> Previous Threadshttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=City%20of%20Games> Character Sheethttps://pastebin.com/zt2dft66The way your people spoke so poorly of those that dwell in the lowland valleys beneath Devimor left you with particular expectations. You expected boors; in truth, you are the one who appears boorish beside them. They dress like the Roshari, in tunics and light jackets and linen breeches, though their skin is dark like yours. They are commoners, tradesmen, and farmers of the fertile valley earth; they carry so few weapons among them, and you and your people in rawhide and steel and ceremonial garb are left looking decidedly out of place. You aren’t sure yet how you feel about being stationed here; it isn’t a lengthy assignment, though it seems beneath the likes of you as a member of Devil’s Chapter. Yet the house you are quartered in, while not nicer than your own domicile in the mountains proper, feels somehow more like a home.You’re outside near your quarters, pausing momentarily from your patrol to get a breath of fresh air. The father of the family is working in the fields this afternoon; the mother leers at you as if in disgust as she passes and disappears through the cabin door, carrying water from the river. Relations are unlikely to improve, but you aren’t here much longer. It’s been a while since you’ve heard a report, and you endeavor to check…Something’s coming. You lift one leg, dirt crunching under your other foot as you spin, at once turning to face your assailant and leaping away from them. The wooden plank swings uselessly beneath your raised foot, and you have to bring your instinctive flowing movements to an almost-painful halt to avoid either kicking or drawing a weapon against a child. It’s Rory, the family’s youngest son; this is his third failed ambush against you, though he’s getting quicker. This time, however, he elects to hold his ground rather than run. You put your foot down and glare in equal parts confusion and disapproval.“Is there something wrong?” You ask, unable to mask an air of irritation in your voice.“I wanted to see how fast you are.” Rory responds. He seems disappointed with himself; he was certain he’d get you this time. “That way I know for sure I can beat you if I have to.”You scoff. “Why would you have to do that?”> [ Continued ]
>>3022694“Because Mama says you’re here to kill people.” The boy says, holding his plank like a proper sword. You wonder if you’ll have to start sleeping with one eye open for the remaining duration of your stay; at this point he’s liable to come after you when you’re most vulnerable. “Papa told me you’re supposed to be protecting us, though, and that you’re gonna leave soon. Are you here to kill people, though?”“Mmn. Hopefully not.” You shake your head. “Maybe only bad people—raiders, or anyone that threatens the village. What else does your mother say?”“She says you burn down houses, and that you steal babies and do bad things to girls.” Somehow, he affects innocence in his description; the child is recounting the things he’s heard rather than accusing you. “And that you can breathe fire. Do you really do all that?”You afford a moment of silence. In every embellishment is an element of truth. The assignments reserved only for the members of Devil’s Chapter are not merely to fight impossible battles, but to commit necessary evils. In all that you do, and in taking on the gravest of tasks, you put the darkness of war out of your mind.Oh, and not all of you can breathe fire.You…> …didn’t owe a child an explanation of your morality. “It’s more complicated than you can understand. Go help your mother.”> …needed to openly convey the complexity of your actions. “There’s a reason for everything – sometimes you have to do something bad to help good people.”> …jokingly played up your reputation. “Sort of. We don’t steal babies; we eat them.”
>>3022708> …needed to openly convey the complexity of your actions. “There’s a reason for everything – sometimes you have to do something bad to help good people.”
>>3022708>didn’t owe a child an explanation of your morality. “It’s more complicated than you can understand. Go help your mother
>>3022708>> …didn’t owe a child an explanation of your morality. “It’s more complicated than you can understand. Go help your mother.”I think he's a little young to understand the complexities of the moralities of war.Wow, this POV swap threw me for a loop.
>>3022758>>3022805If the boy didn't understand the linings of morality, he wouldn't be asking we're bad. It's important to refine a child's understanding of morality before they develop their own creed, or we risk allowing the development of another life which we must slay in the future — like all the "raiders, or anyone that threatens the village". Put the information in his head beforehand, and the boy will make sense of it in the near future, if he lacks the faculties to do so at the moment.
