Welcome to Dungeon Officer Quest! This will be a brief one-shot that I’m going to do before I head off on vacation. For those unfamiliar with me, I am QM Kaz, the guy who runs ‘Devil Summoner: Task Force 666’ and ‘Bladebound Retainer’. For those familiar with me, welcome back. It’s good to have you here before I depart for distant shores. So, here’s how this quest is going to work: it’s mainly narrative driven, relying on choices more than anything else, and with either minimal to no dice rolls whatsoever. But if the occasion calls for it, then and only then will I allow you to roll. Don’t expect it to happen a lot, though.Premise of the quest? An original setting, drawing from multiple sources of inspiration. ‘Etrian Odyssey’ mixed with a little bit of ‘DanMachi’, and a few ‘hidden’ sources that I won’t reveal due to spoilers. A bit brief, I know, but I'm short on time.Now, without further ado, let us begin…====IntroitusNo one knows exactly how or when the Dungeon came into existence, but everyone can agree that it was no natural phenomenon. Records found within musty libraries and forgotten archives will testify to a life before that blight upon the world, almost a thousand years ago. That was a different age, a distant time remembered by none. Not necessarily a better one, yet a different time nonetheless. It was on the day of the Eclipse, when the Pale Moon covered the Sun. For an entire day, the Celestial Body of Koyash was obscured, and total darkness fell upon the earth. A sign of the end times, the prophets and madmen called it, the beginning of the end of the world. They were not heeded. Townsfolk went on about their daily rituals without too much cause for concern, making sure to keep their eyes away from the eclipse. But when the darkness lifted, the prophets had been proven right. This was the end of the world they knew, and the beginning of something new and dreadful. From seemingly out of nowhere, creatures never seen before on the face of the earth laid siege to humanity. Unprepared and unforeseen, thousands upon thousands died within the first day, and thousands more in the weeks to come. Armies were raised and enmities between kingdoms forgotten as the kingdoms of the continent united as one and marched against the unrelenting horde.It took thirty long years of pain, suffering and bloodshed, but humanity eventually won…at a price. Some parts of the land remain uninhabitable, scorched ruins of earth incapable of sustaining life. There are still parts of the world where monsters roam freely, and the price to drive the hordes back from whence they came was paid in the blood of millions of humans.But it was all worth it. No longer was humanity in danger of extinction, and after fifty years of construction and cooperation, a great wall and city surrounds the spawning pit of these monsters.(cont.)
Five hundred years later, and the world has moved on, rebuilt what was lost. While monsters still roam the earth, sea and sky, the grand majority of them held back at bay by the walls of Eteria, the great city-state built around the Dungeon’s entrance. Adventurers flock to the city, romantics seeking fame and glory, criminals shipped from kingdoms to die in the depths of the dungeon, and treasure hunters who covet gold above all other things.Those who wish to dive into the depths of the dungeon must first register in the Explorer’s Guild, a powerful organization sanctioned by the governments of multiple foreign bodies. Aside from keeping the monsters at bay, they are charged with keeping the Adventurers in check, to keep their focus on the monsters within. Warriors, wizards, vagabonds and rogues, all with reasons of their own are drawn to Etria, but they must play by the rules set by the Guild.Only through registering in the Explorer’s Guild, earning your Adventurer’s permit and joining a Guild of your own is one allowed to partake in the descent into the dungeons. More than one disheartened applicant has been sent home, unable to pass the rigorous muster of the Guild’s requirements. But is it so bad to be turned away for one’s own good, when the creatures that lie bellow are capable of feats beyond mortal possibility?Still, with every mortal to perish at the hands of a monster, there are tens of dozens who come to take their place. There is no end to those that wish to find their dreams within the Dungeon, and no shortage of fresh bodies to slake the thirsting monsters and floors with their life’s blood…====
>>392370>>…the very elements of the world. [War Mage] (Combat: ++/Social:++/Knowledge:+++)
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” – H.P. Lovecraft=======>Summer 23, Year 578>Unexplored Cavern, The DungeonThere is no escape.It is not only the walls that the darkness scrabbles against, clinging to the deep tunnels like putrid oil. It scratches at your mind, phantom talons digging into your skull to rake across your psyche and sanity. Even after uncountable steps of flight from that deep cavern within the earth, the Sight of what lay within still threatens to sunder your mind.Andor was not the first to fall to the whispers of the shadows, but it is his loss that strikes your souls a heavy blow. He was a pillar of Guild Amaranthine, a bright and shining beacon of hope and security. A man of the gods, it was his faith that gilded him through the Dungeon more securely than any armor, harder than steel or mithril and brighter than any flame, both mundane and magical. And his faith shattered so easily like a rock through a glass window. He is catatonic now, barely responsive as Ieyador drags his limp body through the twisting tunnels. His eyes, once a soft blue the color of the distant sky, are now wide and red, vessels burst and bloodshot. Icherous tears fall from his cheeks as he repeats the same phrase, over and over and over again like a broken and discordant music box.“…forsaken…” Andor whispers in a voice hoarse from hours of screaming, “…forsaken…forsaken…forsaken…”The Explorer’s Guild, in their zealotry, delved too greedily, delved too deep in their quest to find the origins of the Dungeon, and the monsters that spawned within. And when a chance earthquake revealed a secret tunnel leading deeper within the tainted bedrock, they were so quick to move and discover what lay beyond.And it yours and your companions’ blood that is the price for their folly. Or was it your own fault, for having accepted the contract in the first place, in what was almost a lifetime ago?No, it did not matter. Regardless of who the fault belongs to, nothing is going to change the fact that you are going to die. Out of ten, only four remain, barely clinging to their lives and sanity. Already lost to the tattered remnants of his mind, Andor did not count. There is Ieyador the Bulwark, partner of your fearless leader, tasked with shepherding the survivors of your Guild. Kira, master of the silent blade, who said that Andor would only hinder your flight from the depths. Antoine Montfort, the upstart rookie, and owner of the greatsword Stormguard.And you, Varian Engel, one of the last founding members of Guild Amaranthine, and wielder of…>…the magical sword Aetherius. [Landsknecht] (Combat: +++/Social:++/Knowledge: ++)>…the crossbow Silent Whisper. [Hunter] (Combat: ++/Social: +++/Knowledge:++)>…the very elements of the world. [War Mage] (Combat: ++/Social:++/Knowledge:+++)
>>392370>>…the magical sword Aetherius. [Landsknecht] (Combat: +++/Social:++/Knowledge: ++)So in order to break tags Kaz its: [i]Words[/i]Don't forget the / in the end bracket else your entire post becomes italicized
>>392384>…the very elements of the world. [War Mage] (Combat: ++/Social:++/Knowledge:+++)
>>392391What? Only the OP can do tags numbnuts.
>>392385Can only op use [i]words[/i]?
>>392384>>…the very elements of the world. [War Mage] (Combat: ++/Social:++/Knowledge:+++)
>>392392Yea I derped. My bad.
>>392384We mage nao.
Fighter, Rogue or Mage? Come on kaz.
Fucking hell, my brother got on my computer while I was on the bathroom. Ignore that other post please.
>>392446>>392454This one, probably
Magic is the art of harnessing the energies of Chaos to one’s will, and give to give it form as a visible effect on the world, or “spells”. Those with the ability to do this possess what is referred to as the Spark, a spiritual conduit that allows one to perform these great feats. Without the proper education, it is possible for latent sorcerers and mages to go mad from the power, or for the Chaos to consume them from within. This is where the Order of High Sorcery come into play, the continent’s sole organization of magic users to operate with the permission of most civilized countries. It doesn’t matter whether or not the child is an aspirant, one who is tested for magic, or discovered in the ruins of a smoldering house. They are all taken in by the Order to be instructed in magic, forbidden from seeing or contacting their families save with letters. But you do not know which one you are. All you know is that one day, you were found upon the doorsteps of the High Tower in Solast as a babe, with eyes that crackled blue with the raw energies of Chaos. You are what is known by the Order as an Origin, a mage with an exceptionally powerful Spark from a young age. What you had in your infancy is what most take years of study to hone and perfect. A literal prodigy of magic. And with your sixteen year, you became the youngest Sorcerer in the last two hundred years to attain the rank of War Mage, second only to Master and third only to Archmage of the Order. And from there on, the path beyond your education was left to your own devices. Many choices lay in wait for you: a career as a royal advisor, to a king or a sovereign. Or perhaps as a teacher within the High Tower of Sorcery?No, you chose to go to Eteria, the great city-state built around the infamous Dungeon. Six years have passed since you’ve arrived at the gates, since your founding of the Amaranthine Guild with your friends, battle-forged and tested.But what had brought you to the city of Eteria, oh-so-many years ago?>To forge a legend for yourself with stave and spell. [Increased Reputation around Eteria]>To drive away the monsters that plagued the earth. [Increased Magic/Spell Damage]>To study the monsters that spawn from the Dungeon. [Increased Knowledge of Monsters]
>>392462>To drive away the monsters that plagued the earth. [Increased Magic/Spell Damage]
>>392462>>To study the monsters that spawn from the Dungeon. [Increased Knowledge of Monsters]
Rolled 3 (1d3)>>392462
>>392462>To study the monsters that spawn from the Dungeon. [Increased Knowledge of Monsters]
>>392462>>To study the monsters that spawn from the Dungeon. [Increased Knowledge of Monsters]Gotta catch em all.
