>Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Bladebound%20Retainer%20Quest>Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1270021/>Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaskForceKaz>Pastebin: http://pastebin.com/u/TaskForceKaz[STATS]>Combat: +++>Social: +>Knowledge: ++[Abilities/Traits/Perks]>Indomitable, Rank 1: Ignore the penalties imposed by Blood Loss. Does not negate health loss. >Atelier of Death, Rank 1: Craft your own Bombs and Poisons.>Blutmörder: +10 to Combat Rolls made against Blutlings and Blood Mages.>Fleetfooted: If a Natural One would be among any roll related to acrobatic feats both in and out of combat, immediately disregard it and either take the highest roll or reroll again.>Nimble Fingers 2: +40 to non-attack actions involving your hands (lockpicking, pickpocketing, etc.).>Specter’s Dream: A technique to allow one to rest while remaining aware of one’s surroundings. (4/8/12 hour intervals each with their own bonuses)>Knowledge: Nobility (Aderaveth): Take a flat 50 to Knowledge rolls concerning this subject. >Knowledge: Underworld (Aderaveth): Take a flat 50 to Knowledge rolls concerning this subject.You are Marcus Painel, the troubled son of the late assassin Lucien Painel, dead by your own hands at the age of nine. At the age of eighteen, you have already loved and lost, and the blood of dozens stains your hands a crimson red of retribution. But a chance meeting at the brink of death has found you as the bodyguard to Princess Ellana Crowmond, youngest of the royal family of the Aderaveth Empire. Inducted to her service as her Crownguard, you have sworn to keep her safe from harm by whatever means necessary.Recently, your travels have led you to the river fortress of Alnewrich, governed by Lord Adamus Mazur. While he and Lord Kieran Pullman have taken an expeditionary force to quell a rebel garrison, you have seen fit to trace the steps of the assassin who came after Ellana. The trail you tease has lead you to the Alchemists’ Guild, and the daughter of the Grand Alchemist. And by…unorthodox means, you have secured yourself a reliable means of infiltration.Having uncovered the root of a chilling conspiracy, your thoughts and attentions turn to a more domestic (and quite possible) affair among the noble echelons of the Empire.
>Winter 58, 238 ACR>Fortress of Alnerwich>Marcus PainelIn the end, the symptoms that could very well have led up to a debilitating cold eventually disappeared. All it had taken was some herbal concoction and a brief lapse into the Specter’s Dream for the side-effect of your swim to vanish. Every now and then, your nose may still run, but that is not too much of a pressing concern.Now…is the Lady Sofia Rudnick of the Hinterlends indeed that which Klara claims for her to be?Once you were certain that Ellana had fallen completely asleep, you quietly made your way out from her room, bereft of your armor save for your cloak. Urath stands by the door leading to Adrianna and Allanus’ rooms, acknowledging your presence with a nod. You return it, miming a sign for silence before you leave. He understands, returning to his quiet vigil.How he managed to stay upright against that wall for more than an hour at a time is anyone’s guess.The pace you take in navigating Mazurs’ fortress is not nearly as frantic as it had been a few days ago, as well as your earlier jaunt into the Alchemists’ Guild. Now that you know all of the little hiding places in the corners and dark parts of the overhead ceiling, masking your presence is an exercise in simplicity.It does not take too long for you to dodge passing servants and yawing guards, leaping from one pillar of support to the next. Only once did the need for a distraction come about, but that had been dealt with relative ease. A single pebble falling from the ceiling bought enough time for you to pass through a particularly narrow doorway.The floor that Patryk and Klara had given to Lady Sofia is not nearly as grand as the one housing the Crowmonds. Does she even know that the royal family is being housed within the walls of her husband-to-be? Perhaps, perhaps not. But if Klara would be proven right, then this noble would find herself bereft of a possible match.The entrance to this wing of the fortress is only lightly guarded, four guards manning the post. They are similarly as easy to move past as much as their compatriots. You cling to a support beam, hugging tight against the varnished wood as you pull yourself from one hallway and into another, coming close to nearly skin your back along the stone partition.Down the corridor and in the hallway corner, there is no one present. With that said, you are still able to press yourself against the wooden door frame. A moment of concentration reveals that there is no other sound save for the drafts of wind. No one is asleep in the room. It is truly empty, and her ladyship and her protector are nowhere to be found.Now isn’t that odd…>Perform a thorough, slow search.
The lock is simple enough, nowhere near the complex design that was the lock guarding the archives. It takes less than a minute for you to release the lock, muffling the soft click with a pad of cloth. After a quick inspection of the hinges and a quick application of oil, you carefully open the door, and shut it quickly behind you.Lady Rudnick’s chambers are far from immaculate. The four-cornered bed is a collection of tossed sheets and wrinkled fabrics, and more than one dress lies in a state of disassembly. A cursory inspection finds similar messes across the room. A half-eaten plate of bread and cheese lies abandoned on a nearby table, only scant inches away from a wine-soaked kerchief and a half-melted candle. The floor is mercifully absent of any obtrusive debris, but the same cannot be said for almost every bare inch of the room: jewelry, wind-tossed sheets of parchment, and enough lace to wed a princess and her attending handmaidens. Scattered furniture, drawers left open and askew. That is only what is immediately noticeable. Your nose twitches as it picks up the scent of a heavy, cloying perfume. Sandalwood…lemon…extract of lily. A cursory sniff confirms that even only after a few seconds, the smell begins to take hold. You’ll have to be careful lest someone catch you with Rudnick’s perfume on your person.Accusations aside, it seems that the lady cannot keep a clean room. All the better for you. So long as you remain careful, any minor or scant disturbance of the room could be accounted for a part of the mess.But you’ll have to be careful. The door can only be locked from the outside. So long as no one looks too closely, your presence should remain unnoticed. And the lady herself and her retainer could come back at any moment. There are only a handful of immediate hiding places: a small space underneath the bed and the support beams holding the ceiling in place. Both offer their respective share of advantages and disadvantages, but you’ll burn that bridge when you get there.And as small as it is, you think you can squeeze through the window, but that is a last resort. It’s been less than six hours since your little swim in the Anosar. One more dip in the icy waters might just leave you in bed for weeks, resilience to illness or not.You set yourself to task at once, starting with the objects that require the least manipulations to observe. Through the slips of clouds, the light of the waning moon offers just enough light for you to read the parchments scattered across a poplar vanity. Though less sloppy than the room it occupies, it takes some time before you can read the scrawl.A majority of them are correspondence between Lord Rudnick and his daughter, instructions for her to get into Lord Mazur’s good graces. Other than heavy-handed insistence on securing a good marriage, a reminder about coffers low on gold, nothing seems to stand out that could possibly indicate promiscuity.(cont.)
The rest of the sheets are of little interest: a request for some southland wine, the address of a local confectioner, amorous (and borderline inappropriate) poetry written by Lord Mazur…again, nothing indicative in the papers.Still, those are only the most obvious of places to search. You pull open drawers, feel around in their depths. A box of chocolates is the only thing of note that comes up – half-eaten, you note upon a curious shake. But it’s only when you turn away to inspect another location that you notice it.It’s small at first, one that you can barely detect above the rest of Lady Rudnick’s perfume. But in close proximity to the vanity, it not only becomes noticeable, but overpowers all other scents in the room. And it wouldn’t be too much of a cause for concern, but it’s what the scent does that freezes you in your steps.Only mere seconds after inhalation, the sound of your heartbeat becomes more pronounced, slowly increasing in tempo with every passing second. Heat blossoms across your body, slowly worming its way from your heart…from your groin…One of these perfumes is not like the other.It lies innocuously among the other bottles, an unmarked glass container of indeterminate origin. A cork, not a metal decanter, stoppers the opening. From the way the stopper’s been treated, a great attempt has been made to mask the scent, but the oak cannot nearly hope to completely erase its presence.You carefully pull it open, careful not to let a single drop hit the floor. Were it not for the leather musk of your cowl, lifted completely for your protection, you might have been overwhelmed by the heady, dizzying odor the liquid gives off. You’ll have to approach this carefully.There is enough moisture left on the cork for you to obtain a sample, a drop no larger than the eye of a needle. With careful deliberation, you decide to take the sample and…>Replace the cork with one of your own. [Bring the cork with you.]>Try to identify the scent through taste. [Leave the cork in the room.]>Custom option.
>>1539094>>Try to identify the scent through taste. [Leave the cork in the room.]
>>1539094>>Replace the cork with one of your own. [Bring the cork with you.]
>>1539094>Replace the cork with one of your own. [Bring the cork with you.]
>>1539094>Replace the cork with one of your own. [Bring the cork with you.]Good to see you back
>>1539125>>1539126>>1539161>>1539235>>1539300You’re not nearly as brave as to try what might be an incredibly powerful aphrodisiac in the place of your enemy. Fumbling around in your satchel, you quickly pull out a cork not nearly as different as the one on the bottle. If anything, all that’s different is the scent, as this one is from a bottle you’ve not opened since Ser Palme first gave you your alchemy kit.Once you carefully file the cork down to a proper shape, you swiftly replace it and return the bottle to its place among the other containers. Rudnick’s cork is deposited within a specimen jar reserved for larger ingredients, and carefully sealed as to prevent any leaks. Klara will want physical proof to see (or smell) for herself, not merely just a personal accounting on your end.After ensuring that the vanity is as you left it, you turn back towards the room. There are still several places to inspect, vanity aside. More than one traveling chest, the nightstand beside the bed…still enough places for evidence of promiscuity to be found-Suddenly, you hear it. A disturbance in the air, coming from down the hall. Footsteps…and they aren’t those of guards. As opposed to the heavy crash of armored boots, there’s only one set that you can distinctly make out. And in accompaniment, you can hear a warbling, high-pitched giggle that no man could possibly hope to produce. One that you don’t recognize, or have ever heard before. These must be the persons of Klara’s ire: Lady Sofia Rudnick and her knight, Ser Royce. And it seems that they've returned from wherever they've gone...or whichever part of the fortress they've despoiled if Klara's suspicions are correct.You still have at least…a minute before they get to the door. The hallway is long enough that you’ve enough time to search at least one more location…or you could take your chances and hide. It’s too late to escape out the door. Even in the dim lighting of torch and moonlight, there’s too much of a risk that you might be seen.You'll need to be very careful...>Escape out the window. [Cut your losses and escape.]>Find a spot to hide. [Bonus to Stealth check.]>Search one more time.[Bonus to Perception check.]>Custom option.
>>1539371>>Find a spot to hide. [Bonus to Stealth check.]
>>1539371>>Escape out the window. [Cut your losses and escape.]
>>1539371>>Find a spot to hide. [Bonus to Stealth check.]the rafters?Glad to have you back.
>>1539390>>1539402>>1539424Locking in "Find a place to hide". Where do you wish to hide?>Atop the support beam.>Underneath the bed.
>>1539371>Find a spot to hide. [Bonus to Stealth check.]
>>1539489>Atop the support beam.Up is better than down, everything we have should be well strapped to ourselves
>>1539489>Atop the support beam
>>1539489>>Atop the support beam.If they do get busy, being under the bed would suck.
>>1539489>Atop the support beam.
>>1539489>>Atop the support beam.
>>1539490>>1539493>>1539503>>1539509>>1539515>>1539557…to hell with it. The cork in of itself is enough cause of investigation. Real aphrodisiacs are heavily regulated enough, even more so for ones derived from magical components. If nothing else, it’s definite proof for Klara that she might have a point about Lady Rudnick. And who knows? Maybe on the morrow, you’ll be able to find something when they’re away from their chambers. You quickly push off and away from the wall, grabbing onto a lower beam and holding on as fast as you can. With a series of grunts, you hoist yourself up, moving higher as you scale up and over rafter ties and boards of wood. The ceiling is lower than you’d like, but not so low that you’d be visible in candle or firelight. Checking that all your items are strapped fast on you, you press yourself as high as you can, carefully avoiding the chains of the chandelier as you settle into a comfortable position in the embrace of the shadows.Now all that’s left to do is wait.It doesn’t take too long. The footsteps grow louder with every second, and you can make out a pair of indistinct voices beyond the walls. One of them is cautionary, a low and warning baritone. Ser Royce. The other is off-kilt, and if you concentrate hard enough…tipsy, even. Lady Sofia, intoxicated perhaps?There is a tense moment as one of them grips the door handle, creaking along with the jangle of a key ring. But your fear goes unfounded. They don’t seem to notice that the door’s been unlocked. The lock groans in unison with the door as both are opened, ushering in the visitors at the entrance.Ser Royce is the epitome of what you’d expect for a southlander. Fair-haired let loose for the winter, dull green eyes, and a sharp beard to compliment a squarish jaw. He’s not the most handsome of knights, erring more on the brutish side of appearance. But you’d wager that there’d be a few women of both common and low nobility that would find him appealing in some bizarre way you’d never understand.In his arms, teetering perilously on leather boots, is the one and only Sofia Rudnick. Unlike Royce, you can see how Lord Mazur might have become smitten with the woman. Among noble cursed and wracked with the byproducts of a restricted genetic pool, Sofia seems to have emerged unscathed from that dangerous pitfall. Even tipsy and dangerously close to drunk, she still retains the appearance of a beautiful woman. Hair the color of spun copper cascades down an unblemished face, coming to rest on her shoulders and across the tabard on Royce’s armor. Her eyes twinkle with mirth, accompanying the blush that dusts her cheeks and causes her mouth to smile and twitch at nothing either of you can see. And even covered with a snow-stained cloak and dressed in commoner’s clothing, they cannot completely hope to cover or mask the contours of a very…well-endowed beauty.(cont.)
…the references and variances of “lay my head upon your generous bosom” within Mazur’s poetry suddenly make a very dreadful and acute sense. A sense that you could’ve gone your whole life without knowing.“We’re here,” Royce says, gently setting her down on the bed. He moves towards the hearth, fetching a tinderbox and flint. His appearance matches his voice, a lowborn and coarse tone that would not be uncommon among the smallfolk. Upon seeing the cold food on the table, his lip curls into a grimace. “I’ll go ask something from the servants if you’re hungry. Because I know that I am-”Sofia groans, shedding her cloak and falling back onto the bed. “I’m not hungry…that dastard of a baker has seen to that well enough, Kael…”The knight’s grimace turns into a sneer. “We’ve already threatened him once, all because you’d heard that there was a Bruchanian baker on Marble Way. It’s not good to hold swords at people’s throats twice in a single outing based on your mood.”“Then he shouldn’t have been so good at his trade,” She drawls before wincing at the noise. “And you can blame father for being a miser with our stipend…”The flint is struck, and the sparks catch on the tinder. Underneath soft breaths and gentle coaxing, a fire begins to burn merrily within the hearth. “I can do that...or I could blame you for spending your money from tavern to tavern along the wayside to Alnerwich.”“Perhaps…but once I finally settle in…” She spreads her arms, gesturing to the entirety of the room in a grand gesture. “I will be able to sup on all the things my palate craves for without care for cost. Father will finally have his connection to the Crowmonds and a cornerstone of the Empire’s trade, and Lord Mazur will finally have a body to warm his bed after seventeen years of mourning. Everyone emerges with a tangible prize.”You shouldn’t be too surprised. Pleasant attitudes among the nobility are far and few between. And marrying up to a better station in life doesn’t only apply to commoners. But you can’t help but feel some basic sense of animosity towards the pair. Threatening a baker merely because she was hungry in the middle of the night? What high esteem this low noble holds herself in!“Still…” Royce stands up, surveying the area as the light begins to fill the room. His sneer drops into weary resignation as he almost trips on a bit of smallclothes. “Perhaps you should wait until the sod proposes before you get too hungry. And gods, this room is a mess. Is it too much to get one of the girls to at least clear the shit on the floor?”She titters at that in a way only a drunkard could, pushing off from the bed with mock outrage. “Such language! Surely a knight mustn’t speak that way to his lady.”(cont.)