>>3022708> cut down just the embellishments, but leave room for doubt. "Breathing fire is very helpful for burning down houses, but I don't think I've had to do the other two."
>>3022736>>3022758>>3022805>>3022855“It’s not really as simple as it sounds.” You nod. “You’ll find in your life there’s good reasons to do bad things—it’s more complicated than I think you might understand. Ask your mother, alright? She probably needs help with dinner.”“Okay.” Rory says. “You don’t seem that bad, though.”“What makes you change your mind?” You ask.“I don’t know.” He says, wandering off. “I think you’re pretty.”You cough; were you drinking anything you’d have spit it out. You can’t quite place yourself in the mind of a child, but imagine that the world looks much different through fresh eyes than it does to you. It’s been about long enough, anyway; you move past the fence to make another round in the village.> [ Continued ]
>>3023771You’re satisfied with the quiet, more than anything. The valley isn’t quite what you’re used to: it’s a change that you aren’t yet wholly sure is welcome. So long as there is no combat or discontent to speak of, your presence is not necessary. After another patrol and a moment to take stock of your equipment, you seat yourself near the river on the edge of town, gaze drifting across the water, the cliffs, and the valley beneath the setting sun. You relax with a subdued sigh, hands in your lap – though one strays for your waist idle-mindedly, fetching a knife and an ampule of golden liquid.You flip the knife and wince in anticipation, pressing the tip of the blade between tendons beneath your other thumb. Blood wells up as you gash the skin, and you carefully rake the red away at the edge of the blade, holding your hand delicate and still with fingers tensed and wound upturned. Stashing the knife, you pop off the ampule’s tiny cap with a flick of your thumb; scarlet gives way to roiling snapcobra froth, and dull pain to exquisite sting, as you line the gash with golden droplets. Eyes fluttering momentarily closed, you exhale to clear your lungs, then press the gash tight to your nostrils, dragging it across as you inhale vigorously.A caustic pyramid unfolds behind the bridge of your nose, euphoria spilling from within as it bites into your flesh. You shudder, lower lip folding beneath upper; your eyes start to roll up, but you drag them back down to watch your flesh knit back together, wound sealing itself over the residue. Tingling blooms across your face, propagating down your spine.You start to sink back, but hear footsteps behind you paired with a familiar voice. “I take it patrol’s done.”“C-Commander.” You stutter and sniffle as you practically leap to your feet, whirling around to stand at attention. The lingering, heady warmth suffusing your body is distracting, but you’ve developed a certain tolerance—and aren’t so meek as to let such a thing throw you off regardless. Rashad looks you over sternly, garbed in face-obscuring mail coif and hauberk with decorated overcoat and conical headpiece; his beast carver – a large, straight sword similar to a Roshari claymore – is slung across his back.> [ Continued ]
>>3023772“At ease, Elh.” He says with a nod, shortening your name; thankfully, the two of you are familiar enough with one another from time in shared company and on the battlefield to dispense at times with military formalities. “I hate to disturb your peace down here, but we’re needed. Border guards caught sight of a khusak.”“This far down.” You quirk a brow. Rashad nods, frowning, and you sigh. “How many are we?”“Hiraka is waiting; Azhar and one more are at the border.” The Commander says. “Five in total.”“Five. Against khusak?” You shake your head. “No. We should return—enlist aid from the main arm.”“There isn’t time, I’m afraid. We don’t intend to fell the fiend; merely to confirm the report, and to send it back from whence it came if need be.” Rashad says, frowning still.There’s a moment of silence as your response: impossible battles are your domain, you suppose. The lot of you fought together—in the main arm and in this branch alike. It has been some time since you worked as a team, but you yet have your strength. You look to Rashad, and he sniffs once; your gaze narrows, and he looks knowingly to meet it.“You have more?” He asks.You smile, and offer him the knife.“Ravager take us.” Rashad says.“Goddess keep us.” You reply, and watch the knife in his hands as blood blooms beneath its blade.> [ Continued ]