While others are compelled to seek fame and glory, or to attain revenge on loved ones the monsters have slain, you made the choice to journey to Eteria to study the monsters. From the lowliest Goblin Mushrooms to spawn on the upper levels to the ugliest Beholders to roam in the Dark Caverns, you’re fascinated by all of them. It almost goes without saying that you do reserve a certain pride as well as ire for them, but you’re not so blinded by dreams of grandeur or vengeance to ask the big questions. Where do they come from? How is it that some can use magic? Why ‘here’ of all places, in this particular location in the world?Questions that many have tried to answer, questions that some have answered, questions that you want to verify for yourself and see demonstrated both in a controlled environment as well as the field proper. But this time, you find yourself incapable of finding an answer. There is no research materials, no prior studies, no firsthand accounts save for your own that can even begin to comprehend or contemplate the existence of the…of the Thing that the excavation team uncovered. Even thinking about it sends agony through your brain, and a noise like nails grinding against sandstone rings in your ears. The sensation of it is enough to cause you to temporarily lose your footing, stumbling along the earthen passage before a swift Antoine prevents your fall. “We’re almost there!” Ieyador roars, hoisting Andor on his shoulders to a more secure position as he falls behind you, “The stairs to the antechamber are only a few more dozen paces away. Once we make it to the doors, we’ll have the excavation team collapse the tunnel and secure our escape-”Kira, leading the four of you, doesn’t even turn around to face him as she shouts, “Tell that to the fucking…whatever the fuck that thing was! It’s still coming after us! I can hear it coming even though it’s at least half a mile down the tunnel! It’s moving too fast for a clean getaway-”As if on cue, the tunnel shakes, dust falling from the ceiling as a tremendous impact nearly sends the four of you to the ground. And from the darkness behind you, wind blows against your face, pulling at your back as if drawn by a gargantuan maw. No sooner do you regain your balance does a terrible noise come out from the tunnel. You can’t describe it. It’s as if there’s a million voices, men and women and children alike, screaming as loud as they can. But it isn’t entirely human. At some times, it resembles the sound of a thousand tea kettles screeching as its contents comes to a rapid boil. It is inconsistent, a cacophony of incoherency and madness. It is the sound of something far worse, far older, and far more malevolent than a mere monster.(cont.)
It nearly sends the four of you down, collapsing in sheer terror just from the thought that the cause of that noise is very close, too close behind you. The noise saps at your resolve, at your hope that you’ll escape from this situation alive. But for Andor, it’s the final straw, the last push that sends him over the edge. The holy man has only a moment to whimper pitifully before his head swells and explodes. Bits of gore and brain matter splatter across tunnel, showering the four of you in the fluids of your comrade. Kira shrieks as a sizable chunk falls onto her armor, while Ieyador howls in pain, clinging on to his friend’s twitching body as it collapses to the ground. “L-leave him!” Antoine shouts, tears in his eyes even as he pulls at the collar of Ieyador’s breastplate. “Th-there’s nothing we can do for him anymore. I’m sorry, but we can’t linger! We have to run-”The words die in his throat as a shambling noise begins to echo from beyond the darkness. It’s slow, at first, but it begins to gain traction as thousands of appendages slither and scrape along the walls of the corridor. Soon, it devolves into an incoherent mess of writhing limbs as the source of the noise grows louder, grows closer to you…In spite of the pain in your head, you have enough concentration to conjure up a ball of fire. With a gesture, you crush the orb, sending a cacophonous noise echoing along the walls of the dungeon. Your comrades snap out of their panic as if you slapped them, and as one, they turn to you. “RUN!” You shout, smashing the end of your stave against the walls to emphasize your words, “Get up and run!”That manages to cajole them into action, the three of them standing to resume their flight from the darkness. Ieyador trails a lingering finger along the medallion around Andor’s neck before biting back tears and joining your flight. But even as you continue to run, the voice of your friend lingers in the air, audible among the shambling echoes and the sound of labored breath…“…forsaken…forsaken…forsaken…forsaken…”But in spite of his words, you manage to see a light ahead in the tunnel after a few more moments of running. It is the orange glow of torchlight and campfires, the outer borders of the excavation workers’ camp. Everything you need to end the nightmare is there: barrels of pitch, vases of black powder, and thin sticks of dynamite.You can’t refrain from letting out a joyous whoop of victory, among the cries of relief from your other companions. Tears stream from Antoine’s eyes, no doubt glad that he will return to the family he left in the countryside, and even the dour Kira grabs Ieyador and kisses the knight roughly, even as they run. Against all odds you managed to escape, managed to survive. The sacrifices of your friends who stayed behind to buy you time won’t be forgotten…(cont.)
Yet your hope quickly withers and dies in front of your eyes as you all exit the tunnel proper.The campsite is abandoned, the signs of a hasty retreat clear and visible from the scattered tools and upended pots of food. From how fresh the fires are, it’s clear that they had been lit recently, no more than ten minutes ago given from how unsullied the tinder looks. Yet there is no one here, and the door above the stairs…Antonie’s eyes go wide. “No, wait, stop! Please, what are you doing?!”The doors of stone, hastily fashioned together from magic and mechanism, are slowly grinding to a close. In the distance, you can hear the sounds of orders from beyond the door, shouts that are calling for the hastening of the activity. Hurry, they cry, the monster will be soon with the survivors here. We must hurry.In an emergency, it takes an hour for the doors to come completely to a halt, for the seal to take place and prevent any movement from the other side. From the small opening no more than ten feet in length and closing, they must have started after the first screams from your friends and the thing behind you. And the excavation crew, the Guild Executives, the ones that you were to protect, the ones that commissioned you for this task no other guild would accept…...are leaving you to die.“You bastards,” Kira mutters in shock, before it becomes an all-out scream of incoherent rage and fury, “YOU FUCKING BASTARDS!”Wrenching herself from Ieyador's grip, she sprints as fast as she can, gaining rapid distance in the few seconds of her running. But the doors, each a slab six feet of magical granite, could close any second. Yet she still tries, even as a shocked Ieyador and a despairing Antoine stare at the Guild's betrayal. >Run for the gate.>Stand and fight.
>>392586>>Stand and fight.
>>392586>>Run for the gate.We can't fight this shit. We have elements right? Summon a rock to hold the gate open longer.
>>392586>Stand and fight.they already abandoned us. Managing to still run away isn't going to be pretty on the political side.
>>392586>Stand and fight."Run, you three, I'll by you time."Bring this dungeon done on this things head. Burn it to ashes in the forge of the world's molten heart.
>>392544so I just heard that Beijing is flooded knee-deep. The WHOLE Beijing. You gonna be okay?
>>392586>Run for the gate.Stand and fight against something that causes SAN loss by sheer proximity? Fuck no, I know my damn Cthulhu Mythos.
>>392591So? Who gives a shit about politics or they've already ran for it? We will die if we stay here, the door is closing.
>>392590>>392586Seconding this. Jam something in the doorway.
>>392605MC will be mired in guild politics as one of the few remaining founding members. The hit to reputation and the bureaucracy involved with dealing the Executives, who control everything and are now on bad terms with us, will mean that the guild will accomplish pretty much nothing for ages.If we want to keep to MC's main goals, that will require a position of strength, or a position of secrecy. Win, or find another way out. Or make a pact with the cthulumonster.
>>392615So you want to go toe to toe with the thing that killed our entire party at full strength with only 3 people since the rogue is leaving cause of reputation.You have a roundabout way to justify commiting suicide, but whatever its just a one shot. We can wrap it up real quick like.
Ohh, lads it's a tie. Really hate to do this, but I don't have a choice.Sudden death, first response breaks the tie>Run for the gate>Stand and fight
>>392622>Sudden deathno seriously, since when did this become a good idea? When?>>392621feels like you didn't read the whole post
>>392622>Stand and fightTime to die.
>>392626Can't wait forever. Snips take time to type, unfortunately. Writing...
Buy em time. If even one can get out... Avenge us!
>>392630rolling a d2 is faster than waiting for someone to respond?
