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You are Circe, a wounded shopkeeper’s assistant. There’s a number of teeth-shaped wounds on your now bandaged shoulder, and the pain that used to be there has now been replaced by a numb prickling.

Given a request you couldn’t turn down by a royal you’ve never met, you were told to find an artifact lost in a war and only given a compass of some sorts. You find yourself on a mountain pass, heading for the Forest of Spirits right ahead, and in your way is a swordswoman, Valeria, who acts as the lone guard of this path. She stands, uphill, a hand on the hilt of her sword.

“Just turn around already,” she says.

That’s not an option for you. Touryn’s already on edge. At any rate, one of them will attack the other, and that doesn’t sit well with you at all. You’re in no condition for a fight—not that you’re equipped for one in the first place—but there’s something about her being alone that makes you feel uneasy. But even if she’s too strong to overpower, Touryn doesn’t seem to show any belief in that at all.

You say, “Wait!” Trying to stop this before it escalates any further, you say to Valeria, “Please, can you at least listen to us first?” You look at her for an answer, but she says nothing.

You take that as your approval. Reaching into your satchel, you take out the small device the Ristellan coachman gave you. It has the appearance of a dome, a semicircle of glass on top of a metal case. A single arrow sits in the center, swiveling ever so slightly as it points toward the forest.

You say, “We’re not playing around here. We know where we’re headed.” Very loosely, that is. But you don’t say that out loud. “This is something important, and we can’t leave without finding what we’re looking for. If you say you don’t want to be responsible for anyone being hurt in there, then help us. If you’ve been in there before, then you can guide us.” You show all the cards in your hand, hoping it would work. If what she says is true, then this is all you can do.

A long silence fills the time while you wait for a response. Valeria considers what you said slowly, and as each second passes, you wonder if you’ve made a mistake. Finally, she relaxes. Her expression softens, and she says, “You’re serious, huh?” Taking a step to the side, she motions that you’re free to walk forward. “You three don’t look like a bad bunch. Sure, I’ll help out,” she says, smiling, “Sorry about that. Usually, the sort that wants to get in are a bunch of curious idiots. You have to be hard on ‘em, you know?”

With those words, you stop feeling so tense. Walking up the pass, you finally make it to the top of the incline, and the forest slowly comes into vision: a dense ocean of green and a single tree that stands out from the rest. Its gargantuan size makes the earth underneath swell upward thanks to its roots, and the crown of the tree brushes the clouds and parts them. The sheer size of the thing is breathtaking. When you look at your compass again, you find the arrow pointing straight to it.

“Wow...” Syrup exclaims.

“First time seeing it, huh?” Valeria asks. You turn around to see her behind you, Touryn, and Syrup, drawing her sword. You’re about to say something before she says, “Calm down! I’m not gonna hurt you. Just blocking the path, that’s all.”

You, Touryn, and Syrup watch curiously as she grips her sword with both hands. Much like Touryn’s weapon, runes run down the length of the blade, powered by a gemstone set on the pommel. She mumbles a few words and sticks the blade into the ground. Dragging sideways, she cuts through the earth, and the engravings light up.

The ground rises in sharp points, slowly forming a wall of dirt and stone. It completely blocks off the pass past her small house as it goes from mountain to mountain. You watch in awe as the ridiculous amount of weight is moved and shaped.

Touryn says something underneath his breath. “That’s plain unfair.”

Valeria walks over, sliding her sword back in the sheath as if it was nothing special. “Circe, right? I don’t think I got the rest of your names,” she says. After a short round of introductions, she says, “Ready to get going?”

You tell her yes, and she starts leading the way.
>”Why are you the only one here?”
>”What’s the Forest of Spirits like?”
>”Have you seen a witch around here?”
>”You haven’t seen anything weird lately, have you?”
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Kaleidoscope+Quest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hopelessQM
>>”What’s the Forest of Spirits like?”
>>”Have you seen a witch around here?”
These questions.

The path down is less daunting someone leading the way. With her surprisingly eager to help you, you tell her, “Thank you. I’m sure we’ll find what we’re looking for and get out quickly.”

“Let me look at that,” she says, peering at the compass. “So we’re headed for Gaia’s Tree.”

“It has a name?” you say, “I guess that shouldn’t be surprising. It does stand out...”

“I don’t think I asked yet,” Valeria says, “What are we looking for? You’re doing this for some princess or whoever, right?”