>>3023777Earth shifts beneath your feet, axes gleaming in the light of the setting sun and of the flames surrounding you. Barked orders echo around you, through veils of smoke and dust. After your rendezvous with the others, you made your way past the border and up the mountainside to the foremost plateau to confirm the sighting. Promptly, you found that the reports were incorrect.It was six khusak, not one.The sinuous body of a perfect killing machine – long and slender, with clawed scythe-like arms, myriad segmented legs like a centipede, and a lashing tail, all cloaked in armor of glassy obsidian – flickers past you, moving with predatory intent and unexpected urgency; you make a fading strike, weapon grinding against the glossy spikes lining the creature’s back, as you move to avoid being torn apart. Heat wells up in your chest, muscles tightening and skin toughening unexpectedly.It is as though your inner flame is reacting to imminent death, despite the fact that you are in perfect health.You grit your teeth, diving forward. Razor-tipped tail swings just over your head, and you swing with a wicked blade in each hand, managing somehow to sever it. Pained screeching, so shrill and loud as to hurt your ears and contort your expression into a wince and turn your recovery to stumbling, comes from a head that’s fifteen feet past you already; a foul smell diffuses in the air, droplets of toxic blood nearly splashing your feet. They can be killed, but….A second charges toward you; though you can’t see its eye-slits beneath the glossy, diamond-shaped crests of its crown, you can tell based on its bearing that it’s looking past you. You move regardless, and see why. Azhar is held between its arms, impaled on a scythe, his great-spear nowhere to be seen. The Commander pushes past you from behind and meets this fiend head-on; his battle shout echoes as he swings his sword upward, waves of heat and force rippling outward and scorching the earth beneath as the beast carver fulfills its purpose. The once-spearman is sent tumbling away, landing twisted and cradled in the khusak’s curled and severed upper half; the lower half of its insectile body shudders, then skitters away, vanishing into the smoke in search of a place to burrow.> [ Continued ]
>>3023788You grit your teeth at the sight of the spearman's corpse in a tangled heap of flesh and bone, but collect yourself, moving toward the sound of shouting and of sharp feet skittering across stone. Hiraka’s khopesh is discarded here, and you look up to see her snared between the mandibles of a devourer, clutching her talisman tightly and crying out in furious agony. Light leaks from her eyes and mouth as the khusak thrashes her like a doll. It plunges head-first into the stone with her beneath it; a brilliant inner flame blossoms from the point of impact, petals of orange and white unfurling as the pyromancer’s form unwinds into an enormous explosion… then another, repeated blasts of oppressive flame cascading along the creature’s shriveling body.A gust of wind and an unseen war cry pushes the smoke aside. There is nothing left of Hiraka. The khusak lays motionless, smoking; you know it must be completely scorched within, but its armored body is unblemished. Something bites into your leg, and you yelp; the severed tail from moments ago flails about on the ground beside you, spilling a trail of blood in its wake, and you stomp the base of the bladed end to break it off. The wound on your calf looks bad at a glance, but the residual snapcobra extract in your veins is already starting to take effect…“Elh.” Rashad emerges from the surrounding firestorm, greatsword held in one hand. Heat haze shrouds his body, scarlet steam wafting from his wounds. A gash in his armor is plugged by a narrow obsidian spike, and he makes a sound of pained anticipation – “-tch-“ – as he yanks it out. “Evacuate the valley and return to mountainhome. More will come. They need you alive.”You grit your teeth. The devourers – somehow, you’ve managed to reduce their numbers to four, or three? – are circling you, waiting for the time to strike. To demand retreat now is unlike the Commander, and seems disrespectful to the fallen among your company, yet—You…> …fought alongside Rashad until the very last moment.> …afforded him blessings, and fled immediately to the valley, following orders.