>>392633Certainly gets people more involved in the thread. And maybe less claims of railroads.
>>392627What the fuck anon?
>>392633I was working under the mentality of "oh, don't want to leave it up to the RNG, it might make some folks unhappy". Now that I think about it, sudden death is kinda similar, albeit more...oh, I don't fucking know. Sigh. Oh well, live and learn.Writing...
>>392639I decided to join the suicide pact.At least the rogue will make it yeah?
Happy compromiseAt the rate the gates are closing, maybe, just maybe, Kira would make it with how fast she’s running. But not the others, not Ieyador with his heavy plate armor, not Antonie with his bad stamina. Maybe you would make it as well, if you were to hoof it, maybe even hold the gate open with some kind of block. There’s an abundance of stone near you, maybe you’d buy some time. But that’s not counting the monster behind you. “Oh, blast,” You mutter, gritting your teeth as you concentrate, pulling in the arcane energies through your Spark. “I’m not getting paid enough for this…”With a roar and a violent upwards flick of your stave, your eyes flash a sharp blue as a slab of heavy stone lifts up from the ground between the doors. Sparks fly as granite screeches against granite as the doors come to a stop, mingling with the confused and panicked screams of workers and executives alike. And with another gesture, you reinforce the stone with an arcane barrier as you carve an opening at the bottom of the slab. That actually gets Kira to stop, turning to you with a shocked expression on her face. But it quickly tightens, and you could’ve sworn you saw regret in her eyes before she turns away and resumes her flight. “Fucking hell…you stupid, stupid mage!” She screams, her voice cracking halfway through her shout.A layer of the barrier slowly begins to fracture under the strain of holding back ten tons of stone as Ieyador and Antoine get up from their positions. You feel the strain hit your Saprk, resonating throughout your body, and the vessels in your nose burst from the weight pressing against your mind. Spitting out a glob of blood, you shout, “Go! As powerful as I am, it won’t hold forever!” Ieyador shakes his head, grabbing your shoulder roughly. “I’m not leaving another one behind!” He roars, tears in his eyes. “Either all of us are going home, or none of us at all!”“You’ve got a wife and infant child waiting for you at the surface, you daft idiot!” You shout back, staggering slightly as the arcane barrier breaks. You quickly move to reinforce it with another barrier before the stone completely shatters. “And you, Antoine? What about your sister, and the letters you send her? Are you just going to abandon her and stay here to die?”The warrior hesitates, about to say something before a violent impact from the cavern. The walls above the tunnel crack and shudder as the thing that emerged from the primordial waters of the Dark Ruins pulls itself into the room with too many appendages, too many tentacles.For a moment, there is blessed silence as thousands upon thousands of eyes fixate themselves upon the four of you, and you in turn, stare back at it. You cannot move a muscle, you cannot look away.And then, as one, the thousand mouths distend to grotesque lengths and the abomination begins to scream.(cont.)
>>392676Hope it doesn't have halitosis.
You have no chance at this close proximity. Your concentration snaps like dry tinder, and you clasp your hands to your ears in a futile gesture to block out the horrendous noise. The sound pierces through your mind, body and soul, penetrating to the basest instincts deep with your genes, when man was little more than a primitive scavenging for food among rocks. You stand in the presence of something older than mankind, older than the history of the world, older than time itself. Humans think themselves the dominant species on the planet. But to this thing, this abomination that spawned from no natural place, you are but insects, scurrying around insignificantly on a ball of dirt.All of this, it imposes on you with it’s terrible noise that begins to tear away at your absolute last line of defense. The talons shred through your psyche, and your rationality slowly fades away into gibbering madness as please uttered in a hoarse voice go unheard by this…this Elder One.Makeitstopmakeitstopmakeitstopmakeitstopmakeitstopmaaaakkkkkkkeeeeeiiiiitttttsstttoooooppppp-“Hey, ugly! Fuck you!”There is a dissonant twang, a bright flash of orange, a tremendous explosion and a wave of heat that washes across the cavern. The creature’s roar turns into a howl of pain as the stick of dynamite Kira rigged to her crossbow bolt detonates inside one of its cavernous maws. Shattered teeth and black ichor falls from its mouth, a viscous fluid that sends an acrid scent throughout the campsite as it slowly begins to eat away at the stone. Acidic blood, you manage to realize.Even with its cry stopped, the effects still linger in your mind. Just trying to grasp at the Spark is a futile endeavor, the ringing in your ears making it almost impossible to concentrate and cast a spell. But Ieyador seems to have fared better than you and a twitching Antoine. He hoists you onto a shaky stance and slaps Antoine back into coherency as Kira sends another explosive bolt flying towards the beast.“What…what’re you doing?” You slur past the blood dripping down your mouth. “The…the door…it’s…”With the arcane barrier gone, the stone slab holding the doors apart already sports several cracks running through its surface. Your little jam isn’t going to hold much longer, especially with the little opening you left at the base for your companion’s escape.“Doing what I thought I’d never do,” She snaps back, reloading her crossbow with eyes closed tight. “Being a gods-damned hero instead of running away! Hey, knight! Get their asses over here! I’m almost out of bolts!”(cont.)
No! Stupid stupid girl.
If it bleeds it can die.
You can clearly see the mental agony that’s coursing through Ieyador’s face, but he shoulders onwards in spite of it all. Gritting his teeth and roaring past pain both physical and spiritual, he runs as fast as he can while supporting you and pushing Antoine into a full-on sprint. The rookie stumbles momentarily, nearly dropping his sword, before continuing on, pausing only to grab some wayward sticks of dynamite to throw towards Erika.“Thanks!” She grunts, blindly reaching into her quiver and producing a silver bolt. “Four shots left! Hurry up, you two! I can’t hold it back forever and I just pissed it off!”Her decree is punctuated with another bolt that sails true towards the abomination in spite of her blindness. It punctures deep into one of its flailing appendages, blowing at least three of its tentacles clean off its body. Out of the corner of your eye, you can see a geyser of acidic blood spray from the severed limbs, blasting the fluid all across the cavern.Kira and Antoine manage to leap out of the way, the latter stumbling past the entrance of the slab and the other rolling to the side. The stone bubbles and melts where they once stood, but that’s not the worst of it. The ichor sprays to the ceiling above, splattering across the stalactites and dripping from high above. One single drop hits the side of Ieyador’s face, and the knight lets out a hideous scream as the acid burns its way down his cheek.At the sound of his scream, the creature turns towards him, roaring past the blood in its mouths as it slowly pulls itself towards you. With three of its primary tentacles severed its movements have been dramatically slowed. But make no mistake. At Ieyador’s stumbling pace, it will reach the two of you before you reach the exit. It extends a prehensile limb, coated with a foul oil, towards the knight.>Burn through your Spark: The Forbidden Sun.>Push Ieyador towards the exit, take his place.
>>392710>>Burn through your Spark: The Forbidden Sun.
>>392710>Burn through your Spark: The Forbidden Sun.I don't know what this is, but if it's anything like Forbidden Sun from Dark Souls 2 it'll pack a punch.
>>392710>Burn through your Spark: The Forbidden Sun.pull weight
>Push Ieyador towards the exit, take his place.Maybe we can forbidden sun it at point blank?
>>392716I don't think we can cast spells within the insanity aura's range
>>392721Yep. Unless you pass a really high Concentration check, the scream is gonna prevent you from casting spells.Writing...
>>392727Is it always screaming though?
>>392735Not with most of it's mouths filled with blood, courtesy of Kira. Diminished DC, but still very hard to cast spells.Writing...
Forbidden Sun. A sorcerer’s trump card, only to be used as a last resort when all others fail. It’s last recorded use leveled half of a small village and left fires that burned for three days before they extinguished themselves. That was nearly a hundred years ago, because even when things are at their most dire, most sorcerers would never resort to using Forbidden Sun. To burn through one’s spark is to burn out the conduit they have for casting magic. If they somehow managed to live, a sorcerer who had used it would never be able to cast magic ever again. A few rare instances exist where they could still manage some small spells, but it’s a far cry from the peak of their power. Suicide is not an uncommon action that these people would take. You are an Origin, with a Spark that’s the most powerful in two hundred years. Who knows how much destruction you’ll cause? Who knows if you’ll survive the very combustion of your mind, body and soul?But those are questions that you don’t particularly care for answering. Your leader and your guildmates gave their lives to delay the advance of this creature from primordial time. And you would be damned if their sacrifice went to waste.You shrug off Ieyador’s arm around your shoulder, whispering a silent spell as you shove him away from you. Not far enough to make it to the exit, but far away so that he won’t get hurt. A magical shield envelops the area behind you, protecting the knight and the exit as he stumbles and turns towards you. “What on earth-”There’s no time for you to answer as you Ignite the Spark and concentrate as hard as you can. Your very soul is on fire as the raw energies of chaos pour through your Spark, and you let out a hellish scream as the energy begins to build up inside of you. Cracks are growing along your skin, fissures where light pours from your skin as your body slowly begins to break down. “No!” Ieyador cries, lurching forward only for Kira to grab him. “Varian, wait-”Even as the tentacle approaches you, you turn towards your comrades one last time, your eyes alight with fire and your smile barely holding back light within your mouth. “Forbidden Sun.”And the world goes white as pure Chaos explodes out of your body, enveloping all in your path and consuming you from the inside…=====You wake up with a strangled gasp, lurching from the bedsheets in a panicked sweat. Your chest heaves violently, panting up and down. Coughing past the harsh breath, you move your right hand towards your brow in an attempt to wipe the sweat…Only for the ragged end of a stump to come halfway to your forehead.(cont.)