“Uh, right.” That first question is a good one. In fact, you have the same question yourself. You answer with what you know. “An artifact. It belonged to an arcanist from Aldrose that disappeared near the end of the continental war. It’s presumed he died,” you say, and then you, “Truth be told, we don’t actually know what it really is.”

Touryn says, “But if we know where it is, then it’s not a problem.”

“I guess,” Valeria says.

As you walk down the remaining length of the path that leads into the forest, you ask her, “What’s the Forest of Spirits like? It’s filled with faeries; I know that much.”

“Hmm,” she says, thinking out loud. “...Prickly?” When she receives confused and questioning expressions in response, she adds, “I mean, you don’t want to touch anything. It’s kind of like a cactus? Except not a cactus. You know what I mean, right?”

“A little...” you reply.

She says, “Just wait, you’ll see what I mean when we get in there. Don’t touch anything, and don’t wander around, got it? Two rules.”

Syrup adds, “Never touch faerie plants. Never. Bad things always happen.”

Groaning, Touryn says, “What are we walking into?”

Valeria replies, “That’s why you can’t mess around, got it?” She says it so casually that you find it hard to take her advice too seriously. That doesn’t mean you won’t try your best.

Eventually, you walk past the forest line into a small path that leads deeper inwards. Every hint of life, from the grass and flowers by your feet to the vines and canopy above, seems to beckon you forward, as if they were living. Looking carefully at a large-leafed plant when you pass it by, you notice the subtle circles that fill the entirety of the faerie. You recognize some of the patterns, not actually reading them, and notice that it forms a kind of stunning toxin.

Definitely do not touch.

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As much as you’d like to heed that bit of advice, it soon becomes clear that it’s impossible to follow. Something is always growing on every little space of the forest even places where they shouldn’t be able to. Walking in single-file, everyone is led by Valeria, who is carefully hacking apart the plant life before her. You handed the compass to her, although you doubt she needs it much since your apparent destination is a distinct landmark in itself.

You might even be claustrophobic. With the way the mountains surround the forest and the forest surrounds the sky, you feel as if you’ve entered a literal, physical form of hell.

Trying to get your mind off of the topic, you ask, “Valeria, have you seen a witch around here?”

She pauses for a moment before continuing her flora slashing. “I think so? Why’d you ask?”

“Because,” you reply, “Someone didn’t put their pets on leashes.” You rub your shoulder, which isn’t doing any better.

“I wasn’t gonna ask about that, but I get it. I think I saw someone like that. He wore a lot of black, and he had something following behind him.”

“Something?” you repeat the word. “Not someone.”

“No way. It was huge. It tried to hide itself in a huge cloak, but I’m not that stupid,” she replies. She stops for a moment, taking a look around. When she’s satisfied, she continues. “Pretty damn sure that was a witch. Anyways, he didn’t bother me too much. Asked if he could pass and when I told him no, he turned right back around.”

“Did he say why?”

“Nope. Figured if he cared that much, he would’ve said something. Guess he didn’t,” Valeria says. “That’s the only witch I saw, though.”

Touryn asks, “What, you didn’t try to get a look to see what the tall thing was?”

She shakes her head. “Some things are better left in the dark. Witches are all sorts of weirdos, you know? I’ve heard stories about some of them using dead bodies of faeries. Corpses!”

Touryn gives you a little smirk, but you say nothing. That stung a little, but then again, it’s not like you have any familiars of your own. If anything, you’re a witch-in-training. Valeria must’ve thought you were an arcanist or something.

You feel a tug on the sleeve of your right arm, and when you turn around a bit, you see that Syrup’s awfully close to you. She has an expression of discomfort, and you lightly recall what she had said earlier. “It’s alright,” you say, “Just stick close.”


The herbalist nods, and you’re about to continue walking. Eventually, it becomes clear that you’re unable to walk straight forward forever. The trees become a little sparser, and the ground suddenly increases in elevation in the form of an overhang. It extends far to the side, making you unsure that there’s even a way up without a long walk around. A small ramp-like hill offers a way up, except a large figure is blocking the way. It has a thick, black hide, and the beast is curled up with its tail, sleeping. Lying down, its height is approximately up to your collarbone. If it has noticed you, it makes no sign of it.

“Ah, shoot,” Valeria says, “Uh...”

“Are there any other ways around?” you ask.

“I don’t know, I never really walked around here.”