“Lady…” His demeanor instantly changes as she falls into his arms, spinning her around in a midspring festival dance. Pressed close against his chest, the squeal that comes out of her lips is muffled as an armored hand trails down her back to grasp at her bottom. “Now that’s an ironic way of referring to yourself after all that you’ve done…”...and here...we...go.>Roll 1d100 + 30 Stealth (+30 Night, -10 Fire, +10 Bonus)>Best of three.
Rolled 25 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>1539817
Rolled 64 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>1539817
Rolled 84 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>1539817
Rolled 85 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>1539817
>>1539834That's a good roll, anon.
>>1539824>>1539825>>1539834You have to shift in place to prevent the circulation from being cut off from your leg. As you move, the wood creaks, and the chandelier trembles softly. Immediately, you stop breathing as the now-confirmed couple stop and glance up at the rattling chains. Shit, shit shit. You immediately freeze in place.Eventually, Sofia looks down, a sultry look tugging at her flushed cheeks. “…let’s not bring the ceiling down yet. There’s going to be plenty of time for that in the future.”“The future…” He promptly returns his attentions to her, before promptly ignoring her orders and going straight for her lips. They struggle briefly for a good minute before he pulls away, a knowing smirk on his face. “You’ll be married to Mazur, won’t you? Should reap what I can while I still can.”“…I should punish you for that,” she warns him, all desire gone from her voice. “Everything could come crumbling down if anyone sees as much as a mark on my body-”“Then thank the gods its winter, then.” He blindly gropes at a nearby chest until he pulls out a scarf from the mess of clothes that lie within. “A perfect excuse to wear long clothing and scarves.”Sofia cannot maintain her glare. It melts as quickly as snow in a spring thaw, quickly turning into sardonic amusement. “…you are incorrigible. Little better than a beast in pursuit of a rutting mate.”“Says the woman who will hop on anything that catches her fancy,” He retorts, fumbling at the drawstrings holding her dress up. With an impatient sigh, Royce pulls his hands back, twisting his gauntlets off for better purchase against the clothesline. “Sweets and pastries…dresses and jewelry…cocks and men…”The last words are punctuated with the entirety of her dress falling down to the floor in a crumpled heap. All that’s left on her trembling shoulders is a silken chemise, a sheer cloth that leaves unblemished breasts visible even in the dim moonlight. And just underneath the edge that brushes against her upper thigh, you come to the scandalous conclusion that she is not wearing any sort of undergarment around her-“You utter brute,” She declares, rapping a sharp knuckle at his armor. “You’ve left me all but naked in the middle of winter. How will I survive?”“Oh, I can think of a couple of ways…” His hand trails down her shoulders, gliding over a pert nipple, a taut stomach and finishing at the space between her legs. “I can think of several ways the two of us can keep warm and stay warm.”You’ve never seen a man divest himself of his armor so quickly. And even the lady herself takes part in helping her lover out of his plates and chain. This is clearly something that she is long used to, from the way she handles herself so quickly. Within little more than twenty minutes, he’s just as naked as she is, save for a loincloth that does nothing to hide the arousal between his legs.(cont.)
…suddenly, you can begin to understand why Rudnick might be so eager to take Ser Royce as a lover, in spite of his less-than-pleasing appearance.“I should punish you, you know.” Royce grunts as Sofia’s hand lashes out, too quickly for him to block as she takes his length into her hands. “For all that you’ve done. Seducing an unmarried noblewoman carries a steep and sharp price…”Somehow, he manages to recover, quickly countering with hands to her groin and breasts. All it takes is the slightest of movements for her legs to almost give out from her entirely. “I think…that given how you were long deflowered before you invited me to your bed…you should be the one punished. Especially since you gave into your gluttony earlier tonight…gods, you’re sodden…”Royce picks up the scarf, examining it before nodding in satisfaction. “This should keep your mouth shut. Tongues wag and lips loosen when you’re drunk, for men and women, nobles and smallfolk alike. Whores and nobles as well, I suppose.”“Nobles?” Sofia pants, breathless. Somehow, even with what seem to be three fingers knuckle deep in her cunt and a rotating digit on that small bundle of nerves, she clings onto his shoulders and remains on her feet. “You mean…there’s been others?”He corrects her as he lays her down on the bed, all the while tying the gag around her mouth and prying her legs wide open.“Other nobles bloated with wine and beer. Even if I’d the chance to plough another pretty lady, you’d never let me hear the end of it.”What muffled reply comes past the gag immediately turns to squeals as Royce…attends to his lady’s needs.…you quickly tune the noise of their pleasure out of your mind to collect your thought. You now can safely confirm that Klara’s “feminine instincts” were right. Lady Sofia Rudnick is indeed a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad choice for marriage to her father. Her personality might be tolerable, even the absence of a maidenhead given how some ladies have a penchant for riding horses. But rutting with one of her father’s knights? Unacceptable.The good news is that you can definitely tell Klara that she was right about their…affair. All that’s left to do is gather evidence to bring to her father. The cork is enough to prove suspicion of manipulation, but isn’t enough to prove infidelity. You’ll need to think of something-A particularly loud groan comes past the gag wrapped around Sofia’s mouth as Royce nuzzles her neck, all the while sawing into her at a brutal tempo. Even with both gag and a hand pressed against her mouth, Lady Rudnick continues to squeal and moan like a back-alley whore…except for the fact that she seems to mean it.…you have the feeling that it’s going to be a very, very long night.(cont.)
Bracing yourself for a sleepless night, you plan out your next day. First thing in the morning, you’ll have to…>Check the room once more when Royce and Sofia leave.>Immediately find Klara and let her know what you found.>Test the cork for what kind of aphrodisiac Rudnick keeps.>Custom option.
>>1540032>Check the room once more when Royce and Sofia leave.Which will then follow with testing the aphrodisiac and then informing Klara of our findings.Best to be thourough.
Gonna take a quick break to shower and get a midnight snack. Be back in a bit.
Any reason to not just get it over with? Or do we still need more physical evidence?
>>1540032>Check the room once more when Royce and Sofia leave.We should see if we can scrape up phrasing some hard evidence while we can
>>1540045At the best, you can say that the reason why Mazur is so infatuated with Sofia is the aphrodisiac when he otherwise wouldn't be. A grave accusation, but one that could be denied with how women wear their perfume. To really drive the nail in the coffin, you'll need hard, physical evidence that Ser Royce is fucking Sofia. Unless you're willing to have Adrianna (and by extent the royal family) vouch for your account in front of the assembled court, but that drags the Crowmonds into a whole political mess.
>>1540032>>Check the room once more when Royce and Sofia leave.
>>1540054Welp. In that case.>>1540032>Check the room once more when Royce and Sofia leave.
>>1540032>>Check the room once more when Royce and Sofia leave.I'm tempted to have stoic Marcus test the cork, that could go wrong so easily, and ultimately the type doesn't matter much
>>1540032>Check the room once more when Royce and Sofia leave.
>>1540054We should invent cameras on the spot, then take a picture.
Kaz @TaskForceKaz 9 minutes ago Resuming in a couple of minutes...
>??>??...he stirs within the dream.…for a fleeting moment, he is aware of the passage of time.…not yet, it seems, will he resume his walk among the waking world....he must return to his slumber, and wait for the appointed time.…but so long as he is awake, he surrenders himself to reverie. …how long has it been since he felt her warmth upon his brow?…too long without her touch, without the sound of her breath in his ear....too long without the warmth of her body, the taste of her on his lips.…too long since he was stolen from her, violently torn from his arms.…the hatred flows through him, giving him strength to resist the dream....no matter what the cost…what the sacrifice…what must happen for her to return...…he will pay her captor with an ocean of blood and darkness....it will regret crossing the darkness, taking that which is most precious to him.…as he surrenders to the embrace of the dream, his hate has not diminished....but pain is still there, throbbing, beating in his chest like the drums of war....this cannot continue, he muses, before all his thoughts melt into nothing.==========
>Alnerwich Fortress>Marcus PainelYou are no stranger to what happens when a man and woman share a bed. Even before his death, Lucien would have you infiltrate brothels, back-alley rutting tents and pleasure halls that could be found in Karthmire. It was rare during those missions that you would make a kill, but you’ve done it before. Poison was more often than not the weapon you used, easily slipped into a loaf of bread or dropped in a goblet of wine.“When they’re all spent from rutting, or from whatever pleasures they indulge in, everyone’s lips are a little looser at the end of it. In the euphoric haze of release, they’ll blather about anything without pause for concern. Seduction is another tool just as potent as infiltration. But at all costs, don’t lose your head in the thick of it, boy, because you just might end up losing it for real…”…Serena would also be like that, wouldn't she-The wooden beam groans in protest as your fist tightens around it. Dammit. You push those thoughts out of your head, shaking the gloom from your mind as you focus on the room below.Once they’d finished, Royce departed from her chambers, leaving Sofia a twitching, dribbling mess on the bed. And yet, in spite of the thoroughness of Royce’s ministrations, she was able to rouse herself upon dawn’s first light and a light knock on the door. A veritable miracle, given how many times she’d reached her own release. Since that time upon her succumbing to exhaustion, you’d not been able to sleep, both out of the sheer discomfort of your position and the danger of being noticed.You press yourself higher into the ceiling, using what little shadows remain as the light of the sun begins to fill the room. Thankfully, the maidservant attending to Rudnick is too busy cringing and wincing at her mistress’ orders and tasks. The poor girl looks askance at the mess of the room, shoulders dropping with every passing moment. You cannot blame her. For all these dresses, it would take an incredibly long time until the room would be fit for a lady.Your nose witches in irritation. In an attempt to mask the scent of spent passion, Royce had nearly emptied an entire perfume bottle. The whole room is filled with some ungodly combination of lilacs and coriander. To you, it isn’t nearly enough to completely hide their musk, but for the maidservant, who sneezes at every few minutes, perhaps it is enough for the smallfolk.“Is my perfume truly that bothersome?” Sofia asks, stepping out of a porcelain tub. She regards her servant not with concern as much as amusement. “I thought you were fond of flowers, Randi.”Randi, a modest, dimpling girl no older than seventeen, suppresses another one of her sneezes before responding. “It is not your perfume, milady. It is just the weather of the Midlands that irritates my body.” Another violent expulsion sends brown curls of hair flying wildly in the air.(cont.)
“Is that so?” Rudnick appraises her servant with a pitying look before waving her hand. “See to it that you find a cure for what ails you before you clean the room. It would be unseemly for your nose to dribble like a teething child’s.”The girl bows, either oblivious or deliberately ignoring the insult. “Thank you, milady. I will...” Another sneeze cuts her off. “…I will be swift about it…”It takes Sofia a complete hour to ready herself completely. Drying off, fitting into her dress, applying all her pins, jewelry and lace. Your limbs are perilously on the verge of falling asleep when the two of them finally depart. The sigh of relief that comes from your lips is cut off when you hear the very audible CLICK of the door lock....there’s always the window, you suppose.Every joint in your body creaks and cracks in protest as you drop from the ceiling, rolling to break the worst of the impact. Wincing at every pop, you survey the room once more, taking in the sight of the mess. Assuming that Sofia would be gone for the entire day, and that the maid would be returning only after she got over her cold…You’ve got all the time in the world to search for damning evidence.>Roll 1d100 + 20 Perception. (+20 Bonus)>Best of three.
Rolled 60 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>1542776
Rolled 72 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>1542776
Rolled 6 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>1542776
>>1542809not too bad.
Rolled 5 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>1542776
>>1542783>>1542809>>1542812You find it underneath a hidden panel within one of the traveling chests. Tossing aside dresses and smallclothes, you reach the compartment that you discovered with a few errant knocks. It’s protected with a simple pressure switch, one that can only be unlocked by a hexagonal rod. How insultingly easy.It takes less than a minute for you to disarm the lock, jiggling the device until the panel pops off with a little noise. Carefully, you pull away the top, feeling for any surprise traps that you wouldn’t otherwise find from the pressure switch…There. A spring-blade trap. Thankfully, not one coated in poison. It’s cleverly hidden, but not well enough to escape from your detection. Another keyhole presents itself, a similar rod to hold the trap in place to prevent its activation. As its own separate piece, disarming the trap is a simple matter that takes only a few minutes longer than the pressure plate.Now, time to see what the lady hides…The answer is a lacquered box, a small container no bigger than two whetstones laid together. It’s a pretty little thing, with golden trim along its sleek, black surface. And upon extraction from the container, a potent smell begins to war with Rudnick’s perfume.Your eyes widen. You know this smell, and opening the box confirms your suspicions: a stem of dried plant with a distinct two-leaf, forked pattern. Maidenweed. Whoregreen. Regardless of what the people called it, the only reason a woman might be in possession of these leaves would be to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Tea made and consumed from its shredded leaves would almost ensure that a man’s seed would not take hold within the womb of a woman. How many times when you stole ingredients in Karthmire, how many times did you find the strumpets of the capital in the marketplace, searching for the stuff?...this could be the evidence that Klara needs to condemn Rudnick.>Keep searching for more evidence.>Take a sample and go find Klara.>Custom option.
>>1542980>>Take a sample and go find Klara.
>>1542980>Keep searching for more evidence.
>>1542980That seems like a smoking gun right there.
Actually the only thing better than this is to get the name of the alchemist selling this stuff.
>>1542980>>Take a sample and go find Klara.We've got our evidence, and we'll need some time to get through the window.