Should've left us to die.
>>392746hope we still have the OTHER hand.5 bucks we pick up a cursed weapon that resets us into a level 1 character.
>>392754Nah we're getting forcibly retired after nuking ourselves and destroying our own magic.
You smile bitterly as your breath evens out. You haven’t dreamed of the cavern for almost seven years now. And in spite of the nightmare and the horror of going up against the Thousand Screams, the sensation of being able to use your right hand once more was almost worth it. The phantom pain gets unbearable on bad days, and this morning is shaping up to be one of them.There’s a knocking at your door. “Sir?” A tentative voice calls out. “Sir, is everything all right?”Ah, Leroy, ever so punctual, ever so loyal, ever so infuriating at times. You’ve yet to decide which one he’s going to be today. “Everything’s fine,” you grunt, sitting up as you hop towards the end of the bed. You hiss as your left leg sinks into the prosthetic foot and secure it firmly into place. “Just stellar, really. Go back to the Guild, Leroy. I’ll be there in my usual time.”“Ah…very well then, sir. I hope you have a good morning.”Too late for that. The face that greets you in the mirror is a far cry from the young man that you were in the dream. There’s too much stubble along the underside of your neck, and your eyes, once a viridian blue, are whitewashed. Scars run along your skin where the energies of Chaos burst out of your body, and there’s a gaunt, emancipated look to where a prominent jaw once stood. They say that you're supposed to get better with age, but at thirty five, you're considerably lower than you were at twenty two.Thirteen years since that fateful descent into the caverns. Thirteen years since the Night of a Thousand Screams.Thirteen years since Guild Amaranthine was slaughtered to the last.Thirteen years since you’ve been unable to cast your magic.But worst of all…thirteen years since the Guild wrote the incident off as an unfortunate accident caused by an aftershock. Oh, because it wouldn’t do to have people panicking about primordial monsters from beyond the realm of time.The fact that you haven’t killed yourself yet is somewhat laughable. What are you living for, now that everyone’s gone their separate ways? Kira disappeared, vanishing without saying anything. Antoine returned to his country to spend the rest of his life with his family. And Ieyador…You grimace as you rub your temples with your left hand. He was doing fine with the last letter he sent you. Again, begging you to come see him in the countryside, see the godson you've got, see the babe they've named after you.Fuck, the man would just not take no for an answer.>Grab a drink, you’re not going to work sober after that nightmare.>You’ve been off the bottle for five years now. No need to sink back into it.
>>392758>You’ve been off the bottle for five years now. No need to sink back into it.
>>392758>Grab a drink, you’re not going to work sober after that nightmare.
>>392758>>Grab a drink, you’re not going to work sober after that nightmare.
>>392758>>392758>You’ve been off the bottle for five years now. No need to sink back into it.
Loran might think that you’ve gotten rid of all the booze in your flat, but he’d be wrong. Hidden underneath the bed, right behind the headboard, an emergency stash of hooch is kept safely away. 587 was a good year for the vineyards of Eteria. You toast to their continued success as you down three gulps in a single swing.…no good. You can still remember the sight of your comrades getting torn to pieces by the Thousand Screams. You need to drink some more. By the time you empty half of the bottle, there’s a pleasant buzz already starting to go in your system. You wash off the wine with a small bit of bread and dried sausage, just enough to prevent you from keeling over at your station. The Guild’s got more than enough guilty folks on it to let you get away with most things, but not to the point where you’d get away with slacking off on the job.You grip your cane as you set off from your apartment, limping down main street as you head towards the Guild Office. The sun’s about to rise over the Statue of Heroes, and it’s your turn to relieve the night shift from their desks. Adventurers may work around the clock, but the Guild Officers manning the station can only go so far. A humorless smile creases your lips. As a reward for your sacrifice, the Guild had offered you a job and a life time’s worth of compensation for your lost magic and limbs. Perhaps the best time to do it wasn’t when you’d just woken up. If it weren’t for the fact that you couldn’t cast magic any more, you’d have blasted the lot of them into piles of cinder. Still, after three years of putzing around, nose deep in a bottle of alcohol before Loran Chevell smacked you out of it, you eventually accepted. Just for the sake of getting some more money to supplement your supply of alcohol. And potions for your liver. Compensation only went so far, especially with the Le’Grande vineyards recently charging up the asshole for their best stock.You don’t even stumble as you climb up the steps the Guild Building. The seven story architectural achievement stands high and proud in the shadow of the governor’s office, a symbol of order and protection from the monsters within the dungeon. It makes you want to spit, but even you know the consequences of biting the hand that feeds you. Especially since that hand is the one paying for your booze. And for the most part, in the thirteen years that have passed since that day, no other monsters like the Thousand Screams have been sighted at all. Even you're starting to believe that it was just bad luck and rotten timing that the Amaranthine guild stumbled upon that monstrosity.(cont.)
>>392776That, or maybe the Guild just learned to cover up.
“Oh, good morning, Varian.”The dulcet voice of Erika Stroud rings out behind you, and it doesn’t’ even grate against your ears. You shift awkwardly about the pivot of your cane to face her, giving the best smile you can muster without looking too drunk. It’s been once described as more of a grimace, enough to scare the color off a peacock. Well, to those unfamiliar with you, at least. If she had the inclination, Erika could go around saying that she was close to you, and it wouldn’t be a lie. Not that anyone would believe it. What was someone like her doing with a crippled, bitter former adventurer?You can’t blame them, though. Even when you’re sober, Erika’s still quite pretty. Her eyes aren’t as bright as yours were back in the day, but they’re a softer, friendlier blue when she was off the clock. Long, flowing hair came down to the small of her back, combed neatly and smelling of fresh lavender. And while you aren’t the most crass of individuals, you had to admit that she had a body that most would kill for. Or sleep with, given the wide-eyed and undisguised looks of desire that some male adventurers would give when they were at her booth.You smirk as a particularly good memory comes back to the front of your mind, of Erika verbally browbeating an adventurer who thought he was able to get into her pants. What a moron. Hey, with that good memory, your day’s already starting to look up. Booze in does have its merits. Take that, Loran!Your smirk doesn’t go unnoticed by Erika. “You’re in a good mood today,” she observes as she slides up towards you. “Something good happen?”“Nah,” You mutter, “Just taking a trip down memory lane. You did a good job of helping me out of a bad funk.”Her nose crinkles as your breath washes over her. Aw, fuck. “Varian, have you…have you been drinking again?”“No.”“Gods help me…” She sighs, rubbing her temples with gloved hands. “Loran is going to kill you.”“He’s not my mother,” You dryly retort. “I’m a thirty five year old ex-adventurer with some bad memories of the dungeon. He’s never went in, he can’t tell me what to do. And you know what? Death would be a nice escape from this existential nightmare.”Erika raises a flat eyebrow. “I honestly can’t tell if you’re joking or not.” She makes a noise as she digs into her bag, pulling out something from a brown sack. A frickin’ clove of garlic. “Eat this before your shift starts. Honestly, if you’re going to show up half-drunk to work, you may as well do a good job of hiding it.”(cont.)
“Huh. Thanks.” You accept the clove and take a huge bite out of it. The juices of the raw vegetable cause your eyes to water and your face to pucker up, but you swallow it without too much trouble. “Bleh. Tastes like garlic.”“Of course it does,” She retorts, trying and failing to cover up a smile. “Honestly, where would you be without me?”“Good question. I’d probably be dead in a ditch somewhere, clutching a bottle of booze,” You rattle off, taking another bite out of the garlic. “Or hanging from the Guild Hall rafters like some macabre ceiling decoration as a final ‘fuck you’ to those stuck-up bastards-”Erika frowns. “Hey, watch it. That better be the alcohol talking, alright. We’ve been through this already, Varian. Okay, it’s clear that you’re having a bad sp…day,” She corrects herself before continuing, “Probably, given past records, brought on by nightmares."You sigh. "Yeah, it was...really bad.""Was it Amaranthine?" "...can't tell you. Guild's slapped a gag order on me for that incident.""Ah right…look, you don’t have to say yes, but if you’d like," She smiles, "I’d more than happy to talk it over with you later tonight. My place. You don’t look like you’ve had a proper meal in ages, and you don't even have to spill the finer details to me.”>“Sure, why not. Thanks, Erika.”>“I just wanna be alone for today.”