You’re not sure if you want to wake it up.
>It’s sleeping. Attack it.
>Sneak around it, quietly.
>Try to find another way around the overhang.
>Is Valeria familiar with what this creature is?
>>Sneak around it, quietly.

This can't go wrong, no siree.
>Sneak around it
Make like sneak king
Roll 1d30!
Changing the dice system to best of three.

DC: 23.
Rolled 11 (1d30)

Rolling for sneaky sneak.
Rolled 20 (1d30)

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You guys can roll again if no one shows up
Rolled 28 (1d30)

Here goes nothing

Whoo! The triple sevens you got earlier did not lie! >>2393777
Nice. Didn't even notice the jackpot trips.
You hold your breath instinctively. It’s best not to wake it up, in any case.

You ask Valeria, “Do you know what it is?”

She looks at you. “I know to not touch it. Or let it look at you funny. Or let anything look at you weird. Look, there’s a lot of things in this place, okay?”

Ah, simple enough. She follows the general rule of don’t mess with anything and stay far, far away. That’s fair.

You say, “Well... it’s asleep.” Touryn stares at you as if you hexed his mother and threw her off a cliff. “Let’s sneak around it. If we’re careful enough, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

“That’s a big if,” Valeria says.

“No, no, it’s fine. Look at its skin,” you point, “It’s thick, meaning its unlikely it’ll feel light brushing. And there aren’t any spell circles on it either, and combined with its dark color, I doubt it secretes any kind of poison.”

Touryn takes a look at you, and then says to Valeria, “She knows what she’s talking about. Okay, let’s go.”

You feel Syrup’s grip on your sleeve tighten. You offer a quiet apology, but you get on with it anyways. The four of you ever so slowly sneak up to it, and one-by-one, everyone slowly tries to tiptoe their way around the sleeping creature. When it’s your turn, you feel the intense urge to stab it with your pen as you sneak by. It’s a terrible feeling, and you do your hardest to suppress it. Syrup is the last to follow, and she does it as quickly as possible. For a moment, you thought she was about to trip. The herbalist, however, manages to correct herself just in time and make it past without any problems. When she’s by your side again, the shaken look on her face makes you worry slightly.

You quietly say as you walk away, “I really hope it gets up and leaves when we come back.”

- - -

The walk is uneventful, as nerve-wracking as it is. Luckily, Gaia’s Tree isn’t too far away, making the journey much easier. As you get closer, however, a fear starts to form. You wonder what you will do if the compass wasn’t pointing at it, but rather behind it. Surely, that meant walking deeper into this abstract hell, and that is the last thing you want.

“Valeria,” Touryn says, calling to the front of the line, “Is it supposed to be this quiet? I thought we’d be swarmed with creatures or something. The worst I’ve seen was a mosquito.”

You mumble, “Don’t jinx it.”

Valeria answers, “If you don’t bother the forest, it won’t bother you. Y’know how it is.”

You add, “If you don’t attract any attention, then you usually have nothing to worry about. It’s only if you come across an animal that’s hungry or protecting its children that you have a problem. Territorial ones are always a problem.”

Valeria says to you, “You sure know a lot, huh?”

“...I read a lot,” you say.


Before you know it, the forest opens up a little as your destination comes into view. No, actually, you do know it because your legs are starting to hurt. You hate walking so much.

The terrain ahead gets even worse. The roots of the humongous tree rip apart the ground, stopping anything but the odd persistent plant from growing around them. The grassy road ahead disappears into somewhere in the tangle of roots, and your eyes trail upward. The thickness of the tree trunk is absolutely staggering, and the crown of the tree reaches shockingly far. The shadow it casts barely reaches the ground because the light scattered by the sky is able to make it here. You wonder how such a structure could survive under its own weight, but you know the answer already: with the help of an eidolon, of course.

“We made it...” Syrup says, letting go. You think if she tugged any harder there’d be a hole there.

Valeria hands you back the compass, and you notice it’s slightly glowing white. She says, “I think we’re here. It wasn’t doing that before.” She takes a look around.

You ask, “Have you been here before?”

“Now why would I do that? It’s just a giant tree, ain’t it?” she says, “I never been this far in anyways. Hell, it’s all the same thing anyways. Not like you see anything new.” She takes a look at the giant, wooden faerie behind her, and then she adds, “Except this thing, I guess.”

“Let’s find our artifact,” you say, signaling everyone to start moving again. “I don’t want to stay here forever.”