>>1542980>Take a sample and go find Klara.Should be enough along with the aphrodisiac
>>1542980Sample, Kiara, etc
>>1542992>>1543004>>1543011>>1543034>>1543035>>1543056>>1543081You quickly search the box for any other damning evidence. Nothing comes up. All that’s left in the container are a mortar and pestle, and a knife for cutting the leaves. If you were in the Hinterlends, you might be able to find the seller, just to confirm that it is truly Sofia Rudnick who purchased the stuff. Alas, you are too far away, and there is not enough time. Lords Mazur and Pullman are expected to return in the afternoon.Still, this should be enough for Klara. Knowing how cunning the girl is, she’ll find a way to make it work to her advantage. You pluck one of the many leaves still on the plant, warily noting how many other dried stems lie without leaves. Sofia is a woman who appears to be very indulgent in her appetites, as Ser Royce had earlier claimed. There are enough stems in here to keep an entire bordello free from pregnancies.Once you secure your sample, you make towards the window. It’s not nearly as far down of a drop as you’d think. If you were to fall down, you wouldn’t die…immediately. It would be very painful, you suppose, breaking your legs and rupturing your guts on the cold stone.You grab onto the windowsill just as the morning sun hides behind a passing cloud formation. With the cover of the looming shade, you move along with the clouds, leaping from ledge to handhold in a furious race against time. It is a deadly competition, one that could spell death if you either rush or are too slow in your movements. Falling to your death would be a mercy to being discovered by a passing guard.But even a man cannot begin to hold a hope against the unrelenting march of nature. Soon, the sun begins to come away from the clouds, casting light upon the fortress once more. Dammit. Even though you’ve scaled down to a lower distance, leaping off now would still break your legs……or won’t they?“Mercy me,” You mutter, before leaping from the wall just as the sun reaches your position. For a brief moment of serendipity, you are flying, soaring through the air as a feather in the wind. Nearby, you can see a cluster of birds regarding you from a nearby partition, and a passing dove coos as you fall from over twenty feet into a large bank of snow.>>Later“Marcus, there you are. You’ve almost missed breakfast…Marcus?” Princess Adrianna’s face turns from one of surprise to visible confusion. “What in the name of the gods happened to you?”Ah. Perhaps it was too much of a hope to find one of Mazur’s servants without running into one of the Crowmonds. For all the passages that you’ve discovered within Alnerwich Fortress, you suppose that you cannot completely master the layout of a building only after four days of residence.(cont.)
You perform a quick search of your surroundings. The two of you are alone in this relatively empty corridor. “Do you recall how Lady Klara asked about investigating into Lady Rudnick’s state of affairs, your highness?”She nods hesitantly before her eyes widen. “Do you mean to tell me-““It was very close,” You cut her off, patting the satchel at your hip. “But I managed to escape without anyone all the wiser. I’ve found that which she seeks, and much more.”“Then…is Lady Sofia really…?” She cannot bring herself to finish.“Yes,” You intone grimly. “Lady Klara’s instincts are to be commended. She was right after all about her suspicions of Lady Rudnick.”This revelation seems to come as a deep shock to Adrianna. She has to lean against the wall to prevent herself from falling. Her brows are furrowed in a tight expression of indeterminate emotion. “I never would have thought…but she seemed…how…how scandalous!”You are quick to make an apologetic overture. “I apologize for upsetting you this early in the morning. I…I should have waited…”“No…it’s…quite alright.” She waves off your concern as she straightens herself. “I must admit that I didn’t expect for you to get results this quickly…but you are sure of what you have?”You nod. “Absolutely. There is no mistaking the evidence that I’ve found.” But even as you are about to continue, you pause, catching hold of yourself even as Adrianna leans eagerly forward. “…but perhaps this is best something to be discussed in private. The walls have ears, princess.”“…perhaps you’re right,” Adrianna replies, casting her own uncertain glances around the corridor. “We’ll need to speak to Klara as soon as possible...and I must come with you. Since you came to me on her behalf, it would be for the better to have both of us when you show your proof. And as a matter of fact…I was about to tell her myself that I approved of your search when I ran into you…”The princess lets her voice trail off as she regards you with an approving light. As the sun illuminates the hall through the window behind her, you could’ve sworn you saw a tinge of red quickly dust her cheeks. “You are not like any retainer that my family has ever had before, Marcus. Your talents are…incredible to say the least.”“…your highness is very kind.” You bow to accept the compliment. “If you’ll excuse me, I’ll find myself a change of clothes and then we can go see Klara about-““Oh, and I almost forgot!” Adrianna interrupts. “My sister was looking for you. I don’t know the extent of the evidence, but…is it severe enough that we must immediately find Klara?">"Princesses before Ladies." [See Ellana.]>"Severe, and time is short." [See Klara]
>>1543636>"Severe, and time is short." [See Klara]assuming Ingulans know how to handle herbs and chemicals...>Were I to find Archer, I could handily entrust him with the evidence and simply defer explanations, but time is short.Besides, Marcus is going to raise some strange questions from Ellana, smelling like that.
>>1543636>"Severe, and time is short." [See Klara]Reporting in shouldn't take very long and the sooner we get this to her the sooner she can act on it, which she would appreciate. We'll be back at Ellana's side very soon.
>>1543636>>"Severe, and time is short." [See Klara]
>>1543990oh, my mistake.It's been SO long after all...But we DO still have to give a testimony on what happened in the room. Someone also needs to test the evidence to confirm they are what they are.
>>1543636>"Severe, and time is short." [See Klara]More like, if we dally the evidence in the room, which we need to be found, may be lost.
>>1543636>"Severe, and time is short." [See Klara]
Also a thing to note the sickness the king is suffering of may be a blood magic curse or something like that.
>>1543658>>1543671>>1543693>>1544288>>1544322>>1544415>>1544692You can’t help but wince, even as you give your answer. “Loathe as I am to not immediately heed your sister’s summons, I’m afraid that seeing Klara is the more urgent matter. I heard from some of the patrols that Lord Mazur is due to return today, no?”Even before Adrianna finishes nodding, you set off in a brisk pace, and she nearly stumbles trying to catch up with you. “Then we’d best get going. And hope that she doesn’t mind the smell…”>Later>Mazur SolarIf Klara is surprised to see you at the entrance to her family’s solar, she makes no show about it. But even she could not contain the shock of the princess in tow behind you.“I…your highness.” She curtsies, recovering quickly enough. Her eyes are completely on the princess, doing their best to ignore your dripping, sodden presence. “…to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure…? I was under the impression that you wished to spend today with your family…”Adrianna acknowledges the gesture with a polite nod. “Yes, while that was my intention this morning, I’m afraid that I’ve had to make a change in plans. There’s something that I…” Her eyes flicker towards you. “…that we wish for you to know. Recently, you asked something of my family’s retainer. I would like to discuss that…preferably in a more private setting.”It doesn’t take her too long for her to make the connection. This time, she does a better job of hiding her surprise, only letting her eyes widen slightly in reaction to the news. “Please, come in. And…Painel, yes? There’s a fire going in the hearth, just beyond the table. Do not hesitate to take advantage of it.”The Mazur family solar is a smaller room compared to the great hall, but it is definitely better-furnished. The seats are actually upholstered, as opposed to the bare and wooden benches of varnished wood. A myriad assortment of valuable objects can be found within the immediate chamber: weathered books in locked cases, faded tapestries of ancient lineages and battles across the empire’s history…even what appears to be some kind of fetish statue from the Belt of Dreams.Those are the objects Adrianna is drawn to. You instead pay attention to the layout of the room. Iron grilles keep the windows completely shut, preventing an easy escape or infiltration. Other than two other doors that lead to adjourning areas, the door from which you came from is the only immediate exit. In such a tight space, spears and halberds would be difficult to wield. Swords and shorter weapons would have the immediate advantage.“Under no circumstances am I to be disturbed until I give the order.” Both of you turn towards Klara, addressing the guards outside of the door. “If anyone desires to speak with me, they can do so as soon as I am finished with my business and not before. Understood?”(cont.)
Upon locking the door and waiting for the footsteps to fade away, the girl turns towards you with a vulpine smile on her lips. “I must admit that I did not expect results this quickly.”A small laugh comes from the back of Adrianna’s throat. “As it was for I. And while I did not have the opportunity to speak with you yesterday beyond midday, I would first like to state that the Crowmonds stand with you in this endeavor. If Lady Rudnick is guilty of your accusations…which she very well might be, then it’s our obligation to aid you in protecting your father and your house.”She nods, and the smile in her face becomes just a little more genuine. “…that is honestly more than I was expecting. Thank you, your highness. I promise that I won’t forget this.“Now…” Both of them turn to you, even as you wring out the end of your cloak beside the fire. “What did you find? What evidence do you have-”She’s unable to finish her sentence. Her nose wrinkles and her face sours as if she’d tasted something egregiously offensive. You and Adrianna exchange worried looks before Klara stomps right towards you and takes a long whiff around your body. “…by all the name of the gods. You’ve got the woman’s perfume all over you! No wonder I was on the verge of losing my breakfast.”You raise your hands in an apologetic gesture. “It could not be helped. Lady Rudnick has…little restraint when it comes to applying her oils and scents.”“Little restraint, eh?” Klara’s eyes flash with a conspiratorial glint. “So does that sorry excuse of a noble have, as you put it, ‘little restraint’ in anything else, perhaps?”You nod, reaching for your satchel. “It was I returned from a…rendezvous with my alchemy supplier in the middle of the night when I stole into Lady Rudnick’s quarters…”>Go into explicit detail. Be as thorough as you can, since anything could help.>Spare the sordid details. Keep it short, brief and as clean as you can make it.>Custom option.
>>1547297>>Spare the sordid details. Keep it short, brief and as clean as you can make it.If they want/need more details they can ask. Maybe mention something to this effect?
>>1547297I found the room, found what looks to be an aphrodisiac, although i'll need to test itto be sure, then I heard her returning with her bodyguard. I hid, listened in on them talking mostly pertaining about he enormous appetites and how she spent all her coin in taverns so she had to hold a Brucharian baker at swordpoint for pastries he favored. Then that turned to her view on your father. The phrase, 'I will be able to sup on all the things my palate craves for without care for cost. Father will finally have his connection to the Crowmonds and a cornerstone of the Empire’s trade, and Lord Mazur will finally have a body to warm his bed after seventeen years of mourning. Everyone emerges with a tangible prize.' Then they resumed to satiating their appetites in a more carnal fashion, repeatedly. After thoroughly wasting my time they left, and I checked the room one last time. I found hidden birth control.
>>1547297>Spare the sordid details. Keep it short, brief and as clean as you can make it.Make it clear we have all the details but that its a good time to really go into the nitty gritty.
>>1547297>>Go into explicit detail. Be as thorough as you can, since anything could help.In this situation, we should probably dump everything. Keeping it brief they might misunderstand, best to just put the cards all on the table at once.
>>1547297>>>Go into explicit detail. Be as thorough as you can, since anything could help.
>>1547297>Go into explicit detail. Be as thorough as you can, since anything could help.Character assassination. I don't want worrying about sensibilities to allow something important to go undiscovered.
>>1547321...to be quite honest, I'm not sure whether or not this is explicit or not.
>>1547413>>1547369Good point. This is probably more important than most things on the agenda. Best to get it all out of the way asap like we came to do.>>1547297>>1547323Switching to>>Go into explicit detail. Be as thorough as you can, since anything could help.
>>1547423It's not. If it was i'd go more in detail.
>>1547423Not very. Its actually quite well condensed.
>>1547297>Go into explicit detail. Be as thorough as you can, since anything could help.Go explicit on everything except for the sex. Adrianna doesn't need to know how many times the bitch aheago'd or how many times Ser Cocksalot thrusted
>>1547426>>1547429Ah, gotcha. Either way, it seems that we've locked in explicit as the choice. Writing...
>>1547423So explicit detail includes their conversation?
>>1547439In my mind, explicit didn't gloss over the sex as much as sparring the details did. Not a blow-by-blow account per se though.
>>1547449>"He trusted exactly 17 times before the first orgasm, favoriting a left thrust that changed to an upward direction three quarters of the way in..."
>>1547483Okay, that made me laugh hard.
>>1547483Adrianna: "It's just like one of my Itonian novels! Chapter eight, paragraph nineteen of "Bluff in the Moonlight"
>>1547483I can't top this
>>1547369>>1547373>>1547413>>1547425The shadows lengthen as the sun rises over the town, and the cloak on your back becomes drier as you recount your story. In giving them a full account of your infiltration, you hold nothing back. You tell them about the perfume bottle on the vanity, containing what you suspect is some sort of aphrodisiac. You tell them about Lady Rudnick’s talk with her bodyguard, about their discussion about appetites and how “everyone wins” in regards to the marriage. And when you get to the more torrid part of the observation, you give them a full account.In any other situation, you might’ve held back on giving as detailed a description of their nasty. But you can’t risk it since who’s in her bed is a crucial element of Klara’s accusations. And if you’re being honest, the only reason you’re holding back is due to Adrianna’s presence in the room. Klara doesn’t appear to have too much reservation given how she talks about Lady Rudnick.Your prediction comes to fruition. Halfway through your story, Adrianna’s face is already a steaming red, and she seems to be struggling to make a coherent noise other than sputtering gasps. It makes for an interesting comparison between Klara’s broiling irritation, which only increases by the moment as you recount the dialogue the two lovers exchanged.“…and Ser Royce said that Sofia had already been deflowered before he came into her bed,” You recall. “At best, I can estimate that from your account of their interactions and how…familiar they were with both words and each other’s bodies, she’s been sneaking him to her quarters for the past year, if not longer than that. Theirs is a well-practiced routine, I’m afraid, given how proficient Royce is at it.”You take a moment to collect your breath and pour yourself a drink from a nearby cistern. The cool water is a balm both to the heat coming from the hearth. If they were expecting you to be embarrassed, then they would be sorely disappointed. The life of a Black Alley Locust is far from an upbringing in a religious cloister.Eventually, Klara releases her breath in a long, drawn-out hiss of anger. The hand gripping her own cup is clenched in a white-knuckled grip. “That…that…wanton…gluttonous…” She’s so enraged that she has trouble coming up with a proper insult.You decide to spare her the trouble and interject. “Slantern, whore, tart, harlot. All words that can very well be ascribed to our…your peer, rather.”“She’s no peer of mine,” Klara retorts venomously. “That sorry excuse of a highborn is a disgrace to us all. But it doesn’t surprise me, given how uncontrollable those lowlander filth are. A daughter of a noble? Ha! She’s no better than the prized whore of an Eastgate rutting hall!”…it seems that Klara truly was concerned about her father’s marriage prospects.(cont.)
Adrianna finally seems to regain a fraction of her composure. She coughs to gain both of your attention, all the while trying and failing to fight the blush on her cheeks. “B-be that as it may…Marcus, you weren’t finished? There’s something else…right?”“You’re right,” You answer, appreciative for the chance to change subjects. “Even when they’d finished, I couldn’t risk going out. I was forced to stay and wait the night until morning, when Lady Sofia finally left the room. That was when I came down from the support beams and found…this.”Admittedly, you could have been less dramatic about revealing the maidenweed. Honestly, you’re no better than some street-corner trickster, pulling coins out of ears and elbows with slight-of-hand. Old habits die hard, you suppose…Both of them recoil as they recognize the forked leaves, as if you’d just placed a venomous snake on the table. You can’t blame them. What possible reason would a woman have this on her person other than to prevent a pregnancy? Especially if the holder of said leaves is an alleged virgin, flowered and untouched.“…this settles it,” Klara says, a sinister gleam entering her eyes. “This is all that I’ll need to expose that woman for the slut that she is. Combined with what you’ve told me about their bedding habits…”She pauses, reigning in the promise of violence in her eyes before turning to the two of you and bowing low. “Princess…Crownguard. I thank you for all that you’ve done for me and my family. I owe you a debt, and I hope that I can pay it one day.”In spite of her mortification, Adrianna musters a timid smile. “You’re very welcome, Klara. And if you would permit me, I would have you call me Adrianna. No formalities. Not after all of…this…” She finishes, waving her hand towards the table of evidence.Klara returns her smile with one of her own. “I would be delighted, prin…Adrianna,” She corrects herself. “Now…one last matter to attend to.”She turns towards you, eyeing the cork with a great amount of suspicion, as if willpower alone could make it disappear. “You say this is an aphrodisiac, yes?”“Aye, it is.” You nod."A powerful one, just from the smell of it alone."“If it isn’t too much trouble…could you identify it, here and now? I would like to see the effects of whatever the hell this is.">Agree.>Refuse.>Custom option.
