - was a study in chaos and the seeming greed and madness that all races have in common. As much as your companions and their own friends and allies tried, the fact was the empire was too vast and fragmented to begin with. Without the towering intellect and incredible drive of the Tyrant Child to guide and control it, and without those she commanded to lead her varied armies and warriors, the infighting and political manuverign was intense and ferocious. Your own armies worked to return those enslaved to their rightful homes, to direct the tithed and taxed foodstuffs and monies back to their own holdings, and to mitigate as much of the disaster they could.

The task was too much; chaos and anarchy reigned for nearly fifteen years before things became settled enough to be called 'peacable'. The balances of power had changed drastically in many ways, and the strange creatures and humanoids that the Child Tyrant had unleased across her empire forced every town, city and country to become more careful, more insular. Rightful heirs were held ransom or even forced to marry; duchies became kingdoms, and kingdoms collapsed into dozens of fiefs. Several of the larger, stronger kingdoms absorbed more territory. When all was said and done, the faces of all the maps had changed, and not entirely for the worse, only for the different.

The first two weeks of the journey towards the Gryphonmount were largely uneventful, aside form occasional meetings with other rovers. Heather was dedicated to practice, despite her claim that she had only advanced so far in her training to be a magus of the esoteric sect; it wasn't long before you were reteaching her some of the fundamentals of the arts of combat, even as you picked up techniques and teachings from her. She was surprised at your familiarity with pugilism; you explained that sometimes all a man had were his fists ro gauntlets, and only a fool would not study the only weapons that could never be taken away.

For her part, she demonstrated her skills and magics to you. The arts of the magus were quite different than those of her discipline, but she proved to be capable of blending the two together with some fair amount of skill. Your own techniques were more basicv, perhaps, but you insisted that you train together at least part of every day, and you taught her the hand signals and war-cries that would alert her to the use of spells and techniques of you and those you used to travel with.
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Heather, unlike yourself, proved a quick learner, eager to absorb teaching and experiment with it as soon as she was certain she understood something. Her mercurial mind and dramatic flair was not entirely bravado; it allowed her to cast and direct her magics without being entirely overt about it, a wise choice on her part you decided after she trounced you in single combat with few holds barred.

For your part, tenacity and strength of will proved that she could not rely upon her power alone to keep you from fighting effectively. The humilty evident in your prayers never truly applied to the battlefield, and you were swift, merciless, and very experienced. Spellcraft could only carry a battle so far when dealing with one whose own spellcraft could bolster weakened defenses and unarmed body. Even with the handicap of no armor and an unfamiliar blade, you could easily hold your own agaisnt her in physical combat. Her spells gave her far more of an edge, but they were not entirely capable of stopping you either.

The other things you turned your effort towards was enchanting the sword she had given you. spells of hardening and sharpness were simple enough, but you also added protective spells onto it; not merely to protect the blade, but to allow the blade to assist in protecting you. Towards that end she willingly sacrificed much of a small stash of rubies, emeralds and sapphires, ground to fine dust and applied to the blade with holy fire and mystic chant. Once done, only a spectral sheen of iridescent rainbow remained to attest the blade's divine magics. As much a you would have preferred to give it more vicious enchantments, until you buy another set of armor, your own protection was paramount.

After nearly two weeks, the wagon and it's massive converyors was approaching a city; from what she had told you of the tsochari, it was unlikely there would be many in such a place at the edges of civilization, but it was not impossible. At the had of a river and near the mountains, it was an ideal location for the trade of stone; barges would hall slabs of rock to other places, and sometimes the quarry workers would strike a vein of something salable and precious.

[] Wait for Banth to arrive and camp outside the city.

[] Enter the city as rovers, as many others would do.

[] Send your angelic companion to contact another of your allies before entering the city.
>Choose one: Imjii, Urlgaffe, or Visalia.

[] Have Heather enter the city as she left it, alone, and walk in seperately from another direction to join up with her later.

[] Write in.
If we wait can we send our angelic companion too?
[X] Wait for Banth to arrive and camp outside the city.
[X] Send your angelic companion to contact another of your allies before entering the city.
(If we think we can contakt Imjii without the help of Banth, than Imji, if not Urlgaffe)
>[] Wait for Banth to arrive and camp outside the city
Yes, you can send it for Imjii.

I'll put up another post a little later, then we'll continue tonight with a twitter announcement.

Thank you for reading along and playing too.
can you provide the link for your twitter?
oh you already have ^^ sry
QM follows through with quality writing and good planning. Nice.
Father's day interruptions. I'm a terrible QM.
I believe in you.
We all do
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I have archived this thread and am beginning a new one, with links to archive and twitter in it.

Thank you for your patience and support.

New Thread: >>286025

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