You walk beside Valeria as everyone proceeds the only path forward. Up and down the uneven ground, and eventually, there’s a gap in the trunk. It’s though this large opening that you see something. It’s defined form with its hard edges makes it immediately clear that this space was shaped by man, not nature.

The inside of the chamber is lit by veins of glowing vine-like plants snaking up and down the walls. The floor is in the shape of a huge circle, and the tall ceiling has a single opening at the top. With two different colors, a pattern is drawn onto the ground. Lines and arcs form a spell circle, one that is broken with time. Yet, it feels as if it was part of the tree, as if it, while living and breathing, had shaped this room of its own accord.

A statue is found in the very center of the room. It’s an old thing, and its age is apparent; its face is cracked with its details indiscernible, and one of its arms is missing. The once detailed folds of the statue’s robes are now a shattered mess. It stands there, chest puffed up with pride, undefeated by time. It holds out a single hand, as if it was waiting for something.

You take a look at the compass again. It’s glowing a bit brighter, but the arrow is spinning randomly. You try tilting it to see if it can read altitude, but you give up when you get nothing in response. You’ll have to play this game of hot or cold, you suppose.

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The four of you split up ever so slightly as everyone examines a different part of the room. Eventually, everyone stops at the statue, wondering what exactly to do.

Syrup says, “Maybe it wants something?”

“It’s a statue,” Touryn replies, “How is this going to work?”

Valeria grabs the statue’s hand with her own and sort of shakes it. When nothing happens, she lets go. “I’m out of ideas already.”

Touryn groans. “Seriously?”

You take a look at the large spell circle drawn onto the floor. It’s faded and certainly nonfunctioning. Looking back at the statue, you see that it’s in the center of the room and spell. “Maybe it needs a source?” They look at you, and you clarify. “An aether source. For the spell circle.” You point at what’s on the floor. “I’m not sure though. I don’t know how to read it.”

Shifting the weight on his feet, Touryn says, “I have my sword.” He taps his aquamarine gemstone.

That might work.
>Use his sword.
>Valeria’s sword has one, right?
>Maybe there’s something else you can use? (Write-in)

>This isn’t the only way up, is it? (Write-in)
>Use his sword
He volunteered
Extending the voting time for like 10-15 minutes as I get some food. Also you might need the time
>Try giving it the book that wouldn't open.
>Examine the spell circle. Would it be possible to recomplete it?
If I remember right, it was suggested that the book would open if it was drained of Aether. I'm hoping that if we give it to a statue, not only will it act as a source, it'll also be drained enough to open.
Changing to support this instead
The book! Which is what I was looking for. Nice one.

If you want to try to recomplete the circle, roll a 1d30.
DC: 25.
Rolled 26 (1d30)

Alright, things are looking up!
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You open your mouth, about to accept his offer. However, you stop when an idea comes across your mind. “Wait,” you say, reaching into your satchel. You pull out the “cursed” book and rush over to the statue. Placing it onto the statue’s hand, you wait for something to happen.

A moment elapses, and Touryn asks, “Is that really going to work?”

You say, “Maybe I was wrong about the circle—”

The ground jerks as it suddenly moves upwards, and you almost fall over. You yelp and look underneath you. A circular platform had lifted itself off the ground and is now bringing the four of you into the air. There’s no handles or anything, and Touryn seems to take the risk of falling very poorly.

“It’s working!” you say, and then the platform stops midway up the room. “Ah, never mind.”

Pointing at what’s in the statue’s hand, Valeria asks, “What’s that book?”

You reply, “An aether source.” Hesitant, you put your hands on the cover as you prepare yourself to open it. The platform does start moving again, but very slowly. If you waited, you think you’d be here all day. “I think there isn’t enough.”

Syrup says, “Are you going to open it? The person who made that... didn’t want anyone to see what’s inside. That’s why it was locked.”

“I mean,” you start to say, “It’s just a little peek.” Telling yourself that, you start moving your hand. Without any resistance, the cover flips open. Then you flip through all of the pages with a single motion, and the papers move fluidly. You only could catch a glimpse of the contents, but you can’t make anything out but that its handwritten. Pulling out your open, you destroy the runes before taking the book off the hand. The platform starts descending again, and Touryn makes a sour face.

“What’s going on?” he mumbles. “Can we just get this over with already?”

Valeria says, “Can’t we use his sword?”