>>3023792...not a POV swap then. A flashback.> but you drag them back down to watch your flesh knit back together, wound sealing itself over the residue. Tingling blooms across your face, propagating down your spine.Our addiction is to a healing concoction, and apparently is not an uncommon one. Hmm.> …fought alongside Rashad until the very last moment.We fought for our death, and were denied it. Better to die among our comrades in arms.
>>3023792>> …afforded him blessings, and fled immediately to the valley, following orders.I was sure this quest is dead.
>>3023792>> …afforded him blessings, and fled immediately to the valley, following orders.
>>3023992>>3024019You are a soldier. You followed orders in the main arm as you do now in Devil’s Chapter, no matter what they might be—and so you have no explanation now as to why you feel as though you’re frozen on the spot, stance favoring your uninjured leg. You look to Rashad, circling fiends drawing closer by the moment.“Commander.” You meet his gaze and see the fire behind his eyes. “I can’t.”“You will. No guilt, Elh. No glory in this death.” He turns, readying his sword. “The Chapter hasn’t yet closed. You’re needed. Go now so you may one day ascend.”You find your expression darkening. Turning, you look into the swirling storm of dust and embers, scanning for a clear escape route.“Goddess keep you, Commander.”Khusak lunge at you as you dart between them, quickly losing you as you pick up pace and turning their attentions toward an easier target. As you make for the valley, you hear the sounds of glory echoing over your shoulder.> [ Continued ]
>>3025389It seems unlikely that creatures of such simple intelligence could be capable of luring you into a trap, or staging a diversion. Inadvertently or otherwise, this seems to be exactly what’s happened. You return to the valley to see deep furrows in the earth left by the burrowing fiends. Cabins have collapsed inward, foundation stripped from beneath them.Has this place been evacuated already? You don’t see a soul… bar the bodies. Your eyes gloss over them as part of the scenery; once you mentally step out of your combat heuristic, you take in the sight of the massacre for what it really is. Gaze flits between ruined homes and ravaged fields as you wander back through the village toward your quarterage.The cabin’s roof has caved in, walls blown out from beneath it as if something crashed completely through. The lack of any signs of struggle suggests that the inhabitants might have been lucky enough to escape, but you hear a cough from nearby. Stepping through a broken segment in the fence, you see Rory lying in the grass. Obsidian spikes jut from between his ribs; veins are blackened beneath his skin, stretching down as far as the thigh and up beyond his neck. He is supine, leg bent at a painfully awkward angle.And he is somehow alive, still, though likely delirious and unable to affect speech in his condition; wet, quivering eyes look up at you as you pass. Even if you had the resources to treat his wounds—that affliction will soon spore. Thoughts are blank, expression flat and entirely empty as you look down at him.You…> …cut the child’s throat, affording him the mercy of a quick death.> …administered snapcobra oil, knowing that it would do no good but to numb the pain.> …waited by his side until life left him.> …left the boy and sought vengeance, though your prey was long gone.> …did nothing, lingering here for a time in solemn emptiness.
>>3025394>> …cut the child’s throat, affording him the mercy of a quick death.
>>3025394>> …cut the child’s throat, affording him the mercy of a quick death.Poor kid. I want to say with him to the end, but we already left our comrades to their deaths to buy time; we can't sacrifice that for one child.Be respectful, at least. He didn't deserve this.Something simple in his ear before the deed, perhaps? "Sleep now", or "it'll be over soon" or something related to the afterlife? Or, if we had a penchant for cruelty, something reflective of our earlier conversation on morality.