>>1547647Wait does she mean imbibe it or us pulling out our handy dandy alchemy set and start running tests?
>>1547647>INB4 We get effected and break down, crying about our dead waifu.
>>1547647>I'd need supplies to do it safely. I would certainly not wish to imbibe this in any qunatity. But I suppose I could.
>>1547655Crap. Should've clarified.You raise a questioning eyebrow. "And what would be the full extent of this identification.""I see from the kit that you're an alchemist of some talent. But other than identifying its components, I need to see its effect on a man. Perhaps my father might have acted the same way at one point during their...sorties," she hisses. "But, yes, I would need you to imbibe as much as you safely can."
>>1547670Can't just get a servant to do it can we huh?
>>1547647>Refusehahaha fuck no
>>1547670If you allowe to make a countermeasure first to prevent any unseemly behavior. Then yes.
>>1547670I don't think we should get one of the top assassins in the land hopped up on Horny Juice.
>>1547647>refuseNooooooooo it's time to see Ellana
>>1547670Also I feel like Marcus would be a bit of an outlier compared to the average person wouldn't he? Doesn't he have resistances and way more control over (non Serena involved) emotions?
>>1547647>AcceptThough we can't get too horny.
>>1547670There is no way this could possibly go wrong. Absolutely nothing bad, horrific and disgustingly sexy can happen here. Heed my dread invocation, demons of the 33rd circle of Murphy!
>>1547696Good point we'd be pretty resistant to it and thus not a good test subject.
>>1547696>>1547707Poison Resistance wasn't a perk you took in the second thread. That being said, we could train for a resistance for poisons and other suspicious toxins if you want later on. You wouldn't get a bonus, just a flat 100 roll to resist.
>>1547694>>1547704We could always get hopped up on Aphrodisiac and then go see Ellana.Do mofumofu and munyumunyu.
Can't we just get a manservant to do it? We don't even need to tell him anything. Just an order and then we observe?
>>1547729Eh, sure. Why not? New vote.>Have someone else take it.>Refuse to take it yourself.>Take it yourself, but carefully.
>>1547731>Take it yourself, but carefully
>>1547670My sense of propriety is warring with my sense of humor.I'm not sure what she's expecting to check? Flushed cheeks, rock hard, muddied thoughts? Wouldn't that be the same across most aphrodisiacs?
>>1547729>Have someone else take it.We've got our other duties after all. Who knows how long it lasts.
>>1547731>>Take it yourself, but carefully.
>>1547731>Take it yourself, but carefully.>>1547729This is supposed to be a secret dumbass.
>>1547731If we have someone else take it they might not be on the level and the rumor may get out about it. She may be able to dispose of the evidence.
>>1547731>Take it yourself, but carefully.
>>1547731>>Have someone else take it.Like I said, I don't trust us hopped up on aphrodisiac. If we fuck up we could ravage everyone in the castle.
>>1547741Hey dumbass. You don't need to tell the guy a damn thing. You make him take horny juice and that's all he knows. He's not fucking Sherlock who is going to deduce that this is a sting operation based on hardly any evidence.
Seems like "take it yourself carefully" wins, unless I miscounted.Writing..
>>1547731>>Take it yourself, but carefully.Make sure we're situated properly first. Restraint seems excessive, but is an option.
>>1547763>'This is kind of kinky'
>>1547731>>Refuse to take it yourselfAs if taking it carefully is any different from accepting.
Maybe Adrianna should leave the room.
>>1547763 Lol, supportan.
>>1547737>>1547738>>1547740>>1547748>>1547763>>1547782>>1547824“…against my better judgment…” you exhale, “I’ll take it. But we’ll have to take the proper measures first, even though there’s less than a drop I can wring from the cork. Maybe two if I’m lucky.”Klara waves a dismissive hand. “Whatever you need. And don’t worry. I’ll be sure to compensate you for this, in addition to everything else that you’ve done for…me…”Suddenly, she looks uncertain as you pull out your silk rope. You bind your hands together, looping it through a hole in the bench for a firmer hold. There’s just enough room for you to perform your alchemy, but not nearly enough to let you take more than five paces in any direction.You grunt as you pull the knot tight with your teeth. “Alright. If you could stand over there…”Before you even finish, the two of them have retreated as far as they can, taking shelter behind a bookshelf. Klara looks at you with morbid curiosity while Adrianna remains half-worried, half-embarrassed for what you’re about to do.“…perhaps it should be best for the princess to leave the room,” you finish with a neutral tone. “Lady Klara, you are the one who desired to see its effects, so I would humbly ask that you not involve the imperial family in this…experiment.”“…you’re right. Adrianna?” The princess starts at the mention of her name. “He’s right…I am the one who asked and benefits the most. You do not have to be here.”“Ah…well…” She seems to be at a loss for words. “…he is my sister’s retainer. And since she is not here…it’s my duty to represent her. It would be improper to be absent when he’s performing this task for you, and by extension, the imperial family.”…fair enough, you suppose. But no more distractions. It is time to get to work. You shave off a small portion of the cork, balancing it delicately on the edge of your knife. You taste the air, bringing it towards your nose for a cautionary sniff. Though muted, you can detect a pungency that can only be found in root vegetables…or weeds. This compound is based on natural ingredients, not something synthesized by magic or artificial chemicals.Even from that brief encounter, you can already feel your body begin to react. Your heartbeat slowly begins to increase, and hazy warmth spreads all over your body. Nevertheless, you speak as if unaffected. “The compound is derived from a weed…not something that can be found in a local herbalist’s shop, or even a hedge witch’s. Maybe. This is not a common Empire root, neither from Opran or Suthyae…but Itonia, Bruchain…Old Eridia, perhaps? That narrows down the options somewhat…”(cont.)
>>1547848Adrianna just wants to see Marcus all hot and bothered doesn't she.
The two of them stare, fascinated as you continue with your work. You run through the list in your head, recalling all of the books that you’ve studied and read about botany and herbs across the continent. Throwing away all the plants you know can be found immediately on Kaithe, you narrow down the options…“Gargeer!” It hits you like a bolt of lightning. “Extract of gargeer seeds, harvested from a mature rucola plant…imported from beyond the Belt of Dreams…an expensive purchase to be sure…and a reckless one as well…”“Reckless?” One of the girls asks. “What…what exactly is this plant?”You carry on, as if you didn’t hear them. You clasp the cork between your thumb and pointer fingers, squeezing as hard as you can. Underneath your hand, the juices fall into a collection dish, no more than half a mouthful. But still more than enough to do what you think it might.“Before we arrived in Alnerwich,” You ask Klara, “Whenever Sofia was here, and taking meals with your father. Were the two of them ever alone? Perhaps for dinner, or a stroll along the battlements?”“…perhaps,” she admits. “But even then, father would never touch her. He’ll never bed a woman before their wedding night.”You grunt. “…be that as it may…have you ever seen them getting…heated, perhaps? Inflamed with passion, but stopping just before things got any further…” Ah. Her face tells you all that you need to know. An idea of how Rudnick used the tincture begins to form in your mind.Now...the true test.“Prost!” You declare in High Vethic, raising the cistern as you would for the Neujahr. And before the better part of your brain or one of the girls can stop you, you down the aphrodisiac in a single swing.>Roll 1d100>Best of three.
Rolled 88 (1d100)>>15479071
Rolled 77 (1d100)>>1547907Er ist Deutch?
Rolled 52 (1d100)>>1547907Rolan
>>1547923deutsch* my german lessons are slipping.
>>1547923>>1547928Nein. Extent of my German comes from studying for an exchange student program and having several German friends.
Kaz @TaskForceKaz 16 minutes ago Computer's getting a little hot. Need to take a brief break to let it cool down for a bit.You absolute tease.
>>1548037I really need to get a new PC. Writing...
>>1547916>>1547923>>1547926…it comes slowly. A wave of heat blossoms in the pit of your stomach, slowly worming its way along your body with every passing heartbeat. For the first time in so many long months, you can feel a longing, a stirring of some half-forgotten emotion buried deep within you. The rope binding your arms together strain as your wrists grind and chaffe against them. And the noise that comes out from your mouth is a half-strangled gasp, before subsiding into deep, heavy breaths.The worst part about the ordeal is how insidious it is. It’s not nearly as violent as staving off winter’s chill, or a severe burn. It’s more insidious than that. The aphrodisiac unlocks desires you’ve not felt for a neigh eternity, a rush of feelings that you thought had died, or never even existed.A noise above you. Blearily, you turn to look at the other end of the room, where Klara stares back, studying you with keen interest – -one fist in her hair, pulling her back against your sweat-slicked body as you take her from behind. The other squeezes a perky breast, gently rotating a calloused thumb around a pert nipple. She moans, a throaty, guttural sound as you continue your worship, relentless in your ministrations-You blink the vision away, shaking your head as if to physically expel them from your mind. In defiance, you start to list the elements and components of alchemy, an incessant river of knowledge and thought to cut through the haze of lust. This is far from a normal aphrodisiac. How on earth did Lord Mazur survive this whenever Rudnick administered the substance?“Marcus?” Adrianna’s voice seems to be calling from far away. Out of instinct, your eyes flicker towards her--creamy legs, wrapped around and locked tight against his waist. She’s pleading, whimpering, desperately trying to pull you in all the more closer against her, inside of her. You acquiesce, letting her feel the lines of scars dotting your chest, moaning as you push her sodden core to the absolute limit-“…alright? M…Marcus?”…without any warning, you slam your head into the table as hard as you can. Both of the girls start, retreating as alchemy tools go flying across the room. The pain is sharp enough to dispel the haze from your mind, and you welcome the dull, throbbing sensation of pain that counteracts the desire.“I’m…I’m fine…” The slur in your words recedes as you snap out of the daze. “Just…had to clear my head, is all. The effects…not what I was expecting. Incredibly powerful. A testament to your father’s willpower, Lady Klara.”“What do you mean by that?” She demands.“I mean no offense. It’s just that from this small mouthful, one is driven into a state of intense desire. Elevated heartbeat, sudden heat rushing across your body…the immediate beginnings of arousal. This must be what your father felt, seeing as you're wearing that look on your face again, milady”(cont.)
Instead of cringing or flushing, Klara’s eyes flash dangerously. “You mean to say that Rudnick has been slipping this…this aphrodisiac into my father’s drinks and food?!”You nod. “It seems to be the most logical conclusion. And one perilously short of actual poisoning. That’s a grave and serious charge that you could level against her…”“…gods above.” Klara staggers towards a bench, exhaling deeply into her hands. “…I just wanted to prove the slut’s infidelity. Now…it turns out that the damned whore is slipping potions to my father.”She looks straight at you, meeting your weary gaze with one of gratitude. “Thank you…for doing that. And…I’m sorry you had to injure yourself.”Spitting the rope out of your mouth, you reply, “Oh, this? This is nothing. Couldn’t call myself a Crownguard if I can’t take a few hits.”That at least puts a smile on her face. A tired smile, but a smile nonetheless. “You truly are not like any Crownguard I’ve ever heard or studied before.”>LaterIn the end, you couldn’t completely eliminate the lingering haze within your mind. It took several mugs of water, almost an entire bucket’s worth, before the heat final decapitated and left you clearheaded. And in that time, the three of you discussed how you should proceed.“Leave everything to me,” Klara says as you exit the room. “I’ve planned all of it in my mind. Tonight at dinner, I will signal you if I need your assistance. But other than that, this is a task that I can complete myself.“And as for you, Marcus…what can I possibly give you to mend that which aids you?”>Ask for a sum of money..>Defer to Adrianna’s discretion.>Politely refuse the compensation.>Custom option.
>>1548137>Defer to Adrianna’s discretion.
>>1548137>mend that which aids you?”ails?Don't need money, and asking for anything in particular would strain the value of the payment.unless someone has a better idea,>Defer to Adrianna’s discretion.
>>1548137>we are REALLY late to see Elanna right now, so let's discuss this some other time.
>>1548137>>Defer to Adrianna’s discretion.
>>1548137>>Defer to Adrianna’s discretion.>>Custom option.Wasn't it suggested that we could get access to their spy network earlier on?
>>1548181Would be amazingly useful for the crownguard.
>>1548137>>1548181>>1548148See Elanna first, get phat loot later.>>1548182Yep. It was confirmed as such, but it's been a number of threads since that discussion.
Well we may have to request the favor be used for the alchemist guild to protect them from Mazur when he finds out about what happened.
>>1548215Nah, the guild cant be held responsible for such a rare and dangerous infiltrator. Plus it makes no sense to punish them unduly since the alchemist guild is highly useful.Very likely theyll end up supplying items at a discount for a while though.
>>1548215>>1548217This is referring to the Blood Mage that was disguised as the Head Alchemist, right?
>>1548220Yes.Due to the rarety of the plant involved in this love affair and the highly illegal nature of the potion in question, i doubt that this particular variety's formula is even known by the local alchemy guild, let alone having the potion originate from them.
>>1550274Writer's block is a real pain in the ass. Ugh.
Progress is slow, but it's there. While I type up the snip, I'll be taking questions about the setting. Feel free to ask anything you want to know, and I'll answer as best as Marcus would know.
>>1550456Would Ellana get mad if we mofu-mofu'd and munyu-munyu'd her?
>>1550456Is that other chick his sister?What's going on with the undead father level ups? Daddy issues or real magic?>>1550474What the fuck does that mean?
>>1550456>Feel free to ask anything you want to know, and I'll answer as best as Marcus would know.What are Marcus's thoughts on seeing his deadfu? Does he still think he can meet her again in the Specter's Dream?
>>1550474this is about tale of a lax demon, isn't it?>>1550456if Marcus failed the Will check, would Klara have used it as blackmail?more questions incoming
>>1550456How big is the Empire in comparison to real life countries? As big as the US? Smaller than India?
>>1550456what's miss alchemist mclovestruck thinking right now?can Marcus practically improve in terms of swordplay? Would just sparring with the other Crownsguard provide the appropriate training for his skillset?