You shake your head. “It looks like it uses a lot of aether. What if we need his sword later?” When the platform reaches the ground, you get off and study the circle on the ground. “We need to repair the spell circle. Valeria, can you help me? I can’t do this without your sword.”

She sighs. “Okay. Since you know what you’re doing...”


No, you don’t know what you’re doing. But, it’s obvious enough.

A line is just the space between two points, and with what little is left of the circle, you can extrapolate what you need to draw. The spell circle was a Gift from Solaria, a language for communication with the eidolons. Like all languages, it all boils down to pattern recognition. The shapes of words are no different than the way the lines and arcs cross over each other to form the borders and the centers. Even if you can’t analyze it, you can still remember shapes and forms.

Valeria’s sword glides through the ground, and the rising earth mixes with the wood to draw the last line. Suddenly, the circle glows much like the vines on the walls.

“Something’s working!” Valeria exclaims, and the two of you get back onto the platform where Touryn and Syrup are talking.

Touryn looks at the two of you and says, “Oh, good going—Whoa!” The statue suddenly moves. The noise of stone moving is terrible, but soon you notice that it has parted its robes to not reveal a body but two interlocking wheels. It seems that when you turn the first one, different inscriptions line up with the second one, forming different spells.

The first wheel is labelled with words that are actually readable.

It’s at this point that you realize you were brute-forcing it before, and that maybe this was never meant to be hidden or locked.

Valeria reads out loud the options. “Ground, Hall, Library, Rooms, Storage, and Observatory.”

Touryn points out, “Looks like we can pick where to go. That’s a lot to go through though.”

“...Are we entering someone’s home?” Valeria asks, “Uh, I don’t know how to feel about this.”

Syrup says, “It’s abandoned.” She points to the statue and frowns at the state of it. “Look. No one lives here anymore.”

“If you say so...” she says, “Since the tracking thing is useless, we might as well split up. Doesn’t look like the place is filled with dangerous faeries, so it should be okay. Just in case—Touryn, was it?” Valeria points to him and Syrup. “The two of you should go together. Y’know, because he’s got a weapon.”

You say, “And that means the two of us will look around together.”

Touryn says, “I’m fine with that. The faster we get out of here, the better.”

Syrup nods. “Touryn, let’s find it first.”

You reply, “This isn’t a competition!”

Tapping on the control wheel, Valeria says, “Circe, where are we going?”

You answer...

Yay for learning
...Both! At a cost!

“I want to see the Observatory,” you say, “But I think we should check out the library too. I can’t decide.”

Valeria says, “Why not both? Let’s go to the Library first, since that’s closer.” She aligns the wheel accordingly, and the platform moves.

It rises into the air, and Touryn tightly holds onto the statue. Opting to not look at his worsening state, you look at what’s underneath the platform instead. A growing pillar of wood is coming out of the ground seemingly endlessly. It lifts you into the hole into the ceiling, still lit by the vines as ever. The pathway begins to curve and soon enough, it lifts you out of the trunk and around it, wrapping like a vine. It’s at this point that Touryn has averted his eyes and is now intently studying the intricacies of the control wheel spell circles.

Eventually, it stops at another opening in the trunk. Another clearly manmade place, where the wood has been carved inward and cut cleanly. There’s another circle there, although it’s been pulled back by strings and a counterweight. You and Valeria step out, and she carefully aligns the circle again. It lights up for a brief moment, and the platform shakes.

Touryn says, “H-hey! Watch it! What are you doing?!”

“Oh,” Valeria says, “You can call for the platform or something. Interesting.”

You say, “Seems like we don’t have to worry about that. Wait, how are we going to get in contact with each other?”

“Doesn’t look like there’s any way up or down without this thing. I don’t think we can lose each other.”

“Alright, that’s settled.” Touryn grimaces as he turns to Syrup. “Okay. Let’s get going already. Where do you want to go?”

“Hmm,” she says. She goes up to the wheel and holds it with both hands. “Let’s spin it!”

“Wait, no!” The herbalist spins it anyways and stops it abruptly. The platform shakes as it starts moving downward, and Touryn looks like he’s about to pass out.

Looking at him as he disappears downward, Valeria asks, “Is he gonna be okay?”

“...Probably,” you answer.

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You step through the doorway and enter inside the tree, and you see the library—a long, curved hall with books filling shelves from floor to ceiling. A couple of bookshelves divide the room in half lengthwise. You look around in awe, wondering how much knowledge is in this room. A thick layer of dust covers everything, but the books themselves seem to be preserved remarkably well. Enchanted, you presume, much like Schwartz’s book.