>>3025481>>3025404You kneel beside the boy and hold his head, and his dizzy eyes flit over to you, taking in your impassive expression as you produce your knife and put its edge against his neck, offering little more than a solemn nod. He deserved better—of all people, for some reason.“Rest now.” You speak as you carve a crescent beneath the blade. He gurgles softly, black-flecked scarlet spilling down his neck – and promptly breathes his last, falling still beside you. “I’m sorry.”It’s too late for evacuation now, but you were spared death such that you could make the most of this time—time you can scarcely sacrifice now for anything. Gently closing Rory’s eyes and moving away from his motionless body, you find it in yourself to turn your attention briefly to the rest of the village, now eerily silent as the riverbank in the dark of the early evening. The blood spilled from those afflicted with the worst of the devourers’ wounds is no doubt rife with their spores. But they cannot feast on burned corpses and will not grow in scorched earth.The sound you make is of discomfort as your hand twitches, curling into a fist. If such a thing is to be done, you are the last one suited to the task. But – could you?You…> ...seized the moment and razed the village to the ground, such that no fiend would ever feed or breed here.> …returned to mountainhome as quickly as possible, seeking counsel from the main arm.
>>3025932>> ...seized the moment and razed the village to the ground, such that no fiend would ever feed or breed here.Time lost doing this now may be saved when the main arm comes back this way and doesn't have to fight through a breeding ground.
>>3025932> ...seized the moment and razed the village to the ground, such that no fiend would ever feed or breed here.
>>3025932>> ...seized the moment and razed the village to the ground, such that no fiend would ever feed or breed here.
>>3025975>>3026704>>3026837Though you in your teachings claimed the inner flame, you are neither true firebreather nor pyromancer as yet, and so must linger momentarily in meditation. You attune to your life force, searching yourself for the spark that allows flame within to become flame without. A gentle light blooms within your cupped hands—but you must ensure that the whole of this place is set ablaze. You feel your heart flutter with the flickering of summoned fire. You set fields and cabins ablaze, gathering bodies from the road to burn in a heap. Blood and dirt gathers under your fingernails as you wrench jagged onyx fragments from their wounds—and cast those into the flame as well, in hopes that any life left in them might be extinguished and any affliction burned away.You stand at the valley’s edge; your shadow is long, illuminated by the flames rising off the village. You can feel the warmth on your skin. The scent of the burning fields is cut with the unfortunately-familiar undercurrent of cooked fat. It’s always somehow like this—but there is a certain bitterness in bearing the weight alone. There is no glory to be claimed of this, neither in life nor death.It is done.You…> …departed for mountainhome proper to report the events.> …left Devimor, and never returned.
>>3027181>> …departed for mountainhome proper to report the events.Our team died so we could deliver that report.
>>3027181>> …departed for mountainhome proper to report the events.
>>3027221>>3027477You remember the journey back up the mountainside, and the meeting with the officers of the main arm. You alone were to bear the weight of Devil’s Chapter; though your actions, regarded as ‘decisive’, saved the lives of many in the long run and afforded the denizens of mountainhome a foothold in eliminating the obsidian menace, you felt as though you had somehow already failed. Rashad beseeched you to one day ascend, though you aren’t sure what he meant—whether it was his way of stating it wasn’t yet your time to go to your end, or if he had a loftier purpose in mind. As for when he said you were still needed? Well, it’s been a long time since you’ve done something that you’ve felt is necessary in the grand scheme of things. Your search for glory, and the glorious end beyond, has meaning only to you.Whatever the case, one thing is certain. In coming to Reíve, you have certainly made an ascension of the most literal kind. Only as you approach a point where you can look down on the market square from one of the city’s higher strata do you remember that you are floating high above the clouds. You wish it were as easy as simply being here. As you linger on the street, scenes of your past play over and over again in your mind; you shake your head as if to clear them from your thoughts. Worse things may yet be hidden from you behind a veil of past drug-addled euphoria. For this, you aren’t sure whether or not to count yourself lucky.There is still some value to be taken from your past encounters:> Improve Martial Prowess [LV1 → LV2] – Abilities focus on physical might and mastery of weapons augmented by use of inner power. For example, improve parrying skill and thrown weapon accuracy, or consume Inner Flame to perform inhuman feats of strength.> Improve Inner Flame [LV2 → LV3] – Abilities focus on mastery of lifeforce and projection of the Inner Flame, exemplifying supernatural characteristics. For example, further improve damage resistance, sacrifice lifeforce to boost strength of the Flame, or summon fire to attack and defend.> Improve Uncanny Senses [LV1 → LV2] – Abilities focus on reflexes, awareness, and strength of the mind. For example, improve endurance and resistance to mind-altering effects, perform superhuman feats of agility, or begin battle with a reserve of Inner Flame.