>>1550482>MorgannaI discussed this on Twitter, but I'll take some time to elaborate and expand on Morganna's role in the narrative. In terms of say...a video game, Morganna would have been the FeMC if you chose to play as a girl on that first thread. As a result, Marcus would have been Emeron's Crownguard, but you would remain as Ellana's. But without spoiling too much, I can safely say that Morganna and Marcus are not siblings.>Undead Father level upsThe way I structured picking those perks in thread two, that's just retroactive storytelling. Like...you know how in Fallout New Vegas, the doc asks you a series of questions that determine basic stats? Kind of like that, except for skills. So the frequent interjections/memories of Lucien's assassin teachings are just reminiscences, no real magic. Just an entire encyclopedia's worth of daddy issues.>>1550490Thinking about her hurts. Remembering her hurts. Everything about Serena hurts, and he's bottled it away, crammed it down his psyche and repressed it really hard. Even if he could meet her again, it would just cause severe emotional pain because she's dead. Using the Specter's Dream is a necessity, but one he's now incredibly very careful of not to fall asleep during its use.>>1550500Klara plays the game very well, but she's not nearly stupid enough to try and blackmail a retainer of the Imperial family.>>1550503I need to fix the scale, but in terms of real-life countries...I'd say that the Empire is just about the size of about a fourth of the United States. So about...draw a line down from Lake Michigan and travel down until you hit Baton Rouge. That's about how big the Empire is.In the grand scale of things, the entirety of Kaithe would be half of the United States in terms of total landmass.>>1550522>ClaudiaLittle Miss Alchemist is currently trying to explain to her extended family in the guild why there's a homunculus corpse next to her blinded father, who they believe was last seen outside gathering ingredients in the local forest.>SwordplayRepeated sparring with someone as equal, or better than you. So Palme, Bellatrix and Urath would qualify as immediate options.
>>1550572Is Morgana non-canon now, then?
>>1550649We've seen her with Emeron famalam
>>1550649In terms of that HTML thing I did? Yes, but she might appear on pastebin for some non-canon snips where she's the MC. But the Marcus continuity, she's still in Karthmire as a member of the Crownguard, laying dormant in Emeron's shadow and waiting for the moment to strike.
>>1539046>[Abilities/Traits/Perks]>>1550456>>1550572http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/643686/#p647314>Trait Unlocked: In Plain Sight>+30 to Disguising/Hiding/Sneaking, Take 75 in non-stressful situations On another note, I noticed a few threads back that this trait wasn't listed on the OP trait sheets or mentioned afterwards, but was too busy with other quests to mention it. Is there a reason this is the case?>>1550649It's more like a starting option between who becomes a MC and who's the recurring character.
>>1550660>laying dormant in Emeron's shadow and waiting for the moment to strike.well now I am worried.
>>1550670Nah, the King's bodyguard assassin does the same thing.
>>1550669...shit. That's a mistake on my part. I forgot to put that in there. Whoops. Gah, now that I mention it, I'm missing Riding as well. Ah well, I'll just put that in on the next header.>>1550670>>1550674Like father, like daughter.And for those curious about an idea about the land, here's the general layout of each corresponding territory.>>Aderaveth Divisions, Rulers and their Sigils>Mainland-- Gerforen's Reach (Bavaria) - Tarmund [Kestrel]-- Hinterlands (Rhineland-Palatinate) - Rosarn -- Midlands (Lower Saxony) Crowmond -[Imperial Gryphon]-- River Marches (Baden-Württemberg) - Hastings [Kingfisher]-- Tiefhold (Rhineland) - Lawcomb [Horned Owl]>Subsidiary Territories- Flokmann Cay - Rügen- Eucarine Isle - Wales- Grey Isles - Outer Hebrides- Gnuryll/Ninyrd - Ireland- Straxholt - Roman Britannica>Independent Countries-- Bruchain (France)-- Eladir Confederacy (Baltic States/Eastern Europe)-- Eridia (Roman Empire)-- Itonia (Byzantium)-- Opran (Italy)-- Suthyae (Denmark)-- Vlenmar (Norway)
>>1550748Whoops. Forgot that the bird for the Rosarns is the Black Kite.
>>1550748>I'm missing Riding as well.http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/48314475/#p48324039>You have gained the Talent: Riding!>You may urge your horse to canter and gallop without rolling>You will not be penalized when making rolls to perform complex maneuversOh hey, I completely forgot about that talent. I just remembered that we didn't have to roll when riding.>I'll just put that in on the next header.Thanks, QM.>>1550572>In the grand scale of things, the entirety of Kaithe would be half of the United States in terms of total landmass.>>1550456Considering how tiny Burnt Kaithe is, does that mean there are more unexplored regions in the world?
>>1550748So how op can magic weapon gets?
>>1550658>>1550660Huh, I've completely forgotten about her. My bad.
>>1550817Yes. The map that I made is only a small puzzle piece within an entire collection. For example, sailing northward would take one to the homeland of the Vlennish and Suthyaens, the cold lands of Hielmæsút. And when the Vethics fled from the dragons, they came thousands of miles from the East, pushing through the Maelstrom in great arks of wood and ancient magic.So yeah. There's tons of countries that I've got named, but haven't even begun to map.>>1550838Depends on the weapon. The most powerful sword wielded by Baldir Dragonsbane was able to bring a dragon down from the skies with just a single swing that parted the clouds and rain. But those kinds of weapons have been lost to the ages, and the knowledge of their creation destroyed in the wake of the Dragonic Wars. Nowadays, the most powerful weapon one might have is an elemental enchantment on a bladed weapon. And its power varies, depending on the material as well as the sorcerer that enchanted them.
>>1550891Can you give us a lewdness ranking on all the girls?
>>1551088...define, "lewdness ranking".Writing...
>>1551120How kinky and lewd each girl is in general, reading "romance" novels, tweaking the button often etc.
>>1551124...that's something you're going to have to find out on your own, anon. That's something that Marcus would definitely not know until it comes up.
>>1551135Does Adrianna have any martial or other combat or combat utility training?
>>1551159...she's a princess. At best, she might be able to stab someone with a sewing needle or her kitchen fork if push comes to shove. Fighting and combat utility is what Bellatrix is for.
>>1551254who would be best at shenanigans-fu?
>>1551278Other than Marcus...if this were your typical D&D game...Urath. Party ranger.
>>1551254Is tax still taken in goods?Who is the loudest burper at crowmund castle?What kind of loot would actually be useful to grab for a crownsguard? I assume steel is easy enough to obtain through purchase, but rare metal/alloys? Magical gems? Monster bits? Silk or quality leather?
>>1551360>TaxIt's a mix of both goods/commodities such as grain/salt/etc. (depending on the region) as well as coinage. For those that can't supply enough of one, they have the option of paying more from one to compensate for the other.>BurperAllanus, much to his siblings' chagrin. Prince and sorcerer though he may be, he's a twelve year old boy.>Useful lootMagical items, definitely. And in the rare case of a monster attack, there are individuals who can turn their materials into trinkets or weapons, or you can use them for alchemical formulae with rare ingredients. For the most part, there's no "standard" for the Crownguard other than the sigil. Unless they find something to disagree with, the Crowmonds leave their bodyguards to equip themselves at their own discretion.
>>1550572>>1551371Considering how much Marcus grieves over Serena, how much of his feelings or affections for Claudia were real? Was he merely pretending to be a lady's man?
>>1552579>Seduction is another tool just as potent as infiltration.Pretty sure almost none of it was real; he just used another tool.
>>1548140>>1548141>>1548147>>1548148>>1548152>>1548179>>1548181“I think that it would be for the better…” You mutter, wincing at a particularly sharp wave of pain. “To leave this decision in the hands of the princess. Doubtless, she would know how best you might be able to reward me.”An admittedly weak answer, but you could not honestly care less. You’ve not much need or use for coinage due to your position, and you doubt that Alnerwich has any sort of magical items worth purchasing. Other than a compress for your head, something you can brew for yourself, nothing immediately comes to mind. Until it does, you’ll leave it for Adrianna to decide.“Marcus…” Adrianna bites her lip, seemingly hesitant to approach. She is not afraid of moving closer as much as she is unsure what to do. “Are you…are you alright? Perhaps we should not have done that-”“No it’s...perfectly fine,” You manage, “Thank you for your concern, your highness, but given how quickly events are moving…we might have had more difficulty finding a good moment to perform the test.”She appears to be uncertain, but she eventually capitulates. “Very well. But what about your reward? Why would you entrust it to me?”Now that’s a simple answer.“Because I am late for a meeting.” Even before you finish packing your kit, you have already bowed low to both Adrianna and Klara. And by the time you finish, you are almost to the door. “And I cannot make time for myself, especially when my liege lady has summoned me.”>Great HallBreakfast has long since passed when you arrive in the great hall. Several of the tables and benches have been moved to the side, clearing a space in the middle of the room. But in spite of the arrangement, the smell of fresh bread and spiced meat…bratwurst, perhaps? Regardless, even you can’t help the noise that comes from your stomach.However, there is one table that remains in its place. On the dais separating it from the rest of the hall, the seat of the residing lord and his family is a fixed constant in the empty room. And other than the guards, silent and stoic from their posts, the room is empty and devoid of all live, save for the occupants at the table.Lord Patrik Mazur watches with an amused smile as Prince Allanus prepares to demonstrate a small feat of magic. A sphere of flame no larger than a fingernail rotates along the tip of his finger. Across from the two of them, a series of unlit candlesticks have been arranged down the length of the table in a straight line.It does not take you too long to divine the nature of the trick. The prince aims to light all of the candles with a single, controlled fireball....judging from her reaction in the carriage on the road, you have a feeling that Adrianna would be beside herself if she had accompanied you down from the solar. A habit of recklessness with magic seems to be an unfortunate characteristic of her little brother.(cont.)
And you alone don’t hold this sentiment. Standing against a nearby pillar, Urath looks on the pair with a countenance of weary resignation. He catches your gaze, and an unspoken question flashes in his eyes. You nod, motioning that you’ve taken care of your business. His lips twitch to form a grim smile, even as his look flickers towards the display. The Ingulan shakes his head in mock dismay, before jerking his head to the pillar behind him.The motion takes you to the figure of Princess Ellana. Sitting on one of the benches shoved aside from the clearing, she’s made it clear that she doesn’t support her elder brother’s act. You can spy a book on the table in front of her, one that you don’t particularly recognize immediately. Perhaps it was loaned to her by the Mazurs? Regardless, it seems that she’s engrossed in it, even as her ears twitch every time Allanus makes a dramatic gesture.She only notices you when you’re no less than seven paces away from her position. Her face immediately brightens, shifting from intense concentration to amicable warmth. “Oh, good morning, Marcus!”“Good morning to you as well, your highness.” You match her greeting with a slight bow. “I hope that the day finds you well.”Ellana’s smile dims slightly. “Other than a little discomfort on my bed and my brother being…my brother…” She pauses, cringing as Allanus’ fireball grows in size, now almost as big as a small wheel of cheese. “…I am alright. Thank you for asking.”Now, you can’t help yourself but get a little bit worried. Even though the area at the other end of the prince has been cleared of both obstructions and flammable materials, the potential for hazard is very notable. Magic is not something to be so carelessly used.“Perhaps we should move,” You advise your charge, helping her down from the bench. “Before we continue this discussion. I’ve enough trust in Archer not immediately stopping him from casting the spell, but I would prefer you not to be in the same room as a fireball.”She nods, clutching her book protectively to her chest. “I agree. This book is very old, and the only one of its kind. It would be such a shame to lose it.“But, Marcus…” Her eyes turn towards you, and she affixes you with as stern a look that a child of eight summers could give. “…when I woke in the dead of night, you’d departed. And even when you came back now…I can see a bruise on your head, and you clothes smell of smoke...what happened to you?”The tone of her voice contains no trace of anger. Merely, she is confused, concerned, and desires to understand above all else.“Ah…” You scratch the back of your head, grimacing at yourself. Gods above. What do you think she felt when you’d not been there in the room? “…I am…truly sorry, your highness…”>Say it was imperial business for Adrianna. (Half-truth)>Tell her about Klara’s petition for your aid. (Truth)>Custom option.
>>1554132Make sure she understands it must be a secret.>Tell her about Klara’s petition for your aid. (Truth)
>>1554132>>Tell her about Klara’s petition for your aid. (Truth)
>>1554132>>Say it was imperial business for Adrianna. (Half-truth)
>>1554132>>Say it was imperial business for Adrianna. (Half-truth)We'll tell her more details afterwards, somewhere more private.
>>1554132>Say it was imperial business for Adrianna. (Half-truth)>I can tell you more about it later princess if you remind me
>>1554146>>1554157>>1554187 “…it’s only fair you know,” you exhale. “…and I’m sorry that I did not tell you before now, and for taking off without as much as a word in advance. Princess, I will tell you the truth. But that being said…”You cast a weary glance towards the gleeful prince, the amused lord, and the exasperated Ingulan. “…perhaps this is a conversation best done in private. For both the sake of your book and for unwanted listeners.”Ellana’s brows furrow in confusion, but she nods. “Alright. Then we’ll return to the guest quarters. The servants might not have moved to clean the rooms yet.”“Then if your highnesses will excuse us…”You offer a polite nod to Urath, and toss one in the direction of Allanus and Patrik. The prince casts a brief look in your direction, before shrugging and returning to his now-pumpkin sized fireball. Mazur’s son lets his gaze linger at your retreating forms, before shrugging and returning his attention to the display of magic. Very odd, but you decide not to dwell too long on it.Not even twelve steps out of the great hall, you can hear a soft rush of wind, and a muffled explosion behind the great wooden doors. The corridor softly quakes, and a rain of dust trickles down from the ceiling to lightly speckle the two of you. You place a firm hand on your charge’s shoulder, and gently steer her away as dozens of servants and guards come running towards the cacophony.The look on Ellana’s face is equal parts anger, embarrassment and resignation. “…he’s going to be in so much trouble.”Of that, you have little doubt.>Ellana’s bedroom“…and as it turned out, Lady Klara’s suspicions were correct,” You finish, sipping from a wooden mug. The meltwater eases the soreness in your throat, and chases away the last of the gareer extract. All of this talking is very much unlike you, especially in such a short period of time. “Sofia Rudnick is indeed involved with her knight protector, even though she’s allegedly betrothed to Lord Mazur.”“How terrible!” Ellana whispers. Her eyes dart around, as if the stone walls and silk tapestries would begin to spill the secret. “Lord Mazur must be informed at once.”“He will be…once he returns from Silverstone. They’re due in the late afternoon, along with Silverow, Bellatrix and your uncle.”Her brow is furrowed into one of deep concern. “…what do you think will happen…when Lord Mazur finds out about his betrothed’s…affair?”“I don’t know,” You admit. “Your sister and I have left it into the hands of Klara. And it all will depend on how she delivers the news to her father. But from what little I’ve seen of him…” Your mouth turns into a thin, grim line as you recount the lines from Silvera’s journal. “…it won’t a pretty sight. Should it happen tonight, I think it would be best for you to refrain from attending.”(cont.)
I just hope he believes her instead of deciding that it's all a lie and she's upset he's found a new wife.