“I didn’t realize Gaia’s Tree was a home...” Valeria thinks out loud.

“Maybe someone made it their home,” you reply. You slowly walk down the hall, wondering what the artifact is. Certainly not one of these books. They each look almost identical to one beside it. You expect it to stand out, not to be buried with useless junk. Your eyes run along one of the names before losing your attention. “Maladies and Mixtures; An Encyclopedia of Peculiar Toxins,” you read quietly out loud.

You turn the corner around a shelf, and you see Valeria entering a room. As you walk toward her, you hear her say, “Hey, I found something.”

Surprised, you hurry up and enter the room. There, you find her holding something up: a bunch of dusty, blank papers she blows air at. There’s a desk nearby, and from the shape of the dust on it, you can tell she just grabbed it from there.

“What’s that?” you ask, because that’s certainly doesn’t seem important in any shape or form.

“Spell sheets, I think,” she replies, “Ehn, I think arcanists use them. Useless to me though, but I heard they were pretty valuable. Because you didn’t need a gemstone or something.” She hands them over to you, “I can’t use ‘em, but you’re an arcanist or something, right? Here.”

“Oh, thanks,” you say, taking them without denying what she said. Well, t doesn’t hurt. “It doesn’t look like there’s anything else here. Let’s check somewhere else.”

Valeria says, “Ehn, you sure? We just got here.”

True, you only had a passing glance, but that’s enough for you to know there’s nothing else here. You tell her it’s fine, and you lead the way out of the library. You turn the wheel outside again and wait for the platform to slowly come back up.

Out of the corner of your eye, you catch something watching you—an owl. It’s far off in the distance, and it’s unmoving. You make little of it as you wait.

Why did I type [1/2] when I knew it was going to be more

In order to reach the observatory, the platform had to reenter the tree. Sliding between a gap in the twisting wood, you and Valeria make your way inside and then upward. You’ve reached so far up that trunk had started to split into branches, and it is in one of these splits that the observatory sits. A colossal dome shaped with branches and vines, the outside world can be clearly seen. The platform stops at the very center, rising and becoming flush with the floor. As you step off, your eyes run all around, trying to take everything in.

Without warning, your satchel starts glowing. You open it and quickly find that the compass was the source of the light, and you see that the arrow, although still jerking erratically from side to side, remains for the most part pointing in one direction. The same way that Valeria is looking.

She’s wearing a grim expression, and when you see what’s ahead, you see why.

The skeletal remains of a man are slumped over a desk. His clothes have become tattered and ruined with time, having been exposed to the elements. A broken telescope is on the ground beside him.

Valeria glances back at you and the compass, and then she says, “It’s so bright.”

You walk up to the remains, and there, you see in the hand of the bones, a single ring sits on a finger.

Suddenly, there’s tapping. A strange sound of something striking the wooden floor in odd intervals. You take a look around, and when you do, it stops.

Disregarding it as your imagination or some bird, you slowly pull the ring, the bones falling apart with the slightest movement. You study the artifact carefully, and the compass stops glowing. It’s a small piece of metal that goes around but never fully connects. A round, milky-white stone of some sort sits atop it. Inside the ring are runes carved on it, so small that you can barely make out the details.

Valeria says, “That’s it, huh?”

“Seems so,” you quietly reply.

“Ah, well, doesn’t look like he could use it anymore,” she says, “Come one, let’s get going.”

Out of curiosity, you slide it on. You hold your breath, but nothing happens.

The ring...
>Keep it on. You might lose it.
>Put it in your satchel.

>Something’s... familiar? (Write-in)
>>Put it in your satchel.
>Keep it on. You might lose it.
Looking back on thread one, I think this is where Circe Prime died. The library/study seemed to match anyways.
> Keep alert, watch out for where the tapping is coming from.
> Could it be a creature like the one that bit us earlier?
Rolled 2 (1d2)



You’ll keep it on. You don’t want to lose it.

You turn around, and something changes. A drop of ink in a glass of water.

Your head throbs in pain, your vision trying to tear away from you.

Something’s wrong. This is too familiar. The tapping. How can you ever forget the tapping?

The tall, gaunt figures—

There was no way Valeria could’ve seen it coming.

You shout out, “Watch out!”