>>392787>“Sure, why not. Thanks, Erika.”We are a depressed drunk with PTSDNot a damn NEET.
>>392787>“Sure, why not. Thanks, Erika.”
>>392787>“Sure, why not. Thanks, Erika.”bring the letters
For the first time in what feels like ages, your lips curve upwards into a smile. Not a sardonic smirk or scathing grin, but an honest-to-gods smile. “Sure, why not? Thanks, Erika.”She returns your smile with one of her own. “You don’t need to thank me, Varian. It reflect poorly on me as your friend if I didn’t help you in your time of need.”You waggle a suggestive eyebrow. “You what would really help me? Booze. Lots and lots of booze.”“Sorry, but no can do. I most exotic thing I drink outside of water is a very mild wine. 569, not the best year, but one that’s aged quite nicely. Almost no buzz whatsoever.”“No buzz?” You frown. “What’s the point of alcohol if there isn’t any buzz to it? Seems kinda pointless to me.”Erika laughs, making a nod towards the interior of the Guild Building. “Try it out for yourself before you make any disparaging accusations. And come on, we don’t want to be late. It’s almost eight thirty.”“Right, right, just gimme a second to finish this onion.”“You’re drunk to the point where the garlic has changed to an onion?”“Ha, ha, ha.”Erika Stroud. The other reason why you haven’t gone and killed yourself yet. If Loran Chevell was the overbearing friend who wanted what was best for you but constantly had to but in, then Erika was the opposite of that. Patient with her friends, her best weapon wasn’t her temper, but her scathing wit and tongue sharper than steel. Not to mention the fact that she’s always there when you need a hand up, even when you least expect it. If there’s one good thing you can say about the Guild, it’s how you managed to get into the same classes as Erika did ten years ago. She wasn’t fazed by your bitter attitude. As a matter of fact, she seemed to thrive on it, actively enjoying your verbal rejoinders and wry attitude with adventurers and the guild. Why on earth someone would apply to be in the Guild when they hated adventurers was a mystery to you.“I don’t hate them,” She said, correcting you during lunch one day, “I just have my reservations against them. These are some of the most powerful people in the whole world, gathered here to seek whatever they desire in the Dungeon. Someone’s bound to get hurt as competitive spirits get fierce. Without the Guild, they’re little more than well-armed thrill seekers.”Guilds weren’t always like that, though. Not thirteen years ago. But she’s got a point, now. Most guilds were in it for the fame and riches more than anything else. And since the dungeon wasn’t getting any bigger, the competition’s gotten fierce between opposing guilds. More than one person’s gotten seriously injured to the point of being unable to adventure anymore.You shake your head. The others would've been displeased to see where the label of Adventurer has gone.(cont.)
But you digress. Erika was the only person to casually ignore the bristles you’ve set up for yourself. And by the time you finished your classes, she was the only real person you could actually call a friend out of the thousands of people living in the city.It also helped that you had your stations right next to each other for the last eight years. On top of spending more time, you were able to help each other out during the bad days. You got to practice your leer at adventurers trying to chat her up, and she got to give tongue-lashings to individuals poking fun at your appearance, or lack thereof a proper one. And sharing lunch and swapping books every week…it isn’t entirely unpleasant. Especially over eight years of a solid friendship.On some lonely nights, you can’t help but wonder…You shake your head. Sure, Erika invites you over every now and then for a meal at her place, as well as the odd troubadour concert, but that’s just what friends do. Gods know that Loran’s done it more than a few times, even though he can’t cook for shit. That’s what Angelica’s for, gods bless that woman. Without her, her husband would’ve choked to death on his own cooking. You're not even sure whether or not his brisket is the actual charcoal used to fuel the fire.Not to mention the fact that you’re missing an arm and a leg. Courtesy of falling stalactites and the acidic blood of that monster. You’re a cripple, a half-man. What woman would have an interest in you?You take your mind off that depressing train of thought and follow Erika into the Guild Hall. It’s the first day of the rest of your life, always and forever when you enter this godsforsaken place.>9:38 A.M. Spring 58, Year 591>Reception Area, Guild’s Hall“Welcome to the Explorer’s Guild,” You drawl, doing your best to avoid letting the alcohol leak from your breath. “How can I help you today?”Varian Engel, Origin and prodigy of the High Tower of Solast, reduced to desk jockey. If your colleges back at the tower could see you now…another reason to kill yourself. Gods, the list is starting worryingly higher.There’s a lot of reason for people to come, not only just Adventurers seeking to deposit funds, file reports or apply to renew their licenses. Grievances filed against rowdy adventurers, property damage, and a few more miscellaneous things. The governor of the city’s gotten lazy, started foisting more of the public bureaucracy onto the Guild. Lazy bastard. And, with the Adventurers coming back from the night exploration, the queue is getting worryingly long. And the Adventurers, more irritable as they take their spot where a client once stood.>Attempt to be pleasant, stay cool and collected. >You’re not being paid to be nice, dry and sardonic.
>>392808>small talk, get them to talk about the monsters. It's okay to be dry and sardonic if BOTH of you are bitching about the same things.
>>392808>You’re not being paid to be nice, dry and sardonic.Gonna make someone angry.
Taking break to go to sleep. Please keep thread bumped, will finish tomorrow.
>>392825Man Kaz, you must be really sleepy if you think anyone needs to bump a qst thread.
>>392826He's just not familiar with qst. More used to tg.
>>392808>>You’re not being paid to be nice, dry and sardonic.
>Interesting dungeon crawl quest turns into depressed cripple Papers Please quest.That's...kinda lame. Wish we died saving our allies.
@TaskForceKas>To be quite honest, DOQ was supposed to be a comedy when I plotted it out initially. Not quite sure what happened then and now...This was never going to be a comedy when it started with most of our friend dying and the ones that survived had serious mental damage.Or maybe it was when you gave us the option to destroy our future to save our friends.
>>392985Honestly I thought 'Burn the Spark' meant just burn all your mana for a big fireball. He kinda gave the explanation AFTER we chose it instead of the MC thinking about his options before the prompts.And with that wrong assumption in mind it seemed like the options for me were:>Use Fireball to push thing back>Die for friend.
>>392991I wasn't there for that vote; I understood the intent behind 'Burn the Spark', but assumed we'd deal with the immediate aftermath of it, not jump right to the epilogue.
>>392985>Not quite sure what happened then and now...He read the latest chapter of Dungeon Meshi.
@TaskForceKaz>Hidden inspirations for DOQ: Darkest Dungeon and the Lovecraftian Mythos. Whoops.>"""""""Hidden""""""""Famalam that became really apparent in the opening posts. Even your brother called you out on it before we even picked a class.
>>393144I dunno, Danmachi has a dark undercurrent going on, this is just less subtle about it. Darkest only means that it is within characters to actually give up.
>>392991It was quite obvious for me what the intent of 'burning through the spark' was. That was partly why I'd chosen the other option, it looked like we might have blown our load too early. I figured you lot knew what the cost would be, I mean what else did you expect burning through 'the spiritual conduit' would do? Well, it's for the best. Who knows what getting caught would have done.
>>394431>Who knows what getting caught would have done.Most likely eaten, killed and mindflayed, not in that order.
>>394450Yer right. Probably would've ended up with one of the others sacrificing their loves in exchange for us. That feels like it'd be worse. So much for my hopes of an eldritch waifu.
>>394622>Survived all traps of the dungeon>Took down monsters of all kinds>Battled against bandits and ilk alike>All, not for money>Not for knowledge>Not even for cool weapons>But for pussy and love
kaz is kill
>>394793Yeah usually it's like +4 hours from when says he'll run (+2 for preparing OP and +2 just because) but never usually this long.
Was he scared away because I thought we could waifu his eldritch abomination?
>>394793@TaskForceKaz>Sooner, even. Typing as fast as I can.5m ago
>>394930been almost an hour since he posted that
>>395034is he in a different dimension? where time moves differently?