>>1554291“What?” She blinks, surprised, before shaking her head in refusal. “No, there is no need for that! As a princess of the Empire, I must attend court functions, just like Emeron and Adrianna-”“We don’t even know if there will even be a formal court. Klara has left us completely in the dark, with only a request for us, Crownguard and Crowmond alike, to go along with her plan…whatever that is.”Silence then falls upon the room, as both of you gather your thoughts and digest what you’ve heard. Klara’s vindictiveness…her disdain for Sofia Rudnick. Even if Lord Mazur chose the more respectable path of action, you cannot safely say the same about his daughter. Regardless of righteous, familial anger, or a general distaste for southlanders…it would be more likely for Klara to be the most brutal when the moment comes for her to act.“Still…I would like to see as much as I could.” Ellana emphasizes her declaration with an imperious nod. And in the light, it looked like a gesture that her mother would have made. “I’ve not had many experiences with the imperial court.”That gets your attention. “You’ve never sat during a convening? Not even a hoftag”“A few times for general petitions to the emperor, before father had become sick and my brother had to take his place.” She shifts in her seat, and the fabric of her dress rustles softly against the wood. “But not too many occasions. For those years, I was only returning for holidays since I was being fostered by my uncle and aunt in Montgomer. Mother says that I should not stay for those since time was short…”Ah. That’s right. The von Roies, the ultimate end of this caravan across the Midlands, are the ones who’d raised her from the age of four. It was her returning from them after a long four years did she stumble upon you in the streets, all those weeks ago…You ask, “Are you looking forward to seeing them again?”“…yes, of course, but the…ah…” She pauses, struggling for the correct word. “…circumstances could be better…”…not entirely false, you admit.The princess smiles softly, tittering behind the hand covering her mouth. “But if there’s one benefit to this…it is that I am learning many things. Things that will help me…and my family…“Marcus!” The change in her tone from melancholic to full of energy is abrupt enough to make you start ever so slightly. “What are you going to teach me today? Adrianna won't be back to bother us until midday!”>Take a look at the book that she's been carrying. (History)>Teach her more about the continent’s plants and herbs. (Botany)>Custom option.
>>1554410When do we start teaching her how to use a knife? Just in case.>Teach her more about the continent’s plants and herbs. (Botany)
>>1554426You'd have to ask Adrianna for that, as well as proper alchemy. Unless you want to risk her wrath by teaching Ellana without asking for permission first.
>>1554410>Take a look at the book that she's been carrying. (History)What kind of exposition you want family?
>>1554437Huh. Didn't think that one would spark controversy.>"YOU TAUGHT HER HOW TO DEFEND HERSELF?"
>>1554410>>Custom option.Teach her how to hide good?>>1554442Self-defense is unladylike, didn't you know?
>>1554442>>1554446>"IT'S COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE FOR A PRINCESS TO LEARN HOW TO FIGHT.">"WHY DO YOU THINK YOU EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE."Ye olde™ laws of women not allowed to wield weapons...
>>1554449Someone better tell her guard she's not allowed to fight.
>>1554442Marcus is supposed to be her knife. Pragmatic as it may be it is uncouth in the eyes of nobility.
>>1554410>Teach her more about the continent’s plants and herbs. (Botany)
>>1554459Noblewomen not allowed to wield weapons. There, fixed that. My bad.
>>1554466She's a Princess she's allowed to do whatever she wants!
>>1554449I mean, it's not a law per se. Just rather frowned upon as it interferes with more ladylike mindsets.
>>1554410>Take a look at the book that she's been carrying. (History)
>>1554410>>Take a look at the book that she's been carrying. (History)
>>1554466>>1554449We should teach Ellana the Dance. There's no possible way that could go wrong.
>>1555719Can it be taught? I was under the impression you needed something in order to be able to use it. If I'm wrong though, it sounds like an absolutely perfectly fantastic idea.
>>1555719>Secretly teaching Ellana the Dance under the pretense of actual dance lessons
>>1555741>"I'm just giving Ellana some Dance lessons.">"Oh, how wonderful!" >Everyone misunderstands completely.>Aquire Murderloli.
>>1555749I think "The Dance" refers to the fighting skills that Marcus was taught, and while those take an incredible amount of time and talent to learn, I don't think there are any supernatural components. Although it may be possible that the Specter's Dream is a necessary part of the Dance, and that definitely IS part supernatural in nature Although I don't know how Marcus would feel about the comparisons to Lucien that could be drawn for teaching a child the Dance, even if it is just for self-defense and not to create a soulless murderchild
>>1555902>I don't know how Marcus would feel about the comparisons to Lucien that could be drawn for teaching a child the DanceWe'll be a better Murderdad then he ever was!
>>1555719>>1555740...yes, it is possible for you to teach her how to fight, on top of learning the Dance. That being said, that should come later when she's a little older, or when you have a good excuse for her family about the sudden increase in bruises.>>1555740The Dance is an entirely martial technique. No supernatural components about it, and it does not require having to learn how to perform the Specter's Dream, which is at its core, a simple meditation technique.
>>1555975Well, we could probably ask Palme about teaching her to defend herself. Start with the less bruising stuff. Besides, never to early to raise a murderloli.
>>1554439>>1555007>>1555309 “Why don’t we set aside the botanical guide for the moment?” She blinks, seemingly confused before you gesture towards the book in her hands. “It seemed that you were deep into its pages when I’d arrived.”“This one?” Ellana hesitates, looking down before passing it to you. “But it’s very…different than what we were doing before.”In spite of a thick, leather cover, the book is lighter than it appears. The title has been written in a flowing, delicate hand: Stories across the Ages. A history book, then? No, the official codices and chronicles contained several volumes. Perhaps it is an abridged telling of legendary events across the ages.“There is a saying, your highness,” You intone, putting on the façade of a priest of the Light, “That calls for moderation in all things. Even a good habit, such as braiding hair, fasting on holy days, or even studying can be harmful if done in excess.”Her face scrunches up in the mock indignation that only a child her age could pull off. “…I did not know you believed in the Radiant God, Marcus.”You shake your head before correcting her, “I do not, your highness. As you saw with that withered prune of an Ingulan, I don’t have those kinds of values.”At the mention of Yaya, Ellana winces in discomfort. Ah, damnation, you should have known better. Perhaps when you leave Alnerwich, she can put the thoughts of that divination out of her head. But until then, you should take care not to mention anything about the old woman, even in jest. Princess or not, she did have to hear about how her family would die.…not that you would simply stand by and let it happen, of course.“Then what do you believe in, Marcus?” Ellana asks. Her golden eyes are serious and focused, unblinking as they meet your own. “What do you place your faith in?”You pause only for a moment before the right answer comes to you. “I believe in my skill with a blade, my experiences as an alchemist…and in my duty to keep you safe from harm as your Crownguard and retainer. That is what I put my faith in, your highness. Those, and nothing else.”...the smile on her face is soft and warm, and the tension visibly drains out of her body. “Ah…I see. Marcus, I…thank you. Truly.”>Ellana sharply approves.“Alright,” Ellana continues, pulling her chair closer to the table. “I suppose there’s nothing wrong with taking a respite from study. And to be honest, several of those names and classifications are very hard to pronounce.“So…here, I was only reading this to distract from Adrianna’s lessons. Since you suggested our break from botany, you can pick the one that you’re least familiar with. It’s been a long time since I’ve studied this period of time as well…all of my lessons focus only within the last fifty years.”>The Curse of the Crimson Tyrant>The Dirge of Brynn the Breaker>The Song of Saint Lumeria
Rolled 2 (1d3)>>1556112In descending order
>>1556112Descending order please
>>1556131I'm assuming that this means you're choosing the Crimson Tyrant as your first choice. Because there wasn't any characters left for me to put the usual "Choose One".
>>1556121>>1556135Sorry when I said descending order I meant in how my roll chose for me.In this case it would be the Dirge
>>1556112>>1556135>>The Curse of the Crimson TyrantStart from the beginning.
>>1556139Nah, I was talking to the guy who posted below you...in which case, appears to be you since it seems that your ID may have shifted.
>>1556157No not me. Only linked once.
>>1556157Yes, Crimson Tyrant
>>1556164>>1556182Wait, crap. I forgot. I've got a guy who's ID keeps on changing every now and again. My bad.
>>1556131>>1556152>>1556182Aedric von Brandt. The Conqueror of Kaithe. The First Emperor of Aderaveth.There is no man, woman or creature more loathed by the peoples of the continent than the man who would become the Crimson Tyrant. Invoking his name prompts disgusted reactions, or ritualistic spitting from the smallfolk across the five realms, and even the academics keep the mention of his name through a hushed whisper. Though the likes of Maalifix and the Dread Necromancer are used to scare naughty children to bed, there is no parent or guardian that would dare use his name out of sheer terror alone.Even after two hundred years, long since his ashes were scattered to the winds, the living memory of his atrocities linger onto this very day. And worst of all, his legacy continues to plague the peoples of the Empire, with no visible end or respite in sight.The Blutlinge.But in order to understand, you must start from the beginning.The end of the Age of Smoldering Ash saw naught but endless conflict. The Dragonic Wars had left great swathes of land scorched, unfit for growing crops or settling new towns. And in the wake of Dawnlight Crusade against the Blackbone Coven, no amount of prayer could completely cleanse the taint of undeath seeped deep into the soil. The earth itself struggled not only to seed new life, but to sustain the current inhabitants of the continent.It was an age of war. Various petty kingdoms and city-states watered the soil with the blood of their soldiers, fighting over what little remained. Bandit kings and rogue sorcerer princes were not the worst of the smallfolks’ nightmares. Monsters roamed the land, demidragons and shambling hordes of undead that survived their respective wars. In this time, the number of those who had perished cannot be fathomed, but the Viridian Order sets a grim estimate of nearly ten million unfortunate souls.Those were dark times. It seemed that the world was in the last throes of its life, and all man could do was struggle in vain against the inevitable march of time. To live in those times was to take a coin, and to toss it at every morning to see if you would live to see the next day.Then, he came.To this date, no source knows which line had spawned him, or even the details of his youth. It is as if, in the year -15 BCR, that a young, handsome noble by the name of Aedric von Brandt appeared as a sergeant of a band of mercenaries at the tender age of eighteen.Even from that age, he had a cunning mind, an intellect as keen as the edge of a sword, and a neight mastery over combat. From that appointment, recognition slowly followed. He would find himself constantly at promotion after successful battles. It would not take long for him to become the leader of the Black Gryphons; two thousand hardened soldiers, a handful of rogue sorcerers and a small fleet of warships were at his command.(cont.)
>>1556367Hey Kaz, one of these days can you write up some of the legends, rumors, stories and songs that sprung up after the night in the first thread?
>>1556367It soon became clear to the nobles of the time that to hire Aedric and his Gryphons was to secure victory in their grasps. Offers came from every ruler, every color of standard to wave high above a city. Noble rank and deeds of land, hands in marriage to ladies of high standing. Yet no matter how high the price was offered, he would have none of them.“It would be disgraceful,” Surviving records attribute to him, “For it to be handed to me upon a silver plate, like a lapdog who performs tricks for his master. Look at them all. Bloated fools, squabbling over lines on a map, wineskin in one hand and a whore’s teat in another. All the while as their people either starve or are in turn devoured by monsters and men alike. Their offers would have me kneeling to these pathetic excuses for royalty. That is not how a man should live.”The end of his mercenary years is speculated to be the time when the first thoughts of conquest took root in his mind. But those plans only came to fruition after a fateful meeting. In -12 BCR, when commissioned to sack the island of Gnuryll, he would meet the sole man in the world who could stand at his side. Leading the defenses of the island in the wake of his father’s death, High Prince Maxvell Crowmond rode out to meet the Gryphons on the field of battle and repel the invaders of his homeland.Now here was a worthy opponent to challenge the brilliant commander! Prince Crowmond was unlike any other he’d fought before. It was a strange feeling, to have one’s own tactics used against himself, and to constantly engineer new strategies to counter unorthodox warfare. Excitement. He’d not felt it in such a long time. A scholar attached to Aedric describes:“The commander’s breath was short as he studied his maps, tracing fingers along the areas where the enemy’s forces had struck before swiftly retreating into the islands’ forests. He ignored all offers for bread and wine, and so focused was he on his table that hours would pass before he would even tear his eyes away. Yet the constant across these trances was the smile on his lips; in the storm or sun, or after victory or loss – he never stopped smiling.”After months of a furious stalemate, with casualties mounting on both sides, Aedric offered Max a wager: a duel between the two of them would settle the entirety of the campaign.If Max won, Aedric would take his ships and leave, to never again set foot on the Isle of Ravens and to pay reparations for the damages. But if Aedric won, Max would have to swear an oath of eternal loyalty and service to him, to only expire upon the day of his or Aedric’s death.Sadly, the details of the duel have been lost to the ages, but it can be safely assumed that Aedric emerged victorious. And with this victory, and a worthy companion at his side, those dreams of conquest could now become a reality.(cont.)>>1556453Sure, I could do that.
Everyone else is getting really strong Berserk vibes, right?
>>1557073That or Oda Nobunigga and Hideyoshi
>>1557089>Oda NobunagaI'd follow this man into hell, wouldn't you?
>>1556749“Why should I accept their offers and the chains that come with them,” Aedric joked after the sack of the city who ordered him to invade Gnuryll, “When I can simply take from them what I desire and remain my own man?”Together, Commander Aedric and High Marshall Maxvell were unstoppable, and went on to lead their armies from one conquest to the next. They were merciful to those that knelt and submitted to them, and ruthless to those that stood against them. And in that time, the two of them would become close friends, to the point where records can list a near-inseparability and several rumors of illicit relations.Twelve long years of campaigning on the eastern half of the continent would eventually lead to the creation of the Aderaveth Empire. Five realms and five subsidiary territories, with their lords, subjects and blades bound underneath the Imperial Gryphon. But the war was not yet over. Aedric would not be satisfied until the entirety of Kaithe was under his control. And as a result, Max would go on to conquer the remaining lands and subjugate rebel uprisings as his brother in all but blood ruled from the rebuilt city of Karthmire.To the surprise of his detractors, sworn enemies, and subjected kings who chaffed at the bit, Aedric proved to be as skilled in politics as he was at commanding an army. And underneath his rule, the continent flourished and saw new life brought to it that had not been seen since before the time of the dragons. The construction of the Vethic Road, the revitalization of the scorched lands, and several other projects that improved the standards of living for both nobles and smallfolk alike, regardless of prior nationality.This was a new age, an Age of Crimson Reckoning. For the first time in three hundred years, a semblance of peace and stability began to settle on the land. But all good things must come to an end. And the end of Aderaveth’s Golden Age would see the continent once more plunged onto the brink of destruction.Scholars can place the beginning of Aedric’s descent into madness at about 26 ACR. It is unknown how he managed to hide a talent for magic for nearly forty years, or how he managed to awaken it. The months after the Red Iron march saw a complete and utter scorching of everything inside of Karthmire Keep. Everything short of the Bladebound Throne, stone, magic and metal burned: ancient treaties, varnished furniture, and all of Aedric’s journals, notes and theorems on the art of Blood Magic, a discipline of the arcane that did not exist until Aedric discovered and mastered for himself.Hence, his infamous epithet, the Crimson Tyrant. And among modern blood magi, he is known as the Father of Blood.(cont.)