>>3027744>> Improve Uncanny Senses [LV1 → LV2]
>>3027744>Improve Uncanny Senses [LV1 → LV2] – Abilities focus on reflexes, awareness, and strength of the mind. For example, improve endurance and resistance to mind-altering effects, perform superhuman feats of agility, or begin battle with a reserve of Inner Flame.
>>3027744>> Improve Martial Prowess [LV1 → LV2] – Abilities focus on physical might and mastery of weapons augmented by use of inner power. For example, improve parrying skill and thrown weapon accuracy, or consume Inner Flame to perform inhuman feats of strength.
>>3027941>>3027932Improved Uncanny Senses [LV1 → LV2] – Choose an advancement. (Foregone advancements may be selected later.)> Paranoia [LV1 → LV2]: Improves ability to detect hidden targets. Effect may now apply to those hidden by supernatural means.> Willpower: Heightens pain tolerance and improves resistance to mind-altering conditions.> Burning Anticipation: Enter battle with a minor reserve of Inner Flame. This power is harvested meditatively from the incessant death inextricable from life; its effect is diminished over repeated consecutive battles.
>>3029084>> Willpower: Heightens pain tolerance and improves resistance to mind-altering conditions.
>>3029084> Paranoia [LV1 → LV2]: Improves ability to detect hidden targets. Effect may now apply to those hidden by supernatural means.
>>3029107>>3029561> Gained Willpower (Passive): Your mental fortitude renders you more tolerant of pain. Your resistance to mind-altering effects is keener. (Character sheet updated.)“Everything okay, miss?” The man’s voice is a bit startling; you noticed him approaching, but since you were momentarily lost in your own thoughts, the experience didn’t quite connect. He’s fair-skinned and wears an elegant greatcoat; his build and features remind you vaguely of the Commander. “See something interesting out there?”He looks out over Reíve in the direction you’ve been staring as if to make a point, before turning back to you with a little smile.> “I’ve got a lot on my mind. Have a nice night.”> “I’m new in town. Just heading down to the market square.”> “Nope. You?”> “Just thinking about my next fight.”
>>3029618>“I’m new in town. Just heading down to the market square.”
>>3029618>> “Nope. You?”
>>3029618>> “I’m new in town. Just heading down to the market square.”
>>3029633>>3029683“I’m new in town,” You respond. “Just taking stock of things—about to head down to the market square.”“Aah, well. The streets proper are quiet, thankfully; most everyone has the good sense to keep their revelry indoors tonight, though that’ll change without a doubt as the season gets on.” He says; the man seems to be on his way somewhere past you, but politely lingers a bit in conveying his message. “So it’s a fine time if you want to explore and see what all’s there – but all the storefronts should be closed by this time of night, which means any questions you had would go unanswered ‘till you made a proper trip.”> “Thanks for the tip.” You’ll go ahead and check out the plaza.> “Thanks for the tip.” That’ll save you some time—you’ll retire back to your quarters for the night.> “Or you could show me around.”> Other. [ Write-in. ]
>>3029764>> “Or you could show me around.”
>>3029764>> “Thanks for the tip.” You’ll go ahead and check out the plaza.>“Everything okay, miss?”>MissAre we someone else now?
>>3029764>> “Thanks for the tip.” You’ll go ahead and check out the plaza.