The best I could do with “small talk” and “sardonic”.“So, what’s the trouble this time,” You drawl, eyeing a pair of Adventurers with a lazy expression. You’ve seen them before, probably served them before, but you can’t make all of them out in a crowd. ‘Sir’ and the occasional ‘ma’am’ are usually enough, with the only exceptions being a particular group of fuckwits that just won’t leave well enough alone. But they aren’t here right now, so you’re in a better mood than you’d usually be. “Missing paperwork? Bloodstained license? Throw me a line here, folks, I’m dyin’ over here.”Judging from the cracks and dried monster blood that runs down along their armor, they must’ve been at the Dungeon for the entirety of the night. Their eyes are bloodshot, the pupils almost completely dilated as they wince at the low-burning light of the nearby lanterns. Almost a sure-tell sign of potion overuse. The only thing keeping them from collapsing onto the floor is the chemicals rushing through their system.“Just…checking in,” The elder of the two, a man with a set of chainmail, says as he slides a report through your desk with trembling fingers. “…Guild Valkyria…dropping off…monthly tax…”You nod, not quite with too much sympathy, but with enough to appear as if you had some modicum of concern for their safety and well being. “Well, I’m glad to see that all of your affairs are in order. With this payment, Guild Valkyria is in the clear for the month. And is that a bag of plunder at your foot by any chance?”He nods blearily, staggering under the weight of his burden as he empties the contents of the bag onto your desk. Dozens of coins from forgotten civilizations ring out as they fall and rattle against the enameled wood, as well as a few gemstones and semi-precious metals. In spite of yourself, you nod, impressed. For a guild only three months in the making, they were making incredibly great strides through the dungeon. “How far did you go down to get this much loot?” You ask, plucking a sapphire from the pile to hold against the light. Their faces break across the spectrum as you determine that the gemstone is, indeed, very real. “The monsters don’t start dropping this kind of treasure far beyond the Crystal Forests.”The other companion shifts, her voice surprisingly clear in spite of the grime and dirt coating her robes. “The Sunken City…”You let out a low whistle. “Very impressive. Foolhardy, given your lack of experience, but impressive nonetheless. Alright, just give me a moment. Do you have…Form A-34 filled out? I need some kind of authenticated proof that this is all from the dungeons.Their uncomfortable shift is all the confirmation that you need. (cont.)
>"Get out. No deposits unless I'm seeing triplicate.">"I'm in a good mood today, so...just this once."
>>395048>"I'm in a good mood today, so...just this once."Dungeon crawling: like the DMV but with slightly less chance of death
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>395048
>>395041>>"I'm in a good mood today, so...just this once."like we give a shitwe should make up a drink game for work
>>395048Get it out let me have a look at it. I used to be an adventurer so I can authenticate some of this for you, but next time remember your paperwork, or else. Got it?
>>395041>"Get out. No deposits unless I'm seeing triplicate."Maybe we can help with the paperwork though.
>>395048>"Get out. No deposits unless I'm seeing triplicate."help them fill it out. Just ask each field one by one and write it down.Good job, Kaz
You snort, and tired resignation fills their eyes before you speak, “I used to be an adventurer, you know. Just like you two, so many years ago. I know what treasure feels like from the dungeon even if the stalactite’s took my eyes as well as my arm.”From underneath the desk, you pull out a form and scribble your signature onto it before passing the document onto their stunned faces. “Here. They’ll trust my word if you give it to them. ‘sides, it ain’t natural for us to be exploring through the darkness at ungodly hours of the night. Get some rest. Damn me if you don’t both need it.”Exhausted gratefulness washes across both of their faces. “Thank you-”“Don’t thank me,” You cut them off with a wry grin. “Just learn your damn lesson. Grab forms in advance and fill out as much as you can before descending into the Dungeon. Do that, and that’s enough thanks on my end.”In spite of your words, they thank you once more, staggering out of the Guild Hall with naught but the comfort of a bed and blanket on their minds. …damn, but that felt really good. Even Erika’s surprised at your spontaneous kindness. But it slips away into a quiet smile that you can see out of the corner of your eye. You weren’t nice for her sake. No. You did it because you could. That’s honestly it. >Erika approves.You scratch your head, taking a swing from a canteen underneath the bottom of your desk. It’s not alcohol, you swear it. It’s just plain old, boring well water. Which is a terrible pity, because the line’s more than doubled since you’ve helped with Guild Valkyria’s little paper problem. “Serving…” You squint at the distant chart that a guild member updates, “…five hundred and thirty eight.”>>Lunch break“Eat,” Erika says, gently biting into her sandwich. “You’re going to be feeling the effects of the alcohol even worse without anything in your stomach.”“I had half a loaf of bread and some dried sausage links this morning,” You scowl, staring at the meal in front of you two with no small amount of distaste. “I’ll eat when I’m hungry, and I certainly ain’t hungry right now.”She’s still smiling, but the air surrounding her gets colder with every passing moment. You’ve faced worse things in the Dungeon than an irritated woman, oh yes you have. Things that would make lesser men quake in their boots, literally drive them insane from the realization that all human action was insignificant-“...Varian, you’re going to eat your lunch, or else I’m going to tie you down to the table and shove it down your throat, in full view of the entire staff.”...the worst thing about it is that she's still smiling, as if she's only conversing about the weather.(cont.)
>>395048>>"I'm in a good mood today, so...just this once."
would liek to see her try
>>395204It's be easy as shit since we are cripple with no more magic.
>>395204Be fairly easy since cripple with next to know magic. Doubt we could take a goblin right now, much less and angry woman.
>>395185Also KazDarkest Dungeon and Lovecraft aren't your 'hidden' inspirations. I realize it now.THESE are your inspirations for this quest:https://twitter.com/TaskForceKaz/status/751785313245298688?lang=enhttps://twitter.com/TaskForceKaz/status/751794085644697600?lang=en
>>395217>>395208no no i would like to see her do this......
…fuck. Is this what Loran feels like whenever his wife wants something done with no questions asked? You can’t even make a witty rejoinder. Shame really, it would’ve been a really good one if it had been anyone else. Gods knew Loran flipped out if you asked about safe words.You take a morose bite of the sandwich. It’s quite delicious actually, but you make a face and sneer at Erika. “If I throw up on someone’s documents and the boss yells at me, I’m blaming you.”She laughs softly at that. “You’re many things, but being unable to hold their liquor is not one of them. I know for a fact that it takes much more before you even begin to feel nauseous.”You exhale deeply as you rub the sides of your temple. “My liver cries in agony because of it. Of all the things, my damned high threshold for getting absolutely sloshed is no gift, but a curse.”“Many would disagree. I’m sure we could find at least a thousand men across the realms who would greatly desire your tolerance for alcohol.”“No more than five hundred.”“An even seven-fifty.”“Six hundred,” you grin, slapping the end of the table with a tankard of cool water. “Final offer, take it or leave it.”“I think I’ll leave it,” She retorts, standing up from the table to crack the stiff joints locked into place by virtue of standing still behind the counter for a solid four hours. “But in all seriousness, how is your liver doing?”You shrug. “Can’t really complain. No more pain, but that’s probably because I haven’t had any serious drink until this morning. Gods only know how that’s gonna feel tomorrow.”“We’ll see after tonight. I still have some of those Eastern tonics from the last time the merchants from the Jade Isles came around for the Midsummer Festival. A few drops in your food, and the toxins should flush themselves out.”You raise a suspicious eyebrow. “I’m weary of potions enough as it is without you bringing up this Eastern stuff. It tastes worse than goblin urine.”Erika isn’t quite able to cover up her snort entirely. But all it takes is one pointed cough for her to resume her mantle of nonchalant elegance. “Implying,” She says with a knowing smile, “That you’ve drank such a concoction.”“I will neither confirm nor deny that. Another secret of mine I’m taking to the grave.” In the distance, you can hear the sound of the clock chiming, signaling the turn of the hour and the change in the shift. “Aw, dammit. I gotta use the pot. I’ll be back in a few.”“Don’t stay out too long!” She calls as you exit from the rear of the building. “It’s going to be rush hour after this, and I’d go mad without your firm pillar of moral support!”“I know, I know…” You drawl, even as you begin to undo the buckle at your waist. “Let’s hope a certain group of self-righteous little pricks with little pricks come today. Not in the mood for their bullshit.”(cont.)
>>395229OIC. Yea, let's get her to do this.
>>39523450/50 odds she dies.
>>395242Not bad enough, we'll get ntr'd by some fat fuck executive.
>>395247Nah. I think Kaz is above that.That said I see two things happening:1. Designated Waifu™ helps heal the trauma of our past and we find life worth living, etc, etc.Or 2. Because #1 is somewhat cliche she is killed off for shock value to spur us on to do...something.2 is kinda cliche too nowadays as well though.
>>395247Weird. My ID changed.>>3952562 feels more common than one nowadays.
>>395247>NTRGet that shit out of my quest, son. Almost done...