However, that is going too far into the future. Digressing to his descent into insanity, a series of bizarre edicts and commands came from the Midlands. The first act was taken with little concession: the commission of an imperial orphanage for wayward children across the realm. When he decreed for irrigation ditches with seemingly little to no rhyme or reason, people showed little concern. Only when he ordered for soldiers to march into Ingulan enclave and slaughter the Children of the Elder Gods did people truly begin to panic.Even before the massacre, the lords of the realm pleaded with those closest to the Emperor to intercede for them. Crown Prince Rhodric von Brandt, firstborn to Aedric, was deeply concerned by his father’s actions. Similarly, Grand Marshall Crowmond, pacifying a rebellion in Eridia, was likewise disturbed. But what could he do? He was an entire continent away from the capital and his own home island of Gnuryll.In the middle of the Ingulan genocide, an effort to reach out to his friend was made. Max sent his son, Aeron Crowmond to the capital with Rhodric, whom he could call a second son. If anyone would be able to make the emperor see reason, it would be Aedric’s own progeny and his best friend’s eldest.Even today, the executions of Rhodric and Aeron in the public square are tales that are spoken in hushed and feared whispers. And those who dare to walk the square on the anniversary of their deaths can claim to hear their screams coming from the wood. What little was left of the two of them was burned to ashes by Aedric’s court wizard, proclaiming that this was the fate to traitors and dissenters of the Emperor’s will.Their deaths were the spark that lit the flames of war. Upon hearing the news of his ward and son’s deaths, Max raised the banners of the armies in open rebellion against the Bladebound Throne. And while there were still those who would fight on behalf of the Crimson Tyrant, willing to ignore the atrocities of the mad emperor, there were also those who would fight for Max, but at a price: independence for their realms upon Aedric’s disposition.The Bladebound Rebellion lasted for a grueling four years of bitter war, but it was only in the final push towards the capital when the full extent of Aedric’s horrors were unleashed on the continent. Pouring from the gates of Karthmire, monsters created from Aedric’s blood magic charged the rebels. Caught unprepared, Max’s forces suffered heavy casualties. These monsters, the Blutlinge, fought like no army any of them had ever faced. Bloat Trolls smashed elite infantry to splinters, and Niranocs sowed terror into the ranks of cavalry and their mounts. Homunculi marched unrelentingly into forests of spears, and sanghuls assassinated key individuals of the war effort in the dead of night.(cont.)
But in spite of their losses and the grim odds against them, the rebels did not give up. In a desperate bid to kill their master, Max laid down a dangerous strategy. While the army would distract the main forces of the Blutlinge, he would lead their best warriors into the palace through a hidden passage to kill Aedric and end the war. With little to no choice, they set the plan in motion, ordering the Red Iron March that left its survivors knee-deep in blood.But it was not an easy infiltration. Aedric had left traps and more of his Blutlinge in the dark halls of the castle. By the time they had reached the throne room, Max had lost half of his warriors. Nevertheless, they pressed on, and confronted the mad emperor at the height of his powers.It was truly a battle of legendary proportions: a mad sorcerer, wielding powers to sunder reality and a hero with naught but a magic sword. The ensuing battle left the great hall a complete and utter ruin, and Karthmire Keep in even greater shambles. But in the end, after losing all of his men and an arm, Max drove his sword through Aedric’s chest, ending the reign of the Crimson Tyrant.Upon his death, the coordination of the Blutlinge disappeared like a fleeting bubble. With their creator dead, the monsters broke and routed, fleeing from the rebel army and into the wilder places of the land. And those loyal to Aedric, including his own blood mage apprentices, disappeared as quickly as they could before justice could be delivered. But there were plenty of collaborators to satisfy Max, the grim lords, and the executioner’s axe.Though Aedric has been dead for over two hundred years, the effects of his legacy remain, even worse than those of the dragons and the Necromancer. Unlike the undead, the Blutlinge are capable of reproduction without the aid of a sorcerer. Now, they populate the darker places of the Empire, the bogs and swamps, the pits underneath the Whrelzwth mountains, and remote locations that cannot be reached swiftly. Every few years, a group of mercenaries, knights and adventurers will travel into these unholy places to destroy the abominations before they attack a village.In the end, Max reluctantly accepted the Bladebound Throne, and all of the responsibilities that came with it to prevent a power vacuum among squabbling lords. Now as the regent of a crumbling nation and a land of weary souls, Emperor Maxvell Crowmond will have to use all of his wits to repair the damage that his friend created. But the Succession Wars are a story for another time…>You are (1/5 entries to achieving Knowledge: History)(cont.)
Wait a second the story never mentions how the blood tyrant got his powers. Maybe that's what we're dealing with here.
>>1557809maybe some things just remain mysteries.
“…reading it like this is very different than listening to it in a tavern,” You admit, closing the book. Ellana’s face is seemingly expectant as you turn in her direction. “Maxvell was very much a product of the times, but he did the best he could with the mess that the Crimson Tyrant made.”She inclines her head in a slight nod. “I suppose he was. From what I remember from my lessons with Ansell, my ancestor had a dislike for the court. And it seems that my brothers have inherited that aspect from him as well...”You would not find that too hard to believe. Court intrigue and politics are just as deadly, if not even more dangerous, than leading men into battle. That being said, you’ve never been one for straightforward fights. Everything is a tool on the battlefield. Nothing is sacred and everything is permitted in the defense of your life.“And what about you?” You ask. “Has her highness inherited her many-great grandfather’s dislike?”Ellana thinks on it before shaking her head. “I cannot make a decision. I don’t have enough experience in court. But I’m not in too much of a hurry to sit down on one of those chairs. They are extremely uncomfortable,” she confesses.You can’t help but chortle at her answer. “A good enough reason as any other. Little wonder why the members sitting in for the hoftag look so dour. I would be so to if I had to sit upon a stone chair for hours at a time-”A sharp knock at the door cuts you off before you can finish. It is fast, a rapid series of urgent strikes. Out of instinct, you push out of your chair, one hand shielding Ellana as your other hand draws a knife. When the sound comes once more, you shout, “Who is it?”The noise at the door pauses. “B-begin’ your pardon, milord,” a muffled voice squeaks out, “But Lord Patrik is requesting for everyone to be in attendance in the great hall.”The great hall? The two of you look at each other and the same answer reaches your eyes at the same time. Allanus! On one hand, he’s just an energetic child of twelve. On the other hand, he’s an energetic child of twelve with an affinity for the school of fire magic-“…Lord Patrik needs everyone,” the voice continues, “For an emergency meeting. The prince and the elder princess are already there.”Thoughts of the prince sorcerer vanish from your head. An emergency meeting?“We’ll be out in a minute,” You call back, helping Ellana stand from the bench. “Could you tell us what’s going on?”Even through the thick, iron-reinforced door, you can still hear the sound of the man shivering in fright. “There’s been a Blutlinge corpse found in the Alchemist’s Guild. Spoony loons brought it over with all kinds of worries and concerns for the lord. You’ll be able to hear more, milord, if you go down.”Blutlings? The irony of the moment is not lost upon both of you as you follow the servant. Speak of your enemy…(cont.)
>11:23 AM>Great HallThe alchemists had the courtesy to cover up the body with a cloth. Its pieces lay on the cart, as much as they could recover from the tower Silvera had been trapped in. Here lays its right arm, and then its severed head almost pokes out of the cloth.Everyone’s faces are grim when you arrive. Sitting in her father’s chair, Klara surveys the creature’s body with a dispassionate glare. Patrik walks around the corpse, headedly talking with some of the alchemists that brought the corpse. Adrianna squirms in place, fighting off her urge to vomit. Allanus remains oddly curious, while Urath’s face could have been carved out in stone.Oddly, Lady Sofia Rudnick and her knight have attended. Ser Royce stands in front of his lady, shielding her as if the monster would come back to life and strike. A gallant gesture, but a meaningless one. You know of no creature than can survive when it has its spinal cord cut or severely damaged. The lady, for the most part, looks on with excitement. Must be a dull place, the Hinterlends.But there are still more surprises to come.Claudia Hildegard looks on the immediate surroundings with what seems to be a nervous apathy. She does her best to hide it, but a closer look reveals that she would rather be anywhere but here. Not that you blame her. Given the extent of the injuries her father suffered, you understand if she’d want to be back in the guild, helping him recover from the terrible ordeal.For a moment, it seems that your eyes meet. Her eyes widen, and her mouth opens, but she clams shut, pretending not to have noticed you. When one of the other alchemists asks her something for Patrik’s questions, she hurries over to give her answer.…the room is enough of a chattering for you to maybe talk discreetly with her. Easily, the dull roar of over a dozen people – alchemists, royals, guards – could help keep a talk from being heard by undesirables. At the very least, you could at least ease her discomfort of being out from her usual place in her laboratory.But what would that look like? Why would a Crownguard be on such friendly terms with an alchemist, especially the daughter of the Guild Master?>Greet Claudia.>Remain silent.>Custom option.
>>1558028>Remain silent.At most a nod.
>>1558028>Custom OptionGreet Claudia. Bring Ellana along. Because its bad form to leave our loli behind to chase tail. That, and I have no idea what Ellana is doing in this update. Where she is, is she secure, is she right behind us.
>>1558028>talk to the other Crownsguard>let's schedule some strategy meetings for killing these sometime
>>1558045Oh shit. My bad. Forgot and ran out of characters.======As for your charge...she does a miraculous job of holding her breakfast in. A small kerchief scented with lavender is pressed over her nose. Perhaps she isn't used to the sight...or the smell. It's far from...pleasant. You pat her shoulder to show your solidarity.
>>1558028>>1558041>>1558049Support. Do Crownguard things, things that'll keep them from tinfoil hatting.>>1558062Well she's taking it well.
>>1558028>>Greet Claudia.but, ya know, discretely.
>>1558028>>Greet Claudia.Nod to her when she looks our way.
>>Custom Option Slice off a tiny piece of the Blutling. Just to see how it tastes.
>>1558028>>Greet Claudia.Show off our Loli.
>>1558028>Greet ClaudiaIf the need ever arrives in which we will have to explain familiarity with Claudia, we can just defend ourself by saying we were seeking a Botany reference for Ellana.
>>1558338You do realize that there are other alchemists here who will recognize us. She's remaining silent for our benefit.>>1558028>Remain silent.
>>1558338Switching to remain silent, discretion is the better choice.
>>1558045Switching to:>Remain silent
>>1558028>Remain silentBut give an aknowliging nod.
>>1559182Also we should talk to her after the reunion. Maybe we should mention the situation we had with her with elana later.
>>1558776>You do realize that there are other alchemists here who will recognize usWho gives a shit, I'm pretty sure Crownsguard > Alchemist. We have a loli we can shake at anyone that asks too many questions.
>>1564134We made a big point about not wanting to be recognized so word doesn't spread about us doing investigation primirary so that the information would not get back to the assassins we're hunting have no way of knowing who we are. Basically you want to give up the information advantage, the most important advantage we could have, because you don't care.
>>1564193I'm pretty sure the information advantage was lost when the Blood Mage had a chat with us, besides we're standing out in the middle of this mixer without our mask standing beside one of the Princesses. They are alchemists, 2 + 2 isn't hard for them to put together. Even if they don't confirm it, rumor would still spread. If you wanted to keep the "Information Advantage" we shouldn't have come at all.
>>1564203>>1564193Oh, crap. I should've probably mentioned this (maybe I already did in a previous thread, but I'll go over it again), but unless specified otherwise, you've always got the cowl pulled up to cover everything from your nose down. Claudia knows what you look like with the cowl on/off. Only reason she recognized you was your eyes. Sorry if that caused any confusion.Writing...
>>1564228>Only reason she recognized you was your eyesShould I be worried she was looking into our eyes enough to recognize us?
>>1564236Given how aggressive and...personal you were in your infiltration, it shouldn't be too much to assume that she has a very good impression of your face.
>SilenceYou hold onto your silence. As it stands, you’re not definitely sure why the guild’s gone and brought the body of the homunculus to the Mazurs. Perhaps it’s best to wait and see until a further development occurs. It would look too strange for you, a Crownguard of all things, to so casually approach the daughter of the alchemist’s guild without any seeming introduction or prior contact. Too many questions, too much risk.But you don’t completely leave Claudia to fend for herself. As she finishes answering a question, her eyes return to yours, with what almost seems like a plea for aid. Ever so slightly, you nod in her direction, and direct a quiet hand gesture in a show of solidarity. While it seems that it’s not what she wanted, some of the tension in her shoulders eases. A small smile breaks across her lips, and she returns your nod before resuming her work.As she moves elsewhere, you cast a glance towards the fallen monster. To get the homunculus down the stairs of Silvera’s tower must have been no small feat. You can see half-melted bits of bone where the alchemists had been forced to cut the body into smaller pieces, as well as the mangled remains of a sawblade stuck fast in hardened blood. Aside from a few pieces of nail, some teeth and other various items having since gone missing since your last transportation, it seems that all of the monster is completely here in the great hall.“…and you only though to report it the morning after the incident?” Suddenly, Patrik’s voice breaks through the dull roar within the room. The young lord’s eyes are devoid of the indulgent humor that he’d displayed when Allanus was performing magic. He is calm, and his voice remains even and well-mannered. But there’s a coldness that wasn’t there before, the chill that comes just before the coldest hoarfrost.The guild representative, one of the older men with a trimmed beard and shaven head, stands his ground against Mazur. “The beast was already dead when we arrived,” he answers in a low tone of voice, “Disturbing you would have only caused a panic in the dead of night. And our leader suffered grievous injuries at the hands of the mage controlling the monster. We had to ensure that his condition was stable before-”“Ah, yes.” Patrik cuts him off, looking at a collection of papers. “Grand Master Silvera’s injuries at the hands of this…imposter. Severe malnourishment, broken ribs, eyes plucked out and…his face was carved off, you say?” He asks blithely, setting down the report. “My goodness…that sounds absolutely dreadful, doesn’t it? For all our sakes, I hope that he makes a swift and full recovery. He cannot die until all of our questions and inquiries have been answered.”(cont.)