Her eyes widen, and she tenses up. Erupting from her very shadow, something pounces at her throat. With her reflexes, she brings up an arm to block it while reaching for her sword with the other. The faerie’s fangs sink into her wrist, and she cries out as she cuts it in half with a single, heavy blow. Ripping the snake-like head off of her, she tries to collect herself before the second and third creature come out of nowhere again.

But you can’t focus on her right now. Taking out your carving pen, you hold it reverse grip like a knife. The creature comes out just as you anticipated, and you spear it through its eye and drive it deep in. With one hand, you grip its neck as it thrashes, and with all the strength you can muster, you throw its body away from you.

You turn just in time to see something looming over you. A glint of steel is all you see before it falls, like a guillotine dropping. You try to move away, but it barely catches you. As if you were paper, it cuts through the entire length of your arm, splitting cloth, flesh, and bone apart. Falling back, you cry out in pain. It wasn’t deep enough to cleave it into two, but the amount of blood that pours out is frightening.

All you could think about is that you’re not dead. And how much it hurts.

The ring is gone from your finger.

“Tch.” A voice sounds out. You look at see what had happened. Someone had climbed from the side of the tree with the help of the tall beast that is wearing a long cloak. It hides nothing. From its ugly insect head and the fearsome scythes that extend from its arm, you recognize the faerie instantly—it’s a century mantis. The witch that is beside it looks at his branded mantis. He says, “It’s a fluke, right? I didn’t expect bloodlust to be a real thing. How can you even detect something like that? No way, it’s a fluke.” His gaze falls to you, and you try to get up, walking backwards. Away from him. The witch says, “Oh, you. You’re the one that killed my pets, aren’t you? Do you even know how hard nightstalkers are to find?” He walks up and picks something off the ground. When he brings it up in the air, you see it’s the ring. He says to the mantis, “Kill them already, will you?”


The faerie hisses and steps closer.

The creature brings its scythes into the air above you. You try to back away, but it’s too fast. It’s going to kill you.

And you haven’t even tamed a single faerie yet.

It falls, and the wood underneath erupts. The century mantis stumbles back at the surprise, and you and it turns to the source of the disruption. Valeria, bleeding from bite wounds, pants as she holds her sword upright. She makes a pained face that scrambles to regain focus.

She says to you, “You can walk, right?”

Of course you can.

Forget your arm, your head feels like it’s going to split. You glance over to the platform, and you see that it’s gone. Touryn and Syrup had called it.

Stumbling over to her, you say, “I think... I think there’s a secret passageway. We need to get in... and block it.”

“I’ll leave it to you,” she says, her voice weakened. If the so-called nightstalkers poisoned her, then it must be taking effect now.

You nod, stumbling around. You hear her sword striking against the mantis as your eyes scan the observatory. You need to find a hint. Anything, or a secret staircase. You try to focus, and you wonder why you know all of this in the first place.

Dropping onto the ground, you start feeling your way around. Blood smears onto the wooden floor. The living, breathing floor. It’s so surreal. Your attention wanders.

Are you happy with this?

Words come into focus. They’re not spoken, but understood. Meaning is rippling across your consciousness, as if they were your very thoughts.

I’d imagine your arm would heal fine, barring the scar left behind.

They’re oppressive, as if they were screaming at you. Your fingers hit something, and your breathing quicken as you trace the outline of the hidden door.

And you’re going to return empty-handed. The world may not be over, but are you satisfied?

Trembling, you pry open the door with your good hand. It opens, and you see a small ladder leading to a spiral staircase. You turn around, and you see Valeria slice through the century mantis’s stomach. It recoils, but then the spell circles that cover its exoskeleton activate. Its body reforms, and the swordswoman retreats. The mantis’s witch is looking at the fight, smiling.

You’re about to open your mouth to call out to her.

I have a Gift for you.
Well, shit.

File: Gift.jpg (96 KB, 799x1198)
96 KB
You accept.

You didn’t utter a word or anything. Nothing. You didn’t even imagine yourself doing it. No, the act itself was one of reception.

Something wells inside of you.

The cost is not mine, but yours.

Neither power or wisdom, something shifts.

Use it.

Your vision pulls back, your perception transforming. The world shatters into innumerable pieces, the colors of reality melding.

You make a wonderful ghost.