The alley behind the Guild Hall is empty enough, quietly tucked away in underneath the gate that separates the adventurer’s district from the upper end of the city. Small enough that no one would want to linger if they wanted to, but big enough for you and the staff to relieve themselves in an emergency.Undoing a belt buckle with one hand is very hard, and it takes you more than one try for you to completely loosen your trousers. Leaning against the wall, you aim nowhere in particular as you just let…everything out-“Excuse me-”“Oh, gods dammit-”The voice to unexpectedly come from behind you almost makes you fall over. With that said, it’s nothing short of a miracle that nothing spills anywhere on your clothes. Cursing in all the known languages you can recall, you pull your pants back up, tighten the belt as much as you can and whirl around to face your unexpected guest.“The world really is going to hell when a man can’t simply piss in peace!” You shout, irritated beyond belief. “What the fuck is wrong with you…”Much to your surprise, the person that stares back at you isn’t some filthy vagrant or lost greenhorn. It’s a girl, on the very cusp of becoming a young woman. There's a weapon on her back, wrapped in some brown gunny sack, probably to keep it clean. A sword, given the shap e of it. In spite of the lack of sunlight, her blonde hair still has a faint sheen to it, and the soft brown eyes…You grimace. The last person with that combination of eyes and hair, you haven’t seen them in thirteen years, last heard from them in another five. Antoine did his best to try and keep in touch, but the sheer distance between his homeland and Eteria was almost too much for the couriers.“Is there something wrong?” She asks, confused, and in the same accent as your friend once did. Damn, whoever she is, she’s a long way from home. “I mean, I understand that what I did was very wrong, but…”“Water under the bridge,” You mutter, waving your left hand to cut her off. “Well, at any rate, you’ve gotta have some good reason to find a Guild Officer here instead of waiting in line like the others. What do you want? I’m on the clock.”She nods, understandingly, clearing her throat before intoning, solemnly, “I can’t say who I am. Not out here. But what I can tell you is that I’m searching for...” She scrunches up her face. “Not sure if I’m pronouncing this right, but…I looking for Varian Engel, one of the last surviving members of Guild Amaranthine. I...heard that he was working here in the Guild Hall, and I would like to meet him.”>Wait, what the fuck? “I’m him. What’s the problem?”>No time for this. “Get in line if you want to see him.”She has a slight French accent.
>>395291>Wait, what the fuck? “I’m him. What’s the problem?”
>>395291>No time for this. “Get in line if you want to see him.”
>>395291>>No time for this. “Get in line if you want to see him.”No favoritism, not even from our friend's child.
>>395298expanding on this, as a nobody for13 years, this is going to be a trap or someone asking about the thing we're gag ordered about. Either way this girl is trouble. We should have security to watch her as soon as we get back.
>>395305Nigger what the actual fuck.Never go full shadowrun.
>>395291>>Wait, what the fuck? “I’m him. What’s the problem?”
>>395304Too old to be Ieyador's kid. Also he had a son not a daughter if I read right.>>395309Anon we're a nobody. She specifically mentioned our old guild and sought us out. That combined with our memory/nightmare ought to indicate shit ahs indeed hit the fan. It's patently bad news and we might not be a great adventurer any more but nothing is wrong with our wits.
>>395291>Wait, what the fuck? “I’m him. What’s the problem?”One order of plot advancement please.
>>395275You make it too easy kaz.
>>395326And your point is? I'm not seeing the bad news you are freaking out about. Specially since you are using a reoccurring nightmare as part of your logic.
>>395291>>Wait, what the fuck? “I’m him. What’s the problem?”befor i can tlak need to finsh pissing come back when im done.lol are we going tobcome her mentor now
>>395291>>Wait, what the fuck? “I’m him. What’s the problem?”Forgot to vote. This is totally Anyone's senpai.
>>395337One we're gag ordered about it, meaning we are not supposed to talk about it, ever. She is seeking us out because of it. Meaning one of two things she's either a cult going to try and avenge us nuking one of her masters, or she's going to seek those things out and wake more up. Either way bad news.
>>395291>Wait, what the fuck? “I’m him. What’s the problem?”Antoine put you up to this?
>>395345Where's she saying that she's seeking us out because of it? She's just identifying us as one of the surviving members. How else would anyone identify us the easiest? Especially if the suspicions of her being Antoine's sibling is true.
>>395345>Meaning one of two things she's either a cult going to try and avenge us nuking one of her masters, or she's going to seek those things out and wake more up.You actually believe the bullshit you are shoveling huh? I wonder how far you can stretch your logic here.Also I don't care. This is a one shot. I don't feel like playing paper pusher forever cause you are overly paranoid.
>>395345not really? we don't actually have very much reason to keep the gag order up, especially if it's someone who knows Antoine.
>>395351>>395358You're assuming she's actually related to him at all and not from the same region. Given she hasn't mentioned Antoine at all I am suspicious as fuck.>>395352So act like a gibbering retard taken leave of his senses? Brilliant. Surely that will solve all our problems.
>>395365>Talking to someone who is asking after us instead of making them stand in a line meant for paperwork for no real reason other than being a dick is being a gibbering retard.Anon what is wrong with you?
Honestly, given the response of everyone here, if I get stuck in a rut in TF666 or BRQ, I might (emphasis on might) run a session of this every once in a while. Very sporadic though. Probably one every one to two months or so?Writing...
>>395373I guess. Honestly this didn't feel like a one-shot the moment you time skipped 13 years.
>>395365you are indeed stretching logic a bit. She asked for us, and we're right here. If you're so afraid of retribution or kidnapping, we could walk 10 steps into full view of Guild personnel and THEN tell her.
>>395365Don't you fucking shift goalposts on me. Where did she say that she's looking for us due to what happened 13 year ago?>>395373Sounds good. Like Soma with Life Quest and CNQ.
Hey Kaz. You're going on vacation after this right? Where in China and Phil are you going?
>>395415>Don't you fucking shift goalposts on me. Where did she say that she's looking for us due to what happened 13 year ago?We have NO idea why she's looking for us, she talked about Amaranthine and what happened 13 years ago was literally the last important thing the MC has done with his life. Period. You thinking she's looking for us because she needs paperwork done?
Guild Amaranthine. Two words that you’d thought you’d never hear again put together again.Your family, when your peers in the High Tower of Sorcery shunned you for your talent. Your friends, who you could always trust to get you out of a bad situation, whether they were booby-trapped ruins in the Sunken City, or desperate young sorcerers begging for you to take them as students. Hendrick Carlyle, your fearless leader. Bastard child of a lord of distant lord who fled from a broken household to seek fame and fortune in the Dungeons. Headstrong and foolhardy to the point, there was making a name for himself was second only to making a family of his own. And it was his stubbornness to keep you safe that cost him his life.Patricia Twynam, noblewoman of the court of Vesmana. She fled an arranged marriage to an older lord in order to seek out the legends that her beloved governess used to sing to her in her sleep. Quick to adapt, she traded dresses for hard leathers, chopped her hair into a short cut, sold her family ring for a rapier. Out of all of you, she was the most dedicated to chasing her dreams. And she was the one who fought fiercest in order to let you escape from the underground.Marsden Smithe, a hunter from the surrounding woodlands. He sought the Fairy Spring, said to cure all illnesses and maladies of whoever partook of its waters. For his father, sick with the plague, who had taught him everything there is to know about all things natural in the world. His dreams collapsed along with his mind as he beheld the Thousand Screams. Reinwald Fawcett, a grizzled old mercenary. He had no desire to get old and fat, to die in some land given by his employer, surrounded by wenches and riches. No, it was battle that he sought, and battle that he lived for. At least, that’s what he said when you caught him bawling over the cake they had made for his fiftieth birthday. He died as he lived, as he always desired, at the side of comrades and his sword in hand.Chihiro Tsujimoto, a traveler from the distant East. Tasked by the Order of the Nine Rings to investigate the Dungeon, it was only when she deemed Hendrick worthy that she swore the Midnight Blade to Amaranthine. Quiet and to the point, she knew how best when to employ her words, how best to strike the enemy down. The scream that came from her throat as the monster tore her in half was her first, last and only.Then there was Andor, Kira, Antoine, Ieyador, and you. The ten of you were just as much brothers and sisters, held together in all manners of camaraderie save for that of blood. And even to this day, thirteen years later, their absence still tears away at your heart, even on a subconscious level when you can’t think of anything at all. This is why you drink. This is why you want to die. You will never again find company like them for the rest of your life.(cont.)>>395430China: Beijing and XiamenPhilippines: Manila and Iloilo
>>395452>those spoilers>mfw I think I know youHey, you wouldn't happen to be a 20 year old male from Virginia would you?