The representative’s eyes narrow. “That would take some time. The extent of his injuries would dictate that-”“Bed rest and a brief respite from the hard and laborious duties of being the Grand Meister would be the best for him, Meister Kornberg. If you’re so concerned to take care of him, then perhaps my father and I could easily find someone for you to lead the guild in his absence until we’ve straightened out all of your, ah, affairs…”His smile is friendly, but the meaning of his words is not lost on the majority of the room. The representative does a better job of keeping his anger in check, even as the younger alchemists scowl or flash their teeth in angry snarls at the lord’s casual words. Klara’s hand pinches the bridge of her nose in what seems like exasperation, even as the Crowmonds and Rudnicks look on with confusion. As for Claudia…The girl’s trembling. The hands clutching the book in her hand are white-knuckle tight. You didn’t think she had it in her, but she makes no attempt to hide the baleful glare she directs at Patrik. Luckily, he doesn’t notice. He’s turned his back to the assembled group, kneeling to inspect the homunculus corpse with a morbid fascination. You recall that control over the guild had been a long point of contention between Silvera and Patrik’s father. It seems that the young lord’s a part of his father’s schemes. Right now, the guild’s in a very, very dangerous position, and (almost) everyone in the room knows it. Even if they had no knowledge of the blood mage, the fact that they’d been compromised at the highest degree would severely damage their political power."But take all the time you need," Patrik calls out. "I'm sure father will sort this out when he returns in a few hours-"“As long as my father’s alive, he’s never going to retire!” Suddenly, everyone’s eyes are on the girl who’s shoved her way through the crowd to stand in front of a stunned Patrik. For someone soft-spoken and with a disposition for keeping to her books and laboratory, she rounds on the lord with surprising courage. “When he’d caught fever,” she shouts, “He continued to work to perfect a stabilizing compound for pavement for the Vethic road. And then he’d taken a fall and twisted his ankle in the forest beyond town, he still insisted on getting ingredients for himself. Even when his wife...” She chokes on her words, momentarily overcome before she shoulders on with renewed fury. “Even as his wife was dying of fluid in her lungs, and he devoted every waking minute to taking care of her, he still made the deadline to supply Alchemist’s Fire to Karthmire to break the Vascieli siege eight years ago!“Blinded? He can still speak! Malnourished? He can still call orders from his bed. If all of those could not stop him before, then what’s a blood mage’s torture to keep him from doing his duty as the sole Grand Master of the Alchemists’ Guild?!”(cont.)
There’s a moment of stunned silence, punctuated only by Claudia’s harsh breath and the fading echoes of her declaration. Mazur’s guards have stopped in their tracks, casting uncertain glances towards their stunned lord. The other royals sport similar faces, although Allanus shows more admiration than his fellow siblings.Then, Patrik laughs. It comes unexpected, with even Klara staring at him in confused alarm. The lordling shakes his head, pulling himself up before he saunters over to Claudia. As two of the guards break off from the wall and join their lord, she doesn’t look nearly as certain as she was ten seconds ago.“I remember you now,” He mutters, looking over with an appraising eye. “You’re Silvera’s daughter, aren’t you? That little slip of a girl that accompanied him during father’s birthday all those years ago, kept to herself when the rest of us ran through the fortress. It’s been a very long time since we’ve last welcomed you into our hall, missan. Time has been good to you, it seems.”Kronberg attempts to step forward, but the young lord holds a hand in front of him. “Please, meister. It seems that she’s attempting to speak on behalf of her ill father. Wouldn’t it be rude for any interruptions?”Claudia’s eyes flicker towards him in alarm. The representative takes a helpless look at the guards, then her, before reluctantly stepping back from the four of them.“Now that we’ve cleared the stage…speak, girl.” His voice takes on the kind of mirth a cat has when toying with its prey. “After all, you know your father better than all of us, I wager, cooped up in the guild like a prized hen. So go on, then,” he urges her, gesturing with his hands. “If he’s truly capable of reasoning from a sickbed, then us how your father wants to explain the full extent of the damage and how he intends to repair it.”“I…ah…that’s…” The pressure of everyone’s gaze at her – Patrik’s amused, the alchemists’ desperate, the royalties’ curious – it’s almost too much for her. But instead of the embarrassed red she showed you when you’d flustered her, her face drains of blood. “That’s…the mage…we intend to…”If she actually had a plan, she couldn’t finish it. Mazur closes the distance. “What do you intend to do?” He asks gently, placing what appears to be a comforting hand on her shoulder. She stiffens, flinching back as he squeezes lightly. Kronberg and his alchemists are red themselves, livid with their own fury as they tense and step forward. Were it not for the guards, they might have done more than just give angry looks and open snarls to keep Patrik's hands off of Claudia.(cont.)
“Go on,” he coaxes her. With his back to his sister, the Rudnick’s party and the assembled Crowmonds, only you, Urath and the assembled alchemists can see the oily grin that’s on his face. “Please, I truly want to know how you intend for this mess to be sorted out. Unless…you don’t speak for the guild or your father at all-”>Don’t do anything.>Pry him off her.>Custom option.
>>1571045>Custom option."Can I ask you of a favor Princess? Deescalate this situation. Only you or your siblings can make him listen. Order me if you need to."
>>1571045>>1571062Backing this. Whisper it to tiny loli, tell her we'll explain later if we have to. It's also a good excuse to hang out with Claudia later and show off our loli.
>>1571045>Pry him off her.we're with our loli, I don't think she's going to do much better against him. If we were with her sister, she'd be fine, but we're not.
>>1571162All the siblings are here
>>1571045a Crownsguard's duty is the safety of the royal family, not petty rivalries. If we treat this all as a "distraction" from dealing with the threat of Blood Magic, we have cause to intervene.
>>1571045>The Alchemist's guild plan would only go towards taking stock of the damages and making sure the authorities are informed, which they have done. They do not have the authority to chase down a bloodmage nor the means. That falls to you and your father young lord. now if you could stop having a dick measuring contest with the young lady over the leadership of the Alchemist's guild, we have a very dangerous blood magus that is an existential threat to you, your lands, your family and my charges.
>>1571062>>1571117>>1571130>>1571147Suddenly, you remember why you once had a dislike for the nobility, even when you’d had little preference for anything in another life. Enough is enough. Uncertain standing about how you see her aside, you’ll not suffer a friend to be browbeaten into submission.“Princess?” Ellana starts when you reappear beside her, kneeling down to speak quietly in her ear. “May I ask a favor of you?”She doesn’t take her eyes of the spectacle in front of you, but you could easily see the confusion in her voice mirrored across her face. “A favor?”“Aye. Nothing is being accomplished here, and it looks like things are only getting worse. For everyone’s sakes, Patrik needs to stop talking.”The princess holds her silence, lingering only on the spectacle of Patrik and Claudia. Then, she says, “You’re right. This is not productive. What do we need to do?”“Only you or your siblings can make him listen. Lord and master of the castle though he may be in his father’s absence, he can’t refuse a direct order from a member of the Crowmonds. Alternatively, you could order me, if need be, to break it up. But the choice is yours, your highness.”…Finally, Ellana breaks her gaze away, looking up to nod sharply at you. “Go! You have my permission to stop Patrik.”Pulled up against your face, the cowl serves to hide the grim smile across your lips. “With pleasure.”You set a brisk pace, crossing from the dais and down onto the hall proper within a dozen strides. Klara raises a brow, even as Adrianna and Allanus look on in surprise, but she makes no motion to stop you. And for a moment, you thought you saw the ghost of a smile dance across her mouth, but it disappeared just as quickly as you perceived it.Lady Rudnick does nothing, engrossed in the debacle. Royce casts a weary glance in your direction, but immediately relaxes when he sees where your steps take you. You’re no threat to his lady..yet.The guards tense as you approach, even as you show empty hands. Smart choice. You’d do the same in their situation. The noise attracts the attention of Claudia, and her eyes go wide as you approach all the more closer.Caught up in one of his spiel’s, Patrik doesn’t notice you until you’ve placed your hand on his forearm. Only then does he turn around, nearly jumping as he comes within inches of your hooded face. “Milord, I think that should be enough.” The cloth across your mouth adds an extra edge that you wouldn’t have otherwise. “There’s no honor to be found in berating a grieving daughter, regardless of who her father is and especially given what he’s been through.”It takes a second for him to register your words before he tears his arm away from you, a fierce scowl on his face. “You have guts, Crownguard,” he growls, motioning for his guards to come directly to his side. “A lot of courage to lay your hands on me and play knight for-”(cont.)
“The princess grows weary at this waste of time,” you return, allowing a sliver of iron to enter your voice. “If you intend to do something to justify summoning all of us here, then get on with it. We understand that you’re the son of Lord Adamus Mazur. This petty display of power is far less important than the presence of blood mages, and you prove nothing by this other than your own insecurity.”>Adrianna approves.>Claudia sharply approves.>Ellana greatly approves.>Klara slightly approves.The silence that falls on the great hall is thick enough to be cut with a knife, and a myriad range of emotions can be seen from the inhabitants of the hall. Disbelief and shock appear across the faces of Mazur’s retainers and guards, incomprehensive that someone had just spoken to their lord in such a fashion. The alchemists try and fail to hide grins and stifled laughter, and Claudia’s face is uncertain of what emotion to make. Upon the dais, the Crowmonds look on with varying degrees of shock and approval. And even Klara has to move her hand so that her brother could not see the smile on her face.Speaking of Patrik…The young lord sputters, his face turning red in equal parts of anger and embarrassment. In his boiling rage, he’s too irate to enunciate his words clearly, not unlike a flustered Claudia. “H-how…h-how dare y-you…”You pull away to avoid the flecks of spit that fly in your direction. “If you will excuse me, milord…” You bow low, returning to the Ellana’s side before anyone can move or react. He’s still struggling to form a complete sentence by the time you’ve returned to the dais, leaving an awkward silence and uncertainty for how to proceed.Klara picks up her brother’s slack, masking her amusement with an imperious voice. “Harsh as that may have been,” she declares from her father’s seat, “It is true that we’ve little time to spare. The presence of a homunculus can only mean that one thing. Ser Crownguard is right to assume that there are blood mages within the area, one of whom can assume the identity of anyone with little difficulty.“Missen Hidegard.” Claudia starts when Lady Mazur bids for her to step forward. “You say that the blood mage knew when you’d killed the creature.”She does her best to remain focused on Klara, resisting the urge to glance at you from the side. “Y-yes,” Claudia answers, shifting uneasily from one foot to the other. “When we…when I’d melted its spine with acid, the blood mage who im…who hurt my father spoke to us. He…he knew that he’d been discovered.”(cont.)
Klara’s face softens, and she casts a pitying glance towards the assembled alchemists. “…and you said he’d been out with four others on a sojourn into the woods to retrieve ingredients?”The question goes unanswered. Claudia’s almost on the verge of tears. Kronberg shakes his head sadly, and the rest of them mutter low curses and make violent gestures. They refuse to say it aloud, but it’s almost more than likely that their comrades are dead at the blood mage’s hands. Poor bastards. You wish for their deaths to have been swift. It’s a far better fate than to live in thralldom to a warlock or a red witch.“Their faces were taken, then?” Urath speaks up for the first time, and everyone’s heads swivel in the direction of the Ingulan. “Eyes, skin, everything? Just like her father.”Everyone shifts uncomfortably, or shivers on the spot. More than one makes a sign against the evil eye, tracing the fig and horn over their hearts. “…that is a distinct possibility…” Klara eventually admits, before turning towards Claudia. “Do you have a skilled artist within your ranks, to recreate the faces of your friends?”When the girl is unable to answer, old Kronberg steps forward, bowing low before speaking, “We do, milady.”“Good. I want you to create as many copies as you can and distribute them across the city. Warn the people that they were murdered by a necromancer, turning their corpses into undead thralls-”“Necromancer?” Adrianna echoes, confused as she steps forward. “But I thought we were dealing with a blood mage? Why would this be necessary?”Her voice is grim. “It’s as the prince’s Crownguard stated. Bastard’s more than likely stole one of their faces, or all of them. Better for the people to think that they’re in dealing with a necromancer than a blood mage. The undead are less feared than the blutlinge, after all. Hopefully some adventuring party will take up the bounty and hunt him down-”“Wait!” One of the younger alchemists, the lad Henrick, you realize, shoves his way forward. Tear-stained cheeks tremble with sadness and hatred as he glares up to the dais. “What if they’re still alive? What if our friends escaped the bastard and are making their way back to Alnerwich? You’d have them killed as soon as the order goes up-”“I cannot risk the bastard escaping,” Klara hisses. “Or cast even more of a panic and have the butcher stab his cobbler just because he failed to empty his piss pot into the dock as he did for the last twenty years. I am truly sorry about your companions, but we cannot have a wandering blood mage taking more victims for himself, especially with their powers unknown-”“No!” Allanus shouts, before his voice diminishes into a whisper. “I know who we’re dealing with.”(cont.)
That comes as a great surprise. Underneath the protective shadow of Urath, the second prince of the Crowmonds has a pale look about his face, a far cry from his usual bravado. He clears his throat before speaking, “My Crownguard’s spoken to me. And in the library of Lord Thaumaturge Holz, I found records of this individual in the breaks of my study sessions. We’re not dealing with just any common bandit or dabbler.“We’re dealing with one of the Seven.”Ellana gasps, and the grip on your arm tightens to a near painful degree. You cannot blame her. Similarly, even you can feel a cold pit of dread growing in your stomach, mirrored by all of the others in the hall. Royalty or commoner, retainer or alchemist, the fear cuts through everyone without fail or discrimination. Signs of warding are drawn once more, and there isn’t a single individual who isn’t afraid or worried.“…which one.” Patrik’s managed to find his voice, but it’s a far cry from the boisterous, cocky gait that he carried before. His eyes are wide, and his breath comes deep and fast. “Which one of them, your highness? Which of the Empire’s legends has come to life?”Allanus hesitates, and Urath picks up the slack as his ward gathers his thoughts. “They were never bedtime stories for my people. We always knew that they existed. After all, they nearly drove the Children of the Goddess to extinction, harvesting my ancestors for their blood on the orders of the Tyrant…”The last word comes out as a strangled, hate-filled growl, but he regains his temper, continuing, “Of the one who has attacked, there is but one among the tales passed down from Voice and Singer for the two hundred years. Of his name, I know it not, but I will not speak the name my people have given to him and risk him hearing me. In your tongue, however…”He looks expectantly to Allanus, who nods wearily. “…the Faceless One,” the prince shivers. “Our enemy is none other than the Master of Masks…the Warlock of Envy.”>Later>Alnerwich FortressKlara and Patrik dissolved the meeting moments after the prince made his declaration. Everyone was shaken, and you can’t exactly blame them. A living legend from the darkest period of the Empire’s history…but to you, it is only one of many enemies that threaten the life of your charge.There’s only a handful of people in a good mood, and almost everyone’s eager for Lords Mazur and Pullman to return in a few hours. Especially Klara, you note before departing from the hall. Royce seemed to be in a hurry to escort his lady back to his chambers, out of a genuine worry for her safety as opposed to some carnal rendezvous.But that’s left you with a free afternoon until the lords of Alnerwich and the Pullman Vale return. You decide to…>Catch up with Claudia.>Find and speak to Klara.>Stay with Ellana/Adrianna.>Talk to Urath/Allanus.>Custom option.
>>1571852>Stay with Ellana/Adrianna.
>>1571852>>Custom option.Take Ellana/Adrianna to meet Claudia.
>>1571852>>Catch up with Claudia.
>>1571852>Stay with Ellana/Adrianna.by the way, I killed that blutlinge
>>1571852>Catch up with Claudia.
>>1571852>>1571867This. Use an excuse that it's for Ellana's learning or some odd.
>>1571852>Custom option.Take Ellana/Adrianna to meet Claudia.