>>3029911We're female, anon.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3029768>>30299281>>3029911>>30300132
>>3029768>>3029928“Or,” Another look out at the city, before you turn to face him and fold your arms. “You could show me around. I take it you know the city well, after all. Not that I can’t learn at a glance, but I think your explanation would do me better than any amount of exploration.”“Oh.” He quirks a brow, seeming a little bit taken aback by the suggestion, but offers you a small smile. “I do have somewhere I need to be—were it a more convenient time, perhaps…”“Is it on the way?” You ask. “It’d be thoroughly helpful if you could spare just a few minutes.”The man’s expression flattens a bit; he looks as though he’s considering his agenda, surprised by your insistence. After another moment or so, he sighs. “Come this way,” He says. “It’s faster.”> [ Continued ]
>>3031788Within any given division of the city is a consummate, self-contained image of life—if a particularly opulent one. The delicate magitecture – lattices and suspended elements, terraces emerging from the rock face that trends downward into the clouds – that holds Reíve together cannot be seen from the innermost streets and plazas, and so it is easy to forget the true nature of where you are. You recognize the Exalt Square, having walked briefly past this stretch by caravan leading newcomers from the harbor to the Amphitheater and the city’s residential quarter. It is much quieter here now, and the plinths that reflected the scene in the great arena when you arrived now seem so terribly mundane.“I’m surprised you agreed.” You say. The man keeps a quick pace as he leads you through the market district, which pleases you; you’ve always found it terribly unsatisfying to walk beside someone slow. Greatcoat-tails flutter behind him as he moves ahead.“You made it seem terribly rude—to leave a newcomer in the proverbial cold.” He says, looking briefly over his shoulder at you as if to confirm you’re keeping up. “Though I’d guess by the look of you that you’re perfectly capable of fending for yourself.”“More or less.” You respond. You presume he didn’t see you in the arena today; it seems like it’d be strange for him to make an impromptu act of this situation.“What’s your name, stranger?” He asks, following a pause.You linger a bit as well before responding. “I’m called Elodie.”“Elodie.” His response is made as if to confirm he’s heard correctly, as well as to try the sound of it for himself. “That’s lovely—sounds Roshari. It’s a pleasure meeting you, anyway; my name is Alain Juste-Clair.”“Have you been here a long time, Alain?” You ask, out of curiosity.“Easiest to say I come and go.” Alain says, and you wonder what affords him the leisure to do so.> [ Continued ]
>>3031789Your jaunt through the district turns out rather informative. After you come by the establishments where food and clothing and myriad other commodities are purchased, Alain introduces you to the “specialty smithing services”, which he describes somewhat vaguely as “commissioned guild labor” organized by a blacksmith and trader called Gael. Though there are some craftsmen present working late on projects, you’re urged not to bother them outside of the daylight hours; he informs you that outside of the standard arena reserve, they produce almost entirely by request, and there are few tasks of traditional metalworking that they’ll turn down provided you’ve got the marks to pay.Alchemical supply, meanwhile, as well as sorcerous curiosities, fall under the domain of myriad competing businesses in the area. Alain professes that it isn’t his area of expertise, but points you in the direction of one or two establishments that he deems particularly trustworthy, or suggests stock the best inventory. Outside of alchemical extracts – maybe that’s something to ask Yvestyre about if you encounter him in the near future – there are challengers who utilize trinkets and other ensorcelled tools to earn a competitive edge in the arena. You’re a bit of a stranger to such things, as they weren’t particularly common among the main arm, but it might become you to learn; in Reíve, the cultural boundaries you are familiar with do not exist as you are familiar with them, and there is no information that isn’t available to you provided you look in the right place. You ask Alain if the sorcerers trade in weapons; he informs you that anything sufficiently powerful or aberrant would likely fall out of the realm of mercantile and into that of a smuggler.“Smugglers?” You ask.“Mhm.” Alain nods—then looks around as if to see if anyone might be watching. “It turns out that moving things into the city off the record is a rather profitable enterprise.”“What kinds of things?”> [ Continued ]