Your head is splitting. Gripping it with both of your hands, you drop to your knees, crying with what little air you have left in your lungs. It feels as if a knife was being driven inside, carving up a hideous pattern. It’s almost as if it might lose shape at any moment and would ooze out of our ears. You’re sick. You try to throw up, but you find that there’s nothing.

The pain is unbearable. You felt as if you’ve lost something.

>Circe now suffers from a permanent -1 modifier to every dice roll outside of witch activities.

Your vision regains, the red blur fading away to reveal Touryn putting a hand on your shoulder and shaking you lightly. His voice comes into focus.

“Circe!” he says, “I knew we should’ve done something. Those things were obviously venomous.”

Syrup only looks down at the ground. “I should’ve checked more carefully...”

Groaning, you try to get back on your feet. Valeria looks worriedly at you, but says nothing. You tell Touryn, “I’m fine.” He’s completely unconvinced. “More importantly, I know where it is.” Your balance is wavering. “I think I know where the artifact is.”

He says, “Wait, how? Circe, you’re clearly not—”

“Shut up,” you say, “I know this... because...”

You had a premonition.


The platform takes you, Touryn, Syrup, and Valeria upwards. The other three are all in various states of discontent from seeing your state. To that, you try to hold yourself together as best you can.

As you stride over to the desk, you ignore their murmurs as you pluck the ring off of the dead man’s finger. You don’t have time for this. Turning back, you tell them, “Get ready, they’re going to come from your shadows.”

“Get ready for what?” Touryn asks, unable to keep up with you.

“Faeries,” you answer as simply as possible. Your skull is straining. Every minute spent thinking is a tasking ordeal. You can’t imagine beginning considering tact.

The compass performs its act again. Sliding the ring back onto your finger, you look behind you.

Touryn and Valeria hesitantly draw their weapons just in time. The nightstalkers erupt from their shadows, and the two, while surprised, cut them down one after another.

Looking off to the side, you see it this time. The century mantis climbing the trunk of the tree, digging its scythes into the bark to lift itself up. The witch sitting on the creature’s shoulders sucks his teeth. “Tch. It’s a fluke, right? I didn’t expect bloodlust to be a real thing. And there’s so many of you. Elun bless, at least this won’t be boring.” He hops off of the large faerie, and pulls out a scroll. He says to the mantis, “Kill them, will you?”

Exchanging glances, Touryn and Valeria hurry Syrup behind them.

You need to...
>Find the trap door again. Disengage.
>Desecrate a nightstalker. Make it yours.
>Get everyone on the platform.
Going to stop here for this thread like I talked about last week. Unfortunately, it's not all that great of a point to stop at, but oh well. Thank you for playing! I'm here for any comments, questions, or concerns. Criticism is appreciated, too.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hopelessQM
>Find the trap door again. Disengage.

This guy seems confident, I don’t really want to fight him
Thanks for running! Had fun as always.
>Desecrate a nightstalker. Make it yours
>Demand information
>>Who are you?
>>How do you know about the ring?

See ya Hopeless. This session was a lot of fun. Some pretty intense stuff happened at the end there. A lot of intense stuff happened there at the end. I get the feeling this quest might be very similar to Re:Zero in some regards. I really like the concept of learning through death! It's quite interesting, though I'm sure Circe finds it less than pleasant.

I'm curious how much things went according to how you planned them this time around. I'm guessing the decision to split up is what caused the bad end in the observatory? And would we not have gone back had we refused the "Gift"? I'm also curious who or what was speaking to us, though I'd guess an Eidolon of some kind.

Also, I finally see why you titled this Kaleidoscope Quest, after this bit here

>Your vision pulls back, your perception transforming. The world shatters into innumerable pieces, the colors of reality melding.
>And would we not have gone back had we refused the "Gift"?
Yup, you wouldn't have gone back.

Also, I'll be very clear. "Premonitions" are never mandatory unless you screw up big time.
I see, so a Premonition can give us a way to fix an unsatisfactory scenario, but they come at a cost. In this case, the permanent roll penalty. Can we assume that penalty is irreversible?
Oh, I read that wrong. Irreversible, but for this instance, the roll penalty can be offset by bonuses from other sources.
Wait, Circe Prime died? This is not just a reboot?

Find the trap door again. Disengage.
Holy shit. I dozed off on the wrong night. Either way, thanks for running.
Ah, no, pretty sure this is still a reboot, but the Circe from the dream at the very begining died in the tree somewhere.
RIP ;_;
New thread in like 30 mins
New thread

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