>>395471>>395461shit just got reall?its like the quest is coming to lifealso this girl is going to make us get drunk
>>395471Okay. Stay with me here. Does your family have three weeks of leeway, and a free week in China to visit family. Have you been to the Philippines before, but not really had your own itinerary since you were on a time limit. Do you have plans to head to Boracay if you can coordinate with the family over there.
>>395490Okay. Carry on. I'm not one to let real life and internet shitposting mingle.
>>392596He drownded. RIP KAz.
>>395500You spooked the golden goose
>>395449And if you think she's some cult leader out to assassinate us you are high on paranoia and conspiracy theories. 13 years ago is our guild's highest identifier so of course she'll use that. You are really reaching with you shadowruns.
>>395504nope, he's gonna get backstabbed by llePN2Y/ in Boracay. With fan autism.>>395490Doesn't seem like I know you, at least, so you're only compromised in one vector!
>>395490wait, one thing: DO NOT use Cebu Pacific, EVER. For just a little bit less money, they'll saddle you with 10 hour delays ON THE PLANE or "forget" your luggage at the airport without explanation.
Dark emotions move to clear your head as you level an unreadable expression at the girl standing before you. On any normal day, you’d just tell someone talking about your friends to fuck off right then and there. And that was when you were in as good a mood as you could. Not now, though. Not with that mindrape of a nightmare. Fucking dammit, you really should’ve stashed a bottle of strong liquor underneath your desk. “Get in line like anyone else,” You manage to say without too much of a conscious effort, “Because if I know him well enough, he wouldn’t make any exceptions to the rule of no appointments outside of Guild Hours or the line.”She quails somewhat at that, before doubling in her request. “No, I must see him immediately! It’s a matter of utmost importance, one of life and death itself!”Your voice is dripping with a sarcasm that’s almost venomous. “And I would very much like to help, but I’m afraid that you must take a number and stand in the queue like everyone else, or make an appointment with him at least three days in advance. I’m sorry, but even when you’ve caught me with my trousers down, I can’t break guild regulations.”A hypocritical thing to come out of your mouth, since you’ve showed up to work drunk more than once, badmouthed your superiors, and that incident with the chandelier and the spiked fruit punch at the office party. It’s a miracle that they haven’t thrown you out yet. Probably to ease their guilty consciences, you bitterly think to yourself.Completely faced with an impasse, the blonde girl makes a frustrated noise before she glares at you with a fierce look. “Then if that’s the way it’s going to be…then I’ll do it. I’ll wait in the line. But if you could take a message for me to him?”You grunt. “Shoot.”“I need you to tell him that…” She lets out a few incoherent noises, as if trying to recall something on the tip of her tongue. But she eventually gets it right, as she looks into your eyes solemnly, and intones, “...tell him to beware the progeny of that which lies dead, but not forgotten, for they are no longer confined to the depths. He will understand what that means.”>“…okay, you better start explaining yourself.” [Reveal yourself, demand explaination.]>“Yeah, I’ll be sure to do that. Now git.” [Calmly walk back to the Guild Hall, try not to panic.]>Custom option.
>>395532Didn't the other option win pretty solidly?>“…okay, you better start explaining yourself.” [Reveal yourself, demand explaination.]
>>395532>>“…okay, you better start explaining yourself.” [Reveal yourself, demand explaination.]
>>395537...fucking hell, you're right. My flight's in ten hours, and my nerves are slightly frazzled.Oh well, too late.
>>395537Seemed like a 6:3 win in favor of reveal. Maybe I just spooked Kaz too much.
>>395532>“…okay, you better start explaining yourself.” [Reveal yourself, demand explaination.]
>>395532>"...Look, wait until my shift it done, and I'll take you to him, alright? If there's anyone to protect, you may as well protect the Guild Hall.">[Calmly walk back to the Guild Hall, try not to panic.]
It’s the middle of spring, a day that, by any other person, is one of the mildest days of the season. The sun’s out and about, with a partially cloudy sky, and the air is just cool enough to prevent anyone from overheating in their armor or their robes. But in spite of it all, a cold sensation slowly works its way down the back of your spine, churning at the food in your stomach to a worrying sensation. And for a moment, you aren’t here, in the back alley of the Guild Hall where some random girl interrupted your piss.Suddenly, you’re back down there, dozens of miles below the earth, starring directly at the thing that cost you everything you held precious in your life: your magic, your friends, your body, and your life.“Sir?” The girl’s voice snaps you out of your stupor. “Sir, are you alright? I need you to go tell Mister Varian that-”“Okay, no more bullshit,” You say, gripping her shoulders in as tight a grip you can muster. “Don’t move, don’t scream, okay? I’m Varian Engel, I was just fucking with you earlier because I was in a bad mood, but now…you better start talking really fast before I summon the Guild Watch and have you thrown in the gaol.”In any other circumstance, most girls would be either terrified or trying to escape. Not her, though, this mystery girl of yours. Instead, her eyes widen in surprise and her smile breaks out into one of triumph and relief. “Oh, are you really him?! You must be, from your reaction! He was right, you would freak out as soon as I told you-”“Back the fuck up. Who’s ‘he’?”“Ah…” That causes the energy to visibly drain from her face. Her lips quiver before she steels herself and says, “I’m sorry, I was so excited that I forgot…” She pauses, taking a moment to bow in front of you. “I am sorry. My name is Jeanne Montfort, and I am the younger sister of the late Antoine Montfort, your friend and fellow member of Amaranthine-”The late Antoine Montfort. There’s a weakness in your legs that you can’t fight against. You collapse onto the steps, your cane falling down to rattle against the cobblestone as your mind tries to reconcile the fact that one of the last members of your family, your brother in all but blood…is dead. “Dead?” You whisper, shaking your head as if you were still dreaming. “No, this…he can’t be. He was the healthiest out of all of us when we escaped…the youngest and most talented rookie we ever took in…he can’t…he can’t…”“Oh, gods, I’m so sorry.” This girl, this Jeanne, genuinely looks contrite as she tentatively places a comforting hand on your shoulder. “...this...I'm such an idiot..."It took five years for a letter for him to come. Any day now, his would've come in the mail, just as usual. But instead, what came was his sister, the news of his death, and the warning of something terrible."I know that it hurts, but we need to- LOOK OUT!”(cont.)
>>395375Kaz you're not with that airline that keeps losing planes in the pacific right?
>>395585Kaz has been lost in the pacific.
The hand on your shoulder turns into an iron grip as Jeanne lets out a panicked cry and tackles you to the ground. You let out a noise of your own as you hit the ground with a painful jolt, the wind knocked out of your lungs. From the place where you once stood, a series of tinkling noises impact the area, and no sooner do you hit the ground when the stone steps of the Guild Hall begin to bubble.“Oh, hell, they’re already here?!” Jeanne roughly pulls you up to your feet, grabbing her sword from behind and unfurling the gunny sack protecting it. The familiar blue blade, the pommel design like lightning. Stormguard, Antoine’s beloved sword. “We’ve got to get out of here. There’s a safe place down the road-”They fall down from the rooftops, almost appearing from out of nowhere as they emerge from the shadows cast by the overhead buildings. Even in the sunlight, it’s as if all source of illumination bends around them, refusing to bring them into the definition of the day. The stink of the depths clings to them like putrid oil as they fall down onto the alleyway. And as one, they stand and turn to face you.Their masks are a porcelain gray, emotionless save for crude indentures for eyes and a mouth. Their black robes are tattered, almost shreds of cloth barely holding themselves together. The armor on their bodies is dull, unpolished and blemished by filth and grime. To better avoid attention, to better avoid blending into the dark. They advance on you, five men drawing their weapons in eerie synchrony. Four pull wicked blades, serrated and jagged, not meant to be used against monsters, but against adventurers and other humans. And their leader, the fifth one, the sole of these assailants with some sort of diadem around his head, makes a staff appear from out of nowhere to rest in his hands, a staff adorned with a bleached skull.With a voice like that of a parched throat, he growls, “Kill them all.”And they fall upon you like frenzied beasts, slashing, stabling, thrusting, wildly.============Gonna archive it in a few minutes. Follow me on Twitter for session times and some of my other quests: https://twitter.com/TaskForceKazIf you like what I had to write, consider looking at Bladebound Retainer Quest: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Bladebound%20Retainer%20QuestHope y'all have a good night/morning/day/afternoon wherever you based anons are.
>>395608You'd better write more of this. Because that's a shitty way to end a one shot.
>>395608Thanks for writing. Have a safe trip kaz.
>>395608So are we playing as Jeanne next? Cause like Varian is useless cripple about to be gangbanged by 5 assassins. He shouldn't get out of this.
>>395608You might need to look up the definition of 'one shot' sometime.
This now officially that quest he'll do when he's burned out. Exactly like Soma's Life Quest.
damm shit just got real,but you better keep this up wana see how it endsso dont die flying