>>3031790“All kinds. There’s weapons, of course, and armor – some people on the circuit are peculiar about their sources, won’t settle for a ‘fake’ East-court blade, for example. Drugs, also.” Alain says. Your eye twitches. “Not all alchemicals are freely available to purchase—the councils regulate what can and can’t be bought and sold for marks. And relics; old magic, or just particularly powerful bits from the lands below. Things you wouldn’t want in just anyone’s hands.”“No one does anything about this?” You ask.“The only runners left are good at what they do, and they sell almost entirely to challengers. And you’ll find challengers are a bit of a protected class, for better or worse—if your record is good enough and people like watching you, you can get away with a lot of things in this city.” Alain nods. “It’s just a part of the system, now. No one goes looking for trouble down this road unless something out here gives them a compelling reason to.”“Mm.”“That’s about all there is to it, Elodie. Reíve’s full of dirty little secrets, you’ll find. I’d like to tell you not to get tangled up in them, but I know for a fact you won’t follow that advice if you stay here for any amount of time, so I’ll suggest you try to be smart about how you do it. There’s a lot to do with knowing your place in the city—and knowing what you’re capable of.” Alain says, road ahead opening up into a circular plaza decorated by a stone monument to Licia Ferox. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you; I hope all this was as much a help as you imagined. You said you’re new to the city—I couldn’t help but wonder where you’re staying.”> “I’m heading back to my lodging now—I’m a challenger.”> “I’ve got a place. Staying out a while longer, though—to visit the Champion’s Revel.”> “Why? Are you offering quarterage?”> Other [ Write-in ]
>>3031792>>3031792> “I’m heading back to my lodging now—I’m a challenger.”Could have swore up and down we were a guy.
>>3031792>>> “I’m heading back to my lodging now—I’m a challenger.”
>>3031792>> “I’ve got a place. Staying out a while longer, though—to visit the Champion’s Revel.”>>3031797Same. Reive seems to be keeping mostly to gender neutrals though, so it hopefully won't matter such.
>>3031797>>3031798“I’m heading back to my lodging now,” You respond. “I’m a challenger.”“Aah, you know? I should have imagined as much; it makes complete sense.” Alain’s response is paired with a smile and nod. “You’re new on the circuit, I imagine—I didn’t make it to the arena today to watch.”You afford a nod as your response.“Be well, then, friend.” Alain says, as the two of you begin to part in different directions. “I’ve a feeling we’ll meet again soon enough.”You weren’t lying; it’s about time to turn in for the night, you think. The streets are mostly quiet as you make your way to the upper strata, but your senses aren’t so easily tamed. You can’t shake the feeling that something is watching you.> Stop and investigate.> Head back to your lodging as quickly as possible.> Other. [ Write-in. ]
>>3032516>> Stop and investigate.Don't need to be followed back to our place and robbed or something.
>>3032516>> Stop and investigate.
>>3032526>>3032584There’s almost a feeling you get—not just when there are people nearby, but when there are eyes on you specifically. It’s not quite the same as being in a crowd, unless one individual among the collective has their eyes on you. It’s easy enough to dismiss as paranoia, of course; who wouldn’t be paranoid, for example, having experienced all that you’ve experienced?But it comes in handy. You catch sight of her, out of the corner of your eye, scrutinizing you from the mouth of an alleyway a distance down the road: short hair, light in color but not clearly perceptible in the dark of the night. Armored, but perhaps unarmed. She doesn’t linger for long once she realizes she’s been spotted, withdrawing into the alley with a movement that seems as if she’s being pulled on unseen strings.> Run after her.> Feign disinterest, but try to catch her on the other side.> Note the sighting and return to your lodging.> Other. [ Write-in ]
>>3032714>> Feign disinterest, but try to catch her on the other side.
>>3032714>> Note the sighting and return to your lodging.We're a newcomer that won their first fight. It's not unreasonable for someone to take an interest in us.Still, it would be a good idea to take an indirect route back.
>>3032714>Feign disinterest, but try to catch her on the other side.
>>3032714>Note the sighting and return to your lodging.